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Fender Pro NEO 15 Cab - vibration/buzz not speaker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 60bass, Jun 6, 2016.

  1. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I have a Fender Pro NEO 15 cab and it has an issue with a vibration on certain notes. It's more like the wood is buzzing or vibrating rather than a rattle. The speaker (USA Eminence NEO) checks out fine.

    At first I thought it was the grill cloth frame buzzing but that's not it. I can hear it coming from the cab baffle board around the speaker cutout. Checked all the usual stuff for looseness, everything was fine. Pulled the speaker out and inspected the cab. Inside the 4 braces are all tight.

    Started inspecting the plywood of the baffle and found some voids and splits of the lamination's. See pics. I'm willing to bet that those are the cause of the buzz/rattle. The splits are not very deep but I can see them move a bit when I squeeze the plywood. Pretty sure they could cause a vibration when playing.

    So fellow TB'ers how can I fix this? Seems like possibly glue could be injected in between the loose plys and maybe filler for the small void. Is this possible? If so what type of glue and filler and how do I get it down between the plys that are loose?

    Hope I can fix this as I don't want to loose the cab because it's part of a pair.



  2. Well that's disappointing as hell! Seeing those voids, first thought that came to my mind would be to slowly sit there with a small nail or wire, and pack Locktite PL Premium wood glue deep into there, and into those cracks. Once Locktite sets up, it'll remain unmovable through the next ice age. Use latex gloves, tho, it stains your fingers black for a month.

    On that tiny split, once you get some LTite wedged in there, maybe gently c-clamp it together for over night.
    Munjibunga likes this.
  3. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Yeah it's a pretty disappointing piece of plywood Fender uses for the baffle. Real flimsy considering how much these cabs go for. I could understand it if the speaker was heavy but it's an Eminence NEO and it weighs next to nothing.

    I was thinking of using Gorilla glue or carpenters glue and seeing if I could get a small syringe to inject it with. Or using a putty knife to possibly spread the plys open a bit and let the glue run in. I've got clamps to clamp it. Guess I'll research it some more and have a go of it. It's already messed up so I don't have to worry about it cracking on me LOL
  4. Its hard to tell from pictures, but it looks like a separate piece of thinner plywood glued to the front. If so, it may be possible to just pry the entire cover piece off and use small sections of it to space the Velcro out for the grill cloth or cut a new piece of some type of thin material and paint it.

    Injecting glue should work, but something to consider is if the factory glue fails anywhere else it will be much harder to fix.
  5. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    I'm not sure myself if it's a separate piece of wood or not. It could very well be. If it's a separate piece and the glue behind it is going bad causing the buzzing it may not be worth fixing. Or if the plywood is routed out for the speaker to fit into, the remaining plywood isn't thick enough to support the speaker when pushed with bass frequencies.

    I can't see any signs of previous damage or water damage. Just seems to be a bad piece of wood. I'll have to pull the speaker out of my other cab and take a look at the baffle board on that one.
  6. I don't know how new this cab is, but I suppose your Fender/dealer would tell you to go sit on a tack..?
  7. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    No doubt. I bought it used here on TB not sure of the age. So no warranty. It has the spring loaded handles so I think it's an early model as the new ones have a recessed handle. It buzzed a bit when I got it but I knew the early cabs had grill buzz issues so I figured it was that. Shoulda checked it better.
    My bad. Caveat emptor. If I can't fix it someone local will get a good deal on a used Eminence 15 NEO and I'll throw in a cab for free LOL
  8. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Just checked the speaker tag. It was made the 28th week of 2011. Speaker looks like either a Deltalite or Basslite.
  9. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Those voids would not bother me. Doubtful that is the cause. Did you check for high frets on those "buzzing" notes?
    AstroSonic likes this.
  10. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Definitely not a fret issue. It's more of a vibration on certain notes. I can hear it coming from the cab. I've heard the same thing before with a loose internal brace but all of them on the cab are OK. The void isn't wide but it's deep. What doesn't show well in the pictures are places where there's no void but the layers of ply are separating . There's about three spots all on the edge of the speaker cutout. They are 2 to 4 inches long two are close to the area where the vibration is coming from. The vibration is towards the edge of the speaker frame. Mounting screws and t-nuts are tight.

    I'm going to put the speaker in my other cab (same cabinet) to make sure that it's not the speaker that's bad.
  11. It is a 5 yr transferable warranty afaik...
    No noise from either of mine - that I'm aware of. .. please keep us updated.
    60bass likes this.
  12. Glue Syringe | stewmac.com

    There are lots of retailers for this type of thing. You can use a small scrap of wire to check how far the voids are. Pry the wood apart some to get the syringe in far enough if you have to.

    Titebond 2 would be a good choice of glue. For new construction most builders use some type of polyurethane adhesive, but the swelling that makes it seal so well could cause it to split more. See what Fender says before you put it under the knife
    Best of luck.
    60bass and rodl2005 like this.
  13. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Emailed Fender this morning about the cab heard back only 2 hours later. Here's what they said.

    Jun 8, 11:57 MST

    Hello Carl,

    Based on the serial number provided, our records indicate that to be a Bassman 115 Neo Cab from 05/2012.

    However, the transferable warranty on used amps/cabs is only valid if the original purchaser signs/endorses the receipt over to you. And, the warranty would only be valid from the date of purchase, and not the mfg date. Without this, there is no warranty left on that item. I hope this helps!

    I don't have the original receipt. I looked back in my PM's for the TB member I got the cab from and sent him a PM asking if he still had the receipt but it looks like he hasn't been actively posting for quite some time. So that's probably a dead end.

    Anyway I'm going to have a better look at the speaker baffle board and see if I can see better how bad the damage is.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
  14. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Well I got a chance to survey the damage to the speaker board in the Bassman 115 cab. It's more extensive than I originally thought but I now have a better idea of how bad it is. I have glue, glue syringes and already have clamps, but now that I see what the problem is, I almost think I'm better off dumping the cab or possibly finding a local cabinet shop to cut out the front board, cleat it, and glue a new board in. It has to be a case of the wood Fender used in the cab was just a bad piece of plywood. The glue broke down. There's no signs of water ingress or interior damage of any type. I'd think it was from a drop and the speaker weight caused it but the cabinet looks brand new inside and on the outside, not even a tolex scratch. Damn shame.

    Well here's some better pictures of what's going on. Still might try to glue it up. I mean what have I got to lose? If anyone knows of a good cabinet builder here in Charlotte, NC let me know.




  15. That sucks.

    Personally, id be hesitant to hire out work on it just because there could be other damaged wood on it. If a machine was running out of glue while making plywood sheets and it has other sections of the same piece, it could happen. Just don't know.

    Seeing the shape its in, Id be really tempted to try and repair it. A ton of glue injected in between the plies and a few screws through the baffle to help keep it tight might buy you some time or may be a repair that last as long as the speaker. If it fails your in the same spot so no harm in trying, but if you win, the victory is yours every time you use that cab.
    BasturdBlaster likes this.
  16. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    That's pretty much the same exact thing I was thinking. I can already see just by slipping in the kitchen knife that I can open the wood up enough to get a fair amount of glue injected up in there. In fact right now I'm heading up to Lowe's and I'm going to buy some T-nuts with washers for the screws. I'll pre-drill the holes for the T-nuts and inject the glue, clamp it up all around and get the
    T-nuts in there nice and tight.

    Leave it sit overnight and check it for cracks. If it looks good, I'll try it out. I have nothing to lose and everything to gain. Doing it tomorrow. Wish me luck.
  17. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Well here's the cab repair in progress.

    We have the glue and syringe tips I used. First I drilled and installed 4 ea. 1/4-20 T-nuts and 2 ea. 10-24 T-nuts. Then backed them off but left the screws in there. Then I wedged the splits open with a couple of screwdrivers.

    Then I just kept injecting glue in there till it was coming out everywhere. Even around and out of the holes for the T-nuts. Not sure exactly how much glue I used but the areas were pretty deep and I just injected the glue till the areas were filled up. Used the very small tip of the syringe to inject the glue into the small cracks around the edge of the speaker cutout. That was tough because the glue was a bit thick to go through the tiny tip but I didn't want to dilute it any.

    After getting the glue in there, I tightened all the T-nuts and the excess glue squeezed out. Then I put my wood clamps on the baffle board where it was originally the loosest and where I installed the T-nuts. I got the clamps real tight and was surprised to find I could then tighten the T-nuts some more. After all that I'm convinced the board is glued and screwed as tight as it can be without removing it completely.

    I've got it sitting in the garage and will keep it there overnight. In the morning hopefully everything will be nice and tight. Then a quick check of a small spot on the upper side of the cutout I noticed but think it's all right. Hope it works.

    The weapons of choice. Titebond II and a syringe.

    Even though the speaker baffle is messed up, you can see that the cab is fully insulated and double braced. Take a look at the cabinet edges. Not a ding, dent, or rip in the tolex anywhere.

    In this pic you can see how nice this cabinet looks. Like I said it looks showroom new.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2016
    Lowactnsatsfctn likes this.
  18. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    The saga continues. This morning I pulled off the clamps from the repair at the bottom of the cutout. It looks good and solid (at least for now). Got the cab up where I could see it and took a good look at that area on the top that also looked strange. Not so good, more separation. Not as bad as the bottom, but still not good.

    This is the top of the cab where the top speaker screw is. You can see the splitting in the plys of the wood. Also the two 1/4x20 T-nuts I installed to pull it tight after I inject the glue in there.

    This is a little farther down the cutout. You can still see the separation of multiple plys and a 10x24 T-nut I added to tighten it up.

    Glue up time again. Inject glue as much as I can, everywhere I can. If you look closely you can see where the wood looks like it's flaking off in layers where the speaker sits. Not sure about that? Never have seen it before.

    Lots of glue, many clamps, 4 added T-nuts, and a couple hours work. There by the upper clamp on the right, you can see more of what I called the flaky wood.

    Now the waiting game continues. Probably let the cab sit and dry all day. Remount speaker and hope for the best. I'll post up the outcome.
  19. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    **** FAILURE IS AN OPTION ****

    Got the speaker back in and the cab still has vibration and rattles on the baffle board. It is better than before but not significantly better. My guess is that the plywood is separating deep in the board where you cant get glue in there. Also possible is that in addition to the separating plywood layers the entire front baffle is loose enough in the cabinet to vibrate. It's not giggable and could never be used for recording. In other words it's junk.

    Here's my take on this whole thing. Fender says the cab was manufactured on 05/2012. So based on Fender's stated warranty, the cabinet is under warranty till 05/2017. Even though it is technically probably under warranty longer than 05/2017 because the warranty starts from time of sale not date of manufacture. The warranty is transferable as long as I have the original receipt signed over to me. I'd venture to say there's a zero percent chance that I'll get a copy of the receipt. Looks like the seller hasn't been active here on TB since Aug 2015. Sent him a PM but I have a feeling the seller has left the building. I don't like being wrong but in this case I'd love to be wrong and the seller happens to see my PM and contacts me.

    So basically Fender says I'm sorry but because you have no receipt, you have no warranty.

    While I can see the point about the receipt, this cabinet obviously had issues during manufacture. The wood used for the speaker baffle board is actually coming apart at the glued lamination seams. Since the cabinet looks showroom new in every way and so does every other piece of wood, there can be no other explanation other than a bad piece of plywood was used during production. Possibly in other areas of the cabinet that are covered in tolex and can't be seen.

    I hope my repair works and I can end up using the cabinet. That said, if there ever was a time that a piece of gear needed to be replaced under warranty, this is that time. I am a fan of Fender gear having used it off and on for over 40 years and worked/owned a music store in the 70's that was a Fender dealer. Normally Fender's stuff is solid, but clearly this time a piece of substandard plywood was used. Maybe I'll contact someone at Fender and see what if anything they can do to help me get it taken care of. Maybe they can provide me a complete empty cabinet less all the hardware as all of mine is fine. Then I can just swap everything over.

    Sucks but it is what it is. Cabinet sure does look pretty though, doesn't it?

    BasturdBlaster and bobcruz like this.
  20. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    You seem pretty capable with glue and clamps--why not try to replace the baffle yourself? Cut out the old one with a jig saw, install cleats and glue and screw in a new one. A lot of work but better than junking the cabinet. Good luck, Bob
    BasturdBlaster likes this.

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