Cab Construction Investigation

Discussion in 'Cabinets & Speakers' started by pedecamp, Nov 3, 2019.

  1. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I've always built my own cabs through the years just to keep gear cost down, I'm fortunate to have the tools and wood working skills to accomplish this. My favorite cab is a 1936 sized 2x12 I built about 10 years ago, a 3/4" birch ply box with 1/2" MDF baffle and back, it sounds fantastic. I've experimented with different materials and sizes through the years but this 1936 is the best sounding configuration out of all of them. So on to the purpose of this thread.

    I built an Orange cab a few years ago, it never sounded good and I have no idea why, it was built with such care and attention to detail, its construction is not too far off from my 1936, it was built entirely out of 3/4" birch ply. First I tried replacing the back panel with MDF, it helped a little but not much. Then I thought maybe it was the heavy Orange style basket weave grill cloth so I built a new baffle with no grill cloth, this helped a little but not much. Then I replaced the baffle again with an MDF one, that helped a little but not much. This is bugging me out, the main difference at this point between these two cabs is the 1936 (30x23x12) has 1/2" MDF baffle and back, the Orange cab (30x21.5x12) has 3/4" MDF baffle and back and a pine frame around the front, the dimensions of the cabs are very close. There isnt anything else I can do to this cab short of breaking it apart to make further changes, I dont think I want to do that, I'll see if I can get a few bucks for it off Craigslist to recoupe some of my money, I'm thinking of getting a used Marshall 1936 instead. Its still bugging me why it sounds so drastically different (in a bad way) from my other cab, I'd like hear what any of you experts have to say about this, and thanks for listening! :yesway:

    Heres a couple shots of these cabs:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  2. ricksdisconnected

    ricksdisconnected Well-Known Member

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  3. anitoli

    anitoli Well-Known Member

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    This is easy, the 1936 has G12t75's and the other does not. Just for shit's swap the cones and see what you get.
     
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  4. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    High gain wood screws. Are the speakers hooked up the same. The slo 100 had one the best cabs in the biz . If you could find the specs . It could be the way the way the wood is put togather
     
  5. Kutt

    Kutt Well-Known Member

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    Just like two identical model guitars built side-by-side sound different in the end, perhaps this is a similar situation and the wood is resonating differently. Either way, kudos on your cabinet building skills and ear for tone!
     
  6. SkyMonkey

    SkyMonkey Well-Known Member

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    So each time you replaced a part with MDF it improved...……..?
    Hate to suggest the obvious (it would be sacrilege!!).
     
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  7. Seanxk

    Seanxk Active Member

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    Do both have casters, it's not a fair A B if one doesn't, sonically a caster is a frequency sap, because the cab can't stay still and project forwards when the bass is pushing the cab backwards. Does the Orange sound more bass heavy?, it might be in that case the 1936 is loosing bass because of the casters and appears to sound more gritty. Live it may be a completely different case where the 1936 sounds a bit thin and the orange is filling the room.

    Of course it could be so many things, but I hate casters, except when loading up :eek:)
     
  8. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    Not being like for like comparison aside, I get what you're saying. I worked in gear stores. We were all gear heads. We futz around with everything on slow days, experiments aplenty.

    I always wanted to build an MG 4x12 with 13-ply birch and another outta pine. Finger jointed, ect...

    Then experiment with different coverings. Tolex vs no tolex vs stain/paint, ect...
     
  9. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't make a difference.
     
  10. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Both my cabs are glued and screwed the same.
     
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  11. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    This is what I'm thinking.
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  12. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I like to tune my cabs with a mix of ply and MDF, I've made MDF cabs and they don't sound good.
     
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  13. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    The 1936 cab with castor's sounds great, the cab without doesn't. Goes against all logic right?
     
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  14. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Ive done that, built a cab out of pine and another the same out of ply and pine sounded terrible.
     
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  15. wakjob

    wakjob Well-Known Member

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    Interesting...what type of cab?

    My Tweed Deluxe is all pine, and much prefer it to others.
    I know it's a combo amp, but I've used it as just a cab also.
     
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  16. Seanxk

    Seanxk Active Member

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    Yes it does, if you mean the 1936 sounds better with casters than without them.
    Does the orange sound better with casters?
     
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  17. Geeze

    Geeze Well-Known Member

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    Since you have it try screwing [not gluing] a diagonal brace on each of the vertical sides and then [if needed] the same on the horizontal sides. I'm curious if there is low volume resonance that muddying up the sound.

    Casters decouple the cab from the floor changing [most notably] the low end freqs. Are you running the orange cab vertically? Try raising it off the floor 2-3".

    Wood isn't homogeneous - it's density varies even in the same plank. MDF is much more consistent and tends to dampen resonance. I've built four finger jointed 1936 style cabs with BB ply baffles and backs. Three were 29.5x20.5x12 [padauk, African mahogany, poplar] and one 29.5x23.5x12 out of curly maple. All of them sounded good but subtlety different - the poplar was the most 'middy' of the four. Great in a mix but meh alone.

    I also built a TL806 with soft pine for a working musician and he and his band mates say it's his best sounding cab. He wouldn't let me stain or finish it for fear of changing it's tonality.

    I've toyed with the idea of buying a spectrum / frequency analyser [and recording gear] to measure, record and compare cabs. Notably the 'oversized' cab - how they are supposed to sound 'bigger' - at what point [size] does the 'bigness' occur using the same speaker. The test would be starting with a first gen 1936 sized cab that were 9" deep using a recorded loop get a data baseline. Then add 1" to the depth measure the freqs and continue out to 14" or 16" inches. 14" seems to be the accepted 'max' depth for a closed back cab. Nothing has happened yet as buying figured wood is much more attractive than electronic test equipment.

    Russ
     
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  18. South Park

    South Park Well-Known Member

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    How dense the wood is makes a big difference
     
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  19. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Exactly, I had read Fender cabs were pine so I built a pine 1x12 for my Bandmaster, the cab sounded lacking, the same cab in ply sounded much better.
     
  20. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I never got around to spending money on casters for it cuz it sounded bad, it has rubber feet.
     

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