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

JohnH

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I reckon that, unless for what you do, it just has to be a head on a 4x12, I think a 1x12 combo on a 1x12 cab, or better, a 2x12 combo on a 2x12.

These can give you a big sound, but with options for going smaller with just a combo, and easier to find space for on stage, at home, at rehearsals and in the car.
 

MonstersOfTheMidway

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I, too, just use a 2x12 cab with my JVM410H. I get a great sound out of the entire rig using the 2x12, so I just go with it.

I understand the appeal of the 4x12. For me, there are some 4x12 cabs that sound great regardless of amp, guitar, or venue. The 4x12 has a special place in my heart that if I were indeed to find a great 4x12 like that (I had one of those once), I'd be more inclined to save it for recording than take it out to gigs.

If a 1x12 can get the job done with great satisfaction, then why not use 1x12? If it sounds great and is reliable, then it's all good to me.
 

WellBurnTheSky

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

full

Now that being said, the lil Marshall with the 1x12 thiele cab carried the place. Just looked wicked puny lol
Haha I so love it !
Funny thing is, last gig I ever did with my old band, the opening act's guitar player had a 30th Anni head and a 1960A cab, that was sitting in front of my SV20H/EVH212 rig, my bass player, soundguy and I were joking that the order of the rigs was reversed...to which my soundguy replied "yeah, except you'll sound much better than he does" (he was obnoxiously loud, especially for the club we were in, and still nowhere near the sweet spot for his rig).

So yeah, after years (and hundreds of gigs) of lugging around my DSL100 and '80 1960B and never being able to open the amp up properly, I'm much happier with the SV20H and EVH 2x12, seems like the right balance of loud while not being overbearing, can be carried around easily. If I want to go fancy I go stereo with another head and 2x12, sounds actually bigger and wider than a 4x12 and 100w head.
Would I like to gig a pair of 1987s and 1960AHWs ? Definitely yes. But realistically unless I only do massive stages, it's kinda pointless. Definitely looks good though... Guess I could use some kind of panel with the band's logo to conceal the rig ;)
 

spacerocker

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In my experience, a mic'ed up 2x12 or combo can sound just as good as a 4x12 in terms of front-of-house sound and (with good monitoring) stage sound too....

BUT from the point of view of the sound coming from behind you, a good 4x12 will always win! not only do you get a broader, fuller sound that doesn't sound "boxy" - but it is easier to hear the cab too due to the height of the top speakers!

So for me, a 4x12 is worth the effort. Wheels on the cab make it in some ways easier to move around and set up. Having said that, I will often use a JVM205 Combo for small gigs, or multi-band gigs where a fast turn-around is required!
 

ampeq

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I too like a 2-12” best, or a combo with a 1-12” cab. Some 2x12” combos work good as well. I can make a 2-12” or 1-12” and combo sound very big by mixing the speakers. I have a 2-12” cab with a ET65 & Retro 30 that sounds killer with my little 2202 combo. (20w amp) If you keep the 2-12” cab and the speaker in the combo at 16 ohm’s you can run all 3 speakers if needed. A little to much for my living room these days, but you git the idea.
 

dro

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Did live stages with in place sound co. PA's for years with a 212 combo.
When you have the time, and the sound co. guys willing. You can dial in a really nice sound.
BUT.....Anybody doing opening act shows knows. The better your sound check sounds.
The more you'll be dialed down, during the show.
Have done shows where everything was fine at sound check.
Then, when it came to the set. If I wandered more than 3 ft. from my amp I couldn't hear shit.
Have had to play complete 45 minute sets totally by brail. Having to trust my rehearsal memory. Was rehearsed enough to make it work. But really sucked as a player. No inspiration coming from the sound of the amp whatsoever.
That said. My ultimate live rig. Is not only plenty loud. Gives me tone and (inspiration) I could get no other way.
JTMAC.JPG
 

johan.b

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I love my two side by side 1960a cabs as much as anyone and the visual impact brings to the party... but I've found over 30 years of gigging that people confuse the size of your amp with how loud you actually are... bring a stack and get asked to turn down(sometimes even before the amp is on). Bring a 1x12 and be a loud as you want on stage... take from that what you want
 

Jethro Rocker

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In my experience, a mic'ed up 2x12 or combo can sound just as good as a 4x12 in terms of front-of-house sound and (with good monitoring) stage sound too....

BUT from the point of view of the sound coming from behind you, a good 4x12 will always win! not only do you get a broader, fuller sound that doesn't sound "boxy" - but it is easier to hear the cab too due to the height of the top speakers!

So for me, a 4x12 is worth the effort. Wheels on the cab make it in some ways easier to move around and set up. Having said that, I will often use a JVM205 Combo for small gigs, or multi-band gigs where a fast turn-around is required!
I find especially in smaller venues the 4x12 shoots out straight too far before spreading out. Anyone to one side can't hear it and those right in front hear nothing but. 2x12;s seem to work better for me for the most part.
 

dro

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I love my two side by side 1960a cabs as much as anyone and the visual impact brings to the party... but I've found over 30 years of gigging that people confuse the size of your amp with how loud you actually are... bring a stack and get asked to turn down(sometimes even before the amp is on). Bring a 1x12 and be a loud as you want on stage... take from that what you want

Been there too
 

WellBurnTheSky

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I love my two side by side 1960a cabs as much as anyone and the visual impact brings to the party... but I've found over 30 years of gigging that people confuse the size of your amp with how loud you actually are... bring a stack and get asked to turn down(sometimes even before the amp is on). Bring a 1x12 and be a loud as you want on stage... take from that what you want
Oh so true, my experience as well.
 

Brett336

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I've used a 4010 combo for years and it'll play just about anywhere!

I don't take my 4010 combo out these days but when I did, sitting it on top of a 1933 1x12 cab as a 1/4 full stack was very effective. With the the 6550 tubes it sounds as huge as my 2203 full stack. Easy to move around and most club owners never expected that much sound would come out of it.
 

Panda

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I like consistency when playing, so I don’t swop stuff around too much and thinking portability (both getting the gear in my car and then to wherever it is the in the venue we’re playing) and yet like a bit of air moving behind me, I find a relatively small 2*12 open backed birch cab and a JVM head does it for me.
 

marshallmellowed

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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?
If I were using a Marshall, it would depend on the size of the head, and whether I had help moving the rig.

If I were using a full-size head, and had help, I'd use a 4x12. Why? the footprint of a 4x12 is about the same as the head, so no extra "floor" space required for the 4x12, and Marshall 4x12's look like you came to rock.

If I were using a smaller head, say a Studio head, I'd probably get the matching vertical 2x12 cab.

I don't do 1x12"s, as they just look puny as an amp head/cab (IMO), and I don't do combo's.
 


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