It may not be the sexiest part of your rig, but the speaker enclosure plays a crucial role in the signal chain. Here’s what’s going on inside.

In our mad pursuit of boutique gear, it’s easy to overlook the humble speaker cabinet. While we drill down on the merits and specs of various speakers, the box that houses them typically takes a backseat to everything else in our signal chain. Which ain’t right, if you think about it. No guitarist is going to wow the crowd dangling a raw 12" speaker from a pole, right? The truth is, your cab plays as important a role as any other device in your rig, so it’s worth taking the time to explore it in its various forms. We’ll cover key points that will better acquaint you with what you already own and help you make an informed decision the next time you purchase a combo amp or extension cab. And while we’re at it, perhaps we’ll dispel a few myths.

Cabinet material. If you ask guitarists what their cabs are made of, most will say “wood.” That’s the short answer, but it’s also very broad and incomplete. There are many different types of wood, and what a builder chooses will affect how the cabinet performs. Each type of wood has its pros and cons, and whether a cab has an open or closed back has a huge bearing on what a builder chooses to construct it with.

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