Go Back > The Amps > Cabinets & Speakers
LIKE MarshallForum on Facebook FOLLOW MarshallForum on Twitter
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2009, 12:46 AM   #1
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
1x12" external cab dimensions

Just wondering if there is a good formula for determining the most optimal dimensions for an external 1x12" speaker cabinet.

I'm planning to use hardwood with dovetail joints and install a 12" Marshall (Celestion) 30 watt/8 ohm speaker that came from a 4x12" Marshall cabinet.

I've never built a speaker cabinet before, but I have read the dimensions have a lot to do with frequency response and tone. These cabinets would be closed backs and probably have at least one port. Mostly for studio use.

My usual tuning is drop-C and some drop-D , mostly for metal (I've heard that tuning should be a consideration as well).

Walkerhandmade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 01:03 AM   #2
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

I've found a sealed enclosure calculator, but being the layman I am, I don't know the meaning of the values is asks for (or how to find them. Any clues on how to get the detailed specs like Fs, Qms, Qes, Qts, Vas, etc..?
Walkerhandmade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 01:45 AM   #3
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 58
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

Look up boogafunk cabnets or just google Electro -voice TL 806 speaker enclosure. Ported boxs are smaller and sealed are bigger IIRC.
oakfloor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-06-2009, 04:56 AM   #4
Senior Member
JohnH's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Wilton NSW
Posts: 2,469
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

I built a 1x12 recently, to go under my DSL401 and to use with a PowerBlock:

You can read more here:
GuitarNutz 2 - Speaker cab for electric and acoustic

I built it with 15mm ply, and the outside dimensions are 460mm x 560mm at the front face, and the depth is 330mm and the top and 350mm at the base, including baffles with the front baffle recessed about 20mm.

To get a good bass, its all about internal volume per speaker. I used WinISD which you can get here:


You can call up a number of different speaker types, but the only one I recognised as a guitar speaker was a G12M, so I used that to test dimensions.

This cab has turned out to have a great solid bass with a closed back - last week I put a V30 in it and it is a killer both for clean and driven.

Crate Powerblock
1 x 12 Vintage 30 cab
'76 Shergold Masquerader
'91 Les Paul Studio
'83 Roadstar
'10 American Special Strat HSS
JohnH is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2009, 12:43 AM   #5
Junior Member
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 7
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

Thanks John, very nice looking cabinet. I'll check out all of this during my time off. I appreciate your taking the time to lay it out there. Later.
Walkerhandmade is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 10:04 AM   #6
javier pintos
Senior Member
javier pintos's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mexico
Posts: 608
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

hi you all

from the celestion web page, hope it helps


A unique area Of loudspeaker design

A loudspeaker is usually a transducer, designed to faithfully reproduce the acoustics of the signal presented to it. An electric guitar speaker however is a creative part of the music, contributing its own character and tonality. The ‘instrument’ an electric guitar player uses is really a combination of guitar, amplifier and speaker. All three parts are vitally important to a good sound.
As guitar speakers are different, so their cabinets are different to hi-fi or PA cabinets. Deep, thunderous bass is not required (the low E of a standard-tuned lead guitar is 82Hz). High frequency reproduction is a positive disadvantage, allowing unpleasant harmonics and electronic noise to be heard. Distortion-free sound would be a disaster.
Two elements, a drive and a box

The box design is acoustically less critical than that for hi-fi or PA systems, but proper construction is essential. The cabinets should be solidly built to ensure no joint vibration (unpleasant buzzing), and be of adequate strength to withstand hard use. Remember that guitar speakers are quite heavy and amplifiers that sit on top of guitar cabs are even heavier. Internal bracing is generally not required, but battens inside the joints are good if your woodwork skills do not extend to complex corner joints, and a central bracing post can be advantageous in a 4x12.
Most quality cabs use 15-18mm plywood for the main cabinet, with MDF for the baffle (the part where the speaker(s) are mounted), but they can be constructed of any material. Many budget cabs are made of chipboard (cheap, but poor in terms of strength, ruggedness and sound) or MDF (easy to machine, but heavy and dead). Maple, mahogany and walnut are often used for high quality cabinets.
The important characteristics of the cabinet material are strength, sound and ease of use. Lively resonant materials, such as plywood or real woods, vibrate in sympathy with the speaker and enhance the sound, but should be at least 13mm / 0.5" thick, or they will unduly colour the sound. Most woods or wood composites will be strong enough at this thickness. When considering price, you should also consider cabinet finish. Cabinets can be painted or stained, or covered with a vinyl or carpet finish. Real woods finished with a stain can be very exclusive and expensive looking!
Generally, open back or sealed boxes should be used.Open back gives a looser low end with less depth, and 'figure 8' directivity (sound field looks like an 8 when looked down on from above the cab). Sealed boxes give tight, deeper low end but are more directional, giving less spread of sound. Vented / tuned / ported / reflex boxes do not generally offer an advantage to lead guitar speaker operation. If such a loading is required. it is recommended that the alignment should be chosen with care as inappropriate reflex designs can cause speaker damage. The box size is not critical. The baffle size is more important in open back boxes (larger = more low/mid presence), and for closed back boxes larger volume means deeper but looser bass. Do not use internal acoustic wadding, it is inappropriate for guitar cabs, reducing sparkle and life.
Mount the speaker securely using bolts into T-nuts, not self tapping screws. Do not overtighten so the housing rim bends. Ensure the speaker is protected from the front, as the cone is easily damaged. The speaker can be front or rear mounted.
In Summary
  • Plywood or real wood construction is preferable
  • Strong, rigid construction means no buzzes or rattles
  • Size is not critical
  • Ensure the speaker is adequately mounted and protected
  • Avoid air leaks if using sealed box construction

We do not advise mixing different impedances of driver within the same cabinet. This can lead to uneven power sharing between speakers, causing one speaker to be overdriven and damaged, while the other is underdriven.

Thiele-small parameters

Thiele Small parameters are useful for controlling the low frequency response of sealed or ported cabinet systems by changing the cabinet internal volume, and port dimensions. However they are of limited use when designing a guitar speaker cabinet.
  • Electric guitar speakers do not reproduce 'low' frequencies (the low E string of a lead guitar has a fundamental of 82Hz) and so the frequencies at which Thiele Small parameters have significance are mostly below the operating range.
  • Also, the parameters are measured at very small signal levels. Guitar speakers become non linear at very low levels compared to other types of speaker, greatly reducing the significance of Thiele Small parameters in actual speaker use. Using the Thiele Small parameters of a typical guitar speaker, you will find that halving or doubling the cabinet size makes minimal difference to the response.
  • They have no relevance to open back cabinets.
  • Care should be exercised designing ported (or reflex) cabinets for guitar speakers as the increased cone excursion below the tuning frequency can cause speaker damage.
The cabinet size, shape and construction are of far higher significance than the internal volume. Cabinet design using Thiele Small parameters ignores these most fundamental aspects. Important factors include the material you make the cabinet from, the panel sizes and shapes, how they are joined, how the cabinet is finished, the mounting of the speaker, etc. These, not Thiele Small parameters are the critical factors in the design and ultimately the sound of a guitar speaker cabinet.
javier pintos is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-08-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
javier pintos
Senior Member
javier pintos's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Mexico
Posts: 608
Re: 1x12" external cab dimensions

As a personal experiment, i made a 1x12 cab the same size of my AVT amp for looks, put a G12H into it and it sounded really good after making an opening about the size of a coke can diameter on it, with a V30 i did not need the opening, ended up letting go of the cab cause i used the speaker for a 4x12.

the measures were exactly the same width of my combo, the same hight of the combo speaker enclosure, and i gave it about 4 inches more of the depth

heres a real bad pic of it
Attached Images
File Type: jpg DSC00004.jpg (95.2 KB, 31 views)
javier pintos is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 08:52 PM.

Find us on Facebook!   Follow us on Twitter!

Our Network: PRS Guitar Forum | Luthier Forum | SG Guitar Forum | Les Paul Forum | Music Gear Forum | 7 String Guitar Forum | Acoustic Guitar Forum

MarshallForum proudly supports St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

Copyright © 2005-2016, All Rights Reserved.