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Thread: Open back vs closed

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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Open back vs closed

    I'm finishing up building my 1x12 cabinet today. At first, I'd wanted a closed back since most of the cabinets I'd buy if I could afford them are built that way. I wound up going for closed, due to the simplicity of construction, and I think this may be a blessing in disguise.

    Last night, I was playing my Micro Dark with the 1x8" Orange cab, and decided to try removing the back to see how it affected the sound. With the back on the cabinet, it sounds OK, but has virtually no bottom end and sounds very boxy. With the back removed, it sounds much more full and open. It's not like it turned into a 4x12, but it's a massive improvement. I did the same with an old Spider IV 15, and again, massive improvement. Both now have a depth to the tone that wasn't there before at all.

    Obviously this is not the most scientific test in the world, and I haven't tried enough different stuff to prove much of anything, but I'm inclined to think i prefer the sound of open cabinets. Or at least I'm telling myself that so I don't feel bad about not building a closed back

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    PenultimateTone Member Demanic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    I have a 1x12 that is convertible. Usually I run it closed but if I want to, it's easy enough to remove the back panel. I tend to prefer it closed because it tightens up the sound when playing with distortion. Open, it sounds better clean; much more lively.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Jacew's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    I'm finishing up building my 1x12 cabinet today. At first, I'd wanted a closed back since most of the cabinets I'd buy if I could afford them are built that way. I wound up going for closed, due to the simplicity of construction, and I think this may be a blessing in disguise.

    Last night, I was playing my Micro Dark with the 1x8" Orange cab, and decided to try removing the back to see how it affected the sound. With the back on the cabinet, it sounds OK, but has virtually no bottom end and sounds very boxy. With the back removed, it sounds much more full and open. It's not like it turned into a 4x12, but it's a massive improvement. I did the same with an old Spider IV 15, and again, massive improvement. Both now have a depth to the tone that wasn't there before at all.

    Obviously this is not the most scientific test in the world, and I haven't tried enough different stuff to prove much of anything, but I'm inclined to think i prefer the sound of open cabinets. Or at least I'm telling myself that so I don't feel bad about not building a closed back
    I noticed same with Mustang I as well.

    Those Orange 1x8's are so small, that's probably why it sounds so much better with back off. I had a "stack" with those equipped with Eminence Alpha and Delta. I replaced back of delta with two planks to make it half open. That set actually sounded really good.

    I sold them when fell for G12H speakers. Now I do regret it...

    Funny thing is that that pair of 8 inch cabs was rated for 250 watts
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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    I've found that I tend to like open back cabs for cleans and closed for distorted stuff. The other nice thing about open back cabs is they seem to spread the sound out a bit more evenly over a room . . . whereas the closed back cabs can kinda beam your sound out in a straight line.
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    Administrator Mincer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    I've found that I tend to like open back cabs for cleans and closed for distorted stuff. The other nice thing about open back cabs is they seem to spread the sound out a bit more evenly over a room . . . whereas the closed back cabs can kinda beam your sound out in a straight line.
    I think this is what I've found, too. And you see this in practice, too...many clean-platform amps have open backs, most metal cabs are closed.
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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Got done staining the cabinet and baffle. Can't wait for them to dry so I can plug it in and see how it sounds.

    I built this cabinet entirely out of an old church pew. If it doesn't sound awful, I'm going to cover it with the red velvet upholstery from the cushion. Figured that'd be cooler than Tolex

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    Got done staining the cabinet and baffle. Can't wait for them to dry so I can plug it in and see how it sounds.

    I built this cabinet entirely out of an old church pew. If it doesn't sound awful, I'm going to cover it with the red velvet upholstery from the cushion. Figured that'd be cooler than Tolex
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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Plugged it in. I'm happy.

    The speaker is a 12" Eminence Legend. It's brand new, bought off some dude on Marketplace for $50, he even delivered it to me at work. Only other stuff I bought was a bottle of Tightbond and some spray adhesive for the upholstery. Total cost on this project is like $60.

  9. #9
    watch where you point that sword Phantasmagoria's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Sweet

    I made a semi-open back 1x12 (ie.. with an open strip about the width of the speaker magnet in the middle) with an Emi Legend 1218 (Greenback type). Sounds great with my 30 Watt Cicognani Brutus Live head..Metal, rock, blues.. anything. It's got a really nice room-filling spread to it but still sounds punchy & tight. All my other cabs are closed back and I wanted to try something different. I made the right choice
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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    There’s plenty of wood left, so I’m gonna cut a few pieces and experiment with partially closing it.

    I’d really like to build a second cab for a Cannabis Rex. Everybody recommends that speaker, and considering how loud the Micro Dark gets with the 8 ohm Legend, I don’t think I’d be missing any volume running a second cab in series at 16.

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    Sock Market Trader GuitarStv's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
    There’s plenty of wood left, so I’m gonna cut a few pieces and experiment with partially closing it.

    I’d really like to build a second cab for a Cannabis Rex. Everybody recommends that speaker, and considering how loud the Micro Dark gets with the 8 ohm Legend, I don’t think I’d be missing any volume running a second cab in series at 16.
    The C. Rex is also a louder speaker than the Legend . . . 102 vs 98.7 dB sensitivity.
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    Mojo's Minions JB_From_Hell's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Wired the 8” Orange cab to the 1X12 in series. It still sounds like the 12”, but I can run the Shape knob on the amp darker with more clarity. It sounds really cool with the 8” on top, but turned a little askew. Makes the sound a little more 3D. The Micro Dark is 20 watts at 8 ohms, but still gets absurdly loud at 16.

    I’m definitely building another cabinet. Maybe I’ll get a 16 ohm 12”, and put it in parallel with these two to get 8.

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker AniML's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by Demanic View Post
    I have a 1x12 that is convertible. Usually I run it closed but if I want to, it's easy enough to remove the back panel. I tend to prefer it closed because it tightens up the sound when playing with distortion. Open, it sounds better clean; much more lively.

    Sent from my Alcatel_5044C using Tapatalk
    I also have a convertible Jet City 1x12 currently running partially open with a Mojotone G12M clone. Great setup for $200 and change

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    A Ficus ehdwuld's Avatar
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by AniML View Post
    I also have a convertible Jet City 1x12 currently running partially open with a Mojotone G12M clone. Great setup for $200 and change
    Love my Jet City 1x12
    It converts from
    Closed
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    Open

    Mine currently has a WGS V30 clone in it
    The Eminence that ships with it is fine though
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    Default Re: Open back vs closed

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStv View Post
    I've found that I tend to like open back cabs for cleans and closed for distorted stuff. The other nice thing about open back cabs is they seem to spread the sound out a bit more evenly over a room . . . whereas the closed back cabs can kinda beam your sound out in a straight line.
    This. Open backs spread the sound in a shape of "I< 8-", closed backs " I< --" relative to the speaker's "I<" direction.

    What else... Aw yes, for recording /close mic'ing cab it's speaker 90% and cab construction 10%, depending on the mic used. Maye a little more bite on the open side but it's much less than suspected. Cab type starts to develop a difference when recording distance is increased.

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