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Thread: Speaker Cabinet Conundrum

  1. #1
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Speaker Cabinet Conundrum

    I play loud rock and typically play a 50 watt head through an Egnater Tourmaster 4x12 with 4 Vintage 30s as the only guitarist in a 3 piece band.

    I recently picked up a 2x12, it's a Bogner Alchemist that's open back and loaded with a G12H anniversary and a G12M greenback. Compared to my 4x12, it's not only lighter and easier to move around, it's also tighter sounding. I feel like my tone is more defined with it.

    Finally, this weekend we ran through our set to get ready for a show this Friday and I played the 2x12 for the 1st part of the set. I felt like I was loud enough, and was digging how it sounded. The cab has so much less midrange, it's a more balanced tone and I can actually use the mid knob on my amp to dial things in better. The drummer and bass player weren't so thrilled. Halfway through practice I switched back to the 4x12 and all that fullness and big-ness was back and we sounded like us again. The drummer and bass player were much happier. I had to cut a bunch of midrange on my amp, and felt like although there was a lot added with the 4x12, I was less happy with the overall tone of it. It's just incredibly woofy in the mids and not tight sounding like the 2x12.

    My question is how to find a common ground between the two. I have played Vintage 30s for years and years, and this Bogner is the 1st non-vintage 30 cab I've used in over a decade. Should I consider different speakers for the 4x12? Maybe a different 4x12 all together? The Tourmaster is made of OSB. Would investing in a better quality cabinet improve the tone by itself?
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  2. #2
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Well, bummer. I kinda thought this group, being so picky about the guitars we play, would also be just as picky about one of the other major components of the tone equation.

    I've heard about a midrange spike from V30s, but have never really heard it firsthand until I got this 2x12. I have played V30 equipped cabs for so many years that I was totally in tune with them, and now that I have something else it has thrown me all out of whack.

    So, I guess a simpler question would be,

    What's your speaker cabinet of choice and why? Also, do you think it's the speaker, the cabinet materials, or the cab design that give a cabinet its tone?
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  3. #3
    408 Sig Club President Twinfan's Avatar
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    I'd get someone out front to see how the mix differs between your two cabs - what you and your guys like on stage isn't always what's best out front.

    V30s cut through a band mix in a particular way, and that seems to work for your buddies on-stage. You should maybe try tweaking your amp EQ a bit more before deciding your 2x12 isn't right as it stands, you could always put V30s in there too as a comparison.

    All three elements - cab design, cab materials and speakers - affect the tone of the cab. I personally favour heavy thick baltic ply cabs with a mix of alnico and ceramic Celestion speakers - Blue/Gold and G12H 55Hz/75Hz. I use a closed back or an open back 2x12 live, plus I have a closed back 4x12 that I use for occasional LOUD gigs.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    I hear you about the "fullness" of a 4x12. I have limited experience as a gigging Guitar player but a fair amount as a Drummer. I know I preferred what I heard from 4x12 or even a 4x10 (Bassman) style set-up.

    I've gotten to where I don't like the V30 in my SuperSonic. My 'old' lead player also plays one through a 60 watt SuperSonic and I find the tone is VERY location dependant and there is a HUGE spike if you get in line with the speaker. He ended up adding an Avatar extension cab to help mitigate some of that...

    My TA-30 is 2x12 and I like that better.

    I had a EVH 5150 with a 4x12 for a while - if you could crank up - even a bit - That cab sounded great! I really thought about keeping it and would not hesitate to buy another if I saw a deal on one.

    If I were you I think I'd start with getting a better cab.

  5. #5
    First, I do think it's a combination of cabinet design and construction and speaker that make a cab what you want. I like the Celestion V-30s made for Mesa, and Mesa cabs. I would like to try the PRS cab as well. Right now I'm using a 2x12 Mesa Recto cab loaded with the Mesa V-30s, and for some reason the design of the cab tends to minimize the typical V-30 midrange spike.

    I also very much like the Mesa 3/4 back 1x12 that is no longer in production, with a Mesa C-90 (Black Shadow variant).

    Room acoustics, placement on or off the floor, and other environmental considerations do affect the sound of a cab to a surprising degree. I could go on into greater detail, but this could affect what your comrades in the band are hearing.

  6. #6
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I didn't realize Mesa has their own version of a V30. How is it different?

    As far as placement is concerned, I am aware of it. I wouldn't even know what a cab really sounded like until I was to play it at band practice in the bedroom we have always practiced in, and hear how it sounds relative to the other players (as it is with every piece of gear I buy). That makes this even more frustrating because I don't have the resources to buy/try/sell/buy/try/sell all day.

    In the case of this direct comparison of two speaker cabinets, both with all other gear being equal, the 2x12 was set up directly in front of the 4x12. They're about the same position in the room. I haven't tried removing the 4x12 from the room and placing the 2x12 exactly where the 4x12 normally sits.

    And Rango, there's a thread on TGP about favorite 4x12s and the EVH gets rave reviews. Sadly it costs $1k. I was kind of thinking about trying an Avatar or Mojo or Lopoline or something to that effect, but even then, I don't even know where to begin as far as speakers are concerned.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    I didn't realize Mesa has their own version of a V30. How is it different?.
    It's the made in England model, and I think it's doped a little differently to Mesa spec. I once knew the answer to this question in more detail! LOL

    I know the Black Shadow 90 is a bit different from the CL80 because it's got a vent in the magnet part of the speaker and is rated for a bit more power.
    Last edited by LSchefman; 02-19-2013 at 05:29 PM.

  8. #8
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I've got a home built 1x12 built to AX84 specs. It's pretty big and gets mistaken for a 2x12 all the time. I get comments from sound guys saying how good it sounds, and to me it sounds huge and fantastic for a 1x12.

    http://www.ax84.com/corecabinets.html

    The "design discussion thread" is pretty interesting!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Rango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    And Rango, there's a thread on TGP about favorite 4x12s and the EVH gets rave reviews. Sadly it costs $1k. I was kind of thinking about trying an Avatar or Mojo or Lopoline or something to that effect, but even then, I don't even know where to begin as far as speakers are concerned.
    Maybe keep an eye out locally for a used one? - the cabs are big and heavy - hard to sell and ship! LOL!! But they are on very nice wheels and have good handles. Worst case you could get one for 850 new with a "coupon". How far are you from Rainbow? They will do even better... I bought my rig used off Craigslist for HALF of MAP and sold it for about the same a year later. Loved the cab but the 100 watt head was just overkill. Fun! but overkill!

    EDIT - Found one used that might be close to you - Check your PMs
    Last edited by Rango; 02-19-2013 at 06:31 PM.

  10. #10
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    That's really awesome, thank you again for sending that my way. To answer your question, Rainbow is my favorite store in the whoel state, but it's a good 2 hour drive, not something I ever have time for. Maybe one day when I have some dollars put away I'll make the trek and see what they have.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  11. #11
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Rather than start a new thread I'm bumping the old one.

    I decided to go with the cheaper option at first, and change out a couple speakers rather than look for an entire new cabinet. Depending on how that went, maybe a new cabinet would be on the radar too.

    It seems a V30 combined with a G12H30 is very common in 2x12s. I decided to hunt down some G12H30s, two of them to swap out for 2 of the V30s, but in my research I discovered the Eminence Wizards.



    This is not me playing here!!! But start around 3:15 and it starts going back and forth between the two with the same riff/guitar/cab/mic etc. The difference to me sounds like the mic is placed slightly differently - so if the mic is in the same spot on the speaker, the difference is minimal.

    I found two new in box Eminence Wizards, 16 ohms for $60 each on Craig's list. I thought it was a good deal so I bit. There was a set of G12H30s for more money, but they had already sold.

    In order to double check that 16 ohms was correct for my 4x12, I opened the thing up for the 1st time in 4 years of ownership. And wouldn't you know, my cabinet is not OSB like I thought it was! This is a birch ply cabinet. I see they sell for $799 now but at the time, they sold for $599 with 4 Vintage 30s, and I got 10% off because it was a floor model. So, I can't help but feel a different cabinet would only be marginally better, unless any cabinet gurus see glaring construction/design flaws.

    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  12. #12
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  13. #13
    SuperD Boogie's Avatar
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    I'm a little late to the party, but I'll ask a couple of questions anyway. Picking another gigging guitarist's brain is always a good thing.

    Are you mic'ing guitar into FOH? If so, don't the bassist and drummer have monitors? If not, and your cab is providing both monitor and FOH for you, that's pretty much where the conversation ends (that's also what we do, BTW). But if you are in the mix then the drums/bass need to listen to you via the final mix. If you sound better with the 2x12, then you will be happier with the results and you will play better...period. And after playing for 15 minutes, they won't even remember your old sound. It's always about the final product and if it sounds better with the 2x12, then use it. Let the other guys adjust.

    Just my $.02.

    Another suggestion, WGS speakers. When going thru the same process of revoicing my Boogie cabs, I ended up with WGS ET65 and Veteran 30s. Great quality, achieved my tonal goal and took the abuse of weekly gigging well. Oh, and much cheaper than Celestion equivalents.
    + '01 Custom 24 + '11 DGT Standard (Mr. Clean) + '09 SE One + Super Dallas + Stealth 2x12+

  14. #14
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boogie View Post
    Are you mic'ing guitar into FOH? If so, don't the bassist and drummer have monitors? If not, and your cab is providing both monitor and FOH for you, that's pretty much where the conversation ends (that's also what we do, BTW). But if you are in the mix then the drums/bass need to listen to you via the final mix. If you sound better with the 2x12, then you will be happier with the results and you will play better...period. And after playing for 15 minutes, they won't even remember your old sound. It's always about the final product and if it sounds better with the 2x12, then use it. Let the other guys adjust.
    We're at the mercy of the club as far as gigs. Some gigs we get monitors, a lot of gigs we don't at all, not even for vocals. Thinking over the last several clubs we've played, there's only one that has a "real" stage with a "real" PA. They mic everything but the cymbals. The last place we played had a PA head hooked into (under)powered speakers, one of which was crapping out. It was a great gig though, got a lot of new fans, lots of folks were there.

    In our small bedroom practice room, it's just the amps and a PA for vocals. And really, the mix - like most music - is built on the bass. She's running a SVT and 8x10 and it sounds really awesome, and I'm just trying to keep up.
    The Bovine Fury <-- stream and download our album "Eleven by Twelve" for free.
    05 Custom 22 with DGT pickups ~ 07 Mira with old birds ~ 08 SE Baritone Fralin/Suhr pickups ~ 03 SE Santana

  15. #15
    Senior Member sleary's Avatar
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    Eminence speakers are the best IMHO . I have used them for a few years now and love them. I favor American made rather then Chinese made. I use a solid birch 2x12 with a swamp thang and Texas heat in it. Those two speakers are very versatile and can cover a lot of different genres .

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