top of page


Small Amp, Big Cab? 15-Watt Amp With 1x12, 2x12 & 4x12 Speaker Cabs – That Pedal Show

Published on Nov 30, 2018

In this video we take a popular ’small’ guitar amp – Fender Bassbreaker 15 1x12 (Celestion V-Type speaker), and put it through a couple of bigger extension cabinets, to see what we hear and feel.
The cabs are a Victory V212VC 2x12 (Celestion G12M Creambacks) and a Marshall 1960A 4x12 (Celestion G12M Greenbacks).

The settings for the Bassbreaker 15 amp are:
Lowest gain mode
Gain 10 o’clock
Bass 11 o’clock
Middle 11 o’clock
Treble 1 o’clock
Master 3 o’clock
Reverb varies

We also use a selection of OD pedals to see what they bring to the party. Towards the end, we go super low on the volume with a Z Vex Nano Head Tube Amp through the 4x12 and discuss how it sounds and feels.

Questions that will come up from people annoyed this isn’t a lab style A/B comparison…

Q: Why didn’t you use the same speaker types?
A: We don’t have that many of the same type, and the differences between them are just as interesting, we think.

Q: The amp is running at different impedances: surely that makes a big difference?
A: Yes it will. But... 412s and 212s are often different impedances from your amp's internal speaker.

Q: Two cabs are open back, one is closed – does that make a difference?
A: Certainly. And it will vary significantly depending on the size, shape and decoration of the room in which you’re playing.

Q: Why do this at all – a pointless and arbitrary comparison?
A: Maybe, but, ultimately there are no answers, only better questions and the point of all TPS videos is to arm you with some of the latter to spark some inspiration for your own tonal journey.

Mick’s post-ep thoughts…
“What we're hearing and feeling in the room was different from what the mics captured. We were both ‘struggling’ with the quietness and relative lack of headroom from the Bassbreaker, and the Z Vex Nanohead was super quiet. Yet when recorded, everything sounds big and full and fat – really good in fact!
“It underlines the frustrating old truth. As careful as we are with recording and mixing, YouTube videos really don't deliver the physical experience of actually being in the room. So… please get out there and try things, people – the tone will be familiar, but the actual physical experience of it may be very different!

Pedals in this episode…

• TheGigRig Three2One

• D’Addario Pedal Tuner
UK & Europe:

• Wampler Pantheon
UK & Europe:

• True North Tweed Drive

• Z Vex Box Of Rock

• NRG Kicker 5457

• Dunlop EP-103 Echoplex
UK & Europe:

• Keeley Eddie Heinzelman Verb O Trem
UK & Europe:

• TheGigRig G2

* Why do we have preferred retailer links? Find out here:

Interesting bits and go-to sections…
- Intro playing: 0:00
- What are we doing? 1:27
- Today’s amps: 2:04 (2:40)
- The reality of many modern stages: 5:04
- The Bassbreaker 15 base tone: 7:50
- Bassbreaker and BOR, Les Paul: 9:15
- … and PRS Silver Sky: 10:00
- Dan ponders the volume of acoustic drums: 10:50
- The Bassbreaker settings: 11:27
- Reverb? 12:00
- That guitar is LOUD! 12:50
- …ah, thats why: 13:37
- Z Vex Box Of Rock and volume lift: 15:50
- Easier to make small amps sound big when recorded? 16:25
- True North Tweed Drive and BOR compare: 17:53
- The cab comparison finally begins: 19:15
- What is that 212? 21:02
- Bassbreaker 112 & 412 comparison: 22:09
- How are we mixing audio? 24:10
- More of the True North: 33:45
- BOR, Les Paul and all cabs: 30:44
- Different depending on where you stand: 33:45
- NRG Kicker 5457 and single coils, all three cabs: 37:20
- Z Vex Nanohead! 45:00
- Have we learned anything? 55:58

Guitars in this episode:
• Gibson Custom 1958 Les Paul Standard – video at
• PRS Silver Sky:
• Macmull S-Classic:
• Gretsch G6118T Players Edition Anniversary – Dan’s video at

Amps in this episode
• Fender Bassbreaker 15
UK & Europe:

• Z Vex Nano Head Tube Amplifier

Patreon –

bottom of page