1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Does cab size matter irrespective of speaker?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by itsGiusto, Jul 8, 2019.

Tags:
  1. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    604
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    If we kept the number of speakers, and the type/size of speakers the same, does the size of a cab matter? In other words, what's the point of having a 1x12 where there's extra space taken up? Or, what's the difference between this cab and this cab? Does the extra space affect the tone at all?

    I could see an argument being made that the size can impact the reverberations in the cab, but probably not much of that actually makes it out to the listener, and those reverberations would have to compete both with the reverberations in the actual listening room, and a screaming loud speaker that's much closer to the listener.

    Does anyone know of any good videos demonstrating a difference, or lack thereof?
     
  2. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    5,919
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    Yes. Size of the cab is a huge factor in its sound. Mostly low frequency response. An undersized sealed cab with have a much weaker bass response than an 'oversized' sealed cab. Same goes for ported cabs, and to a lesser extent, open cabs, since the room itself can have an effect. Very small cabs often sound 'boxy' because of the heavy low frequency roll off of having minimal internal cabinet volume. Sometimes small cabs will cause internal resonances which will create a peak in the lower mid frequencies which contributes to 'boxyness' as well.
     
    jsnwhite619 and Wally like this.
  3. Whatizitman

    Whatizitman Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,451
    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2018
    Location:
    WV
    Yes. Depth, in particular.
     
  4. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,664
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
  5. Larry F

    Larry F Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Posts:
    16,782
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Location:
    Iowa City, IA
    Back in the day, a friend worked for Sunn Amps, then went off on his own with his own amps and cabs. He made a bass cab that was large, deep, and had a folded baffle (or whatever it is called; I have pics, if interested).

    He told some of the engineers about his cab, sketching it out on a napkin or whatever. The next time they saw him, they said that they had tried his design but kept blowing speakers (single 15"). This was because they didn't have the precise dimensions, he said.
     
  6. kbold

    kbold Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,833
    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    All men would agree size matters.
    OK seriously ......
    With ported cabs, correctly designed, you can get thunderously low bass in a small cabinet.
    I'm thinking along the lines of Mesa Thiel speakers.
    1 x12" 400 w bass thumping cabinet.
     
  7. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,253
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2017
    Location:
    Oregon
    Seems to me that dimensions vs. speaker size should only matter with a sealed cabinet. Open-back cabinets should not matter at all.
     
    RodeoTex and don71 like this.
  8. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,239
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2013
    Location:
    meridianam altum centralis
    Greatly, as do the proportions, and the wood used, as well as the porting or openings. Not so much at low volumes, but at high volumes, the cab voice can equal the speaker voice in influence.

    PS - videos and sound clips are worthless for these kinds of assessments. All the information that would discriminate, is lost in the recording process.
     
    robrob likes this.
  9. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,178
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2010
    Location:
    Very Deep South
    I think so
     
  10. Marc Morfei

    Marc Morfei Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    55
    Posts:
    2,248
    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    Do you have a 1x12 cabinet? Do you have an amp with a small cab, like a Blues Jr? Run the Blues Jr through the bigger cab, and you will hear the difference.
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    9,854
    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Location:
    Lions & Tigers oh Mi !
    .

    Volume matters.

    Get the cabinet volume to match the speaker diameter, cone shape, and coil throw and the output is amazing.

    There are several enclosure calculators, this one is just an example, used in all the high end boutique audio enclosure designs -- always makes me wonder about guitar amps never seem to get into this. People test a random series of speakers plus all the open-back cabinets and combo amps are always a surprise.

    https://www.diyaudioandvideo.com/Calculator/SpeakerBoxEnclosure/

    .
     
    sntsvt likes this.
  12. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,664
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    Most of those parameters relate to bass response. If you were building a cabinet for bass guitar they would be useful. For a guitar not so much, the low note is only 80hz so you don't have to worry as much about the first two octaves.
     
    Bill Moore likes this.
  13. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    13,343
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Yes it matters, the most significant though is depth. But size matters some too. Open vs closed back is pretty big also. Think about it; bass amps are often nearly twice as deep as guitar amps. They get huge bass response out of a small but deep box.
    I like depth of 1.5 or 11". 12 will work and 10 will work. 12 may be a bit woofy.
    Open back even just 1" open makes a big difference in tone. You may like it closed or open though... just different.

    Cab size other than depth is far less critical. I used to run a big monster EV15B in an old Fender SS amp cab. I put a 15" baffle in it and the speaker barely fit inside the cab. But the particle board cab was like 11.5 -12 deep. It actually sounded killer although that huge speaker barely fit!

    I find type of wood matters very little. Some at clean low volume playing. If it mattered that much cabs wouldnt be covered with sound deadening tolex.
     
  14. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    13,883
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Of course it matters with an open back cabinet. On an open baffle the low frequency cutoff is determined by the distance from the front of the cone to the back - around the outside of the cabinet. An open-back combo cabinet works just like a flat open baffle, only folded.

    Compare, for example, an Ampeg blue-check Reverbojet, Reverberocket, and Gemini II, all with 12" speakers. The bigger Gemini will sound warmer thanks to its increased baffle area.
     
  15. saltyseadog

    saltyseadog Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

    Age:
    71
    Posts:
    399
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2010
    Location:
    Hartlepool, England
    Well I can answer this positively from my side anyway. A few months back I built a finger jointed tweed covered cab based on a Fender Bandmaster cab from the 50's roughly H24"xW23"xD11". In a triangle along with the original Eminence 12" special design I added 2 x 8" Eminence 820H Patriot speakers to run separately from the 12". The difference in sound is huge, via the 1x12" it sounds like it did previously except the bass end is much tighter and the sound in general much much more open. Via the 2x8" speakers it sounds entirely different in fact I love the overdriven sound of it with the two Patriots. I'm coming up 70 and play at home mostly to backing tracks and tracks taken from live concerts from my fave artists and which are extended versions of my liking and which I play through my old Technics component stereo. I set up my guitar and get a balance going which kinda sounds like you are actually in the band. I was playing along with the live version of Midnight Rambler and immediately noticed that 2x8" had that same sort of break up going on. It really has that early Fender sound through them.
     
  16. itsGiusto

    itsGiusto Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    604
    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2017
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    I'm asking about keeping the speakers the exact same, but just changing the cab size.
     
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    11,753
    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2003
    Location:
    Near BWI Int'l
    Along with interior volume and baffle size changing how things sound, with a sealed enclosure, the resonant frequency basically doubles, vs. an open-back cab.

    ...So once the (specifically sealed) enclosure gets down to smaller dimensions, you can potentially run into an issue of having a boxy sound, because the resonant frequency is up too high.

    It seems that some folks attribute the tightness and punchiness of a closed back 4X12 cab to the sealed enclosure making the sound more directional, which is part of it, but the other part is that the low end gets tightened up, because you're rolling off the bass roughly an octave higher.
     
  18. ArcticWhite

    ArcticWhite Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,039
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    Portland Oregon
    A big cab sounds like a cello. Because it's a big cab.
    Put your speaker in a mixing bowl and it will sound small and tinny. Put it in a piano crate and it will sound boomy.
    Pretty simple concept
     
  19. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    22,859
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2011
    Location:
    Around
    Ya, also,..half open, 1/4 or 3/4 open back. All diff.
    Wood..major..
     
  20. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,764
    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    People, there are "right" ways to do this ... and also lots of wrong ways that sound great.

    I read somewhere that in the 60s, Marshall designed the 4x12 cab for those stacks by just building the most compact 4x12 that could be easily built and be strong enough for professional use.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.