Cabinet sound test, Whats the difference between a 1, 2 & 4X12 cabinet

Published on 4 January 2012 in Mojave News. Bookmark the permalink.

If you have pondered the idea of buying a smaller cab vs a larger cab, or just wondered what the big difference is, there are several to be honest but one thing you can trust and identify with immediately without any opinions are your own ears.
So to help you or anyone that ever wondered, I have set up a reasonably good test demo that was constructed with three speaker cabinets. All of them Mojave cabs but each offering a different sound. I used a super accurate and faithful microphone, the “Most High” Telefunken U47, the Microphone of the Gods! but for this test, we or I, a mere mortal have employed a good mic for good results. I hope this sound demo is helpful to you and keep in mind there are always more ways to compare the sounds but for this simple test we have basically put them around the microphone and blasted away. What you hear is genuine and not monkeyed with at the recording level. I took precautions with the levels jumping around and employed a compressor to put a lid of a few spikes and make sure it kept the levels so they won’t cause you any digital distortion on playback. Otherwise this is a “naked” live test.
I recorded myself into the computer and played the same track back in each cabinet so they were identical. I used a radial X amp to send the signal from the DAW into the amplifier which fed the cabinet. A virtual “Me” so to speak.

Let’s take a look at the test.

Here's a photo looking through the sound booth door. The Ribbon mic in front of the 4x12 was not in use, only the lower right speaker of the 4x12 was actually recorded.

3 cabs and a Coyote. Each cabinet was played independently, not all at the same time. Starting with the 1x12 then 2x12 and finally the 4x12.

The microphone, a cardiod pattern was selected and the microphone was pointed at the cab being tested. I rotated the microphone in the direction of each cabinet tested as they were being played.

Yes boys and girls this is the real deal. A true Telefunken U47 not an imitation and not an old microphone but a new microphone built in South Windsor, CT by the real microphone manufacturer Telefunken Elektroakustik. Originally designed in 1946. This is an iconic tube microphone that is incredibly accurate and clear. Capable of handling SPL levels of 139dbs, which our test was well below.

Compare these even half way through so you can hear the difference on the fly.

The 1×12 cabinet – 1×12 mp3
The 2×12 cabinet – 2×12 mp3
The 4×12 cabinet – 4×12 mp3

12 Responses to Cabinet sound test, Whats the difference between a 1, 2 & 4X12 cabinet

  1. Jimmy says:

    Great test – everyone wants to haul less gear. Huge difference between 1 x12 and 2x 12. Unless your going for a really “garage” sound, I wouldn’t ever think about a 1 x 12 again

  2. david l says:

    well, the 112 is very in your face, the 212, quiet frankly sounded like it lost mids and had phase cancellation that made it sound hollow boomy and muffles…(no offense) … the 412, had the fullness of the 212 and the mid range clarity of the 112 (but a easy on the ears clarity, not so pushed, just clear) …. i hate to admit it, but IMHO, the 412 was the best….i went in thinking the 212 would be my favorite,,, as i play a 112 and 212 now… man i really don’t want to haul a 412….. thanks for doing this great test!

  3. Jesse says:

    Thanks, that was very informative, the difference between the 1×12 and the others is more striking than I’d expect. Where was the mic placed for each recording?

  4. Victor Mason says:

    Microphone was exactly where you see it in the photo

  5. Aaron says:

    The funny thing is I really dig the 1×12 just as much as the 2×12. I think it sounds thick and ballsy. Great test, thanks!

  6. tommy alderson says:

    how do they compare being close mic’d like a real live stage situation having 1 mic stuck in front of one of the speakers? or, are y’all only concerned w/ studio recording ?

  7. Wonderful test! Thank you for taking the time. IMHO. the 1X12 sound like a 1X12, compressed and small. The 2X12 is more open and sounds great. The 4X12 just sounds better; More head room, clarity, and range. I’ve spent a ton of money trying to replace my 100watt head and 4X12 cabinet only to come right back. I guess these old ears are use to a stack sound. :-)

  8. JC says:

    I much prefer the 2 x 12

  9. tony mac says:

    Nothing will ever sound as good as a 4×12 in my opinion, however, I own a Mojave 2×12
    And it is the best 2×12 on the market IMHO!. It is easily portable and has a nice thick rounded sound that you do not get from other cabs. 4×12 is the best but for portability you get the best of both worlds with Mojave’s 2×12! Great test fellas!

  10. John Wheeler says:

    Excellent, Victor…i liked this test very much. I didn’t see any cab specifics regarding rear panels, and can’t tell from the pix. Are all the cabs fully closed one piece back?

  11. Kaiser says:

    excellent test. I found the difference between 1×12 and the others the most obvious. For heavy metal the 4×12 is best suited followed by the 2×12 I would only use the 1×12 for clean stuff but not metal distortion.

  12. patric dahms says:

    As a recovering Tone Freak I have found that most of them/us can’t play for shit and rely on toys to make up for not practising our chops. In a live band situation none of these cabs would matter a bit, too much stock on tone. Phasing , tempo and musical ideas are far more important. I go back BP before pedals, I was happy just to get loud enough over a greedy drummer. I been doing this a long time I’m 59 and still play out 3 nights a week. What makes a great amp or guitar ? This one that inspires you to pick it up. And God forbid you should but ding in your PRS 10 top.

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