Best wood for a custom amp cabinet?

Discussion in 'Ampage Area' started by dan P, Dec 19, 2008.

  1. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    After seeing a few custom cabinets you gentlemen have..it dawned on me that I wouldnt mind one too..have a great woodworker at work and thought I would pull the guts and put them in a new one..! No tolex, just very nice grained wood...
     
  2. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    95
    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal
    It depends on if you want cabinet to add it's own tonal flavor to the sound or not.

    Varying species of wood resonate at different frequencies and thus contribute differently tonally speaking, and to the degree of sonic coloration they induce.

    If you want to hear just the speaker and amp combo working together, with very little tonal flavor added by the wood selection use MDF, as it's very dense and thus imparts very little coloration. I think the old Bassmans used pine, maybe they were trying to brighten the sound, or it was just cheap back then.
     
  3. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Thanks ...Muddy T-Bone, have to admitt I have never heard of the type of wood your describing, I really like the way the old amp sounds now, so I suppose I ought to figure out what it is made of, as it figures the co that made it havent a clue on any specs of this amp...no info what so ever, period !
     
  4. mugsy

    mugsy Synchromatic

    760
    Nov 3, 2008
    Indiana
    MDF is medium density fiberboard. I make router templates and shelving out of it. Very useful stuff. You're local Home Depot or Lowes should have plenty.
     
  5. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Thank you Mugsy, will it look good finished...? Stain? Its going to take some time, I dont care, just want to have it look and sound good ! And if you dont mind me asking , what would be the best way to go about this...I figured the best way is to pull it all apart and give him the empty cab to copy...
     
  6. mugsy

    mugsy Synchromatic

    760
    Nov 3, 2008
    Indiana
    Here some info on MDF:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medium-density_fiberboard

    Since it's a manufactured wood product, you would have to prime it and paint it a solid color. If you want something with grain to stain, you might try mahogany. Here' an example from Vox.

    [​IMG]

    If you want to take a look at specialty woods firsthand, try your local WoodCraft (http://www.woodcraft.com). They have a pretty good selection.

    Other than that, your guy should be able to copy the cabinet you have without any trouble.
     
  7. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Thank you ! I will have himtake a look at this, Im going for the vox look anyway, this would be the ticket !
     
  8. JohnnyCrash

    JohnnyCrash Gretschie

    336
    Nov 22, 2008
    Fullerton, CA
    The denser the wood, the less it flexes with vibration.

    Leo Fender used solid pine because - it was cheap and easy to work with. No other reason, no tone mojo or anything else.

    If a cab is open backed and not to experience a lot of power, it won't matter much what it is made of.

    If the cab will be in a higher watt amp played loudly, then size, dimensions (internal area/volume especially), and materials become more important. Careful porting can also increase bass response.

    Dense, rigid material will not move as much as thinner softer material (AKA pine). The box can become a "speaker" in a way and flex with the vibrations. The cone itself is also affected by the moving air in the cab. Open backed allows for rear sound waves from the speaker to exit an open back (further decreasing how our ear hears bass as it bounces off of the back/side walls and "loosens" it).

    Use thick ply for the speaker baffle regardless, birch ply works great. For tighter bass use rigid/dense wood and put a closed back on it (birch ply is again good). For combos (open backed obviously), use what looks pretty and is durable :)
     
  9. roadjunkie

    roadjunkie Country Gent

    Jul 4, 2008
    Middletown,PA
    Dan you could get a hold of guitarfarm over on the GDP. He's been doing his own cabs for sometime now and it's beautiful work! What amp would you be building this for?

    I posted this before many times but this is my mahogany JD Design 1x15 cab

    JDesign1X15Cab001.jpg

    JDesign1X15Cab005.jpg
     
  10. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Thank you Guy's ! the amp is a seymour duncan 84-50 quadratone 50 watt tube amp...Johnny, I believe I wrote you about her..no info out there about her what-so-ever...I like the way she sounds and the speakers in her are way cool...the tolex and cab is fairly beat up, as shes 20 years old, but she operates well, has 3 12ax7's and 4-el84s is quiet and has three overdrive options...one clean, two on the crunch channel with master volumes for each..just wish I had the 4 channel programable footswitch..although she will take a standard..Dan
     

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  11. Muddy T-Bone

    Muddy T-Bone Electromatic

    95
    Oct 15, 2008
    Nor Cal
    Oh heck, I think there's nothing prettier than a beat-up, battle worn amplfier. Beer bottle rings, cigarette burns, torn tolex, a few snags of the speaker grill, not only adds character, but improve the tonal quality... I swear.
     
    Stevie Z likes this.
  12. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Exactly the same thing a friend said, still though ...would be nice to get a nice cabinet for her, not planning on playin out with her and would like a nice looking piece of furniture, considering everything else here is junk !
     
  13. roadjunkie

    roadjunkie Country Gent

    Jul 4, 2008
    Middletown,PA
    Mahogany would suit that just fine!
     
  14. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Thank you ! Mahogany it will be.. Although now.. it does go well with the current decor...!
     
  15. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    Isn't that mahogany beautiful?

    Dan, if you want the nice grain, that pressed board isn't the ticket. There are venere plywoods that are cheaper than mahogany planks but, if you've someone who'll build it for you...geez, I'd even chip in for some good wood! I'd imagine any nice grained wood you can find will sound nice. Has your wood working buddy got a line on any or any suggestions?

    Couple guys here have VOX AC30's in mohagany, and they like the difference in tone that particular cab gave it over the standard cabs. GreatGretsch and Noel?

    Now I'm thinking I'd like to buy an old amp just so I can get someone to build a beautiful cab for it.
     
  16. dafreeze

    dafreeze Friend of Fred

    doah! you decided while I weas typin'. That's what I'd do!
     
  17. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    yes sir ! was thinking about mahogany anyway, not too darn hard to work with and he will dovetail the joints for me, I was looking for an excuse to tear it apart, hate to screw with something that works, but I really wanted to go through the amp, maybe reverse engineer her as I need a schmatic for the innards...! This would be the ticket to do it..all !
     
  18. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    I really wanted a vox, but in all honesty I cant spend that kind of dough, and would much rather spend a few hundred on a box and the rest on....GUITARS !
     
  19. bobkat

    bobkat Country Gent

    Age:
    60
    Jun 2, 2008
    Valparaiso Indiana
    Sorry for the crappy picture. I made this cab out of oak plywood. I think it looks great. I dadoed the joints glued and fastened with brads. The grill cloth is from a wood workers web sight, it is rattan. It matches the solid oak of my Legend amp.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. dan P

    dan P Country Gent

    Age:
    67
    Jul 21, 2008
    Kansas City
    Nice looking cab, Bobkat, going to take my time with this, in no hurry..and just turn the whole thing into a project...again, I hate tearing stuff apart that already works, but I dont think this will be too hard...seems like a few on the forum do this daily..:)
     
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