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Create a wall of sound with the incredible power and output of Guitar Cabinets.
One of the most iconic sights in rock and roll music is the towering composition of Guitar Cabinets that grace the stage at any big event. Yet from the largest festivals to your own garage, the right guitar cabinet can fill the room and help you craft your own signature sound. One thing is for sure though, when it comes to guitar cabinets the bigger they are, the louder they rock!
What is a guitar cabinet?
In general there are two broad types of guitar amplifiers. Most people are more familiar with what are called “combo amps”, where the amplifier and the speaker are incorporated together in a single unit. However, in a “head and cabinet setup” or “stack”, (the other common type of amplifier configuration), the amplifier and the speaker are separate components. Here the head serves as the amplifier, while the guitar cabinet incorporates the speaker, and delivers the actual sound.
Therefore, guitar cabinets are essentially the speaker component of a two-part head and cabinet amplifier setup. While the amplifier determines the amount of power available, the guitar cabinet is what ultimately delivers the sound to eager audiences.
One of the big upsides of head and cabinet setups is that they offer greater freedom in customization, allowing guitarists to change out components and mix-and-match different brands and speaker stack configurations. You can even chain multiple guitar cabinets to a single amplifier, meaning that the potential output is limited only by the capacity of the amplifier and the number of guitar cabinets at a player’s disposal.
The concept of a guitar cabinet is actually quite broad. In essence, it is simply a cabinet designed to house any number of speakers ranging in various sizes. For example, one common configuration is a 2 x 12” guitar cabinet. The “2” refers to the number of speakers housed in the guitar cabinet, while the 12” refers to the diameter of those speakers. Therefore a 2 x 12” guitar cabinet features two 12 inch speakers.
Other common configurations include 4 x 12”, 4 x 10”, and even 1 x 15” guitar cabinets, but there are an endless number of configurations available that can be used in creating your stack and developing your own personal sound, as well as the sound that best suits the room(s) you’ll be playing in.
Closed back vs. open back guitar cabinets
One key factor in influencing the overall sound of your guitar cabinet is whether the unit features an open back or closed back design. Open back guitar cabinets involve at least a partial opening in the rear of the cabinet. They tend to fill the room better, allowing sound to escape from additional angles, and tend to benefit higher frequency sounds.
Conversely, closed back guitar cabinets project sound forward. While this limits the directional range of the speaker, it is ultimately easier to control when mixing sound in a room, and also provides a boost to mid and low-end frequency.
Ultimately no one configuration is superior to the other, it really just depends on personal taste and the logistics of the room in which you are playing.