Hughes & Kettner Red Box MkII Cabinetulator G

This is one of my favorite wacky gadgets. It allows me to play play rock god without waking up the neighbors.

The best way to explain what this things does is to ask a question. Have you seen the many hundreds of rock videos in which the designated guitar hero is playing through an amp with the speaker cabinets labelled “Marshall” on the front? Well, those cabinets have four 12″ speakers in them, and are pretty much the defacto configuration for rock guitar players.

This Cabinetulator emulates that sound. Rather convincingly, as a matter of fact. It mimics the sounds of a mic’d 4×12″ speaker cabinet. That’s all that it does.

I don’t imagine too many budding rock stars would be interested in a gadget like this. And, well, if you own a Marshall stack, why would you be?

It’s a good fit for me. I have an old Ampeg V-4 guitar head with a busted transformer. It can’t power a speaker cabinet, but it works fine as a pre-amp. So if I plug it into the H&K Cabinetulator, I suddenly have a hot-rodded amplifier again. Or at least it sounds like I do.

I also use this with my Alembic F-2B preamp and my Stratocaster when I want a more raucous sound out of the Strat. If I feed channel 1 into channel 2 on the F-2B, I can get a nice, light, creamy overdrive that sounds incredible when I send the signal through the Cabinetulator.

I think maybe this goes back to that old argument over analog versus digital. My Amplitube 2 software works wonders on the emulated guitar amp frontier, and it has convincing cabinet simulations. But somehow the old gear like the Ampeg sounds better through the Cabinetulator.

I’ve had this gadget forever. It’s funny to see how skittish younger players are of old equipment. After all, everybody knows that nothing made prior to 2000 is worth a damn. Fine. They can think that. That means I won’t be bidding against them on eBay.

“The Red Box enables you to connect your
console without the problems of miking the
guitar amplifier directly to a stage microphone.”

– Craigslist User

Purchased: 1989
Condition: Functional
Model: Red Box MkII
Manufacturer: Hughes & Kettner
Seller: Music Emporium
Price: $50


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