Isolation Cabinets - opinions/experiences?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by marinblues, Jan 12, 2008.


  1. marinblues

    marinblues Member

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    I am thinking of getting an iso-cab for recording at home.

    I have done a some searching on the board and I don't see many comments about them.

    Any opinions/experiences out there?


    thanks in advance.

    Marin
     
  2. rob2001

    rob2001 Member

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    The main reasons I understand for using an iso cab would be to record loud without irritating the neighbors or to keep mic bleed out of a mix if all the instruments are in the same room. You generally don't want guitar spilling into the drum mics unless you want that sound. Also if you record in a tin garage you don't want that nasty room sound in the mix either. But a close 57 will here way more speaker than room. Perhaps there are some sonic characteristics that are cool but but if it was far better i'd think they would be much more popular and widely used.
     
  3. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    I've been using an AxeTrak and I'm nuts about it. Maybe it's not as nice as a great cab miked with a great mic, but for being able to play a real amp cranked in a bedroom project studio and getting consistently good results without pissing off the neighbors, I think it sounds fine. Certainly better than any of my other options, anyway.
     
  4. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    The AxeTrak will actually take 75 watts or so - you can hit it pretty hard with some seriously large amps to get the sound you want from them. But agreed, a great mic on the other side of moving air will sound better. That's just not really an option for me in my recording projects here at Chateau Decayo Studios, sadly...
     
  5. aleclee

    aleclee TGP Tech Wrangler Staff Member

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    That's my experience as well.
     
  6. jkr

    jkr Supporting Member

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    Axe Track sounds better than the demeter iso cab I use to have, is a fraction of the size and weight and is cheaper. I can't believe it doesn't get more press.
     
  7. Reissueplayer

    Reissueplayer Member

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    I have a Demeter Iso-cab and I quite like it for several reasons. Being quiet enough isn't one of them though. It still gets a bit too loud for recording in an apartment.

    On the plus side, I'd have to mention that changing speakers and listening to them being recorded this way has taught me a lot about how they sound and react. Even though listening reveals an annoying standing wave in the cabinet, I have never experieced this as a problem in the actual recordings.

    I've also brought it to gigs where in-ear monitoring was required and this worked fine. Should you need some physical sound, you could always open the hatch if all else fails. The solution was popular with the sound guy.

    I don't record that much guitar at home anymore, and when I do, I tend to use the Palmer PDI-03 instead. It is absolutely quiet, but the results are consistent and predictable every time. I have also used Palmers on live gigs and for clean funk gigs this has produced better results in the PA than miked up solutions. With good sound engineers, this is probably not an issue, but as we vary in our musical ability, so do they.

    If varying speakers isn't important to you, try out the Palmer PDI03. It sells for less and produces good results, even with overdriven tones.
     
  8. marinblues

    marinblues Member

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    The Axetrak looks very interesting.

    I am reading that the speaker is a custom built 6" Eminence. What kind of frequency response does it have? Does it remind you of any other speaker you have used?

    thanks.


    Marin
     
  9. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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  10. marinblues

    marinblues Member

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    thanks for posting this, it was very usefull.

    Is the Axetrak dead silent i.e. do you need run it through your soundcard to be able to hear anything?

    thanks

    M.
     
  11. Edmundo

    Edmundo Supporting Member

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    I've been using my two home made iso-cabs for over 10 years, in the studio, garage, and live (the largest venue being through a 78,000 watt P.A. for street dance out in the middle of Iowa), and they work fantastic. Sometime this next winter, I'm going to build a 2x10 iso-cab, wired for two mics, and with a speaker phase switch. :AOK
     
  12. ebenezer

    ebenezer Supporting Member

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    I have a Demeter Iso-cab and couldn't be happier! It really solved the problem of playing in small venues where stage volume was a problem. I just recently played at a church where it is in-ear monitors with no stage volume but the drums and the usual guitarist came up afterward dumbfounded by my tone. He asked what I was using. I had my Star Sirius 30 head plugged into the Demeter and that was it! Anyway I used to own a Palmer and just could not get those same results. Nothing sounds like a cranked amp going into a speaker. They where made for each other so why tamper with perfection?
     
  13. TopDog

    TopDog "jumping the valence" Silver Supporting Member

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    Edmundo,

    Can you post a pic or explain it's construction?
    Thanks
     
  14. rburkard

    rburkard Gold Supporting Member

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    I bought an AXE Trak several years ago right when they came on the market. I did like the sound at all and did not use it anymore. Several months ago I heard that they made a lot of changes to the components they are using and they offered to upgrade my old version to recent specs for only $140. I sent them my unit and they replaced the speaker, the microphone, improved the damping, enlarged the vent and built in a switch that decreases high end response. All I can say is that these changes improved the sound in a stunning way. It is hard to believe that you can easily emulate sounds that resemble closely a well miked 4x12" cabinet. Great product and significantly better sounding than any direct recording solutions out there be it from Palmer or even the Sequis Motherload. Big thumps up here.
    Rene
     
  15. Edmundo

    Edmundo Supporting Member

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    It's basically a 18"D x 18"W x 30"H box. Cut up a sheet of 3/4" AC plywood, deck screws and glue hold it all together, mount a speaker in the middle using a baffle, mount a flex boom with a mic clip to the inside above the speaker, cut out an access flap and re-attach it with hinges, glue in a bunch of camping foam...it ain't that tuff. You can get fancy and cover it with carpet or tolex, or just leave it be.

    The two that I made, one was internally vented and the other was sealed. The sealed one had a good amount of solid low end warmth that came through the mic. The vented one sounded a lot looser through the mic like an open-back combo.
     
  16. decay-o-caster

    decay-o-caster Member

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    Not dead silent - there is a speaker in there, after all, so while the sound-proofing is excellent, you can tell something's playing if you walk into the room. But to get a sense of what it sounds like at the mic, you need it to be going into your board or soundcard or what-have-you. I hear it much louder thru the studio monitors than I do from the actual air it's moving anyway.
     

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