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

DeWayne Hyatt

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I saw mention of consideration of the aesthetics the 4x12 brings to the stage, if that is all you need it for than why not pull 2 speaker out and play it as a 2x12? Just a thought, I'm playing a Fender 4x10 Bassman (cleans) and a Marshall DSL40C w/ a G75H in it (dirt) and it works just fine for me, both in volume and that ever elusive cool factor.

PEACE Y'all
 

Noam Bukowski

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Don't break your back over aestetics. No matter who you are, there's always something else that deserves more attention than the stage appearance of your precious rig.

If a 1X12 for some reason isn't enough for small/medium sized venues that don't have PA, a 2x12 is the way to go. I like 2X12 cabs for the simple fact that my amp fits on top of 'em. High end oversized 2x12's can mimmick the extra oomph of a 4x12. Or vertical 2X12's put your amp's controls at a better height. Don't haul around a half empty 4x12 though, you'll have the downsides of a 4x12 without the upsides. Nobody in the audience will like your band more because of the size of your speaker cabinet :)
 

Strat man do

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Lately the DSL20 head with 2-12 cab. Easy load in/out. Sold my 4-12 years ago because it was too big to haul around and we mic everything through the PA anyway.
 

ashtone

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Just put your small combo on top of a couple empty 4x12 cabs. You’ll have the look you want and the sound tech will still put you in the mix.
 

groovenev

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Pick up a Marshall 1936 Lead cab... then use the full sized head of your choice!! Use the cab 1x12 or 2x12 and you have a plenty formidable kick ass look and enough power to go to 11~~!! ;)
 

Taff21

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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?
Me I've used loads if set ups, but have also gone away from 2 x 4x12s and gone to a 1936v with either my jvm 210h if supporting so need to move gear quickly or if our gig I'll swap the head for my silver jubilee 100 as I can them warrant all the extra leads for the effects loop. I would like the mini jubilee to see how that works bearing in mind mics are no drama these days. We shall see.
 

atstrother

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I would agree with several of the points previously made. IMO aesthetics matter for a rock band but so does the volume sweet spot. I would opt for a 4x12 slant w/ greenbacks for outdoor shows and larger stage/club shows and a 2x12 otherwise. If I had smaller heads I would opt for the vertical 2x12
 

bhurst462

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In my opinion, mics aside, there is no replacement for a 4x12, at least to my ears. Also, a 100 Watt Marshall head can sound excellent at decent volumes if you dial it in correctly. I have been using a Germino Headroom 100, excellent master volume on that amp, through a Marshall 4x12. Then i run a Mesa Boogie Fillmore 25 1x12 combo to help thicken things up a bit. Now this rig can get stupid loud, but I play this in all kinds of clubs, and never had an issue and it sounds incredible.

However, sound is all relative. I really don't think there is a right or wrong, but if you like a 4x12, run it! It fills more space and will always sound bigger, again at least to my ears. Plus it's rock and roll, it's supposed to be loud!
 

Javimart1212

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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.
View attachment 96492
Tell me about it, played one like 3 weeks ago. It was like the guy purposely made us sound like shit
 

Karl Brake

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I just love the mixed speakers in my Friedman 4x12, even at low volumes. Greenbacks and V30s are both bold and breathy. No matter what I use a second 1×12 extension for monitoring...its better distinct from the pa when possible. For me. One needs to always have a 1x12 combo for th÷ little dives.
 

Douglas Cram

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After major back issues, I've settled on 2x12's max. Have a great old cabinet - open back 2x12 - loaded with greenbacks that just sounds killer with any amp. It's less than 1/2 the weight of a 4x12, looks big enough on stage and sounds huge. Have a couple of other 2x12's loaded with different speakers that also sound very good. My 4x12's stay parked in the rehearsal space....If volume is still an issue, I'll use my Weber attenuator.
 

BijouDrains

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I use a Marshall 50w JCM 900 2x12 Combo (#4502) and a Marshall “1922” 2x12, 150w matching extension cab. Mic’d it’s an excellent setup and the 50w (2 channel - clean & overdrive with a foot switch) breaks up a lot sooner than a higher wattage amp on the overdrive channel. Versatile and a very portable 4x12 (if needed) setup.
 

abkeller1

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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).
This is rediculous. The days of aesthetics are over. Most bands you don't see their amps on stage anymore. It's a clean backdrop. So i don't know what your talking about.
 

abkeller1

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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
No there isn't anymore. I've seen Kiss, GnR, STP, you don't see amps anymore they are hidden.
 

abkeller1

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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.
4010 is a beast and loud as F! I had an 82 and reget to this day selling it.
 

abkeller1

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I use an SC20h with a 1936 or 2536 Marshall cab.(Both brich plywood) it's plenty loud. So so easy to carry. The cabinet's fit into my trunk of my car perfectly. They are oversized 2x12's but only weigh 54lbs. I've seen Avatar & Bogners weigh almost 70lbs which is insane & don't sound any better. Pluse the 2536 uses Marshall Vintage 30 speakers,(U.K made) which sound very different from a standard Celestion China made V 30. Doesn't have that harsh spickiness.
I also have a JCM 2000 DSL 50 but hardly every use it.
 

Brett336

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4010 is a beast and loud as F! I had an 82 and reget to this day selling it.

Agreed! Mine is an '82 (transition year) with the lower plate voltage. I had an '83 4010 with the higher plate voltage at the same time for a while. I always ended up using the '82 because it just has that "thing". Ended up selling the '83 - don't really regret it. I know I would regret selling the '82 4010.

People can probably pick it up from my kids for pennies on the dollar after I'm gone...
 

marshallmellowed

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This is rediculous. The days of aesthetics are over. Most bands you don't see their amps on stage anymore. It's a clean backdrop. So i don't know what your talking about.
Don't agree with your statement at all, and you can't make a blanket statement that covers "most bands", unless you've done some extensive world-wide research. "Aesthetics" have always been an important part of a show, concert or otherwise. It's totally dependent on who you are, where you play, and who your audience is, as to whether the band will have amps and cabs, or a clean stage. Small bands, in small venues, obviously can't have Marshall stacks, due to the limited space typically available in small venues. When I go to a big concert, I want to see heads and stacks, so it "is" still important to many concert goers (the true "rockers"). Is it necessary, and do all big bands still do it? of course not, but it's always been part of the visual element everyone likes to see, especially at a "rock" concert.
 
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crossroadsnyc

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This is rediculous. The days of aesthetics are over. Most bands you don't see their amps on stage anymore. It's a clean backdrop. So i don't know what your talking about.

Me: "Honestly, a lot of bands just don't look that cool these days"

As I pointed out, a lot of bands (both large & small) have gone in another direction with regards to aesthetics, the result of which has been an increasing departure from what might be considered a classic stage show. Though, your assertion that the days of aesthetics are over was contradicted within your own response ... a "clean backdrop" is still an aesthetic (albeit, one that's a visual departure from the historical norm).

Though, there are still many who take the more traditional approach (small sampling):











https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHoF4Kxvro8

Anyway, no, my post was not ridiculous ... what I said was absolutely the truth ... whether or not you like the "clean backdrop aesthetics" is a personal preference. I prefer classic stage aesthetics of amps as the backline rather than flashing monitors. Btw., this is particularly the case when you're talking about local bands who do not have the financial wherewithal to actually have a professional looking clean backdrop with flashing monitors and all the works like you'll see with bands that tour the globe. If you're a local band playing local joints, well, your options for having a cool stage show are limited ... and yup, a good backline can help considerably.
 

Jethro Rocker

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Everywhere has PA here, obviously. The smallest do not mic amps but everywhere else does. Because it is the smallest of venues, even a 20 watt with 1x12 is overkill.
My TSL122 is loud as F and while heavy, is a killer combo rig. Can play anywhere with that.
 


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