Composite 1x12 cab!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by mikell128, Sep 3, 2010.


  1. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    Inspired by the zaclite cabs and especially by petebass (who helped me understand a lot of what I was doing) here is my very own 1x12 composite cab. The cab uses a deltalite II 2512 and two gt-1016 piezos, which allowed me not to have to use a crossover. The cab came out to be exactly what I wanted which made me happy at the final result, especially since I get nervous I'll screw these things up sometimes:smug: But here is my breakdown of the cab coming together.


    Here is the pieces cut out of the foam.
    5s-2.jpg

    My cab came together much like petebass's did, I glassed one side of the top, bottom, and outer sides. I also glassed both sides of the front and back, and then put the cab together.

    The glassing of one side.
    14s.jpg

    Here is the cab glassed together with a little duratex on certain spots where I sanded and others where I didn't because I wanted to see how easily it would chip off each surface. It didn't chip off either, or at least not easily, which was good to know ( even though I sanded everything anyways)
    21s.jpg

    Here is the cab duratex, and slightly wired.
    23s.jpg

    And here is the cab pretty much finished (without the corners and missing two screws on on the port which I had to go get after not having enough)
    29s.jpg
    27s.jpg

    I really wanted to try my hand at one of these cabs, and go through all the steps and see the main difference between wood building and composite. There were many aspects of working with this I enjoyed, no power tools needed, really no chance of leaks in the edges as you fillet and fiberglass over certain parts that just wouldn't allow it. What I found harder though was getting the air seal with the other things in the cab. To air seal everything you need to bolt through the cab as a screw won't hold or catch anything (obviously) but it does make things a little tougher (to me) than working with wood.

    I test fitted a lot along the way, and I finished the entire thing off with duratex, which came out awesome. I have done a wood cab with duratex and the main difference I see is the coat on this is much thicker. I didn't do anything different between the two but I would assume the paint sinks into the wood more as a porous surface than it did with the fiberglass. This I think would lead to more chipping but again I tried chipping some off initially and it seemed to have a strong hold.

    As of right now I don't have a front grill, which I want to do with aluminum to keep the weight light but we'll see where I can find a nice aluminum grill. I'll post another picture once I find a grill to use to show the cab completely done.

    At it's current state the cab weighs about 19.5lbs! which I am very happy with. My goal was to get under 20. With the grill I will probably go over that somewhat but I ran into some problems while making this and the extra pound or so to get over those problems is fine with me.

    I really like the sounds that have come out of the cab as well, paired with the shuttle it's sounded nice so far and I'm looking forward to using it at my next gig. I have been able to dial in everything from a midrangey bass sound that can cut through the mix, as well as a deeper bass vibe and the cab has performed beautifully in band practice situations so far. I've compared it to a few cabs and have found the cab to be favorable in many aspects, along with a few shortcomings in others. Compared to the lone 1x12 at my guitarcenter, my cab flattens it in every category, loudness, lows, weight, high end response. This is just one case, but I'm confident in how the cab would stand up to some of the big boys, and will compare when I get a chance.

    Again an extra thanks to petebass who helped me out a lot on this. Now I'm excited to try a fearful cab in composite, but that'll have to wait til next summer for time and money purposes. :spit: But so far the only downside of the cab is it makes my 36 lb 1x12 feel like a boulder;)
     
  2. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The pleasure was all mine, especially after seeing how well it came together. Nice job!

    When you do get a chance to compare it to the 1x12 offerings of some of the big boys, you'll find it stacks up very nicely indeed. And it is certainly MUCH lighter than anything commercially made. You're right, anything made from wood just feels too heavy now!
     
  3. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Mike,

    Love the build, as I am very interested in this sort of construction. Where are you located, as I would love to hear this cab in person. Maybe at your next gig?

    Oh and subscribed!
     
  4. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    These composites seem to be catching on around here, good job guys. How long before we can walk into the gig spinning our cab on the tip of our finger like a basketball?:) 20lbs. is really something.
     
  5. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    Great, I'm excited to hear it against those big guys and really see what it can do!

    And jlepre, you're from Warwick? I am too, although I'm up in Binghamton now and going through some moving but I play at Halligans every once and a while I'll let you know next time I'm there if you wanna come check it out :bassist:
     
  6. How much do you figure you have in this cab dollar wise? Without the drivers.
     
  7. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    I have a sheet somewhere that I'll find, but if you consider just the box, no handle, corners, port, drivers, foam, paint or anything like that I would say it would be around $200. Mine was a little higher because I used more resin than I thought I would and ended up having to get more but that is pretty accurate. I'll look for my final prices when I have time.
     
  8. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    That would be GREAT! I would definitely like to check it out.
     
  9. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Did you mention if this was an 8 or 4 ohm cab?
     
  10. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    It is an 8 ohm cab. Leaves me open to building another one and using them both together. I'm excited to do more builds using composite since I know it could go together a lot smoother now. Although my next build will probably be a different design as I'd like to see the weight savings on a different type of cab, and I'm also really interested in the fearful design...

    I'll let you know about my next gig there, as of now it's looking like December but I'll keep you posted
     
  11. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    That's cool.

    If you are looking for a different config, how bout a 210? I'm in the market for a couple of 210 cabs, and I was looking at getting 2 Epifani UL210s.

    Where else do you play? I might not be able to wait until December...:D
     
  12. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    I wonder how much of the bracing--if any-- you'd have to do for the fEarful? Hmmm...
     
  13. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    I'm up in Binghamton now and pretty much only playing gigs up here for a while. If anything else comes up/ any reason I'm around Warwick I'll let you know. I could do a 2x10 most likely as it isn't all too different from what I did. If I did a 2x10 it would probably be similar to the first zaclite cab.

    As for bracing with a fearful:
    From what I understand from learning about composite, and from what zac has said, it seems that if you used a 1inch foam core (what I used on this cab) you would not need bracing even on a fEarful cab. When you double the core thickness you are squaring the stiffness so from 1/2" to 1" would be 2^2 = 4 times as stiff. I can vouch for how stiff the 1 inch core is, it really is solid, and you really would not need bracing, if anything you just step up the foam core thickness another notch. This would only make the cab slightly larger and not really affect weight. If you saw zacs second cab, 2 12/6's that came in around 21-22 lbs each, you can see he didn't have to use bracing.

    I'm thinking I could possibly do a fearful 12/6 around 24 lbs and a 15/6 probably just under 30. A fearful 15/6 under 30 lbs get me really excited especially if I could get it under that to around 27 (but that may be wishful thinking...) I'm excited to try but It'll take a while for me to be able to so I guess I'll have alot of time to plan:rolleyes:
     
  14. honestjohnny

    honestjohnny

    Nov 24, 2006
    Even getting it to sub 40lbs would be impressive. Two of those guys are all you'd ever need. I wonder what a 151566 would weigh. Less than 60lbs? Very exciting stuff!
    The Alphalite 6 cmbr would eliminate the need for a mid chamber also.

    Were all the materials (excluding speakers) available at the local Lowe's/Home Depot/etc. or did you have to go to specialty dealers? Do you think someone with no experience in cabinetry could build one?
     
  15. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Builder
    Nice stuff! How do you like this woofer? What frequency did you tune the cab at and what are the rough measurements? I'm on the fence with a new can build but with so many woofers I can't decide :-/
     
  16. Phendyr_Loon

    Phendyr_Loon

    Sep 4, 2010
    That's an awesome cab!!!! Definately something I've never seen before! Does this mean a 8x10 build is possible for a guy with back issues?
    What weight and type of fiberglass did you use to skin the foam?
    Am I correct in seeing no bracing?
    Did you use T-nuts to mount the drivers, handles, etc.?
     
  17. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    The alphalite 6 is what really intrigues me for a 12/6 design(because of its weight), for the 15/6 you need to go with the eighteen sound but it's still not too heavy of a driver. I can look at some things and see what I think a 151566 would weigh later tonight. I pretty much got everything online. I got the foam from lowes though, then the fiberglass and resin and everything else I got online. If you have a place near you that sells it, all the better, I just wasn't lucky enough to have that happen.

    Fiberglass you pretty much will look for where you can get it cheapest online, all the West Systems stuff I got online from gander mountain. They don't have it in store but it was free shipping and decent prices so I didn't pay more to have it shipped or anything but it just took a few days to get to me.

    I have a mini set of quick plans that I can find if you would like to take a look. I honestly don't believe it was too difficult. I have only built one cab before this, but I think working with fiberglass was pretty straightforward. The way you're really going to get the feel for building these is to just jump in. I think if you have a decent design (I used winisd beta and pro because both are readily available), if you make sure the cab is airtight, and tune the cab correctly you will have something that you will be happy with. Then by comparing what you have to other cabs you'll get a feel for what maybe you should do in a future cab. But a well designed, airtight, tuned cab will produced good results in my book (although there is alot more to cabs then this I believe that this is atleast a good place to start)

    So far I like the woofer. I have built a cab around the 3012ho and found it wasnt exactly my cup of tea. The 2512 is about broken in now and it's open up considerably, especially down low. I should be able to find the mini plans I have if you want to PM me I'll send them over when I do. It is certainly tough to figure out which drivers to use. I'll admit I'm not an expert on drivers and am trying to become more knowledgable as I go along. But for twelves the drivers to use pretty much are the deltalite II 2512 and the 3012ho. Thats for if you don't plan on having a midrange driver. With a midrange driver I would definitely go with the 3012lf as it seems to be a monster of a driver and can really put out the low end. Now I know 12's start beaming around 1.5khz and should have a midrange driver regardless but my cab is modeled off of commercially offered bass cabs which produce similar results to what I built.

    Each type of cab interests me and I like to see the final results thats why as of now I've built a BFM Jack, this new cab thats similar to commercial offerings and allowed me to test using composite, and then hopefully eventually a fEarful using composite.
     
  18. mikell128

    mikell128

    Feb 2, 2010
    NY, NY
    I used what was essentially 9 oz. e-cloth, what I believe was 7781 though I'm trying to recall from memory. Yep! No bracing needed which is convenient and helps with the weight savings:smug:

    I used t-nuts but I would advise using without the teeth like zac did in his original cab and epoxy them in there. The teeth worked ok but didn't really go into the fiberglass all too well. It's these types of things you learn from and then don't dry again next time:D

    I see a deltalite II 2510 at just under 5 pounds. Not sure exactly what driver you would use in an 8x10 but 8 of those about 10 lbs in extras and then plus the weight of the cab itself. I believe I could get the weight of mine less now if I were to do it again but say an 8x10, which is a little more than twice as high and 6 inches wider than mine. So maybe that around 18 lbs. This is all speculation with me really going through the numbers so I would say it might be possible to do an 8x10. That comes out to 58 lb. To be realistic I would say heavier maybe around 65 lb but hey it's an 8x10. So it's up to if thats possible! I'm a young guy so I'll stick with my 20 lbs :cool:
     
  19. Triad

    Triad Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 4, 2006
    Europe
    Builder
    Can you REALLY hear the off-axis problem by yourself? Just curious. :p
     
  20. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I'll see your "speculation" and add some "predictive math" :)

    Zac built a 210 using Deltalite 2510's and it was 24lbs. By my calcs - which BTW include the weight of a full grill made from soft steel - a 410 would be around 45lbs and an 810 would be closer to 80lbs or 85lbs complete. Compared to 140lbs for a typical Ampeg fridge, that's a hefty weight saving, but it would most likely be slightly bigger due to the thicker panels......An 8x10 would have longer panels so to prevent panel vibration, you would definitely either have to use a thicker core, or use bracing.
     
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