Building a cab - am I a idiot?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Zoot, Nov 25, 2004.

  1. Zoot

    Zoot Guest

    Sep 4, 2004
    Howdy y'all.

    A 2x10 Eden or SWR cab over here in the UK is around £600.

    You can buy 2 eminence drivers for about £100.

    Whats peoples veiws on making your own 2x10 cab?? With Basic maths and woodworking skills, surely you can make yourself a decent cab for use gigging for a fifth of the cost of the named ones??

    Am I being a novice here? Is there something I am missing as to why people don't make thier own cabs?? Do they sound rubbish without putting in all the designing work that the Big names do??? Surely you could just copy thier designs and chuck in a couple of cheaper Eminence speakers???

    Please tell me?

    Cheers y'all.
  2. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Well, let me tell ya...

    There are alot of people who think it's a waste of time and energy.

    But there are also alot of people who do just that. I'm one of them. Do a search for "Cabinet building 101". There are guys on here that will be of great help...mainly BGavin, who will give you the low down on your speakers and anything else you need to know. He's got the most amazing spreadsheet...a collection of more info than anyone could ever need.

    Check out my SMS Harvey combo thread. I did exactly what your thinking of doing. It's not that hard to do. This isn't rocket science, but getting a good understanding about speakers and cabinet design, porting, tuning, etc. BEFORE you start, will be a great help.

    Good luck...and it is really easier than some will lead you to believe. ;)
  3. THCbass

    THCbass Guest

    Sep 19, 2003
    Hey , that's why I builded mine last Year and ...yes , they sound
    terrific!.... did a single 15'' with a Legend CB15 from Eminence
    and a 2 X 10'' with Legend B102....and those are the one to beat!
    they sound so good that I'm planning to disasemble my 2x10'' and
    going to do a 4X10''..... :bassist:
  4. If your time is valuable, there is no cost savings in building your own. There is also something to be said for instant gratification, and hearing it before you buy.

    Those who roll their own do so not for cost reasons, but because they cannot get what they want in a commercial offering. Access to all the necessary tools, and the skill to use them, is required.

    Once you get past this, understanding exactly what you want is the hard part. Do you want the punch of 10s, or the low reach of 15s? Do you want to get aggressive and build one of Bill's Tuba horns? My spread sheet has over a thousand drivers in catalog for cab size and tuning.

    If you are young and cost is the motivating factor, my advice is look into buying used cabs. Bass players are awful gear sluts and always trading gear, so buy it used. I almost never pay more than 66% of new-discount price for current-production equipment. This opinion gets sneered at in some circles, but it generally holds true more often than not. You can always get your investment back if you do not over pay.
  5. bassampegman

    bassampegman Guest

    Jul 3, 2004
    Suffolk England
    I would try to make a homebrew cab, as a simple starting point find a cab make / brand you like and copy the dimensions and if suitable for your needs build away.

    I always think the hard part is the covering of the cab,Emminence speakers are really low cost via Electro vision in the UK about £25.00 each for 10" deltas etc.
  6. If you must build yourself, go with DIY kits or plans. If you want to design your own cab, get some help with somebody who understands enclosure software and yes, crossover design. You just can't stick any old crossover network on the horn tweeter and expect it to sound good.
  7. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Read up, ask alot of questions.

    This is not rocket science here. There are some rules (guidelines) to follow regarding the T/S specs of the speakers you intend to use. Use something like WinISD software (or similar) to plan out your cab.

    Do alot of prep, plan, design, redesign...think about it some more, ask more questions, read more, then redesign...think about it even more, redesign. Draw it out with measurements, double check your measurements, redesign.

    Actually it's alot of fun and a huge learning process that will have you appreciating your sound even more since you'll know WHY it sounds the way it the satisfaction of having built it yourself.
  8. It is much harder to build an enclosed cab to match the speaker.

    Build one that is Vented at the bottom of the front..not only does it sound good but doesn't require much tuning capability and in my opinion sounds better because it forces the back pressure from the speaker out the front of the cab for deep tight low end with the right speakers. See Avatar speakers for an idea of what I am talking about.
    I like Eminence Kappa Pro LF's
  9. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Actually the opposite is true. It is more difficult to match a speaker to an existing cabinet. It is also easier to build an enclosed (sealed) cab than a vented one because sealed cabs are more forgiving of bad designs.

    Once you have the T/S parameters for a given speaker, you can then design a cab to match those parameters, i.e. - cab volume, tuning, etc. It's fairly easy with software to do that.

    But trying to figure out your exact cab volume and porting (especially if it is vented along the bottom) and then finding a speaker that matches those parameters perfectly is harder. Most existing cabinets are designed for a specific speaker. You can't just throw any other speakers in there.

    The vent along the bottom of a cab doesn't sound better or worse than a tube port, since both are ports that tune the cab to a specific frequency. In fact, a vent along the bottom is more difficult to design and build so that it ports the cab correctly for a given speaker(s).
  10. "the vent along the bottom of a cab doesn't sound better or worse than a tube port, since both are ports that tune the cab to a specific frequency. In fact, a vent along the bottom is more difficult to design and build so that it ports the cab correctly for a given speaker(s)."

    Correct.. my comparison was with a sealed cab not ported.
  11. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    I guess I just read your post wrong. Yeah, I agree, a vented cab will be better overall, though a sealed cab has a nice tight sound to it and is way more forgiving of errors in design.

    But the speaker used should be one that is meant for a sealed cab too.
  12. David S

    David S Guest

    Apr 4, 2004
    I want to build a pair that are the same width and depth as my rack (so rack can sit on one- maybe 2nd rack for power amp on the 2nd) with a combo of one 15" and one or two 12", running the 15 and the 12 in diffrent channels- I have a high and low 2 channel set up- built in X-over in the preamp.
    One of two 12's will depend on what room I have.

    I have a pair 15" that I used in my Altec cabs, and four 12"s from my old Standel, (got sick of lifting them) I used to run the low to the Altec's and "highs" to the Standel, and think sound would be even better with boxes that were sized for the speakers. A grab bar on the rear of each box, and wheels at the rear, at a angle so you can roll 'em like a hand cart.

    So far I am just too lazy to get the mod # off the speakers and start design.

    Anyone seen a set-up sized like this?

  13. I built my 15" subs with a 20.75" x 20.75" foot print so I could put my rack on top. In retrospect, not such a great idea. First, my subs pound so hard that I have to isolate the rack to prevent it from buzzing or walking off.

    Next, I found that a pair of B102 10" mates perfectly with a single Magnum 18LF... so I redesigned both to a 25" width so they can stack and look decent.
  14. Sundogue


    Apr 26, 2001
    Wausau, WI
    Yes you can build a cab with wheels and a handle for rolling it.

    That's what I did with my SMS Harvey Combo. The bottom back plate is angled with wheeels and I just put a handle on top. The handle on top is not for lifting, just rolling. I have two big handles on the side for lifting. Make sure that if you make an angled back plate at the bottom, that the board that the wheels are on, is glued and screwed ONTO the back, sides and bottom, NOT to the INSIDE of them. That board will bear the full weight of your cab when you wheel it, so you want the back, sides and bottom actually supporting that board.

    As far as making it to accomodate your rack, you can make it any size you want as long as the cab volume is correct. I made my cab a specific size to make it into a combo with a three rack space top, but it also had to fit in the back seat of my car. I'm making my extension cab completely different, shape-wise, so my combo sits on top and it still fits in the trunk of my car. So it will be shorter, but wider and deeper front to back.

    One nice thing about building your own cabs is that you can customize it to suit your needs, rather than having to settle for cabs that only come close to what you want.

    But make sure you get the T/S specs of your speakers first and design around that.
  15. liquid7

    liquid7 Guest

    Oct 28, 2003
    Kuopio Finland
    Do you still have the plans for the B102 cabinet because I have thought about building one.
  16. David S

    David S Guest

    Apr 4, 2004
    Thanks for the input, I almost forgot about the rack moving around. I think I could install 4 cups in the cab for the feet of the rack to sit in, and maybe add some type of tie down/ latch system if needed.

    Other reason I want to build is, I loved some things about my old Altec's- wheels, big handles, but most of all front covers!

    With the front covers on, everything was enclosed, all sides looked the same- they even had thin weatherstriping to help keep dust & moisture out.

    What I hated was the weight, wheels on the bottom (would roll on stage) and the size- very hard to get ahold of both handles at once, even when I wanted to lift them.

    The wheel & handle idea came from the Standel, as I had my aplinace dolly always hooked to it. It is a 4 -12 cab with 2 layers of 3/4 inch plywood, and baffles inside, and threaded rod connecting the front to back. Again weight, and the placement of the handles- so high, I can only lift the bottom about 18" off the ground- not enought to lift into a van or little pickup.

    Sounds like I need to start in. I'll post info & plans as I come up with them.

  17. I would humbly suggest building a transmission line enclosure with the 10s. This would be challenging, but rewarding. There is no software that can calculate the shelving for the back wave. If you get it right, you will be rewarded with an efficient cab and smooth, deep lows to die for.
  18. Emince B102 Slot Port 2x10 SBB4

    This is the engineering sheet for two B102 in parallel in an SBB4 vented alignment.
  19. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Yeah, you should be able to get it right after about six tries. You can have a bonfire with the others.
  20. funky_bass_guy

    funky_bass_guy Guest

    Jul 30, 2004
    I live in the UK and found a way to get around this. Become friends with a PA company, they can get emminence drivers and all the material extremely cheaply, they also know how to make proper cabinets. I got a 4x10 custom made for me it cost £199 including shipping from ireland to london is rated at 1200 watts and is amazing quality :D