Making my own guitar cab.

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by chevyaddict83, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. chevyaddict83

    chevyaddict83 Member

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    I tried the search bar without much luck. I would like to make my own guitar cab, but need some on designing it. I am a rhythm guitarist. Just picked up a laney lc15 tube. Love the sound, but would love to expand on it. I just dont know the rules, i.e enclosure size, what materials etc. I have an extensive background in car audio, both loud bass and also sound quality, but it seems like the rules might be different. Any help is appreciated. Shooting for a nice tight sound. Also love the look of the mesa wood cab. Thanks guys!
     
  2. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Most guitar cabinets aren't made with much regard to acoustics. They're usually made to match the colors, power, and dimensions of a specific amplifier. Most guitarists don't care either. Just look at all the threads on this site where someone goes out and buys a Thiele/Small cabinet and then immediately replaces the speakers, making it no longer a Thiele/Small cabinet, but rather just a cabinet with a hole in it. And they almost always claim it improved the sound significantly.

    With guitar amps, you usually don't want a straight linear response, because guitarists generally prefer character over sterility. You also don't usually want a ton of bass, because that's what bass amps are for. If you get too much bass coming from a guitar amp, you'll just muddy up the sound for both you and the bass player, and make the whole band sound bad, even though your amp may sound phenomenal on it's own.

    So you've got several ways to approach this, and all are equally valid. You could build the cabinet to the dimensions that make most sense to you from an aesthetic or utilitarian point of view. Or you could build the cabinet using the same principles you'd apply to a car audio subwoofer box (though I probably wouldn't go this direction if you play in a band with a bass player). Or you could just find a cabinet you like and copy the dimensions yourself. I've also heard of quite a few people using the golden ratio to determine the dimensions of the cab and having great results, so you could take a philosophical route.

    About the only rules I'd be concerned with is use good wood, good joints, and good speakers. Also sealed back cabs tend to have tighter bass while open backed cabs tend to sound fuller (but I bet you knew that). Also, the larger the volume of a sealed back cab, the more bass it tends to produce. You might want to experiment with batting or some other type of filler to help absorb and disperse some of that internal energy if you decide on a closed or convertible back cab.
     
  3. chevyaddict83

    chevyaddict83 Member

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    Silent Sound, thank you for the fast and detailed response! I tossed around running t/s parameter and running from there, but my only experience is with subwoofers when doing that. The only thing i was tossing around was a half open back, with the option to seal it off with an additional panel and latches. Something of the baltic birch variety for construction.
     
  4. chevyaddict83

    chevyaddict83 Member

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    Too many ideas running through my head. Also going to turn the combo into just a head. I like woodworking just a little bit. [emoji1]
     
  5. bamboo633

    bamboo633 Member

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    I have some experience building cabs and it is seldom worth it unless you are going for something special or unusual.

    You are often better off buying a well built existing cab and changing the speakers. There is a Peavey 4X12MS in my local area for $150 Canadian, about $120US. I can take the Sheffields out of it and sell them for about $75 if I want to move them fast. That leaves me with a well built cab for $60US. I can't buy the stuff to build it for that.

    The speakers cost extra but you would have to buy them for a scratch build anyways.

    Of course YMMV.
     
  6. chevyaddict83

    chevyaddict83 Member

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    Just the thought of the removable backside to change the sound seems worth it to me. Also contemplating a removable front cloth etc. The work is easy enough. Might take a swing at it.
     
  7. TimmyP

    TimmyP Member

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    Just buy something, put in the speaker you want, and spend the time you saved in the practice room.
     
  8. tresspassor

    tresspassor Member

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  9. AXEnGEAR4J

    AXEnGEAR4J Supporting Member

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    :agree Unless it's because you REALLY want to do a the research, find the correct materials and equipment and build a cab for self satisfaction then I would find one already built. Maybe restore one even.
     
  10. Silent Sound

    Silent Sound Member

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    Build your own and give it a unique twist. Don't fall into the laziness trap like so many others do. Get out there and make something with your own two hands. Learn some new skills, or hone some old ones. Be productive and get away from the TV and internet from time to time. Participate in life and don't be content to just spectate it. Make something that makes you proud!
     
  11. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    I have to agree with this. Combine two things you like to do, and make it special. The design doesn't matter that much, anything you do will alter the tone a bit. Just mess around until you find something you like. There's really no right or wrong.
     
  12. KanataGuy

    KanataGuy Member

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    Take a swing at it! Especially if you enjoy woodworking.

    I built my first cab after pricing new ones and being very unimpressed with cabinet build quality. As mentioned by someone else, Google images of cabs and pick one you think will work for you.. I build most of mine with 3/4" pine cab and 1/2" birch ply baffle. Mostly open back for me. I like that Fender sound. I use birch ply 3/4" for cab and 1/2" for baffle when building a closed back cab. For me, rock, country, blues are all open back.. Hard rock and metal thrive on closed back. Just my preference.

    There are cabs that incorporate open and closed back in one cab.. best of both worlds?

    My first was a very straightforward 1x12 open back design. Easiest to build.

    Tools, tools, tools.. having the right ones makes all the difference. A decent table saw, router, and a dovetail jig go a long way to make things easier for me.

    I have never applied much "science" to the size of the cab. I just replicate what I like although I tend to like bigger cabs as they sound ummm... bigger.. :) I don't play out so cab weight has never been an issue for me..

    Speakers, speakers, speakers... Nice cab + crappy speakers = crappy cab..
    Do your research as there are many quality speaker makers and models. As long as you know what type of music you like to play it should not be a problem to find the right speakers to match your style and cab design.
     
  13. AXEnGEAR4J

    AXEnGEAR4J Supporting Member

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    I believe it all comes down to time and priorities of work and personal achievement or possibly monetary? If you have nothing else to do in life more important to achieve or satisfying with your time at hand and money then go for it 110%!
    :aok
     
  14. jrh_67

    jrh_67 Member

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    I have a 4x12 I built I'll never get rid of! I built it out of Birch and covered it in white tolex.

    As already stated earlier this is not the cheapest way! I already had the speakers and after I bought the hardware, wood and the rest of the materials I probably spent about $800 but I guarantee you it is built to last! It will still be here long after I'm dead and gone...lol.

    It sound fantastic also! It's thundering loud with no flub or farting or rattling of any kind! Like I said I overbuilt it. I haven't weighed it yet but it's a heavy mofo...lol

    What I did was go to multiple music stores with a tape measure and measured many cabinets to get the general idea as how big to make it and end up using specs very close to the Orange cabinet I looked at. I wanted that thick front edge but rounded instead of squared like the Orange..

    here's a link to some pics of the build..

    http://s230.photobucket.com/user/jrh_67/slideshow/4x12 build
     
  15. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Go for it! Build one! As mentioned, it really doesn't have to be very specifically sized as guitar cabs are supposed to sound unique vs flat. Just make it so it fits your head, is relatively stable both in use and rolling around in transit and looks cool!
     
  16. MarcV

    MarcV Supporting Member

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    Well that should have cleared it up for you.
     
  17. chevyaddict83

    chevyaddict83 Member

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    Silent Sound, you have my attitude. I might not reinvent the wheel. But maybe i can make an Orange cab clone for half the price. Or i can make my own monster that everyone would want lol. Thanks guys. There will be a build thread.
     
  18. ur2funky

    ur2funky Supporting Member

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  19. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Member

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    Ur2funky, that cabinet is fantastic! Well done!!!
     

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