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DIY 115 combo (GenzBenz content)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Syco_bass, Aug 11, 2012.


  1. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    O.K. so everyone seems to be catching the DIY speaker cab fever these days. I guess I'm no different. I want light weight portable and Modular with big "boom-boom" factor. So about a month ago, I started on my quest and began dreaming up what I hope will be my be-all/end-all cab/combo. :rolleyes:

    I want to start off by giving props to the ppl that have helped me with cab size, speaker specs, porting/tuning, etc. I won't go into details, but you all know who you are and I also want to thank the folks at Speaker Warehouse and U.S. Speaker for helping source my parts.

    Here is the reason behind my quest.

    About 6 weeks ago, after playing a long 5 hour gig, I sustained, what It thought was a minor back injury while loading my speaker cabs into my truck. The next day I couldn't get out of bed. To this day, I still can't lift much and just standing or sitting hurts. Some day, after many hours of rehab, my back will be better, but I never want to schlep 90lb + cabs ever again.

    My goal is simple yet until recently not very attainable.

    1. light weight and compact. (40lbs +/- including amp)
    2. Modular - I play a lot of small gigs, so a 1X15 cab will suffice for the most part, but I also play a few larger (outdoor/stadium) type gigs per year so I'll need to move more air every once in a while. So, I'll need a light weight Ext. cab to go with it.
    3. Loud with no farting please. I have enough G.A.S. :hyper:
    4. Full range/Vintage tone.
    5. I like working with tools and wood, so I wanted this to be a DIY project.
    6. Wanted to encorporate my ShuttleMax 9.2 head.

    I started looking at fEARful downlaodable cab designs and spoke with a few authorized Greenboy builders. I also thought about ordering a "Flatpack" from Speaker Warehouse. I also looked at and down loaded the TL-606 drawings. At one point I thought about buying some used cabs and changing out the speakers. After scratching my head and consulting with a few DIY builders and cab design software, I came up something I think will work.

    I have decided to build my own cab/amp combo using my ShuttleMax 9.2 and a Faital PR400 Speaker.

    Here are a couple of photos of what I'm trying to achieve.

    M3 Carbine - Only on a 15" speaker platform.

    1600-M3Carb112_front.

    The plan is to wrap everything in "Tweed" Tolex like these;

    dbseries_color_bosstweed2.

    The top cab willl have a tilt back "kick stand" so that I can tilt it up when I'm only using the combo.

    Hear is what it looks like so far.

    GEDC0428.

    Rack ears, Tolex and hardware on order and should arrive in a few days. I will go into more detail when I build the ext. cab.

    Stay tuned for more updates.

    Please check out my "Show Case" thread in my signature to see some of the basses I have for sale.

    Cheers.

    RobC
    Arizona Bass Company
     
  2. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    I was almost confused but....that's the ext. cab.:)

    Nice work. When you do the combo any thoughts of moving the amp to one side, if ventilation allows it? Would make a handy little storage compartment for cable/pedals, etc. on the other half of the airhead.
     
  3. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Hey will33, actually I am planning on building a head case and just bolting it to the side of the cab like you see it. In that fashion, it won't be a "combo" per-say. You'll be able to use it with any 1 or 2 rack space amp. Just un-bolt the ShuttleMax 9.2 and bolt in your (___________) fill in the blank.

    However, in answering your question, no the head case will be in the center. I have all of my other gear in my gig bag full of cables and what not.
     
  4. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Made some advances yesterday.

    Here are a couple of pics.

    GEDC0003.

    GEDC0004.

    I like the little "kick stand".

    Waiting on some hardware to cut the hole for the jack plate on the back, then I can seal it up and finish rounding the corners, filling imperfections with bondo and sanding so the thin Tolex looks good.

    Stay tuned. More to come.
     
  5. astack

    astack Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    Nice. Like it. The faux tweed tolex will be slick. Real tweed sounds like such a PITA. Curious to see your head attachment, too.

    What are your Vb and fb points?
     
  6. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Looks great so far!
     
  7. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Vb (best I can calculate) is right around 3.06 cu.ft. taking into consideration the displacement of the speaker. (I have not calculating or taken into consideration the displacement of the foam and the port tubes)

    I will nail down fb better when I get it all together and tuned for my ears and taste. I think I'm going to shoot for about 47 to 51hz. but time will tell. I will give more detail as I finish it up. I am waiting on port tubes to arrive, but should be done with the testing and tuning this weekend.

    I will probably do the head case tomorrow. I'm just going to build a "dog-house" around my ShuttleMax 9.2. Rack ears arrived today so I just have to cut the ply wood and glue/screw it to the top of the cab.

    Thanks for the comments.
     
  8. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Worked on Cab a bit this morning. Nothing major, just re-designed grill.

    GEDC0001.

    Here it is in the cab. I think it will give it a bit more of a finished look.

    GEDC00012.

    FYI, make sure all of the glue is removed and all the surfaces are extremely flat. If you look at the uper left corner, you can see a tiny beed of glue under the tolex. Oh well. This is my first attempt. I'm sure I am going to learn a lot along the way.

    All I'm waiting for are the port tubes. I think I may need to cut the port holes a smidge larger, so I can't seal up the cab just yet. All other hardware is in.

    I've also decided that I am just going to build a head case for the head and leave it at that. I don't want to be locked in to just using this cab with that head. I am instead going to use a "shelf" to keep the head from sliding off when the cab is tilted up.

    Stay tuned.
     
  9. will33

    will33

    May 22, 2006
    austin,tx
    Coming right along, man. Looks very nice.

    Only thing I'd really chime in with here is to not count your foam or lining against the internal box volume, or use a pretty small percentage of it. Because the air can move through the proper open-cell foam or batting it doesn't really count as occupying much space. Maybe a little but talking such small differences there you really can't hear them. Might affect actual tuning by 1hz or something.

    I might also be inclined to run one stick of crossbracing each direction just to tie all the panels together. That'd stiffen things up even more and only add a matter of ounces.

    Not trying to nit pick here, just little stuff I notice. It's nice work. The kickstand is a great idea.
     
  10. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    + 1 on the crossbracing. I wasn't going to use any due to the small size of the box, but I suppose it couldn't hurt. Also, I would agree with you on the foam not taking up much in the way of internal volume.

    Thanks for the input.
     
  11. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    I assembled this cab last week and anctually gigged with it on Saturday night. Man it's tight and punchy. I'll take some pics of it at a gig this weekend. It doesn't have tolex on it yet, but hopefully will by next week.

    More pics to come shortly.
     
  12. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    O.K. so here is an update on the DIY cab. I've learned a lot and actually have scrapped the first box.

    Here is how it ended up looking.

    GEDC0019_zpsabe91a2a.

    GEDC0021_zps53cc05dc.

    It's still basically a single 15" cab but now it is rear ported. I didn't like the "framed" look of the grille so I decided to rear mount the speaker and added a rear access panel.

    I also wanted to "tune" the cab a bit lower so I went with fluted tube ports. As it sits right now, it is tuned to 48hz. A bit lower than the original, but still has some nice tight lows. I am going to play with plugging one or both ports to see if I like it, but for now, I am very happy with it.

    Things I've learned.

    1. Paint the speaker hole in the baffle. Not necessary if front mounting, but if you rear mount the speaker it will show through the grille cloth. :eek:
    2. Use low profile or recessed handles.
    3. Purchase all of your Tolex/Tweed from the same supplier at the same time. Batches vary too much and you will get different colors like I did. :rollno:
    4. Spray baffle with 3M adhesive before applying the grille cloth. I think this will keep the grille cloth on the baffle better and will keep it from "blowing in the wind" caused by the speaker.
    5. Use bondo, not wood filler. It sticks better, doesn't shrink and fills holes and gaps better than anything I've tried.
    6. Sand until you think it's smooth, then sand some more. The tolex/tweed will show every little imperfection.

    Overall, I think it turned out great. It's has a great "Old School" vibe and tone. Clean clear lows and mids with smooth highs. It can get down right loud and gritty too. I'm not a "hi/fi" guy so this cab suits me and my style (Motown, Stax era, classic rock, Blues, Country) just fine. I am not a slap monster and I don't solo a lot. However, hooked up to my ShuttleMax 9.2, I can set the EQ to just about anything I need.

    I will be starting a second cab soon and will add some detailed pics then. I was trying to get this one done for a gig this weekend so I was in a hurry. I will use all of the things I've learned from this build to build the second cab, so the second one should turn out even better.

    Stay tuned.........

    Cheers.
     
  13. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    Beautiful job, Syco!

    One very minor change you might make to the second cab is this: Place one port high on the back, and the other one down low. This configuration allows some cooling airflow (hot air goes out the top, and cool air comes in the bottom). This technique was suggested to me by Eminence engineer Jerry McNutt.

    Note that you'll get some useful midrange energy off the back of the cone through those ports. And it won't be harsh - the midrange energy that comes out of those flared ports sounds pretty good.

    If you want to experiment with dropping the tuning frequency down into the upper 30's, perhaps to tighten up the bass if you're in a really boomy room, you can plug one of the ports with a plumber's expandable test plug. Test this out in practice first to make sure there are no detrimental side effects, just in case.

    By the way, I like your choice of woofers. I use the 15PR400 in the cab you heard at the GTG last Sunday, and plan to use it in at least one more design.
     
  14. astack

    astack Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2011
    St. Louis, MO
    That is sharp!

    I agree, the second iteration looks REALLY clean. Rear mount in a bass cab? Whoda thunk? Gives it an extra vintagey vibe.

    Great tips, too.
     
  15. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Thanks for the tips and the kudos guys. Duke, I will do that with the tubes as you suggest. It will enable me to center the speaker on the baffle as well as spread the bracing a bit too. thanks.
     
  16. Woodstockz

    Woodstockz

    Sep 23, 2011
    San Diego, Ca
    Hi Syco,

    I like your build, especially the modular part. I am thinking of a modular build for the future.

    I used Precision Ports in my Ampeg Coffeeshop build. Are those Precision Ports as well? Did you WinISD or the Precision Ports calculator?

    Thanks. Woodstock.
     
  17. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hey Rob, remember to not center the speaker on the baffle. It should be off-center at least an inch or so.
     
  18. Syco_bass

    Syco_bass Supporting Member

    Aug 13, 2008
    Tucson, Arizona
    Custom builder - Arizona Bass Company/Curcio Custom Basses
    Woodstock, I used the precission port tool.

    @ Ryan- will do. I'll keep it off center at least an inch.
     

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