Closed backed vs. open backed cabs....+/- ?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Sir Ricardo, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Sir Ricardo

    Sir Ricardo Member

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    Hello!

    Basic question; what are the pluses and minuses of getting a closed back cab, vs. an open back cab?

    I actually just bought a closed back cab with front ports (a Bogner Shiva-style 1x12" cab...I bought it without hearing it, and it hasn't yet arrived......I've never heard one....and I'm wondering...).

    thanks for your thoughts.

    Richard
    =========================
     
  2. Roe

    Roe Member

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    open
    - more 3D
    - more resonant
    - the sound spread more in the room
    - more hights and slightly more mids
    - better for clean sounds

    closed
    - tighter, stiffer
    - more focused
    - more bass
    - more lower mids and higher mids
    - better for distorted tones
    - better for tighting up hollowbodies
     
  3. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    Another one...

    Open back cabinets change more in relation to their surroundings than closed back. This is from a London Sound phamplet on speakers and enclosures, but it makes a lot of sense to me. Open back have just as much sound coming out the back as they do the front. If you have an open back near a wall, it will reflect more from the wall, in a different pattern, than if you have the same cabinet 8 feet out from the wall.
    So it is much more variable in that sense, since it interacts more with the total surroundings.

    Closed back...is like taking the wall with you :) so it is more consistently going to keep it's sound (with all the characteristics mentioned above by Roe) if near a wall, corner, or out on the floor. You have more of a self-contained environment with closed back.

    Personally, for blues and such I like open-backed best...10's!
     
  4. Roe

    Roe Member

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  5. HeeHaw

    HeeHaw Member

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    I like both types of cabs. Open backs sound better to me for live playing, and I like the directional properties of closed back cabs for recording and home use.

    Overall, I don't favor one over the other in general.
     
  6. gilman

    gilman Member

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    Open back cabs produce a lot of snare buzz.I like the guitar and bass amps to be parallel with my rack tom.If the guitar cab is closed back its night and day in regards to snare buzz.Also when playing on cramped stages where a guitar amp may have to go where ever you can fit it, open back cabs can be brutal when it comes to snare buzz and over all band mix.If you play in a band with a loud guitar player he can wash out and eliminate any seperation of the instruments on stage.Then the mics on stage begin to do there work and the guitar takes over.

    gilman
     
  7. gkelm

    gkelm Supporting Member

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    Drummer?? Who asked you?? just kidding. :) Actually that's a helpful perspective...the universe does not revolve around the guitar, unfortunately. ;)

    I generally prefer open back, I like the 3D presence mentioned above, both for clean & dirty tones. But that ported Bogner is probably almost in a third class.
    Greg
     
  8. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    I like 3/4 closed back
    good balance of tightness and openess and looseness


    I did an interesting thing last night..

    I have a germino oversized 2x12
    with both closed back as well as a split panel setup where I can run an opening at the top, middle or bottom

    I had the opening at the top, I would guess it's 4"
    I moved the panel to the top putting the slot/opening in the middle

    it was instantly noticeable that it had more lowend, more punch, more low mids....

    interesting
     
  9. Mayflower

    Mayflower Supporting Member

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    Quality info from a drummer?;) LOL!
    Point well made and I agree. Nothing like tightening up the stage mix!
    I do FOH mix alot. I usually spend most of my time getting the drums dialed in. Without a proper drum mix...well, you know.
    I gate all the drums except the snare to cover the hihat as well.
     
  10. jeak

    jeak Member

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    OTOH, if you ever have to play behind your amp (for stage space reasons), an open back will let you hear yourself.

    I once knew a session guitarist in L.A. who ran one of each when he played live with his band. I don't recall the speaker brand (EV 12L?), but he had a closed 1x12 cab and an open one. He liked the mix.

    I have a custom rig on the way for my Stick, and it will be half and half: an open 10" combo amp and a sealed, tuned 15" bass bottom. I can't wait to hear the combination.
     
  11. Reeek

    Reeek Member

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    For the various reasons mentioned already, I play open back cabs exclusively for the time being.
     
  12. StompBoxBlues

    StompBoxBlues Member

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    That IS interesting. I've been meaning to try something like that, and that it is noticeable is encouraging.

    I just did something I've been thinking about for a while. I have a Carvin MTS3212 that I love the sound of, 2 x12" combo so when I use an external cab I need 4 ohms if it will be playing with the combo speakers in parallel. Also have a Peavy Classic 30 I love for ITS sound...it wants a 16ohm cabinet, and has one 12" built-in in the combo.

    I also had a Carvin 2 x 12" extension cabinet. I wasn't crazy about the speakers that came with it...pulled them, use in two different detuned cabs and liked their sound better.

    But I have always loved the sound of good 10" speakers. I bought a template from a place, called an "add-a-baffle" (you can search on the name...exactly like that and find the place in Google) that mounts on the 12" mounting screws and reduces the hole to a 10" hole, with mounting screws. I've had it a while. So I sat and figured out how to use a SPDT switch to be able to configure for 16ohm/4 ohm on the fly (series or parallel) and some speaker cable, bought some 10"'s and put it together.

    Just got done last night, and LOVE it with both amps. Next step is going to be a small removeable plate for the back to do just what you tried.

    Any suggestions on 1) type of wood? 2) mounting so it can easily be removed/attached as often as I want without wear and tear on the mounting hardware?

    Also, wondering how dangerous this could be to cooling air in the combos, causing overheat?
     
  13. ccoker

    ccoker Supporting Member

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    cool
    I guess you could use some T nuts...


    I actually mounted a rivera r30 head into the cab
    had to cut the baffle a bit to make it fit of course but I really, really like it
    have some bigtone 55s in there

    it's a BIG 2x12 combo, 30x24x12 but it's 1/2" birch and the head is light...
    so.. it's manageable

    I mounted a powerplus dc supply on the side of the cab, I was thinking about gettting a PC fan to run off of it, most are 12v DC but 9 volts would work.. just be a bit slower.. just need to think about where/how to mount it
     
  14. Plan9FOS

    Plan9FOS Member

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    Hmm ... in that case ... I am definately switching to open backs!!!
    :RoCkIn :RoCkIn :RoCkIn :RoCkIn :RoCkIn :RoCkIn
     
  15. chefgreenwood

    chefgreenwood Member

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    I personally think that they both sound good. It also really depends on the type of music and the type of speakers used. For that reason I like the ability to add or subtract the backing. All of my cabs from avatar have both backs. I have celestion- blues, vintage 30, 80’s, 25’s, tone tubbies, and SRO’s all in this adaptable setup.
     

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