2x12 Cab Speaker positioning (asymmetrical)

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by shinksma, Nov 18, 2019.

  1. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    This thread is spurred by this past weekend's sound gig for a multi-band festival, where one band's guitar player had a closed-back Marshall 4x10 (I think, maybe a 4x12) that proved to be very directional and made my job of mixing it into the PA a bit of a challenge - the audience straight out from his cab got more guitar than those on the sides...

    The latest Chinese-made 2x12 speaker cabinets from PRS have an asymmetrical speaker arrangement. From Sweetwater's site:

    [​IMG]

    There is an Orange open back cab that exhibits a similar (but oppositely arranged) asymmetry:

    [​IMG]
    I am very used to seeing 2x12 being exactly side by side.

    Does this asymmetrical pattern reduce directionality any useful amount compared to a "classic" 2x12, or just make for a smaller, more compact, cheaper to make, box?
     
  2. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    The speaker placement in the baffle is unlikely to have significant affect on the sound, if you think about it, it's exactly the same as having a side-by-side speaker arrangement with the cab tilted.

    What it does do is allow you to have a narrower cabinet, giving you the ability to make the cab taller and/or deeper with the same overall displacement.

    It may be that using shorter timbers can be more economical, or provide more rigidity.

    The sound of a cab is a combination of a lot of things, thought primarily most designers concern themselves with the volume (space) of the cab.

    So all things being equal, you probably aren't going to notice a difference in sound for a well designed cab.
     
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  3. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    My concern is about the "comb filtering" that can occur with side-by-side speaker configurations, and how that would be altered by the "tilted plane". It could make the cabinet sound different depending on whether you are to the left or right, assuming the cabinet is sitting on the floor normally and your head is 5 to 6 feet above the floor.
     
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  4. andy474x

    andy474x Knows the Drill

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    I built an offset/asymmetrical 2x12 closed back cab fairly recently. Given my experience with it, I wouldn’t expect that type of cab to be much more or less directional because of the speaker arrangement, maybe slightly, but not to the point of being significantly better or worse for your situation. The tone on mine is different from my traditional horizontal PRS 2x12, but perhaps mostly so because of the decreased depth and internal overall volume, which I made a conscious attempt to do. There are probably some directional and frequency filtering effects of that speaker arrangement, but I hear the same base tone in there, just less bass and low mid. I think if you want a cab that will really spread the sound out, open back is your best and most predictable bet.
     
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  5. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    I ran my Custom 50 combo along with an Avatar 2x12, for a 3x12 experience.
    I pointed the 2x12 slightly stage right, and the combo (on top of the 2x12) slightly stage left.
     
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  6. Black Plaid

    Black Plaid just another Alan

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    I'm not sure such effects are going to be meaningful from a sounds source that cuts off above about 7k hz. Unless you are in an anechoic chamber you are going to have tons of other incident reflections off hard surfaces that would make it difficult to tell any difference.
     
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  7. sergiodeblanc

    sergiodeblanc Zombie Eight, DFZ

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    I would think a semi open back would do more for dispersion.
     
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  8. Alnus Rubra

    Alnus Rubra Loving nature’s wonders

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    An open back always does something for my dispersion!
     
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  9. dmatthews

    dmatthews Dave's not here...

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    Works well for a 1x12 I have.
     
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  10. Rider1260

    Rider1260 New Member

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    As far as your mixing issue goes many PA and or line array speakers when coupled together give you a longer throw so by nature a 4x10 or 12 would throw further and a angled cab even more so. just the height of the cab makes a huge difference. my old MKII with the heavy cab material way super directional unless it was near a wall where the sound from the back would bounce out into the room when you angled the amp.
    Almost every guitar cab I have ever heard is pretty directional even just in my basement.
    if you walk off access the sound changes a ton
     
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  11. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    Best thing for dispersion is to tilt the cab toward the ceiling to let it bounce off. The guitarist can hear it better and the crowd will get the dispersed reflections plus FOH.
     
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  12. Serious Poo

    Serious Poo Shoegazing Member

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    I think sound dispersion is driven more by cabinet materials and design, such as open vs closed back, whether the speakers are front or back loaded, and the cabinet’s depth. FWIWI own several 2x12’s of different shapes and sizes; most disperse the sound really well while one of them (Dr Z Z-Best) is just a sonic laser beam. It projects with authority if you’re on axis, but if you’re off to the side you can’t hear it as well.
     
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  13. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Navin R. Johnson

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    Interesting. Haven't noticed that with my Zbest, but it has two different speakers in it, rather than the stock 2 V30s. I love that cab!
     
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  14. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    There have been lots of asymmetrical cabs over the years. It’s actually a pretty good idea, because with one speaker further from the floor, there might be a bit less bass buildup (mud) from half-space reflections from the floor. Lots of players tilt a traditional 212 on its side for that reason.

    In terms of materials, while it’s true the box can be narrower, it’s also got to be taller. Maybe it evens out.

    For me the biggest advantage of a taller cab is having to bend less to reach the amp’s controls!
     
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  15. shinksma

    shinksma What? I get a title?

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    I appreciate everyone's inputs! Just a thing I was wondering about. It was done for a reason on these latest 2x12s, so it piqued my curiosity.
     
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  16. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules Navin R. Johnson

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    Yeah, there are lots of interesting replies. While I can't say nobody ever did one for any other reason, the reason people started making them this way is very simple. Space. It allows you to cut down the width of the cab.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I wouldn’t be surprised if the original reason was so players could fit them into the trunks of the big cars that were popular back in the day.

    “What’s a ‘trunk’ Unfrozen Caveman Composer?”

    “Well, Billy, over 100,000 years ago, before I fell into a crevasse in a glacier, and got frozen, long before your modern scientists revived me, people used to drive cars with oddly shaped storage compartments called ‘trunks’ instead of your modern SUVs, and there were no tiny digital pretend amplifier devices. Guitar amps often didn’t into these trunks because they were too wide.”

    “Wow, Unfrozen Caveman Composer! Things sure were primitive back then!”

    “Yes, Billy, they sure were. Have you ever heard of the land line telephone...?”
     
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  18. 11top

    11top Cousin Eddie's cousin

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    That’s what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. :p
     
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  19. BrianC

    BrianC more toys than talent

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    I would not want an open back cab due to bass loss.

    I have 2 - 4X12s 2- 2X12s and had a 1X12. The 1X was open and I converted it to closed which was a BIG improvement. Still, the is no substitute for a 4X12 for me. It doesnt take up more floor space than a 2X horizontal cab and its easy to get to the controls all while providing a rich spectrum of tone.
     
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  20. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    It’s true that they give you a very nice tone spectrum, and lots of low end.

    A 4x12 unfortunately also gives me a rich spectrum of herniated disk pain. :(
     

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