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Building lightweight cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by erik II, Jun 19, 2002.

  1. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    I've been toying with the idea of building a speaker cabinet with sort of semi-hollow plates, for example like this:

    Cut 12mm particle board to size. Perforate it with a tight pattern of ø30-40mm holes, leaving just the edges, handle mounting areas etc. solid. Sandwich the perforated board between two 3-4mm plywood plates, all glued together. Holes may be filled with wool or something.

    Make all six plates this way, and assemble the cab. Roughly calculated this would reduce the weight of a box with about 30%.

    Anyone tried something like this? Any thoughts on how it would work?
  2. Erik,

    I think you're getting yourself into a lot of work this way. Check out Nomex Honeycomb material. This is an extremely light and tough core material for use in sandwich constructions. Also check out companies that use this stuff for trailer walls etc. Maybe you can get pre-cut plates. Please note that the effective use of these sandwiches is highly dependant on accurate glue-ing and proper construction of the edges of the sandwich.

    But if you get everything right, yeah it would work great.

    Cheers Rody

    PS there are also foams you can use as core materials. I was thinking of trying it with the cheap foam sheets you use in roof isolation along with fibreglass/polyester facings, but it'll be a long time before I dive into that pit.
  3. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Hi Rody, thanks for the tips. I have heard about the honeycomb material, I'll see if I can track down a supplier around here.

    But if it's not easily available, I will try my original idea. I've even considered using balsa wood for core material... any experiences with that?
  4. Erik,

    Balsa wood is an excellent core material, but also quite expensive (for the right grade and large sheets) .

    Cheers Rody
  5. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    Considered foam? Meaning that self-foaming compoud that is used by house and boat builders. Extremely easy to use, very adhesive, stiffens walls very nicely at low weight. Available in different qualities, even!
  6. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think those extremely light Nemesis amps by EDEN are made of composite materials, way lighter than wood.

    I've always wondered why instead of the infamous carpets or highly tearable snakeskin-like plastic, we don't get bass cabs made of strong plastic like PA cabs.
    They're very resistant, light, easy to maintain, and I don't think they sound that bad.
  7. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Do you mean the expanding isolating foam that is sprayed into hollow walls? It did cross my mind, but I have no experience with it... Doesn't that require some kind of special equipment?
    Anyone know how the Flite cabs are buildt? They are very light too.
  8. uglybassplayer


    Aug 24, 2001
    New Jersey
    Talk about a lightweight cabinet....

    Just blow it up, and you're ready to go. Of course now not only can your speakers blow, but your whole cabinet as well! :D :D

    Just think of the possibilities... You wouldn't need speaker stands for PA cabinets any more, just fill 'em with helium and tie 'em down ;)

    :rolleyes: It may be a while before this product idea is developed enough for a bass cabinet though.
  9. You should check out Aircraft Spruce & Specialty Co
    They specialize in composite materials for the aircraft and racing industries... if you can't get it through them, it's probably not available!
  10. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I built a boat a couple of decades ago, using this kind of foam, no special equipment needed. We just mixed it and poured it. You do need some kind of expansion holes, though, and also make sure that the foam floats overall.
    You could use some kind of pressurised filling equipment, like used for window putty, I guess.

    Flite, as I recall, use honeycomb. I may be awful wrong on this.....
  11. erik II

    erik II

    Jul 11, 2000
    Oslo, Norway
    Yes, I thought I might have read that on their website earlier. Can't find it now, so I wasn't sure, but you have obviously seen something like that too...?

    Well, thanks for advice folks! :)

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