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Phil Starr

Easy 12" cab build

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Phil, thanks for sharing this build, its inspired me to have a go...I couldn't quite hear what you said the "paint" finish was, that you roller on, with texture?

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47 minutes ago, paulnb57 said:

Phil, thanks for sharing this build, its inspired me to have a go...I couldn't quite hear what you said the "paint" finish was, that you roller on, with texture?

"Tuff cab" paint.

Edited by Bigwan

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On 06/05/2018 at 17:29, Marvin said:

What other drivers could be used in the smaller cab @Phil Starr?

And how would they effect the overall sound/tone?

I’m keen on building a cab to stick in my bands practice space and this looks ideal

The Beyma that Phil uses costs around £90 from Blue Aran now, although if you order it directly from the UK distributor it's under £70, which is great value. If you want to go lightweight, the neo Faital Pro 12PR320 is similar in performance and costs £128. If you're on a budget, the older version of the Celestion Pulse 12 , the B12-200X (which seems to have an identical specification), is currently selling for £45 at Watford Valves and Lean Business and is definitely a budget "best buy".

If you go for the Faital Pro, you should be able to convert your cab at a later stage to the two-way design currently being finalised in the 12" Cab Diary Continued thread on here. 

Edited by stevie
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43 minutes ago, stevie said:

The Beyma that Phil uses costs around £90 from Blue Aran now, although if you order it directly from the UK distributor it's under £70, which is great value. If you want to go lightweight, the neo Faital Pro 12PR320 is similar in performance and costs £128. If you're on a budget, the older version of the Celestion Pulse 12 , the B12-200X (which seems to have an identical specification), is currently selling for £45 at Watford Valves and Lean Business and is definitely a budget "best buy".

If you go for the Faital Pro, you should be able to convert your cab at a later stage to the two-way design currently being finalised in the 12" Cab Diary Continued thread on here. 

Need to retune the cab for the Faital? Any word on the review of this cab @Phil Starr?

Edited by Bigwan

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No news of the review yet, I've messaged Derreybass but still waiting for a response, he's not on here that often.

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2 hours ago, Bigwan said:

Need to retune the cab for the Faital? Any word on the review of this cab @Phil Starr?

No need to alter the tuning.

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@Phil Starr I’m going to be building a pair of these in the next few weeks and have a question or two. 

Aesthetically, as I use a full-size amp head rather than a newer mini head, I’m not fan of having the head overhanging the cabs at the sides. The obvious solution would be to have the cabs stacked “horizontally” (long-side down, as it were) rather than stood vertically as you have in the video. Am I ok doing so?  

Further to that (and again this is more an aesthetic choice) I note that you said the positioning of the driver and ports in the baffle is unimportant - would I therefore not compromise the design if decide to place the driver centrally on the baffle and have the two ports in diagonally opposite corners (assuming that layout is actually possible within the available baffle area)?

Cheers 😬

 

Edited by Johnny Wishbone

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Hi Johnny, I'm asking this just to check you are making the best decision for your needs. Would you be better off with the original mark 1 design, a 50l cab? It was specifically designed to be used with a 19" rack mount amp with no overhang and it will give you more bass than this mini speaker. The technique for building remains the same and you can build two 50l cabs out of a single 8'x4' sheet of ply. I have been gigging two of those stacked horizontally with a full sized Hartke 3500 for a couple of years before I moved on to my MB Tube 500. The Hartke was the amp I designed them to go with. You'll get some overhang with some amps even with these two minis placed on their sides not with the bigger speakers. The only reason I went for the smaller cab is that I play in some difficult spaces where too much bass is more of a problem than too little. The  fact that you use a full size and weight amp suggests that full size speakers might be your thing. Even the 50l (14kg) cabs are a single handed lift for me, so they aren't exactly huge.

The only problem with placing the speakers horizontally is that they are quite small and the top one will only be at waist height. There's no problems for the audience who will hear them properly but if you are closer to them you may miss out on some of the upper frequencies. bigger cabs get a bit higher and closer to your ears.

As to the positioning on the baffle, it is better if the speakers are off centre as that reduces some of the resonances, however with a very small cab there isn't a lot of movement you can achieve and still fit everything in. So. the worst place for the speaker is plumb dead centre but sometimes it's the only practical solution. The positioning of the ports is less critical. So long as they don't get too close to the sides anywhere will do you can mount them in the rear panel if you prefer.

This is the link to the original design thread, 

I've copied the dimensions into the first post so you can see them more easily

Edited by Phil Starr
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Thanks for getting back to me, Phil. I did follow the original thread but will certainly give it a re-read. I obviously envisaged that cab being a lot bigger than it really is, but if it really is still a one-hand lift then I’m certainly interested. Especially given you can still get two cabs from one sheet of ply.

The reason for not placing the speaker dead centre did make a lot of sense as soon as you said it, so I’ll certainly avoid doing that. Thanks for confirming.

I realise placing the two cabs “horizontally” would make the stack lower and therefore more difficult to hear. The fact that I can barely hear my backline at a lot of gigs anyway made this less of a consideration (my band has three guitars and a very loud drummer!) than how it looks on stage (I know, I know). Maybe the added bass from the larger cab would help with this as well?

I do play a variety of venues, from small pubs where we’re shoehorned in up to 2-300 capacity clubs and even some outdoor festivals, so I guess finding a cab that suits all those situations might be tricky. I definitely play more of the smaller, tightly packed gigs however, so am somewhat wary of having too much bass booming out. This is perhaps why I was more drawn to this smaller cab, although it might just be because I’ve seen you make it so it’s easier to visualise!

Certainly plenty to think about. Thanks again Phil, I appreciate your input.

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You'll find two of these enough for most venues and one is good enough for the smaller pubs. A pair of the 50l cabs work well outdoors where the decent bass output helps with the losses you get from not having any wall reinforcement. Anything above that level and you and the drums will be miked up so no problems with the larger festival type events. I've yet to gig the smaller cabs  so nothing to report as yet from direct experience. If you are based in the West Country you could always come and try them.

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Many thanks to Derreybass who tried out the cab I've pasted his review into the second post so people can read it without having to search pages of text. Here it is below too to save you checking back.

"I borrowed Phil's quick build cab one Sunday afternoon as it turned out that he was practising at the venue I was to be playing in that evening with a worship band. Normally I play through a Barefaced Big Baby 2 and a Peavey Mini Mega 1000w amp. The hall in question is very lively accoustically and can very boomy and difficult at times to hear what is being played particularly on bass. Bearing in mind what Phil had in mind when he designed the cab I was quite intrigued as to how it would behave in the room in question. The Big Baby also has masses of low down response and massive volume when required. I started playing the first few numbers through my normal set up things were useable but a bit on the boomy side then I switched to Phil's cab for the final numbers it was quite noticeable how the sound was came through and was easier to hear as the small cab handled the mid range and higher bass without the muddiness. I think the design he set out to make worked very well and met the requirements he laid down. I did miss the real low down response of the Big Baby at times but it was easier to hear what was being played through Phil's cab in the very tricky conditions the hall presented. A couple of these small cabs would be very useable and a relatively cheap high quality set for any one. Highly recommended. Having seen him make it at the Bass Bash a quick answer as well. Well done Phil."

Edited by Phil Starr
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On 22/05/2018 at 10:09, daveornorm said:

Anyone else built one of these yet? I'm really tempted to give it a go...

Not yet, but it's in the pipeline.  At Phil's recommendation I'll be doing a pair of the slightly larger 50l "Mk 1" cabs once my guitarist gets the materials sorted.

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On 22/05/2018 at 11:26, hrnn1234 said:

I bought the wood ages ago and did nothing else afterwards...

That's me all over!

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Just thought I'd do a quick update on this topic. I haven't had much of a chance to use the cab in anger until the last couple of weeks down to the usual band politics and lack of gigs followed by all the work involved in starting a new project. You've probably all been there.

Anyway I have had the chance to try it out in anger at a full rehearsal. As a little extra spice the drummer has a 7 week old baby and hasn't been out for a while so was hitting things with a little extra enthusiasm, thank heaven for earplugs!

So, I was back in the hall with the most appalling acoustics, all hard surfaces high ceilings, well you name it. To save anyone having to go back the speaker was designed to cope with this sort of space, and those pubs where you just can't get the bass sound right. The deepest bass was rolled off with a 2dB hump at around 120Hz to add a bit of thump so they didn't sound too bass light, a kind of old school underdamped response but with a modern high excursion driver using a single 12 built into a very simple 30l cabinet. To complete the picture I was using a Fender American Deluxe P Bass with a Markbass Tube everything set flat with VPF set at about 10.00 o'clock. We play pop/rock covers AC/DC, Queen through to Chelsea Dagger via Summer  of 69 sort of thing (I've no shame)

It sounded awesome, first of all really effortlessly loud with two guitars a keyboard and drummer really driving on it was really well up in the mix,  not a hint of a clipping light on the input and with plenty to play with at the master volume.  I have to say there didn't appear to be much in the way of high power compression either, it was over 30degreees outside, warmer in and we played for three hours without any noticeable tail off in performance by the speaker. This with a single 12 in a cab the size of an old fashioned milk crate. The sound? Well it was the sound of a P bass, punchy but sitting just right in the mix once the band got going. Not the sort of thing you'd set up playing alone at home where you'd probably want a bit more deep and some mid scoop but with a band just spot on. I can also report that in this really difficult room I had no problem in monitoring my own playing both with and without ear plugs.

I know you can't trust someone praising their own design but this was meant to be built as a bit of fun, a demo at the bass bash, something I wanted to try. I fully expected to be building a 45l cab which to my mind modelled a lot better but thought I'd try a cab just on the silly side of 'too small'. it was only when we plugged it in at the end of the bass bash I realised it was worth sticking with. It started life as a curiosity piece really but honestly I'd recommend building one to anyone who wants something really portable, isn't too bothered about the top end (it has no tweeter/horn) and who is happy with a straightforward old school sound straight out of the box. It will cost you around £120 to build and once the parts are cut, well it took me around an hour to do the  basic build in the video, maybe 2.5 hours in total including the pre prep and finishing.

Edited by Phil Starr
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Not so far, apart from the corner bracing inherent in the design. The panels are fairly small and that helps and a simple touch test shows them to be no worse than a lot of cabs. My intention is to go through the sort of systematic process with a signal generator that Stevie used on the Mk2 speakers but band shenanigans means that I'm spending more time herding cats than usual. (and also playing bass and learning new songs, so not all bad)

I'm also planning a new cab building technique with more elaborate bracing which would be relatively simple for home builders and I might use this cab as a test bed for that technique. It's always down to time really. 

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@Phil Starr Just  a quick question if I may.  When we were briefly discussing moving the port holes in the baffle (earlier in the thread) you said that it's better if the speakers are placed off-centre in the baffle to reduce cab resonance, yet on the plans for the larger 50l cab the speaker cutout is dead centre.  Is this just simply due to the limitations of space in the baffle for the speaker and four ports?

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I've been looking for a cab-buildng project for ages and I saw this one frist time around, it's great to hear your review Phil.

 

Some quick questions, if anyone has time:

Would making one 2x12" that's double the volume be acceptable? Essentially two boxes permanently vertically stacked but with no divider between them. I'd obviously remove 2x the plywood thickness from the height to account for the top of one cab and the bottom of another.

 

If I did this, would I just double the number or ports?

 

Is the Celestion Pulse 12 still a good alternative speaker? I'm doing this partially because I'd love a tall, thin cab on wheels to use with a micro head but mainly because I just fancy a project, so if I can save some money that would be ideal.

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2 hours ago, Johnny Wishbone said:

@Phil Starr Just  a quick question if I may.  When we were briefly discussing moving the port holes in the baffle (earlier in the thread) you said that it's better if the speakers are placed off-centre in the baffle to reduce cab resonance, yet on the plans for the larger 50l cab the speaker cutout is dead centre.  Is this just simply due to the limitations of space in the baffle for the speaker and four ports?

That's right, we put in four ports because we had some concerns over port noises shifting that much air through only a couple of small ports. The mk2 cab has a single large port. We stuck to the small ports in this cab because you can cut the holes more easily by using a standard hole saw. I tried a slot port too but decided it was tricky to build because it needed clamping whilst the glue dried

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11 minutes ago, Jack said:

I've been looking for a cab-buildng project for ages and I saw this one frist time around, it's great to hear your review Phil.

 

Some quick questions, if anyone has time:

Would making one 2x12" that's double the volume be acceptable? Essentially two boxes permanently vertically stacked but with no divider between them. I'd obviously remove 2x the plywood thickness from the height to account for the top of one cab and the bottom of another.

 

If I did this, would I just double the number or ports?

 

Is the Celestion Pulse 12 still a good alternative speaker? I'm doing this partially because I'd love a tall, thin cab on wheels to use with a micro head but mainly because I just fancy a project, so if I can save some money that would be ideal.

Double the volume would be good but you'd need to recalculate the ports, they tune that particular volume of air irrespective of the number or size of the speaker. If you decide to go ahead I can calculate that for you or you can do it yourself with winISD a great piece of free software.

I haven't looked at that Celestion, it doesn't have the excursion of the Beyma but that would matter a lot less in a 2x12. I know Stevie likes the look of that driver and I'd trust his judgement. I quite like the look of the Eminence Beta in the 50l cab but for me it works less well in the 30l cab. 

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I have a pair of Beta 12s ready to go into my 50 l cabs - just need to cut new baffles as I want to try a single port using a manrose pipe.  I haven’t compared the models in Win ISD but I’d guess it would be similar at the low end to the Beyma in the small cab - that peak around 110 to 120 dB, and less bass extension?  I know it’s got quite a peak in the mids, but there seems to be lots of love for that driver in what I’ve read about some home brew cabs, and of course the TKS s112. 

If that’s a success then I’ll have a couple of Beymas going spare - was thinking of building the mk 2 cab, but a couple of really small cabs is quite appealing.  A 2x12 had also crossed my mind, but I think it would weigh in at 20 to 25Kg, and I’m not sure I want to be lugging that around. 

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15 hours ago, Gottastopbuyinggear said:

I have a pair of Beta 12s ready to go into my 50 l cabs - just need to cut new baffles as I want to try a single port using a manrose pipe.  I haven’t compared the models in Win ISD but I’d guess it would be similar at the low end to the Beyma in the small cab - that peak around 110 to 120 dB, and less bass extension?  I know it’s got quite a peak in the mids, but there seems to be lots of love for that driver in what I’ve read about some home brew cabs, and of course the TKS s112. 

If that’s a success then I’ll have a couple of Beymas going spare - was thinking of building the mk 2 cab, but a couple of really small cabs is quite appealing.  A 2x12 had also crossed my mind, but I think it would weigh in at 20 to 25Kg, and I’m not sure I want to be lugging that around. 

I really like the look of those beta's in the 50l cab and I love the mid peak in their response, it's a nice wide prominence showing a nice controlled cone break up rather than the much sharper peak that the Eminence Delta shows. It's not going to be a neutral sounding cab but it's pretty much the response I dial in on the graphic when I want the bass to cut through live. 

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Update: the wood for my pair of cabs has finally been sourced, cut to size and is being delivered tomorrow!

@Phil Starr I recall you saying that the 50l cabs are still a one hand lift - is a decent quality strap handle all that’s required?

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