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bass cabinets

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by quincsta, Aug 5, 2005.

  1. quincsta


    Apr 11, 2005
    Hey has anyone ever built their own cabinet. If so do you know of any books or websites that might help you through the process. I wanted to get a nice rig and figured i should just buy a good head and then build my own cabinet and save like 800 bucks. I have a friend who is building a guitar cabinet and suggested building my own bass cabinet. So if you know of anything that would help me or maybe you got some tips off the top of your head or you would totally advise against it for some reason tell me.
  2. adouglas


    Jun 23, 2003
    Bridgeport, CT
    An $800 cabinet?!!?!?!??? Where are you shopping, anyway?

    You can get really good cabs for more like $300. Try http://www.avatarspeakers.com . I had a B212 and it was GREAT. Didn't have the chi-chi factor of the boutique cabs, but my ears told me it didn't need a fancy name on the grille to sound good. Basic, sound design, good drivers (Eminence), good materials, good construction. The guy basically does what you would do...absolutely everything in that cabinet except the nameplate could be bought at a lumber yard and a place like Parts Express.

    There's always a "flavor of the month" going on around here. Everybody gets all gaga over a particular brand, then something else comes along and the hot product is forgotten about. Take it for what it's worth. A good cabinet is REALLY important...it might be the single most important part of your sound (just try plugging a boutique amp and a $3000 bass into a crappy cabinet sometime if you disagree with this), but IMHO you don't need to spend huge bucks to get one.

    Building your own is going to cost you a couple of hundred in drivers, crossover and supplies no matter what you do.

    Try googling "speaker plans" and you'll get a TON of stuff. You might also try some obvious variations, like "bass cabinet speaker plans."

    Google "speaker parts" and you'll get all the components you could ever want. All the standard stuff is really easy to find...the fuzzy black carpet for the outside, molded plastic corners, handles, jack plates, even pre-wired crossovers.

    If you want to design your own, google "speaker design." Also, check out some of the parts suppliers for books and reference material.

    Here's a tip: MDF (looks like particle board, with really tiny particles) is cheap, dimensionally stable (i.e. it doesn't warp) and easy to work with. But it's heavy and will fall apart if it ever gets wet.

    The better cabinets are made of good (i.e. expensive) plywood. Birch plywood is a good choice and is reasonably light.

    I did build a speaker once...it was made out of an enormously heavy particle board/formica box-shaped display stand that had been discarded by a retail store, had a single Radio Shack 15" woofer in it, and a tuned port made from a cardboard tube. I used a book I bought at Radio Shack for the design (you have to match the volume of the cabinet and the port to the characteristics of the speaker). Must have weighed 100 lbs. I don't even remember if it sounded good. Probably not...I was just learning to play, and was trying to acquire gear on the cheap.
  3. Trevor.A


    Jan 2, 2005
    Lubbock, TX
    +1 on Avatar. I just recieved my B212 this morning, and while I haven't been able to listen to it because my head hasn't shipped yet :mad:, the build quality is excellent.
  4. quincsta


    Apr 11, 2005
    thanks. But i think i still want to build my own because it would be a nice experience. I'm 17 i have no job and im just starting college. I have alot of time on my hands. lol
  5. Physically speaking (in the terms of physics) MDF is a freakin great speaker cab material, my older brother uses it in all his home theatre subs. If i had a use for a sub in my bass rig i would get him to make me one, but if it ain't broke, don't fix it :p
  6. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    you can build a speaker cab and it might sound great, but keep in mind no matter the head, the bass or the cab, your rig is only as good as the weakest link in the setup.

    On the other hand, buying a quality Power amp and preamp with the idea to build a rig to be something great. And save money until you can afford a quality cab is well worth the time and money.

    Wish you the Best with the endeavor,
  7. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    MDF (medium density fiberboard) does not fall apart if it gets wet. It won't absorb water at all.

    Particle board most definitely will fall apart, and aside from that it's physical properties are pretty useless for speaker cabinets - it doesn't hold screws worth a damn and it's not particularly stiff.

    So remember that MDF and particle board are NOT AT ALL the same thing.

    I like using MDF to build trial runs of a cab design, since it's cheap and easy to work with. Once I've been able to have a listen to the results and finalized the cab dimensions and port tuning, I'll go ahead and build the "real" cab out of baltic birch to save weight.
  8. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    From the FAQ stickied at the top of the Amps forum: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=166257

    That should keep you busty for a week or two... :cool:
  9. basseuphoria


    May 19, 2005
    try partsexpress.com. many of thier drivers have pdf files that offer suggested cabinet designs. :D
  10. Joey J

    Joey J

    Jul 12, 2005
    If you're thinking of a 2x10 or 4x10 or 2x12 or any of the usual cab layouts building your own won't save you a dime and will likely cost you more than an Avatar or Steelsound or many other cabs. Those guys get all their parts at prices you can't touch, including the wood, and the labor costs on simple boxes of that sort are so low that you can't build a cab for what you can buy it for from them. You can do better than with some of the more heavily advertised brands, but for the most part the reason they cost more is the cost of that advertising, the parts inside are the same and wood is wood. It only makes sense to build your own if your going to make something that you can't find available cheaper in a store or on the web, and that means exotic high-performance cabinets like those at www.speakerplans.com and www.billfitzmaurice.com. Speakerplans is mostly PA boxes that use high priced components, billfitzmaurice is better for cabs for bass that aren't expensive to build. Both have plans for cabs better than anything you can buy for less than $1000 .