Is the age of 4x12 dead?

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by TheFireSky5150, Feb 23, 2018.

  1. TheFireSky5150

    TheFireSky5150 SS.org Regular

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    Is 2x12 the new hotness? Who really needs a 4×12? Most venues large enough to require that much ooomf already have PA's. Whats your thought?
     
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  2. LiveOVErdrive

    LiveOVErdrive CNC hack

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    412s haven't really been necessary since decent pa systems appeared decades ago. But they're cool and they're iconic, so people will continue to buy them, just like they continue to buy the same guitar designs that have existed since the 50s.
     
  3. MaxOfMetal

    MaxOfMetal Likes trem wankery. Super Moderator

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    I definitely think the sun is setting on them as far as live sound, but they'll never be gone for band practice and in studio.
     
  4. NinjaRaf

    NinjaRaf SS.org Regular

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    I don't think they will ever be gone forever from any band environment...live, practice, or studio. A lot of bands still have the whole "half stack looks better" thing, its more professional looking, whatever. Personally, we just decided that we would run 212s live. Getting old is not kind, and my back cant take lifting a 125 pound cab in and out of a car twice a week. Lots of people are realizing the practicality of a 212, and also the cost savings of buying a 212 vs a 412. Hell, I just bought another Avatar 212 for $430 shipped. The 412 version would have cost double that, and this cab is going to sit in a closet in my home studio and be used for recording. Its oversized cab, so itll still get that low end depth of a bigger cab, just saves me a lot of space, and speaker replacement if I want to swap speakers. Lots of reasons to have multiple cabs of different sizes. I personally have a couple 212s and a couple 412s. I do still like 412s, nothing like 4 speakers punching you with air, but its not always the best or most necessary or practical option.
     
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  5. scrub

    scrub SS.org Regular

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    im using 1x12s :lol:
     
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  6. Dineley

    Dineley SS.org Regular

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    Seems like it unfortunately. They will never go away completely but they are not the dominant cab anymore. I would switch to a 2x12 but it would cost me more to buy a decent 2x12 even used, than I could sell my Marshall 4x12 for.
     
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  7. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    I think that they still have relevance, but maybe not necessity.
    I've felt that way for a number of years though. As a FOH & Recording Engineer, I've always worked from that end of the room to get the stage SPL pushing out to the front to a lower level to facilitate a better live mix. Modelling has helped that, so has the increased usage of "in ear" monitoring.
    When I quit touring in Jan 2002, I had ditched my 4x12 cabs down to a 2x12 fired in like side fills on each side of the stage. FOH loved this, and no matter where I was on stage, I could hear myself quite well to the point that the enter frontline of the stage was one long linear sweet spot, as opposed to the fewer sweet spots I had when running my 4x12's in a backline.

    As long as there is a backline, there will be 4x12's and other larger cabs like the bass players use, but, it doesn't necessarily mean that it's the greatest fidelity for the audience.
     
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  8. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    I bought a Mesa Dual Recto Full Stack back in the late 1990's, and I was so proud, thinking my musical career had just opened up to all sort of new opportunities. I used that full stack live all of three times. It's just too damned much for pretty much any indoor venue and even most outdoor situations. It sounds great and you get a great feeling playing through it, but it's just too much sound. I used a single 412 for a number of years after that, but even by, like 2004 or 2005, nobody else was using 412 cabs. A few years ago, I downsized to a 212 with neodymium drivers and an open back and it's just much more user-friendly. For one, those old 412 oversized Mesa cabs were like 130-140 lbs, each. For two, they are a bear to load into a car. For three, they don't sound as good unless they are cranked to beyond-ear-bleed-and-into-skin-peeling volume level.

    I'll still keep them around for studio use, mainly because I just feel that much more badass playing through them, but the 212 is where it's at for most gigs...hell, those are probably even way too big. A friend of mine just dumped his entire rig for an AxeFX that he can plug directly into the board, and his bass player just uses a SansAmp, so they only ever need their board, drums, and a couple powered speakers, and then their instruments and magic boxes. I don't know if that's the trend now, but I don't see why it couldn't be.
     
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  9. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    As long as there are clubs that won't invest in a DEECENT pa, there will always be 4x12 cabs. Back when I was in a band, both myself & the other guitarist had the notion that we could run a Pod XTL into the soundboard for live stuff so we wouldn't have to lug cabs on stage (locally anyway) but no such luck. They pretty much only used the pa for vocals and drums.
     
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  10. TonyFlyingSquirrel

    TonyFlyingSquirrel Cherokee Warrior

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    Now that I use "in ears", no cab on stage, I really do hear my entire monitor mix in the same quality as a feed from something like Pro Tools or similar. I love hearing it in stereo, being able to pan bgv's left & right so I can determine which vocalist to reference for certain parts.
    There's so much more clarity on stage, and more room to move around.
     
  11. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    If the PA is total garbage, though, then it's still bad for the vocalist. I think the whole "decent PA" thing is more a problem with sound engineers and promoters. If you are stuck using a house system that's that shitty, then chances are that the club is too small for a 412 anyway.
     
  12. kindsage

    kindsage SS.org Regular

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    I think once you've tried a 4x12 (or even two 4x12 cabs) its very hard to go back to a 2x12. It just doesn't sound as full. I tried the Port City OS Vertical 2x12 which at the time everyone was raving "sounds just as big if not BIGGER than a 4x12" and the bottom line is it didn't.

    So I guess maybe 4x12's will start going the way side but, I don't think 2x12's will ever replace 4x12's for people looking for "that" sound.

    Amps and electronics can keep getting smaller and smaller but, i don't think you can ever shrink cabinets or speakers and get the same results
     
  13. TedEH

    TedEH Cromulent

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    Maybe Canada is different, but I don't think I've ever been to a show without at least one 4x12. It's pretty rare here for anyone to show up with anything else. The only time I've been on a tour, I went with a 1x12 for space, but ended up using the provided/shared 4x12 at almost every venue anyway.
     
  14. Spinedriver

    Spinedriver SS.org Regular

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    The clubs were fairly small but they would pack 150-200 people in it, so although the vocals were a bit distorted, they were loud enough for the crowd to head. That being said, for the people at the back to hear, a 4x12 up on a couple of milk crates was almost a necessity. Since then though, many clubs have come & gone so it could be that the situation has improved.
     
  15. KailM

    KailM SS.org Regular

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    I just checked my 412 to make sure, and...yep -- it still melts faces and crushes everything in its path. Mine is not going anywhere.
     
  16. lewis

    lewis SS.org Regular

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    Funny because i tried my new kemper profile at practice through my 4x12 and then my 2x12, and the 4x12 sounded tenfold better.

    The 2 does have its uses but nothing sound wise will beat a 4 imo.
     
  17. PBGas

    PBGas SS.org Regular

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    I use either my 212 or my 1x12 for gigging these days. I run direct via UA Ox and it is awesome!
     
  18. Humbuck

    Humbuck SS.org Regular

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    4x12 for me thanks.
     
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  19. Wizard of Ozz

    Wizard of Ozz Arch-Mage of Metal

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    Hellz no!

    I’ve got 4 of them. Nothing sounds and feels like a 4X12. Nothing. No 2X12, no powered monitor, nothing. If it’s too loud, you’re too old. Might as well hang it up altogether.

    :eddie: :eddie: :eddie:
     
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  20. Blasphemer

    Blasphemer Bird Law expert

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    I have a 4x12. I also have a Volvo station wagon and need to cart around my bassists stuff when we play shows, so moving down to a 2x12 was pretty much a necessity. The difference in sound is noticeable, but not a deal breaker, IMO. If a club has a half decent PA, I trust it enough to get my sound to the back row, and leave the first few rows to my cabinets sound :2c:
     

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