Shopping for speaker cabinets can be confusing. The combinations of woods, sizes and finishes can be daunting. The people at Soundsrite Audio the makers of Rocket Cab have made the task a lot easier. Soundsrite Audio has an intelligent user-driven interface on their website. The user need only select the category they are interested in. Solid Pine Guitar Cabinets, Custom Combo Cabs, Bass Cabinets and Head Cabs are all broken up into separate categories. Once a speaker configuration is selected the user can then select options like tolex colors and grill materials. The option to select closed back or open back cabs is also available. Not sure if you would like an open or closed back cab? Soundsrite Audio has a three piece convertible option that gives you the best of both worlds.
When we decided to review Celestion’s new G15V-100 Fullback 15 Inch guitar speaker (check out the review) it was a no-brainer for us to call Soundsrite Audio for advice on the perfect cab for the speaker. Though Soundsrite Audio has many options, we decided to go with the C-4 Custom 1×15 wanting to review a more common production model. The C-4 Custom 1×15 has multiple combinations of tolex, grill cloth and hardware. However, we were so blown away by the throwback tweed example on the website we went with that option.
This cab is a throwback to vintage speaker cabinet production. Solid Premium Eastern White Pine with beautiful half blind dovetail joinery is the starting point for these cabinets. The tweed on the tolex is wrapped around the cabinet with the precision of a master tailor. Each seam is lined up meticulously with the tweed pattern aligning across the seams. One look tells you this is a quality guitar cabinet.
An old school heavy duty stitched handle adorns the top of the cabinet finishing off the vintage vibe of the Rocket Cab. Where we opted out of the vintage options where the cabinet feet. We selected standard black rubber instead of the standard chrome for the sake of saving our hardwood floors. Once we had the C-4 Custom 1×15 in our hands we tested it with a variety of tube and solid state, heads and combos.
Fender Excelsior: The fullness of the cab bloomed using the C-4 Custom 1×15 with this little 13 watt amp. We bypassed the Fender’s speaker all together using only the C-4 Custom 1×15 . Seeing the Fender Excelsior is an open back combo we decided to go the same route with the Rocket Cab. The first thing that was readily noticeable was the lack of speaker breakup. The G15V-100 is a 100-watt speaker and the Fender Excelsior had plenty of headroom. Pushing the amp to its limits we had wall shaking cleans with zero cabinet noise or rattle what-so-ever. This cabinet is very tight. When we hit the amp with a bit of boost things really took off. The C-4 Custom 1×15 was delivering singing tone with perfect projection and clarity.
Orange Micro Terror: We next turned our attention to the hybrid 20-watt Orange Micro Terror. The more granular tone of the Orange Micro Terror played well with the C-4 Custom 1×15 and G15V-100. With the GAIN control on the Orange Micro Terror, it was easy to simulate speaker break-up giving us a very cool fuzzy vibe. As you can see in the pictures below the Orange Micro Terror and C-4 Custom 1×15 make a handsome couple. Not only do the pair look and sound great but with the Rocket Cab in open cab mode, there is enough room in the back of the cab to store the head for easy travel and setup.
Randell Commander VI: This is a very strange amp. The Randell is a 200-watt solid state combo with 4×10 speakers. The mix of the 10s and the 15 seemed very natural. This amp seemed to come alive. Jazz and country licks seem to pop out of the cab with a nice snap and crispness. Jazz licks had a thickness to them but were not muddy or flubby. It sounded as if our E, A and D string were made out of tree trunks.
Fender Quad Reverb: This is a classic Fender amp that has been with me since the early 80’s. In early days gigging as a metal guitarist, this amp sat upon an Ampeg V4 to give 8×12 to crank its 100 watts through. It has been years since I have used this amp with an extension cab so I was excited to see how it performed with the C-4 Custom 1×15. The Fender Quad Reverb and C-4 Custom 1×15 look and sound like a match made in heaven. The two open back cabinets together filled the room with sound. The mix of 4×12 speakers in the combo and 15 in the Rocket cab complimented each other beautifully. Rhythms were creamy and lush with a sublime balance of crystal Fender clean highs and a thunderous bottom.
Marshall JCM 2000 DSL: This is where the rubber hit the road. We put the back on the C-4 Custom 1×15 and played it side by side with a Marshall MX212 loaded with Celestion Seventy 80 speakers. Driven with a 100 watt Marshall head this cab really delivered. I had the benefit of one of our other writers Ken taking the wheel and blasting a humbucker loaded Strat through the setup. As Ken started playing power chords standing 10 feet away from the amp I could feel the hardwood floors move with each bash of the guitar. The C-4 Custom 1×15 was bellowing out crushing metal power chords with no cab noise, clear as a bell.
I did point out earlier in this column the C-4 Custom 1×15 is built like a tank. What I failed to mention is it is unbelievably light. Even loaded with a 100-watt 15-inch speaker the C-4 Custom 1×15 is light enough to carry a long distance with one hand. The stitched handle makes carrying the cabinet even less effortless.
Unlike the massed produced cookie-cutter cabinets on the major music retailer’s sites Rocket Cabs are made to order. Each cabinet is handcrafted and unique in its own right. By cutting out the middleman and being manufacturing here in the U.S.A. Sounds Rite Audio are able to produce a quality product at great prices.