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Is a cab the same after it's rebuilt?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by LongHairFreak, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    This here's a run-off from my previous thread regarding a new cab, but it's in another direction so I thought I'd begin anew. Thanks for your patience TB

    It's obvious to me speakers themselves play a major role in a bass cab's sound. It's equally obvious that the box itself can make a huge difference, even when same speakers are applied. Though many cabs--both old and new--are built quite stoutly (thick, heavy wood), I am curious how much of that contributes to the end result.

    For example, say a 120lb 2x15 cab was to be rebuilt; using the same speakers and the same parameters, save the heavy woods--replaced with lighter weight woods and proper bracing to compensate. Would this rebuilt cab sound the same as it did originally? Also, would the pounds lost be significant?

    Thanks for your help guys.
  2. mrkreuzschlitz


    Jun 30, 2008
    Dacula, GA
    I'd imagine there'd be a different sound, that's why MDF vs Baltic Birch cabs sound a tad bit different.

    ... I think. :p
  3. if you get the same dimensions (int volume, port size) and brace it properly you should get a similar sound out of it.

    as to the pounds saved..you have to know how much wood you are going to use and it's weight/sq ft and you can calculate the difference
  4. If properly and adequately braced, the cabinet should contribute almost nothing to the sound, assuming two identical cabinets (both sealed, similarly ported, etc.), because the cabinet should be braced well enough to effectively be a solid enclosure, no contribution to sound. Cabinet design does make a difference, but two cabinets of the same design shouldn't.
  5. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    Thanks guys. (sigh) Can't yet decide on what to do, but... I'll get it figured.
  6. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    If you can wait a while I'm in the process of doing an experiment along these lines.

    I built a 1x12 cab out of wood, and an now in the process of building an exact replica out of composites. If they sound the same, we'll confirm beyond doubt that a properly braced, vibration free cab should sound the same regardless of the materials used. If of course they don't sound the same, we'll prove the opposite.

    The way I see it, we're all trained via the natural progression of musicianship that to know that maple sounds brighter than rosewood, thicker wood has more sustain than thin wood, and so on. We therefore instinctively take this knowledge of tonewoods and automatically apply it to cabs as well. The difference IMO is instruments are supposed to resonate, and timbers will therefore add or subtract from the sound. Cabs aren't supposed to resonate. If they do, they've not been designed properly. Vibrating panels on a cab are usually noticed by wasted acoustic power resulting in an undesirable drop in SPL, especially in the lower frequencies.

    If I'm wrong, I'll at least have some data to confirm or deny my thoughts on this matter.
  7. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    Cool. I'll be very interested in your results. I can't say I won't have already purchased a cab though. I'm just itchin' to get on with it before I spend my money elsewhere...like on another bass.

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