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how does open/closed cab effect sound?

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  • how does open/closed cab effect sound?

    I was reading up on the Power Engine 60 (transparent SS 1 12' speaker power amp) and got to thinking - usually speakers sound a little different when they're ported or not, and whether there's 1 or 2, or 4, etc...

    What is generally perceived to be the difference? I imagine an openback 112 on a power engine 60 or an atomic reactor is still going to sound like an openback 112, regardless of whether or not the POD is set to Marshall HalfStack or not... =)

  • #2
    Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

    I've noticed that i can push a little more volume out of open backs (all in the ears, not RMS neccesarily)

    and with closed backs ive noticed more of a bassy response, which can be a good thing depending on the amp

    i mostly have more experience with open back cabs though so i couldn't give you a great comparison like some of the other guys can


    • #3
      Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

      Open cabinet...Sound bounces off a back wall if you have your cab or your amp close to it..Less lows and less front direction to the crowd...Love an open cab for clean sounds for it's sense of openess of tone...

      Closed cabinet...Very directional solely towards the front,tighter tone and tighter lows due to less overall cone movement,No tone or bouncing of sound out the back of the closed cabinet...The all out God rock tone imo is from a 4x12 closed cabinet...
      Amps: 66 Fender BF Pro Reverb Combo,1973 50 Watt Marshall Head,Marshall 4x12 A/V Cab,Vox ToneLab LE,Vox VTH Valvetronix 120 Head,Vox AD 2x12 Cab,Roland Cube 20X

      Guitars: Several Stratocasters,2 Fender Telecasters,Gibson SG Standard,Tokai Love Rock Les Paul,Dean Acoustic.

      Pickups: SD SSL2,SSL5,Twangbanger,Antiquity Surfers,59N,Seth Lover N/B,Dimarzio Fred,Dimarzio VPAF N,Fender Fat 50s,Fralin SP43 Bridge,Brobucker,Antiquity Texas Hot.


      • #4
        Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

        The all out God rock tone imo is from a 4x12 closed cabinet...
        I agree, for rock closed back is the way to go IMO also. If you want that punch to the gut sound that's where it's at.


        • #5
          Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

          Closed back amps have a tighter sound, with more bottom end. The also tend to project well, but in a very focused manner. Closed back cabs tend to be a bit less tight, and have a more enveloping tone. The imcrease air being pushed by an open cab also seems to help detract speaker fart-out, in my experience.

          I have a mesa recto 2x12, and I have the back removed. This is so I get a more ambient sound closer to the cab, as I'm often right on top of my gear at gigs. With the back on, the cab projects amazingly, but you have to point it at you head to hear it, and to get a nice ambient sound away from the speaker you have to crank it and kill rats.

          It also has a lot to do with musical style, too. If I was cranking out power chords, the back would go back on. I play mostly clean, so the open back sound suits me best.
          Originally posted by Jolly
          ...but then again, I'm so deaf I can't even hear myself fart.


          • #6
            Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

            I have a partial open-backed Avatar 2x12 with a V30 and G12H, and it's punchy as hell with almost too much bass!


            • #7
              Re: how does open/closed cab effect sound?

              I've got the Avatar 2X12 cabinet with both the interchangeable open and closed back panels. Fun to play mad scientist with. Everything I've learned from that experience was summed up by StratDeluxer.
              PRS McCarty Korina loaded w/Godwoods
              PRS Custom 22 loaded w/Dragon IIs
              GJ2 Shredder loaded w/Habaneros
              Rivera Knucklehead 55 Reverb/Blackstar HT-1/VHT Special Ultra 6
              Avatar 2X12 loaded with V30 & G12H30
              various pedals