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  1. #1

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    I've always thought of open back cabs as having an "airier" sound with more spread resulting from reflected sound while I think close back cabs tend to be smoother and more "immediate" sounding. I thought I'd through it out to this group since so many of us play at relatively low volume a lot. What's everyone's preference and feelings about cabs: open back of closed back?

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  3. #2

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    Or ported?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Or ported?
    I was just thinking the exact same thing as I opened your post. I guess the reason that I posed it as open or closed is because I've been looking at the new little Mesa Boogie 1x10 cabs and they come in both open and closed versions.

  5. #4

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    The open airy sound is exactly what I like about an open back cab. The Lil' Dawg Wonderdawg 14 watt in a princeton reverb sized cab with a Weber 12F150 gives me a really wonderful set of tonal options at a very modest volume...

  6. #5

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    After some – not scientific – trials with different cabs I ended to a conclusion, that I wish to hear open back sound of a 12" speaker. Or two of them.

    Of course this is mostly result of years of playing with 12" speakers thru open cabs, nothing else.

    It's my mileage, Yours might vary!

  7. #6

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    I think it can depend on the amp. For example, I prefer a closed back cab with a Fender 6G6 (brown face) Bassman, but an open back with most tweed amps, including the 5F6-A Bassman.

  8. #7

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    I have Quilter open and closed cabs both with the same 12" Neo speaker. For low volume I prefer open for the 'sound in the room'. I would describe closed as having a little 'tighter' bass, which is good at higher volumes with arch top. They both sound great in very slightly different ways. The closed is more sensitive to angle and where you are in the room. Open is a little more homogenous.

    But I'm also like Herbie. After decades of using them, 12" speaker in open back is what I think of when I think of guitar amp, even with several years of 8 and 10.

    I also have Mesa open combo amp and closed cab. I think those little 10" cabs would be really good. They make great stuff.

  9. #8

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    3 amps. The Peavey C30 and the Twin are open the Mesa Rosette is closed. The Twin and the Mesa both work at bedroom volume, it’s a ToneMaster. The Mesa while it works very well at low volumes is a bit problematic. Mesa describes the dispersion pattern as 90deg vertical and 75deg horizontal. I have noticed that I need to adjust at what angle and distance I sit to hear those 2x8s and tweeter correctly. Not an issue with the open back Twin. The Peavey really is too loud for bedroom play.

    I call the Mesa a closed back but there is a 1” gap between the bottom of the chassis and the top of the back panel.
    Last edited by TedBPhx; 09-26-2020 at 01:29 PM.

  10. #9

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    an open back cab is much more forgiving regarding speaker choice...a closed back cab has to be closely matched in dimension to the speaker characteristics, otherwise soundwave problems can occur....same with ported cabs..the port size design has to be just right

    i like the sound of open back cabs...i find them more inherently musical since they mix with the surroundings more..a closed back cab is tighter and more directional

    here's a nice overview by guitar gear author dave hunter-

    Dave’s Corner: Don’t Ignore The Speaker Cab | Reverb News

    cheers

  11. #10

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    Definitely open back, I can fit two cables, an AC/DC converter, a small pack of assorted picks, capo and two granola bars in the back of my Peavey transtube 1 X 12. Things I would normally have left sitting on the counter as I rushed off for the gig.

  12. #11

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    I think open back typically requires a larger front panel surface area to sound good than a well designed closed back or ported cabinet. I usually grab my ported amp when I’m playing away from home, since it’s smaller and lighter. My open back cabinets have tube amps though, which really adds weight.

    I prefer the sound of an open back cabinet if I’m in a fairly small and/or acoustically dead room since the sound from the back helps fill the room and helps me hear myself, especially if space is tight where I’m really close to the cabinet.

    When using a closed back cabinet, I like to position it several feet behind me so I can hear the direct sound of the cone mixed with some reflections from the floor and room. If playing loud or in an acoustically live room it’s easier to control feedback with a closed back cabinet. In an acoustically live room an open back cabinet can couple to the room and guitar in less predictable ways.

    Bottom line: My choice of cabinet depends more on the acoustics of the bandstand and practical matters than how the cabinet itself sounds. If practical matters weren’t an issue my favorite cabinet is a Fender Twin Reverb.

  13. #12

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    Open for 12s
    Closed for 10s
    Ported 8"

    My Evans RE200 is closed with a 10" Eminence...but....when I use the extra cabinet with it, that cabinet is open with the same 10" Eminence - so I guess it's a little of both.

    My Ear Candy Mr Watts clone (8" Eminence Alpha) is ported and is powered by a Quilter 101R

    The closed back seems a little more 'focused' to me.

  14. #13

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    I've always used open back for gigs. It's my perception that the sound is more spread out compared to closed-back amps, so I can hear myself better and my bandmates can too.

    My closed-back Quilter Aviator works fine at home or for rehearsals

  15. #14

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    Jim,
    Are you planning for more recording, more (hopeful) gigs, or what?

    [You're looking at 10's? I have a Raezer's Edge Stealth 10 and the first-version Barefaced 1x10 -- both great cabs!]

    Marc

  16. #15

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    For gigging with a carved-top guitar I much prefer closed back cabs, either ported or sealed. Better feedback control beats out other considerations for me, although I happen to like the sound of the cabs I use.

    Danny W.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by marcwhy
    Jim,
    Are you planning for more recording, more (hopeful) gigs, or what?

    [You're looking at 10's? I have a Raezer's Edge Stealth 10 and the first-version Barefaced 1x10 -- both great cabs!]

    Marc
    More recording? Definitely. More gigs? Kind of depends on what happens with Covid. It's at least possible here. But importing to here has become difficult. There's a very reputable cab builder here in Halifax (Greenbased Design) and I'm planning to have him build me something based on the concept of the Mesa 1x10. I like the idea of supporting a small local builder as well. I'm pretty sure it will be open back after giving it some thought. What I'm going to use for an amp remains something of a mystery but that should happen soon enough. In the mean time a friend is going many extra miles of generosity to loan me a head.

    BTW, I took this photo this afternoon. It's from the park that will be right outside our back yard after we move next Friday.

    Open back or closed back?-shubie-jpg

  18. #17

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    Beautiful!!

  19. #18

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    It's really a combination of all things speaker, size of cab, and amp itself.
    All can be great or terrible depending on individual tastes and application.

    2x12" open, 1x12" Neodymium closed back, 1x12" larger cab open back

    These are my tastes!