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ISO Cab Experiences

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by GregS, Mar 13, 2006.

  1. GregS

    GregS Member

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    Hi guys. I'm considering one of those isolation cabs (Demeter or Randall) as a way to turn up my tube amps at home. I'm hoping someone has some experience with these cabs and can answer the following:

    1. Do they really allow you to turn up a 50 watt amp 1/2 way or more without the family complaining? Specifically, I have a 50 watt Two Rock and a 35 watt Cornford I'd like to get into the "sweet spot" without chasing the family out of the house.
    2. Is it possible to put anything above or below the ISO cab to reduce the sound level?
    3. Does the thing sound good by the time you get it to the board?

    Thanks for any input. I have amps that aren't getting much use due to decibel level problems!
     
  2. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    i have the randall. i think if you got that and an auralex gramma and threw it in a closet with a bunch of moving blankets over it, it would work great for what you want. just to put it in the room, it vibrates a lot at loud volumes, so the gramma would take care of that. and it is still loud with any of the amps i use which are 30 watts and 5 watts. the thing is, you at first think it stinks because its still sooo loud, but then you open it up and realize that you cant even stay in the same room with it when it is that loud.

    i plan on moving mine to a closet and isolating it a little more like that. just need to run a mic cable and speaker cable through the ceiling. it could potentially work perfectly for what you want. i find it doesnt sound as good mic'd as a regular cab, but its also easier to get a good sound out of it.
     
  3. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    Check out the AxTrak. It only has a 6" driver but sounds pretty darn big.
     
  4. gainfreak

    gainfreak Member

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    Hello!

    I live in a condo and I tried a Randall ISO cab and I hated it for 2 reasons. 1 reason was because it was pretty far from being an ISO cab in that it was still brutally loud in the room when my amp was cranked. I think the design of it in how the trap closes wasn't thought out that much because it leaks sound. The Randall would still get me kicked out of my condo so off it went. The 2nd thing that I didn't like is that like most ISO cabs, it was boxy sounding and you have to futs around with it so much that it was counter productive IMHO.

    I haven't tried the Demeter but I have heard that it is better then the Randall. You might want to ask Ed degenaro about the Demeter because I believe he has one and uses it a lot!

    The ISO cab that i settled on and love was the Axetrak
    www.axetrak.com

    I love this thing and it is the most quiet ISO box that I have ever used.....Period.
    Like any ISO cab there are pluses and minuses to the Axetrak. One of the minuses is that you don't get to pick the type of speaker to use and you can't adjust the microphone position, but if you want a no hassle ISO solution that all you have to do is just plug and play then, there is no better product then the axetrak IMHO.

    I hope this helps.
     
  5. tedjac

    tedjac Guest

    I had e-mailed the guys at axetrak about the tonal range and versatility of the box, and didn't really get a answer that made me want to go out and buy one. I was asking about what it sounded like with D style amps, as opposed to Marshall-type amps. I'm not into metal at all. but am looking for a Robben Ford/Larry Carlton-ish tone. I have a Fuchs ODS that I love, but would love to be able to crank it a little and still get THAT tone. Any experience with this sort of thing? Like I said, if it ONLY DOES METAL, that wouldn't work for me.

    Thanks,
    Ted

    P.S. What about the Randall ISO cab at moderate levels? Does it mute the volume at all?
     
  6. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Have two Demeter ones...one with a Red Fang and one with a V30. Wouldn't want to be without them.
    Here's my take on iso anything. To me the idea wasn't so much to bring the volume down but rather to not have my monitors bleed into the guitar mic.

    Also the guys that get iso cabs expecting to sound like a 4x12 are ALWAYS dissapointed. All I wanted for it to sound good...and that it does to me.
    Here...damn near everything on here is done with the Demeter iso cab...AND amps way attenuated.
    http://www.eddegenaro.com/audio
     
  7. wsaraceni

    wsaraceni Member

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    the randall cab definately mutes the volumes. it is still audible outside though. i wouldnt say its all that good to use in the same room as if you are recording because then you hear what is coming out of the monitors as well as what is coming out of the isocab. the sound coming out of the iso cab definately sounds like it is coming out of a box. i have read a few things about replacing the inside with auralex foam and using weatherstripping to seal the cab and make it much better. if i decide to try that out ill let you know.
     
  8. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Running my 100 watters through a 30 watt speaker reguires at least 2 clicks down on a Hot Plate. For me the iso cab in the room is no problem...
     
  9. sabreplayre

    sabreplayre Member

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    How would you say they compare? I'm thinking of getting one with a CL80.
     
  10. gainfreak

    gainfreak Member

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    Ted!
    I think the axetrak sounds best with high gain amps but I'm not sure how it will sound with the Fuchs.I don't own a Fuchs yet and haven't tried it. (I wouldn't want to steer you in the wrong direction!) The fuchs is the next amp that I will buy when I get out of debt, so I you know that I will try it ;) (but that's not going to help you out since I wont be buying the fuchs anytime soon lol!! :D )

    To my ears, the driver used in the axetrak reminds me of a v30 speaker and I'm not sure how that would work with the fuchs. That said, if you aren't looking to gun the amp and you only want to push it moderately, then the Randall or demeter would work wonders for you. I would personally go for the demeter over the randall because I didn't care for the Randall. Sure, you can add auralex to the Randall but why should you have to, especially at the price they are asking?
     
  11. Ed DeGenaro

    Ed DeGenaro Supporting Member

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    Smooth, gainy amp I prefer on the Red Fang miked with a Beta 56, low gain stuff on the V30 with either a 57 or a 609.
     
  12. tedjac

    tedjac Guest

    Thanks for the input. I guess I basically just want to take the edge off at moderate volume, so, one of the iso cabs will probably do the trick. I'll be putting in my speaker and mic of choice, so which ever cab ends up being the best for the application will get hired. I love my Fuchs, but I need to tame it just a tad and then it will sing during recordings. You'd think that 30 watts would be OK... It is pretty loud, especially through two fairly effecient 12 inch speakers! When I use the master to bring it down, it just loses a little bit of that special singing quality that I bought the amp for. I'm sure that in a "live" setting in a small to moderate venue, this amp would absolutely kill! For recording in a small home studio, for my taste it could use a bit of help quieting down.

    Ted
     
  13. I play in a church that seats over 3000 and use the Demeter SSC-1 silent speaker with a Shure KSM44. Is it completely silent, well no, however it allows me to crank and I mean crank my amp up. I get singing notes with infinite sustain and tons of complex harmonics. I do like to have the iso cab nearby because it still reacts to my guitar/pickup better when closer. I play either my Bogner XTC or Egnater ie4 - VHT TWO/FIFTY/TWO in to two SSC-1's. The first time I played at church three sound engineers and the music director came up to me and said "what are you using?" It's the BEST tone we have heard here. I would like to install the Celestion G12-65 (I think it would be warmer than the V30)

    Lincoln Brewster uses a POD XT Live direct but had a VOX AC30 1-12" at a low level for monitor. I prefer just to dime my amp :D
     
  14. Dirge

    Dirge Member

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    I'm thinking about putting a Tonker in my Randall ISO box. I know it's a loud speaker but I'm hoping it will work well with the compression you get from running an inclosed speaker. Plus it can take anything I can throw at it.

    I agree with wsaraceni and have my ISO cab in the closet, covered with blankets. I still need to get a GRAMMA pad for it. I use it mostly as a load to bring my overall volume down. I like to hear the speaker in the room when I practice.

    If you use a directional mic it helps keep the boominess down.
     
  15. bluestein

    bluestein Member

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    I've tried everything possible to bring down stage volume - the best solution for me was an iso cab.

    The one I use I chose because it looks like an actual cab - in my case a small 2 x 12 Fender bassman/bandmaster from the mid 60's.

    www.beaverbottoms.com

    The company also makes cabs to look like vox, marshall, bogner - whatever you want.

    I changed the internal mic mount to an suspension mount to eliminate the possibility of microphonics from the enclosure. I eventually settled on a Jensen speaker - good power handling capacity and good tone for my application. And the good 'ol 57 still sounds best to me.

    You can still hear some sound coming from the cab - but it's very low in volume. I could probably eliminate much of that with mass loaded vinyl...but the weight would go way up.
     
  16. Randy

    Randy Member

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    Interesting that they angled the baffle board in their design. I wonder how it compares to a traditional straight baffle board? I have a couple of homemade ones in the Randall / Demeter style which work pretty well but the boxy tone is definitely an issue. I loaded one with a V30 which works much better then the other which has a G12H30 - I would say you want a mid-heavy speaker to overcome the boxiness as much as possible.
     
  17. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    Moving blankets are a cheap and easy way to isolate your amp if your in a studio or practice space. I built a control box out of a wood frame and 6 moving blankets that I bought on EBAY for $40. I set a Shure 57 right next to the speaker, and I can't hear the difference between the iso box and my studio. The sound is still noticable in the room, but it cut the volume way down. I'm going to spring for some more moving blankets to see how quiet I it can get.
     
  18. Randy

    Randy Member

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    That's a great idea - how big is the wood frame?
     
  19. tacorivers

    tacorivers Silver Supporting Member

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    Its about 4 x 10 x 5. I also use it as a desk with a very large door on top of the box. I know its strange, but I inherited both when I moved into my house.

    You could also use PVC piping as the frame. The interior space doesn't need to be that big. I can fit a 2x12 into mine.
     
  20. Randy

    Randy Member

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    I tried an experiment with my ISO cabs this morning for anyone interested... Mine are 18" X 18" X 30", with the lid on the end. I thought that the boxy tone must be coming from that lack of air movement in the sealed box. So I recorded a clip with the lid off and then with it back on. To my surprise it actually sounded worse with the lid off. With the lid on it was tighter and smoother, but the boxy mids didn't change much at all either way.

    I still have some more experimenting to do but my preliminary conclusion is that it's the tube like effect of having a 12" speaker in an 18" wide and deep enclosure that creates the boxiness, not the lack of air movement. Maybe obvious to most folks but an eye opener to me.
     

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