recommend dimensions for a 1x12 closed cab

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by BlueSky, Dec 5, 2015.

  1. BlueSky

    BlueSky New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'm planning to get a custom-sized 1x12 closed cab and load it with a 100w speaker to use with all my 50w amps.
    What cab dimensions would you recommend? I'm thinking something along the lines of W: 600mm / H: 520mm / D: 300mm (24" / 21" / 12").
    I know size doesn't matter, but dimensions do. ;)
     
  2. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    I think you're headed in a really good direction with this.

    The only 1x12 I've ever owned that sounded more like a 2x12 (I'm a fan of the sound of a 2x12) was a Mesa semi-open back, wide body 1x12. Similar dimensions to what you're thinking about, but maybe not as deep.

    It might be worth investigating the dimensions of that cab - unfortunately, Mesa no longer offers that cab, but maybe there's something about it on their website, as they often have info about their discontinued products there. Why they discontinued it, I have no idea. I have had two of them, and they are stellar live and in the studio. The semi open back wasn't a large opening, but obviously that would be different from what you have in mind.

    One of the ones I had now lives with my son in LA, where he records with it. I'd have him measure it for you, but he's on a US tour for the next month or so, and didn't take the cab on the tour.
     
    #2 LSchefman, Dec 5, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2015
  3. BlueSky

    BlueSky New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    A 1x12 that sounds like a 2x12 sounds like the ticket. I don't want it to sound boxy but not too boomy, either (obviously). Do you think 12" is too deep? The dimensions of that Mesa cab would be great.
     
  4. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    Beats me...I know nothing about cab design other than the cabs I've owned that worked or didn't work for me.
     
  5. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,433
    Likes Received:
    14,090
    The Thiele ported designs famously used by Mess/Boogie are amazing compact designs. If this is your target, there are design plans in the wild from EV, specifically for the EV12L speaker. Google it. If you come up short, I think I have these in my archives...PM me.

    The M/B halfback 2x12 vert cab employed a ported bottom and an open/closed back, angled top design that is still amazing to me. It was supposed to be the integrated equivalent of the 1x12 Thiele + the open combo cab that so many Boogie owners stacked together with spectacular results.

    Personally, I'd just buy a used Boogie 1x12 Thiele, unloaded, and put in my fav speaker. Arguably the best out there.
     
  6. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    Crazy as it sounds, while I love Mesa cabs and think as highly of them as I do the PRS cabs, I was never a fan of the 1x12 Thiele.

    It is full range for a small cab, certainly, but I miss the resonances or whatever it is that goes on inside a larger cab that affect the tone.
     
  7. DreamTheaterRules

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    9,588
    Likes Received:
    18,497
    Regarding "is 12" to deep" NO!!! If you want the cab to sound bigger, and it doesn't have some for of port, depth is a big factor in how the bottom end will be shaped.

    Other generalities... If you choose to make any style of front ported cab, it will sound better at distance than up close. Front port cabs don't work as well at home (unless you have a 30' long room like Les) and don't mic as well due to port noise.

    Whatever you build, put 2 layers of 1" thick Polyfil on the back, and consider doing the same on the bottom and one side.

    If you do decide to build a Thiele, WGS makes a very well reviewed 12L type speaker.
     
    #7 DreamTheaterRules, Dec 6, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  8. BlueSky

    BlueSky New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2014
    Messages:
    109
    Likes Received:
    0
    #8 BlueSky, Dec 6, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2015
  9. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2014
    Messages:
    4,613
    Likes Received:
    2,431
    I'm always rendered unable to move forward when given decisions like that. I'm having the same problem with my Fralin pickup order -- he lets you pick the gauge and number of winds, for Pete's sake -- I don't know, just make me a pickup!

    No, seriously -- volume affects things like which frequencies will be emphasized -- there's probably a calculator online that you can plug numbers into. Here's a couple.
     
  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    Well, you've just very succinctly explained why I've never loved the Thieles. The miking hasn't worked for me. But I never thought about the reason why! Thanks!
     
  11. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,433
    Likes Received:
    14,090
    I didn't know that existed. Thanks for the heads-up!

    Personally, if I hadn't played through and owned dozens of different cabs of various sizes and shapes, I wouldn't have the slightest clue what I'd want for a particular application. Heck, even today, I have to pause and reflect on speaker selection and general cab design before selecting a sound for a new project. Go play an old Bandmaster 2x12 with Jensens then a Recto horiz. 2x12 for an exercise in diversity. :D I'd go to my local Mom & Pop music store and play all the old Fender and Marshall amps and cabs. Between those two brands, they've done it all. Get a feel for the cab size tonal impact. There are always exceptions, like the Bogner shallow 1x12 which defies its appearance. And a 4x10 cab can throw you through a loop if you think you can size it up without playing it at multiple volume levels. Add microphones to the equation and prepare for the dizzy spells!

    You have a tough decision. Good luck!
     
    #11 Boogie, Dec 7, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  12. LJD

    LJD New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    125

    Can you elaborate on this? I've seen something similar and wondered why most cabs don't have any insulation like that.
     
  13. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    You probably know that open or semi-open back cabs don't need it.

    A well constructed closed back cab doesn't need it for vibration control (i.e., to keep the cab from vibrating apart) so unless you're running a cheap MDF cab, it's just a matter of sonic taste. Some cab designers like the damping effect of the insulation - it absorbs certain standing waves. And some seem to prefer to allow the reflections and resonances inside the cab that create standing waves. A knowledgeable designer can use standing waves and resonances to his or her advantage either way.

    I've had both, and both can be designed to work. It all depends what the cab designer is going for.

    It's essentially a sonic choice, there isn't a right or wrong when it comes to generating sound from a guitar cab. With loudspeakers designed for accurate reproduction of recorded music - different story. But even then designers work with the resonances and limitations of producing sound in small boxes, and that's why we see so many different speaker designs - ported designs, dual ports, acoustic suspension, passive radiators that aren't connected to the audio, dual small drivers instead of one large one, active EQ, waveguides, different internal damping materials, different construction materials...the list goes on forever.

    Sometimes I think we guitar players tend to look at a speaker cab and say, "Well this one has insulation, that one doesn't, someone cheaped out, I'll take the 'better' one with the insulation." But that's a superficial analysis of the thinking.

    As an example, the David Grissom cab I use has a support that was originally designed by Doug Sewell for his other cabs removed. Grissom thought it sounded better. After living with the DG cab in my own studio for quite some time, I have to agree. It's a huge-sounding, beautifully detailed sounding cab.

    But someone comparing his standard cab to this cab could say, "Well gee, the other one has that support, it's constructed with more reinforcement, so it must be better."

    In either case, it's a choice.
     
    #13 LSchefman, Dec 7, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2015
  14. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,433
    Likes Received:
    14,090
    That's my experience, too. The ported bottom half of my Boogie cabs have a generous piece of 4" thick rock wool. Since, I've never taken it out, I don't know exactly what it prevents, but I can guess. Another of my custom-built closed-back 1x12 cabs has no insulation, but to my ears, it has a slight boxy reverberation that could be tamed with some rock wool. It's loaded with a beautiful WGS ET-65 speaker. In fact, that will be my project tomorrow.
     
  15. DreamTheaterRules

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    9,588
    Likes Received:
    18,497
    Agree, 100%. It's a choice.

    Here is why you should try it. First, it's super easy to try. Take some push pins to hold it in, and try it. Don't like it, take it out. Done! No harm, no foul.

    Just make sure you don't pull it out to fast. Many people who try it, at first, say the cab sounds less lively, maybe even less loud, and don't like it. But... try it for a good while and adjust your amp a bit... then decide. This not some crazy audiophile voodoo BS. Here is the logic. Adding insulation to a cab does several things, but first of all it adds "acoustic space." It makes your speakers "feel" a bigger volume cab than what is there because of the acoustic damping of the insulation. If you have cab volume calculator, you'll see that the bigger it is, the bigger it sounds. Low mids and bottom end sound bigger in a bigger volume cab.

    But there is another thing and I think this one is more important. There is a metric ton of backwaves hitting the back side of the cone in any closed back cab. These most definitely affect the sound that cone puts out! This is the reason that if you take 3 cabs with the exact same interior volume, the one that is the deepest will most times sound the best, or at least, will have tighter better defined lower end. The slapback wave that is hitting the cone from the back side is delay enough that the cab sounds bigger. And here is why I think this is such a big deal... with insulation on the back of the cab, that backwave is also significantly reduced.

    Say we've got a players perfect speaker choice and he has 4-5 cabs he can try it in. Open back is not going to suffer from this effect I'm talking about, which is not only a "distortion" (which guitar players often love) but it is also a "smearing" of the tone that speaker would have. But open back cabs also don't have one thing that is often beneficial to tone, and that is the "acoustic suspension" provided by a closed back cab. Your amp will see different impedances as your speaker flaps in the breeze, so to speak, than it will in a closed back cab.

    IMHO (and I'm a reforming audiophile so please apply all of the necessary "IMHO's" etc.) the way to get the best of both, is closed back, with some insulation. Tighter, less fluctuations provided to the amp, more controlled, less smeared, etc. However, that doesn't mean this is the best, because for guitars, we never really want "pristine cleans." Don't believe me? Plug your high end PRS into a high end stereo system, and prepare to be disgusted. If you like "fat, juicy cleans" you don't want 100% accuracy of the signal. You probably want open back with it's looseness adding both space and warmth. You don't want insulation necessarily, because it also tames some of the smearing of the internal waves. If you want to add the harmonics with the pre or amp, and not with more smearing or coloration than the guitar speaker cone is already designed to do... or if you link even mid but especially above mid to high gain, and still want definition with less mush and smearing, try some insulation.
     
  16. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    I wish I could remember whether my closed back, oversized 2x12 Bogner cab had fiberglass batting inside. I remember opening it for some reason, probably to change a speaker, but for the life of me I can't remember whether it was packed with that stuff or not!

    It was absolutely, hands down, the biggest sounding, and perhaps best sounding, cab I've ever owned, including several 4x12s. It sounded fantastic with every head I paired it with.

    It was also very bright. So that has me leaning in a "no insulation" direction, but I don't know for sure. It recorded like a complete champion. I sold it to a buddy to get one of the Two-Rock cabs, and though they were great cabs, too, selling that Bogner cab was really a mistake on my part.

    It came with V-30s. Probably less lovely sounding in a normal room than with other speaker choices, but those V-30s in that cab recorded like champions. Everything came through, every detail, even with a lowly SM57.

    I'd get another one at some point.
     
    #16 LSchefman, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  17. LJD

    LJD New Member

    Joined:
    May 15, 2012
    Messages:
    788
    Likes Received:
    125
    20"X 20"X 12"

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rNO4Th0hMls

    Interesting about the insulation. The only place I can think of seeing that (in my limited experience) is Trey Anastasio's homemade 2 x 12 cabs. They appear slightly deeper than most cabs I've seen, they are semi-open in the back, and they have some old pink fiberglass house insulation in them.
     
    #17 LJD, Dec 8, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2015
  18. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    7,433
    Likes Received:
    14,090
    Here's a shot of my cab during a speaker swap...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2012
    Messages:
    27,413
    Likes Received:
    32,121
    I had no idea those were front-loaded cabs, Kerry!
     
  20. DreamTheaterRules

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2013
    Messages:
    9,588
    Likes Received:
    18,497
    I'm no Bogner expert, but I have read that all the cabs have some insulation in them. I've also read MANY users say they were the best cabs they ever tried or owned. And one guy at TGP found the insulation and pulled it out. Said the cab sounded no better than some others he owned. Put it back in, and once again it was the best cab he'd ever tried.

    Also, there is a big difference in what I recommended, and the "stuff full" that you see with better home audio speakers (where they want both to add acoustic space and damp resonance). And don't EVER use real fiberglass insulation! That stuff is nasty! It works, but it's nasty.

    Many people think too much damps the cab more than they like. One method that seems to have a lot of followers, is 2" on the back, bottom and one side (so not on any parallel surfaces). The next step, is 2" on back and all for sides, so everything but the front has it. Many feel this is too much and kills to much highs. The first step though, IMHO of course, is to just try 2" in the back only. That's the single biggest difference you'll here of the three, knocks down that back wave I mentioned, should clean up your mids and bottom and make them more "accurate." My theory, if you feel your amp lost something, adding it back with EQ is better than removing the insulation and it coming back in the form of added (and "non-intended") distortion of the speaker cone caused by interior sound waves.

    As always, when talking about this stuff, I want to state that "this is my opinion. Your mileage may vary. Consult your physician for erections lasting over 4 hours, unless of course the one brunette from the viagra commercial is there, in which case you just became the luckiest man alive..."
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice