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plastic bass cabs...make one?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by steve-o, Oct 14, 2003.

  1. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i would love to get a light weight setup since i do alot of traveling with my equipment.

    what would be best? and how? would a thicker lexan work? but that might be to heavey...

    any ideas of light weight cabs?

  2. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    I think the Gallien Kruger 112 is made of aluminum. Its ultra light and a lot of jazz guys like Ron Carter use it for upright. Im not sure about plastic though...
  3. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    Im looking for really light weight cabs.
    maybe im crazy but like 25 lbs. 2x10....that would be great

  4. Treena, I notice you put a little smiley thing right above your name in every post. Is there any rhyme or reason to what smiley you choose? If so, what are you trying to say with that one???
  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Maybe she's referring to the LA music competition? :eek:
  6. I don't know if anybody's done it yet, but I think that carbon fiber would be an ideal material for a speaker cabinet, because it is super-stiff, really durable and can be formed pretty much like fiberglass. Plus, I think it would look awesome. Here's a manufacturer's website: Fibreglast .
    The Boognish
  7. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    i would love to do that..but i wouldn't know where to start with it...

    and how i would brace it..etc.

  8. You wouldn't need to brace it at all, because carbon fiber is a structural material-motorcycle wheels, e.g., are made out of CF. That's why it is so light. If you've got a small airport nearby, you might be able to find somebody who does custom CF work. Or you might be able to find a car or surf shop that does fiberglass work, since working with the two materials requires similar techniques. I doubt that it'd be cheap, but f***ing cool.
  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Steve-O, an Ampeg Portabass 210 is only 32 lbs...
  10. steve-o

    steve-o Guest

    Apr 17, 2002
    really..hmmm thanks

  11. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO

    Just because a material is lightweight and stiff, doesn't mean it will make a good sounding cabinet. There is cabinet resonance to consider. Most really good speaker cabinets are made from thick, dense wood and heavily braced inside. This is not just to make them strong, but to decrease vibration and resonance.

    If carbon fibre were a good material for speaker cabinets, somebody would be buildng them. Also, I think the cost would be very high.
  12. Man, I swear that every time I post on talkbass somebody feels the need to argue with me. I really don't get it, as I don't think my tone was argumentative, or even authoritative (though I admit that, in the past, I have made that mistake). I was merely offering a suggestion about an idea that I thought might be cool. I don't know enough about the physical proterties of sound waves to engage in an argument with you about whether "cabinet resonance" is even a consideration, or whether a CF cabinet could be designed with low resonance (a port? fiberglass packing?) without somebody coming along and pointing out a) how wrong I am; and b) how stupid I am for writing anything. So I won't. And I never said the cost wouldn't be high (in fact, I think I mentioned that it might), but that didn't appear to me to be part of the original question. Finally, unless you work for one of the amp manufacturers, your assumption that it isn't a good material for cabs because no cabs are currently made from CF seems a lot like saying, "Of course cars can't run on methanol. If they could, they would." Yup.
    The Boognish
  13. Amp companies are profit driven. If it ain't profitable, they won't engage in the activity.

    There could be non-engineering reasons, such as toxicity, product liability, or other lawyer-induced pain.

    As far as engineering goes, if the panels vibrate, they are causing a problem. The traditional method of avoiding vibration is with heavy materials. The next best method is pre-stressing the walls where they are at maximum flex position. Last is reducing the area of a given panel by using bracing to separte the panel into smaller sections.

    I use 3/4" MDF for my subs, and they still vibrate my butt so bad, I cannot sit on one at stage volume for more than a few minutes.
  14. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    Holy shhhhh. That's light. That's even lighter than my home-made jobbie. I used neodymium magnets and everything and best I could get is 19kg (41.8 lbs). I did make a smaller version at 14kg (31 lbs) but it didn't sound any good, so I went back to the bigger cab.

    You may want to look at the Epifani Ultralights and the offerings from Tech Sound Systems.
  15. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    That's the weight claimed by Ampeg on their web site. I've picked up a few Portabass cabinets and they are amazingly light. The 1x10 and 1x12 don't even feel like they have a speaker in them.
  16. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    :) I believe ya Bill. I wasn't second-guessing............
  17. Ah, you would have to brace carbon-fibre. As a large flat sheet (such as sides of a cabinet), it's actually fairly flexible. It's strength comes when it's formed into shapes. So, form it with lateral braces built-in, and you'd be good.

    I was wondering about a plastic cab myself - i've had a spare SKB 8U rack for ages, and have often wondered about insulating it and fitting a front sealed baffle with a cutout for a 10" or 12" driver (you could even use the existing end), with the existing back end covering the back.

    But, methinks the rack would still be a little too flimsy to get any real thump outta it. But, a sheet of MDF or ply for the front is cheap enough, so I might try it for a rainy day project.
  18. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    As bgavin says, right on as usual, the thing with cabs is to get the resonance of the cab under control. Which is done by using heavy wood panels, and bracing them.

    However, nowadays most PA cabs are made of injection molded PE, PP or other lowend plastic. How come?
    Simply because they make the volumes. Like 10000 units per year and model, or more.

    These cabs are "half honeycomb" braced, and the overall shape as well as details has been theoretically optimised using very advanced computer support.

    Bottom line is, that for low series production, pre-tensioned and braced poplar plywood of appr 6 mm thickness, neodymium magnets and alu wiring is a passable way.

    For production bass alternatives (non-PA), I think the main alternatives would be Ampeg Protabass (for a four stringer) and Tech Soundsystems and Flite. If a 1x10 is OK, then Acme and Acoustic Images are on the shortlist, too.
  19. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Someone is:


    I suspect the issue with live sound is one of cost and durability, not sonic performance.


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