10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Its all in the fingers, or is it?

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10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by johnny mullet »

Serious question. Do you get the great sound you would normally achieve at a higher volume at a lower volume by using smaller diameter speakers?

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by NippleWrestler »

No but you get a different sound. Smaller are tighter sounding, quicker response, generally capable of higher frequency but not as capable of lower frequencies.

You can't escape their physical properties very easily. Now mixing 10s and 12s, that's next level thinking.

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by johnny mullet »

OMG there's more complications lol. It gets to be a life journey

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by Wairarapajack »

Perceived volume is also an issue. The more surface area, the more air a speaker moves and the louder it seems. Something that flaps your trouser legs just seems louder, and does sound different. In terms of surface area 1x10 < 1x12 < 2x10 < 2x12 < 4x10 < 4x12.

As I'm sure you've run into, the sound you get from an amp is due to a number of variables. Primarily: How hard the preamp and power amp are pushed, the gain structure of the amp, the sensitivity and frequency response of the speaker(s), and how much air is being moved.

If you're looking at something for low volume use a single 10" in a low wattage amp may be a good call. 5 watts through a 10" speaker is still pretty loud, but you can achieve decent overdrive without being deafened. It is not the same sound as 100 watts through a full stack though.

I have a 5 watt tweed Princeton clone using a single 8" speaker. It gets some great tweedy overdrive and distortion at loud TV volume. But it is not a Bassman.

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by Slowy »

johnny mullet wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:01 pm
OMG there's more complications lol. It gets to be a life journey
Ain't this the truth. Everything is a rabbit hole.
Last night we were playing with two tweed amps. One loaded with a 10", the other a 12. The 12 had noticeably more bottom end, but if I was a studio engineer, looking for a tone for the mix, I would have chosen the 10 because it was focused, clear and took up a lot less space.

So the 10" would become the recorded sound you liked on the track and you'd start tone chasing it. But by the time it reached your ears, it had been EQ'd, compressed, had a tiny touch of flange added and generally sounded nothing like the initially recorded tone. But you heard it was recorded on a Tweed Vibrolux so you get one to produce that tone.

Within a year you have 6, 10" speakers, none of which are quite right, a dozen sets of NOS valves for the same reason. Maybe it's the guitar; if only I could find out the date stamp on the neck of that Tele and what pickups it had.........

But for jamming at home, I'd choose the 12 and turn the bass down a bit.
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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by StrummersOfThunder »

Im sure pickups come into it
I use single coils and i rely on the low end of the 12 to get a good round bass response.

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by NippleWrestler »

johnny mullet wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 11:01 pm
OMG there's more complications lol. It gets to be a life journey
It's just options. The sound you want is out there. It might be easier to work backwards from the finished article. What are you looking for in your sound?

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by Slowy »

johnny mullet wrote:
Sat Jul 25, 2020 10:27 pm
Serious question. Do you get the great sound you would normally achieve at a higher volume at a lower volume by using smaller diameter speakers?
Short answer, no.
There is a sweet spot with electric guitar tone that is in part created by the physical movement of air mass and all the harmonics, transients and dynamics it reveals. It can't be replicated at lower volumes which is why we continually get told to turn the damn thing down.

Usually when someone posts a video of a tone they like, especially a clean tone, you quickly realise in front of the amp is not where you actually want to be!
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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by IMOCD »

..and then there's the relationship between speaker size and the size of the cabinet and the material used. My laney l5t blows my vox ac4hw out of the water when it comes to getting a big full tone. Both have 12's but the laney cabinet is way bigger than the vox, which is definitely a factor.

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by johnny mullet »

Thanks guys. Lots of helpful stuff there. I'm playing an Ibanez 1570 with di marzio pickups (can't remember what they were but were Satriani style).
I'm pretty much playing for my own enjoyment at home. I think I'm leaning towards the 12" at this stage. Good point with cabinet design and material

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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by GrantB »

IMOCD wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:20 am
..and then there's the relationship between speaker size and the size of the cabinet and the material used. My laney l5t blows my vox ac4hw out of the water when it comes to getting a big full tone. Both have 12's but the laney cabinet is way bigger than the vox, which is definitely a factor.
I heard an 8” once in a big boxy cab and I’d have sworn it was a 12....massive
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Re: 10" or 12" Is bigger better?

Post by IMOCD »

johnny mullet wrote:
Sun Jul 26, 2020 10:44 am
Thanks guys. Lots of helpful stuff there. I'm playing an Ibanez 1570 with di marzio pickups (can't remember what they were but were Satriani style).
I'm pretty much playing for my own enjoyment at home. I think I'm leaning towards the 12" at this stage. Good point with cabinet design and material
If its strictly for home use, then I wouldn't rule out a 10" personally or even 8 based on GrantB's experience. As mentioned here, any speaker needs to move air to make it sound good, which usually equates to volume. I dont have any experience with 10's to be honest, but I do think another question to consider is 'is it easier to make 10's sound better at bedroom volume than it is 12's......I personally find 12's fatiguing after a while at close proximity ,(especially my bandmates V30's :silent: :D ) dunno, maybe 10's would be different...

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