Matching cabs with amps

Is there an easy way to know what kind of cabs go with what kind of amps? Both specifically and in general?

Like, if I use an AC30 amp, then an AC30 cab is an easy bet, but there are so many cabs, I don’t even know where to begin sometimes when I am looking to change my tone.

I know that in the physical amp world, certain speakers only work properly with certain amps, does this translate into the digital world at all.

I just want to be able to pull up an amp and say “hmm, this would probably sound good with the Suhr 2x12” or “this would probably sound good with a 4x10” instead of aimlessly scrolling through different cabs

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Hi @LilSenate, knowing which cab/mics you prefer is going to be subjective which is why you have multiple choices of cab blocks and mics etc. That being said, take a look at this site which was created to help new owners with amp/cab selections. Note: This is not a NDSP officially supported site: https://cortex-device-list.vercel.app/

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This is perfect! Thank you.

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Glad to help! Thanks!

I would check the QC amp-cab list @MP_MOD provided first as the following reference is more Fractal model oriented (not a commercial for them). Yek’s amp guide has quite extensive recommendations for matching amps, mostly specific to Fractal’s models; at least some of which can be translated to QC’s included amps and cabs as well as captures available in the cloud. The guide tends to show more of the “stock” options, but you might find it helpful anyway. Once you are in the guide either search for a specific amp or scroll down through the guide until you hit the amp model’s description and look for the big blue box that shows its matching cabinet model(s).

Link below is a brief article on differences in tone between cab types. I’m sure there are more comprehensive writeups available as well. More geared towards getting to know the fundamental differences between cab types than providing an instant reference for pairing amp to cab.
Speaker Geeks: How a Speaker Cabinet Influences Your Tone - Premier Guitar

I often have the same dilemma deciding on an ideal amp/cab/mic(s); thankfully experimentation is so much easier to do in the digital realm. One thing I don’t have to worry about with digital cabs is getting the impedance match wrong between the amp and cab, or encountering a mis-wired or shorted cab as I have with physical amps and cabs. I can quickly audition cabs and just roll through different combinations. Same thing applies to finding different microphone selections, combinations, and positioning, which can eat up some serious time in the analog world. Who am I kidding? You can go down the rabbit hole with digital just as easily but at least the changes are only a few QC screen strokes away.

The amp/cab/mic combinations that work “best” in the analog world serve as a good starting point. I would definitely find it handy though to have a quick reference source as to which digital amp/cab pairs seem to excel on the QC, or even in general. Just don’t know how much authority or credibility it would have unless compiled by professional studio engineers or top-notch musicians with the ever elusive “golden ear”. Opinions vary wildly. I suppose another good starting point is which cab was recommended by the company who sold the original amp (their own offering of course :grin:). Wonder if there is a thread here somewhere on the forum for members’ favorite amp/cab pairs?

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Note: When adding a cab block etc., you can select the block then use the upper right encoder knob to cycle through the available cab blocks. This works the same for all block types (e.g. select a drive block and cycle through the available drives etc.). I use this method to quickly demo various cabs to find the right match then tweak as needed. Hopefully a helpful tip! :smiley:

Thanks for sharing the additional cab references!

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