Updated Reduced Weight Z Best 2x12 experience?

YYZ

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,646
Kicking around the idea of a relatively light 2x12. I've always eschewed the Z Best cabs due to the weight but I just read they reworked their cab in 2017 resulting in a marked weight reduction. Specifically they say, "New for 2017: We have reduced the weight of the Z-Best using an imported Italian poplar ply, maintaining the massive, 4×12 resonance the Z-Best is known for and shaving off a whopping 19 lbs for a total weight of 45 lbs (with Celestion H30 and V30 speaker configuration)."


45lbs loaded is pretty impressive but has anyone used this newer version and/or compared it to the older Z Best, which I heard is awesome.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,696
19 pounds seems like a lot to cut with just different plywood on a 4x12 cab. I know there's a difference between wood spices when it comes to weight but that seems like a lot for a fairly small amount of wood.
What did they used before, leadwood?
Or did they go thinner?
 

mcdyas

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,142
I have one of the new ones and owned a heavier one in the past. the difference is very noticeable, as you would expect, but i don't hear that the tone sounds lighter. they use italian poplar plywood instead of baltic birch plywood.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,696
I have one of the new ones and owned a heavier one in the past. the difference is very noticeable, as you would expect, but i don't hear that the tone sounds lighter. they use italian poplar plywood instead of baltic birch plywood.
Same thickness? I know the Baltic birch stuff is heavy but still that seems like a major weight loss just switching to poplar. Of course there seems to be a difference in what trees we call "poplar". Must not be the same stuff used in guitar bodies?
 

Dr.Twang!

Wrangler, twangler, participle dangler
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
807
All my Dr. Zs were MDF and pretty heavy. Maz 38 2x12 was like a Twin Reverb.
 

communarchy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
651
Same thickness? I know the Baltic birch stuff is heavy but still that seems like a major weight loss just switching to poplar. Of course there seems to be a difference in what trees we call "poplar". Must not be the same stuff used in guitar bodies?

The difference is 3/4" birch vs. 1/2" poplar ply which is yes, much lighter and more resonant. There's more slightly more midrange emphasis, due to this added resonance. Think of it as less scoop, as the denser wood resonates less.
 

DR.Z

Double Platinum Member
Messages
324
We've never made an MDF cabinet in 33 years. You may be thinking of 3/4" birch.

If I can add to Franks post.
The Z Best cab isn't just a box with a 2X12 speaker baffle.
I recorded an AMA on YouTube explaining the internal design of the Z Best view if you have a moment and you'll understand why lighter ply reduces 18 lbs. from the cab.
The Z Best has a front port for extended low end response, as well as a Mid range shelf for more accurate Mid frequency reproduction.
There is a lot of internal wood structure and design, which translates to the Z Best's huge tone.

We have never used MDF in any of our cabs construction.
MDF is a very dense material and is used in many fixed installed sound systems.
It works well as long as you don't have to move it or get it wet .

The name Z Best was give to it by me.
Not as an ego signature, but because it was initially built in Cleveland by the Best Audio Company .
Designed by Pete Felice , who has been my employee and cab finisher for the past 18 years.

Z
 
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