Is There a Market for Tested Cabinet Plans?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bgavin, Apr 26, 2004.

  1. Is there any interest in the DIY community for tested cabinet plans?

    I'm curious about what designs are most desired, and what a reasonable price would be for blueprints. Tested designs would have published response specs and sample MP3 for auditioning.

    Serious responses, please.

  2. andertone

    andertone Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2000
    Southwest USA
    Hi Bruce:

    You bet there is an interest. I've got JBL's and
    others just lying around, and always have been interested
    in a small 10 or 12" extension cabinet. I know there
    are folks that have spare 15"s lying around just begging
    to be put under a 2 x 10" rig. It's keeping Avatar
    and Dr. Bass in business IMHO

    Note how much interest on the web the
    article by Len Moskowitz on his compact 10" cabinet

    There are a few ebay vendors selling blueprints for
    $8-12, I would bet with your spreadsheet and clearly
    a huge amount of time and effort it would be worth
    your while. The main thing would be to recommend
    various drivers for specific cabinets

    Just my 0.02, thanks!

    Phil Anderson
    Tucson, AZ
  3. BruceWane


    Oct 31, 2002
    Houston, TX
    One thing to keep in mind is that your real data and specs are going to be compared to the........uhhh....."optimistic" specs that so many speaker companies publish, so you may want to have a bit of a disclaimer pointing out the games that Eden, Ampeg, SWR, etc. play.........although you'll also need to word it in a manner that will not land you in court....
  4. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    Why not just make them freely available? Altruism never hurt noone :bassist:

  5. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    In this era of mp3 swapping and such, modern society doesn't seem to place much value on intellectual property.

    (IIRC) You've often warned people about going the DIY route for cost savings... You'd need to convey the value that buying your design would have.

    EV has always given away their cabinet designs.

    I haven't looked at the spreadsheet in a while, but if you decide to sell those designs, can you copywrite them because they've already been in the public domain?

    Good luck!!!
  6. ashbory


    Jun 13, 2000
    The Hammer
    My thoughts...
    If you provided complete building instructions instead of just blueprints you might get a bigger audience.

    Things I think a newbie builder might be concerned about:
    - the finished result does not have that "home made" look
    - all the parts are readily available
    - no unusual tools required

    Other than bass cabinets I think PA stuff would be popular - wedge monitors, small main speakers like a 12" or 15" plus horn.
    If you could get the same sound quality for less cash than a store bought cabinet, I think you might have a market.
  7. I have a lot of designs worked out, not just for bass cabs, including floor monitors.

    As for altruisim, give me your drivers, I will give you my plans. If this doesn't suit you, then I can't help you.

    Winding up in court is a huge discouraging factor, and one of reasons I'm not too keen on producing a line of cabs. There is always some dispsh!t willing to hurt himself on a product, then sue for the moon. I remember the kid who stuck his Johnson into a beater bar vaccum cleaner, and received $5 million...

    I figure blueprints are harder to steal than PDF files. There's that altruism thing again.

    The only valid point for DIY is for something you cannot get commercially. Such as a 4x10 made as two 2x10, for mix 'n match at 2 ohms or 8 ohms, or a 2x10 on each channel at 4 or 16 ohms. With built-in biamping. There is also a lot of wishing for big bottom drivers, but nobody offers a killer, tight-bottom Beyma 15LX60 in a 4 cubic foot box.

    As for specs and hype, Phil Jones stands almost alone in his disclosure of performance measurements. Most of the rest bullsh!t about their performance claims but never back it up with measurements. A few don't even bother to publish much of anything, but sell on faith and hype.

    All my spread sheet contains is numbers. It is just a tool to do the math drudgery so one can compare a lot of drivers easily.
  8. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    I'm not sure if it was meant in on way or the other.. I have a great deal of respect for intellectual property (artist/designer by profession so this definitely is an issue with me) and I do not support piracy (this idea really doesn't classify as such IMO though), but at the same time I have a great appreciation of education for education's sake. I guess what I'm striving for is sharing of information vs. trying to make a buck - but really, it's not my idea/project so anyone can do whatever they want :).

    Just as a for instance, everytime I've received a PM/email from someone asking for tips and info about the first EUB I built (dozens of requests over the last 2? years), I'm happy to give whatever I can info-wise (including scans of pretty poor plans I drew up ;)) to get that person closer to finishing their own. That's my choice and my choice only and I recognize anyone else can do things differently.

    My main concern in recommending against selling info is that by it not being publicly available it makes it significantly easier for it to all be lost (files deleted, ideas forgotten, no documentation, people change their mind, etc). Also, the moment you take $$ for ideas you've made yourself legally liable to whatever party pays for them and you do run the risk of a lot of trouble if someone then jigsaws one of their fingers off, Vs. making the knowledge public domain.

    Either way, good luck! If/when/by whatever method any cab plans are released, I'll definitely learn a lot by reading them!

    $.02 of course

  9. i know i would be interested.

    ive built a 2x15 by copying a yorkville cab and doubling the dimensions up so its like 2 sealed cabs on top of eachother and its pretty loud and has good tone so im interested in some plans because taking all the measurements was a pain in the ass and i dont want to go out and buy a 2x10 just to take measurements. plus i still have 2/3s sheet of spruce left.
  10. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    These all can fit under the premise of 'something you cannot get commercially', but I'll disagree anyway just so people can see these points :) When you build for yourself (as most people on TB do), you shouldn't put a dollar value on your time spent on the project - design or construction. Accounting for just the parts & materials, DIY has the potential to be significantly cheaper for same or better quality gear. You can easily get more for your dollar than you would with trad-store or boutique shopping. You gain more knowledge (knowing more is always a benefit). You get personal satisfaction for building your own gear (for some people, myself included, that's all we care about). And, as you mentioned, you can get whatever you dream up (and be able to fix it should it break).



    PS, I don't mean to sound like I'm trying to flame or deliberatly being belligerent in my last 2 posts. I know I've personally gained a lot from your work. My intent is just to give what I've found (stand on the shoulders of giants and reach - or sommat) and share it with anyone else who may be looking along the lines I was at one point.

  11. Thanks for clearing the air about being belligerant.

    Frankly, I cannot afford altruism. My bank, dentist, HMO, and grocery store don't provide for me, so I have to provide for myself.

    Ever since our IT jobs were outsourced to India, my small business has absorbed the shock. My health benefits through my business are now as much as my mortgage. No altruism there, for sure. Out of 168 weekly hours, I have one client that consumes 50 hours, sleeping consumes another 50, and most of the remaining hours go toward other clients.

    My cab plans reflect actual constructed, tuned, and measured designs. Much time and some money is invested in these. I have no desire to give them away, and would rather let them die. This isn't sour grapes, just the reality of the world. Those who feel an altruistic obligation to their fellow man, usually want me to pay for it.
  12. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Speaker manufacturers have given away plans free for many years, it helps sell speakers. Back in the 1970s when there was less available in terms of high performance speaker cabs for PA, many sound companies built their own boxes from plans.

    I've used bass cabs that were built from EV plans, they might not look great but they SOUND great.

    It's tough to compete against free plans!
  13. I'm sorry I asked the question, as I should have anticipated all the naysayers.

    Ask Mark Wright for copies of his plans. Free of charge. Tell him it helps sell speakers. Even better, ask the engineer at Euphonic Audio for free copies of his transmission line.

    End of topic.
  14. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Bruce, I certainly believe that the time and energy that you've put into your speaker cabinet designs has value.

    However, in this era of Napster (the original version), off-the-shelf home computers with every-form-of-media-burners already built in, etc. I don't know how much of a market there would be for speaker cabinet designs.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Brianrost, you're absolutely correct...those EV TB (late '60s/early '70s) and TL series (mid '70s on) cabinets sure do sound good.
  16. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Bruce, you asked for our opinion and serious responses...which you received. I'm sorry that you didn't get the response that you wanted.

    I don't know if posting a thread on TB constitues a real market test...but it was a lost cost one for you anyway...
  17. Artisan


    Apr 14, 2004
    What would really be useful is developing enclosure designs that can be built by the average person living in an apartment and without a full woodworking shop. No dove tail joints, etc.

    One could make series of enclosures with some focusing upon light weight/compactness. Other series could be designed for efficiency and apartment build construction techniques. The combinations are endless, but I suspect that there are more people in search of plans that are proven and can be built in a simple manner than plans for complex enclosures requiring hundreds of dollars worth of tools and a dedicated shop space.

    I have toyed with the idea of making large, efficient enclosures that can be broken down into small pieces and then reassembled quickly and simply at the gig site. This would be a challenge. I do feel that it is doable.

    How about a folded horn enclosure for a hefty 15" woofer that can be transported in a car and reassembled with nothing more than a power screwdriver and fabricated by our apartment dwelling musician/craftsman with simple power tools?

    My idea was to build a few prototypes, to ensure that they do indeed build simply and work as claimed and then offer detailed construction plans on the net for a modest download fee. A special reader program would be necessary to view the plans. The latter would be the most expensive part of the project, I suspect.

  18. patrickj


    Aug 13, 2001
    Baltimore, MD
    IMO, this is a pretty good idea. It's like the difference between a C++ tutorial book and syntax/reference book. Put together something that shows someone who doesn't have either the 1) woodworking experience, or 2) cabinet design fundementals but does have the interest to build their own gear. A reference book is kind of useless to someone who doesn't know where to start, and once said person has finished their first project they will have more of an understanding for using straight blueprints/reference materials.

    When I built my first bass, I used <a href=">this book</a>. When I started on my 2nd bass, I was beyond the introductory primer and ready for <a href="">the luthier tome of knowledge</a>.

    Target both the no0bs and the veterans. I think there would be enough value to this that people would $$$ it.
  19. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    I've been lurking in this thread and expected this reaction. Why? Just through enquiries I've made, and especially by peoples reaction to equipment with no brand name stuck on them. My entire rig is one big question mark to most musicians who see it, and while they usually react favourably to the sound, and some even ask for my phone number so they can discuss buying some, not once have they gone through with it and called me. Some even admitted that they changed their mind because they felt it's easier to impress people that matter if you've got reputable gear. People listen with their eyes sometimes. It's silly, but that's how it is.........

    Bruce I hear ya when you talk about the time, effort and money you've put into the designs. But the same could be said about my motorcycle hobby and that will never produce an income. Just be gratefull you're not infatuated with heliocopters or yachts........

    I am no-where near ready to act on it, but I have an idea of how to make some money out of cab building (one day). I don't really want to announce it in public, but if any of the regular cab guys you want to shoot me a PM, I can run it by you and see what you think.