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Mario Pankov 13th October 2019 05:34 PM

Most guitar cabs designed poorly?
Got into this sometime ago and my first guitar stuff was not encouraging. Then I started looking around and I do not get it. Why are about 99% of the guitar cabs so poorly designed? Basically, you end up paying for a rectangular cabinet that is often a square baffle with the speaker right in the center and that`s it. On Ultimate Guitar ton of folks are discussing why one of the higher end manufacturers is putting polyfill in its sealed cabs and what effect this could have...I mean, in such a lame way this is discussed (i`m not trying to offend anyone) and thats something very simple in our world. Not even mentioning about baffle design, standing wave reduction and etc and on the bigger 12" cabs the baffle is wide so even a 12" will illuminate the edges at 800-1Khz of the ridiculously designed baffles and the guitar has some serious output there. Besides, the highly priced Celestions have serious breakups no one seems to address but my guess is this has to do with legato playing on the 4-5-6 strings which don`t have much sustain, so despite 3rd order distortion this might be somewhat desired.

It provoked me to start my own project and build my own cab but I wonder why is this so ignored?

leadbelly 13th October 2019 05:57 PM

They are fit for purpose. What perceived deficiency in tone are you trying to address?

JMFahey 13th October 2019 05:57 PM

Because Hi Fi cabinet "rules" do NOT , repeat NOT apply to guitar cabs.
Celestion wrote an article basically called: **FORGET** Thiele and Small.

And of course NO Tweeters or crossovers.

This is a beloved Celestion Guitar speaker frequency response, typical "British Sound".
Any "correction" is considered a sin, go figure:

This is an Eminence Legend typical "American sound", same considerations:

Galu 13th October 2019 06:00 PM

Yep, the traditional loudspeaker cabinet is as much an 'instrument' as the guitar itself!

Mario Pankov 13th October 2019 07:33 PM

Sorry, might have double posted...

First graph looks like a G12T75? But I don`t get it. The cab should represent your guitar`s tone. Why would you not:

- add backwave absoroption to reduce the smearing caused by the backwave wave leaving through the thin paper cone with a delay
- work out a cabinet where standing waves are reduced
- work out edge diffraction by offseting the guitar driver (roundeovers will be impractically large here) and reduce sharp edges
- use diffusors or irregular inner shape to further kill standing waves
- at least damp the driver`s basket? I use G12T75 with V30 and they`re at best mediocre designed compared to Scanspeaks and etc.

Of course Celestion will publish papers like this - the easier it is, the more drivers they`d sell. But to me - such material is marketing ****. And whatever they say I am pretty sure they know they`re wrong.

hitsware 13th October 2019 07:40 PM

Try playing through a hi-fi speaker and all will be revealed !

Mario Pankov 13th October 2019 07:42 PM

Thats not my point. A speaker will have a crossover in it and will expose the guitar`s higher range which is...well not to be exposed. But question is, why no one goes for perfection in a guitar cab - the way they are - just do some extra fiddling to make it better?

My understanding is, I grew with the sound of metal bands from the 80`s and 90`s. So today I try to replicate it. But they used **** cabs back then, so to replicate it i need a **** cab and thats a closed cycle. You cannot improve it just because it will sound different, even if better.

Fast Eddie D 13th October 2019 07:42 PM

The cabinet and peaky speaker are part of the tone. That peaky sound is cherished by many guitar players.

For perspective, run a line level source into your amp (if it has an appropriate input) and listen to a familiar piece of music.

Do not connect your guitar to your hi fi. It will be the last note you hear your tweeters play,

If you don't like it, then you can always change it. I see you're going to do that. Can I ask what your objective is?

Look at the tone stack too. Tone stacks are nothing like bass/mid/treble controls you might have on your hi fi.

Everything about a guitar amp and speaker is purpose designed. This doesn't mean you can't improve it. But you should have clear objectives before fiddling around.

krivium 13th October 2019 07:59 PM

From my experience as a studio engineer there is some points that could be 'better designed', mainly related to standing wave inside the cabinet ( for closed box design): i'm somewhat bored to spend time chasing this with eq.
Maybe make the cabinet much more rigid too. But honestly that is all i would do about it.
I know this is genre related* but 95% of time cabs are close miced so all the effort to try reduce diffraction may be benificial to your peace of mind, for the 'sound' it won't probably make a difference.
For the other 5% there is greater chance you'll pick floor ER than diffraction ( i sometimes use a distant electrostatic mic for 'solo' sound, positioned where i can have all the drivers to sum for multi drivers cab).

An other point could be decoupling of cabinet and room.

* i work most of the time with metal and rock bands.

Galu 13th October 2019 08:16 PM


Originally Posted by Mario Pankov (
But I don`t get it. The cab should represent your guitar`s tone.

The cab is part of the guitar's tone.

Guitar, amp and speaker cab create a whole which is greater than the simple sum of the parts, and together they become the instrument.

We want a guitar cab to resonate and add its own character to the reproduction. :cool:

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