Stupid Curiosity Question

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by curt basner, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. curt basner

    curt basner

    May 11, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    I've always wondered why the typical bass speaker cabinet is covered in fabric, as compared to the typical guitar amp cab which is covered in Tolex or similar. First off, am I wrong that this is 'typical'? My Bergantino IP310 is pretty fuzzy! So, if I'm not wrong in thinking this is typical, why is this? Stupid question, I know, but one of those things I've always pondered...
  2. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Carpet is iMHO an excellent cabinet covering material. It's easy to take care of and resilient to the crud that comes along with our business.
  3. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    I think that when it was first introduced, it was said to wear better and be tougher than tolex. I had a 215 cab that I bought brand new 1989, that was covered in black ratfur. It lasted about 20 years of being in and out of a van before it started to get ratty looking and tear. I think the new thing now is truck bed liner and the like for toughness, although it needs to be applied correctly.
  4. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    They're not anymore.
    Pro level - Many are duratex
    Speaker Cabinet Coatings
    or some copy

    Many are tolex

    Too bad - I like the carpet. Velcro sticks. You can groom them if they get fuzzy.
    It can take a lot of abuse.
    I might be the only one left who likes carpet - aka rat fur. Fads change
  5. Rick Auricchio

    Rick Auricchio Registered Bass Offender

    Rat fur also allows a manufacturer to use a poorer grade of plywood for the cabinet. The carpet covers knot holes in the outer ply; tolex doesn't.
  6. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Almost all my stuff is carpet. I like it, easy to apply, tough, hides knicks and dings well. Downside is we play a lot of gigs outdoors and the gear always comes back stuck full of leaves, sticks, dirt etc. It brushes off though.
  7. RickenBoogie


    Jul 22, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I like the rat fur too, but all my current gear is tolex, some with rips already.
  8. will33


    May 22, 2006
    For my diy stuff, a friend of mine gave me a 100ft. roll of the silt fence material you see around contruction sites. Stuff is really tough and everything matches.:)
  9. dog1


    Dec 30, 2008
    I am also a fan of carpet. When applying it yourself it is somewhat forgiving. I have never had a tear in anything I have built.
  10. curt basner

    curt basner

    May 11, 2006
    Las Vegas, NV
    Thanks for all the responses, guys. It still leaves me baffled as to why this way of covering a cabinet seems to be limited to bass cabinets, as I've never seen a guitar cab with this covering. Anyone have a clue why THAT appears to be the case? It seems to me that it should have been equally applicable for all cabs, but it doesn't seem to be the case. Thoughts?
  11. Jason Brown

    Jason Brown

    May 1, 2000
    SLC, UT
    Just spitballin' here, but maybe it's because guitar cabinets have historically been more likely to be portable than bass cabs, and therefore less likely to be dragged against anything and getting damaged.

    I personally prefer tolex although my current cab is rat fur.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    it's because guitar gear is more "traditional", so you see more tolex whether it's a good idea or not.
  13. will33


    May 22, 2006
    There has been some rat fur guitar gear but it never really became common. Guitarists usually put a little higher value on "looks pretty".
  14. Morning Beer

    Morning Beer

    Oct 2, 2009
    I used to play with a guy who used a fender 4x12 that was covered in gray rat fur, I'm guessing it was a cab from the 80's -early 90's.

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