Has anyone ever made a cab?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LakLnd5, Nov 24, 2001.

  1. I'm curious as to whether anyone has ever attempted to make a cabinet. I'm shopping for a 1x15 but don't really have the bread. I've always been curious to see if I could pull it off although I know there's a lot to consider acoustically. Does anyone know where I might find info on the subject or how I might get started? Thanks.

    Jeff in Chicago
  2. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Joris is the man to ask. Tufnuts has made some cabs too, if I remember correctly.
  3. I just built my first one, a 4x12. The real hard part of this was the wiring and getting the dimensions down so that the acoustics were good. If you're going to do a 1x15, it sounds a lot easier. You dont have the standing waves bouncing around from speaker to speaker like you do with a multi-speaker system, so the dimensioning would be easier.

    Go find the book "The Louspeaker Design Cookbook." Can't remember the name of the author, I'll go look it up and edit soon. It gives all sorts of instructions on how to do stuff like that.

    EDIT: Found the name. It's Vance Dickason. Good luck.:D

    Rock on
  4. I build all my own also.

    Shop for a used 1x15. This is cheaper than building, faster, and comes with instant gratification.


    Since you are asking this question, you are unaware of the amount of time, work, and tools that go into cab building. After you do all the reasearch on choosing the right driver, and how to engineer a cabinet for it.
  5. I appreciate the feedback. I realize it's not going to be easy, but I at least want to do some research. I think it'll be a great learning experience.

    Eric, thanks for the tip on the book. I'll look it up right away. Does the book go into details about the acoustical properties of the cabs, or is it more of a book of blueprints that you followed?

    Bgavin, it sounds like you've had some bad luck building cabs. If so, what were some of the problems you had (other than cost). You elluded to driver selection being difficult. In what way? You also spoke of "the amount of tools" required. Could you be more specific? Are there specialized tools other than woodworking tools, a soldering iron, a multimeter, an oscilliscope, etc...(all of which I have access to).

    I appreciate this guys (and girls if applicable:D ) I think there's a lot to learn from the people who've tried this before.

  6. I have.... ehm... problems... with the sound quality of commercial cabs... and their prices.

    So I build my own. Have been doing so for about 10 years now (I'm 26) and only lately (2 yrs) have produced results to my full satisfaction. That's how much time it takes (for me that is, but who am I?:D)

    Building a cab is the easy part. Designing one is the tricky part. You'll realize that once you know a lot about speaker physics and the trade-offs you have to undoubtedly make.

    I could ramble about it for hours.

    Bottom line is: it's much harder than you can possibly imagine. I'm serious.
  7. Tom Crofts

    Tom Crofts

    Mar 15, 2001
    I'm just about to start building a cab as well, I'm investigating at the moment how many speakers/size etc. I'm doing the project for A-Level at school and have to have it finished by the end of March. I have to do loadsa research etc for it and show why I'm doing what I'm doing. I'm going to be using a 4 Ohm Carlsbro Stingray 150W 1x15 to power it. I need a slightly punchier sound but I don't know whether a 4x10, 2x10/2x12 or whatever is gonna work and don't know enough about any of this to jump straight in and start. I've searched on here and on google and read pretty much everything that has been written about building a cab. Thanks.

    BG (the other one)
  8. Joris, it looks like you've had a lot of success with your cabs. What kind of advice can you give to those of us who are just starting to get into it? What sort of resources do you recommend on cabinet design? Have you experimented with different drivers and woods? If so, why did you end up choosing the materials you did?
    I think those of us who are interested in cab building could learn a lot from a guy like you. Any info would be greatly appreciated!

  9. Check out this link
    I built a pair of these using this guy's plans. They are nice and small with a tight , punchy sound. I don't remember the exact cost but it was cheaper than buying a comparable unit at the music store. I had a cabinet maker shop buy the MDF and make all of the cuts I needed. I wanted them perfect and felt they could do a better job since they had the tools. Assembly was easy. If you are handy and want to save some bucks give it a try.
  11. Thanks for all the help. Your the second person to recommend that book. I'm gonna get it and do some studying. I'm sure I'll have plenty of questions once I become more versed on the subject. I'll post again when I get more into it.

  12. Check out www.partsexpress.com

    You can get the phone number and call the techs on staff.
    But beware!

    If you ask the right questions they will give you enough information to make your eyes glaze over and your head spin. So have a pencil & paper ready!
  13. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Well I've only made one bass cab, and so i can provide a nice list of things *not* to do :)

    1. don't base the design on all the subwoofers you've designed, and then just add a tweeter - big hole in the midrange, and not necessarily where you might want it even if you like the "scooped" sound.

    2. don't use home/car audio subs (even if you find very efficient ones like I did) unless you are making a 3-way with a midrange

    3. (not from experience but just for beginners) don't make a 3-way with a midrange. :D

    4. Don't put the handles in the middle of the sides. DUH! the speakers and all the weight are up front. Either do the math or make it so you can put the drivers in, find the balance point, then take them out and cut the holes ->

    5. don't get any sawdust in the drivers!

    And to back up the previous sentiment, building one for school or to learn is cool. Don't, however, waste your amp budget on the first one because (unless you build straight from a good plan, like Len Moskowitz's), it's gonna sound like crap! :) (I know, maybe not. I'm just bitter 'bout mine :D)
  14. A cool site. Here's a list of suggested reading I found on their intro to speaker design page:

    Great Sound Stereo Speaker Manual With Projects by David Weems, #500-155

    Designing, Building, and Testing Your Own Speaker System by David Weems, #500-021
    Advanced Speaker Designs by Ray Alden, #500-042
    The Loudspeaker Design Cookbook, 5th Edition by Vance Dickason, #500-036
    Loudspeaker Recipes, Book 1 by Vance Dickason, #500-018
    Speaker Builder Magazine
  15. I was in the same boat as you, i thought you just build a box cut a hole in it and your pretty much done right:D well after alot of research I found that there is alot more to it than that (so they say) I still think my box with a hole in it would have worked just fine. any way you might want to check out www.speakerhole.com they seem to have a great selection with great prices;)
  16. One has to understand the drivers they use, if they are going to build their own. Car audio subs work very nicely, but the premium grade subs are tremendously expensive. Subwoofers are all done between 80 ~ 100 Hz. You will need to bi-amp with subs because a passive crossover at this low frequency is both very heavy and very expensive.
    A midrange is always required. The tweeter is the optional part. Electric bass fundamentals and their harmonics are all done by 7,000 Hz. If you slap or use distortion, this can extend up to 20,000 Hz or higher. The JBL E110 and Eminence Legend B102 both go to 7,000 Hz and are well suited for midrange and also crossing over at 100 Hz.
    Put the driver-loaded cab on the floor with a rolling pin beneath it. Position the pin to find the balance point. Much easier and more reliable than math.
    Not true at all. I had a nice email conversation with Len, and he plugged the numbers from the Peerless driver into one of the design programs and went at it. The trick to his project was, Len did the research and chose the correct driver. He built a cabinet sized and tuned to the optimum alignment of the Peerless 831759 driver. The secret to a successful build is in the design work.

    One has to fully understand the parameters of the selected driver, and how that will affect the final sound. Low efficiency drivers will give extended bass response and high efficiency drivers will provide lots of loudness. The two don't come in the same package. Work backwards from the desired end result (loud, low, or small cabinet), then choose the driver whose optimum alignment matches your requirements.
  17. Or you can just build a box and cut a hole it it like i said:eek: :D
  18. geshel


    Oct 2, 2001
    Thanks for the clarification bgavin. Yeah, I left the edges of that post a little rough, just like the cab I built long ago. . . :)

    FatFunker, www.speakerhole.com is only good if you're going to "cut a hole in a box an put the speaker in". They don't even bother to print the Theile-Small parameters of the drivers they sell, which are the basic specs you'd use to design even the *simplest* enclosure. Without them you're hopeless, and the odds of it sounding like crap go up tremendously.
  19. Amen to that

  20. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Saint Louis, MO USA
    I spent a great deal of time investigating building cabinets of the very reason of saving money, and while it has been suggested, I'll come out and say it.

    Saving money is not the reason to build. It will cost you more. Way, way more if you value your time at all. There are ton of very good reasons to build a cabinet, many of which have been mentioned, but saving money absolutely isn't one of them.