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Hi, This is my final decsion, Im going to sell my Laney LV200 combo amp and use my Celestion G12T-75 in its own speaker cabinet. Now i need to build this speaker cabinet or buy one thats empty before i can sell the laney as i wont have no speakers at all!

Ive decided on buying a 2nd hand Orange 2x12 cab as i know the construction is very solid. I was and am still tempted by the Harley Benton G212 Vintage cab which is half the price but have read that the sound quality will be no where near as good as a higher spec cabinet such as an orange 2x12 or even say a mesa boogie.

 

Now for building a cab in general whats needed? this is my list.

 

Wood, 16mm PLY for the cabinet(What wood for the baffle?)

Smaller thin lengths of wood for strutts (internal bracing ect)

Tolex/carpet/paint

Handle

Jackplate

Speaker cloth

Corner protectors

Rubber feet

Screws/Glue ect

 

Thanks.

 

I would prefer to buy one as i can get moving with my better cab.

 

Any good 2x12 cabs for about £300 New/2nd hand with Vintage30's that you can recommend. Want to get the best quality i can for this money as i dont wanna get another in the future

 

Thanks

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I would not use Plywood to build a cabinet if I were you. I would use solid Poplar, Pine, or Mahogany. I have built a few cabinets with dovetail joinery and solid Poplar construction. I used a sheet of thin ply for the baffleboard. Using solid wood for the cabinet will be lighter, stronger, and sound better.

 

I am in the US, and I used 3/4 inch poplar and 5/15 mahogany ply for the baffle on my custom 4-10.

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Personally, I wouldn't piddle with making my own, partly because I'm just not set up for it, and partly because it requires more working knowledge of sound wave physics than I have or care to acquire.

 

As for ply vs. solid wood, I don't know that a person can definitively say that one is far superior than the other, if you're talking about cabinet-grade ply vs. solid. The bottom line is that you want the cabinet to resonate, and both materials are certainly capable of that, albeit a bit differently. What it comes down to, imo, is proper design and proper construction. A poorly designed and built solid material cabinet will undoubtedly sound worse than a superbly designed and built ply cab, and visa versa, but I honestly doubt that you'd find one or the other "defective," if both were exactly the same except for build material, and you A/B'd them side by side. You'd most likely be able to tell a difference, and might well have a preference of one over the other, but neither would likely be seen as either unuseable or so far superior that the other was completely out of the picture.

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  • 3 months later...

have not done any cab construction, but am familiar w/ woods.

 

IF you want resonance, you want solid hardwood, poplar would be fine (5/8" would be fine, too); mahogany would just be crazy-expensive for a working cab (and probably TOO resonant). You will not get resonance from plywood - any plywood - or from MDF.

 

There is of course the school that says resonance in a cab tends toward uncontrollable vibrations / feedback & so one SHOULD use plywood or MDF

 

Ply & MDF are both much heavier than solid hardwood. Pine is lighter, but defective in other ways. Pine would probably be the single worst material to use (though I'm sure someone will leap up & inform me that they built THE BEST CAB EVAR out of pine-board & plywood...)

 

Yeah, I know it's an old topic, but there's a lot of catching-back-up that needs doing....

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Decided to by a marshall TSL212C cabinet (2x12 with one celction Vintage30 and one heritage speaker) Got one 2nd hand for £180 and also got a 1x12 with a Vintage 30 too for cheap.

 

Why do 99% of manufacturers use ply wood? is it cos its cheap? think my cab is ply and partical board? Actually ive heard marshall use partical board now and they only use ply in there 1960 4x12 cab?

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There was a YouTube link a while back to some ToneGuru's vid on how to improve a Marshall cab, can't remember dude's name... but after calking the heck out of it, tightning every screw, he comments on how important the horizontal back-bracing post is to keep the enclosure focused and structurally intact for less flab-inducing expansion. From my perspective; if a cab is open or ported this becomes a useless consideration. If a cab is closed or sealed for frontal sound projection only off the

cone: cab resonance or reverberance would not be a desirable factor as it would lead one to believe that absoulute tone would be colored there-in. Therefore, to me, as long as the enclosure is of sufficient strength and structure to remain as close to neutral in it's impact to driver(s) employed would represent the seemingly ideal situation reguardless of material as long as it met said specification. My 2x12 is an old (70's era) PA cabinet out of partical board. Now this is some kinda partical board, hernia-inducing stuff. Sealed-back, no ports, solid-back , front loaded Hellatones-(Celestions/Avatar). I thought about ports but decided against it since ultimately a Marshall in most cases is closed back configuration and that was what I was hoping to emulate. In addition to it's original rock solid structure, during it's refurb we added 3/4" hardwood strips along ever internal mating joint, industrial hot glued every internal seam, pneumatically nail-studded every external mating surface and then caulked every internal seam after the adhesives fully cured. Drivers were mounted from frontside with extra-length screws that went fully through the baffle with a sealing gasket on each. I'm insanely happy with the way it turned out, I don't think one could tell a difference between this and any wood configuration if it was built with the thought of no box coloring the output and used thick enough, and dense enough materials. As far as it goes, I'd put this up against any similar built cabinet and wager it sounds as good or better than most 2x12's at a much higher price point. What surprised me most is that when driven hard it'll get that solid bottom thump that you find in a well built/higher-end 4x12, just slightly less pronounced. It probably has the abilty to shine even more if it was hooked up to something more serious than my modded Valve Junior. To me, solid and rigid seem like the best way to mount a speker if that's in fact what you're wanting to hear. Beyond that, open or closed depending on whether you want sound of one side or both sides of the cone but structure is even less of an issue at that point due to the lack of internal pressure levels.

 

Wedgie

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Why? Because it makes for a lively tone! Dead MDF cabs are essential for hi fi apps where you obviously don't want ANY cab resonance coloring the tone. Bass cabs need similar consideration. Done wrong, of course a solid wood cab would sour the tone, and probably in all the wrong places. Done right however, and it's part of the "vintage" tone equation for guitars. I am firmly in the camp that believes guitar tone most definitely benefits from a non-MDF cab done right.

 

Here's one of my favorite cab sources that definitely does cabs right. I bought a BluesJack Heirloom 1x12 combo cab for my 18watt last year. Now I've got a BJ-H 1x12 extension cab on the way; cuz when it comes to my 18watt's holy grail tone, I won't accept second best. http://www.stagecraftgear.com/servlet/StoreFront

 

However, you just can't get much cheaper than a truck cab when they go on sale for $15 bucks! If it needs porting, whip out the drill! =D>

http://www.parts-express.com/wizards/searchResults.cfm?srchExt=CAT&srchCat=144

 

Gil...

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I'm no speaker cab guru, and have only built a couple, but the main job of a speaker cab is to house the speaker, provide a sealed, ported, or open air cushion behind the speaker to help control movement of the cone, and direct the sound in one or more directions.

 

A closed cab allows the speaker to handle more power than an open cab because it buffers and limits the movement of the cone. When you add a bass port, more movement is allowed, but only in the frequency bands that the speaker can resonate in with the added movement allowed by air escaping or entering from the port. A closed cab allows no air to escape from the rear of the cone, thus the speaker cone is limited to the forward and backward movement allowed by the volume of air in the cab compressing as the cone moves. An open back cab does little to control the cone movement and allows mid range freqs to resonate from the rear and mix with the output from the front of the cone.

 

There are phase considerations to each model and different efficiency ratings. Enhancing the resonant frequency of a particular speaker is another design issue. A poorly designed cab can make a great speaker sound like junk and a great cab can balance out the shortcomings of an middle of the road speaker.

 

I would try to find a cab made by a major manufacturer who has already explored all the possibilities and created a design that employs cost efficency and performance. You can spend a lot of money and time re-engineering that which is already available at a comparative low cost.

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I would not use Plywood to build a cabinet if I were you. I would use solid Poplar' date=' Pine, or Mahogany. I have built a few cabinets with dovetail joinery and solid Poplar construction. I used a sheet of thin ply for the baffleboard. Using solid wood for the cabinet will be lighter, stronger, and sound better.

 

I am in the US, and I used 3/4 inch poplar and 5/15 mahogany ply for the baffle on my custom 4-10.[/quote']

most big amp companies use ply... but i'd tend to agree with you there.

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The obect of good cabinet design is to create the desirable "Q" and not color the louspeaker sound with superflous resonance. Wood resonance is a good thing in acoustic guitar design, but a bad thing in loudspeaker cabinet design, whether for home stereo, professional sound reinforcement, or guitar and bass cabinets. Solid woods can be used to make some really nice looking cabinetry, but it does nothing good for tone - that's the domain of the loudspeaker and internal cabinet design.

 

In any case, everything you need to know about proper cabinet design is contained in this book:

 

Dickasonbook.jpg

 

You can also read the Cliff-notes version here: http://www.duncanamps.com/technical/speaker_cab.html

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I really have to respectfully disagree with you there, Brian. One of the big reasons given for people's preference to BF Fender amps over their SF counterparts is the cabinet material and construction, and the fact that the BF models were more resonant.

 

Here's a simple experiment to illustrate the importance of resonance. Take the speaker out of a cabinet and just set it on a table, but leave it hooked up to the amp. Play some chords. How's that sound? Rich and full or thin and harsh?

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I really have to respectfully disagree with you there' date=' Brian. One of the big reasons given for people's preference to BF Fender amps over their SF counterparts is the cabinet material and construction, and the fact that the BF models were more resonant.

 

Here's a simple experiment to illustrate the importance of resonance. Take the speaker out of a cabinet and just set it on a table, but leave it hooked up to the amp. Play some chords. How's that sound? Rich and full or thin and harsh?

 

[/quote']

 

I absolutely have to agree with M-Theory here! Tube guitar amps and giuitar speaker cabinets go against all the rules really....you want distortion and resonance that are pleasing to the ear with complex harmonic overtones...that's where all the "Magic" happens IMHO.

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I really have to respectfully disagree with you there' date=' Brian. One of the big reasons given for people's preference to BF Fender amps over their SF counterparts is the cabinet material and construction, and the fact that the BF models were more resonant. [/quote']

 

M, as we've discussed before on this forum, BF Fenders used solid pine because it was far cheaper than Baltic birch plywood in the 60's. BF Fender's also used el- cheapo MDF for the baffle board that often disintegrates. I know what I'm talking about, I've replaced them both on my BF Pro Reverb and Bassman cabs. Leo was too cheap, er ah, too good a businessman to use anything more than what he needed to make those products. (I seem to remember something about his using the same sytrofoam cup with "Leo" written on it for his coffee for months at a time.)

 

Here's a simple experiment to illustrate the importance of resonance. Take the speaker out of a cabinet and just set it on a table' date=' but leave it hooked up to the amp. Play some chords. How's that sound? Rich and full or thin and harsh? [/quote']

This analogy completely misses the point. A loudspeaker outside of a cab sounds bad because there is no Q.

A given driver does not sound better in a solid wood cab than a plywood cab (assuming they are built, braced, baffled and loaded identically), and in fact may sound worse if it introduces a resonant frequency that attenuates certain desirable frequencies along the driver's response curve.

 

Solid pine cabs are aesthetically more pleasing and lighter, but 7-ply Baltic birch plywood is many times stronger than pine. And nowadays, thanks to the scarcity of high quality, unknotted kiln-dried pine, and the lower cost of void-free birch plywood, most (non-boutique) manufacturers prefer to make their cabinets out of plywood.

 

I’m totally in awe of your knowledge of tube amps, pedals and guitar electronics M, but you’re out to lunch on this. But hey, point me to a good white paper or industry reference that says the opposite and I’ll concede the debate.

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I absolutely have to agree with M-Theory here! Tube guitar amps and giuitar speaker cabinets go against all the rules really....you want distortion and resonance that are pleasing to the ear with complex harmonic overtones...that's where all the "Magic" happens IMHO.

 

In guitar cabinets, the magic happens between the driver and the air behind. The less resonant the cabinet material is, the more you're hearing the sound the driver manufacturer intended, not some unintentional resonance due to poor cabinet design.

 

PS, here's a link to the company I work for: http://www.acentech.com/

We have an anechoic chamber and about $500,000 of regularly calibrated acoustical test gear - TEFs, 1/3 Ocatve SPL meters, B&K mics, you name it. Perhaps I'll have to build a couple of identical cabs - one out of a $30/sheet of Home Depot 3/4" plywood and the other out of endangered species Brazilian rosewood. Load 'em both up with Celestion V30's and TEF 'em. I'm betting they test out roughly the same. When I'm done I'll keep the rosewood one and send you the plywood...

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In guitar cabinets' date=' the magic happens between the driver and the air behind. The less resonant the cabinet material is, the more you're hearing the sound the driver manufacturer intended, not some unintentional resonance due to poor cabinet design.

 

PS, here's a link to the company I work for: http://www.acentech.com/

We have an anechoic chamber and about $500,000 of regularly calibrated acoustical test gear - TEFs, 1/3 Ocatve SPL meters, B&K mics, you name it. Perhaps I'll have to build a couple of identical cabs - one out of a $30/sheet of Home Depot 3/4" plywood and the other out of endangered species Brazilian rosewood. Load 'em both up with Celestion V30's and TEF 'em. I'm betting they test out roughly the same. When I'm done I'll keep the rosewood one and send you the plywood...[/quote']

 

Well honestly...... if you are using vintage 30's as a control speaker I don't want either one! It varies quite a bit and what looks good on paper or even tests well in a given environment sounds like crap in other applications. I've been around the block a few times myself ,and the combination of all of the elements IS where the magic happens. You can have a perfectly tuned non resonant cab built to EV spec with an EV-12L that will give you a hard on in terms of spec tests with all of your fancy test gear in your anechoic chamber and yet mic'd up in a studio it sounds sterile and flat compared to a lesser quality speaker in a pine open back cab with all of it's idiosyncrasies!

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No doubt' date=' agreed on all points. I'm only talking about the one variable that's being debated here - plywood vs. solid wood.

 

It's a bunch of voodoo IMHO, same as 12 gauge Monster Cable is somehow better sounding than 12 gauge stranded copper lamp cord.

 

Sheesh. [/quote']

 

 

Yup ...and it's not unlike me to come in on the end of a thread without reading everything else .....weakness of mine I'm afraid!:) Yeah I've had some all baltic birch cabs that were great! In fact I have a 2x12 made by Woodworx ......(makers of some really fine touring pro sound cabinets) that sounds absolutely amazing! I also have some pine open back fender style cabs that sound great as well....but the speakers in both have a lot to do with it! I guess that's my point. Monster cable is a joke I agree....they give you a thick neoprene jacket and charge you up the wazoo for copper wire!#-o

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M, as we've discussed before on this forum, BF Fenders used solid pine because it was far cheaper than Baltic birch plywood in the 60's.

I don't recall discussing this, but I wouldn't doubt it. It just so happens that the pine was a very good choice, just as were his use of "cheapo" blue molded caps and RCA tubes at the time.

 

BF Fender's also used el- cheapo MDF for the baffle board that often disintegrates. I know what I'm talking about, I've replaced them both on my BF Pro Reverb and Bassman cabs.

So, did you replace them with cheap MDF or baltic birch ply? I replaced mine with BB.

 

This analogy completely misses the point. A loudspeaker outside of a cab sounds bad because there is no Q.

Ok, try this then. Play a set with your guitar amp (or bass amp, for that matter) flat on the stage floor. Then, put it up on a chair, and see which sounds fuller/thicker/richer. Like Laybomoo said, it's entirely possible that, hooked up to your fancy lab equipment, the amp on the stage floor isn't performing "laboratory perfectly," but it's not even debateable that it sounds markedly more rich and full. Real world is what matters with guitar amps, imo. I've "violated" the "rules" more than once and found far better results in doing so.

 

I’m totally in awe of your knowledge of tube amps, pedals and guitar electronics M, but you’re out to lunch on this.

I only know what I've learned from my own experience, and from experiences of others. I've never once heard or seen a single person claim that you want no resonsance in a guitar cabinet. This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. On the other hand, I've frequently heard those who've had both BF and SF Fenders make the case for the positive role that the additional resonsance of the BF cabinets had in making them what they are.

 

I'm only talking about the one variable that's being debated here - plywood vs. solid wood.

Baltic ply is actually pretty resonant as well.

 

I can certainly agree with you about Monster, though! Brilliant marketing scam, but seriously mediocre cables.

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So' date=' did you replace them with cheap MDF or baltic birch ply? I replaced mine with BB.[/quote']

Birch Plywood - I wanted the strength. Not sure if it was Baltic, it didn't come with papers...

 

Ok' date=' try this then. Play a set with your guitar amp (or bass amp, for that matter) flat on the stage floor. Then, put it up on a chair, and see which sounds fuller/thicker/richer. Like Laybomoo said, it's entirely possible that, hooked up to your fancy lab equipment, the amp on the stage floor isn't performing "laboratory perfectly," but it's not even debateable that it sounds markedly more rich and full. Real world is what matters with guitar amps, imo. I've "violated" the "rules" more than once and found far better results in doing so. [/quote']

I'm not disputing that repositioning an amp one way or another makes it sound better or worse. Only that using solid wood is somehow a better choice than high quality, void free plywood, unless you're building for aesthetics. Even then, you can build some pretty good looking cabinets out of plywood, if nicely stained and finished.

 

I only know what I've learned from my own experience' date=' and from experiences of others. I've never once heard or seen a single person claim that you want no resonsance in a guitar cabinet. This is the first time I've ever heard of such a thing. On the other hand, I've frequently heard those who've had both BF and SF Fenders make the case for the positive role that the additional resonsance of the BF cabinets had in making them what they are. [/quote']

It's unfortunate that so much amp (and guitar) lore is subjective, and can't be backed up by any repeatable methodology. Perhaps that's what makes it as interesting as it is. In any case, I love BF Fenders (have two), but I don't believe for a moment that their pine cabinets have much to do with their pleasing sound.

 

Baltic ply is actually pretty resonant as well.

Exactly - then why not use it for guitar cabs?

 

I can certainly agree with you about Monster' date=' though! Brilliant marketing scam' date=' but seriously mediocre cables. [/quote'']

If only it was just their marketing. They are one of the most litigious companies in the world, along with Bose (another company built on garbage products and marketing hype):

 

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/11/08/BUG1J9N3C61.DTL

 

http://www.enjoythemusic.com/magazine/viewpoint/1104/money.htm

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Birch Plywood - I wanted the strength.

Uh-oh. Best swap that out for something that's not resonant!

 

I'm not disputing that repositioning an amp one way or another makes it sound better or worse. Only that using solid wood is somehow a better choice than high quality, void free plywood, unless you're building for aesthetics. Even then, you can build some pretty good looking cabinets out of plywood, if nicely stained and finished.

 

Oh. I thought you were saying that resonance was bad. I agree that both cabinet-grade ply and solid wood work beautifully for cabinets.

 

It's unfortunate that so much amp (and guitar) lore is subjective, and can't be backed up by any repeatable methodology. Perhaps that's what makes it as interesting as it is. In any case, I love BF Fenders (have two), but I don't believe for a moment that their pine cabinets have much to do with their pleasing sound.

 

There's an colossal matrix of complex elements that combine to create those magical tones. The fact that tone is so subjective is one of them, for sure. Just look at how much goes on in the output section of a tube amp, and how complex that alone is. It's a beautiful thing!

 

Exactly - then why not use it for guitar cabs?

 

They DO!

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YIIIKESS i may have stumbled into a convo thats a little over my head, but do you guys know of a web site that has a cab disigner so to speak.....like some thing that could calculate speaker placement and things of that nature for building a cab?

 

what i want is a 4 10" or 4 8" cab for my little gaint 5 watt, its got 4 8 and 16ohm out loads,

 

also can you guys recomend a good speaker for this application im lookn for a blues, kinda crunchy sound, or just a reallllly super clean tone

 

thanks alot!

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