Over the previous few decades, we’re seeing more and more guitar amp manufacturers making Isolation Cabinets or “Iso Cabs” as they’re typically called by working musicians. The reason for this is simple. Sound engineers and stage technicians are consistently telling guitarists to turn down so that they can management the sound from the Front of House (FOH). Everyone is aware of the general FOH sound is all the time greatest when the FOH sound engineer has total control over the musical devices degree in the venue. Sounds simple right? Well here’s the problem. The dilemma is the fact that Guitar Isolation cabinet amps normally have a candy spot the place they sound the best. Unfortunately, this candy spot is normally obtained by turning the guitar amp up to a higher level. More technically, the guitar amp must be turned up to a point that the preamp tubes and energy tubes are being pushed a bit. This added volume allows the amp to “open up” so to speak. To not sound choked or filtered by electronics that attenuate and diminish the pure tone of the amp. There are quite a few electronic variables to consider that affect the general tone and really feel of the amp so please take my word for it on this one, guitarist wish to crank there amp for good reason.
Guitarists and producers all love the recorded sound of a cranked Marshall or Mesa Boogie guitar amp pushed to the limit. Nevertheless, most leisure venues, houses of worship, theaters, Broadmeans shows, clubs, casinos, and many others, don’t desire the overwhelming stage volume that comes from cranking a 50-100 watt guitar amp. Some guitarists have chosen to go the amp modeling/digital effects processor route which has come a long way. This option can sound fairly good if you have an ear and take the time to learn to program the unit. As a matter of fact some musicians even swear by it. With that said, the very fact remains that the overwhelming majority of working guitarists choose to use the amp and setup that they’re comfortable with and have used for years to create “their tone”. That brings us back to the isolation cabinet.
Isolation cabinets enable the guitarist to use the precise setup that they are used to. This means all of the effects pedals and the amp of their selecting, and anything else of their stage signal chain. The isolation cabinet simply replaces the speaker or speaker cabinet in the guitarist’s setup. The entire isolation cabinet has a guitar speaker and microphone mounted inside it is enclosure. The cabinet is usually highly dampened with acoustic foam to attenuate internal reflections and to dampen the general sound radiating from the unit. Depending on the volume of the amp, some isolation cabinets can still be quite loud and radiate quite a lot of sound externally. One other major concern with most isolation cabinets is the fact that they are normally large and heavy. These cabinets often weigh between 60 and 80 pounds or more when loaded. However, JLH Technologies manufacturers a small, table high isolation cabinet called the AxeTrak Pro. This unit weighs about 20 pounds, has an especially small footprint, and is essentially the most quiet of all isolation cabinets being sold at this time.
There are a variety of options available on the market so ensure you do your homework and check them out. An isolation cabinet may very well be the solution you have been on the lookout for!