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Do cabinet coverings really effect sound?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Warr Tapper, Nov 21, 2006.

  1. Warr Tapper

    Warr Tapper Inactive

    Sep 17, 2006
    I have read a few claims that different cabinet coverings (Tolex, Rat Fur, and Spray On "Dr. Bass" type) effect sound. I was wondering if any of you guys thought this was true, or have even heard this claim from any manufacturer? Personally I have tried all 3 and haven't noticed anything.
  2. ChenNuts44


    Nov 18, 2001
    Davenport, IA
    Although I'm sure you'll find some people who answer yes, I'm going to throw out a great big no. Assuming the cabinet is well constructed, covering will only affect the look, feel, and durability (and weight in the case of the spray-on bed liner stuff)
  3. ric426

    ric426 In my defense, I was left unsupervised. Supporting Member

    Mar 27, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I think that it's one of those aspects of tone that you can pick out if you're playing solo and looking for it, but the differences get lost in a live or studio mix. I bet the more solidly the cabinet itself in made, the less you'd hear the difference too, because the walls are stiffened to reduce unwanted vibrations.
    Personally, I'd rather have a vinyl or spray on covering than the black "carpeting" that most companys use, but that's because we have a Golden Retriever and if you have a Golden, *everything* gets fur on it.
  4. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    What about the grills (metal, cloth, none, etc...)
  5. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    With tongue planted firmly in cheek: I have noted that Rat Fur can become oppressively funky after exposure to smoke, beer, sweat, etc.

    Understanding that the nose and ears are part of an integrated system that include the sinuses and eustachian tubes, one might argue that standing too close to a malodorous Rat Fur-clad cab for too long could have a cumulative effect on one's hearing proportional to the assaut on one's sense of smell: perhaps there is a correlation between a cabinet's covering and its sound after all. ;)
  6. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    I haven't heard of any manufacturers making such claims, but anything is possible and I'm sure someone will attempt to con us about it. Guitar players are likely to fall for it first. Maybe some cabinet builder will find a stash of tolex from the 60s and try to market it as having a vintage sound.
  7. bmc


    Nov 15, 2003
    Snakeskin adds mojo.
  8. Of course it affects the sound just the same as 'Go faster stripes' down the sides of cars makes them go faster.
  9. Warr Tapper

    Warr Tapper Inactive

    Sep 17, 2006

    Yeah, I hear that. I have heard it from a couple of manuf. ,but I don't want to name brands in fear of casuing another argument,
  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    If the manufacturer has to stoop to that level to try to make a sale look elsewhere. The only covering I've ever seen that could make a real claim of that sort is the old Kustom tuck-and-roll naugahyde, which was effective in damping cabinet wall vibration.
  11. no covers dont effect anything, however tweed grills give you a more vintage sound where as chrome grills have a sharper more modern sound.. the black stuff with round holes in it gives a nice round sound and the material mesh gives a even flat response.
  12. Warr Tapper

    Warr Tapper Inactive

    Sep 17, 2006


    I am not claiming to buy into this topic. I have just heard about it a couple times, and thought it was nonsense.
  13. LouisV


    May 19, 2006
    mill valley, CA
    the heck with fur vs spray-on vs plastic coverings! Why are most cabs/amps black? Is it a secret vampire/goth thing? I bet that color absorbs so much sound. I painted a speaker baffle red on one my cabs (keeping the outside black) and all of a sudden, with this combination of red & black, it sounded totally anarchistic. Man, next it's a pentagram....
    & yes cars with race stripes do go faster & ones with flames are just too hot.
  14. bebass

    bebass Sho Me Music Commercial User

    Sep 3, 2006
    Bolivar, Missouri
    Authorized dealer for Bergantino, Dingwall, Genzler, Phil Jones Bass, Cort, Traynor
    I'm surprised at you folks lack of technical acumen.
    If the acoustitude of a covering is less that .4 newtons per sq m (as referenced to p, 2x10(9) N/sq m then the waves below 200 hz are proportionately affected by the square of the surface area of the covering minus the acoustitude specification.
    Therefore rat fur sucks and spray-on covering sounds much better! Er... smells much better.
  15. Wesley R

    Wesley R Gold Supporting Member

    Used to (way back) talk about the outside covering stopping unwantedvibrations from the cabinet.
    I really think that by the time you add keys, guitars, drums etc. any such affect (or effect) would not be noticeable.

    Best of Luck,
    Wesley R.
  16. JanusZarate

    JanusZarate Low End Avenger

    Feb 21, 2006
    Petaluma, CA, USA
    Most cabs and amps are black because it's a fairly neutral color that anyone can be generally satisfied with. It's not easy to market a neon-green cab :meh:

    ...all right, fine, you got me. It IS a vampire/goth thing. ;)
  17. what are you talking about,.
  18. Warr Tapper

    Warr Tapper Inactive

    Sep 17, 2006
  19. no i was just carrying the sarcasm :D
  20. lonotes

    lonotes A place for everything, & everything out of place

    Oct 15, 2003
    Port Richey,FL
    Diamond shaped, expanded metal grilles exhibit a more crystalline tone. :rolleyes:

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