The Bogner Alchemist 2x12 cab has identical speaker arrangment as a DT50 2x12 -and they are going cheap these days
I tend to prefer the head/cab combination to combos myself these days. There are several reasons.
1. Moving things around can be more convenient. More pieces, but generally lighter than a combo.
2. Options. You can get a 1 x 12, a 2 x 12, a 4 x 12 or any of many other options when money permits. You can have things with different speakers etc. As money permits, you can get all sorts of cabs and mix and match things. And if you get some other kind of head, you already have come cabbage laying around that you can use.
3. There's no rule that says the head has to sit on top of a cab. At home, I often have a head sitting on the desk in front of me. Makes using the controls very convenient.
4. If you have multiple cabs, you may have one for home, one for your practice facility, one for gigs. Means you're not always having to move everything.
5. Though more expensive, a head + cab(of similar configuration) can sound very similar yet offer the conveniences listed above.
It's true that a 2x12 cab is likely to offer somewhat less volume than a 4 x 12 cab. Speakers make sound by moving air and 2 speakers just can't phyiscally move as much. However, this is only a factor if you're using your amp totally dimed most of the time. I seriously doubt that's true, but what do I know.
Also, don't discount the usefulness of different sized speakers I really like 10's myself. Not as boomy as 12s. Tighter bottom end with less flabbiness. 12s are certainly appropriate for some things, but other sized speakers can sound great. I've always wanted to build something like a cab with 1 x 8" and a 1 x 15" Could sound really interesting.
There are lots of excellent cabs out there. I have many. I often buy cheaper used cabs and upgrade the speakers. Can be a cost effective way to get really nice cabs.
Again, to me the bottom line of this answer is flexibility and options. With a combo, you have it as is. You can add extension cabs, but the core of the sound will be the same. I, personally, really like the flexibility of a head + cab combo.
For for my 2 cent value...
I agree with the above post 100%. I may not use the gear as is described, but I agree with the choices you have over using a combo. The only additional item I'd add to this plethora of combinations and options would be getting a small size combo such as a DT with 1x12. Then you can have an all inclusive standalone amp everywhere you go, through it might weigh more than just the head, but only by the additional weight of a single Celestion 12" speaker, plus a bit more wood for the casing. Plus you can always have all the previously stated options to add onto your combo. Just be certain of your connections and ohm ratings for any external cabinet and you can have your "cake & eat it too" as the old saying goes.
***To Greg - as much as I wholeheartedly agree with your post and all the choice it offers, I do have to mention that your comment about 2x12 not moving as much air as a 4x12 is correct, but it still applies even when not cranking the volume. Air movement is not only a physical property of air movement as you stated, but also a tonal property like the difference in tone between closed back cabs and open back ones.
For example - which cabinet do you think would have the "deeper & fuller" sound...a 1x15 or an 4x10 in a similar cabinet size & style?
Answer: The 1x15 because of the physical properties of the 15" diameter speaker verses the four smaller 10" diameter speakers. However, the 4x10 will have more punch and be heard more clearly at a distance than the 1x15 as the air is not moving forward as much as in the 4x10. This is also stated based on many factors such as speaker efficiency being equal.
I hope this helps,
I don't disagree Merlin, the original poster specifically asked about volume, not tonal characteristics. There's no mythology here. The amount of air a speaker moves is determined by the surface area of the cone of the speaker and the power coming from the driver. There's no question that a 1 x 15 will project very differently than 4 x 10s. However, if all other things are equal (even the driver for arguments sake) any combination of speakers with more surface area will 'technically' be lounder. The 1 x 15 will certainly put out a lot more bottom end which, being a longer wavelength, will be 'perceived; as louder, but its not actually true. If you watch it on an oscilloscope, you'll see that the amplitude of the signal will be the same, just at a different wavelength and one that human ears are more attuned to (usually). Wether it sounds 'deeper & fuller' is up to each person's opinion. One mans deep and full is anothers flabby and muddy. My point is, as I said, with all other things being equal, more speaker surface area will move more air.
No offense taken.
Just to get really geeky, check this out.
The formula for the surface of a cone is SA = PI*R*S + P*R*R (R = Radius, S - length from edge to center along side.)
Here's the surface area of some common speaker types - these numbers are a bit fudged since speakers aren't perfect cones and their design varies quite a bit.
6" = 181" Sqr
8" = 332" Sqr
10" = 503" Sqr
12" = 724" Sqr
15" = 1131" Sqr
As I said, these numbers are rough. They assume a ratio or radius to side of 1.2 which seems about right.
You can clearly see though how dramatically the surface area increases with cone size. Parabolic curve.
It's tempting to think that a 12" speaker should have twice the surface area of a 6" speaker but that's clearly wrong.
181 * 2 = 362" sqr vs a 12" speakers true area of 724" sqr
Nothing at all wrong with "geekiness" in my opinion. And much again - appreciate your understanding the meaning of my previous post.
I honestly had no physical idea of the specs you have just posted. I knew that cones were not "true" cones, but I didn't know there was such a variance from one size to the next. I can only imagine what the typical Hartke aluminum cone must be like from a tech point of view?
At least I do understand the correct meaning of decibels and wavelength projection. Now I can add this bit of useful info to my mental drawer of audio tech stuff.
Thanks and take care,
I just bought a DT50 Combo and I am wondering if I should havegotten something else. Please comment on my thoughts written below
Here are the thoughts revolving around in my head:
5. I am thinking that there are more benefits to having the cleaner head room provided by Dt50 is better than the DT25 because I will be using the HD500 to get all of my dirty distorted sounds...Is this a flawed logic?
If the DT50 isn't insanely loud for your purposes, then you must be playing very loud on stage. The headroom should be close between the two models. Yet the DT25 is not a half wattage version of the DT50. It is it's own unique animal and very difficult to compare as an apple to an apple. It's more like an apple to a pear in comparison.
I have a pair of DT50 1x12 combos and it took me quite a while to get the amp to hit the tubes in the manner I wanted while still keeping my hearing functioning. Also not getting a Plexiglas screen to put in front from being so loud. I can't even conceive of a bar or club situation that anyone could crank up any DT50 with 1x12, 2x12, or 4x12. If you want really loud, yet very clean, then you will be using topology mode 1 with Pentode pre and Class A post. You could even possibly use topology mode III, as it is much "louder" than mode I, but also has very different tonal characteristics. Modes II & IV are not remotely for you based on your statements.
One other suggestion in case you really wish to explore very loud yet clean, would be to return your DT50 and get a plain Tube power amp (or perhaps solid state if you are not really looking for the "physical" tube warmth). This would give the most flexibility of all your choices based on your post. You can hook up nearly any size cab with nearly any ohm load and have extremely clean power with all your preamps models being created within the HD500 unit.
The added bonuses in this configuration would be...
- stereo output as nearly all power amps are stereo and so is the HD500.
- choice of any cab or cabs if running in stereo. i.e. a JCM1960A or B which is a switchable dual mono (16ohm or 4ohm) or stereo cab (8 ohm per side)
- for full benefit of all the HD500 can offer, plus ultimate stage tone, get a good guitar cab of whatever configuration that you prefer, AND a good bass cabinet with a variable horn/tweeter control for (specifically, but not limited to) all the acoustic guitar & vocal patches you might use from your HD500 unit. The bass cab will also add low Q response cleanly as well as give you ultra high Q response as well. Mixing both bass & guitar is how I accomplish my live rig overall sound. I happen to be someone who wants my stage gear appearance to be as symmetrical as possible, so I'll either build on top of another cab, or go with cabs of the same height if setting up side by side. But that is just on of my eccentricities.
- PA feed is direct from your HD500 XLR outs either mono or stereo for nearly total independent stage control and PA signal.
This is my suggestion and should only be taken as such. Whatever works best to accomplish your sound is what you should use. If you or any one else reading this would like more info on how, why, or any other question regarding the set up I've just described - please just ask.
I took back the combo and bought a DT50 Head!!! I also bought an Avatar 2x12 Vintage Cab loaded with one Classic Lead 80 and one Vintage 30 speaker in 8 ohms. The cab has black tolex, white piping, and black/silver grill cloth. I am hoping this setup with the HD500 will be the end all, be all rig. My fingers are crossed....
I suspect you'll like it very much. And, as mentioned earlier, it will give you options. You can someday get other cabs for different sounds. Similar cabs so you don't have to move them around. You can get other heads and switch back and forth. Though it means two pieces instead of one, I really think it will work out for you. Best of luck.