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    Choosing a cabinet

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    Phrasemaker

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    Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Mon Jun 01, 2015 3:21 am

    I'm looking at buying a 2x12 to use in conjunction with my GM36. I was pretty much settled on a Vintage 30 loaded cabinet and having read a number of posts around the forum I'm now doubting that selection. I've owned a couple of Tubemiesters for a while so the mids and highs which soar especially at home use levels using the GM36 is no surprise. My concern is that some people have described the V30 cabs as being a little on the harsh side. The options I had in mind were either the Hughes and Kettner TM 2x12, Marshall 1936V 2x12 Cab, Orange PPC212OB. I have a selection of 1x12 cabinets already and a couple of 4x12 loaded with a selection of drivers but would like an intermediate size 2x12 to bridge the gap.

    I'm now wondering about the Orange Jim Root Cabinet, with it's Celestion made, Orange voice of the world drivers. I play a range of genres which require sparkling cleans right through to really dark Gothic rock styles. Instrument wise, again I could be playing a Strat one minute or a LP, or Jem the next. So I'm considering a cabinet which might not be perfect for one application but will lend itself better to a variety.

    The more I read, I'm leaning toward the Jim Root Cabinet as I know the GM36 will soar in the mids and highs without too much tweaking through a slightly darker sounding cabinet, also the Root cabinet is closed back which should keep the bottom end tight when driven hard.

    Any thoughts will gratefully appreciated.

    Tim
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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Mon Jun 01, 2015 6:45 am

    If you have a selection of 1 x 12" already why don't you just use 2 of them? Despite the common knowledge there is no difference in response, (barring dispersion and compression effects), for a driver in a 1x12" and a pair of the same drivers in a 2 x 12" of twice the volume. If you have a number of different models you could come up with a really good sounding symbiotic setup. It would be a way to dial in a range of potential sounds. And it will be a darned sight more convenient for transporting too.
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Mon Jun 01, 2015 7:23 am

    That sounds like good idea, I'll check out which ones have parallel sockets on the rear. The other consideration is that most of 1x12s have recessed side handles rendering it difficult to carry two at a time. I have already experimented with a 1x12 cab and run the red box into an active multi use 400w PA/Keyboard cabinet loaded with a 15" plus a horn which is quite a tasty combination. I'm also a bit of a tart, and quite like the appearance of one single cabinet as opposed to two different cabs. I do totally agree however that a mix and match of two 1x12s is going to offer some varied options which I'm certainly going to explore.

    Many thanks

    Tim
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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:05 am

    I'm also a bit of a tart...
    I like that admission PM, it's the Essex boy in you sneaking out.  Razz

    As one tart to another, I do know what you mean though.  I'm loathe to explore the 2 x 12" option too deeply as I just love the look of my "ministack", TM36 on top of two matching 1x12".  I even made a couple of MDF base plates which fit around the top handle and locate the cabinet and amp feet accurately and securely on top of each other.  The next step is for a new slightly taller base for the amp with forced upwards ventilation built in.  While the purist engineer in me rebels, I have to agree, sometimes the look of the gear does become a sought after feature in itself. Even I succumb a tad to "form over function".

    My ideal would be to make two sturdy cabinets for generic 12" drivers and finish them in a way which matches the amp.  It isn't hard to come up with a way of varying the internal volume a little at will just by adjusting an internal baffle.  I could then play with the idea of mixing and matching drivers to my hearts content.

    As you obviously do, I reckon the trick with getting the absolute best out if the TMs is definitely to get the speakers right.  The amp is a little tone monster once run in for a month or two but it is very sensitive to ancillary stuff like speakers.  As another example, it still amazes me how my guitar tone controls came to life with the TM36.  Before that they had not been too effective in changing the tone in any serious way, they just rolled off some of the top end as you would expect them to.  Once I started using the TM they also really altered the whole attack of the sound.
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    bish0p34

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bish0p34 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 11:32 am

    I use mine with a Recto 2x12. It's a bit wider than a standard 2x12, to give it a little more oomph. The V30s Mesa uses are also specially voiced for a darker sound. It sounds massive.

    I tried the 2 1x12 thing, but the 2x12 just sounds bigger. YMMV.
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    gravydb

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by gravydb on Mon Jun 01, 2015 1:01 pm

    bish0p34 wrote:I use mine with a Recto 2x12. It's a bit wider than a standard 2x12, to give it a little more oomph. The V30s Mesa uses are also specially voiced for a darker sound. It sounds massive.

    I tried the 2 1x12 thing, but the 2x12 just sounds bigger. YMMV.
    Is yours the vertical cab? Yeah that one is definitely a big 2x12!

    My cab is a H&K CC-212 (which apparently isn't very common?) and it too is big for a 2x12, roughly 23"x30". It has stock 25w greenbacks in it, I've never gone thru the trouble of swapping spkrs to compare - I REALLY like this cabinet as-is. It's not too bright, it's perfect IMO.
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    bish0p34

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bish0p34 on Mon Jun 01, 2015 2:40 pm

    gravydb wrote:
    bish0p34 wrote:I use mine with a Recto 2x12. It's a bit wider than a standard 2x12, to give it a little more oomph. The V30s Mesa uses are also specially voiced for a darker sound. It sounds massive.

    I tried the 2 1x12 thing, but the 2x12 just sounds bigger. YMMV.
    Is yours the vertical cab? Yeah that one is definitely a big 2x12!

    My cab is a H&K CC-212 (which apparently isn't very common?) and it too is big for a 2x12, roughly 23"x30". It has stock 25w greenbacks in it, I've never gone thru the trouble of swapping spkrs to compare - I REALLY like this cabinet as-is. It's not too bright, it's perfect IMO.

    Mine is horizontal. The vertical was too close to the 4x12 and negated my want of the 2x12. I'd love to try a cab loaded with Greenbacks with my meisters. I love the v30s, but I'd like a change.
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Tue Jun 02, 2015 12:56 pm

    boronbert,

    Your ministack sounds like a really useful set up. Something I might consider putting together in the near future. I bought up some large ply off cuts a while back and they've been sat in the workshop awaiting a purpose. I was interested reading the way you've made it all fit together securely as I've been on a stage or two which cause things to bounce a little. The though of a GM36 tumbling off the top is the stuff of nightmares.

    I certainly noticed so far that the GM does as you mention highlight speaker differences in a big way. And also your comments regarding tone control functionality, I've found I can switch between a number of guitars and get good tones using just the four channels on the amp and adding the boost which effectively provides 8 tone options without having to alter any knobs beyond the channel selector.

    I have for a long time set any amp I'm playing through to provide my desired tones with the volume and tone on the guitars rolled back a reasonable bit so I can tweak either way on the instrument. I find with the volume rolled back a bit from the outset the contrasting dynamics when varying my pick attack is more noticeable.

    Thank you

    bishOp34, thanks for your input, that cabinet sounds like it's working for you, the observation of it sounding bigger is useful to note.

    Thank you.

    gravydb, thanks for your input, the greenbacks are obviously working for you in the large cabinet. A little extra reinforcement of the 2x12 being more than the sum of its parts.  

    Thank you.


    Just to update with where I'm at. I've succumbed and have the Root cabinet arriving tomorrow. Once I've played it in a bit, I'll seriously assess the tonal qualities. The Orange Birch ply cabinet is pretty rugged so is always going to be a good platform if I end up swapping a diver/s. I suspect it'll hit the spot without any tinkering, though I do have cabinets around the place I can mix and match drivers with if need be, and a major supplier of Celestion, Tayden, WGS and Eminence drivers 20mins from home. They have pretty much everything in stock, so if maybe a greenback or vintage in combination with an Orange voiced driver ends up being my tipple I can get one easily.

    Many thanks for all the input, much appreciated.

    Tim
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Wed Jun 03, 2015 10:16 am

    I took delivery of the Orange 2x12 this morning and have tried a few guitars through it. So far considering it's not played in by any means it meets fully with my desires in every respect. The fact that on 5w at low to moderate volumes I can be four meters away and feel the bottom end through the floor answers my wish for bottom end grunt, it's also very tight being a closed back cabinet. If required the highs do shimmer easily with a strat, with a LP played on each channel it's a very rounded tone. No garish edge to the mids to be dialed out. I'll obviously have to live with it a bit, then I'll put up a brief review with some sound clips.


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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Wed Jun 03, 2015 7:54 pm

    Just a quick follow up.  A couple of bits of scrap MDF and a couple of left over plumbing bits and voila!  It's not rocket science but with a bit of accuracy you can get a really stable setup.

    " />

    The trick is to get the slots to accurately locate around the cabinet handles, the rest is easy.

    " />

    It's stable enough to get through a typhoon and earthquake rolled into one.
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Thu Jun 04, 2015 3:16 am

    That's a neat stack, the MDF locating plates are a great idea. Did you add an additional socket to one of the cabs to get the V30s in series or have you made a dedicated 2 into 1 cable? Those cabinets really look like they are made for having TM sat on top. Looking good, thanks for posting.
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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Thu Jun 04, 2015 4:46 am

    It's my own 2 into 1 cable.  The cabs were a compromise when I bought the amp, not enough funds to go for something more up market so I scouted around.  They're Thomann's own brand and have a Vintage 30 inside each - for around the normal cost of the Vintage 30!  Unfortunately they only come in 8ohm so I got a couple and run them in series, hence the custom cable.  The cabinet build is not finger jointed but is fairly sound 18mm ply and you can give it a once over where you think it could benefit.  Once the dimensions are set and it's airtight it really only affects the middle anyway as that is where all of the panel resonances are.  I closed the backs to get a little more bottom end out of them and they now sound better.  Eventually I would like to try out other drivers but that's when funds permit.  I'm also planning to replace the 1/4" jacks with Speakons and rewire so they support both 2@16ohm or 1@8ohm.  Shame the TM doesn't have Speakon out too but it's no big deal.
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Thu Jun 04, 2015 2:52 pm

    The cabs you're using are outstanding value for money, I've not really seen any justifiable negative comments in respect of them considering the small outlay involved. I'd have also been inclined as you have to close the backs if I were using the same cabs. I've got a couple of 1x10s which benefit from having the semi open backs and a 2x12 combo with a fair bit of the back open, but overall I like the characteristics of 2x12 and beyond, more when the cabinet is closed. The wiring/connection mod sounds like a worthwhile pursuit, swapping out drivers could be interesting though to be fair the V30s are superb, though not what I personally wanted as a pair in a single cabinet to hook up to the GM36.

    It's certainly a costly activity experimenting with good quality drivers, you might only want to swap one which wouldn't be too costly. It's not like you can judge the sound by playing cabinets with your amp and a guitar at a retailers, as the cabs contribute to the overall sound. You might also find that what you have already is what you ultimately want while using those cabinets as far as drivers go. Personally I think the itch for swapping one would require scratching, especially in the context of having two different single cabs plus the blend option. A greenback or a creamback would be my tipple, in conjunction with the other V30, I suspect it would be a sweet sounding stack.
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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Fri Jun 05, 2015 2:34 am

    Haha, now you've opened another can of worms!  10"!!!  It has occurred to me that maybe there is mileage to get out of them too.

    I've always wanted to try out the idea of running say a 1x15" and 2x10" with a really simple crossover between them.  I have a lot of experience with hifi equipment design and it amazes me how some of the ideas in that area don't make their way over into guitar work a bit more.  An example is damping factor as we mentioned before.  It is a crucial parameter to consider in guitar work but no one ever considers it, (or maybe understands it well enough?)  Very low in hifi, fairly high in guitar, it's something that can actually be easily selected and trimmed in solid state amps in a way it cannot really in valves and makes them a lot more guitar sensitive.

    The idea of using only one of the V30 @ 8ohms is something I haven't really played with much yet.  I wonder if the additional damping and harder driving would smooth their response off and make them a slightly more bassy unit.  I did have a scary experience when I first got the amp and tried it that way.  One of the EL84s glowed red and lit up the room!  It was very likely a settling in problem as I haven't seen any signs of distress since.  It did put me off using it at 8ohms though, irrational and cowardly but it still feels wrong.

    Your advice to play with only one at a time is good.  I'm keeping my eyes open for a decent secondhand unit now.  With the broad impedance matching of the H&Ks it then gives me the four options of 1x12" Vintage30 @ 8ohm, 1x12" say Greenback @ 8 ohm, 2x12" Vintage30 @ 16ohm, 1x12" V30 + 1x12" GB @ 16ohm.  I'll see what comes up and go from there. It does surprise me the H&K seem to stick to V30s, though that may just be an accountancy issue.

    All that said I do have a couple of older Eminence drivers out of a Fender amp somewhere, and I have a Blueface Vox Valvetronix with two Vox voiced 4ohm drivers (which is absolutely awesome and easily blows away every other modelling amp I have heard, including the later Vox models).  I might even get itchy enough to give them a run out.  It's good to find someone with his feet on the ground who uses common sense and engineering knowledge not just common knowledge and rumour to base his modding on.
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    bordonbert

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by bordonbert on Fri Jun 05, 2015 10:40 am

    Here's another handful of worms to add to the can! I've just spent an hour revisiting the TM36 with a single 8ohm Vintage30 attached. It's a very different beast! It appears that putting two in series and driving them as 16ohms with decreased damping factor on each has more of an effect than I would have anticipated.

    It's still got a strong middle but it is now spread into the lower band and the top end is not so attacking. Reaction to playing dynamics is improved too, it responds to picking strength more than before. I'm clearly going to have to try to get my hands on a couple of 16ohms units to put in parallel and solve this once and for all. (And of course I'm going to have to get comfortable with that 8ohms fear I have.)

    It would be interesting to hear of someone else trying this approach and seeing what your thoughts are.
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:38 pm

    Looks like you've been having some fun. I've been using Tubemiesters for few years now and never been worried about using an 8ohm load, though to be fair I've not had a big need to. It's not often I wheel out the Marshall 4x12 and it's a bit antisocial for indoors. I've played that cabinet with a 5w Tubemiester a few times to demonstrate it's charm beyond its size. Always gets a reaction. I most certainly wouldn't entertain running one with anything less than 8ohms in circuit. I know others do but it's not on my list of things to do before I shuffle off. But then it's surprising how many folk use instrument cables or any other unknown cable with a quarter inch jack on each end to connect a cabinet.

    You have a range of speakers to try out which should be enlightening in respect of tonal variations. The Hi-Fi background is no bad thing, I was very heavily involved in that area from the late 70's through to early 90's. The Ipswich Celestion factory was right near my place of work and I had access to the cream of the Hi-Fi crop at the time and built a lot of my own speakers in pursuit of the hairs standing up on the back of neck when listening to a few albums. The only thing I'd want to really bone up on if making a crossover to match different drivers in the same circuit using a valve amp, is making the right component choice if using an open wound choke or other load, in case it has a bake off during spirited use.

    If you get hold of a couple of 16ohm units to run parallel it'll be interesting to see how the damping factor compares with the two 8ohms in series set up. I've had a couple of days decorating so not a lot of time for playing. Apparently according to the wife it's been my equivalent of carbon off-setting after taking delivery of my new cabinet. I'll have a few hours playing tomorrow and maybe get some ideas together for a recording session. Opening cans of worms is often underrated. Playing dynamics gets lost far too easily in some genres of music, clean and crunch have more allure to my ear with contrasting amounts of attack present. I've also noticed that it comes across a lot better through some configurations than others.
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    namklak

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by namklak on Fri Jun 05, 2015 1:57 pm

    I use an active power soak that drives a 1x12 cab.  Since in this case the GM is driving an 8 ohm 100W resistor, the contribution of damping factor is significantly less - there is no moving mass to control.  Anyway, I've played the GM thru two different Marshall 2x12 cabs (in both cases the owner did not know what the speakers were ???), and found I liked my 1x12 partially open back active power soak with Eminence Tonkerlite better.   In both cases the Marshall cab owners seemed a little surprised by the result.  The 2x12 was not really "better", and both owners agreed.  My setup seems to represent the GM better - and as it turns out, the GM is a fine sounding amp.  Last weekend's gig resulted in a semi-pro blues guitarist and an 8 year GC manager to tell me after the gig (loosely paraphrased) "That H&K works really well".

    Of course, the other feature is I gig a couple time a month, and a 1x12 with a Tonkerlite is very pleasant on my old back.  My cab is an old Vox Valvetronix 1x12 that I bought empty for $40 - well built cab I might add.  The "active" part of the power soak is a Crate Powerblock (4 lbs).  I run the GM's master at about 3 o'clock, mostly 36W, occasionally 18W.  The other guitarist in the band has a Mesa Mark V combo, and he has been tube swapping and tweaking ever since I put this rig together. Laughing

    -BobK
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:31 am

    The Tonkerlite is a great sounding driver for blues and country, and like many driver/cab/amp combinations the end result is subjective. It's definitely a great addition to this discussion the configuration you've been using and offers an interesting alternative. I have run my amp red box out into a really good active cabinet and found it very good tonally. I've not tried a power soak beyond the amp's own power soak options so something else to look at. It's not absolutely clear how you've got this rig connected, perhaps you could clarify?

    You've also raised another interesting point around what represents GM sound-wise, interesting because the amp has an almost infinite set of variables which can be hooked up to it, and I'm thus far not familiar with a signature tone that blindfolded I'd be able to attribute solely to this amp. For me it's a Chameleon that I can get to fit whichever background I choose. My personal aim is to have presets I use once I acquire the foot-switch, that are set up for a number of instrument/cab/amp combinations which apply to my needs at any given time.

    Obviously it's not practical to have a range of cabinets on stage to swap around, so at some point I'll need to settle on a combination that I consider to meet with a range of needs. So far the Orange cab I got this week is delivering best across the channels. Yes I have other cabs which do some sounds in a more authentic way, and I've by no means reached a conclusion. I wanted a new 2x12 anyway, so I had to make a choice at some point. Getting the GM36 simply encouraged that purchase. I'm certainly not closed to trying all routes available in pursuit of a great tone and ultimately it'll be my ears which lead the way.

    If anyone is interested here is a short clip of the Orange cab, the amp on 5w and a Strat played clean.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/d3jr7qljkgd08lt/Clip%201.wav?dl=0


    Last edited by Phrasemaker on Sat Jun 06, 2015 7:06 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : added link)
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    VoodooJeff

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by VoodooJeff on Wed Aug 05, 2015 10:54 am

    Even the latest post on this thread is two months old, but I can add my two cents. I had to replace a Bogner cab and didn`t feel like spending three months` mortgage on it, so I asked around about similar quality and sounding cabs. I was referred to Avatar, and one of their cabs was a dead ringer in every possible way to the Bogner. I bought one, and honestly, there`s no difference. It looks, feels, and sounds exactly like my bogner at half the price. They make several styles and offer multiple speaker options for each. I`m probably going to pick up one of their 1X12 cabs for the solo guitar gigs I seem to be getting more of lately...
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    Phrasemaker

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by Phrasemaker on Wed Aug 05, 2015 12:46 pm

    Thanks for the info Jeff, sounds like a good deal on a good product. I'm pretty well sorted now with my Jim Root Orange, and I loaded a Marshall 1x12 with a Creamback which has given me two great cabs to play through that I absolutely love. I'm a bit of a gear junkie so I'll keep an eye out for the Avatars.

    All the best

    Tim
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    namklak

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    Re: Choosing a cabinet

    Post by namklak on Thu Aug 06, 2015 12:19 am

    I have an avatar 2x12 cab. Very well built cab. Just too big for my current needs.

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