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View Full Version : Baffle Board: Floating vs Fixed


Nolatone Ampworks
04-13-2008, 02:48 PM
Hey folks,

I must say I'm not 100% clear on what distinguishes a floating baffle board from a fixed.

What is the difference?

The tweed Fender boards are said to be floating, aren't they? But, they bolt to the front trim of the amp, which seems fixed to me.

Is it simply matter of how it's attached? If it's permanently attached, it's fixed, if you can unbolt and remove it's floating?

Also, if you can state your preference and why, that'd be interesting.

Thanks,

Paul

wingwalker
04-13-2008, 03:20 PM
Like Old Tele Man said floating is when the baffle is screwed in and can be taken out while fixed is a glued in baffle.

On the issue of what most guys prefer I think you'll get a lot of mixed answers...remember, a lot of guys think about when Fender went from floating to fixed in the very early 70's, however the other thing to keep in mind is that the cabs also started being made from junk wood around the same time. I have heard a lot of people over the years complain about the tone of fixed baffle Fender cabs not once mentioning that they were junk woods and made as quickly and cheeply as possible (no finger joints, corners stapled together, etc...)

If made from good woods fixed baffle cabs can sound great as can floating baffle cabs. I personally prefer floating baffles...they seem to resonate more to me however I have never reall

Nolatone Ampworks
04-14-2008, 02:06 PM
With floating baffle boards, is there any rule that says it has to extend the to tops and sides of the inside of the front panel?

I have something in mind, but don't want to go that far into it if it's going to be no good. My idea involves bottom, and both sides extending to the shell of the cabinet, but the top doesn't go all the way up.

Any reason that would be a problem?

PRNDL
04-14-2008, 04:35 PM
With floating baffle boards, is there any rule that says it has to extend the to tops and sides of the inside of the front panel?

I have something in mind, but don't want to go that far into it if it's going to be no good. My idea involves bottom, and both sides extending to the shell of the cabinet, but the top doesn't go all the way up.

Any reason that would be a problem?

A large gap at the top might look weird.

One thing I've noticed is my mentor (Larry Rodgers, who makes a ton of replacement baffle boards) cuts three edges off the grill cloth, and leaves one folded over. I asked and his explanation did involve allowing the board to float, yet also connecting it securely to the cabinet so it vibrated as well.

You can see it clearly on this web page
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Rodgers/BaffleBoards.html

I believe the the baffle board floats because the top is not attached to the cabinet.

tlpruitt
04-14-2008, 04:53 PM
I believe "floating" means that the baffle is attached to the cabinet (usually with screws) ONLY on two opposite sides. The other 2 sides of the baffle are not attached to the cabinet, allowing the baffle to vibrate and move (float) with the vibrations of the speaker.

In a most tweed Fenders the baffle is attached to the cabinet at the top and the bottom of the baffle and the sides of the baffle are "floating". In most BF Fenders the baffle is only attached to the cabinet at the sides so the top and bottom of the baffle are "floating".

-Tim

Groovey Records
04-14-2008, 05:25 PM
Your idea of the baffle not reaching the top with a gap reminds me of a inverse DETUNED cab as made by VINTONE and a few other DIY'ers. I am interested in hearing a 15' DETUNED ported cab a 2X15 AND A MOTHER OF GOD HARDWOOD 4X15 DETUNED CAB.

Take a look http://www.vintone.com/detuned.html

EnJoY ThE MuSiC
GrooVey Records

PRNDL
04-14-2008, 05:42 PM
does it make a difference which way the grain of the wood runs?

Actually, yes, although maybe not for tone.
In a rectangle cab, if the grain runs up, it will bend (warp) more easily that if the grain is long way.

Tim -- yes. Often I find that my answers are only partially true, since I'm still learning.

Nolatone Ampworks
04-15-2008, 06:47 AM
A large gap at the top might look weird.

One thing I've noticed is my mentor (Larry Rodgers, who makes a ton of replacement baffle boards) cuts three edges off the grill cloth, and leaves one folded over. I asked and his explanation did involve allowing the board to float, yet also connecting it securely to the cabinet so it vibrated as well.

You can see it clearly on this web page
http://www.naturdoctor.com/Chapters/Rodgers/BaffleBoards.html

I believe the the baffle board floats because the top is not attached to the cabinet.

I think you are picturing a blackface style cabinet.

Picture a tweed cabinet that has, say, a TV front panel. The baffle board will sit behind it that front panel. If the top didn't go all the way up, it would not be visible from the front.

What I'm thinking about is a baffle board that can be removed without removing the speaker(s) or chassis. The shorter top of the BB would be to allow more "wiggle room" to get the BB out of the cabinet. I don't know if this will even come close to working yet, just an idea.

FLICKOFLASH
05-23-2011, 07:48 PM
What about the materal the baffle boards made of ? Would something resonant that would vibrate be better ? Which leads to another ? Should the baffle be truely floating having contact only at screw points and no contact with cabinet ?

Baxtercat
05-23-2011, 08:49 PM
I believe "floating" means that the baffle is attached to the cabinet (usually with screws) ONLY on two opposite sides. The other 2 sides of the baffle are not attached to the cabinet, allowing the baffle to vibrate and move (float) with the vibrations of the speaker.

In a most tweed Fenders the baffle is attached to the cabinet at the top and the bottom of the baffle and the sides of the baffle are "floating". In most BF Fenders the baffle is only attached to the cabinet at the sides so the top and bottom of the baffle are "floating".

-Tim
This is how I understood it too. Two sides vs four sides. No?

MT Buckaroo
05-23-2011, 10:24 PM
Quote from the Dr. Z website: "Our 4x10 open back cab utilizes the classic floating baffle design found on the great 4x10 amps of the 1950’s. The entire front of the cabinet comes alive to deliver an outstanding wall of sound."

Now, the baffle on a Z 4x10 cab is 3/4" thick birch ply and is screwed onto the cab frame on all four sides. Trust me, I made a new baffle for mine in diagonal 2x12 format and am intimately familiar with the construction.

So go figure...

FLICKOFLASH
05-24-2011, 04:46 AM
Should the baffle have little contact points with any of the cabinet and be allowed to resonate freely ?

Nolatone Ampworks
05-25-2011, 07:10 PM
Should the baffle have little contact points with any of the cabinet and be allowed to resonate freely ?

Haha, funny seeing this thread after so long. Since posting this I've developed amp models that use cabinets employing both types of baffle boards, and my sense at this point is that as much as anything it's logistics, cabinet design thing. With certain types of facias, floating makes more sense, with others, perhaps fixed.

I'm sure there are subtle differences, but probably not as substantial as the size of enclosure, type of wood, type of speaker, etc.

Fixed baffle boards have more coupling to the outside of the cab shell, but I don't know how significantly that changes the tone because I've never had one of each to compare. My plywood cabs use fixed baffle and my pine cabs use floating. I wouldn't expect a massive difference if I switched the BB type, but YMMV.

mrface2112
05-25-2011, 08:22 PM
My plywood cabs use fixed baffle and my pine cabs use floating. That's a good rule of thumb, in my book at least.

I look at pine cabs (with floating baffles) as an organic, holistic sound delivery mechanism, by which the speaker interacts with the cabinet in a (hopefully) beneficial and pleasing way. You get a good pine cabinet with a floating baffle cranked up at a good volume, and the whole thing will just come alive.

I look at plywood cabinets with fixed baffles as the exact opposite--they are mechanisms that get out of the way of the speaker, so the speaker (or typically speakers) can shine on its own. i look at plywood cabinets with fixed baffles as trying not to interfere with the tone of the speaker.

tremendously over-simplified, i know, but that's the way my world view sees it. Which cabinet/construction i use totally depends on what sound i'm going for.

cheers,
wade

phsyconoodler
05-26-2011, 09:29 AM
Quote:" believe "floating" means that the baffle is attached to the cabinet (usually with screws) ONLY on two opposite sides. The other 2 sides of the baffle are not attached to the cabinet, allowing the baffle to vibrate and move (float) with the vibrations of the speaker."

That describes it perfectly.

The baffle moves and vibrates like an acoustic guitar top.Fender Tweed baffles and pine cabinet are indeed part of the tone.I had a friend who built a killer nice bassman 5F6A and installed it in a hardwood cabinet with a daddoed in baffle.It should have sounded killer good but it doesn't.
The same chassis in a Mojo Tweed cabinet sounds incredible.
Not so with a Marshall style or high gain amp.They sound better in a birch plywood cab with a thicker baffle more securely attached.
It depends on the music played and how much gain is used.
Want a sweet ass sound with a Tweed amp?Don't plunk it in a hardwood cabinet with a fixed baffle.Yuck!
Now don't get me wrong,it still sounds 'good' just not 'great'.

But....I recently added gain stage to a Princeton Reverb I had built in a Tweed pine cabinet with a 15" Weber Alnico speaker.It does really high gain tones and the tone was unreal good.Goes to show preconceived thinking doesn't always ring true.I was very surprised.Alnico 15" and dual Recto tones....Hmmm....