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All about 4 x 12 Cabs

Virtual Jim

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So I'm finally gonna do it and buy a tube driven half-stack. I got the money for the head in my tax refund, so it's time to start saving up for the cabinet.


I really dig Marshall's 1960AV, but not it's price. Here's my obvious question: are there any cabinets that sound like that line but cost a lot less?


I'm looking at the Laney AOR series heads instead of the vintage JCM800s, so it'd be nice to know a similar Marshall killer in a cabinet

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I didn't get deep into it, but when I recently bought a new amo, I started looking at cabs, too.


I didn't want anything like a 4x12. Too damned big and heavy for me. But I wanted a similar sound.


Now there are a number of 2x12 cabs that get a similar sound, and some really cool ones that are a combo of the open and closed back design.. sort of a semi-closed back. I chose one of those, and I'm pretty happy with it.


But there are whole websites full of tons of info about the subject.


In a very resonably priced cabinet, you might consider the Avatar line.



"I believe that entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot."


Steve Martin


Show business: we're all here because we're not all there.



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As a contrary opinion, I suggest you think twice about a 4x12. Get a pair of 2x12 cabs, and you can:

  • stack them to make a 4x12
  • separate them on different sides of the stage and keep your volume decent and out of the monitors
  • Run stereo with effects if so desired
  • bi-amp and use an A/B switch to go between two totally different amp sounds
  • Use only one cabinet for a smaller venue or rehearsal

My .02

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I just bought a an early 70's Marshall checkered 4x12 last week loaded with Greenbacks. I think you should just go for it and find a used 4x12. The greenbacks are nice because they are lower efficiency than most other celestions, so the volume is not as overpowering, and they break up earlier.


The weight of the Marshall 4x12 is quite similar to the weight of my Mesa 2x12. They are bulkier, but the handles on the side make it fairly easy to carry. Plus you can use the casters if you like. The Mesa 2x12 with one strap handle on top, weighing over 80 lbs with no casters is a pain to move, too. I'm sure there are lighter 2x12's, though.


You can wire a 4x12 for stereo operation, too. You can also use lower wattage vintage style speakers in a 4x12 with 50 watt and higher amps. They also are pretty fun to play.


So, if you want a Marshall 4x12, you should buy one. Spend a little more if you have to. Don't comprimise on something cheap that doesn't hold its value and doesn't have the sound you want in the first place. It's not a bargain. Make sure whatever you get is all ply construction, no particle board, with quality speakers.

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