Best marshall giging setup: combo, 1x12, 2 x12, or 4 x12?

Discussion in 'Marshall Amps' started by usablefiber, Oct 21, 2021.

  1. usablefiber

    usablefiber Active Member

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    What’s your optimal setup for gigging?

    I used to be of the mindset that the 4 x 12 was just too good that the weight and transportability trade off was worth it but now not so sure. Ive played with bands playing big theaters or outdoor events using a micd up dinky little combo and still worked out fine.


    currently main rig is using my 2 x 12 with the 800 head next to it and the fuchs head on top for clean channel.

    I love it and know how to work it but part of me yearns for an easier to move setup. especially during load in and tear down lol.

    part of me thinks that getting a 1 x 12 and a the smaller head would be optimal or heck just getting the combo.

    i’ve seen plenty of people using it.

    Not really in the market at the moment just thought it would be a fun discussion.

    what’s your optimal gig setup?
     
  2. C-Grin

    C-Grin Well-Known Member

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    I think it depends on what your attempting to do with the rig. Folks that play super heavy distorted in drop tunnings seem to only be happy with a 4x12. Other styles, well still a 4x12 of course. :dude:.
    But the places I have played in or just haunted in the last 25 years would not let that in the door. So I dont even have a 4x12.
     
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  3. donwagar

    donwagar Well-Known Member

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    If your band is micing everything, power no longer matters. Pick your tone at a reasonable volume.
     
  4. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    You can technically get away with just about anything these days, but one thing that I think gets lost in the mix of these conversations is aesthetics. For example, if you're in a rock band (particularly hard rock & metal), you'll look silly up on stage with a "dinky little combo" (your term) ... alternatively, if you're at a jazz or blues gig, sure, a little combo will likely look just fine. I'm not gonna run through all types of music, but you get my drift.

    This probably isn't what you were getting at, but I think it's a discussion that gets lost. I'm of the mindset that you should take not only the proper rig into account, but also the proper aesthetics. Honestly, a lot of bands just don't look that cool these days, and I think a lot of that comes down to wondering what they can get away with, rather than putting on the best show they can (and yes, a show includes the aesthetics). Having a lighter rig might be more comfortable, but is that worth leaving the audience wanting more? Will you secretly want more yourself?

    Maybe @tallcoolone can share that pic of him on stage w/the combo ... it's a good illustration of picking the wrong amp for the gig (aesthetically). Not saying this in a disparaging way, as he has shared the pic in regards to this topic (and I believe he'd agree that he looks way better on stage w/the 2x12 behind him).
     
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  5. usablefiber

    usablefiber Active Member

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    yeah i didn’t mean to use the term dinky is a disparaging way, just meant relative to the bigger set ups. i never really thought about the aesthetics part of it too much but yeah there is something about the 4 x 12 look that commands authority visually speaking
     
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  6. EL 34

    EL 34 Well-Known Member

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    Don't do it. There's no replacement for displacement. You thought that microphoned 1x8" combo sounded great but if you heard a 4x12 microphoned it would have sounded better.

    Look into an oversized 2x12 like from Bogner. It's as close to a 4x12 as it gets.
     
  7. tallcoolone

    tallcoolone Well-Known Member

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    Haha—yup, judge for yourself. A waste of a great stage:

    [​IMG]
    Now that being said, the lil Marshall with the 1x12 thiele cab carried the place. Just looked wicked puny lol
     
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  8. assquatch20

    assquatch20 Active Member

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    I use a DSL40CR live but it would be cool to have it in a head cabinet with a range of cab options, or just put the whole combo on top of a cab. I've used it with another 1x12 amp in wet/dry live with one on top of the other but I think I was getting phasing issues with a certain wet effect and setting volumes between the two amps was annoying. It made the sound a little better but not really worth the hassle for me right now. I keep the other combo as a backup amp for me and the singer.

    My singer uses a Rocker 32 2x10 stereo amp with one of the 10's disconnected and that side of the amp feeding an Orange 2x12 underneath, when possible. I'd like that cab for myself.

    I've got a Marshall full stack at home and I considered bringing one of the 4x12's to use with the DSL40CR at a recent outdoor gig just to fill the stage up a little more, but I kept it simple. If I were a bigger deal on bigger, better stages, I'd probably haul new 4x12's with 7-8 mics on some nice new w/d/w rig but I don't have roadies or a sound guy, even.

    Here's a short clip from the show. My amp does look a little puny back there but I really don't trust my rough old 800 era cabs to stand up to gigging without some TLC. Maybe for a special occasion I'll bust out a 4x12 but it ain't been that special yet. You can see the singer and bass player's Orange rigs stage right, making me look bad.



    Actually that stage was milled by the park that was putting on the show, installed onto a trailer. The front and rear (left and right sides of the trailer) fold down. The drummer and amps were essentially propped up on 2x4 legs on part of the folding section best I could tell. Honestly I get nervous enough with my amp just on a stand given some of these stages we play. A full stack would be a danger to itself and others on the gooseneck I played on earlier this summer. I was on the tail end and it was like a paint shaker.
     
  9. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for not taking that the wrong way ... I was hesitant to bring it up, but it so perfectly illustrates my thoughts.
     
  10. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    If it sounds good, there is nothing wrong with that 1x12.
    My rig varies with venue. Sometimes a 2x12 combo, sometimes 1x12, sometimes a head and 2x12 and the odd time a 4x12.
    Depends how much other stuff I have to bring. If I physically cannot get a 2x12 plus head i the vehicle with all the other stuff then I simply don't use it.
    Ex. Our jamspace simply doing a one song video. I have enough video gear and lighrs to bring, I don't care. It sounded great.
    Other venues it is all over the map. As long as I enjoy it and sound good onstage for myself. Always run through PA.


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

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    One of our regular haunts for one band was a small L shaped pub, a quiet room if there ever was one. Either a 1x12 combo or head on another 1x12 so one is angled 45 to 90 from the other for spread.

    [​IMG]

    That and I like to rotate amps around. So a summer, outside, just one set for a food festival thing I just used the little Mesa Mk V35 combo. Only 15 min setup time. Thing sounded just great! Angled it behind me.

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Yup, I bet one of your 4x12's would have looked really good, as it would have balanced everything out ... go for it, dude!

    Btw., that was some tasty playing.
     
  12. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    As you said, it carried it. That's the main thing.
    One of my workmates a few years back went to a battle of the bands and many brought 4x12s etc to look cool amd get some extra girth.
    Buddy brought his Fender Blues Jr and ran it full volume. 15 watts cranked can get pretty loud and sounded really gnarly. Sound guy thought it was brilliant. Sounded as good as any others in that venue.
    Sometimes we also haul whatever we have to logistically.
     
  13. crossroadsnyc

    crossroadsnyc Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Aesthetically, you look way better up there with the 2x12 & 4x12 (imo).
     
  14. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Absolutley! Aesthetically for sure. Sometimes just no ability to haul more to said gig. That outside thing was park a ways away and haul your gear. Just no time or wherewithall to haul anythjng larger.
    Our normal in town haunt has a fairly cramped stage and the amp hides behind me so I usually bring a 2x12 combo. That or a 1x12 combo atop another 1x12 for a mini stack. Seems to be ok given stage size.
    2x12 combo angled back so I can hear it. In future I will bring my Mojotome angled cab and a head of like 4 or 5 choices. I can hear it that way.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Video clip from the outside thjng. Loud assed drummer too. I heard myself ok onstage with the 1x12 and FOH covered it fine out front.
    But yes if I had the option for a 2x12 etc I would have. Just because!!


     
  16. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    I always like your performance pics Jethro - you always look like you're having so much damn fun!

    Right on!
     
  17. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Cheers!! Always do!! That's what it is all about.
     
  18. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    For the average pub good luck getting a 4x12 in the door without the owner or manager freaking out. They see that and think you're gonna blow the doors off. Amazing how many folks are unaware that the volume on an amplifier works much the same as a volume on a stereo or TV set. Besides, a 4x12 is rather large and a pain to transport...though I do love 'em!

    I like 2 1x12 combos if feeling ambitious for a stereo rig, or just a 55 watt 1x12 is enough really.

    If I were to bring a head I'd want a 2x12 or 2 1x12 cabs, but 1 1x12 could be just fine.
     
  19. StrummerJoe

    StrummerJoe Well-Known Member

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    Amen & cheers! :cheers:
     
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  20. Jethro Rocker

    Jethro Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Part of it for me, not to be a lazy ass, is that all my amps are downstairs so I get to haul a 100 lb ( my Traynor, yes, it is 100 lbs) up a flight of stairs and i to the garage by myself so unless the venue is really worth it, forget it.
    I also like to rotate amps so they all get used.
     

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