Important for me tonight for cab design

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Drake, May 29, 2001.

  1. Hi there, i am gonna try to emulate a cabinet by making it at my work.... I need some quick info. What wood should i use? is hard maple plywood good enough? I think it whould be, or is there something cheaper? and which cab should I emulate, i want it to be funky and not too big maybe a 400 watt type of dealie...

    I was thinking a 15, a 10, and a tweeter or a 5-6 incher...
    recommendations? keep in mind my love of funk bass. maybe a 115 w/2 10s, I dunno yet.

    Also where could I get dimensions, port sizing, and such?

    My other issue is not so important right now but I need speaks that are fairly cost effective say maybe black widows.... anyone know the prices of any types of speaks?
    help me out here I want this to be a cool project!!!!

    thanks.. if I forget anything I will add it later!!!!

    Mike ShelDRAKE
  2. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    I know that back when I built cabs, I used a book from RadioShack for my design paremeters. If I remember correctly, it's called something like Advanced Speaker Construction or something like that. I also know that Joris here on TB builds cabs, perhaps he's willing to work out the formulas for you. Just make sure that you've got all the info he needs.
  3. You can download my Musician's Reference spreadsheet from my site. It has a lot of speaker/cabinet relationships and predicted responses already worked out.

    You can go to this site for all the calculations you need for cabinets, ports, etc. His formulas are accurate for the most part. I still find one has to use a digital volt meter and a computer sound card with a software signal generator to get the exact tuning.

    Hardwood is not the wood of choice for cabs. MDF in 49 pounds per cubic foot or higher is preferred, but very heavy. Void-free plywood (marine grade or ??) is used by the better name cabinet makers because it is more roadworthy than MDF. It will have to be heavily braced to insure no buzzing.

    I urge you to read this thread:

    so you can understand exactly what you are getting into. Cabinet building is a TREMENDOUS amount of work, and I'd hate to see you get discouraged and throw away your money after you get into it.

    IMO the Black Widows are a waste of your money. No flames please, this is just my personal opinion. Cheap speakers will sound like crap, so bear that in mind when you buy.

    From the sounds of all this, if I was in your position, I would be concentrating on finding a good cab deal on eBay. It is MUCH faster, far less grief, and if you get lucky, you can find a deal. Remember that home rolled cabs don't have squat for resale value. Especially all the time you will put into them.
  4. Thanks white knight and bgavin

    I have decided to do a 15 and 5 or 6 inch cabinet....

    anyone out there prepared to aid me? joris? I hear you are an expert and have read some of your posts to confirm that....

    thanks... i appreciate it
  5. MikeyD


    Sep 9, 2000
    More power to you if you really want to get into a project. However, I recommend heeding bgavin's post. Bass cabinets are not trivial - neither from a design standpoint nor a construction standpoint. I'm an engineer, and even I balk at getting into it, as interesting as it would be. Do read up on the subject of designing, tuning, and building. It is rather involved. But if you are still committed to the idea, go for it! Good luck.
    - Mike
  6. yeah I want too, it is not a huge project for like top end equipment, just for fun... I work at a place that manufactures childrens furniture so i have access to discounted rates on good stuff... I also have the shop to work with.

    it should be fun... still curious about the maple ply that I want to use....
  7. Drake, I must have misread... you said maple "ply" and I heard maple "solid".

    Plywood without voids is what many of the better cabs are made from. I believe it is not so much actual road worthiness, as it is weight reduction, but this is speculation on my part. MDF is very heavy. My cabs weigh in around 150 pounds each.

    If you are an experienced cabinet maker, and have access to the tools, you will be past much of the nasty part. Butt joints with glue, screws, and cleats are entirely satisfactory. The trick is an accurate cut and ultimately no leaks.

    Remember that RTV sealants will *kill* your cone surrounds while the RTV is fresh. Once the RTV has dried 24 hours or longer, it is no longer a threat to your cones. If you have any RTV smell, it is too soon. Be safe and wait 48 hours. The RTV sealant cures a lot of air leak problems.

    You can download the Perfect Box program from my web site and use it to play with cabinet designs. This program will give you dimensions as well as the port configurations and it runs fine in a DOS box. See the README inside the ZIP file. I have been updating its database for some time now, and you will find it useful.

    Use PVC for the ports. If you need 6" PVC, get it from a sprinkler supply yard, as Home Depot, etc, does not carry this large pipe. In 10 foot lengths, 6" white PVC is still pretty cheap.

    Last, look for a speaker alignment (design) that tunes the cabinet at 31 Hz or lower (5-string) or 41 Hz and lower (4 string). You want the cabinet tuning at or lower than the lowest note you intend to play. This has been hashed out in the other threads.

    Once you find a speaker you like, get the very latest specs on it from their web site. Eminence has quietly changed the specs on most of the drivers since I last recorded them. I'm slowly updating my spreadsheet but it is time consuming.
  8. Thanks that was helpful... i can get 7 ply poplar or spruce for like 60-70 bux for a 4*8 sheet I think i will need one with my plans... I will port with PVC or use a square port of the plywood... I can also get the mdf for like 30 bux for a 4*8 so i dunno what to do... i do not want to sacrifice weight but if it is half the price i just might do it hehe..

    I need speaker prices or catalogues... and some good options... i want a 15" and a 6, or a 5, which should I pick? What brands? i am not looking fo rthe huge priced audiophile gear, just a decent bass speaker... I like the BW by peavey, but if you think there is a better bang for the buck choice for me then be my guest and tell me.... I really need to find where to price out speakers.

  9. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Retired Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    One time my brother and I built a really bitchen folding DJ coffin, with built-in wiring, piano hinges, and black fuzzy stuff all over. It turned out looking fully professional, easily comparable in quality to stuff like Genz-Benz. (Not their speakers ... their rack stuff.). After it was all over, we swore we'd NEVER do that again. I'd spend $1,000 on a commercial one first.

    So what? Well, my bet is that DJ coffins are MUCH less complicated than speaker cabs. People spend their entire careers perfecting a particular design. It's one of those things that it takes forever, through trial and error, to eliminate the little gremlins in the design. It reminds me of Michael Tobias running a series of columns in BP on how to build a bass neck. HAH! I'd like to see all the necks that have gone into his scrap heap in the last 25 years. You'd be ahead of the game to buy a great cab, and spend your nights practicing.
  10. The big thing is I get good deals so the money is not an issue... speakers still are.... But yeah it is not a huge loss situation... I am 19 so it is not like it is ruining my life, right now I only live for fun... I justt want to make a project. the cab without speaks will be less than 100 canadian after wood and construction... more like 70 canadian actually.. Then I have to get an exterior covering, and the corners and handles and I want like some speaker covers the round kind made of metal... maybe a grill, I might try to make it look funky

    oh well i still need to know where i can price this out.

    thanks guys if you know any prices for stuff like that please do tell, cuz I am not building unless i find it cost effective

  11. White_Knight


    Mar 19, 2000
    Well, here's a few good speaker manufacturers, though I can't remember the addresses for them:

    Bag End
    Professional Audio Systems
    Electro Voice

    Though these are generally a fair bit more expensive than the Black Widow, I think that their sound quality makes it worth the money.
  12. Thanks for the ideas I will look into those :D
  13. APouncer


    Nov 3, 2000
    Lancashire, UK
    Listen Drake, I am no help, it sounds complicated and tough but I reckon you should go for it! Good luck, read up and learn and put real effort in, and remember - it's no use spoiling the ship for a happorth of tar.
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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