choice of wood for my first 1 x 12 cab build

Discussion in 'Amp Input - Normal or Bright' started by tommytele, Jan 14, 2010.

  1. tommytele

    tommytele Senior Stratmaster

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    torn between 3/4 pine vs 3/4 birch ply...floating baffle will be ply for sure...any thoughts/advise...the head will be an Epi 5 watt valve jr.
     
  2. genecec1

    genecec1 Strat-Talk Member

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    I built this one for my Epi Jr. head. I can't remember his name but there's a guy on the tele site(TDPRI) who lists a whole set of instructions for cabs. I'll try to find it and post it. Notice my grill is chair cane bought from a hobby store but newer loking matls. can be easily substituted.
    Gene

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  3. genecec1

    genecec1 Strat-Talk Member

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    I forgot to mention I made this one out of 3/4 pine. Used a minwax stain I thought would go with the Epi Jr. colors and polyuretane for the gloss finish. Here's another shot with my 1.5 watt Firefly amp I built.

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  4. thaus

    thaus Most Honored Senior Member

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    That looks great!!
     
  5. Brad L

    Brad L Strat-Talker

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    how the heck did you build your own head.
     
  6. tommytele

    tommytele Senior Stratmaster

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    love the cane Gene and the finish is superb...what is your take on fixed vs a floating baffle?
     
  7. TexBiker

    TexBiker Strat-O-Master

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    There are quite a few of us here who build our own amps. I've built at least 10 in the past year.

    That's a Firefly pictured above..one of the most common DIY amps. I've built two (built one this morning for my dad) and they are great. I was pushing an 8x12 full stack this morning and the tone was wonderful.

    There are a lot of forums dedicated to building your own amps. Everything from .25W minis to 100W twins to 500W stadium crushers.

    I use 3/4" baltic birch plywood for my speaker cabs. It's generally void-free, easy to work/paint and very stable....heavy, though.
     
  8. Brad L

    Brad L Strat-Talker

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    thanks man
     
  9. genecec1

    genecec1 Strat-Talk Member

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    Brad,
    The 18 watt community has a website dedicated to DIY amp building. Here's the link.
    18 Watt Community Center
    This is where I got the schematics and purchased the pcb board (see additional pics).I must confess though that I cheated by going the route of the pcb board. I tried for a long time to wire it point to point but it is a high gain amp and I kept on having noise problems. This design has the potential to damage easily becuase the components are mounted directly to the pcb. I don't use this amp much and never got around to building a cab for this tiny amp.

    [​IMG]

    Here's my first attempt.

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    I mostly like to build Fender Clones with cabs that I purchase on line.

    Tommy,
    As far as pine vs. BB Ply it depends on what you want it to weigh. Pine is less weight. Both yield nice results inmy experience.
     
  10. genecec1

    genecec1 Strat-Talk Member

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    BTW my experience with fixed vs. floating baffles is minamal. Maybe TexBiker or someone else who has more experience with spkr. cabs can comment. I have only built fixed.
     
  11. TexBiker

    TexBiker Strat-O-Master

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    AX84.com is also a great forum for DIY amp building.

    I built one of my Firefly amps as a point-to-point amp and the other from Calhoun's PCB. The PCB takes less than an hour to build, including the chassis if you have a drill press and sounds just as good as a PtP build, IMO.

    Regarding baffles, I only build fixed baffle cabs.
     
  12. j2b4osan

    j2b4osan Strat-Talker

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    pretty sure mesa uses birch but Im not 100% sure it would make a huge tonal difference. I just made a combo out of pre-finished cherry ply (3/4) and it sounds sweet. but cherry and birch are heavy. I would just get whichever is cheaper(or had lying around). or you could get crazy and make the sides out of birch and the top and bottom pine.
     
  13. scotzoid

    scotzoid Senior Stratmaster

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    No no no no no no! Do NOT use "whatever is cheaper" for speaker cabs! For an amp head only cab, it doesn't really matter, but cheap plywood is usually filled with voids, which tend to resonate in the most unpredictable ways when the speakers start to vibrate. Trust me, speaker cabs are expensive & heavy for a reason!
     
  14. TexBiker

    TexBiker Strat-O-Master

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    I agree with Scotzoid on this. If it's just a head cab, you could use anything...cheap ply, particle board, MDF, whatever. But speaker cabs really need a good quality hardwood or dense ply if you want to make the most out of your time and effort. If it's not going to be moved around a lot, you can even use 3/4" MDF if it's high quality, non-import. I wouldn't use it for a gigging cab since it's usually too brittle to handle much abuse.
     
  15. Carlsoti

    Carlsoti Senior Stratmaster

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    Void-free 5/8" 13 ply baltic birch is the "holy grail" of speaker cab building.
     
  16. KY_GuitarMan

    KY_GuitarMan Banned

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    Try morning wood.
     
  17. scotzoid

    scotzoid Senior Stratmaster

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    or mourning wood?
     
  18. gmcdeadhead

    gmcdeadhead Strat-Talk Member

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    here's some pictures of my 1974 fender twin reverb cabinet i just finished putting together. it is made out of 3/4 white oak for everything except the speaker wood, that's made out of 3/4 cabinet grade plywood. it's finger jointed for superior holding power at the ends , it all has to be sanded down, edges routered , and maybe some dark ebony finish applied. I'll see how the look of the white oak comes out after i sand , maybe I'll leave it natural color with gloss finish applied. one more thing , i would use a hard wood instead of a soft wood like pine.
     

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  19. j2b4osan

    j2b4osan Strat-Talker

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    I meant the cheaper between the two that he asked about. both of which are known to be dense and with few voids(birch and pine). just because you paid more for a piece of ply dont make it better trust me I order thousands of sheets of it a year.
     
  20. Irocku1008

    Irocku1008 Strat-Talk Member

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    Depending on what size you want to go with, how you are joining the cab, and if you are going to stain it or put tolex on it, has a lot to do with what you use. Some woods are more resonant than others. I absolutely agree that you must use void-free (no knots) wood. If you look at my pic, I used Mahogany for the speaker cab and amp cab with baltic birch 13 ply for the baffle and front of amp cab. Mahogany gives off a nice sound! I have a semi-open oval back on this cab, which is another consideration with completely closed backs.