Guitar Speakers

The most I’ve learned from a single video about guitar speakers.
Rarely do we get to hear straight answers!

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This was really fantastic, where both the questions and answers were excellent, but sadly nobody asked my current questions:

  1. Can IRRs (like one has on DSP amp modelers) enable one to take a good studio monitor and make it sound like a guitar speaker in practice? (Celestion Plus, etc.)

  2. Why don’t speakers have a microphone inside that listens to it and provide real-time correction for manufacturing variation?

  3. Would an amp that makes sense for somebody with a modeler be a pair of something like a pair of these?

I am guessing that the answers are “yes,” “not enough benefit to justify the cost,” and “yes,” respectively, but I don’t know much about speakers compared to those two! :smile:

Yeah, I wish the interviewer let the gentleman speak all the way. He cut him off too many times. This sort of thing should have been much longer. The man clearly has all the info we seek.

As for your point, I’ll try with my .2 cents…

  1. IRs unfortunately are captured through the point of a needle, ie: the microphone(s) + preamp + eq + mix. So raw sound would need some wizardly to undo all that and then add something, plus the dynamics of a real transducer and all that phycis seems more trouble than it’s worth.
  2. Budget speakers like KRK Rokit series have been updated with on board DSPs. They use a mobile app to calibrate etc. The results may vary greatly. Having a DSP onboard may have the factory do some calibration, or this may become a thing.
  3. I think lots of people use FRFR (Full range full resonance) monitors ( like PA system speakers ) with their modellers. Unless I miss read your point.

The thing is Guitar Cabinets and Combo Tube amps are a complex beast.
There’s open back (most combos & often paired with Dumble type amps) vs Closed Cab.
As you move around the cab/combo the sound drastically changes, often you want to avoid being in the beam of the speaker, they sound terrible, even the best, to make matters worse lots of user IR’s are captured without the knowledge of properly micing a guitar cab/speaker. They stick it right in the centre and it’s all Fizz. Open back amps have their own thing going on.

Also, here’s a little known fact by IR users, cabinets with more than one speaker have an effect where the sum of speakers cancels out certain frequencies. So for example a single V30 (sensitive mid-range) will sound terrible compared to a pair or quad in a single cab, there’s a roll-off. I first notice this on my motor bike horn, when one failed, it sounded strange, but together they sounded warm, there’s a proximity effect with regards to wavelengths at certain frequencies.

There’s a lot of wizardly going on with a deceptively simple guitar cab, a lot of it was landed upon quite by chance and budgets.

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  1. The fundamental problem is most guitar speakers are one or more 12" drivers in a very large enclosure, while most studio monitors are some combination of a 5-8" driver coupled with maybe a 1" tweeter in a very small enclosure. So, no, they’re not going to move air in a room in remotely similar ways.

  2. My guess here is a combo of cost, technical feasibility (it seems extremely difficult to do right, considering you also have to account for manufacturing variation within the mic), and a lack of interest amongst guitarists - we as a group are so fixated on that one “special” guitar or “that lower right V30 in this particular cab is really something magical” or whatnot, all the “happy accidents” of manufactoring variation, that I think for us it’s more of a feature than a bug.

  3. I don’t remember if it was that same brand, but I have a buddy who used to own and use a pair of wedges like that (along with a clean poweramp and a real cab, and a seperate feed into his studio monitors) as part of a AxeFX setup. He eventually abandoned that setup for the studio monitors, but recently decided he needed something just to audition patches without firing up his monitors or computer and grabbed one of these:

He was impressed enough that he now has a pair of them, and has been raving about them. They also offer a 1x12 version, and priced such that you could get a pair for one of those. I haven’t spent any time with them myself for, well, rather clear reasons, but this is a guy usually pretty disinterested in more affordable gear options, and he’s seriously impressed, so…

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