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does it pay to make your own cabs?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by phunky345, Aug 14, 2000.

  1. phunky345


    Jun 20, 2000
    Missoula, MT
    I've been looking at some rather cheap prices($100) on 15" bass guitar speakers made by electo voice, celestion, and Eminence. How much time and money would it take me to make a quality cabinet for one of these speakers? I'm trying to stay under $200 on my 15 or 18" cab.
    Haans likes this.
  2. I depends, of course. I can build a cab in one weekend, but I'm a pro. If you not very experienced, it'll probably take you 3 or 4 weekends. Building a plywood cab for $100 shouldn't be a big problem, unless you want to put serious flighcasing stuff on it.

    If you've decided on the speaker you're gonna use, I'd be happy to calculate a cabinet for you. An 18" would be to big a pain in the a** to haul around, so I think you whould stick to a 15. Sounds brighter too. Once you decided which speaker to use, you'll need all the available numbers on the unit like Fs, Vas, Qtc etc. in order to calculate a cab.

    Let me know!
  3. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    As Joris said, it depends. From my one experience, it took me two weekends once I had all of the materials together. I used one day to cut the wood and assemble the box and the next weekend, I installed and wired the speakers and totally assembled the box. If you enjoy woodworking and electronics then it might be right up your alley, it's fun to experiment with different speakers / cabinents / box tuning, etc. BTW, I ended up building a combo box that included a 15" and a 8". Sounds prety good and handles 300 watts, though, like all things, you learn from experience. I would have done a couple of things different, but I know alot more about enclosures now than I did back then.

    If you still are serious about building an enclosure, then I'd either work with Joris very carefully or purchase a book on the subject because there's a lot more to know about it than one might think. Good luck!
  4. hmm.. would it be smarter to find some local person to help ya or do it yourself with books that tell ya everything? that's be great to make a cab with 2x10's and 1x15 =)heh

  5. lowb


    Jul 27, 2000
    London, UK
    It's well worth building your own cab, if you've got the time, and tools. I built my own, and it took about a month, of working on it in the evenings. I would recomend using Eminence drivers (sound great, also look the best). To reduce weight i used thinner panels for the back and sides, and braced the insides with chunky pine, to compensate.
    I'll find out how to post some pictures!

  6. phunky345


    Jun 20, 2000
    Missoula, MT
    Hey thanks for all of the advice! I found an Eminence delta 15lf 300-watt speaker at musician's friend for only $99.99. The mounting information and stuff is at http://www.eminence.com/Pages/Speakers/Delta/Delta.html. Would it be possible to put one speaker on the edge of the box(by the grill cloth) and one facing the bottom of the box? In the Hartke b-120 combo they do that with 12" speakers...
  7. Jeff Gabel

    Jeff Gabel

    Apr 3, 2000
    If you have the know how, I'm sure it's great, but how do you get the know how. I haven't been able to find and books that deal specifically with guitar cabinet construction, let alone bass cabs. I've got box plot on my computer, but don't fully understand. Any help in finding info would be great. Nevver the less, I just settkled with buying a Carvin 1x15 used for $150.
  8. Jeff, that specialist knowledge is not shared by bass guitar cabinet builders. I learned by looking at a lot (and I mean a lot) of specs for different cabinets and combining that with the theory I learned from making simulations on my computer and reading books about the subject. And of course by just building dozens of cabinets. I have never, ever found anything that could be of any help on the Net. I offer my knowledge on this forum, as far as possible by exchanging text messages.

    Nevertheless, designing a good cabinet is hard, especially finding the right speakers in the right price range. Building a good design is relatively easy.

  9. blitzu


    Aug 19, 2000
    Hi Guys

    getting ready to Build a Cab 4x12" Speakers , Anyone know where i can source some good Wiring Diagram ????

  10. josh.lee.wilson


    Dec 17, 2007
    that is a four speaker set up on 4 or 8ohm setup im thinking about building one too, im curious... building a cab cant be a whole lot of diffrence between a bass cab. and a car sub set up, is there?
  11. josh.lee.wilson


    Dec 17, 2007
    oh yea BTW what do you guys think of 2 12's for an cab setup
  12. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    2-12"s rocks. I'm shocked more cabs aren't made with 12"s after owning one for a couple weeks.
    Frodolicious, Johnny Crab and nomeX like this.
  13. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    I don't agree. I can get more LF output a lower F3 in a smaller box than many 15's with the right driver.

    Couldn't have put it better.
    Plus you can often get a better spec cab for similar money (not factoring time as I consider it fun) and customise to your needs, by say making the cab into a shape that fits in your car or putting handles where they work properly for you.

    Looking at the cab designs suggested by Eminence, I'd go with another driver.

    Save some money and weight and get more performance by doing the following. Get a Kappalite 3015LF for $141 and an Alpha 8MR for $40.50 from www.bltsound.com. Build a 4cf net box and tune it as per the Eminence cab suggestion on p7 of the pdf for this driver. Buy or build a 500Hz 2 way xover for it. I, or someone will design it if you like.
    I'd personally use a better mid and add a good HF driver, but this would be more than enough cab for most gigging players.

    When you finish the box, get it covered in truck bed liner.

    I have a 3015LF on order, so am going to be building a similar cab in the near future and plan to take pics.

  14. Me too, they seem like the perfect balance for good punchy bottom or groove finger. I use 10's mostly and a single 12 but a 212 under the 410 is on the books for sure.
  15. pjwalsh


    May 3, 2006
    Elkton, Md
    You can easily do it and for a lot less cash outlay than buying a similar performing commercial cab. It will take some time - figure at least two weekends. I would use an existing design too. Plans for the ElectroVoice TL-606 cabinet are available for free from:


    This is a pretty good sounding and simple box for a 15" driver.

    If you are after a full range cab with better efficiency check out the Omni 15 plans from Bill Fitzmaurice - not free but very reasonable at $15, especially given the level of support available from his website which is also good reading if you are interested in learning about speaker design.

  16. Geoff St. Germaine

    Geoff St. Germaine Commercial User

    It depends what your time's worth and whether you enjoy doing it or not. I enjoy woodworking and the electrical work associated with speakers, so for me it is a hobby. If your only goal is to save money then it may not wind up being worth it to you.

    You can certainly save money on it, if that is your ultimate goal and you don't mind investing the time for free. IME, cost savings relative to commercial offerings increase as you move towards better and more expensive designs.
  17. joegeezer


    Mar 9, 2005
    Northern Wisconsin
    Avatar Club#12 Eden Club Lucky# 13--USA Peavey Club#37 Carvin Club#5
    After 40 years of building cabs and trying to make money at music, I am really on the fence as to telling you anything. But, if you are REALLY good at woodworking, then build one, but use what A9X says, as your guide. That will build you about the best cab, that you could ever have. If you are just marginal at woodworking, forget doing it, and just buy Avatar cabs. Avatar cabs are the best value for the money spent that there is on the market, period. IMHO. If you are too broke to buy a new Avatar, just wait to find one used. If you have enough cash to buy what ever cab you want, but still want to build your own, thats your choice. If I had it all to do over, I'd save my cash, and buy a Bergantino cab. If your just a beginner, at bass , and at woodworking, buy the Avatar. IMHO Good Luck!!
    AstroSonic and MrLenny1 like this.
  18. Bryan316

    Bryan316 Banned

    Dec 20, 2006
    If you really wanna build one, build a BFD. No, not a Big F'in Deal, build a Bill Fitzmaurice Design cabinet. When I find a deal on a pair of subwoofers with proper design information for them, I'm building myself some BFD cabs for my PA's subs. The 15" plain square boxes I built work, but are a letdown when it comes to efficiency. I gotta dime out my EQ to get any kind of thump from them. Mostly cuz, they were flea market drivers for $50 for the pair, heh heh. Cheap price means cheap quality. Heck, I still don't even know what wattage handling these things are!

    Follow Bill's design, study his prints and understand what you're undertaking, and buy the right drivers. You'll be fine.
  19. Parts Express sells the speakers that you would need and has a forum where you can get good advice. this was one of several sources that I used when I built a pwoered sub for my HT system a couple of years ago. I had the lumber yard cut the sides of the cabinet and did the half-baked job of cutting the holes for the driver and port myself. A little Gorilla Glue and some strapping tape & weights to deep the thing together while the glue cured and I was in business.

    I have been a civil servant for alomst 31.5 years, so you know that I don't kow how to do anything! Yet I pulled this off. Given my experience and talent for this kind of thing, I would think that any of you who want to build your own cabinets should have no problem at all!
  20. generation land

    generation land

    Dec 9, 2007
    Here are the specs for a freebe speaker I have, can you sugest some cab specs. I have a friend that is handy with wood that is willing to help me. I will be paring this with a SWR Goliath 4x10 cab.
    Thanks for any help.


    Nominal Basket Diameter
    15" / 380mm

    8 ohms

    AES Continuous Pink Noise Power 600 Watts
    Frequency Response
    30Hz - 2.5kHz

    Sensitivity (1W/1m)

    Voice Coil Diameter
    4" / 100mm

    Max. Crossover Frequency

    Voice Coil Material Edgewound Aluminum Ribbon
    Voice Coil Winding Depth 19.05mm
    Magnet Weight 6.8 kg / 15lbs.
    Recommended Enclosure Volume 85-285 Liters / 3-10(ft3)

    Overall Diameter 15.27" / 388mm
    Bolt Circle Diameter 14.5625" / 370mm
    Baffle Cutout Diameter 14.0" / 355mm
    Overall Depth 5.5" / 137mm
    Net Weight 8.7 kg. / 19.125 lbs.


    Resonant Frequency (fs) 40 Hz
    Impedance (Re) 5.0 ohms
    Coil Inductance (Le) 1.75mH
    Mechanical Q (Qms) 5.0
    Electrical Q (Qes) .33
    Total Q (Qts) .31
    Compliance Equivalent Vol. (Vas) 175 Liters/6.2cu. ft.
    Voice Coil Overhang (Xmax) 7.6mm
    Reference Efficiency 3.3%
    Effective Surface Area (Sd) .088 m2
    *Positive voltage to BLACK terminal gives forward cone motion*

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