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I need an education

Tonebender

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May 19, 2004
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721
Ok forum brothers I need some assistance. I just ordered a JTM-45 head from Nik at Ceriatone (in PURPLE!) and rather than go the 4x12 route for the cab I've decided to to run a series of 2x12's. 4x12's are too big and heavy to move up and down stairs all the time. I'm going to have the cabs made to match the head and was wondering how to pick the speaker wattages. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, guys.
 

j45

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Jun 14, 2002
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IMO 15, 25, or 30w's will be fine depending on your tone preference. I used 2 x15w Celestuions for years with my 50w plexi and never had problems. The original 50W "Bluesbreaker" amps were designed with 15w speakers. I would just like to say that closed back 2x12 cabs can be made to sound really bad. Seriously, a bad "closed" 2x12 cab is impossible to get to sound usuable. I would highly recommend going with an open back cab for 2x12 or play a well tested closed back design and make sure you like it.

As far as speakers go, if money is no object Celestion Golds have been the best new 12" speaker I've used with a 50W. You could always get some vintage pre-rola's if you want to spend the money. If you are building a "best bang for the buck" rig and want a really good sounding inexpensive 12" I would highly recommend the Mojo British Series 12.
 

j45

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I don't want to steer you wrong about that cab but 11" has not been a favorable depth for a 2x12 in my experience. I hope some of the other guys who've had experience with this will chime in. I'm no acoustics designer but i've tried enough to know that there is something about the combined dimensions of a 4x12 that work so well in giving that big soundboard kick like a mule that doean't translate to half size. I do know it can feel extremely constipated like something is fighting really hard against you. Can feel like the second you hit a note someone jams their foot on the speaker. I do know Mojo builds their 2x12 cab 14" deep 27" x 26" for good reason. They also build a smaller 2 x 12 with a removable center panel in the back for those who want a smaller cab with option of letting the speakers breathe and project better.

I think your idea is great. I can't imagine needing more than 2x12 and 50w amp and very practical for transport. I had the same idea many years ago but learned the hard way that negative physical properties are very real and play hell on some cab designs. After much trial and error and many mistakes I've settled for open back smaller 2x12 cabs when going that way. Either that or something like the 14x27x26 Mojo 2x12 closed cab that allows the speakers to work properly.
 

LPBlues

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Jan 11, 2008
Messages
195
I've got an Avatar 2x12 open back cab with Celestion Golds that sounds great with my 30 watt head. It's an unbelievably sweet sounding cab but then I've never spent time with a 4x12 so I don't know what I'm missing. :salude


AvatarEgnaterCloseCropped.jpg
 

reswot

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Jan 22, 2004
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3,295
For an alternative perspecive...

I've got a couple of closed-back Stage Craft cabs. They're angled and the depth is 14". I think they sound great. One is loaded with a pair of Scumbacks (M75/H75, 25 and 30 watts, respectively) and the other is loaded with 65-watt Weber Legacy versions of the same speakers.

I use the Scumbacks with a Metro JTM 45 clone head. Just yesterday I swapped the speakers' locations around in that cab, puttling the M75 on top, rather than on the bottom. I much prefer the tone this, way; the midrange is much more dominant, now....
 

Tonebender

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May 19, 2004
Messages
721

Thanks, J! This sounds like a much better option than my original idea. Then the question becomes one of Ohms. Near as I can figure 8 Ohms is the way to go. What about series vs parallel wiring? What are the pros/cons?

Guitars and pickups I understand. Amps, cabs, and speakers are still voodoo.
 

Leña_Costoso

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Jul 24, 2005
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2,234
The open/closed cabinet tone for 2x12 (or 2x10) is something to consider - but - much of that can be how the amp itself is voiced. For instance, the closed back (piggyback) Fender heads all had lower value coupling capacitors on the phase inverters - limiting the low end response a great deal. Turn one of those piggyback heads into a combo cabinet and it sounds weak as hell.... until you revert the capacitor value back to what was used on the open back amp chassis. Something on the order of .001 or even .0005 on the closed backs, but .01 (or larger) on open backs. Thats how Fender did things. YMMV.

On the ohms - do 8 ohm speakers in each cabinet, wired in series. You'd have 16 ohms run as one cabinet, or 8 run as two cabinets in parallel. Its bad practice to run two separate cabinets in series with each other. IOW, cabinets are best run in parallel - its the natural wiring method.

The alternative is to run them all in parallel... but you'd end up with 2 ohms. Dunno if your ouput iron will match the tubes into 2 ohms, and it virtually eliminates running additional cabinets if needed.

Running the 2x8ohm in series to get 16 ohms, then halving it again back to 8 ohms with the 2nd cabinet makes sense. You can add yet another 8 ohm load and have 4ohms, which most multitap ouput transformers can handle. That way, if you ever do need more stage presence by way of speakers, you can do it.

And by the book - if you went with a little stronger speaker (20 25 or 30w handling) you'd be able to run a single 2x12 cabinet for times when you wanted to go light, (run as 16 ohms on the output transformer).
 

j45

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It's funny you say this. In the band i work with we just recently dropped a Bassman head into a 1x12 combo cab and did notice he needed to run the "Bass" knob at 5 instead of 3 1/2. He had been using a Mesa 1x12 closed back. I guess this could explain why. Luckily Fenders have almost an excess of low end so even though maybe weaker in lows, still plenty on tap.....plenty enough to flub out the low strings. Nevertheless, has anyone ever heard a really great sounding closed back Fender Bandmaster or Bassman cab? I sure haven't....
 

Tonebender

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May 19, 2004
Messages
721
This is all VERY helpful guys. Thanks! Keep it coming. Hopefully it'll help others on the board as well.
 

71Rcode

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Jun 23, 2003
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130
Hey Tonebender, smart thinking about going with a 2x12.

My one piece of advice: buy used on craigslist/buy used/buy cheap. And if you don't like something, dump it and try another option.

I sometimes gig with my '70 50w head through a 2x12 Egnater Tourmaster that I picked up on craigslist for cheap. It has the stock Egnator celestions in there and sounds fantastic. The cabs are made of birch and have removable back panels. The cab sounds killer, even when compared to either of my early 70s Marshall cabs with original greenbacks. Think I have under $300 in it, even after dying the awful yellow tolex black ;)
 

71Rcode

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Jun 23, 2003
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Tourmaster specs: $450 new shipped (find 'em used for $325 and lower --- nice and broken in!). The Egnater Tourmaster 212x is a full size 2x12" speaker cabinet that provides both a sealed back and partially open back design. The cabinet is shipped with a sealed back but features a removable rear center panel for partial open back design. With the back sealed you get tight powerful low-end. By removing the panel you add vintage style sweetness reminiscent of old '60s and '70s combos. The large physical dimensions and all-birch cabinetry produce a sound that rivals most 4x12" cabinets. Loaded with the custom voiced Egnater Celestion Elite 80 speaker, the Tourmaster 212x is a perfect fit to any Egnater amp head. You can also use this speaker cab to turn your combo into a full stack. Fitted with heavy-duty removable casters and metal side handles this cabinet is easy to transport and built for the rigors of the road.Features: Custom Voiced Egnater Celestion Elite-80 Speakers, Rugged Birch Construction, Metal Handles, Metal Corners and Rubber Feet, Rugged Detachable Casters, Mono / Stereo Selectable, Dimensions: 29.75" (W) x 12" (D) x 23" (H)Weight: 67 lbs.
 

Tonebender

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May 19, 2004
Messages
721
Hey Tonebender, smart thinking about going with a 2x12.

My one piece of advice: buy used on craigslist/buy used/buy cheap. And if you don't like something, dump it and try another option.

I sometimes gig with my '70 50w head through a 2x12 Egnater Tourmaster that I picked up on craigslist for cheap. It has the stock Egnator celestions in there and sounds fantastic. The cabs are made of birch and have removable back panels. The cab sounds killer, even when compared to either of my early 70s Marshall cabs with original greenbacks. Think I have under $300 in it, even after dying the awful yellow tolex black ;)

Thanks `71! The idea came from the fact that I got such a good deal on the head then realized it actually needed to go through something. So I figured that a) I wanted to keep with the Bluesbreaker theme which meant a 2x12 b) I could add an additional 2x12 with it and create a very portable half stack. I did look at those Egnators, but I'm such a stubborn complete-ist that it has to match the head. Would make me crazy otherwise. A purple head and a yellow cab would look like an easter egg!
 

71Rcode

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Jun 23, 2003
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I hear you. I removed the egnater logo from mine (love the vintage-style grillcloth) and dyed the yellow tolex black. Looks like a vintage marshall now.

Trust me, keep checking craigslist. 2x12s come up all the time in the major cities. Let some other guy take the retail hit.
 

1fastdog

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Jul 21, 2009
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683
The Port City 2x12 in the "normal" size is a very good cab and easy to transport with the recessed handle on the top of the cab.

I'm partial to Celestion Greenbacks but only 20 watters or less.

I had my 2x12 done in Hiwatt tolex with salt/pepper grillcloth and had Port/City [ Mojo ] do gold welting around their original style front frame. I'll post a pic later to make it more clear what I mean.
 

corpse

Well-known member
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Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,306
I don't want to steer you wrong about that cab but 11" has not been a favorable depth for a 2x12 in my experience. I hope some of the other guys who've had experience with this will chime in. I'm no acoustics designer but i've tried enough to know that there is something about the combined dimensions of a 4x12 that work so well in giving that big soundboard kick like a mule that doean't translate to half size. I do know it can feel extremely constipated like something is fighting really hard against you. Can feel like the second you hit a note someone jams their foot on the speaker. I do know Mojo builds their 2x12 cab 14" deep 27" x 26" for good reason. They also build a smaller 2 x 12 with a removable center panel in the back for those who want a smaller cab with option of letting the speakers breathe and project better.
There are a number of opinions that I particularly value on this site- Kerry's is one of them. Is this concept of a deeper cab particular to open or closed backs- or (add dread) both? I have a 12"-deep cab with Hemptone speakers- I really like it, but I have NOT tried a deeper cab and may be missing out. I hate missing out. These are some of the boutique-est of boutique speakers- and I want to be sure they are in the right structure.
This place always costs me money- never a ltittle money either.
But in the end I am happy.
Jim
 

Tonebender

Member
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
721
I don't want to steer you wrong about that cab but 11" has not been a favorable depth for a 2x12 in my experience. I hope some of the other guys who've had experience with this will chime in. I'm no acoustics designer but i've tried enough to know that there is something about the combined dimensions of a 4x12 that work so well in giving that big soundboard kick like a mule that doean't translate to half size. I do know it can feel extremely constipated like something is fighting really hard against you. Can feel like the second you hit a note someone jams their foot on the speaker. I do know Mojo builds their 2x12 cab 14" deep 27" x 26" for good reason. They also build a smaller 2 x 12 with a removable center panel in the back for those who want a smaller cab with option of letting the speakers breathe and project better.
There are a number of opinions that I particularly value on this site- Kerry's is one of them. Is this concept of a deeper cab particular to open or closed backs- or (add dread) both? I have a 12"-deep cab with Hemptone speakers- I really like it, but I have NOT tried a deeper cab and may be missing out. I hate missing out. These are some of the boutique-est of boutique speakers- and I want to be sure they are in the right structure.
This place always costs me money- never a ltittle money either.
But in the end I am happy.
Jim

I'd wondered the same thing. Here's basically what I'd gleaned from Kerry's post: Shallow cab, open back. Deep cab, closed back. I'd figure that the deep cabs can be closed back because the deep back allows for projection acting, in a way, like an open back because of the amount of space behind the speakers. That's just what I'd gotten from it. Could be wrong though.
 

71Rcode

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Joined
Jun 23, 2003
Messages
130
All interesting observations. To me, if a setup sounds good, I'll stick with it. I mentioned earlier that I A/Beed the Egnator with a '72 Marshall 4x12 and the Egnator did not disappoint. Yeah, I could look for old greenbacks or some other speaker, but to me, why spend the $$ when the change would be potentially negligible and very subjective (to my own ears).

Also wanted to note that I've never played through my Egnater cab with any of the back panels off. I'm sure that would open up another world of tone ;)

As long as you go with a quality cab (birch, for example) -- and I like the idea of a 12" VS 11" for greater tone -- you'll be good to go.
 

Tonebender

Member
Joined
May 19, 2004
Messages
721
An observation I'd agree with: What sounds good, sounds good. Nuff said. It's really logic that's impossible to argue with. Here's the speakers I'd been thinking about: http://www.mojotone.com/amp-parts/B...tage-Series-12-BV-30H-Speaker-8-OHM-30W-1-5-V


Now my question is IF, someday in the dark and misty future, I decide to be totally silly and out of my head and get a 100W head, can these handle it or should I get the 60watt version that they make instead?
 
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