Are sealed cabs recommended for tubes heads?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by PaperbackRyder, Nov 26, 2022.

  1. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    Are sealed cabs the choice for a classic tubes head?
    I am thinking classic SVT, V4, Showman heads. The original cabs for these heads were all sealed, given the available tech in those days...
    IDK the tech details, but something to do with damping factor, cone control etc. SO...
    Do tube heads work best with sealed cabs? If so, is it because the speaker cones aren't as free to move in a sealed cab, as they are in a ported design...and tube heads were designed with this in mind? Thanks.
  2. Mostly.... it depends, I think.....

    I do like my V4B and AD200B with my sealed cabs, but they also sound good thru my Bassman 115s, which are ported cabs
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    FYI, Ported cabs can be designed to work well with tube amps.

    I have some Genz Benz 1288Ts that get along with all of my tube amps. These cabs are voiced to be somewhat warm and they are not hyper-focused. The lows are very even, with all of my tube amps.

    I also have a pair of EV TL405s loaded with EVM18Bs. I think they sound better than the GB1228Ts with some of my tube amps. My vintage SVTs sound great through these cabs. They don't work well with all tube amps though. With an Aguilar DB359 they have a resonance at G#1 (about 52hz). The resonance is not horrible, but it gets on my nerves.

    My understanding is the resonance corresponds to the upper peak in system impedance.

    This chart shows the impedance with the standard tuning. My cabs are tuned lower in step-down mode, which I believe would alter this curve somewhat.
    Notice there is an impedance peak in the mid 50hz range.

    The best advice is try before you buy. I would not recommend totally avoiding all ported cabs, as you may miss a really great amp/cab combination.
    Arthur U. Poon likes this.
  4. There’s no hard, fast rules. It comes down to your ears and needs.
    I will say that sensitivity is important if you want loudness from low wattage. Also, more speakers does louder.
    bobyoung53 and Bill Whitehurst like this.
  5. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    It depends. There are ported cabinets designed with close to critical damping that work quite well with tube amps, there are also a few sealed cabinets with very low damping that perform pretty poorly.
    Zooberwerx, Murch, bobyoung53 and 3 others like this.
  6. two fingers

    two fingers Opinionated blowhard. But not mad about it. Inactive

    Feb 7, 2005
    Eastern NC USA
    I prefer either a sealed cab or a high pass filter in front of the amp. That's personal preference though.
  7. mikeswals

    mikeswals Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    Mesa's cabs that accompanied their tube heads have always been ported (except for the rare very-very short lived Traditional 810)
    agedhorse and levis76 like this.
  8. levis76

    levis76 Defender of the Low Ender Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2007
    Metro Detroit
    I can confirm that. I had some Diesel series cabs, 410s and 115s, and those are all ported and sounded fantastic with the 400+.
    mikeswals likes this.
  9. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    SVT heads are pretty tight even with a good ported cab but yeah the sealed cab does make them "quicker" but I'll use them with ported B-15 cabs sometimes and they sound good. Any good tube head should sound good with either if they're also good. The original Showman cabs weren't very rigid and didn't control the cones as well as Ampeg cabs, Ampegs were made with thick 9 ply plywood, the Fenders I think were particle board, so you can't really make blanket statement like that. I had drinks fall off the top of many Fender cabs back in the day, never from an Ampeg cab.
  10. twinfallsbass

    twinfallsbass Supporting Member

    Jan 24, 2005
    I thought so until tried my Orange AD200B through some Orange 15 cabs, those are ported.
    rodl2005, Plastalmonus and Wasnex like this.
  11. have to be completely honest here.....and keeping in mind that I have been fortunate enough to play nearly every brand on the market...but I have come to the realization that sealed cabinets are the way to go. Right now I am playing an Ampeg V4B with the 2X12 cabinet and couldn't be happier - both for the less weight (old man) but more importantly, the tone. However, when it comes to needing a tad more "umnmph", I go with my Acoustic 370 and 402 cab (loaded with Eminence 15s). But as in everything, YMMV.... Happy Holidays!!
  12. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    I was under the impression that the Acoustic 402 was ported, not sealed?
  13. Indeed! The 402 is ported....but I rarely use it any longer. I prefer the Ampeg rig..but yes, occasionally I need to go a little "bigger" so that's when I grab the 402 and the 370. As for the weight as listed above for the 402 cab - Either I have learned to handle it better or the weight is not correct...yes, when I changed out the original speakers with the eminence speakers it did increase the weight but (although I can't swear to it) before hand, it felt light as all get out.......weird..
  14. Reeves makes a 4-10 (sealed) and a 1-15(ported) I have the 15s and they match very well. These cabs were modeled roughly between the Sun 2-15 and Orange 1-15.
    Bass Cabinets - Reeves Amplification
    PaperbackRyder likes this.
  15. PaperbackRyder

    PaperbackRyder Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2007
    Maynard, MA
    Thanks everyone!
    Wasnex likes this.