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Properties Of Guitar Cabinets


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I'm building a 2x12 guitar cabinet right now and making it oversized in hopes that it will increase bass response. Am I going about this the wrong way? The frame right now is 28"x18"x17". I plan on doing a closed back and straight baffle, possibly filling with insulation. Wood is 1/2" pine all the way through and baffle is probably going to be 1" pine. Is there any chance that this is going to have resonant bass response without being too farty? What are some factors that affect frequency response in terms of cabinet design vs. wood selection?

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your demention sound good to me be sure to port the cabinet.

I coppied a soldano 2 X 12 cabinet 28 long and 14 wide and 18 tall

all out side dimentions

I have two 3'' ports between the speakers.

this is a closed back cabinet with plenty of bass for a 2 x 12 cabinet.

this has a stright baffle that is set in about 1/2 from the out side edge of the cabinet.

when I was done and things where dry I took a spay can of insulation and sprayed the joints on the inside to make sure the cabinet was sealed good.

you can find the spray insulation at you home depot or a store like that.

I will say for your cabinet I would use 3/4 good dence ply wood for evevything.

pine is good for the bracing and the baffle if you want but the ply wood works fine.

pine wound not be my first choice . my thought is that pine is to soft to use.

my cab is made out of cherry wood I had laying around so I diden't need to buy wood.

if you have built things like this you would have all the clamps you need.

clamp the cabinet real good you want to see nice clean joints.

do you know what kind of joints you want to use.

what kind of speaker do you have for this.

one thing I thought about doing with the next 2x12 I build is to make the back in 2 pieces so the top half of the back can be removed. [more for the fender sound when needed]

I think I have the plane if you would like them pm me and I will get them to you.

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I would not use MDF for GUITAR speaker cabinets. while it is a decent material for regular speaker cabinets, as it's a good sound absorber, guitar cabinets are different from hifi speaker enclosures. Domestic speaker cabinets need to absorb and deaden the sound that is projected from the back of the speaker cone. that way the enclosure itself can not generate any unwanted noises and colour the 'ideal' sound that is projected from the front of the speaker cone. The ideal hifi enclosure is the one you can't hear.

Guitar speaker cabinets however, are required to colour the sound.They derive their unique sound from being prone to resonant frequencies (big no-no for hifi cabinets), which basically means they vibrate along at certain frequencies; usually percieved as "boominess" or "wooomph".

They are essentially very poorly designed enclosures (in terms of fidelity), but it's what our ears have historically grown to appreciate as "the guitar sound".

MDF is usually only used for the front baffle in cheaper cabinets, higher-end stuff uses 3/4 birch (void-free) plywood all round. MDF is sawdust glued and pressed together and will deaden your sound severely, taking away from the "liveliness" which is essential in a good guitar cab. Same reason we don't use MDF for guitars.

Another reason you don't want to use MDF, is because it has no structural strength at all. It's very easy to tear the corners and will not withstand heavy use.

I have plans for a marshall 1960a slant cab. If you're interested, PM me and i'll put it up.


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Thanks for the input, guys. I've got the cab nearly complete. Constructing the baffle tomorrow. I did plan on doing the two halves for the back, very convenient and I enjoy being able to convert easily for different situations. Right now I'm going to put in some Celestion Rocket 50s because they're already in a cab I don't use, but probably will put in some Patriots or Hellatones once some money comes in. The strength of the cab seems very good so far. I stood in the middle of it without it even flexing, and so did my dad (210 pounds, big guy). Won't do pics this time because there are some aspects on it I'm not too proud of, but next time (which will definitely be soon, this is addictive) I'll do a full-blown tutorial. Already have a 1960A cab, but next project will probably be a 1960B replica. So far, not including speakers and the baffle/bracing material, this project has cost me a grand total of $18. Hopefully it will sound good! I'll take a pic once the baffle is on tomorrow. Any decent tolex suppliers online?

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Here's a pic of the cab halfway done.


As you can see it's all butt joints and screws. Not the prettiest thing but it's solid. I'm still very new to carpentry, so I'm practicing dovetail/mitre/rabbet joints for the next build. Cut the baffle freehand with the sabre saw, but I don't think I did that horrible of a job surprisingly. Still need to construct the closed-back and top bracing and get the rest of the hardware/tolex/grille cloth (so probably more hours of work than I've put into it so far still to come?). I'm thinking of using weather stripping to seal the areas prone to air escaping. Would this work?

Edited by xtjdx
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So, I wired this beast up last night and tried it with my Music Man head. Dear god, the bass response is incredible. The highs are silky and smooth, and the mids have that woody tone. I haven't even put the back on yet! To my surprise, these are actually 100W speakers (I thought they were only 50) and this thing sounds louder than my 300W Marshall cab. I'm definitely going to have to port this once the back gets on because I'm afraid it would make something explode. I highlyyyyyyyy recommend building your own cab. It's cheap, easy, and you can get the exact character you want by following pretty simple guidelines.

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A ton of fender cabs are pine. Also of note, thinner baffle boards are gonna move more (in a good way if thats the sound yer' going for). A 1" baffle might be a little much. I built a 2X12 with 3/4" pine and a 3/8" baffle board w/ a 3/8" buildup around he edges to keep the grill cloth from sitting right up against the baffle. You would be suprised how many high end amp companies use pine.

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