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Cabinet orientation during transport

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by David A. Davis, Apr 2, 2017.

  1. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    I've heard the whole range of responses in other forums and conversations. What is the best/safest way the transport a cab? Cone up, cone down or normal vertical orientation? Hopefully some of TB's cab experts will chime in.
  2. I suppose for specific orientation to be helpful during transport, you need to know the direction of the greatest forces applied during transport. I wonder if that is taken into consideration when a speaker is shipped.
    I'm pretty sure FedUp pays particular attention to the "THIS SIDE UP" lables on the speaker shipping cartons.
    Last edited: Apr 2, 2017
  3. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    new drivers usually (but not always, of course) come in a 'cone up' arrangement, boxed --- say at the counter when you buy them. but they get turned 'all over the place' when shipped. if you're talking about transporting a cabinet from home to a gig = doesn't make any difference. if you were able to pack it vertically (playing position), great. but: the easiest way to pack for the gig is fine.
    Aqualung60 likes this.
  4. Jeff Scott

    Jeff Scott Rickenbacker guru..........

    Apr 11, 2006
    The apex of the cone(s) must always face towards your chosen Mecca while being transported. This does not apply while in use at gigs or in storage.

    Hope this helps..
  5. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    I would think that over time there would be some cone sag and added vibration and jostling from the road surely wouldn't help.
  6. David A. Davis

    David A. Davis Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2008
    Summerville, SC
    No, not really.
  7. wave rider

    wave rider

    Jan 5, 2005
    Might be an old bassist's tale but I have heard cone down.

    Some folk have reported magnets moving or falling off with heavy impacts while shipping or transporting, hence the cone down.

    But don't take me as an authority, I just have a good memory for trivia...

  8. Dave W

    Dave W Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    If possible I do cone up, but I'll put them however they fit in my car. With my current cabs, cone sideways is what fits so that's what I do. Never had an issue...

    No reason to overthink it IMO.
    mikew31, Low84, JRA and 3 others like this.
  9. GrizzleTone

    GrizzleTone Dig it.

    Oct 11, 2013
    An Ampeg BA115 has lived in my trunk for the past ~6-9 months. It's cone (apex) down. It worked the last time I played it, and I expect it to the next.
  10. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have never worried about it. But in probably the worst conditions, driving through a hay field and then through an access road that only a truck could get through, I always had them in normal playing position.
  11. kartiste


    May 5, 2008
    If the ride is comfortable enough for passngers, doesn't matter. If not, cone up or down - if possible.
    Groove Doctor and wave rider like this.
  12. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    Which ever way you transport it TO the gig, flip it over coming home.
  13. bassman10096

    bassman10096 Supporting Member

    Jul 30, 2004
    Back in the old days before light, new magnets a reasonably bright tech told me it was riskier to transport speakers with the cones up/mags down. The theory was that a sharp drop could pull the magnet away from the coil. Made sense to me.
    wave rider likes this.
  14. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    It doesn't matter.

    Eminence ships their OEM speakers cone up and cone down interspersed so they can maximize the number of speakers on a palette.

  15. GrizzleTone

    GrizzleTone Dig it.

    Oct 11, 2013
    The concern, I think, is not whether the speaker may be damaged, but whether the cab may be. For example, in a cab where the speaker is attached thru and to the front of the baffle (are they done a different way?), storing a cabinet with the driver above dust cap is a fair amount of weight pushing down on the screws that are keeping the speaker attached to said baffle. When traveling, the vibration may be enough to work the screws out, or, worse, strip them, allowing the speaker to come off the baffle. At least, this was my concern, which is why the Ampeg that lives in my trunk sleeps on its back. This way, gravity is pulling the speaker towards the baffle, taking the weight off the screws.

    The speaker itself is a self contained design that keeps the weight off the cone, and should not be damaged up, down, or on a side if properly engineered and built to spec.
  16. Bodeanly


    Mar 20, 2015
    Follow these directions closely when transporting a cab:

    1. Make sure it fits.

    2. If it doesn't fit, unpack car, rearrange gear, see step 1.
  17. nbsipics

    nbsipics Unstuck in Time Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 8, 2016
    I always like cones up if you know what I mean...

    And it doesn't seem to matter much either way
    BluesWalker likes this.
  18. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Speakers can be mounted on the front or the back of the baffle, it depends on the cab. They can be mounted with wood screws going through the frame into the wood of the baffle. They can be machine screws that attach to metal anchors mounted on the back of the baffle. Likewise, the speakers can be rear mounted. Older cabs have stud screws mounted through the baffle, they stick out the back of the baffle, the speaker is attached with nuts. Modern fastening methods are generally better than vintage approaches.

    I usually check the speaker fasteners about twice a year. Depending on where you live there are seasonal changes that cause the baffle to expand and contract. When it is dry like in the winter, fasteners can loosen. So periodic maintenance is important.

    The speaker cone is equally stressed around the frame when sitting cone up and down. If the cab is standing up and you hit a big bump, this will apply vertical stress on the cones. They react like springs and are designed to take a lot of abuse. Any measures that you can take to mitigate unnecessary stress is a good idea. Since you have the space, transporting the cab on its back is extra insurance.

    I have seen fasteners loosen, probably due to seasonal changes, but I've never seen any stripped due to stress.
    Last edited: Apr 3, 2017
    GrizzleTone likes this.
  19. salcott

    salcott Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2007
    NYC, Inwood.
    One more thing to not worry about.
  20. Nev375


    Nov 2, 2010
    Doesn't matter much which way they are pointed. By the time you hit a bump strong enough to damage a bass cab you probably have too much pain in your spine to give a damn. And your vehicle is probably not in a drivable condition anymore.
    Gaolee, SteveHeissner and GrizzleTone like this.

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