IKEA Guitar Amp Isolation Cabinet !

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by HaroldBrooks, Jul 27, 2017.

  1. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Recently, I saw a post about others using some Ikea furniture to store their stomp boxes and all other types of equipment. I thought I was the only one !

    I recently purchased a small storage Bench from IKEA, that I easily made into a Guitar amp isolation cabinet for live performances, and wanted to share that with everyone here... The white one was on sale for $49.

    In White
    http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/70267996/#/20274522

    Natural Wood
    http://www.ikea.com/au/en/catalog/products/70267996/

    The top is easily removed (four positioning pegs) and you can keep many a small amp inside (My Gretsch 6150 and Fender Princeton Tweed fit perfectly to name two). I padded the inside with Felt, and used a 3.5" hole saw for a low noise computer exhaust fan. The floor of the Ikea Storage Bench has a gap of about 1/3 inch (probably to vent moisture) and that works nicely as an air intake for the exhaust fan.

    You can drill another 1" hole for a Sure SM57 and send that to the PA, or anyplace you like. At this point I am hanging the mic down in front of the Gretsch speaker and it works like a charm !!!

    Cuts the volume down by a least 20db, protects the amp, and also allows for a controlled run to an effects rack or to a board, as you like. Amp actually runs cooler in the box because of the exhaust fan !

    Would like to hear from everyone on this, Let me know what you think, good or bad.

    Cheers, and have fun !
     
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2017
    aynirar27, teleman1, Theorist and 2 others like this.
  2. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    "It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society." Agreed !

    How do you post images ? I wasn't able to past or embed an image. The Blog only seems to want a URL with an image ? Thanks.
     
    FM1968 likes this.
  3. GilmourD

    GilmourD Member

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    The nice thing about XenForo is that you can literally copy a picture that's already on the Web and paste it into your post. It'll grab all the necessary picture and formatting information.

    Some XenForo installations even allow you to upload pictures or copy straight from a photo editing program. I do that all the time, just selecting the portion that I want to post from a larger image and copying and pasting. Unfortunately, TGP didn't implement that. I wouldn't be surprised if it was a storage concern.

    Now, as far as how you get pictures on the web... You could use something like Imgur.com. Photobucket went stupid and think people will pay $400 a year just to be allowed to post their pictures on forums and other websites so it's not really a good option anymore. I personally have my own web server that I throw pics up on.
     
  4. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    I'm not trying to be snarky but isnt this just an amp inside a piece of furniture?
     
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  5. Rick Lee

    Rick Lee Member

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    Here's my Ikea amp rack.
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Of course it is, but before I started playing guitar again, my wife would say "Can we go to Ikea ?" and the only thing I had to look forward to was a Swedish Meatball 'Manger's Special' platter.

    Now all that has changed !

    (Oh yea, there were some small things about sound insulation to minimize phase cancellation, exhaust fan placement and ambient noise, microphone placement, air intake positioning, temperature reduction to the amp, and something about a hole saw, but that's not important... It's that the trips to IKEA are now FUN !)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
    ripple, eriwebnerr and FM1968 like this.
  7. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Better Yet !!!!
     
  8. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Thanks much.
     
    GilmourD likes this.
  9. GilmourD

    GilmourD Member

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    I wouldn't put a whole operating amp inside there. I'd just put a speaker cabinet.
     
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  10. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    It's a vintage combo amp, so it wouldn't be practical to separate the amplifier from the cabinet. The exhaust fan keeps things quite cool, and the amp runs cooler in the cabinet than outside of it. I measured the temps for components with an infrared temp gauge after an hour of running time (playing), and the power tube runs about 15-20 degrees cooler, same the rest of the tubes. Transformers also about 10 degrees Fahrenheit cooler, and internal to the chassis also running cooler.

    I'm using an 80mm 12V DC low noise fan from a computer. I believe they generally move about 40CFM of air (unimpeded) so If I got just half of that it would work well. It seems to be quite a bit better than the passive airflow outside the cabinet. The fan is also setup to exhaust at the top back of the cabinet, while fresh air is sucked in from just below the cabinet, and not blow into the cabinet. I feel that should be a good cooling setup, not introducing colder outside air into the cabinet first, but exhausting the interior heated air.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  11. vintagelove

    vintagelove Member

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  12. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    Have you done this already or contemplating. I have been looking at my closet in my small man cave office. I already have a cabinet or two I can sit right in. I will try this in a few weeks, but remodeling right now.
     
  13. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Already done and working. I was thinking about this for a couple of months, and my wonderful wife got the jist of what I was looking for and spotted the cabinet while we were strolling through IKEA. I built it straight away, but first just put the amp inside to see how it sounded and how quickly it heated up without the fan. Just recently I added the padding and the Fan, and was contemplating drilling a hole for a microphone, but I like the sound with the Mike draped just infront of the speaker, so I don't think another hole in the cabinet is needed.

    Last year I looked a isolation cabinets on the internet, but some are quite expensive, and always had some type of deficiency for what I needed.

    The IKEA cab is small, super sturdy (you can sit on it, they call it a storage bench !), light weight, and provides easy access to the guitar through the removable top. One drawback, you can't fit a large amp in there, it's too small, but a lot of small single ended amps fit nicely. I suggest you measure the amp and cabinet before you buy it.

    Cabinet Internal dimensions are approximately (measure this for yourself) : 13 1/8" high, 11 1/4" wide, 18 3/4" long.

    As I mentioned before, my Gretsch 6150 (Supro "Super" 1606), and my Tweed Fender Princeton (Champ with a Tone Control), both fit comfortably inside ! (not at the same time that is...)
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  14. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    I like your idea cept for the amp being insdie the cab. It already is inside a combo cab. THe fan will work but add some noise. But really you have your NOS tubes inside a concussive area and doubleing that inside another cabinet. Now you are shaken the heck out of the tubes, wear and tear, might affect the tone adversely, or maybe positve. Why not just put a designated 8" cabinet and let the whole amp sit outside breathing while the speaker tears it up inside there. Plus, you can mess with the dials.
     
  15. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. For years I have been considering how tubes are not readily effected by the vibration of the amp speaker cabinet itself (particularly in a cabinet of a twin amp, with much higher wattage and bigger speakers), but they seem impervious to it at that level. The unity between the speaker directly to the amp cabinet, and to the chassis of the amp in a combo arrangement is almost a direct couple with the tubes, so any remaining sound waves that reflect off the felt insulated walls of the IKEA cabinet I feel, would be negligible by comparison. Bear in mind both amps I'm using only have 8" speakers, so no low bass is present (bass causing the most vibration). The tone is great when the amp is in the cabinet, as I already tested it numerous times, so no issues there. The fan is super quite compared to anything you would play on the amp (as quite as the hum from the amp itself), and the microphone is in front of the speaker away from the fan, so no issues there.

    The day I touched the top of my dimed Marshall Plexi head that was running above a 4x12 cabinet constantly taught me all I need to know about tubes ability to withstand normal amp vibration. That amp generates perhaps 10 times the vibration energy that a 5 watt Gretsch or Fender does, a whole lot more bass and watts in play, yet the Marshall 12AX7 and EL34 tubes never suffered in the least during my ownership. Same with my JCM 800.

    Simply putting an 8" speaker inside the IKEA cabinet would change the response, unless I built another exact replica of both the Fender and Gretsch cabinets to insert the 8" speaker into, and then inside of the IKEA enclosure. The cabinet for any amp is an integral part of the speakers response and resonance, so just putting a speaker into a different dimensioned cabinet would potentially influence the sound more than would first be apparent, and on top of that require much more work to build the extra 2 new cabinets. Also, the IKEA cabinet acts as a secondary protection for a valuable vintage amp. I wouldn't get that if I had the combo amp outside of the cabinet.

    Thank you truly for your input, and it is appreciated. You gave me something to think about.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2017
  16. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy Member

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    Great idea. I might get a small 1x12 cab to try it with. (My only 1x12 is oversized to sound like a 4x12 and wouldn't fit.)

    +1 on Imgur- I tried several free photo storage/sharing sites and Imgur was the only one that worked well and was easy to manage.
     

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