What's in a guitar cabinet? Good question isn't it? After all, cabinets are cabinets aren't they? Not exactly. If you desire the best in your equipment you'll need to do a little research. What makes one guitar cabinet sound better than the other? What is the difference in materials used in their construction? Let's take a look at what goes into a standard Johnson loudspeaker enclosure.

Void Free Woods. As the statement implies, these are woods that are free of voids. Voids are open areas that reside in "inexpensive" plywood boxes. These are the football shaped cutouts used by the manufacturers to punch out knots in the wood. If you buy a cheap box made from cheap wood you'll run the risk of voids. Big deal? Yes. Your cabinet will rattle, especially at higher volumes. There's no fix for this. Every Johnson cabinet is made to exacting specifications from totally void free woods.

13-Ply Baltic Birch baffle boards. The baffle board is the "sounding board" for your cabinet, very similar to the "top" on an acoustic guitar. This is the board your speaker(s) is mounted to. This board has to be strong; strong enough to handle everyday use with a very heavy loudspeaker bolted to it. Baltic Birch is a much-used term however; do we know what it really is? A "Baltic" birch tree comes from the "Baltic" region of Russia. Being a colder climate the trees grow much slower there. When the trees grow slower they grow stronger with much tighter grain. This produces a very strong wood that is generally free of voids (see above.) Be a cautious consumer. There are many cabinets out there that use MDF baffle boards. While MDF is an excellent wood for cabinet construction it should "never" be used for your baffle board. This is a big no-no in guitarland. Your speaker will eventually pull away and break through the baffle board. Insist on 13-ply "Baltic Birch" baffle boards otherwise you may have a dysfunctional amp or cabinet you can do nothing with.

Uni-Vinyl Covering. Standard "Tolex" vinyl amp and cabinet covering can rip, peel and be a general mess to deal with leaving you with a old worn out looking amp. Meant to be a durable covering for most situations, "Tolex" has been the generally accepted standard in guitar amp coverings. The Tolex vinyl cover has a very unique sound so other alternative coverings had be chosen carefully. Instead of gluing a vinyl material to the amp or cabinet, which leaves seams and cuts that can rip and tear, why not simply spray the vinyl coating directly on to the box? This was the question that went into making the finest guitar amps and cabinets in the world. The result? Johnson's unique "Uni-Vinyl" coating that covers each and every one of our amps and cabinets.

Hand Tuning. Every Johnson amplifier and cabinet goes through a very personal process of being "hand-tuned". Every speaker has it's own personality. You can actually play them like a drum. Some will have a higher pitch while others have a lower pitch. All Johnson speakers are "hand-tuned" and matched in the assembly process. If "god is in the details" then these are some very heavenly cabinets. It's the little details like this that give every Johnson combo the low-end punch and every 4x12 cabinet the smoothness that can't be matched.

All cabinets are not created equal… sorry.


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