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View Full Version : Open back vs. closed back 2x12's what's your preference?


schwa
01-19-2011, 08:37 PM
I'm on a bit of a search for the best 2x12 to match to my Marshalls. I have a 2061x head (20w) and a 2204 (50W).

I'm curious to hear what you guys are running, and speaker choices as well. If you're running an open back cab, did you choose that after trying a closed back or vice versa?

I expect that a closed back with greenbacks would be a popular choice, but am interested in what everyone likes and why.

xtian
01-19-2011, 08:42 PM
It's certainly typical to use closed back cabs with Marshall. But a lot of it depends on where you're playing, at what volume, and with which other instruments. If you're on stage playing with a drummer, closed back helps isolate the instruments, gives you more projection (helpful if you're standing 10' in front of the cab), and snappier, thumpier response.

Open back cabs are great for playing by yourself at home or in studio. Better ambiance with sound reflecting off surfaces behind the cab.

Avatar makes convertible cabs. They feature a large lozenge shape in back that you can remove with screws. Nice to have the option.

Dawg76
01-19-2011, 08:47 PM
It's certainly typical to use closed back cabs with Marshall.

Open back cabs are great for playing by yourself at home or in studio. Better ambiance with sound reflecting off surfaces behind the cab.

Avatar makes convertible cabs. They feature a large lozenge shape in back that you can remove with screws. Nice to have the option.

Bought an open-back Avatar Traditional 2x12 (at-home playing) and ended up getting their enclosure piece ($15) and closed it up. Go figure. Speakers are Emi Texas Heat and Celestion G12H30. I like the good bottom-end and punchiness of the Emi along with the upper/mids capability of the Celestion. Cab-wise, I recommend going w/ the 'convertible' option.

J.T. Guitar
01-19-2011, 08:52 PM
Stone-Age 2x12C with a narrow open-back. Punchy, yet open!

GearHeadFred
01-19-2011, 09:04 PM
It's hard to describe in words, but open-back cabs "breath" more.. I've swapped my Greenbacks around between open and closed cabs, and I actually prefer them in an open-back. I would say I'm a "moderate" volume player.. I play in clubs with average hitting drummers.. We get loud but not REAL loud. When you REALLY crank things up, open cabs can get flabby and a closed-back cab holds together much better... so it really depends on the situation.

riffmeister
01-19-2011, 09:05 PM
I prefer open.........bigger 3D sound.........

Primakurtz
01-19-2011, 09:18 PM
Front ported. Best of all worlds for a 2 x 12", in my experience. :aok

voojo
01-19-2011, 09:21 PM
Best of both worlds:

http://www.fortemusical.com/

http://www.fortemusical.com/images/752_purple212.jpg

dspellman
01-19-2011, 09:23 PM
Mine are closed back with ports in the front.

shredtrash
01-19-2011, 09:23 PM
Closed-back if I'm playing rock. Open for everything else.

bettset
01-19-2011, 09:37 PM
i was an open/oval back 2x12 user..........until i found the forte too. mine has tone tubbys. not boomy. pushes air real nice :munch

MRscratch
01-19-2011, 09:39 PM
the dr z best cab is just killer. it is a little bas heavy, but a couple golds sorted that out. i loved the stock v-30/ g12h 30 anny in it, but the golds are just too good.
this cab has a port down the left side facing, or bottom laying length wise.
i also have a dr z 1/12 that can be opened or closed. same sive as a maz sr 1/12 combo. sounds great. also a gold in that one.

riffmeister
01-19-2011, 09:47 PM
Those Forte cabs look very interesting! :aok

cratz2
01-19-2011, 09:54 PM
I have two 2x12s... a closed back with JBL K120s and an open back with a G12H30 and a Blue Dog.

:dude

For crunchy tones, I think I prefer an open back, but I don't gig... I like the tweaking capability an open cab offers. If I gigged, I guess I would lean towards a closed cab for consistency but who knows.

pappafox
01-19-2011, 10:09 PM
Stone Age 2x12B w/ semi open back. Loaded with 2 H75 Scumbacks. Marshall 50w on top. I ordered it with the 3 panels and a solid back, and I used the solid back panel for quite a while, but recently switched to the two piece panels for more stage presence. Sounds killer!

Mattbedrock
01-19-2011, 10:16 PM
I have both closed back and front ported cabs. The closed backs have punch and projection. The front ported cabs add extra low end response that makes them rival 4x12's. Open backs are too diffuse and lack punch and fullness for me.

lukeII
01-19-2011, 10:45 PM
I have a 112 Reinhardt cab with an extra panel for closing the back. My preference for open vs closed depends on the room acoustics. In a room with very hard surfaces (Marble floor and concrete walls) I found that the closed back allows me to eliminate some of undesirable acoustics and get better tone for the room because the close back allows for a more focused sound.

In a nice room, acoustically speaking, I much prefer it open back as it just makes the amp sound more airy and open.

I use the cab with a Two Rock Classic Reverb

Tidewater Custom Shop
01-19-2011, 11:01 PM
Front ported. Best of all worlds for a 2 x 12", in my experience. :aok

I like this for Marshally drive. I cut down a 4x12 ply slant cab with a sealed back (front loader), chambered it, and front ported it. I'm using 2 vintage Celestion G12-65s with a Reinhardt JKC33. Clean and driven, man, this thing just puts the tone out there!

For Fender cleans, I prefer open back. I had a Bassman head with a convertible 2x12 at one time. Closed wasn't what I wanted. Open opened the sound greatly. I had 2 vintage Jensen C12N's with that cab.

http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh172/tidalsurge/IMG_0586.jpg
http://i256.photobucket.com/albums/hh172/tidalsurge/IMG_0581.jpg

harpinon
01-19-2011, 11:06 PM
Open back cabs offer more liveliness while closed backs offer tightness and punch.

Ampegasaur
01-19-2011, 11:16 PM
My White Box Cab has a 3 piece back. Bottom piece removed makes it ported for a huge tight bottom end, 2 pieces removed gives it more open airy sound. Closed is very in your face for projecting to a larger crowd. 2 Eminence deltalite pros Neo magnets, 250 watts each. A simply amazing cab. It can do any type of music. Heaviest of Metal, to the smoothest of Jazz.

lukeII
01-20-2011, 03:49 AM
Open back cabs offer more liveliness while closed backs offer tightness and punch.

Exactly what I wanted to say two posts above.

Man with Gas
01-20-2011, 04:29 AM
Check below out and have open and closed in the same cab. No screwdriver necessary and can be done literally as you play.

Sounds incredible.

http://www.scumbackspeakers.com/cabinets.html#2x12

http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?p=9874945#post9874945

Rick330man
05-06-2012, 09:51 AM
I've gone both routes. I've got 2 closed back 4 X 12s, 2 open back Avatar G212s, a closed back Carvin Legacy 2 X 12 and a bunch of open back Avatar G112s.

G12M-25 Greenbacks sound amazing in a Hot Rod Deluxe, so there's one for open back.

On the other hand, they were the original stock speaker in the Carvin Legacy 2 X 12 cabs when they first came out. Carvin later switched to Vintage 30s. I prefer the sound of the Greenbacks. My brother agrees. Chalk one up for the closed back and add another point for the Greenback.

Last example: I've got a Fender Tonemaster 4 X 12 that came loaded with Vintage 30s. I swapped two out and replaced them with Blue Alnicos. Sounded interesting but too much Blue alnico can sound sterile. I left 1 Vintage 30 and 1 Blue alnico and added two G12M-25 Greenbacks. This is now my favorite cabinet in the history of the world. It sounds amazing.

shakeshakeshake
05-06-2012, 10:28 AM
I prefer open back, I dont play very heavy stuff though

Guinness Lad
05-06-2012, 01:17 PM
I think it depends upon the amp used more than anything.

Miles
05-06-2012, 01:54 PM
For any 12" speaker - open back. Even for harder hitting gain tones. I like the more open sound.

For 10" speakers, I actually prefer closed back. With 10s, they disperse quicker and already lack low end. So, quicker dispersion = more room spread and cabinet thump helps out a lot to bring some of that low end back.

chillerthanmost
05-06-2012, 10:09 PM
I've played sealed cabs for the last twelve years. I picked up my first open back (2x12) last week and it sounds incredible. Placement makes a bigger difference than with a closed back. Slight loss of low end but mine is actually big enough to keep the lows even with it being an open back. I had Weber Alnico Thames that sounded great but a little dark with my Twin Reverb. Just loaded a pair of EVM 12L's and it sound rad. Definitely my favorite cab so far.

http://i17.photobucket.com/albums/b98/tonywrath/photo11-2.jpg

SteveO
05-06-2012, 10:16 PM
I'm currently running one of each-a closed back Recto 2x12 with Vintage 30s, and a 3/4 back with C90s. The combination of cab configurations and speakers sounds great.

BarryW
05-07-2012, 01:25 PM
I've been playing my JTM-50 build for a bit lately, and I've tried it with greenbacks and tone tubbys in 3-piece back 2x12 cabs. I've tried the strips in both cabs to close them, as I still love my marshall 4x12 . . . but I really prefer the open back with the 2x12 cabs. It just works better for me - fuller, and seems to have an extra edge. That's my experience -