As much as I love the roar of a good, hot tube-amp, it isn’t always practical to record or practice with one. If late-night inspiration hits, the surest way of getting kicked out of my own house is firing up a tube amp and ripping away.
Enter the new Mesa/Boogie Cab Clone. It’s a cabinet simulator with a built-in load box that lets you do several cool things:
- Play your beloved tube amp with just your headphones
- Safely disconnect the speaker but still put the proper load on the amp
- Use as a DI box for recording
There are plenty of nice DI boxes out there, but they don’t provide the proper load for the amp. If you don’t already know, rocking out with your tube amp disconnected from a speaker causes your amp to work extra-hard which can lead to premature failure. The Cab Clone provides a “dummy load” on the amp so that the right resistance is in place for it to operate as normal.
Speaker cabinets also have quite an impact on your overall tone. Various cones and cabinets can dramatically effect the final sound. Have you ever take a direct line-out from your amp? I’ll bet you a case of beer that it sounded pretty awful. Amp designers will tweak the signal coming out of the power section to handle the coloration you get from speakers and cabinets.
The Cab Clone provides a very simple version of cabinet simulation with three choices: open-backed, closed-backed and “vintage”. While you won’t get a lot of tweak-ability in the cabinet selection, the final output knob will let you do some clever things matching the Cab Clone’s output to whatever input you’re sending it to (DI, audio interface, etc.)
I haven’t put my hands on one yet, but I can’t wait until they show up at my local guitar store. Until then, here’s the official video: