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Open back or closed back cab?

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by Laylas Daddy, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

    Nov 11, 2010
    I looking to get an extension cab for my Fender Super Camp XD. I have been reading a lot of information about the two. Does it come down to personal preference or is there more to it...?

    Thanks, LD

  2. Gibson67

    Gibson67 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2010
    Personally, I'd go with an open back cab if lower watts and a closed back if higher.

  3. jflintmac

    jflintmac Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 2, 2010
    Mine is open. I have the VCXD. 5 watts

  4. Joshua

    Joshua Senior Stratmaster

    May 4, 2011
    Lenoir, NC
    I believe there is more to it than just preference. I'd recommend A/B-ing the cabs you are interested in. I'm sure they will sound different.


    OLDGREYGIT Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 7, 2011
    My understanding is that a closed back may have more bass, and, unsuprisingly, an open back will sound, ahem, more open.
    I have heard my amp through a closed 2 x 12 and in an open back 2 x 12 combo cab, and there was a suprising difference. My taste was for the open back, but I prefer a more 'rootsy' sound. (same drive units).
    Celeste would be a good person to ask.

  6. Shades of Blue

    Shades of Blue Most Honored Senior Member

    Jan 28, 2008
    South Carolina
    It is personal preference, but I have found that it depends on the bass response of the amp. For example, a bass-heavy amp sounds better though an open back cab whereas a closed back cab can retain or add bass to an amp.

  7. Gibson67

    Gibson67 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2010
    There's a lot of variables, I was just trying to give a simple answer. Speaker options, size of box, ported, front loaded vs rear loaded etc...

    Yeah, I agree with Joshua, see what you like and go from there.

  8. Joshua

    Joshua Senior Stratmaster

    May 4, 2011
    Lenoir, NC
    Simple? That's for other forums. ;)

  9. Gibson67

    Gibson67 Strat-O-Master

    Oct 25, 2010
    Oh damn, got busted! I better get back to the Marshall forum...

  10. Benny Blanco

    Benny Blanco Strat-Talker

    Jul 19, 2010
    Calhounville Oregon
    Yes, so many variables!

    I think the safe bet is to get a closed back cab.
    Try it out closed, then unscrew the back and tilt it out little by little, supporting the back panel with a chair.
    This way, if you prefer the sound with an open back, you can get an idea of the slot size.
    I found the slot, or back opening makes a difference, some open back cabs have too much of an opening for me.
    Once you guesstimatated the slot opening size from tilting it open, take the closed back panel and, cut the covering down the middle of the proposed slot.
    With a heat gun and some care, peel the covering back both directions, cut the slot- 2 cuts, one on each side, then you can wrap the covering back around the edges.
    Here are two photos.
    First shows one I slotted.
    Second shows another old cab, I like to use some speaker cloth on the slot, to help keep dust out,and looks pretty good. It is a work in progress, I intend to recover this old cab.


  11. Laylas Daddy

    Laylas Daddy Banned

    Nov 11, 2010
    ^ Great idea, Thanks!!!

  12. tommytele

    tommytele Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 14, 2009
    Mill Valley, CA
    LD, here is my solution and BTW i prefer it open backed for now

    Attached Files:

  13. Celeste

    Celeste Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 17, 2009
    A lot depends on what you play and what you expect to get out of it. If you play in drop tunings or a baritone, then a ported cab designed around the speaker of your choice is the way to go. If you play in standard tuning, but bass is really important to you, then a closed back is the way to go.

    Now for the gray area. Open backs interact with a room more then closed. That can be a good thing or it could be bad. When it is good, it can be wonderful, but when it is bad it can be all mud. the guitarist is less likely to notice it because he is most likely in the "Nearfield" where reflected sound is dominated by direct sound. If you are expected to fill the room with sound from your equipment, and how you sound to the audience, then open back can be a problem sometimes, where closed back is more consistent. If you are mic'ed into a PA, it is not your problem. If you are just a home picker, again likely you are in the nearfield and it does not matter.

    My default cab is closed back, but I tell customers to feel free removing the back and see how it works for them. If they come back saying they really want it open, then I cut the back into three pieces and make a "convertable" out of it. They can leave the center 40% out while still having protection for the speakers

  14. stubewan

    stubewan Strat-Talker

    Jul 3, 2010
    Did you have your Super Champ alter for a extention cabinet? My Super Champ did not have an extention out.

  15. Swingbass

    Swingbass Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 21, 2011
    Nature Coast Florida
    Don't forget about whether the speakers are designed for open or closed back as well. Most guitar speakers are OK with infinite baffle but not all.

  16. Stratoholic

    Stratoholic Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 30, 2010
    I prefer closed back, but I've been messing around with my Class 5's stock speaker the last couple days. I figured I would try it, in the 11 months I've had it, I haven't ever used the speaker, just my 4x12 all this time. So far I like it, the bass isn't as tight, but it does sound really nice.