KILLER Guitar Cabinet

Killer Guitar Cabinet

Here's a 'trick' guitar cabinet idea I came up with. The drawing gives the general dimensions and such, but I leave it up to you as to how you get there (construction techniques, etc.).

We built a prototype of this cabinet, hooked it up to Scotty's Epiphone Valve Jr. head (5W RMS), using two older Eminence 12" speakers, those old guys with the square magnet structures. We just kinda threw it together out of 3/4" MDF, just to get an idea what it would sound like. We weren't disappointed! This thing has some serious bottom-end to it, and that was one of the main design goals. It's also very efficient, blowing out some very serious volume levels with a 5-Watt amp driving it.

The theory behind this cab is based on the 'tapered quarter-wave tube' idea, and has elements of the horn-loading principle working for it, as well. The 'tapered tube' is tuned to about 72 Hz, which will cover the low-end of 'drop D' tuning on guitar. This really bucks up the bottom and increases efficiency down in your lower registers.

We found that pushing only a little 5W amp into it gave huge bottom-end, and at volume levels that should cover any smaller venue for live performance. The attack response of this killer guitar cabinet is also pretty impressive. Immediate, lively, and 'right-now' response to your pick attack. So the end result is a sound that's very lively and responsive, quite a bit louder than a conventional open or closed-back cabinet, and with gut-slamming lows.

You may look at this design and think what a large cabinet this is for only two 12" drivers. It's roughly the same size as a 4 X 12 cabinet. But...it's lighter than a 4 X 12 cabinet, by virtue of only having two drivers in it, so the weight complaint would be invalid. The large size dictated by the internal design, though, is what makes this thing tick. Really, it's louder than an equivalent-sized 4 X 12 due to the efficiency-increasing design, and with more low-end response.

If you're curious and decide to build one, don't hesitate to contact us, and we'll advise you along the way if needed.

Don't forget, though... with only two drivers, you'll need to consider what you want the total cabinet impedance to be, and use drivers and a wiring scheme that gets you there. For instance, two 8-Ohm drivers wired in parallel will give you a system impedance of 4 Ohms. Two 4-Ohm drivers wired in-phase series will give you 8 Ohms total. Give us a holler if you get confused about that, and we'll help clear you up. You really don't want to end up with 2 Ohms system impedance, and plug a $1000 tube amp into that and blow it up! So you should be very careful to get that right.

If you do build one, we'd love to see the results!

Recommendations:

MATERIAL:

I would suggest you build a prototype from 3/4" particle board. Before you invest many $$$$ in some Birch or Beech plywood, you might want to get an idea whether or not you actually like the way this cab sounds (though we couldn't imagine why you wouldn't!). This will serve two purposes: 1) You will identify & iron out any construction issues on the first one, so the second one should come out perfect. 2) If you find you actually don't like it, you could sell it off to someone who just might like it, probably making a buck or two in the process.

DRIVERS:

There are so many good choices of guitar speakers out there; too many to even try to mention. Eminence is a very popular brand, and has been around for ages. You can find many of the more popular Eminence drivers at Parts Express. Something to remember: Two 8 Ohm speakers wired in parallel gives you a total 4 Ohm load in this cabinet. If you want an 8 Ohm load for the cab, you'll need to use two 16 Ohm drivers wired in parallel, or two 4 Ohm drivers wired in 'in-phase series' configuration.

Driver suggestions:

  • http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=290-486
  • http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=290-886
  • http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=290-822

    Of course, you may have a favorite driver brand/model different from those listed, and of course you can use it in this absolutely killer guitar cabinet.

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