does anyone even make w bin bass cabinets anymore?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bon viesta, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i know folded horn bass cabinets are wildly unpopular. heavy, hard to tame, big and clunky, lack of highs, but there’s something about them i love.

    john paul jones and his tone at the royal albert hall is so dark and low and evil and i know those acoustic w bin cabs had something to do with it. also, i love hearing those stories about guys in the 70s turning up their acoustic 360 only to get a notice from their neighbors that the bass was being heard all the way down the street a few several hundred feet away.

    all of that, and they look incredible. very utilitarian. very very efficient too (or so i’ve heard), they’ll turn any power you put into them into bone rattling low end. those acoustic heads were only 200 watts of early, late 60s solid state power and yet i’ve heard people call the 360/361 one of the loudest bass amps they’ve ever played.
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  2. Im sure there are plans online and or, a builder such as LDS could do ya one
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  3. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    how high you think those prices would be? i know folded horn cabinets are especially tricky in the wood department considering all of the odd shapes inside of them. i might contact LDS just to ask.
  4. bertbass666


    Mar 6, 2009
    You can buy plans from Bill Fitzmaurice.
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  5. If you have to ask, you can't afford it.
    No trolling you.

    These bins are big, heavy, cumbersome and VERY time consuming to fabricate.
    The cost of post-COVID baltic birch plywood alone, is staggering.
    The recommendation above for Bill Fitzmaurice plans is the right way to go.

    IF you have the wood working tools, you can invest your sweat equity and follow Bill's instructions.
    These are fully tested and easy to follow... every step of the way.

    If possible I suggest you locate a fellow player who owns one of these.
    Move it, play it and get the Jones off your back.
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  6. Redbrangus

    Redbrangus Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2018
    Under The X In Texas
    "does anyone even make w bin bass cabinets anymore?" No. And for good reason. Virtually no one wants them anymore. And that's also for good reasons -- do you want a list? Other than "... wildly unpopular. heavy, hard to tame, big and clunky, lack of highs..."? I can provide others.

    It seems once again you've become enamored with a cab and concept without having actually heard or used it. You absolutely cannot form any sort of valid opinion about the sound of a speaker system based on a concert film, and most especially not a 45-year-old one. [Edit: That performance was actually 50+ years ago.] It's likely there is little correlation between the sound of that rig as it was heard on stage and what you hear on the film. Try not to get caught up in the legend... I don't know what JPJ is playing these days, but I doubt it's a folded horn system of any sort. (Unless it's a Danley... do you know about them yet?)

    In a previous existence, I built (with help) 8 of JBL's version of the classic W-box. Obviously, it's a bit more complicated than a regular ol' bass-reflex or sealed box, but there's nothing especially difficult about it -- it does have a lot of parts, but no doubt the plans are out there on the Web. That said, I doubt you'd find too many custom guitar-cab builders willing to do it, for any number of reasons. If you're absolutely convinced that's what you need, I would think the originals would still be available in the used market; I think I read on a forum somewhere that they were "wildly unpopular". :D
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  7. Buddy,

    Start to look around and find one you can transport without shipping it and try it out. There are more "evolved" cabinets available, but someone that has an Acoustic 360/361 is likely not going to talk it down in the interest of selling something else.

    I had a set of EV 1x15" scoop bins made in Austin, TX in 1990. (Mustang Speakers - Paul McCartney Band is a customer) I ran a GK800RB/Rocktron 300A/Alembic Series I 4 string and had the closest people 1/4 mile away, across an open field, come by to ask that we turn it down, as the windows were vibrating in their house!

    I saw an Orange 114 1x15 reflex bin the other day and found myself thinking, "I wonder how that drop A would sound/project with that lil darling?" :unsure:
    (I also have a sealed REEVES 4x10", with a Trace Elliot tube amp with 6 x 6550's, too.)

    If YOU want to check it out and if you can, then you should. Been there, done that!
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  8. Maybe you can find a ‘50s version like one of these, only 2/3 the size of an Acoustic 18” folded horn. Still awkward to cart around.
  9. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    No, the industry and musical taste along with player expectations have relegated them to the burn pile.
  10. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Cerwin Vega may still make them, for PA use, but still correct.
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  11. There are laws of physics that cannot be circumvented.
    Horns don't work when the length of the horn path is less than 1/4 wavelength of the note played.

    Drop-A (A0) is 27.5 Hz, with a wavelength of 41 feet.
    This means a horn path of 10.25 feet for minimal quarter-wave horn performance.

    Furthermore, conical flare horns (bins) roll off far higher than the quarter-wave cutoff.
    The hyperbolic horn is the solution near cut-off, but its very slow expansion produces a small mouth area at the quarter-wave path length.

    Horns are big beasts and herd animals.
    They perform best with a path of one full wavelength, and a mouth perimeter of one full wave length.
    Stack 'em into a herd, and you can get ferocious performance from them.
    The image shown here is a herd of Fitzmaurice AutoTuba, with 8" drivers.
    The bass produced by these was massively deafening, in every aspect.

    The ideal solution for a horn is a corner design, where the floor and two walls become part of the horn.
    The addition of a portable top plate makes this work.

    All of which is a gigantic PITA to haul about.

    Attached Files:

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  12. pbassnut

    pbassnut Supporting Member

    Sep 27, 2004
    Falls Church, VA
    Quite a bit of the great tone that the Acoustic 360/361s put forth was due to the preamp and poweramp (IMHO), the combination of which had an inherent grind that countered the deep throb of the W box 1x18 cab and yielded a suprisingly present tone. Paired with a bright sounding bass played with a pick like an ash/maple P-Bass or a Rickenbacker 4001 and they really could sing. However, their was difficulty with utilizing them on small stages due to the long throw nature of the cabinet design which could really blossom into a room and be way louder to the audience than it was to the bass player who was standing right in front of it. For an amp that was introduced over 50 years ago, they still sound amazingly good.
  13. tshapiro

    tshapiro Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Aug 25, 2015
    Jax Florida
    I used to use 2 of these EAW monsters. While I still love heavy gear, was so happy to see these things go
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  14. Raf Seibert

    Raf Seibert

    Dec 16, 2013
    Wow! A blast from the past! I was in electronics lab when one of the professors ran by telling us that President Kennedy had been shot. “Electronics Lab”, we hooked up our FM receiver we used for getting time signals, connected it to a single channel Macintosh amp, and that to a single speaker cab just like that to tune in the news.

    Back in the late 50s and early sixties, those were pretty popular hi fi speakers. Haven’t seen one for years.
  15. ardgedee


    May 13, 2018
    Bins and horns had their heyday when power was expensive and lumber was cheap.

    These days lumber is expensive and power is cheap. If you want to replicate the sound, get a modern FRFR system and a modeler with a profile of your system of choice. Or get a pedal that replicates the old SVT or Acoustic or whatever preamp circuit and a parametric EQ with high and low pass to replicate the speaker's peaks and rolloffs.
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  16. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    Is that an actual Orange cabinet? Because it looks to me like a copy of an original (the 1969 version) EV Eliminator I. (Maybe that is the cab from 1990 you are referring to?)

    I say this because I actually have a pair of EV Eliminator I copies, I have no idea when they were built (1970's?) but I acquired them in a complicated income tax scam thing from this Mormon guy who was our singer's boss at the time (it was not a pleasant experience, the "deal" for me)

    Anyway I used them for bass (along with a pair of front firing homemade single 15" cabinets) from about 1989 to 1994; that system (powered by 600 watts of QSC power amp) was very loud and actually sounded pretty good.

    I had all that cabinetry and power because I was trying to compete with a guitar player who had TWO, count 'em TWO 100 watt full Marshall stacks.

    Anyway after I upgraded my bass gear in the late 1990's to what was modern at the time, I stored the EV copies for a good number of years but resurrected them around 2000 for use in a practice PA. A Bi-amped 1,500 watt practice PA.

    That is what I still use them for (I put JBL E-140's I had hanging around) today and for that role they sound great actually. They drop off pretty rapidly below 80 Hz but that actually works for most rooms really.

    It's a really simple design (basically the speaker is mounted in a triangular, rear firing box so the sound comes out the top and bottom)

    What people do not realize about the original Eliminator I was it filled a crucial spot in the marketplace for end user PA gear back then (1969 to about 1975).

    Back in that era if you were in a regular band, your choices in PA cabinets were:

    1. Altec Voice of the Theaters - very heavy and very expensive

    2. PA column speakers from Shure, Acoustic, Peavey, etc. Cheap, still heavy and sounded horrible.

    The EV Eliminator had the folded horn thing and came in two versions, one with just a mid-range horn, the other one with the mid-range horn and a pair of tweeters.

    So it was sold as a full range PA solution, not a bass guitar or sub for a PA cabinet. But that was how things were in 1969.

    Mine, loaded with the 15" JBL E-140's weigh 95 pounds each.

  17. Analogeezer


    Jul 29, 2021
    But one could save a LOT of money from that approach by just finding a set of folded horn bins for sale. No doubt hundreds of thousands of these are lurking in basements and garages around the world.

    Not sure if the OP even wants to haul these around, just wants to have that sound. If he wants to haul them around, well not everyone needs a 20 pound cabinet so if he wants to schlep the weight, well that's his prerogative.

    I agree about the power = expensive bit, lumber was never actually that cheap though.

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  18. That is a stock pic of the Orange '71 PA speaker. It is like the one I've seen recently.

    Correct info, it was/is a PA cabinet from late 60's to mid-70's and had a 100 watt rating. There is a trapdoor on the bottom side of the middle of the box in front that comes off and exposes the driver. I'm not sure what speaker is in the one I've seen. It is not only missing the horns, but the white logo facing has been removed and cool ORANGE cabinet badge has been installed. Tolex is missing, too.
  19. Have you considered trying one of these? Sleeper_560x330_MSDSLEE_EC030_H-thumb-560xauto-28566.jpg
    It sounds like everything and is perfect in everyway, except...
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021