Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

August 2019 is the first KVR Guitar Month so here's a new forum for discussion of all things guitar!

Can you spot the real setup?

Example A
4
15%
Example B
13
50%
Example C
1
4%
Example D
3
12%
I can't hear a difference at all!
5
19%
 
Total votes: 26

User avatar
forwardaudio
KVRist
59 posts since 25 Jun, 2014 from Germany

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 9:30 am

Nowadays a lot of people use cabinet IRs for their guitar tone. But do they really sound like the original? I've recorded an example with 3 IRs and a real setup. Can you spot the real setup?
https://youtu.be/_tL5AtM_6CY
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
https://www.forward-audio.com

Gregorius
KVRist
133 posts since 30 Jun, 2015

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:21 am

Would have been better to have more material availbale. Just a very short riff is pretty specific and narrow. Did you chose it because the IRs worked best on it?

reggie1979
KVRAF
1900 posts since 26 Nov, 2018

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:34 am

I couldn't hear enough of a difference to give a rats.

User avatar
forwardaudio
KVRist
59 posts since 25 Jun, 2014 from Germany

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 11:41 am

Gregorius wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 10:21 am
Would have been better to have more material availbale. Just a very short riff is pretty specific and narrow. Did you chose it because the IRs worked best on it?
I chose it because I like the riff ;-). What source material do you think would be the best?
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
https://www.forward-audio.com

User avatar
The Noodlist
KVRAF
2378 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:20 pm

I thought A was the real cab, never got any of these type of listening tests correct.
Does it matter? Just make music. :party:
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

Scotty
KVRAF
2061 posts since 23 Dec, 2002

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:35 pm

It is interesting... I think I can hear the differences in the low end and higher frequency responses. B and D sound "right" to me but I really don't know which one(s) is real or an i/r. "A" doesn't have the bass in the low end compared to B and C but maybe it isn't there at the source? C seems a bit bass heavy almost like you'd want to pull the mike back a bit from the cabinet. Each sound is usable. I may need to shape the tone a bit in the context of a song but with a touch of EQ applied I don't think it would matter at all. They are close enough.
Last edited by Scotty on Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.

User avatar
Forgotten
KVRAF
11472 posts since 15 Apr, 2019 from Nowhere

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:36 pm

It’s kind of a pointless comparison - if you compare a high quality IR with a cheap, crappy amp and cabinet then the IR will sound better, and vice versa.

As above - just use whatever makes the right sound for you.

Tilly
KVRist
51 posts since 18 Feb, 2019

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:50 pm

B feels right to me. But I agree there should have been a couple more cases like a high solo, some clean or some picky. Each have their own way of interacting with the speaker and may reveal more detail of the "depth" of the example. I think on a distorted riff it just doesn't matter so much as many IRs can sound very similar very easy.

Funkybot's Evil Twin
KVRAF
7141 posts since 16 Aug, 2006

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:06 pm

A felt pretty good, had some nice dynamics. I felt like I could hear the speaker pushing air and moving. My guess is this the real cab, but I certainly could be wrong.

B was my least favorite. This one felt like it was lacking some of the push/pull that occurs with a moving speaker and felt flat/slightly dark.

C was slightly better than B. Tonally this one felt closer to A than B did, but didn't quite move as much.

D was my next favorite behind A.

Note: I'd be just as curious about the different IR capturing techniques as I would about which is a real amp.

User avatar
forwardaudio
KVRist
59 posts since 25 Jun, 2014 from Germany

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Thu Aug 29, 2019 9:02 am

Very interesting answers, so far. I think it would be good to make a more extensive 2nd test. With more examples (metal, rock, clean) & also with the guitars embedded in a mix.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
https://www.forward-audio.com

User avatar
forwardaudio
KVRist
59 posts since 25 Jun, 2014 from Germany

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:01 pm

Thank you all for your many answers. Here are the shocking results: (including free download of the IRs used).
https://youtu.be/r03SWjPN_TI
Funkybot's Evil Twin wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 4:06 pm
B was my least favorite. This one felt like it was lacking some of the push/pull that occurs with a moving speaker and felt flat/slightly dark.
Tilly wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:50 pm
B feels right to me. But I agree there should have been a couple more cases like a high solo, some clean or some picky. Each have their own way of interacting with the speaker and may reveal more detail of the "depth" of the example. I think on a distorted riff it just doesn't matter so much as many IRs can sound very similar very easy.
Scotty wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:35 pm
It is interesting... I think I can hear the differences in the low end and higher frequency responses. B and D sound "right" to me but I really don't know which one(s) is real or an i/r.
The Noodlist wrote:
Tue Aug 27, 2019 12:20 pm
I thought A was the real cab, never got any of these type of listening tests correct.
Does it matter? Just make music. :party:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
https://www.forward-audio.com

reggie1979
KVRAF
1900 posts since 26 Nov, 2018

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:26 pm

To the OP. Fun to do. But I just can't hear a difference personally and in a mix, most people couldn't either.

User avatar
forwardaudio
KVRist
59 posts since 25 Jun, 2014 from Germany

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:41 am

reggie1979 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 3:26 pm
To the OP. Fun to do. But I just can't hear a difference personally and in a mix, most people couldn't either.
I agree. Still, fascinating that people could tell the difference. Maybe I make another test with the examples already in a mix.
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
― Arthur C. Clarke
https://www.forward-audio.com

User avatar
The Noodlist
KVRAF
2378 posts since 16 Aug, 2017 from UK

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Sat Sep 07, 2019 4:02 am

I can hear the difference now, seems obvious when not using headphones. It like it's dynamically responding, and there's a note that stands out more in B, in a nice way.
Currently trying to turn noise into music. :neutral:

CapnLockheed
KVRAF
2350 posts since 12 Mar, 2002 from Central NY

Re: Real Cabinet vs. Cab Impulse Response - Can you hear the difference?

Post Wed Sep 11, 2019 12:23 pm

OH GAWD!! Yet another typical "apples" VS "oranges KVR thread. Who gives a rat's patoot!!
You kids are are Soooo spoiled. You have too many choices wah!! :cry: Actually, we would have given a left nut for such things back in the day. Choices for recording guitar were very limited. Mic an amp, direct console injection, a cab sim hardware box and re-amping and that was about it. Yet somehow we managed.

I'll tell what an IR can't do like a real speaker....make your pants flap in the breeze coming off of your full Orange stack turned to 11.....LOL!! :D :D :D

Cheers.....CL :oops:
the secrets to old age: Faster horses, Richer Women, Bigger CPU's

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