Are there any high frequencies coming out of a guitar speaker ?

Are there any high frequencies coming out of a guitar speaker ?

Short answer : No.A guitar amp is built around two elements : its amplifying part and its speaker. And the latter has a frequency response given by his technical specifications sheet.Let us look quickly at one of the classic speakers used in the guitar industry : the Celestion V30.The general specifications clearly states the range of the V30 is between 70 Hz and 5000 Hz.

If you look at the frequency response chart, it seems to have a more broad frequency response, which is in a way is true. But its (kind of) linear response happens between the previously given range. Before 70 Hz, the response drops sharply, and the same for after 5 kHz.

Which leads to a very simple observation : there are no high ends coming out of an electric guitar cabinet.

What does this mean when we are dialing our tone into a mix or a show ?

First, knowing where our guitar sings helps to hear ourselves when playing live (see here for more). Do not try to replace the bass with thumping low end, it will not happen. Your high-gain tone is sizzling with treble ? Bad luck the cymbals are way louder than you.In a recording, all the depth and air you hear from your reverb coming out of your amp does not translate at all in the mix. How come ? When we hear something we also hear all the harmonics coming with the signal. A guitar speaker, while having reduced response over 5kHz, does produce a lot of harmonics mainly because it produces a distorted signal from the incoming guitar sound. And our ear likes aural illusions and with those harmonics it gives the feeling of trebles in the sound.But a microphone in front of a cabinet robs off part of the higher harmonics. So the reverb tails and delays are duller, doomier when put to tape to what we hear in front of the amp.This is why we always advise in our owner’s manuals, to put the delay and reverb pedals after our Torpedo units so that all the high end of the reverb is not cut off by the frequency range of the speaker and the microphone recording the signal. This also works when using a loadbox and a Torpedo C.A.B. M. You put your spatial effect pedals after the Torpedo to keep the clarity of the effects.This leads to another observation.

Why does an electric guitar sound so badly in an acoustic amp or going direct into a PA?

Because both have a tweeter speaker to allow for an extended range in the higher frequencies. Our distortion pedals do not like tweeters at all (well, at least our ears do not like this sound at all). This gives a harsh, bee-like sound. An acoustic amp can be very handy for a one man band : one vocal mic, your electric guitar, the amp and you are good to gig all day long. As long as you provide a speaker simulation of an electric guitar cabinet to your electric guitar tone going into the acoustic amp.(and one last reverse observation : this is why there is never any mic input for a vocal mic on an electric guitar amp . There are no tweeter in the guitar cabinet, so all vocals sound very dull).

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