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Used custom 1x12 cab - what questions to ask?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vodsonic, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. vodsonic


    Sep 28, 2012
    I'm looking at a used Gallien-Krueger MB200 mini amp head with a custom-made, lightweight 1x12 cabinet with an Eminence speaker, offered locally.

    The cabinet was presumably made with the GK head in mind, and supposedly weighs about 22 lbs. It doesn't appear to be ported, from the pictures I've seen.

    Besides trying this out to see how it all sounds, what questions should I be asking about the cabinet, to determine whether it was intelligently designed for this application?

    It's a bit of a drive to go look at it, so any problems I can pinpoint over the phone will potentially save me a lot of time and gas.
  2. iualum


    Apr 9, 2004
    To start, ask who built it & which specific 12 is in it. How many ohms? Is there a mid or tweeter? If so, again which specific ones & the crossover frequency (& which crossover or who built it).

    Sure they'll be many more suggested questions coming.
  3. 5 Wire

    5 Wire

    Feb 1, 2013
    Certainly find out which driver model and then research it.
    Anyone can build a box but to design one around a driver is totally different.
  4. vodsonic


    Sep 28, 2012
    That's what I was afraid of.

    Talked to the guy selling this. He built the cabinet himself, with light weight as a goal. He built this after trying one with a 10" speaker that "just couldn't handle the bass."

    The 12" speaker is "an Eminence bass speaker", and he can't remember the model number, but says it cost him about $90 new. No mid or tweeter, so no crossover.

    He's happy to let me try it out, but I guess I would need to ask to take the speaker out to find out exactly what model.

    I'm not an expert on speaker design by any stretch, but my assumption is that with an amp like the MB200, a ported cab isn't necessarily necessary (I'm thinking of sealed hi-fi speaker designs from the 1970s like some of the Advents, that just needed a powerful enough amp to power through the vacuum/pressure caused by the moving driver.)

    I really just need an amp for practice and maybe some acoustic jams right now. Not expecting to need to blow away an arena-sized crowd anytime soon. I like what I've read about the MB200, but I think it's a package deal with the cabinet.
  5. Sid Fang

    Sid Fang Reformed Fusion Player Supporting Member

    Jun 12, 2008
    If he built it himself, you can ask him how he came up with the specifics of the design - dimensions, speaker/port mount locations, etc. If he faithfully copied a working design that uses the same kind of driver, that would be OK. If used speaker design modelling software, that could be even better (if he used it correctly). If he just threw it together because it looked about right on paper, I'd consider the deal - but assume that the cab may end the end have little or no value beyond that of the Eminence driver.
  6. fdeck

    fdeck Supporting Member Commercial User

    Mar 20, 2004
    Madison WI
    HPF Technology LLC
    If the guy doesn't know the model of the driver, chances are that relatively little thought went into the design. There's a fair chance that you will need to, and will benefit from, installing a port in the speaker.

    Still, play it and decide if it sounds OK.
  7. vodsonic


    Sep 28, 2012
    I went to try this cab out the other day. It had a papery buzz/rattle, which increased when you brought up the volume or the bass knob on the amp. I think the seller was too annoyed that his hard work on his DIY project didn't turn out well to admit that the cab had real problems.

    My gas wasn't wasted, however, since on the same day and a couple of 'burbs over, I managed to pick up a used SWR Workingman's 10 combo, which seems like it will serve me well for practice and mostly-acoustic jams for some time to come.

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