Amplifier Wood?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by RavynWolf, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. Good Evening everyone!

    I am currently undergoing a combo amp build, and I could use some input. This question is more on the wood; I already have the electronics sorted out. I typically use some form of plywood or chipboard (horrible by the way, don't try chipboard ;) ) What kind of wood has a good resonance(By which I mean tight response) and tonal value for say...a 10" speaker?

    Thanks, Ravyn
  2. My vote would be Birch
  3. WOW... that must be some amp!!!:D
  4. Two opposing theories can apply here:

    1. Do you want totally accurate, tight response from your drivers, with no annoying resonances? Then make the cab from something heavy and dense, and brace every panel with on-edge pieces, preferably angled across the panel to break up standing waves. Concrete is the ideal material; chipboard works nearly as well is this application, or some sort of heavy ply. Finish it off with a thick coat of Rhino-liner.

    2. Do you want a resonant, responsive cab that reacts to the sound of the speakers? Then use the lightest, thinnest panels practical, no bracing, and don't cover it with vinyl or carpet. Void-free birch ply is good; solid pine is better.

    Theory #1 works for subwoofers (I made my PA subs with 19mm ply and loads of bracing); theory #2 is better for guitar amps where quirky resonances are likely to be called 'tone'.

    In practice, I'd take the middle ground for a solid cab that's not too heavy - try 17mm birch ply with ample bracing by 3" strips of ply glued & screwed on edge across each panel.
  5. high order ply Baltic birch
  6. For amps...I prefer lightweight, durable METAL.
    For seems like lightweight, durable Italian Poplar has been big the past 2 years. Although, I have no idea what I'm talking about...I just know what sells. Light, durable, and it sounds good.
  7. Greenman


    Dec 17, 2005
    Ontario Canada
    I use 9 ply 1/2" Baltic Birch.
  8. Perfect!

    Thank you all for the fast responses.
  9. dunamis


    Aug 2, 2004
    Yeah... this thread is not at all about what i thought it would (wood?) be.:p

  10. You describe MDF. Not that I would use MDF, but that will give you the best tonal characteristics, weight be damned.
  11. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    I have found that most cabinet hardware seems to be made to suit 3/4" thick wood stock. I use 3/4" void free Baltic Birch if I can.

  12. I am readily available to MDF. Why wouldn't you use it? Just because of the weight?
  13. sedan_dad


    Feb 5, 2006
  14. Yes. Quality birch plywood is much lighter and arguably a little stronger but more expensive and harder to find. MDF is cheap, and less resonant, but really heavy. Also, I'm done choking on MDF dust when building cabs. That stuff is toxic.
  15. I'm so making a conrete cab.
  16. Good luck on that, but you won't be the first. :eyebrow:
  17. But mine's gonna be 10 stories tall.
  18. texasgreg


    Oct 29, 2007
    Where can I buy italian poplar plywood? I live in Texas. I surfed the web abit, and the suppliers I could find sell in 4 x 8 sheets. My needs are much smaller.

    What thickness is recommended for building cabs, especially a lightweight cab?

    What is the thinnest variety of italian poplar plywood I can use that does not flex?
  19. MellowTone


    May 26, 2008
    Yeah have fun with that. Suppliers tend to work in giant sheets, had this problem with perforated sheet steel recently. You have to find someone who is willing to sell cut sheets, which can be a difficult find. (I found one for the steel)