Cabinet confusion

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,410
I have a head coming in the mail. I've been browsing cabs, and have some questions. I have only owned open back combos, so no real experience with cabs. I have a mental aversion to "directional", and "beamy". Punchy is good, but airy and dimensional sounds better in my head. I'm going for a powerful sound, but not an aural assault. I'm leaning toward vertical, partial open 2X12 and with WGS speakers.

Questions:

1. I'm on a limited budget, so I'm looking at used or budget cabs. Any experience with the Sub-Z cabs on ebay? Any other brands I should look for? What is the minimum I need to spend for something solid and good sounding?

2. Do cabs with handles on top prevent setting the head on them?

3. Is there a huge difference between vertical and diagonal speaker orientation? I've played gigs where I can't hear my amp but someone in the audience later said it was very loud. I really don't like that, which is why two 12"s aimed at my feet does not appeal to me.

4. Ported back v open back, huge difference?

Update: Went with an Avatar Contemporary "budget" cab with V30's and conversion back. Thanks for all your help tgp!
 
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Messages
3,049
I've had good luck with Seismic Audio cabs. I just got an unloaded 2x12 for $129, shipped. That was a black Friday deal, but the normal price is still only ~$200. It's the second one I've bought and I can't complain about either cab.

The first cab I loaded with Weber speakers, which might be above what you're looking to pay, but I love that cab.

The second cab I loaded with WGS ET-65's, and I really haven't bonded with those, but it seems that most others around here really like those speakers.

I usually stand my 2x12 on end so it's standing vertical. I only do it so it's easier to reach the controls of my amp, but it does help the directional sound issue you mentioned. I've never had a handle on top of a cab prevent the head from sitting on it, most heads have little feet on them.

I'm a closed back cab kinda guy, so I'll let others chime in on that. I like a punchy sound, and a closed back cab is what gets me there.
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,873
A closed back cab will help you focus the volume a bit, but it would depend on your situation. Are you playing with or without a sound guy? Inside or outside? Lots of variables to account for.

If you have TIME and a decent location, Avatar cabs will pop up from time to time locally for dirt cheap, because no one wants to ship a 2x12 or bigger if they can help it. You could also pick up a 4x12 from just about anywhere for $100 and load diagonally or just the top row to keep the speakers off the ground. And even if you get a closed back cab, you can always chop half of the back panel off and make your own conversion cab.

Lots of options!

Side note: I've heard some good things about the Panama cabs on Reverb.
 

ggwwbb

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,496
They may be a little hard to find, but a Mesa Boogie Halfback 2x12 might be right up your alley. Vertical 2x12 with the top speaker being open back, and the bottom speaker being closed back (and ported). You can usually find one for +/- $300, and if you're lucky you can find one with a JBL in the bottom. Great cabs.
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,424
I have a head coming in the mail. I've been browsing cabs, and have some questions. I have only owned open back combos, so no real experience with cabs. I have a mental aversion to "directional", and "beamy". Punchy is good, but airy and dimensional sounds better in my head. I'm going for a powerful sound, but not an aural assault. I'm leaning toward vertical, partial open 2X12 and with WGS speakers.

Questions:

1. I'm on a limited budget, so I'm looking at used or budget cabs. Any experience with the Sub-Z cabs on ebay? Any other brands I should look for? What is the minimum I need to spend for something solid and good sounding?

2. Do cabs with handles on top prevent setting the head on them?

3. Is there a huge difference between vertical and diagonal speaker orientation? I've played gigs where I can't hear my amp but someone in the audience later said it was very loud. I really don't like that, which is why two 12"s aimed at my feet does not appeal to me.

4. Ported back v open back, huge difference?
What is the head coming in the mail? If you're only used to using open back combos you'll need to push a lot of power to make a closed back 2X12 or 4X12 "feel" the same. The back side leakage from a combo makes it feel airy and full at the amp itself. Closed back cabs, unless driven and well behind you, makes the sound feel as though it's just floating on by...

#1. No experience
#2. Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You won't know until you try.
#3. To the player, yes, there is. You'll hear that top 12 (or 12s) much clearer that the bottoms.
#4. More of a personal preference; to me, not much of a difference.
 
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Mtnbkr123

Member
Messages
517
OP - are you in the Fort Mac Alberta area? Just a hunch based on your username and the purchase of a Traynor. If so there is a YBA-1 head and 2 matching vertical 2-12 cabs on Kijiji from a guy from Edmonton - $300 for a cab. Might be something of interest for you.
 

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,410
Nope, not living on the oil fields of Alberta. That would be sweet to find a matching cab though! So why aren't you buying the Traynor?!
 

Laurence

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,424
Killer amp, congratulations. If you can get away with higher volume, I'd go with a 4X12 preferably with Greenbacks (less volume overall) and try to stand away at least 8 to 10 feet away from the cab. It'll be punchy and tight. If that's not possible, you'll want to go with some type of open 2X12/4X10 cab with a speaker that will give you what you're looking for tonally. They, the speakers, can be more efficient, but the open back will diffuse some of the beaminess and standing nearby will still give you the feel of that airy and dimensional sound you're used to.

If you grew up with open back cabs/combos in comparison to closed back cabs, only a lot of watts pushing a lot of air in a closed back cab (well) behind you will give you the "bumps" you want IMHO...
 

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,410
I ended up getting one of the avatar budget contemporary cabs, with v30's and a conversion back. 375 shipped to my door. Sounds awesome so far, if a little scooped and brittle at first. The bass is a bit untame with the deep cab as well, but a soul food klone seems to help that out a bunch. I'm thinking the speakers will sound awesome once they are broken in.
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,822
I think there is a huge difference between open and closed back.I went with Carvin myself. They don't get anywhere near as much recognition as they deserve. They were boutique before that was a term in the industry.

Anyway, IMHO it's all about flexibility because things change...a lot. I picked up their VX 212 S configurable 2x12 vertical slant. It has two ports in the back that you can easily seal or leave open.

Single port configuration yields the lowest fundamental for low volume thump. Couple screws and your ready for high volume closed back so you don't mud out. Stereo or Mono switch stock.

Thing is built like a tank with Baltic Birch ply, metal handles, metal corner guards and has a large choice of coverings from plain black all the way up to colored snake skin! Optional V30s but if you call them they will drop in whatever you want or ship unloaded. Comes as a straight cab too.

https://carvinaudio.com/products/vx212s-2x-12-open-or-closed-back-birch-cabinet-slant





 

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,410
@FbIsNotE I like that cab, and may have regretted my choice after seeing that had I not gone and measured my head. The carvin would have been too narrow and I would have had the dreaded T look. The Avatar 2X12 contemporary seems like a good compromise between a 4X12 and something like that. I stood it up on end and it makes for a pretty mean looking rig.
 

easyed

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,564
I've only played a closed back cabinet once (I'm a "combo guy"). My amp was not mic'd. The drummer couldn't hear me; fortunately I could hear him and we stayed in time, but I wouldn't recommend using only closed back cabs unless you are supported by a full PA with monitors and an off-stage sound engineer.

Since you have the option, I'd strongly recommend having at least one of your convertible ports open unless you have your amp mic'd and the monitors for the drums and bass enable them to hear you well.

Our band was something of a "hobby band" and I ran sound from the stage. We had 2 mains and 4 monitors, all running the FOH mix. We never hit the big time and only had an off-stage sound man at our final gig.
 

oildrops

Member
Messages
2,410
I'll try it open at some point once the speakers are loosened up a bit. There are a lot of screws involved. I've been reading about if the back of a cab can vibrate it will create a boomy bass, and wondering if the conversion port could create some of that issue vs a solid single piece of wood for the closed back.
 

FbIsNotE

Member
Messages
3,822
@FbIsNotE I like that cab, and may have regretted my choice after seeing that had I not gone and measured my head. The carvin would have been too narrow and I would have had the dreaded T look. The Avatar 2X12 contemporary seems like a good compromise between a 4X12 and something like that. I stood it up on end and it makes for a pretty mean looking rig.
Doh! I totally missed that the guy that bought the Avatar was in fact you the OP! I did not intend to induce regret and am glad you are happy with the Avatar.

I would definitely experiment with all the configurations. For me, when I'm home practicing alone at lower volumes I like the "boom" of the partially open back and I usually keep it open for practices too..unless we a going for a really high volume practice. When I'm pushing lightning into it, closed back is the only way to go for me otherwise the "chunk" just doesn't sound right.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,496
Questions:
1. I'm on a limited budget, so I'm looking at used or budget cabs. Any experience with the Sub-Z cabs on ebay? Any other brands I should look for? What is the minimum I need to spend for something solid and good sounding? Get Pine if possible, at least good ply. no particle board in the cab itself.
2. Do cabs with handles on top prevent setting the head on them? Sometimes. Some heads have cutouts for handles in the bottom. But buy a cab with a flat handle and you should be fine if your head has "feet" on it. Which it should.
3. Is there a huge difference between vertical and diagonal speaker orientation? I've played gigs where I can't hear my amp but someone in the audience later said it was very loud. I really don't like that, which is why two 12"s aimed at my feet does not appeal to me. Yes. You need to consider if you want to tilt back also. A head will often cause issues with that.
4. Ported back v open back, huge difference?[/QUOTE] I find a big diffeerence in depth of cabs as well as closed back cabs. Any depth over 11.5" and cabs are too hi fi/boomy for me. (open back) Closed cabs sound too compressed for me also, but if you are into that compressed Marshall pwer chord sound it works well.
-I had one 4 x 10 cab with a 3/4" baffle board. No matter what I did or what speakers I tried it was too bass heavy and woofy. In the end I decided it was the 3/4 hardwood ply baffle.
-I thought the Carvin vertical slant 2 x 12 would be perfect, it was very heavy for it's size and I didnt like the tone (my speakers) at all.
All JMHO. Your reults may vary.
 
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hank57

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,493
I looked for two weeks for an Avatar 212 empty cab and yesterday I found one and made an offer. So I got a traditional open back black cab for $200 with shipping. Be patient. Mine is for a JMP 50 watt.
 

Ejay

Member
Messages
5,499
Check eBay for bogner alchemist 2x12 cabs.
Terribly underrated cab, comes dirty cheap with 2 different celestions.
 




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