I don't know squat about closed back cabs. I'm looking for a good closed back 2x12 to try my Heritage G12Ms and Scumback M75s in. Anyone care to comment on the Avatar G212H closed back or recommend something better that doesn't cost too much more?
I have one of their Vintage (Marshall Bluesbreaker clone) 2x12 cabs loaded with 2 Vintage 30's. I originally ordered it with a closed back. The offer the option of a '2 piece' back.
I got to playing around one day and had the back off the cab and decided I liked the way it sounded. The 2 piece back allows you to have the opening in the top, middle or bottom. I took the back to Home Depot and they graciously custom cut it for me free. (Basically, you just take the 'middle' piece out between the screws. VERY difficult to make this a nice, straight cut without a table saw or something. Just take it to Home Depot and talk nice!) Avatar has some info regarding this on their website.
I experimented around and with my rig, having the opening at the top suited me best. I then meshed it in with a piece of gutter screen painted black so nothing can accidentally gets in there. (Probably never anything to worry about but I like putzing around with my stuff) I kept the old piece of wood should I ever decide to change amps/guitars and want to revert back to a closed back, I can close it back up.
I love this cab and can't imagine parting with it anytime soon. Speaker choice is up to you but Avatar has good prices and great service. The cab is nicely constructed with void free birch plywood. Feel free to call or email Avatar, they answer promptly and are a pleasure to deal with.
Great bang for the buck cabs. Very well made, and they sound killer. I've had my closed back G212H for several years, and I have been very happy with it.
As UMT mentioned, The newer Vintage series cabs are nice in that you can convert 'em form closed, partially open, to open. If I was purchasing a new 2x 12 cab, I'd definitely go that route for the added flexibility.
I have one of the original styled 2X12s closed back as well as an open back for it. I've had both backs on it and prefer the closed back. Currently, I'm running a pair of Weber 1225 prerola doped speakers. I really like the cab.
I think the search for the Holy Grail of tone is an individual one and I don't think any two setups of guitar and amp are going to be the same. For me, the overrall sound was fuller. My Vintage 30's were breaking up real fast and I was looking for a little cleaner sound out of them as I play a Tele HH and had way more distortion than I needed or wanted and opening up the back definately helped with that. Moving the opening around produced slight changes in tone also. The first time I used it at practice, I didn't say anything and right away the guys asked me what I did to my amp.
If I had a different guitar or changed amps, I would bet money that all of this would change.
I've got both closed back and semi-closed back Avatar 2x12 cabs. They are a great value. Not the top-of-the-line materials (tolex is ultra-thin), but they are good for gigging because I don't mind if they get kicked around a little. I use the closed back cab (w/ sound insulation) with a Marshall, and the semi-closed back with a Fender. No problems.