#1
Hey guys I was just wondering does the cabinet really matter for the tone or are they just speakers?

Could you buy something like:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-4X12-SLANT-CABINET-106768538-i2024158.gc
and put a Marshall head on it and get Marshall tone? Or do you actually need an expensive Marshall set of speakers to go with it.

*I'm only using Marshall for an example, I'm more of a Fender Tube kinda guy
**I'm not in a position to buy that cabinet anyway (heading off to college) so if it is actually good, its up for grabs
Last edited by AleX002 at Aug 4, 2011,
#2
Yeah, the best quality cab is always going to sound best.

There is no real substitute for high quality materials and building techniques. Different amps react better with different speakers though.

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#3
Quote by AleX002
Hey guys I was just wondering does the cabinet really matter for the tone or are they just speakers?


the box matters, for technical reasons. to give you an idea of how the box matters, take your speaker out of the box and hook it up to your amp and play it. it should sound really tin-like and weak. the box keeps it from sounding like that.

as mentioned before, the box does much more as well but it gets technical. just know that while the box is important and helps shape tone, lo-fi guitar stuff barely scratches the surface of speaker/box interaction. hi-fi systems use the hell outta mutliple drivers and the boxes they are housed in.

also, it is impossible to 'quantify' how much 'difference a cabinet makes'. you can quantify how it reacts with the speaker, but you can't quantify how much better a 'marshall' cab sounds over a 'fender' or something.

Quote by AleX002
Could you buy something like:
http://www.guitarcenter.com/In-Store-Used-USED-CRATE-4X12-SLANT-CABINET-106768538-i2024158.gc
and put a Marshall head on it and get Marshall tone? Or do you actually need an expensive Marshall set of speakers to go with it.


that is kinda a bad question because it is subjective, impossible to answer without first stating that other people's opinions on the matter are just as valid.

marshall uses celestion speakers almost exclusively. nicer speakers do make a difference IF you know what you want and how to achieve it. you could get yourself some badass high dollar speakers and hate them cuz they don't do what you want them to do.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#4
Well to simply everything, can you take a half stack bought together (the head and cabinet) and switch the cabinet, without touching any settings on the head, and still get the same tone?
#5
Quote by AleX002
Well to simply everything, can you take a half stack bought together (the head and cabinet) and switch the cabinet, without touching any settings on the head, and still get the same tone?


No. Especially if the speakers are different. It would sound completely different. Short of an amp, speakers/cabs make one of the biggest differences in your tone.
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#6
Quote by AleX002
Well to simply everything, can you take a half stack bought together (the head and cabinet) and switch the cabinet, without touching any settings on the head, and still get the same tone?


the simple answer is:

Yes - if you copy the cabinet's spec. you will arrive with, for all intents and purposes, the same cabinet and it will sound just as good as the original. (see quote below for what you'd need to copy)

No- if you get a cab with different design specs. any change in design and implementation could 'altar' the sound.

that being said, there are certain cabinet specs that we as guitarist dwell upon while the sound characteristics of the room you play in have roughly just as much influence on perceived tone. so while you see these 'i need the perfect cabinet' threads, there are no 'i need the perfect room to play my amp in'.

so can you tell a difference between 11 ply birch cabinet material and 13 ply birch cab material? or a dovetail joint from a doweled joint? or speaker grill cloth?

i can tell you the truth, guitarists will often (30 to 50%) pick the wrong speaker in double blinds that i perform. but they always seem to have an opinion in any 'switch' you do or say you do; they never say 'no, sounds the same to me, can't tell a difference'.

and below is the old, canned, 'what is a cabinet' response.

Quote by me
cabinets are:
1 cabinet
2 speakers
3 wiring
4 design

first off is cabinet, the construction is generally a marine grade baltic birch ply, it is voidless and doesn't resonate(or shake, shaking is bad in that efficiency is lost). cheaper cabs use plywood and press board. mdf is usually to heavy to use with a mobile cab, so it is avoided. older cabs (and some newer) are known to use pine which flex's and has a unique sound. but the modern concept is less resonant wood is preferable because of a more efficient sound transfer so a thick baltic birch ply (~17mm, or ~1/4") is considered premium. most baltic birch comes from a few sources and a few manufacturers and quality is considered fairly flat across the manufacturers from what i hear. basically baltic birch's quality is independent of source and is considered fairly consistent across manufacturers for all intents and purposes.

most cabs use joints to attach the sides of the cabs together. a cab using fasteners(like staples, screws or nails) are considered of lesser quality. most cabs will use finger or dovetail jointing, i don't really see one advantage over another, i hear dovetail is a bit more complicated to do but looks more ornate (but i may be wrong).

second: speakers. these are their own beast themselves. their voicing and components lend themselves to their purposes. matching a speaker for impedance, power handling, response, tone, etc is a personal process. most people start with V30's, and those are pretty good 'beginner' speakers for those who don't know what they want yet. some people like them in the long run, but most will move onto something more specific. examples: g12m-25's for classic rock tone, g12K-100 for metal, alnico blue for boutique low powered amps, etc.

but the points you must consider are the technical, if your head has a 16 ohm out, then get a cab wired for 16 ohms. if it only has 8 ohm, then get an 8 ohm wired cab. also, you must consider power handling. if you have a 50 watt head, then you'll want speaker that handle at least 50 watts total (if you like speaker breakup) or about 75 to 100 watts(if you like a flat response across your volume range and a tighter sound, i recommend this for metal).

third: wiring. this can get complicated, but i'll use a 2x12 for example, cuz it is a bit more simple. you can wire a 2x12 in series or parallel(parallel has extra low end and smooths the signal). you can also wire it for mono or stereo output(or both). these choices have multiple consequences, the easiest is just to wire the whole cab mono for 8 or 16 ohm.

fourth design. this deals with multiple facets previously mentioned, but it is intertwines those with other concerns such as open or closed back design, dimensions, speak number size and orientation. impedance rating is also relevant to applications

all these factors (and many more) contribute to the overall tone of an amp.


punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae
#7
Short answer: yes.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.

Feel free to express yours so I can make an informed judgement about how stupid you are.
#8
some of the crate BV 412 cabs with V30s in them sounds really good.

ymmv but yes cabs matter.

if it's the weakest link in your rig, it brings the rest down a big notch.
#10
Quote by Ippon
^ Agreed. I installed EVM 12Ls in a cheap B-52 AT412 cab and it sounded massive.


To be fair one EVM in a box barely big enough to fit it will sound huge. :p It's typical guitar speakers you have to worry about, not the badass stuff like EVM, Fane, etc.
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#11
Quote by gregs1020
some of the crate BV 412 cabs with V30s in them sounds really good.

ymmv but yes cabs matter.

if it's the weakest link in your rig, it brings the rest down a big notch.


where have u seen these? just opened up my BV cab a coupel days ago and they are un-marked and not branded. just a barcode and serial number
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#13
Quote by Ippon
The one with the Blue tolex and Gold logo has V30s.


ahh
Quote by kangaxxter
The only real answer to the SG vs Les Paul debate is to get a Flying V and laugh at all the suckers who don't have one.


Quote by Blompcube

if you embrace inaccurate intonation it can be quite arousing.


I <3 TWEED
#14
also they usually have a little logo in the bottom corner that states celestian equipped or something to that effect.
#15
Cabs matter...but not NEARLY as much as what speakers are in them.
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#16
Quote by mmolteratx
To be fair one EVM in a box barely big enough to fit it will sound huge. :p It's typical guitar speakers you have to worry about, not the badass stuff like EVM, Fane, etc.
True. I have a cheap Crate 412 (tiny) which I snagged a few days ago because it has 4 EVM 12Ls. This is why I like opening the backs of cheap cabs.
#17
Quote by mmolteratx
No. Especially if the speakers are different. It would sound completely different. Short of an amp, speakers/cabs make one of the biggest differences in your tone.


+1
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#18
Quote by Vinson
Cabs matter...but not NEARLY as much as what speakers are in them.


i find this claim to be irrelevant. one needs the other. the cab can't make noise without the speaker, the speaker won't sound good without an appropriate cab. take your best sounding speaker out of it's cab and play it in the open air and you'll find it sounds pretty horrible.

the relationship of the speaker to the cab is is symbiotic, one can't be more important than the other cuz without either it won't produce what you want.
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
-ae