DOES THE MESA CAB CLONE SOUND GOOD?
TIPS FOR BEST SOUND WITH MESA CAB CLONE
by Mark King
CABCLONE WITHOUT A SPEAKER
The Mesa Cab Clone is a small metal box with an XLR microphone-level output on the back. The signal from the mic output can feed a mixer or DAW and be used live for reinforcement or recorded into a DAW.
Your amplifier speaker-output feeds the input on the Cab Clone. You don't need to connect a speaker, you can play your amp into the Cab Clone and use the XLR output to record your amp with zero sound in the room. An internal load inside the Cab Clone will provide proper electrical termination for the amp.
A Cab Clone only provides one load impedance, they are available in 4, 8 and 16 ohm models.
CAB CLONE WITH A SPEAKER
Another way to use Cabclone is to connect a speaker to the output provided, this provides dramatically improved tone and response from the XLR microphone output. In this setup the internal load in the Cabclone is disconnected and the amplifier output is passed to the speaker which you hear live in the room. The Cabclone is only providing contouring and conditioning of the sound to make it sound similar to a speaker with a microphone in front of it.
The reactance of whatever speaker you have connected to the Cabclone directly affects the sound produced at the microphone output. With the Cabclone set to the 4x12 tone simulation it sounds much more like a 4x12 when a real 4x12 is connected to the Cabclone output. The sound changes from a flat, dry and static character to a bouncy and more lively flavor.
Recording with and without a speaker connected to the Cabclone delivers two very recognizably different signals at the XLR output. I greatly prefer the sound of the Cabclone with a speaker connected, in this case I'm just using the Cabclone as a replacement for a microphone. The sound is very dry with zero room or space because the signal is coming directly from the speaker output of the amplifier the Cabclone is connected to.
Good music to you!