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Custom Cab Feedback

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by neotim, Mar 23, 2005.

  1. neotim

    neotim Webmaster, Bass Lover, Full-time Dad!!!

    Jul 13, 2004
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Hello All,
    I've been a bass player for a couple of years now. After playing a cheap bass for that time, I finally bought a custom bass from Carvin. After that, I needed a new cabinet (my Roland DB700 finally bit the dust).

    So, I decided to build my own. Armed with my woodworking hobby tools, WinISD, and help from friends, I finally finished it:



    My goal was to match the front of the cab to my guitar. The Carvin is the tung-oiled solid Walnut. I found some real-wood Walnut veneer and glued it to the front panel. Then I tung-oiled it with a few coats and then mounted the drivers, etc.

    The drivers are 10" Delta 10b's. The tweet is a foster that I robbed from my old DB700. I used 3/4" cabinet grade birch plywood for the box with rabbet and dado joints. The material on the outside of the box is Rhino Lining, the stuff that they use to line truck beds... very tough stuff!

    I love the sound of this cab. I also enjoyed making it so much that I've been thinking about starting a business making one-off custom cabs. Do you all think that there might be a market for this kind of thing?

    Thanks for your input,
    Tim Williston
  2. Bob Russell

    Bob Russell

    Mar 2, 2005
    That's a real nice looking box. As far as selling your stuff goes you'd be one of a thousand guys trying to compete with the likes of Avatar and Behringer in the low end, or Bergantino on the high end, and you wouldn't be able to compete.
    I'd look at Bill Fitzmaurice's designs at www.billfitzmaurice.com and try your hand at building one of his DR horns or Tuba subs. Then if you feel you can hack it you could join his network of authorized builders and sell something that has no competion. I'd do it myself but gigging 6 nites a week doesn't leave me the time.
  3. Sutton


    Mar 3, 2005
    Plainwell, MI
    It looks great, but I imagine it weights in pretty heavy
  4. IvanMike

    IvanMike Player Characters fear me... Supporting Member

    Nov 10, 2002
    Middletown CT, USA
    very nice looking. if you wanted to market it you'd definitely want to put a grille on it. my guess is you'd probably do better with local sales than internet sales as shipping cabinets can be very expensive, and most people want to try it out before they buy.

    very good job though, that's a nice looking box.
  5. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    The market for cusotm cabs falls into two camps:

    1. the custom cab is way cheaper than some commercial alternative

    2. you can build a unique cab that is not available commercially

    #1 is a total waste of time with companies like Avatar and Behringer selling cabs as cheap as they do

    Not sure how many of #2 you'll come across!!!
  6. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    To many of us custom means built to our design and specs, not to the builder's template. Not all that many people actually do that, but some do. Maybe not all that many people want that either, since performance will be hard to predict, or at least perceived as being so.

    Did you have previous experience with the bed liner? How much of a pain was it to work with?
  7. neotim

    neotim Webmaster, Bass Lover, Full-time Dad!!!

    Jul 13, 2004
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    It weighs in at 54 lb, which is actually a pound less than Avatar's 2x10 Delta. It's physical size is 21.5" x 21.5" x 14". Also, I have round grills that I'll put on eventually...

    As far as custom cabs, it seems that everybody wants a custom bass, but will settle for a standard cab that looks like everyone elses. I would market toward the low end crowd who would like a bass cabinet that they would design themselves. For example, a 2x10 cab would use a set internal volume and ports, but the buyer would be able to customize the shape, color of the exterior lining, where the ports are, color and type of wood for the baffle, handles, castors, etc...

    By the way, the Rhino Lining was put on by the experts at the local dealer. They have other colors to choose from.

    It's amazing how much Avatar is selling their cabs for. I could've bought one of theirs for quite a bit less than it cost to build mine. But I wanted a cab that I knew how it was constructed (not made in China or wherever), and I liked the Rhino Lining on the outside to protect from the elements.
  8. illidian


    Jul 2, 2004
    Building "custom" cabs and making money doing it would require you to either make the cabs cheaply (so you can have Avatar-level pricing) or having a market for them.

    If you could make a 1x12 with an Eminence 12 LF in it for less than $200 and weighing under fifty pounds, I'd think about buying one. Especially if you could ship it to me for less than thirty dollars.

    If you can build one like that, let me know (PM, e-mail, post here, whatever) and I'll think about it and then maybe gather up some funds, then we can talk "custom" options.
  9. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    There are some real good speaker guys here on TB. None of them run businesses. You do it for fun, or you do it to create something that's not commercially available.

    I've toyed with the idea, partly because people have offered to buy cabs I've built myself despite their inferior looks, and partly because we don't have the range of products available in Austr that you do over in the US. The list of things that are not commercially available here is a lot larger than I'd like. The kicker is that we're also a much smaller market, so would anyone actually buy them? Who knows?