“As guitarists, we’re used to looking at wood on our guitars, but its role in shaping the cabinet’s sound is as important”: How does guitar cabinet material affect the sound?

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(Image credit: Future)

When choosing the different types of wood used in guitar cabinets, a designer will often value stability or consistency most highly; after all, if the material doesn’t change from cab to cab, the results will be more predictable and easier to reliably reproduce. The trouble is, a lot of materials that are consistent don’t always sound as pleasing as we’d hope, at least not to a lot of us guitarists.

MDF is a good example. Medium-density fibreboard is a material that has been favoured by cabinet makers in the past for its consistent behaviour at a low cost, but there are a couple of major downsides – the biggest one being that it generally sounds a bit dead. It can be hard to describe, but it often sounds too controlled, like there is something missing.

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