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grill design

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Igital, Mar 24, 2009.

  1. Igital


    Dec 19, 2008
    Did a TB search but found nothing useful. Am in the process of fixing up an old Peavey 215 mostly for the fun of it, but do of course intend to end up with something playable. I have this idea of doing a custom grill design (think 50's US cars) in a mix of cloth and metal complete with chromed parts (as long as I can get it rattle free).

    My question is: how does grill design affect the sound? Is there some rule about max surface area? Holes versus slots? Saw an Ashdown cab in a shop recently with what I thought was an unusually "compact" metal grill, and my Eden 410XLT has a fairly large grill surface area as well compared to some other cabs. Not being an expert on this at all I guess it is only my gut feeling that tells me that grill design should have some effect on the sound. Seems to me that many "boutique" cabs either have cloth or a metal grill with little surface area.

    Any advice/input appreciated, I'd rather not spend hours building this thing just to find out I have to remove it whenever I want to play the cab.
  2. Alcyon


    Jan 15, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Was always curious about this too.
  3. I don't know about the sound, but an Edsel front grille would look pretty cool
  4. Grilles are supposed to be acoustically transparent, so the size of the grille should not matter. Ports, on the other hand, are of a certain size and should not be changed. Some cabinet designers place their ports behind the grill while others prefer them uncluttered. on one project I did I had a choice of two metal grilles. One had large holes and the other small. I went with the smaller size because the actual open area was larger for the smaller hole size.

    On the subject of "pimping" your cabinet, you are free to do what pleases you. I on the other hand, refer my backline to be as unobtrusive as possible.

  5. Igital


    Dec 19, 2008
    Well, this is just sort of a fun project that might see a gig sometime, I have this weird side-project where most of the instruments and backline is built from old junk. I am also building a "slide-bass" into an aluminium tube... Generally I too prefer an unobtrusive backline (if the blue lights on the shuttle can be called unobtrusive...). And yeah; Edsel was on my mind.

    That aside, there has to be some theory on this as both lightwaves and ocean waves respond to the type of obstacle a grill represents. It is hard to imagine a metal grill (or a cloth for that case) to be 100% acoustically transparent. At some point the amount of metal has to reach a point where it will interfere with the soundwaves. It is even possible to imagine utilizing this to deliberately affect projection and dispersion.

    But then again, it is +25 years since my last physics class and I might be totally missing out on something here...
  6. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Look at the various metal grille patterns at Reliable Hardware's site; the diamond extruded pattern is the most open one. Visually, it also appears to be that way, so no big surprise ; }

    I use it because of that, and if something protective enough were available that was easy to deal with for gigging realities and cab building practicality I'd be considering that.

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