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Do guitar cabinet dimensions matter?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Electricblue, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    So, I'm building an Orange PPC2x12 cabinet clone, closed back, stereo.

    My Eminence Governor speakers have just come in the post, very nice indeed :D I'm just wondering if a guitar cabinet's dimensions matter that much?

    I know that bass cabs are very technical, with flat frequency responses and whatnot being the benchmark. I'm willing to have a unique tone and just a all-round good sound, putting it simply. :smug:

    So should I worry too much, or just stick to identical specs to the original? Any help would be greatly appreciated! :bassist:

    Here's a few links:

    My speakers, 2 of them.

    Eminence Governor Data Sheet.

    Orange PPC212 cab

    Thanks guys!
  2. uhdinator


    Apr 20, 2010
    Air volume, baffling has to be designed to accommodate the excursion of the speaker. If not the cab will not sound right.
    Could be to bass heavy, mushy or no bass and too much mid or hi if it's size is too large or small for the amount of air the driver displaces when it's working.
  3. Hi.

    IMHO/IME guitar speakers and cabs -especially sealed ones- are way trickier to build to specs than bass cabs.

    The reason being the total unpredictability of the result, since with bass cabs the speaker/cab isn't (usually) supposed to color the tone as much as it's expected on guitar cabs.

    On the guitar world, one goes by the endless trial and error "speaker rolling" or copies the setup of an another guitarist, if a specific tone is a goal.
    If just a different tone is the goal, just slap whatever You got in there and experiment.

  4. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    i read at some point that jim marshall himself said no. what he said was that as long as it's sturdy/rigid, that you have a good driver, and that it's mounted very well, you almost can't go wrong. i agree with this when you're making an open-back cab. and i do believe this marshall guy has sold a few cabs.
  5. this is why i like open back guitar cabs. not only do i think they sound BETTER, they tend to be consistent. ive played sealed guitar cabs from everyone, and they are either amazing or abysmal. meanwhile, every open back cab ive played was between incredible and pretty alright.
  6. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    Sealed, it matters. Open-back, not as much. Open-back needs to be large enough to fit, obviously, but the overall sixe of the baffle makes a bit of difference WRT low end if it's not totally stiff. Trying to use the baffle to affect the low end is a big gamble, though- wood's characteristics change over time and it may sound great at some point, but it won't be permanent, especially if it's solid wood or MDF. The depth of the cabinet affects how "boxy" it sounds.

    A driver has characteristics that are electrical and mechanical and these are used to calculate the box size when the box will be sealed or ported. If the speaker doesn't need to do bass in the range of it's free air resonance, making it in the "optimal" size isn't as critical as it would be if it was for a bass, woofer or subwoofer. If you make it in a size that's convenient and fits the number of speakers you need, it should be fine for guitar and in some cases, bass.

    I made a cabinet for an Altec 417B and it worked great. I decided to make a panel to seal it for playing bass and it worked really well for that, too. I assume that was a happy accident because at the time, I knew nothing about using the parameters to find the right internal volume.

    I'm not sure most bass cabs do flat response. That's hard enough in a perfect environment- impossible at extremely low frequencies with long wavelengths.
  7. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    Yeah, but most of the cabinets Marshall has sold over the years weren't open-back!
  8. basscooker

    basscooker Commercial User

    Apr 11, 2010
    cincy ky
    Owner, ChopShopAmps
    and they dont just throw them together either. i would figure they have a teeny bit more of a budget for r&d than than the OP, who stated he was going open back. i agree with the whole point you make, and like i said the article was fairly long, with him going into details, but i was appyling the relevant info. but at the same time, marshall has made so many different sized (yes, closed) 4x12 cabs, that i'd say for the most part, it's way less imporant to get out the abacuss, slide rule, crystal ball and ouija board to build one that will sound good.
  9. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
    Ok, my first idea was to keep it open-back, but I want a nice solid low end on my sound. I heard that closed-back cabs are more bassy than open-back cabs.

    It doesn't say on the Eminence spec sheet if the Governor is better in a sealed or open back cab. What about semi-open back? Best of both worlds?

    Also, my fear with an open-back design is the risk of the drivers moving more than they should. Am I mad or is there some sense there?
  10. Electricblue


    Feb 1, 2011
  11. Hi.

    True to an extent, physics can't be bent, but the driver itself plays greater role in it IME.

    No such thing exist outside guitarist lingo, it's called a ported enclosure. Peavey does love baffle ports because those are the cheapest to manufacture. Inferior in any imaginable way as well, obviously.

    Too small sealed cab does limit the excursion, but driving the guitar speaker into the non-linear and/or over-excursion territory is the sole reason guitarists usually don't use PA cabs, they use guitar cabs/speakers.

    That's one of the reasons guitar speakers get the mic, and the bass speakers don't. And quite rightly so if You ask me.


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