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Speaker cabs as choose your own tone shaping?

Messages
155
Anyone have any stories about how you use different speaker cabs to get specific types of sound you're chasing, as a swap and go type of affair?

For instance, with my Rectoverb 25 combo - if I'm doing something where I need a more gentle breakup, a bit less punchyness and a warmer sound out of it (but wanting the overall tone of the ROV25), I'll run it through a 1960ax cabinet. But if I'm looking for the opposite I'll run it with it's own speaker and a 1x12 extension cab with another Fillmore in it.

My Egnater tweaker 15 is set up as a warm clean amp, running 6L6s and the highest headroom but relatively warm preamp tubes I could find. The gain control basically just fattens the sound up until you're the other side of 12 o'clock where it then starts to get a bit dirty. Great for relatively low key jazzy stuff.

It's also great for more low key bluesy stuff - but the stock speaker in the combo is quite dark and it gets a bit lost in that sort of mix. So if I want to use it for that, I run a 2x12 cab with Eminence Legends in it as an extension speaker, which adds some background brightness without destroying the actual tone of the amp.

Same with my VM2266 - it lives with Greenbacks, but if I need more mids for a particular thing, add a V30 loaded cab as an addition to the 1960ax.

For a long time I thought it was just me being weird, but I've noticed some friends doing the same thing and making some interesting choices with their combinations.

Does anyone else have any "Hmmm, I'll need this amp and that cab to do this particular thing with" stories?

Interested to hear the combinations you use to get the particular sound your after.
 

Corinthian

Member
Messages
1,895
Not quite the same thing, but I just picked up a Two-Notes Torpedo Live and I'm having a lot of fun playing the same amp through a variety of virtual cabinets for different applications.

It's an area of tone shaping that is quite neglected, but I don't think it's because people are unaware of the tone shaping possibilities, mostly just because having multiple cabinet options takes up a lot of space, is not always possible (for example I'd love to hear a Plexi cranked through a Celestion blue, but try that without blowing it up!) and also buying a new cab isn't as exciting as buying a new amp.

That said I think there is something to the idea that people see one amp as having a specific sound and finding the ideal cab for that sound. Maybe it doesn't occur to people to explore the other options.

At the moment I'm enjoying my Komet 60 through IRs of a vintage Marshall basket weave cabinet with original greenbacks. It also sounds pretty good through a Vox cab with celestion blues or Vox silvers.
 

Abram4235

Member
Messages
5,067
Not quite the same thing, but I just picked up a Two-Notes Torpedo Live and I'm having a lot of fun playing the same amp through a variety of virtual cabinets for different applications.

It's an area of tone shaping that is quite neglected, but I don't think it's because people are unaware of the tone shaping possibilities, mostly just because having multiple cabinet options takes up a lot of space, is not always possible (for example I'd love to hear a Plexi cranked through a Celestion blue, but try that without blowing it up!) and also buying a new cab isn't as exciting as buying a new amp.

That said I think there is something to the idea that people see one amp as having a specific sound and finding the ideal cab for that sound. Maybe it doesn't occur to people to explore the other options.

At the moment I'm enjoying my Komet 60 through IRs of a vintage Marshall basket weave cabinet with original greenbacks. It also sounds pretty good through a Vox cab with celestion blues or Vox silvers.
That's actually is a great point. Switching cabs around depending on the application or result needed must be a common practice especially with all of amp cab modelers available today.

I recently switched out a Celestion Seventy 80 for a Celestion Gold in a black star extension cab I use with a Two Rock Exo15 and noticed that the bass frequencies were greatly increased. I think it was so noticeable though because my ear had been tuned to that Seventy 80 sound for so long. And I think that happens a lot, we can tell a difference which will help us play better but it may not be immediately noticeable to the audience. That being said I think it's still worth it to change the cabs out even if we are the only ones who notice.

The only change I have made other than the speaker was to make it an nopen-backed cab by removing a portion of the backing from the cab. I do think this made a nice difference that I notice and appreciate.

Also, since different cabs can be loaded with different speakers I think that alone is a good reason to keep a few cabs around for different applications. The number of speakers can also affect loudness and that will make your rig more flexible if you play at a lot of different sized venues.

Abe
 
Messages
155
What got me thinking about this was watching a friend who has used a modded Lonestar Classic head and a closed back V30 loaded 4x12 forever, playing in just about every type of band imaginable short of metal, hit a brick wall with a new part time band he's started playing in.

It plays a sort of ambient country blues, but pretty contemporary - think the type of background music you'd expect to hear if some big studio remade a blockbuster Western. Laid back style with dollops of reverb, bit of slide and subtle trem, on a just breaking up type of sound.

He sounded way too tight like the guitar was suffocating with his old cab, and voiced completely wrong for what he was trying to play. He was thinking about buying another amp (like, mate, you have a Lonestar! And you're trying to play a type of country blues!). I eventually convinced him to start stuffing around with different open back cabs. He ended up building one for himself and settled on a pair of a WGS speakers - an ET-65 and a G12C.

Made a hell of a difference - like a completely different amp. The reverb trails are fuller, a full rounded bottom end perfectly evens out the quite bright and chimey top end. The gain can get a little grittier on the top end too, without it being unpleasant. A great match for the type of music.

Yet it sounds pretty ordinary when he turns the gain up, plugs in an LP and starts trying to play the Australian pub rock that's his bread and butter. For that it's back to the V30s

He was always a bit of a one amp, one cab type of guy who thought I was imagining things by changing cabs to get particular sounds. At least he doesn't think I'm nuts anymore.
 

snow and steel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,980
When doing some recent high gain recording with my Mesa Rectoverb 25 head I discovered under the spectrum analyzer that the Oversized Avatar "vintage" 1X12 I've been using is throwing out a TON of bass. So much so that when you hear it out of the context of the room and on an isolator [like an auralex] it almost was like having an overpowering bass overtone on everything. Now this cab sounds fantastic for blues and blues-rock because it helps bring out that "the amp is about to break" tone, but once high gain was involved it was a different story. We turned the bass down on the amp to 9 o'clock [only 1/4 the way up!] to get it to sound "normal" from the mic.

I'm now thinking I need to get the slightly smaller Mesa 1x12 mini recto cab - after all, the guys who designed both the amp and cab might have had a reason for designing things the way they did. They went slightly smaller - and I bet that would cut down on the "woof" of that bass.
 
Messages
155
When doing some recent high gain recording with my Mesa Rectoverb 25 head I discovered under the spectrum analyzer that the Oversized Avatar "vintage" 1X12 I've been using is throwing out a TON of bass. So much so that when you hear it out of the context of the room and on an isolator [like an auralex] it almost was like having an overpowering bass overtone on everything. Now this cab sounds fantastic for blues and blues-rock because it helps bring out that "the amp is about to break" tone, but once high gain was involved it was a different story. We turned the bass down on the amp to 9 o'clock [only 1/4 the way up!] to get it to sound "normal" from the mic.

I'm now thinking I need to get the slightly smaller Mesa 1x12 mini recto cab - after all, the guys who designed both the amp and cab might have had a reason for designing things the way they did. They went slightly smaller - and I bet that would cut down on the "woof" of that bass.
Never used an analyzer for that with my cabs - must put that on the bucket list!

Unfortunately the modern setting (or even the vintage setting past about 2 o'clock on the gain) can start getting a bit out of hand with the bass on any cab I've ever used - particularly if you're playing loud.

You'll probably get the same sort of experience with most cabs and the ROV25. With just the combo's Fillmore speaker I rarely set the bass above above 10 o'clock if there's any real gain involved (unless I'm playing some super thin vintage strat or tele). With an extension cab using another Fillmore speaker (It's the front ported Thiele cab), I turn it down half a notch again.

My 4x12's never see the bass of the ROV getting above about 9 o'clock. I have one that can be either open or closed back loaded with V30's, and even when it's open it doesn't seem to change the amount of bass that get's thrown out the front, but just makes it a bit looser with the low end (and, to be honest, pretty awful sounding).

If you get a Fillmore loaded mesa cab, you'll be able to give it a lot more bass before it starts getting woofy with a decent amount of gain (compared to a lot of other cabs), but way before then it starts sounding like there's just too much bass - even if the bass isn't falling to pieces.

The massive gap between the bass setting you can have clean and what you can get away with driven on the ROV just seems to be one of the peculiar Mesa things. A lot of amps have it, but just seems to be a lot larger with this thing.
 




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