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This has blown my mind!

5F6-A

Member
Messages
2,814
Same speakers, same amp, same guitar, same player, same configuration... vastly different tone. Why on Earth? :huh :huh :huh

 

Stikoun

Member
Messages
412
Same speakers, same amp, same guitar, same player, same configuration... vastly different tone. Why on Earth? :huh :huh :huh

I don't have an answer to this question, but it mirrors my experience. A couple of weeks ago, me and a friend have done a similar test, we just didn't record it. We had several amp heads and three 4x12 cabs, all with V30s. With each head, we did an A/B/C test with the cabs, quickly switching back and forth between them. The difference in tone was so vast that you would swear that they must be different speakers. That all said, the were different in a way. One cab had the speakers barely broken in, one had well broken in Chinese V30s that were a couple of years old, and one had some 90s UK V30s. Two of those cabs were (supposedly) the exact same model!

I said I didn't have an answer, but that doesn't mean I don't have some theories regarding what factors can influence the resulting tone.

- Speaker break-in, obviously. I can't believe there are some people who doubt such a thing exists.

- There might be slight differences between the materials/technologies used during different years of production, which may result in not-so-slight differences in tone.

- The construction of the cab - again, I'm stating the obvious here, but I think it needs to be said.
 
Messages
4,530
I used to have a 1971 Orange 4x12. I bought it unloaded and put new V30s in it.

In the same month, a friend of mine bought a new Orange 4x12, also loaded with V30s.

We AB’d those cabs and were astonished at how different they sounded. Same dimensions and materials, same amp, same speakers (with date codes within a few months), same play time on the speakers, sitting in the same practice space. They sounded notably different.
 

macmax77

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,632
Time of the amp on and different current and heat values.

I know , I know nothing but I sounded like Einstein there!
 

hogy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
13,028
I'm kinda surprised that this surprises people. Back in the day when vintage Marshall cabs where ubiquitous and we got to play a bunch of them, everybody knew that no two sounded alike. Wood matters a great deal, even if it's plywood. A friend of mine used to tap the cabs with a small hammer to decide which ones sounded best. He didn't even need an amp, and he was right most of the time.
 

Seal

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
598
Everything matters, even the grill cloth. But my vote would be for 1kg of pixie dust in the vintage cab.
I was thinking about the grill cloth as I have two Fryette cabs, same model, swapped speakers to same different brand and they sound a bit different.

One cab was made during the VHT era before the company became Fryette and the grill cloth is a different pattern.

I’ll have to pull the grill frames and do an A/B test that way.
 

John Quinn

Member
Messages
1,311
I'm kinda surprised that this surprises people. Back in the day when vintage Marshall cabs where ubiquitous and we got to play a bunch of them, everybody knew that no two sounded alike.
It's the same these days - and back in the late 1960s was the time engineers figured out that in all speaker cabinets - one of the speakers would sound better than the others. As to the wood of a cabinet - that can hold true to a small extent - a rigid Burch cabinet that is glued and screwed together properly will sound a bit different than a Plywood Cabinet - but no cabinets construction can cause the treble difference as demonstrated in the OPs video. And the Grill Cloth can only cause that kind treble differentiation if it's not speaker fabric and some kind of non porous covering.

IMO the difference in the two cabinets are less gain - different mic position (could be the speaker that is mic'd is not good or on it's way out as well) - and perhaps insulation inside the cabinet. Speakers could also
be older and looser , along with a more rigid Soundboard in the Vintage cabinet - while the newer darker cabinet has a low quality particle soundboard and is not set in properly. In either case the bass should be the same in both cabinets and it's clearly not.

My point is there is nothing magical going on - and it's only a mystery to us because we can't inspect the cabinets.
 

chanley

Member
Messages
137
I heard a story about eric johnson "tuning" his cabinet where he kept moving the screws around on the back cover, (I don't know if it was a closed or open back), until he got it the way he liked it. I don't think my ears will ever be that good to hear something like that....
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
32,154
Tuning a speaker cab is a real thing.
Try it yourselves with porting, back coverage, insulating material, cabinet size and shape.
Thing is, most will sound ok and there is no one standard or optimal performance target for MI speakers.
 

fingertip

Squier to the Grand Funk
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
367
Tuning a speaker cab is a real thing.
Try it yourselves with porting, back coverage, insulating material, cabinet size and shape.
Thing is, most will sound ok and there is no one standard or optimal performance target for MI speakers.
For 25 years I assumed my homebuilt cab (see avatar) was disaster, but one day I pulled the back off and whoa! Instant vintage cab. Not for sale.
 

somecafone

Member
Messages
4,248
How many of y'all hear this as 'vastly different?'
I am listening on an iPhone.
No Buds or anything. Just the phone.
I can hear a difference, but I wouldn’t describe it as vast.

I would like to see a cab shootout.
2x12, 1x12, I don’t much care.
It would be easy to control the variables in construction.
Void-free birch, or pine a la Fender, open/semi/closed... compare apples to apples.
Not to cast aspersions on any buyer or seller, but is a Kerry Wright that much better than a Mather or Avatar, Stone Age, etc?
 

Dharmajester

Member
Messages
283
In my experience just as playing a bunch of same spec guitars provides differing individual results so it is with cabs.
Some are great , others not so much and some sound like they've a blanket over them regardless.
Grille cloth also makes a contribution.
I've also found with Marshall's ( probably the same with other makes but I've only experience with Marshalls) that cutting a new rear panel from stiff ply will tighten the sound giving the cab greater punch.
 




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