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The Difference the CABINET Can Make in Your Guitar Rig

by vaughn skow May 29, 2014 3 min read

Hi friendly friends!  This blog could, to a certain extent, be considered a sequel to my blog entitled “The Difference A Speaker Can Make in Your Amp” from a year or so back; you might want to go back & read that one to get up to speed.

This story has, I believe, a VERY happy ending … and I don’t know about you, but I LOVE happy endings!  So as a quick recap, in part one of our little saga, dude is seriously bummed when he gets together with his old bandmates with his new Egnater tube head & Bugera 2x12 cab … only to get smoked by the other guitar player’s little Peavey open-back combo.  The problem wasn’t the Egnater, it was that little closed-back Bugera cab … loaded with VERY inefficient speakers!  The solution: a REAL cabinet with REAL speakers, of course!  So, let’s pick up the story as “dude” is preparing for another reunion gig.  He’s learned his lesson, and and if anyone is to get blown off the stage … dude’s gonna be the one to do the blowin’!  Here is the conversation we had via Facebook messages:

“Dude”: I've read a bunch of your blogs and really enjoy them, even of I'm the "target". So, my question to you is this- I bought an Avatar traditional 212 cabinet with a couple Celestions. I am going to play with the same band, same guy with the loud Peavey amp, in a couple of weeks. This time we are playing in a smaller venue. Actually it's about a 175 seating bar/restaurant. I still have the Egnater 40 head and the 88 head. The Avatar traditional cabinet has a removable panel on the back to make it a partial open back cab if desired. The Celestions are 1- Vintage 30 and 1- Cream 65. In order to "keep up" with the other guy would I be better off keeping the cabinet closed or opening it up by taking the panel off and which head would be better to use in a room that size? I really trust your opinion and respect your knowledge on this stuff. Your help would be greatly appreciated! Sincerely, the "dude"

Me:  Dude, definitely take the back panel off, I have that same cab & always run it 1/3 open!  As far as which head to use ... it's fairly common knowledge that a 100-watt Marshall is only about 3dB louder than a 50-watt ... same goes for a 85-watt Twin vs a 40-watt Super Reverb. So ... I'd choose whichever one you like the tone of best! 

“Dude”: You are the man! Thanks Vaughn! I took panel off the partial panel off the back of the cabinet like you suggested, went to Virginia and did the show, and smoked the other guy. It made all the difference in the world. Thanks for the advice!

So, there you have it!  Now, of course I could have lectured dude on the better value & quality of WGS speakers … but hey, one lesson at a time, right?  And, the HUGE (!!) lesson here is this:


Like I always say, change your strings & get a very slight difference in tone, change your tubes and get a very slight difference in tone … but change your SPEAKER and you’ll get an entirely different rig altogether.  Seriously.Bugera 2-12 Cabinet vs Avatar 2x12

A Picture of the Avatar 2x12 cab next to the Little Bugera Cabinet that started this whole adventure.  What you can’t see is the Avatar’s 1/3-open back vs the Bugera’s closed-back.  What you CAN see is how much larger the Avatar is … and, sorry guys, but in speaker cabs, bigger is almost always better!

So, thanks “Dude” for once again giving me a cool blog topic!  Along this same vein, I also got a super-duper blog idea posed to me as a question on my YouTube channel:

Hey mate, There's this big discussion on the internet saying that a 5w valve amp is just as loud as a 50w valve amp and what determines how loud an amp is are the speakers and the cabinet size. Could you please post a video demoing different wattage amps through different speaker/cabinet configuration and show whether or not this statement is true?
BTW, I really like your videos.

Yes!  What a cool idea!  Definitely putting that one in the “as soon as possible” category.  It’ll be great, I promise!

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