A guitar speaker is a loudspeaker – specifically the driver (transducer) part – designed for use in a combination guitar amplifier (in which a loudspeaker and an amplifier are installed in a wooden cabinet) of an electric guitar, or for use in a guitar speaker cabinet with a separate amp head.
Typically these drivers produce only the frequency range relevant to electric guitars, which is similar to a regular woofer type driver, which is approximately 75 Hz — 5 kHz, or for electric bass speakers, down to 41 Hz for regular four-string basses or down to about 30 Hz for five-string instruments.
Guitar cabinets are designed to amplify the sound of an electric guitar or bass and are typically made of wood. The most common types of wood used in guitar cabinets are plywood, pine, and particle board.
- Plywood is the strongest and most durable type of wood, making it the best choice for speaker cabinets.
- Pine is a softer wood that damps vibrations better than plywood, making it ideal for use in closed-back cabinets.
- Particle board is the least expensive type of wood used in guitar cabinets and is typically found in budget-priced amplifiers.
The size and number of speakers in a cabinet determine its overall sound.
Smaller cabinets with one or two speakers are typically used for practice or recording, while larger cabinets with four or more speakers are typically used for live performances.
The type of speaker also affects the sound of a cabinet. Guitar cabinets can be equipped with either dynamic or electrostatic speakers.
- Dynamic speakers are the most common type of speaker used in guitar cabinets and are typically less expensive than electrostatic speakers.
- Electrostatic speakers have a higher quality sound but are more expensive.
The design of a guitar cabinet also affects its sound. Closed-back cabinets are typically less expensive than open-back cabinets but have a “boxy” sound.
Open-back cabinets allow the sound to “breathe” and produce a more natural sound.
I'm Joost Nusselder, the founder of Neaera and a content marketer, dad, and love trying out new equipment with guitar at the heart of my passion, and together with my team, I've been creating in-depth blog articles since 2020 to help loyal readers with recording and guitar tips.
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