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How much difference does a cabinet make?


saturn

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I've always owned combo amps. So I'm curious, for instance if you ran the same head through one 212 cab and then through another 212 of a different brand, different speakers etc., would there be a huge difference in sound? Assuming neither cab was a POS, but maybe one slightly higher end than the other.

 

Or another way of thinking about it. Say you had a Mesa Triple Rectifier head (random example), but had it hooked up to a no-name cab. Would it make a big difference than if you were playing through the Mesa cab of the same configuration?

 

Opinions please B)

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I've always owned combo amps. So I'm curious, for instance if you ran the same head through one 212 cab and then through another 212 of a different brand, different speakers etc., would there be a huge difference in sound? Assuming neither cab was a POS, but maybe one slightly higher end than the other.

 

Or another way of thinking about it. Say you had a Mesa Triple Rectifier head (random example), but had it hooked up to a no-name cab. Would it make a big difference than if you were playing through the Mesa cab of the same configuration?

 

Opinions please B)

 

I think once the cabinets are well made etc, they would sound similar. That said, the different materials will make a difference. I think the same way that different woods in guitars result in different tone, the cabinet material would colour the tone.

 

Leo Fender in the 50's used pine for the cabinets, which is why I used pine in my speaker cabinet.

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I've always owned combo amps. So I'm curious, for instance if you ran the same head through one 212 cab and then through another 212 of a different brand, different speakers etc., would there be a huge difference in sound? Assuming neither cab was a POS, but maybe one slightly higher end than the other.

 

Or another way of thinking about it. Say you had a Mesa Triple Rectifier head (random example), but had it hooked up to a no-name cab. Would it make a big difference than if you were playing through the Mesa cab of the same configuration?

 

Opinions please B)

 

I once spent an interesting afternoon trying out different 4 x 12 and 2 x 12 cabs with the same THD Univalve head (in Chandlers Guitars, Kew, UK), and the difference between them was really noticable. What really suprised me was how much better Soldano and Rivera cabs sounded than my previous favourite Marshalls. Not too many places will let you sit and a/b test cabs all afternoon - hell of a good shop.

 

cheers,

 

Manse

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There can be a huge difference between cabinets.

 

<----I have plugged my Mesa head to my other cabs, an Epiphone with an Eminence Lady Luck and a Groove Tubes cab with a Weber Blue Dog and the difference is significant.

 

The Mesa cab is vastly superior in both construction and speaker.

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Huge difference. A decent amp can sound amazing through the right cab, but a good amp will almost always sound shitty through a bad cab.

 

Case in point? The Vox Night Train. with other cabs, that amp will either sing or scream as much as you want. Through the "matching cab (a contradiction of terms for this amp) it sounds weird.

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I have long experience with combos and always accepted the integral 'cab' as being a good compromise

 

Seperate cabs have many variables...open or closed back...choice of wood...thickness of wood...type of joints etc

 

And choice of speaker power rating and diameter

 

All in all a potentially fascinating research project

 

I am currently enjoying the variety of tones between combo, head and cab, combo plus extension cab

 

And hooking up variables in stereo is a whole new ballgame.....

 

V

 

:-({|=

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Thanks for the replies.

 

I was scouring CL for an amp to replace my Vox AD50VT and saw another hybrid type amp listed. It's a Hartke halfstack with a real low price. I was thinking on getting it just for the cab (it's a Seismic with Jensen speakers) and figured I could maybe get another head later down the road. :-k

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There are differances but as long as the cabinets are above average quality, a quality amp can be EQ"d to dial in your tone. I find different rooms and floor surfaces play a bigger role on your tone than changing from a mesa boogie cab to a Marshall cab.

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There are differances but as long as the cabinets are above average quality, a quality amp can be EQ"d to dial in your tone. I find different rooms and floor surfaces play a bigger role on your tone than changing from a mesa boogie cab to a Marshall cab.

 

Floor surface has a great deal to do with it. Carpet will muffle or mute a sound. If the cab can be raised up even 2-3 inches off the surface, it allows the air flow less resistance. Sound ports in a cab are another big plus. Mesa Boogie cabs are a piece of art. The depth of a cab is also a factor.

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Definitely a huge difference. Age and play on the speakers also makes a big difference too. I have 3 - 4/12 Marshall Cabinets one is a straight 1969 with green back 25 watt Celestions. The other two are a "Matching Set" stack from 1976 one straight one angled with black back 25 watt Celestions. They all sound quite a bit different. So much in my case that I can't EQ the difference out just using the Marshall tone controls. You also need to listen to a cabinet like that about 20' in front of them to know what they really sound like "In a room" as they have a narrow and long throw.

 

Speaker wattage and brands definitely have a huge impact on sound as they are all voiced differently and as I said earlier will "loosen up" over time and change the frequency and over all response. Cabinet construction and materials also play a part in the resonance of the sound and again will drift over time.

 

I have also had a few Marshall 50 2/12 combo's and a Mesa Boogie Combo all were open back. I have always liked the "old" Marshall JMP Combos with either 25 watt greenbacks or 30 watt celestions. What I didn't like is that the open back cabinets are really meant to be played close to a wall and definitely change a lot in different rooms and settings.

 

One cool thing my buddy who builds and repairs amps did was take a mid 70's Marshall head and mounted it in a 4/12 Marshall cabinet like the old combos ( which were the same as the head just mounted to the back pate and facing the top instead of the front). I'm not sure how he vented it though and am going to ask him next time I see him.

 

Also had a boogie 2/12 sealed extension cabinet but didn't care for it but it might have sounded great with a different head.

 

One of my all time favorite cabinets I had was a 4/12 Marshall TV cabinet with 25 Watt Greenback reissues. These cabinets are about 3 inches or so taller than a normal slant cabinet with a tight, thick knit weave grill cloth. ( Wish I wouldn't have sold that one) Speaking of Grill cloth it can also really play a part in how bright ( or not ) a cabinet sounds.

 

 

JMO's

 

 

Andy

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