For those of you with experience regarding isolation boxes

Discussion in 'Recording/Live Sound' started by grado, Jan 12, 2008.


  1. grado

    grado Member

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    OK, here is the deal.

    I run through a Suhr Badger sometimes with a whack of pedals into a 2x12 cab.

    Now of course the Badger has power scaling which is awesome but I have, quite possibly, the most easily annoyed wife in the world. To boot the only time I have to play right now is after 10pm when my wife has already gone to bed. My office/studio is under the master bed room and the floor is thin.

    So what I'm getting at is that even a reasonable, speaking level of volume coming out of the amp is too much. I pretty well need it to be completely quiet.

    What I was thinking of doing was:

    a) opening up my 2x12 cab and putting some insolation on the inside of it

    b) making a cab "front end" out of MDF that would essentially latch to the front of the cabinet. It would probably be large enough to contain 6-8 inches of some form of insulation and a SM57 mic.

    I'm sure that what I've suggested is not exactly the most effective soundproofing but since the Badger has power scaling I don't have to have it maxed anyhow.

    I have two questions:

    Do you think such a setup would result in an almost completely quiet room?

    and

    What do you think the sound quality would be coming out of the mic?

    Thanks everyone.

    BTW: I can't afford to get rid of the wife. :D
     
  2. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

    Messages:
    2,652
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    The answer to your question(s), in short, is no. It won't work. Whatever box you build has to have a lot of mass, and be airtight. I built a room like this...it wasn't cheap. It functions as you describe though. I can crank any of my amps, anytime day or night! :dude

    In my opinion, the best thing would be to get a palmer (or POD, fractal, etc.) for when your wife is around.
     
  3. mindseye

    mindseye Member

    Messages:
    257
    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2007
    Location:
    lake charles LA.
    ear plugs for the wife!
     
  4. sethmeister

    sethmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,959
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    NH
    You can build a very quiet iso box with good sound quality but not the way you have specified it.

    To make it quiet you'll need mass and airtight construction. I built my isocab with two 3/4" MDF airtight sealed boxes, one inside the other, separated by 1" of air space. I glued and caulked the joints, sealed with rubber weatherstripping and compresion latches, and installed sealed jack panels to pass speaker and mic connections through.

    To make it sound good you need volume (ie size) and you need to kill reflections. The bigger the box the better it will sound. Mine is about 37" by 30" x 33" or so. Damp the reflections by covering the inside of the box with oc703 or acoustic foam.
     
  5. grado

    grado Member

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    I actually just moved away from having a PodXT. I have such little time to play nowadays that I really want to use my "good" stuff when I can.
     
  6. grado

    grado Member

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    What you are suggesting is pretty well what I had in mind originally, although I was hoping I could get by with a bit less effort. Still, If I'm going to do it I might as well do it right.

    I guess building a couple of boxes out of MDF is not really that much work.

    I should probably think about moving to a 1X12 cab, this thing would have to be huge to properly house a 2x12.
     
  7. chrisgraff

    chrisgraff Member

    Messages:
    2,652
    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2002
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    1x12 would be helpful. 3/4" MDF is heavy...double layers of 3/4" MDF would be very heavy.

    I started to build a box like that years ago 40"L x 30"w x 36" tall (or something like that). I stopped working on it when I realized it was going to weigh as much as an upright piano. We didn't even use MDF.

    Are you sure you wouldn't want to try a Palmer load box first? ;)
     
  8. sethmeister

    sethmeister Member

    Messages:
    1,959
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    NH
    Yes, I forgot to mention I keep a 1x12 cab in mine.

    :D Mine sits on a concrete basement floor. I've never even contemplated what it might weigh!

    A palmer PDI-03 is definitely another option to try.
     
  9. Bo Faulkner

    Bo Faulkner Member

    Messages:
    3,822
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    Location:
    Red Oak NC
    I built some panels out of 2 inch rockwool with 1/4" ply backing .. covered in fabric.. made mine for live use and with a 50 watt marshall full tilt into a 4x12 it is really quiet.. suprisingly quiet actually. Rockwool sucks the sound up like a sponge does water
     
  10. grado

    grado Member

    Messages:
    262
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2007
    Actually this is the first time I'd heard of them. I looked into them a bit, pricey but people do seem rave about them.

    I guess the speaker simulation is digital in some way?
     
  11. voodoosound

    voodoosound Funk & Grooven member Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
    4,673
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2004
    Location:
    between here and there
    You could go one of two routes. Either one is an excellent recording solution. I got this tip from Adam Stark and it works better than an iso box IMO.

    This my first recommendation try Floating your iso box. It may be that the actual volume of leaving the iso box is not the problem more likey if your wife is right above its the vibration being produced from the llow frequencies. If you get 1 inch dense rubber. Not uncommon for sound proffing recording studios you simply place it under the iso box. This rubeer would absorb 90% percent of the vibration and possibly even increase performane of the iso.

    Option 2 Adams idea: Badger into palmer 3 out to line 6 for use only as cab simulator. Direct into board monitors. I use a dual demeter iso cab and honestly Adams solution sounds more realistic at least I thought so after recording using both concepts.
     

Share This Page