Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

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Humbucky
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Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Humbucky » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:55 am

Hello everyone,

for years I've been playing on my Peavey Valveking 412 cabinet. Since I finally have a job and I can save the money little by little for an upgrade, I have been looking for a new cabinet.

The reason I want a 212 cabinet is simple: I believe in the principle: Less is more + the 412 is huge... It takes too much space in my car, we rehearse on the 1st floor and have to go up and down a steep staircase, wich can be slippery (it's outside) sometimes. Accidents are imminent.

I heard A LOT of good things about the Orange Brand and I am very interested in the Orange PPC212 cabinets, both closed and open backs. I read dozens of reviews, viewed dozens of video's on youtube and heard them in action live on stage (not very representative going through a PA).

I play on an Epiphone Les Paul Ebony (yeah I know, not the best guitar but I still have money issues) through my pedalboard into a Blackstar Stage HT-100 head.
I almost exclusively play original songs and occasionally some covers.

The genre of my band: Well, that's difficult, we play different genres...
Some people compare us to Foo Fighters, Snow Patrol, U2, R.E.M., Pearl Jam, The Cure, Trapt and Mogwai.
To explain this: I'm the only guitarplayer in my band and I am very influenced by Post-Rock and Ambient music. These influences are in our band in some kind of "radio-friendly" (not all of them) rock songs. I have a pretty heavy sound and use tons of reverb and delay, but sometimes I use almost nothing.

One of our songs: https://www.mp3days.net/download-mp3/79 ... -bang.html" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
More songs: http://unpayable.bandcamp.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Now my question is this: Would the open back be more interesting for me to get the overall ambience in the room/on stage without losing the "heavyness"? Or should I opt for the closed back for the more tight lower end? Would the open back be too "soft" because I read that it's better for blues, surf, etc. music?

I palmmute pretty often (not crazy metal palmmuting), use heavy chords and play both standard and drop-D tuning. I don't play metal, but I have influences.

I must admit, like many other guitarplayers I too have problems with hearing myself on stage and while rehearsing. The open back could help with that, or so I heard, but I'm scared I'd miss the punch it needs for our music.
For the record: I know mids are the key, I don't scoop them and I cut the bass just enough to work with our bassplayer. Gains are at moderate level or less. I just miss the "presence" I sometimes need, but also the "drive" could be a lot more.
I know, 212 cabinets are smaller than 412, so are lower to the ground. The plan is to put the cab on a flight case.

Unfortunately, our closest musicstore (it's the biggest musicstore of my country, Belgium) doesn't have these in stock so testing them out is (for now) impossible... Hearing the difference between the 2 is not possible at this moment.

Do any of you have any opinions, suggestions, tips or experiences with these cabinets? I'm not saying you have to choose for me, I'm just asking what COULD be the best one of the two, for my music?

All help is much appreciated!
http://unpayable.bandcamp.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by a.hun » Fri Jan 30, 2015 11:56 am

Hi Humbucky. Welcome.

Totally agree with your 'less is more'. A good 2x12 is fine for most any stage and Orange do know how to make good cabs.

There is quite a weight difference between the cabs. Closed back PPC212 is listed as being only about 10lb (~5kg) lighter than your 4x12. The OB is a fair bit lighter, 28lb (13kg) less than your current cab.

I obviously can't really tell you which cab would be better for you. My gut feeling though is that you'd get on better the closed back. For starters you are coming from a 4x12, and the closed PPC212 will get you much closer to (or match) the chunky feel of that than the OB would. While your ambient sounds would work great with either I suspect that your harder ones would work better with the heavier closed back.
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=53237" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

BUT...
Since sound spread is a real issue to you the best advice I can give you is to run any 2x12 on it's side with the speakers vertically - especially a closed back one.
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=47018" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That'll make a very real difference in sound spread, especially compared to any 4x12!


Andy.
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Mystic38 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 2:22 pm

hi humbucky, and also welcome..

Andy brings up good points, all of which are valid..

So, to add to his comments, in addition to the room dispersion improvement of rear radiation from an OB cabinet, there is a very noticeable tonal difference between an OB and CB cabinet, which you can see from the attached charts.

Sorry to add a bit of speaker science to this :) but hopefully this helps. These charts were taken with the clean channel of a rocker 30, one through the combo speaker (open back) and one through a PPC112CB, and while not a 212, the difference in responses of the two 112 cabs seen here would translate to a similar differences in the 212.

The open back cabinet has a smooth and extended bass response that matches the free air bass response of the V30 (75Hz). In contrast the closed back cabinet has actually less of a bass frequency response (about 90Hz) however the cabinet volume has tuned the free-air resonance up to a 5dB peak at about 140Hz. This is why the CB is often referred to as having a "tighter" or more "punchy" bass .. you actually get a less extended bass response in frequency terms, but more bass in the most noticeable region...In addition the closed volume provides some damping to the mids so while not totally accurate, in some ways you can view this as an an EQ shift of turning up the bass and controlling the mids that results in the CB sounding smoother..
The open back sounds more open for three reasons.. first, and not seen in a mic'd cab plot, is the rear radiation, where sound arrives at a listener slightly out of phase bouncing off walls adds openness, secondly, the bass is EQ'd more flat to the mids and lastly, in the CB cab, the confined air provides damping to the mids.

It is possible to get an 212OB and then add a blanking panel to make a CB cabinet. This is an approach used by some however just note that if this approach is taken, the cabinet tuning will be at a higher frequency than the 212CB due to the smaller volume so will sound a bit "warmer" than the stock 212CB

Image

Image
-Ian-

Orange Rocker 30c, PPC212 & PPC112, Fender DRRI, Marshall 2266
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Moon » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:02 pm

Welcome!

I can't really add anything more to what's already been said but it just so happens that 2 days ago i was able to hear a Blackstar HT100 through a PPC212 OB in person. Didn't use it in a band situation but it was a pretty nice combination. I wouldn't have any concerns if you did opt for that. Sadly i can't comment on the CB.

I use a PPC212 OB myself (the other guitarist in the band has one too) and going on the bands you've listed as 'sound-a-likes' we're in the same area of heavyness...neither of us has ever lacked any bottom end at all (we palm mute a lot too) or suffered from a lack of spangly roomy ambience.

The OB is also a gigging guitarists dream come true when it comes to weight...
If it's TOO loud...you're TOO old!!!

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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Ronnie Robinson » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:44 pm

For the wide Range of Music you play, I would say OB all day long .....

Its an excellent sounding Cab that covers a lot of ground.

If you are considering the Closed Back you really need to consider the size and weight of it ...moving it is not really a one man operation unless you have some sort of trolley.

The OB is smaller, cheaper and will sound great. I use one for all types of music - mainly classic Rock but also all types of guitar based music.

And you could always convert the OB into a closed back if you wanted to.
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Ronnie Robinson » Fri Jan 30, 2015 4:46 pm

Mystic38 wrote:hi humbucky, and also welcome..

Andy brings up good points, all of which are valid..

So, to add to his comments, in addition to the room dispersion improvement of rear radiation from an OB cabinet, there is a very noticeable tonal difference between an OB and CB cabinet, which you can see from the attached charts.

Sorry to add a bit of speaker science to this :) but hopefully this helps. These charts were taken with the clean channel of a rocker 30, one through the combo speaker (open back) and one through a PPC112CB, and while not a 212, the difference in responses of the two 112 cabs seen here would translate to a similar differences in the 212.

The open back cabinet has a smooth and extended bass response that matches the free air bass response of the V30 (75Hz). In contrast the closed back cabinet has actually less of a bass frequency response (about 90Hz) however the cabinet volume has tuned the free-air resonance up to a 5dB peak at about 140Hz. This is why the CB is often referred to as having a "tighter" or more "punchy" bass .. you actually get a less extended bass response in frequency terms, but more bass in the most noticeable region...In addition the closed volume provides some damping to the mids so while not totally accurate, in some ways you can view this as an an EQ shift of turning up the bass and controlling the mids that results in the CB sounding smoother..
The open back sounds more open for three reasons.. first, and not seen in a mic'd cab plot, is the rear radiation, where sound arrives at a listener slightly out of phase bouncing off walls adds openness, secondly, the bass is EQ'd more flat to the mids and lastly, in the CB cab, the confined air provides damping to the mids.

It is possible to get an 212OB and then add a blanking panel to make a CB cabinet. This is an approach used by some however just note that if this approach is taken, the cabinet tuning will be at a higher frequency than the 212CB due to the smaller volume so will sound a bit "warmer" than the stock 212CB

Image

Image
Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Mystic38 » Fri Jan 30, 2015 7:49 pm

Clearly not to you.. but its not black magic :)

Not sure why you felt compelled to make your comment, but the data is not personal, not subjective and directly helps to show the difference between the two cabinet styles if someone cares to actually look at it.

I was however, replying to the OP, so perhaps we can let him decide for himself if this is of any use.
Ronnie Robinson wrote: Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
Ronnie Robinson wrote: And you could always convert the OB into a closed back if you wanted to
You could do this, but lets not pretend that it will sound identical to the 212CB.. it simply won't. The cabinet volumes are different so the OB cab will be tuned higher than the CB...
-Ian-

Orange Rocker 30c, PPC212 & PPC112, Fender DRRI, Marshall 2266
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by MikeD » Fri Jan 30, 2015 8:00 pm

Mystic38 wrote:Clearly not to you.. but its not black magic :)

Not sure why you felt compelled to make your comment, but the data is not personal, not subjective and directly helps to show the difference between the two cabinet styles if someone cares to actually look at it.

I was however, replying to the OP, so perhaps we can let him decide for himself if this is of any use.
Ronnie Robinson wrote: Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
Ronnie Robinson wrote: And you could always convert the OB into a closed back if you wanted to
You could do this, but lets not pretend that it will sound identical to the 212CB.. it simply won't. The cabinet volumes are different so the OB cab will be tuned higher than the CB...
I found it helpful, especially with your explanation. Working in cubase, mixing, mastering and live mixing is made much easier when you have basic knowledge of the why's, how's and what's. If more musicians took interest in it it would make for a lot less "stage volume issues", understanding towards your fellow musicians and the problems the sound guy has of trying to fit everyone in one tiny box. ;-)
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Ronnie Robinson » Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:07 pm

MikeD wrote:
Mystic38 wrote:Clearly not to you.. but its not black magic :)

Not sure why you felt compelled to make your comment, but the data is not personal, not subjective and directly helps to show the difference between the two cabinet styles if someone cares to actually look at it.

I was however, replying to the OP, so perhaps we can let him decide for himself if this is of any use.
Ronnie Robinson wrote: Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
Ronnie Robinson wrote: And you could always convert the OB into a closed back if you wanted to
You could do this, but lets not pretend that it will sound identical to the 212CB.. it simply won't. The cabinet volumes are different so the OB cab will be tuned higher than the CB...
I found it helpful, especially with your explanation. Working in cubase, mixing, mastering and live mixing is made much easier when you have basic knowledge of the why's, how's and what's. If more musicians took interest in it it would make for a lot less "stage volume issues", understanding towards your fellow musicians and the problems the sound guy has of trying to fit everyone in one tiny box. ;-)
Fair enough :lol:
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by a.hun » Sat Jan 31, 2015 11:15 am

Ronnie Robinson wrote:Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
It's not just you on this one frankly... :wink:
As I mentioned before I doubt that these charts tell you very much about the real world results of plugging your guitar into different cabs. They are just made by sweeping across the frequency spectrum, but real world guitars put out much more harmonically complex signals.
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.p ... ts#p631127" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also guitar cabs aren't nearly as hi tech designs as either monitor or PA speakers or even modern bass cabs. The solution of an OB with an extra removable back plate works well for some to give them different options for different situations. Though I often like to get in depth in theory that actually counts for less here than results IMO.


Andy.
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Mystic38 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:02 pm

Guitar cabinets are not immune from science ;)

What a frequency chart will definitely show, whether you wish to accept this or not, is the tonal response of a clean signal. The "harmonically complex" output of the guitar, or amp, is simply (as viewed by the speaker) an adjusted set of signals at different frequencies and amplitudes provided that the speaker is operating in its linear mode.

Note that these tests are using a pink noise source, not a swept sinewave, so it is already a "harmonically complex" waveform.

While clearly cone breakup is not shown, nor is transient response, note that pretty much every single subjective comment made about open back vs closed back cabs is supported by this data so therefore the essential character of the cabinet imo is very definitely shown...its unclear why folks here would ignore solid data that fully supports their subjective opinion...

To me, given we are not looking at two different speakers here, and therefore the driven/breakup (and to a lesser extent transient response) character will be substantially similar, the comparison of the clean response is completely valid imo

I started these tests as the R30C sounded brash and very forward here in the studio at rational room volumes. Compared to the CB, I can hear the difference, I can then see a measured difference on the plots, and then I can use this information to EQ the R30C to sound substantially similar to the CB cab...

So we can agree to disagree but to me, subjective observation supported by measured data is solid information, a controlled experiment using that data make it pretty conclusive to me. .. Subjective observation without measured data OTOH is just somebodys opinion.

a.hun wrote:
Ronnie Robinson wrote:Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?
It's not just you on this one frankly... :wink:
As I mentioned before I doubt that these charts tell you very much about the real world results of plugging your guitar into different cabs. They are just made by sweeping across the frequency spectrum, but real world guitars put out much more harmonically complex signals.
http://forum.orangeamps.com/viewtopic.p ... ts#p631127" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Also guitar cabs aren't nearly as hi tech designs as either monitor or PA speakers or even modern bass cabs. The solution of an OB with an extra removable back plate works well for some to give them different options for different situations. Though I often like to get in depth in theory that actually counts for less here than results IMO.


Andy.
-Ian-

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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Les Paul Lover » Sat Jan 31, 2015 2:37 pm

Ronnie Robinson wrote:
Mystic38 wrote:hi humbucky, and also welcome..

Andy brings up good points, all of which are valid..

So, to add to his comments, in addition to the room dispersion improvement of rear radiation from an OB cabinet, there is a very noticeable tonal difference between an OB and CB cabinet, which you can see from the attached charts.

Sorry to add a bit of speaker science to this :) but hopefully this helps. These charts were taken with the clean channel of a rocker 30, one through the combo speaker (open back) and one through a PPC112CB, and while not a 212, the difference in responses of the two 112 cabs seen here would translate to a similar differences in the 212.

The open back cabinet has a smooth and extended bass response that matches the free air bass response of the V30 (75Hz). In contrast the closed back cabinet has actually less of a bass frequency response (about 90Hz) however the cabinet volume has tuned the free-air resonance up to a 5dB peak at about 140Hz. This is why the CB is often referred to as having a "tighter" or more "punchy" bass .. you actually get a less extended bass response in frequency terms, but more bass in the most noticeable region...In addition the closed volume provides some damping to the mids so while not totally accurate, in some ways you can view this as an an EQ shift of turning up the bass and controlling the mids that results in the CB sounding smoother..
The open back sounds more open for three reasons.. first, and not seen in a mic'd cab plot, is the rear radiation, where sound arrives at a listener slightly out of phase bouncing off walls adds openness, secondly, the bass is EQ'd more flat to the mids and lastly, in the CB cab, the confined air provides damping to the mids.

It is possible to get an 212OB and then add a blanking panel to make a CB cabinet. This is an approach used by some however just note that if this approach is taken, the cabinet tuning will be at a higher frequency than the 212CB due to the smaller volume so will sound a bit "warmer" than the stock 212CB

Image

Image
Its may be just me, but is quoting a load of different 'HZ' figures and charts actually useful?

I find it very helpful personally. I know when I was chosing the components values in my BMP tonestack, I relied on such plots heavily - and the results totally justified that approach.

Obviously, if the graphs don't mean much to you, they are of limited values, but when you know the basic guitar response is seated between 80h (open low E) and 1200h (high End at 22nd fret), it makes a bit more sense. Open high E string is around 320h iirrc.
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Humbucky » Tue Feb 03, 2015 8:19 am

Wow, thanks everyone for the informative and great replies! Really appreciated!

Sorry for the late reply, I did not have internet access over the weekend until today.

Weight could indeed be one of the factors in choosing, but sound is obviously the most important thing. What "concerns" (Read: Holds me back) me however, are the dimensions of the OB and of the Blackstar Stage HT100. The OB is a few centimers smaller, correct me if I'm wrong:

Orange PPC212OB (according to Orange's official website): H (cm) 52 W (cm) 66 D (cm) 30
H (in) 20.47 W (in) 25.98 D (in) 11.81

Blackstar Stage HT100: 670 (mm) x 313 (mm) x 263 (mm) ---> Official Blackstar website (no mention of W, H or D)
31.2 x 14.7 x 14.5 inches ---> Amazon
26-1/2"H x 12-1/3"W x 10-1/2"D ---> Musiciansfriend

I'm European (Belgian) so dimensions in inches are Chinese to me...

Is the OB big enough?


The advantages for choosing an OB are obvious: Cheaper (the difference with the CB gives me budget to make a flightcase), weighs less, smaller, more space in the car and not so "beamy".
But as I said: Sound is everything to me. I'm willing to spend and lift more but ONLY if the sound is way better.
Is the build quality of the OB (made in China?) excellent or really Chinese quality? :wink:
Orange does not only sound fantastic to me, they look SEXY and it would be a nightmare if the Chinese builds are a disaster in looks after a few gigs, if you know what I mean? I respect my gear and take care of it!
Moon wrote: I can't really add anything more to what's already been said but it just so happens that 2 days ago i was able to hear a Blackstar HT100 through a PPC212 OB in person. Didn't use it in a band situation but it was a pretty nice combination. I wouldn't have any concerns if you did opt for that. Sadly i can't comment on the CB.

I use a PPC212 OB myself (the other guitarist in the band has one too) and going on the bands you've listed as 'sound-a-likes' we're in the same area of heavyness...neither of us has ever lacked any bottom end at all (we palm mute a lot too) or suffered from a lack of spangly roomy ambience.
Can I ask what kind of music you play? What kind of sound-a-likes?
Did the player played metal or different kind of genres through the Blackstar Stage HT100? Most people only play metal on these heads, but I don't, or almost never do. I just suits best for my kind of music.
Your comment makes me really consider in taking the OB :D
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by Ronnie Robinson » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:01 am

Yep its too small!, not only in width but depth

Mine is 65 1/2 cm wide and 30cms deep or 25 3/4 inches wide and 11 1/2 deep
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Re: Orange PPC212 - Open back or closed back?

Post by kpunk56 » Tue Feb 03, 2015 11:10 pm

I did not realize this before, but is this true, the closed back 2x12 has side by side speakers, and the open back has them diagonal. Correct ??? if this is the case, I totally think that when I get an orange cab, I will go for the open back, and then build a back to close it off ... if i wanted the other option.

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