Closed Back vs Open Back Cabs
Submitted by inmyhands on Tue, 06/17/2008 - 21:56
Cab design, (shape, baffle, type of sound targeted). Insulation in a cab affects the way the cone of the speaker moves forward and back while producing sound. Insulation reduces the motion, deaden any ambience, and create a very all about the speaker environment. Depending on your tonal goals this can be a help or a hardship.
There are other variations as well.
The closed back / front ported design is meant to blend the qualities of the first two designs. Porting the front of a cab restores the full motion of the speaker while keeping the full direction of sound strictly coming from the front of the cab. In this case internal sound reproduction is not released through the back of the cab as in the open back and does not result in an airy reverby type of ambience. Rather, the ambience produced is more in the form of a split second delay between the sound coming from the front of the speaker and the sound being released through the ports. These cabs tend to be loud, up front, less punchy or ballsy than closed back designs, but, regaining the 3D quality of an open back in a more forward focused format.
An insulated closed back design is taking the standard closed back one notch further away from the open back. This is a cab all about speaker voicing, deadening any ambience, and striving for a power and punch over everything else. If a closed back is considered ballsy an insulated closed back might be thought of as ballsier. Tightly focused front and center. All echo or ambience minimized and all punch, speaker voice characteristics, and forward focus maximized. Notes are tight and highly defined. Depending on what your going for this design can be a blessing or a hindrance. Depth results in Bass. Freedom of movement results in the production of treble. The closed back / insulated cab results in a subtraction of extreme low and high end. It focuses the tonality on the midrange. Now. This is not necessarily a bad thing. In the case of Hard Rock guitar tones this focus on the midrange, (at the expense of extreme highs and lows), keeps the focus on balls at any cost. For a player focused on a narrow and defined path to hard rock applications the insulated closed back cab might just be absolutely perfect.
#2 Closed Back / Ported Front.
#3 Closed Back.
#4 Insulated Closed Back.
While any of these cabs can sound great under the right circumstances, the closed back (4x12) cab is the tradition sound of Dino rock. Of the types discussed here, the #3 would be more classic '70s Dino and #4 would be more '80s Dino.
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