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Craftmatic
07-14-2008, 10:49 PM
I recently got a Fargen Blackbird 30 (BFDR-alike) head in a trade. I'm trying to decide if I want to leave the head as is and have an extension cab built or have a combo cab built to put the chassis in. Either way the cab will be approx. 19" X 19" X 10" and will have an oval opened back. The cab builder uses either Ponderosa pine or Baltic birch plywood. He says for an amp under 50 watts to go with the pine.

Pine is more resonant and lighter, better for blues, roots rock, country - in other words not high gain amps. However pine is soft and I believe is easier to damage.

Baltic birch plywood is stiff, hard, heavier, strong not as resonant and used more often with higher gain amp speaker cabs.

I want the strength and durability of Baltic birch plywood because I don't want a soft pine cab that will dent very easily. However I wonder how much I'd be sacrificing in sound with the plywood.

Austinrocks
07-14-2008, 11:44 PM
I wse baltic birch in home speaker cabinets, its hard to beat, when you talk of resonant pine, that is not something that is desirable in a speaker cabinet, you want to remove the resonants or they could really screw up the sound.

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 12:41 AM
first, don't worry about the dents in pine boxes. Cabs have been made out of pine for years and no one ever was that concerned about their cab being too dented. Seach the threads here . . . tolex it if you want more protection.

second, how about using pine AND birch; use birch for the front baffle and for the rear oval board, pine for the sides/top/bottom. Some cab makers seem to prefer this combination so something must be right about it. good luck with it!

I forgot to mention that the baffle will be 3/4" birch plywood and the rear oval opened panel will be 1/2" birch ply. So it's the sides, top & bottom I'm talking about.

And yes I have read threads where people are very concerned with the dents & dings or lack thereof - in the Emporium. I think many of us are always going to be concerned with resale value of our gear.

cat
07-15-2008, 01:16 AM
I'm currently building a 2 x 12" cabinet out of Radiata Pine with a ply baffle and backing board. Dont know how similar Ponderosa Pine is to Radiata though.

Check it out here: Speaker Cabinet Build (http://speakercabinetbuild.blogspot.com)

Cat

trey85stang
07-15-2008, 01:30 AM
I wouldnt touch ponderosa pine with a 12 foot pole for a speaker cab...

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 01:37 AM
I wouldnt touch ponderosa pine with a 12 foot pole for a speaker cab...

That's a pretty strong comment. Could you please elaborate?

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 07:52 AM
Anyone else?

teleamp
07-15-2008, 07:53 AM
The pine will hold up better than you are thinking, but I would go with voidless plywood. It doesn't have to be baltic birch, just multi laminate, voidless. Using plywood that is not voidless could yield a buzzy cabinet.

Leonc
07-15-2008, 08:27 AM
IME, the plywood cab will be much more predictable sounding and will usually sound more to my liking--more even response w/o highs or lows over-accentuated.

jedistar
07-15-2008, 08:39 AM
Plywood is more stable...

Nolatone Ampworks
07-15-2008, 08:54 AM
I use white pine. I believe for a smaller cabinet it gives better resonance.

I'm not building larger cabinets yet, but expect I'll use pine for all the way up to 4x10.

I like using pine too because it brings with it part of the magic of tweed amps.

mrface2112
07-15-2008, 09:32 AM
in my cabinet builds, i prefer pine with a birch baffle and back panel. i like the added resonance pine gives.

but in the end, it's really whether you want the cabinet to add to the overall sound (use pine) or if you want the cabinet to "get out of the way" and be a solid, non-additive platform to hold a speaker (use plywood/mdf).

IMO, a large part of the tweed and blackface (and early silverface) fender sound is the pine cabinet. i've heard the same amp through the same speaker in 2 different cabs (one from '66 and one from '76) and to my ears the cabinet is definitely part of the mojo we talk about when we say "blackface fender sound".


cheers,
wade

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 09:50 AM
In my cabinet builds, I prefer pine with a birch baffle and back panel. i like the added resonance pine gives.

But in the end, it's really whether you want the cabinet to add to the overall sound (use pine) or if you want the cabinet to "get out of the way" and be a solid, non-additive platform to hold a speaker (use plywood/mdf).

cheers,
wade

You say that a birch ply cab "gets out of the way" and is "non-additive." But does a birch ply add or subtract anything in a way that has a negative effect on the sound?

I got rid of an Avatar cube cab because it sounded so nasal and stiff, then again it might've been the weird dimensions (17" X 17" X 15" deep). It was solid as a tank and heavy but both the closed and opened back versions had a terrible nasal, constipated sound (when used with Fender style amp and speakers - I'm sure they are fine with very high gain Marshall-style amps).

mrface2112
07-15-2008, 11:03 AM
it's my experience that using birch (or more typically MDF) affords one the *ability* to make the cabinet more sonically neutral.

for example, i've got a set of Event ASP8 studio monitors in my studio. those cabinets are made from MDF and are completly devoid of any cabinet resonance, so that the speakers can do their jobs most effectively. (and they do a fantastic job!)

that said, while it affords one the ability to do so, it doesn't mean it'll always happen. :D just like every pine cab won't resonate in a "good" way. but that said, i've heard a lot more "boxy" sounding plywood cabinets than pine ones. maybe i just prefer pine.

as some are wont to say, YMMV. :drink


cheers,
wade

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 01:08 PM
IME, the plywood cab will be much more predictable sounding and will usually sound more to my liking--more even response w/o highs or lows over-accentuated.

My decision is specifically about using an amp that is Black Face Fender sounding. Is your opinion based on something within that ballpark?

Leonc
07-15-2008, 02:53 PM
Well, I think the BF fender cabs were pine, IIRC, but I don't know that you can get pine that sounds like that now...maybe you can...and maybe you can't. Personally, I still prefer ply, even with Fender amps.

Austinrocks
07-15-2008, 03:21 PM
it's my experience that using birch (or more typically MDF) affords one the *ability* to make the cabinet more sonically neutral.

for example, i've got a set of Event ASP8 studio monitors in my studio. those cabinets are made from MDF and are completly devoid of any cabinet resonance, so that the speakers can do their jobs most effectively. (and they do a fantastic job!)

that said, while it affords one the ability to do so, it doesn't mean it'll always happen. :D just like every pine cab won't resonate in a "good" way. but that said, i've heard a lot more "boxy" sounding plywood cabinets than pine ones. maybe i just prefer pine.

as some are wont to say, YMMV. :drink


cheers,
wade


I use a lamanent of MDF and Baltic Birch in my home speakers, however they are home speakers and will be subjected to water, which damages MDF, also MDF breaks easily, really would not use it an cabinet.

The MDF and Baltic Birch does reduce resonances which really are something you want to avoid in the cabinets, it sounds sexy since so many people love their "resonant" pine cabinets, resonances are something I want to avoid, I don't like a buzzing cabinet, which what a "resonant" cabinet is.

Austinrocks
07-15-2008, 03:40 PM
Well, I think the BF fender cabs were pine, IIRC, but I don't know that you can get pine that sounds like that now...maybe you can...and maybe you can't. Personally, I still prefer ply, even with Fender amps.


typcially an amp is open backed, so the energy of the back wave of the speaker is going out of the cabinet, so you just need something that is mechanically rigid, in a closed back or ported cabinet the energy of the back wave is hitting the walls of the cabinet, which can cause rattles and buzzing if the cabinet is not rigid.

mrface2112
07-15-2008, 04:00 PM
I don't like a buzzing cabinet, which what a "resonant" cabinet is. i think you and i might have to agree to disagree that "resonant" equates to "buzzing". :roll i don't like buzzing cabinets either.


cheers,
wade

trey85stang
07-15-2008, 06:56 PM
That's a pretty strong comment. Could you please elaborate?

too many knots is the number one reason... next is I have never worked with a piece that didnt warp over time. Stick with clear pine if you want pine.

rhythmrocker
07-15-2008, 07:04 PM
too many knots is the number one reason... next is I have never worked with a piece that didnt warp over time. Stick with clear pine if you want pine.

Yep - Ponderosa pine is also known as Birdseye pine or Knotty pine . . , just FYI.

Craftmatic
07-15-2008, 07:43 PM
Seems like the anti-pine-pro-birch-ply are more outspoken. If you're a builder please let us know - your opinions are of particular interest to this thread.

jackevorkian
07-15-2008, 07:58 PM
I just had the same debate when building a 2x10 for my Carr Rambler head. The Rambler and Blackbird are 100% BF Fender type amps, so to be true to the intent of the amp, you should use pine. When I talked to Steve Carr about what I should build, he strongly suggested pine. If you look at all the boutique BF amp makers, they all use pine.

That being said, I opted for poplar instead. It's harder than pine, but not as hard as birch ply. With a good amp, I don't think that the cab material is going to make nearly as much difference as, say, the speaker choice or the cab dimensions. I use an Avatar birch 2x12 and a Port City OS 1x12 with the Carr as well and they all sound fantastic. I think the basic characterization is accurate, ie that birch ply is a little more neutral and lends to a more articulate attack, but generally I find the most audible and meaningful differences when I experiment with speaker type and configuratio.

FYI, a 3/4" baffle is huge. I'd use 3/8" birch ply for that instead.

Craftmatic
07-16-2008, 03:54 PM
I just had the same debate when building a 2x10 for my Carr Rambler head. The Rambler and Blackbird are 100% BF Fender type amps, so to be true to the intent of the amp, you should use pine. When I talked to Steve Carr about what I should build, he strongly suggested pine. If you look at all the boutique BF amp makers, they all use pine.

What other boutique BF amp makers are? I know of Carr, Fargen, Allen, Tone King and Pure Sixty-Four - the later two I'm uncertain of what wood they use.

Dave
07-16-2008, 04:50 PM
What other boutique BF amp makers are? I know of Carr, Fargen, Allen, Tone King and Pure Sixty-Four - the later two I'm uncertain of what wood they use.
Headstrong and Clark.

hathisisfunnyha
07-16-2008, 04:56 PM
baltic birch sounds killer everytime in any cab

Craftmatic
07-17-2008, 09:49 PM
baltic birch sounds killer everytime in any cab


OP here: I've decided - I'm going with the durability of birch play over the pine. Just hope it sounds decent!

Thanks all!

trey85stang
07-17-2008, 09:56 PM
Seems like the anti-pine-pro-birch-ply are more outspoken. If you're a builder please let us know - your opinions are of particular interest to this thread.

Im only anti ponderosa pine... clear pine or white pine I would choose over birch.

Craftmatic
07-17-2008, 10:15 PM
Im only anti ponderosa pine... clear pine or white pine I would choose over birch.

The choice was Ponderosa pine or birch ply so I'm going with the birch. The pine is so soft you can cut pretty deep into it with your fingernail. I want something that can take some knocking around.

cat
07-18-2008, 12:47 AM
The choice was Ponderosa pine or birch ply so I'm going with the birch. The pine is so soft you can cut pretty deep into it with your fingernail. I want something that can take some knocking around.

Sounds like you've worked it out :AOK Good luck with the build.

Cat

Craftmatic
07-19-2008, 07:18 PM
Sounds like you've worked it out :AOK Good luck with the build.

Cat


Actually I'm not sure again. I played through several speaker/cab combinations and the Fargen Blackbird 30 head that this speaker cab is going to be built for sounds amazing through my '65 Tremolux cab. Everything else sounds terrible with this amp including a Weber 15A150 (Jensen P15N) in a Weber Luan plywood closed cab on loan. I know what you're thinking, "Just play it with the Tremolux cab!" but it's a vintage piece and I won't leave the house with it. So I'm now considering having J Designs build me a pine 1X12 extention cab (yes, Ponderosa pine). I ordered a Weber 12F150 for whatever cab I wind up with.

The other decision I've been wrestling with is whether or not I should have a combo cab made (and turn the head into a combo) or an extension cab made for the Fargen.

merkaba22
07-19-2008, 09:30 PM
Actually I'm not sure again. I played through several speaker/cab combinations and the Fargen Blackbird 30 head that this speaker cab is going to be built for sounds amazing through my '65 Tremolux cab. Everything else sounds terrible with this amp including a Weber 15A150 (Jensen P15N) in a Weber Luan plywood closed cab on loan. I know what you're thinking, "Just play it with the Tremolux cab!" but it's a vintage piece and I won't leave the house with it. So I'm now considering having J Designs build me a pine 1X12 extention cab (yes, Ponderosa pine). I ordered a Weber 12F150 for whatever cab I wind up with.

The other decision I've been wrestling with is whether or not I should have a combo cab made (and turn the head into a combo) or an extension cab made for the Fargen.

I've deigned a built a couple of hardwood cabs with the help of a professional buider who also builds clones and restores old Fender cabs -- he says using pine today is problematic if you really want a Fender vintage sound since the pine the used 50 years ago is way much harder than anything you can find today ... fwiw.

I would default to birch or "tonewood" combinations like mahogany and maple -- which I did and have had great great results..... IMHO.

Craftmatic
07-19-2008, 10:42 PM
I've deigned a built a couple of hardwood cabs with the help of a professional buider who also builds clones and restores old Fender cabs -- he says using pine today is problematic if you really want a Fender vintage sound since the pine the used 50 years ago is way much harder than anything you can find today ... fwiw.

I would default to birch or "tonewood" combinations like mahogany and maple -- which I did and have had great great results..... IMHO.

That's just what I was afraid of - I saw a pine cab and the wood was so soft, I couldn't imagine it holding up very well. When you mentioned birch did you mean birch plywood?

merkaba22
07-19-2008, 10:51 PM
I used mahogany and maple for the sides, top and bottom and birch (11-) ply for baffles -- btw: the softness of pine these days does not yield the same tone at all either -- if you are really into a vintage Fender tone, find some old pine from a old house, etc, that is being torn down or remodeled and build or have built for you what you want -- its the best way to go as I am told ...

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 10:27 AM
I used mahogany and maple for the sides, top and bottom and birch (11-) ply for baffles -- btw: the softness of pine these days does not yield the same tone at all either -- if you are really into a vintage Fender tone, find some old pine from a old house, etc, that is being torn down or remodeled and build or have built for you what you want -- its the best way to go as I am told ...

I can't afford mahogany or maple so I think I'm back to birch ply all around. I also want it covered in tolex to match the head so I wouldn't want to hide good wood. I'm going to ask the cab builder if there are any other alternatives besides pine and birch ply that wouldn't be too expensive.

My '65 Tremolux cab is, I'm sure, pine and it is solid as a rock. The wood is definitely not soft, so I see your point. FWIW it also looks like the sides are 1" rather than 3/4" thick

jackevorkian
07-20-2008, 10:41 AM
I'm going to ask the cab builder if there are any other alternatives besides pine and birch ply that wouldn't be too expensive.

Allow me to reiterate my earlier post...poplar.

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 10:49 AM
Allow me to reiterate my earlier post...poplar.

I just reread your earlier post. Is poplar an expensive wood that people generally wouldn't want to cover in tolex? Or should I say more expensive than regular pine and Baltic birch ply? Is it sturdy (as opposed to soft like the pine you could easily push your fingernail into)? How does it compare in sound to pine and birch?

merkaba22
07-20-2008, 12:03 PM
Baltic birch ply seems like the way to go for you -- if you look at MB's 1 x 12 cabs there are three "non-thiele" designs where the general sizes are shown -- a fully secured or lightly secured baffle is also another factor to weigh and is something that really affects the over all tone/responsiveness of the cab; I tried the Fender 4 screw approach and was not happy at all with results (for me). FWIW

Also, some feel that front or rear loading of the speaker can be important too -- I, following the MB lead, favor the front loading design and have been quite happy.

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 12:24 PM
Baltic birch ply seems like the way to go for you -- if you look at MB's 1 x 12 cabs there are three "non-thiele" designs where the general sizes are shown -- a fully secured or lightly secured baffle is also another factor to weigh and is something that really affects the over all tone/responsiveness of the cab; I tried the Fender 4 screw approach and was not happy at all with results (for me). FWIW

Also, some feel that front or rear loading of the speaker can be important too -- I, following the MB lead, favor the front loading design and have been quite happy.


Mesa Boogie - are they equatable with Fender BF sound? I don't think so.

merkaba22
07-20-2008, 12:31 PM
MB is Mesa Boogie ....

http://www.mesaboogie.com/Product_Info/Guitar%20Cabinets/GuitarCabinets.html

Compact, Lone Star and 3/4 Back 1 x 12's

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 12:52 PM
I just had the same debate when building a 2x10 for my Carr Rambler head. The Rambler and Blackbird are 100% BF Fender type amps, so to be true to the intent of the amp, you should use pine. When I talked to Steve Carr about what I should build, he strongly suggested pine. If you look at all the boutique BF amp makers, they all use pine.

That being said, I opted for poplar instead. It's harder than pine, but not as hard as birch ply. With a good amp, I don't think that the cab material is going to make nearly as much difference as, say, the speaker choice or the cab dimensions. I use an Avatar birch 2x12 and a Port City OS 1x12 with the Carr as well and they all sound fantastic. I think the basic characterization is accurate, ie that birch ply is a little more neutral and lends to a more articulate attack, but generally I find the most audible and meaningful differences when I experiment with speaker type and configuratio.

FYI, a 3/4" baffle is huge. I'd use 3/8" birch ply for that instead.

The Avatars have 3/4" birch ply baffles FWIW.

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 12:53 PM
Does anyone know the difference in hardness and sound between:

1) Ponderosa Pine
2) Eastern Yellow Pine
3) Western White Pine

?

barryoneal
07-20-2008, 05:59 PM
The comment about the change in the density in available wood reminds me of a 1950's home demolition where the wall studs easily had twice the annual rings of modern 2x4's. I think that was Douglas Fir, but I bet the principle holds true. Changes in the availability of old growth pine would definitely be a factor in my decision if I was trying to 'recreate' some specific vintage cabinet.

FWIW, in our cabinet designs we use high ply count birch, but one of our design goals was a very rigid cabinet. For our headshells, even over the relatively short 20" span, there was significant flex in a prototype clear white pine box we constructed. You could pick the amp up by its handle and get this slight sense of 'boing'. We knew the amp was heavy, but we were very surprised. We went with the same Euro birch for the headshells.

I think poplar could be a very good compromise. I would be interested in hearing your results should you go that way.

-barry.

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 11:10 PM
The comment about the change in the density in available wood reminds me of a 1950's home demolition where the wall studs easily had twice the annual rings of modern 2x4's. I think that was Douglas Fir, but I bet the principle holds true. Changes in the availability of old growth pine would definitely be a factor in my decision if I was trying to 'recreate' some specific vintage cabinet.

FWIW, in our cabinet designs we use high ply count birch, but one of our design goals was a very rigid cabinet. For our headshells, even over the relatively short 20" span, there was significant flex in a prototype clear white pine box we constructed. You could pick the amp up by its handle and get this slight sense of 'boing'. We knew the amp was heavy, but we were very surprised. We went with the same Euro birch for the headshells.

I think poplar could be a very good compromise. I would be interested in hearing your results should you go that way.

-barry.

Do you have any information about the sound qualities and durability of poplar? Is it soft at all like pine? Is it more resonant than birch ply? The rest of your post makes for an interesting argument in favor of birch ply.

dk123123dk
07-20-2008, 11:32 PM
Try to find an old piece of pine. You would need some baltic birch ply for the baffle anyways. Get a sheet of it, and a few pine boards if you cant find some old pine. Make yourself two cabs. One all birch ply, and one pine sided with birch baffles. If you plan on taking them out, get a nice padded cover for them. Oil the pine cab, and use the cover when transporting. It might get a few dings if you don't baby it, but that is just "mojo".

Good luck!

dk

Craftmatic
07-20-2008, 11:54 PM
Try to find an old piece of pine. You would need some baltic birch ply for the baffle anyways. Get a sheet of it, and a few pine boards if you cant find some old pine. Make yourself two cabs. One all birch ply, and one pine sided with birch baffles. If you plan on taking them out, get a nice padded cover for them. Oil the pine cab, and use the cover when transporting. It might get a few dings if you don't baby it, but that is just "mojo".

Good luck!

dk

Thanks but I'm hiring some one who does this for a living!

greasykid
07-21-2008, 01:10 AM
Just a tidbit of info: Carvin uses poplar in some of their cabs including the Legacy.

barryoneal
07-21-2008, 07:31 AM
Here is a report from the U.S. Forest Products Laboratory. You might be able to glean some qualitative information from it. Poplar and several pines are on there.

http://www.woodbin.com/ref/wood/strength_table.htm (http://www.thegearpage.net/board/U.S.%20Forest%20Products%20Laboratory)

I think, in the end, you would be best served by finding two cabinets similar to what you're having built, one solid wood, one ply, and listen to them. Does your builder happen to have two examples available? Like amps themselves, cabinets are only the sum of their parts, but there are so many parts and variables that there is room for some feeling of 'mystique' despite the fact that it should be a deterministic thing. That's another reason for ply in manufacturing, consistency. No dud cabinets (unless you consider ply to be a dud all by itself). But I'm not sure that rationale applies to your situation as you are looking for one great cabinet.

I think testing will ultimately give you the most peace about your decision, otherwise you might just be overthinking it. I'm not sure how your builder's pricing breaks down, or your budget, but what if you pay him to build you two cabs and leave them both in the white? No tolex, no hardware, no finish sanding, no labor associated with any of the above. Most of his cost must be in these last bits. Then you can hear them both and choose which one to finish. You'll have one relatively expensive cab, but you'll never have to wonder about the one that got away.

-barry.

Craftmatic
07-21-2008, 09:23 AM
I think, in the end, you would be best served by finding two cabinets similar to what you're having built, one solid wood, one ply, and listen to them. Does your builder happen to have two examples available?

-barry.

Barry,

The builder is in California and I'm in New Jersey. Having cabs shipped back and forth would be costly and I can't afford having him make me 2 cabs. He also would have no part of it especially since with someone like me (an indecisive perfectionist) there would always be doubt about just the 2 choices. I'd wonder about other woods.

BTW, Do you have an answer for my last question: how does poplar sound?
Your amps look very interesting. BTW, you have been creating links incorrectly in your posts. Try them out and you'll see. Especially correct the one for your site.

Thanks for your feedback. I appreciate you taking the time!

gooma
07-21-2008, 09:38 AM
I`m a bit late chiming in here,

I dont mind pine at all in smaller cabs, actually i prefer the resonance of pine in 1 x 12`s and open back cabs. Baltic Birch ply is very neutral as the other guys have pointed out and i prefer that in closed back cabs.

I tend to tell customers to go with pine if your going with a smaller open back cab, Baltic Birch ply for closed back cabs and for heavier music.

The hardwood cabs are my favourite tho, they tend to not be as boomy as pine can be and still resonate really nicely.

Good luck and let us know how you get on,

cheers
Brad

Craftmatic
07-21-2008, 09:43 AM
I tend to tell customers to go with pine if your going with a smaller open back cab, Baltic Birch ply for closed back cabs and for heavier music.

The hardwood cabs are my favourite tho, they tend to not be as boomy as pine can be and still resonate really nicely.

Pine seems too soft - I want something really durable but resonant. Which hardwoods do you prefer? Of those, which are closer in cost to pine?

barryoneal
07-21-2008, 01:30 PM
BTW, Do you have an answer for my last question: how does poplar sound?
Your amps look very interesting. BTW, you have been creating links incorrectly in your posts. Try them out and you'll see. Especially correct the one for your site.


I tend to tell customers to go with pine if your going with a smaller open back cab, Baltic Birch ply for closed back cabs and for heavier music.Hey, what do you know, they are messed up. Thanks for your help and nice comment. As to the 'sound' of poplar, I do not have an authoritative answer. As for my intuitive answer, I completely agree with Brad's opinion on closed back and heavy music cabs, I don't see any option other than Birch ply in those cases.

To further wander away from actual knowledge to my guessing, if I were going to build a non-ply cab it would probably be out of poplar for mostly structural reasons... or out of some other hardwood for mostly aesthetic reasons, but now I'm just adding noise to your decision making process so I'll stop.

I can't help myself...
When Brad answers your question about cost you'll know for sure, but it seems to me the materials cost difference from poplar to pine has got to be swamped by all the other costs of building a custom cabinet. If that is true, I don't think I'd let that tail wag the dog.

All the best in your cab quest,
-barry.

dk123123dk
07-21-2008, 02:56 PM
Barry,

The builder is in California and I'm in New Jersey. Having cabs shipped back and forth would be costly and I can't afford having him make me 2 cabs. He also would have no part of it especially since with someone like me (an indecisive perfectionist) there would always be doubt about just the 2 choices. I'd wonder about other woods.

If I were an indecisive perfectionist I would steer clear of a custom cab. You don't really know what its going to sound like until its built. I would just find a premade cab that I liked and stick with that. If you are set on getting a custom cab, find a premade cab that you like and copy that.

I don't think you know what you want for sure, and if you order a custom cab, you might not get what you want.

Good luck.

dk

gooma
07-22-2008, 10:08 AM
Pine seems too soft - I want something really durable but resonant. Which hardwoods do you prefer? Of those, which are closer in cost to pine?

I`m mostly using native woods found locally here in Western Australia. I use jarrah quite a lot, it`s an extremely hard and dense redwood. Doesnt work well with guitar tops but is an excellent tone wood with cabs.

I think it`d be best to chat with your builder on price, over here most hardwoods are 50% more expensive than radiata pine, depending on the species, level of flame etc. If your after something exotic looking perhaps you could buy the wood here www.curlymaple.com (http://www.curlymaple.com) and supply your cab guy with the materials.

I wouldnt hesitate to go with pine on the account of it being soft, you`d be suprised how good a small pine cab can sound, also durable when coated in a satin Poly finish, and there`s allways tolex.

Hargrett
07-22-2008, 10:27 AM
Y'all probably know about this archive of EV speaker cab builder's plans, including the TL806 Thiele cab for the EVM12L:
http://archives.telex.com/archives/EV/Builders%20Plans/

Craftmatic
07-22-2008, 12:18 PM
Any other comments on solid poplar? Sound and durability?

shngn7
07-22-2008, 02:22 PM
Baltic birch! Doesn't get in the way of the amps tone as much as pine, unless that's what you like.

jackevorkian
07-22-2008, 04:21 PM
Solid poplar is pretty hard...not as hard as maple or mahogany, but certainly much harder than pine. As for cost, if you were to build a cab from pine it would need to be either old growth or a higher grade w/out any knots. Both of which will be more costly than poplar.

The easiest way to educate yourself bewteen these two woods is to go to Home Depot and compare 1x12 pieces of poplar and the highest grade pine they have. Try scratching them with your fingernail to test for softness. The last cab I built was from a great looking piece of 1x12 poplar that I got from the Depot.

There are a lot more critical variables in cab selection than the wood, ie dimensions, opening size/shape, speaker selection. I think you may be obsessing over the wrong thing! I'd order an unloaded birch cab from Avatar (tried and true, great sounding, affordable cabs) and pick up an unloaded pine cab in the Emporium (there's always someone selling a pretty nice one). Spend a few dollars on 3 or 4 different speakers and experiment. You'll be able to figure out pretty quickly what you like.

Then get a custom cab made.

lannyhall
07-22-2008, 04:44 PM
Interestingly, I just bought a pine 2x12 cab (Carr) loaded with Celestion Blues. I already had a Jenkins 2x12 made from high quality Birch veneer core ply-wood with a 1/2 baffle board dadoed into the inside perimeter of the cabinet that was also loaded with Celestion Blues. When I played my BadCat Black Cat 30R through each cab, I was surprised to find that the pine cab sounded so much better to me. The Carr 2x12 was an open-back cab, and I had the Jenkins cab set up a 1/3 open as well. Same speakers, same amp, different sound. I think the Jenkins would sound better as a closed back, but that is a different flavor of music.

Craftmatic
07-22-2008, 10:56 PM
Solid poplar is pretty hard...not as hard as maple or mahogany, but certainly much harder than pine. As for cost, if you were to build a cab from pine it would need to be either old growth or a higher grade w/out any knots. Both of which will be more costly than poplar.

The easiest way to educate yourself bewteen these two woods is to go to Home Depot and compare 1x12 pieces of poplar and the highest grade pine they have. Try scratching them with your fingernail to test for softness. The last cab I built was from a great looking piece of 1x12 poplar that I got from the Depot.

There are a lot more critical variables in cab selection than the wood, ie dimensions, opening size/shape, speaker selection. I think you may be obsessing over the wrong thing! I'd order an unloaded birch cab from Avatar (tried and true, great sounding, affordable cabs) and pick up an unloaded pine cab in the Emporium (there's always someone selling a pretty nice one). Spend a few dollars on 3 or 4 different speakers and experiment. You'll be able to figure out pretty quickly what you like.

Then get a custom cab made.

Based on your suggestion of getting an Avatar cab, I would have to say I don't like birch ply if the Avatar is representative of the sound. I had one of the 112 cube cabs and the sound was so nasal and stiff I sold it immediately. I wonder if a Fargen combo cab made of birch ply would sound as bad as that Avatar.

dk123123dk
07-24-2008, 12:05 PM
Based on your suggestion of getting an Avatar cab, I would have to say I don't like birch ply if the Avatar is representative of the sound. I had one of the 112 cube cabs and the sound was so nasal and stiff I sold it immediately. I wonder if a Fargen combo cab made of birch ply would sound as bad as that Avatar.

problem is there are too many variables. Maybe the dimensions of the cab made it stiff. Thats why its going to be hard for a custom cab maker to make exactly what you want. There are a lot of variables!

dk

mike patrick
07-11-2009, 11:11 AM
hi craftmatic, your workmanship is impecable,I have a fuchs 2x12 cab that is built from about like materials, with cele 12x65 with 100 wt tds handtuned head the tone is the best i've ever had, and everytime I play the tone just makes me take a step back point being, Ithink your on the right track, if you don't mind me asking what dovetail jig did you use? looks great good luck mike

fishlog
07-11-2009, 11:40 AM
I cant believe there are 5 pages on this topic... but then again I am sitting reading them.

gkoelling
07-11-2009, 12:02 PM
In my experience finger jointed pine sounds very nice.

http://i46.photobucket.com/albums/f115/gjk318/Gear/IMG_0112.jpg

No rattles, buzzing, warping, etc., just great tone.

23" wide x 18" high x 10" deep.

Dale
07-11-2009, 03:12 PM
I am a tweed guy. So solid pine is my choice.

Craftmatic
07-13-2009, 10:30 PM
hi craftmatic, your workmanship is impecable,I have a fuchs 2x12 cab that is built from about like materials, with cele 12x65 with 100 wt tds handtuned head the tone is the best i've ever had, and everytime I play the tone just makes me take a step back point being, Ithink your on the right track, if you don't mind me asking what dovetail jig did you use? looks great good luck mike

Sorry, I'm confused. I don't make cabinets. You must have me confused with someone else.

vicdeluca71
07-13-2009, 10:53 PM
I`m a bit late chiming in here,

I dont mind pine at all in smaller cabs, actually i prefer the resonance of pine in 1 x 12`s and open back cabs. Baltic Birch ply is very neutral as the other guys have pointed out and i prefer that in closed back cabs.

I tend to tell customers to go with pine if your going with a smaller open back cab, Baltic Birch ply for closed back cabs and for heavier music.

The hardwood cabs are my favourite tho, they tend to not be as boomy as pine can be and still resonate really nicely.

Good luck and let us know how you get on,

cheers
Brad

This is exactly how I feel about my ex with pine and birch cabs.Next to a birch cab the pine sounds alive and responsive.The only problems I have with pine is the bass response being to boomy,I have to turn my bass down alot with my pine cab because of this even with an openback.If this issue could be resolved and I'm sure it could be with proper design,it would be the end all of cab woods.

vicdeluca71
07-13-2009, 11:01 PM
Pine seems too soft - I want something really durable but resonant. Which hardwoods do you prefer? Of those, which are closer in cost to pine?

It's not as soft as you think with tolex,actualy very durable and very very resonant and also lighter than birch ply and sounds better with time.

Craftmatic
07-13-2009, 11:08 PM
This is an old thread. I'm the OP and I went with a pine cab in the end. An extension cab built by JDesigns and I couldn't be happier! End of story!

vicdeluca71
07-13-2009, 11:51 PM
This is an old thread. I'm the OP and I went with a pine cab in the end. An extension cab built by JDesigns and I couldn't be happier! End of story!

Awesome!,success.I'm a sucker for a happy ending

Dale
07-14-2009, 02:56 PM
Good choice!