• We would like to remind our members that this is a privately owned, run and supported forum. You are here at the invitation and discretion of the owners. As such, rules and standards of conduct will be applied that help keep this forum functioning as the owners desire. These include, but are not limited to, removing content and even access to the forum.

    Please give yourself a refresher on the forum rules you agreed to follow when you signed up.

HELP PLEASE! 2x12 vertical cab vs 2x12 horizontal..


Hi Fractal Family..

I'm about to sell my Orange 4x12 and I'm about to buy a 2x12.. I'm a little torn between getting something that I've had in the past (which I've been happy with, like an OJ 2x12 closed back or a Mesa 2x12 closed back), HOWEVER, my curiosity is getting the better of me and I'm really entertaining the idea of going down the Mesa 2x12 vertical path..

Question.. Has anyone gone from a horizontal 2x12 to vertical 2x12, in particular the Mesa? Differences in sound/tone/punch? Were you happy or disappointed? Was there a noticeable difference in tone and sound?

I've got an Axe-ii, a Bogner XTC head and a Friedman JJ clone, so ideally, this 2x12 cab has to tick a few boxes!! I'm pretty certain that my amps/Axe naturally like V30's..

Guys any input or recommendations is welcomed..


All cab design details being equal (i.e. what actually influences "tone"), I personally prefer a slanted vertical 2x12 over horizontal 2x12 or a 4x12 for gigging. First, the upper speaker is angled up towards my ears so I can hear better when standing relatively close to the cab. Second, the vertical mounting of the two speakers radiates sound nicely left and right so better fills the stage. The horizontal configuration tends to project up and down and not as well left and right, while a 4x12 projects in a more focused pattern directly forward. All due to phase effects of course, so if you're on a large stage or you only sit directly in front of the cab in your bedroom maybe it's a moot point.

But some vertical 2x12s don't leave you a lot of room to sit an amp on top. I have to sit my amp on the stage next to or behind it--although it's just a 4U rack case it still looks ridiculous sitting on the cab (kinda like a bodybuilder who doesn't work legs).

EDIT: The Mesa vert. 2x12s are cool.... and are a bit wider and deeper than my Peavey. I'd say more like 3/4 the width of a 4x12. FWIW, I still use a horizontal 2x12 at home.


Cab Pack Wizard
I would strongly suggest the Mesa horizontal 2x12. I tend to prefer the bottom speakers for punchy sounds for metal etc. and top speakers for more crunchy stuff with more character. The horizontal Mesa 2x12 is a very interesting cab. It has a different tonality to a Mesa 4x12. It's not as huge sounding but it's not too harsh either. It's more like something that will cut through everything. I haven't tried the vertical Mesa 2x12 speaker but the rarity of it speaks for itself. You could make an assumption that all cab manufacturers did the comparison and preferred the horizontal one in the end. :)


I was looking at the vertical Mesa 2x12 myself. To me it looks like a perfect fit for my rig. I like that the top speaker is angled for better projection at my ears, it comes with casters (it's still a heavy sucker), and it seems like the width is perfect for setting my 3U rack bag on top of it so I don't have to bend down so far to tweak the Axe.
Last edited:


FWIW.... I have struggled with this same question. Two speakers radiating next to each other as in a horizontal 2-12 cab will produce an interference pattern (classic 2-slit physics experiment). The sound waves from the speakers interact/ interfere and sum to produce peaks and troughs that result in audible nodes and troughs as you walk across the room in front of it. Vertically stacked speakers do the same thing,but it is less noticeable because the interference happens in the vertical plane. Good PA designs usually involve vertically stacked speakers of the same size (e.g., JBL and Peavey vertical line arrays). In contrast, a 4-12 cab suffers less of this because the interference patterns are more complex, and peaks and troughs are not as severe (I think). If I had a choice I would buy vertical stacks, or, I would turn the horizontal 2-12 on its end. At least in theory.
There has been some very good information in this thread. I thought I would offer my 2 cents. (My comments to all cabs not just the Port City Wave cabs.) The vertical cabs tend to cut a little more due to the elevated speaker being close to your ear. It also leaves a smaller footprint on stage. The one drawback is that many heads will not be able to rest on top without some overlap on each side. The horizontal cabs will fit nearly all of the heads that are made but carry a larger footprint.

I think it comes down to how you plan to monitor yourself, (The cab, in ears, wedges...) If it is just the cab you may want to go the vertical route. If you have another method than just your cab and you have a larger head you may want to go with the horizontal. I hope this helps.

Port City Amps


Fractal Fanatic
put rubber feet on 2 sides and handles on 2 sides, you will have both, you will only be able to use one at a time!


Fractal Fanatic
Horizontal is 'the way it's always been done' when it comes to 2x12 cabs or combo amps. Placing them behind you, beaming the back of of your lower legs instead of your ears is also 'the way it's always been done'.

Doesn't mean it's better, but it explains the relative popularity of horizontal cabs. Mesa will build more of what sells more. My guess is that the majority of cab buyers have never considered or tried a vertical 2x12. Maybe never even seen one or heard that they exist.
Top Bottom