Finally getting my dream 212 built!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bigfatbass, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    After a very long, shockingly frustrating/fruitless, process I am finally getting the cab I've been dreaming of built for me!

    Many of you have seen me whining about this on and off in here for some years now, the difference is that now I've gone and drawn pictures since I actually have a builder willing to try it, lol

    I have requested quotes on this concept from just about every cab co out there, most never even call back, and the few that did were quoting me weights of 70lbs+ and deep 4 digit bills. What I want is a VERTICALLY arrayed 212 + a 5"mid, with a 2 slot rack built in. I'd like the chambers to be discreet (El Whappo-style), with the bottom half front ported, and the top half rear ported. The right mock-up is a more radical head-in-the-middle design that might be too cool to pass up as the prototype.
    I almost hesitate to throw this in the pool, there are a lot of serious audiophiles 'round here and I'm not looking for a huge cab tuning debate. I am just looking for some more general input. My buddy Roland will be helping with the fine tuning on this project (he knows his number shizznit) but I'm hoping for a little brainstorming to get'er in the ball park before we start sawing wood.

    Below are the rough layout ideas of what I'm trying to get done here. Nothing is even close to scale, these were just "sketches" to help me envision the plotting of the cab face. It will most likely be 8ohms, rated around 3-400 watts, and the top half will be slanted back a few inches to better point it at my melon for stage monitoring. Built in luggage roller type dealie and this will be THE mini rig of DOOM! I'll also have the option of only needing to throw a 15 underneath it to nearly double my wattage/paper. On a big stage, it's still amazing how much difference that little 3db boost can make.

    This will be some months in the making, but if it pans out half as good as I think it will, there will be a bigfat gear sale at bigfatbass's house so I can finance it's identical back-up. Sure, in a perfect world I'd have roadies laying an 810 on its side under an SVT. But seeing as I'm still humping my own crap 200+ shows a year, this could very well be my spine's dream come true.

    Attached Files:

  2. Coeball


    Aug 25, 2007
    looks awesome, | wish I had the money for descent rig.
  3. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Looks nice! I'm interested to see how this comes out and what feedback is happening...Have you locked your builder into the project or are you still scouting? Anyone we know?

    I'm going the other route, which is I found a guy who works here on campus who's building me one of Greenboy's 15/6 boxes for me to finish and load. Any more details you'd care to divulge about what you're going to do for drivers, hardware, etc?
  4. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I like the concept - a lot. I've been brainstorming some designs of my own, one of which is actually quite similar to this - except mine would be a four-way cab: Kappalite 12LF subwoofer slanted a 45 degree angle, below a Kappalite 12HO midwoofer, below an 18 Sound 6ND410 6.5-inch midrange driver, below a 2-inch soft dome tweeter - everything aligned in a single vertical plane.

    One very minor quibble: Have you considered moving the 5" mid-driver to the upper-left corner and/or repositioning the ports, so that the 12" drivers can be perfectly aligned? :meh:

  5. I like the direction you are heading, but some things to consider especially with that second image:

    -You have 2 different 12 drivers one lf and one normal + a mid. This isn't the easiest way to go and there isn't really any point in doing it this way. Put LF's in both spots and have a mid that matches the output of a single LF at the crossover point + ~6db.

    -The head space in the middle is cool if you are willing to sacrifice some weight. Putting it in the top (or bottom or back) would allow you to save 2 horizontal boards and then you will only need to port a single, large chamber.

    -I would put your ports both on the same side of the box. Either both front, both rear, both side, whatever. Within reason, it's ok to separate them, but closer will be better.

    -The 12's are so close to being vertically aligned you may as well go ahead and get them aligned all the way.
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    In terms of audio there's nothing wrong with having the drivers splayed to opposite sides of the cab like that - it still is for all practical purposes a vertical alignment - in fact there's arguably some reasons acoustically to splay them (baffle effects and internal reflections less regular). But there's a coupling advantage in getting them closer to each other on the vertical plane.

    I don't know of a 5" driver that's sensitive enough to keep up with 2 12" drivers, and barely a 6.5" driver can, either.

    Using two different 12" drivers limits the cab to the lesser of the two as far as excursion capablities, and for midrnage there's no good reason to do so in a cab that has a dedicated midrange driver ANYWAY.
  7. giglawyer

    giglawyer Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2003
    Toledo, OH
    I hope this doesn't go too far astray of your intent, but I am wondering why you are opting for an original design over something more proven (a fEarful or Bill Fitzmaurice design). Is it a matter of both appearance and performance, do you wish to try a speaker design yourself, or something else? Just wondering.
  8. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Agreed, more or less. Using two different twelves serves no purpose. With two 12s tuned to two frequencies you'd need a 4th order crossover so that the below bandwidth output of the higher tuned 12 doesn't cancel out the output of the lower tuned 12, which makes bi-amping an absolute necessity. Using LFs doesn't compute either, unless you're pushing them with at least 300 watts each, otherwise you're better off with the sensitivity of the 3012HO. You also should run two midranges to keep up with them, whichever you use.
    Why? Not that you can't, but there's no reason why you should. Methinks you're trying to reinvent the wheel here, which isn't necessarily without merit, but I don't believe you have the required engineering chops to equal what the fEarful offers, let alone something more sophisticated than that.
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    Wouldn't that really depend on where you have the crossover set? For example, if the LF is low-passed to handle strictly deep bass, while the HO is crossed over to handle only upper bass and low midrange, then wouldn't the lesser excursion of the HO become a non-issue? :meh:

  10. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    It would require bi-amping, as the cost of passive components required would be prohibitive unless you cross over no lower than 500 Hz or so, and that being the case there's no advantage to using anything larger than an eight.
  11. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Thanks for all the input (especially to the Bills!) The porting idea comes from the fact I currently have a few different cube-shaped 12s, one front ported, and two rear ported and I like the difference in tone in the room each layout creates. No further science or thought went into that one, lol. If it is bad engineering, then I certainly wouldn't go that way. The thought of putting the head in between was to get the drivers farther apart, and get the top one closer to my ears. The slight off axis placement was purely to save space/maximize distance between drivers, again if this results in speaker interaction issues, then we'll go another way. As I mentioned, there is a pro audio engineer in line for this project who hasn't even heard more than the basic description yet, let alone any of my "ideas" for layout.

    The reason I'm no longer considering other already proven designs like Fitz's is because none of them meet the size/weight/rack criteria that are essential to this pipe dream. There are a hundred 212s on the market, NONE of them properly designed with weight/footprint in mind. The Genz-Benz comes close, but the extra 6 inches of side porting defeats one of the main pluses of a vertical array. In my world I want any necessary porting to add height, not width. Why GB isn't already making a 212 shuttle combo is beyond me, too.

    We want good sound, light weight, and small size. These things were mutually exclusive criteria for a bass rig until about 5 years ago, but the revolution is clearly upon us. Unfortunately, all the rigs coming out are whimpy at best, or are not expandable, or have so many poorly thought out design elements, it makes you scratch your head so hard you hit brain. Like, who's brilliant idea for the shuttle combos was it to perch the fragile little thing on top of the cab in such a way that the knobs are guaranteed to get smacked, not that you can read the silver on silver knurled nonsense past the space beacon LEDs anyway? Sure it looks pretty in your living room, but to think this is the way to go for an amp someone may actually need to read on a stage, is ridiculous. RIDICULOUS.

    For every brilliant innovation I see, it is inevitably followed by design flaws so glaring, you wonder how the engineer gets his shoes on the correct feet in the morning. I don't want this to sound like I am specifically bashing GB, I am actually a HUGE GB fanboy, and have pushed the shuttle on so many people they should put me on the payroll. But, when I look at the new Shuttle Max 12 with it's 2 discreet power amps, and 2 discreet preamps THAT YOU CAN'T USE AT THE SAME TIME (ergo plug two basses in, one into each preamp so you can set tones for a fretted and fretless without using pedals/switches/swapping cables) all I can think is: this is the oversight of someone who doesn't gig. How hard would it have been to add the second input?

    This is across the industry. I just sold a gator rolling rack a few months back. Not only did they set it up so the hardware stays on the rack and not the lid (rattling stack of hell anyone?). the finger hinges are on the BOTTOM EDGE! That means if you put your rack on your cab and grab both turn locks to open it up, unless you brace it with you belly (easy for me, lol), the cover crashes to the floor. To me, this is a piece of gear designed by someone who has never played a gig in their life, there can be no other explanation for design idiocy so colossal. I even showed them this nonsense in action at last years NAMM and they looked at me like I was an alien. As a result there is no more gator gear in my house, probably won't be again.

    Mackie creates the 408/808 powered mixer series, full of ungodly brilliant design ideas one after the other. "Break button" that mutes your bottom 6 channels with one flick? GENIUS! Then they put it in a box that defies stacking/protection for the knobbage unless you put it in a 15lb road case. I can't help but think the person who "designed" that box should go to jail for stealing their paycheck. I do not have the time nor money to tolerate such epic R & D failure.

    Why are all the new combos nothing more than a single 10 or 12 sitting on the floor looking like a lost toaster? The bass world is poised to create a combo rig that truly takes advantage of the new paradigm of NEO magnets that don't sound like a kazoo, and class D amps that no longer blow up, and I for one am sick of waiting for gear that actually gets the job done in the REAL gigging world, not just for the living room warriors, or boutique crowd.

    Sorry for the ramble, but if you didn't notice, bad design is a bit of a peeve of mine, lol. I'm trying to put sound and functionality on an even plane, not just form as an afterthought to match another cab, or fit the blanks they are already cutting.
  12. BassJunkie730


    Feb 3, 2005
    I htink if you are going this route - without reading all of your post -

    check out GB's fEarful 212 - if you haven't already.

    it's all there.

    you could also try bill's Jack12 and build it into a 212. Try a phenolic diaphragm HF driver to get a more cone like HF response.

    and, keep the head box at the top.
  13. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
    Have you considered this port placement? For some reason I like it...

  14. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    Can't seem to find an image of a completed GB 212 build, the plans look fascinating! There must be one here somewhere Any help?

    And as for the above cab, that does look cool! Who's box is that?
  15. allexcosta


    Apr 7, 2004
  16. hasbeen

    hasbeen Commercial User

    Sep 23, 2004
    Vice President, KMC/JAM USA: Distributor of Ashdown amplification
    I can answer this one: because many dealers already aren't even stocking our top selling models. On top of this, some dealers get angry when we introduce more models for them to stock and consumers send me angry mail when they find a dealer that doesn't stock our new models.
  17. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    I haven't seen or heard of a completed one so far. A few guys on the fEarful thread have been making noises about building some, but there don't really seem to be all that many completed fEarful cabs of any flavor just yet...;)

    I can tell you plenty about the 12/6 if you like though. I assume you've seen the pictures of mine, yeah? It's pretty much my go-to cab these days for the scary wine bar gigs I mostly play.
  18. rpsands


    Jul 6, 2007
    I am fairly sure that LDS has a few 1212/6's in the pipe, but not sure how similar to the fEarful they'll be. He will build to the fEarful plans if requested and has done a quite solid job on the 15/6.
  19. Frankiebass59


    Feb 1, 2008
    Looks close to the 2x12" I just had Don @ LDS build for me. It's loaded with a pair of 3012LF's with a pair of 6" (I think) mids.. I love it.

    View attachment 134748
  20. bigfatbass

    bigfatbass Inactive

    Jun 30, 2003
    Upstate NY
    Endorsing Artist: Karl Hoyt Basses
    I bet that 2x12-2x6 sounds spectacular! What's it weigh? I have been nothing but floored by the tone and quality of any LDS cab I've ever had the pleasure of playing through. My builder for this project is locked in. I have a deal to receive the cab for building them a website + a little cash. This will be a very cheap experiment for me, all I have invested so far is time, and making logos and writing ad copy is fun for me anyway. I'm weird like that.

    I imagine much the same weird way designing/building this funky little cab is fun for my boys Mark and Roland at NY Speakerworks.

    I bet that 2x12-2x6 sounds spectacular! What's it weigh?