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Stevie’s 12” FRFR Cab Build Thread (Basschat Cab v3)

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Loving this thread. 

I ended up in bed sick at the weekend so didn’t manage to do the decorating-that-should-be-done-before-the-cab ... and felt better this eve... so out I went to my man cave to slightly widen the rabbets with sandpaper - mine were so tight I was having to hit it fairly hard with a mallet to dry fit. Much better now apart from the baffle but I’ll fix that closer the time. 

I was also intrigued by Stevie recommending using sandpaper rather than a router for the roundover - if you turn it down slow enough and are sensible it cuts with a router. :) 

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The reason I recommended sandpaper is because most people don't have a router, and sandpaper works surprisingly well.

But you're quite right, Luke, a roundover bit and a router is the way to go if you know what you're doing.

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3 coats of Tuff Cab on the bottom and feet fitted. 50mm in from the edges seems about right giving clearance for the metal corners. I used the same screws as for the handle (5.0 X 30 black CSK wood screws) with a 3mm pilot hole. The screws do protrude inside slightly but are covered by the 2 layers of felt.  I can now stand the cab right way up to paint the rest without damaging the bottom.

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There is a trick that allows you to paint the whole cab in one go. I did mention it in the parallel thread, I think. You drill the holes for the feet and just screw the screws in (without the feet) leaving them protruding, say, 15 - 20mm. Paint the bottom panel first. Then turn the cabinet over, stand it on the screws and continue to paint the rest of the cab.

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34 minutes ago, stevie said:

There is a trick that allows you to paint the whole cab in one go. I did mention it in the parallel thread, I think. You drill the holes for the feet and just screw the screws in (without the feet) leaving them protruding, say, 15 - 20mm. Paint the bottom panel first. Then turn the cabinet over, stand it on the screws and continue to paint the rest of the cab.

I missed that one! Thanks @stevie . Fitting the feet also works but it's advisable to let the paint go really dry first. I also put a bit of silicone grease on the  feet just in case the paint decided to stick!

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Posted (edited)

First coat of Tuff Cab on remaining 4 sides. The high quality of the cab kit is really paying dividends as the panel joins are not visible at all!

I put the paint on with an ordinary paint brush to give an even coat then use the roller to give an even textured finish. I will do 3 coats in all.

 

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Edited by basstone
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12 hours ago, LukeFRC said:

Loving this thread. 

I ended up in bed sick at the weekend so didn’t manage to do the decorating-that-should-be-done-before-the-cab ... and felt better this eve... so out I went to my man cave to slightly widen the rabbets with sandpaper - mine were so tight I was having to hit it fairly hard with a mallet to dry fit. Much better now apart from the baffle but I’ll fix that closer the time. 

I was also intrigued by Stevie recommending using sandpaper rather than a router for the roundover - if you turn it down slow enough and are sensible it cuts with a router. :) 

I used a random orbital sander for rounding the edges. Firstly I sanded (with 80 grit) a ~ 6mm flat at 45 degrees along the whole edge then repeat twice to half the angle and approximate a smooth curve. The ply laminates are a good guide to kelp keep it even. Finally finish by hand using 80 grit followed by sanding the whole cab prior to painting.

I do have a router but I feel more in control with a sander. It does take a bit longer but less chance of a major disaster. I guess if you're experienced and confident and have high quality routing tools a very high quality result can be achieved that way. Looking forward to seeing what others are doing. 🙂

 

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Just used mine again last night at another jazz rehearsal. Punchy and clear tone; I love this cab. 

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I'm very curious to hear whether the others agree with you, Pete.

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7 hours ago, stevie said:

The reason I recommended sandpaper is because most people don't have a router, and sandpaper works surprisingly well.

But you're quite right, Luke, a roundover bit and a router is the way to go if you know what you're doing.

Use a router with a table and roundover bit for sure if you've got one.  Or one of those mini router trimmers.

First cab now all assembled and dry.  Its very solid indeed.  But I don't think stain and lacquer (plan 1) will work very well, so I've ordered some moss green Tuff Cab.

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3 coats of Tuff Cab  done.  Single sided foam gasket applied to grille batten and trial fitting done. No drivers fitted just yet.

 

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Connector panel fitted, just with a single speakon for initial testing. Crossover fitted behind port to leave room behind the horn for addition of power amp later.  All drivers fitted. Getting close!

 

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I'm not going to have enough space on the back panel to fit the  serial number label there. I was wondering about putting it behind the grille at the bottom left corner. It can still be easily read and is well protected there. Any thoughts?

 

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It doesn't look right there. I'd pick the back of the cab somewhere - sand off a bit of tuffcab if you have to. 

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Cab 003 is now finished the first stage of the build (passive). Weighed  at 13.2Kg using digital bathroom scales. I hope to do some comparison testing with my Gallien Krueger MB500 and 210MBE cab tomorrow 🙂

 

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10 minutes ago, funkle said:

It doesn't look right there. I'd pick the back of the cab somewhere - sand off a bit of tuffcab if you have to. 

Thanks @funklefor the feedback. I was concerned about it being vulnerable to abrasion if just mounted on the back. I'll leave it off for now.

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Posted (edited)

I'd like to point out a couple of minor niggles with the kit.

First, the CNC machine forgot to rebate the back panel to take the input panel. The idea of the rebate is that it allows you to push the input panel into the rebate and simply glue it in. Fortunately, it's not a dealbreaker and here's what I suggest you do.

Place the input panel over the cutout and mark each edge with a pencil. Then mark the other two edges.

That will leave you with a pencilled square showing the outline of the input panel. Apply glue and stick it down. I've enclosed a couple of small pieces of poplar plywood with each kit that you can glue to the top and bottom of the input panel to bring the total glue area back to what it would be with the rebate.

Apologies for the loss of focus in the photos, but my flash just whited everything out.

The second niggle is the hole spacing for the top handle. I think this is because the handle manufacturer chose a weird hole spacing and we assumed the spacing was regular. It'll be fixed next time. In the meantime, you'll need to insert some of the screws at a slight angle to move the holes over a bit. The hole size is 3mm and the recommended screws are 5mm - so it can be done. Just screw in a few turns - then bring the screw to a vertical position and carry on screwing in.

 

 

 

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Edited by stevie
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3 hours ago, basstone said:

I'm not going to have enough space on the back panel to fit the  serial number label there. I was wondering about putting it behind the grille at the bottom left corner. It can still be easily read and is well protected there. Any thoughts?

 

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Ild just leave it off if I were you or stick it inside. When we were designing them the front badge was a must, the handle badge a “ooo that would be good” and the back badge an added bonus I convinced Stevie we should do (it took a while to convince him to let me put his name on it) 

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Just completed some initial comparison testing using my GK MB500 300w amp with the GK 210MBE cab (2 x 10" neo drivers plus switchable treble horn) for comparison. That is my main rig used with a 10 piece party band which I know is loud enough to sit well in the live on stage mix. I used a passive  Fender fretless jazz bass with nylon covered stings, active musicman with flats and active warwick 5 string with round wounds to try a wide range of bass sounds that I regularly use.

The BC cab is slightly smaller and lighter that the 210. Both cabs have similar volume but what was noticeable was the better clarity and control of the BC cab and smoother mid range and top, especially at low and medium volumes.The top end also seemed more extended. The bass was also less boomy. A 5 string  bottom B was no problem at all. At really high volumes the differences seemed less noticeable and ultimately the 210 could handle a bit more power, perhaps not surprising as it is rated at 400W.

The BC cab is well matched in terms of power with the GK amp, rated at 300W into 8ohms. and is certainly loud enough for virtually everything I do.  Very pleased indeed as I've been happy with the performance of the GK cab and the BC cab sounds better to me. Now looking forward to using it with a band 🙂 .

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Nice review. 

I totally agree the extended top end. The treble really comes out on this cab. I like how it is presented though, not harsh. But I definitely shelve back the treble on the amp a bit or use the tone knob on the bass. 

I obviously approve the use of a GK amp with the BC cab. Lol. Yours is probably a better power match than mine. 

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I will probably get a custom cover made by Roqsolid. I have used them many times before and their covers are really well made and they know just how big to make them to be a good fit. I expect it will cost in the region of £50 as a one off including postage. Is anyone else interested in getting a cover as it may be possible to negotiate a discount for greater quantities? Here is the cover I had made for my GK cab to show what they're like. You can choose your binding colour BTW.

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9 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

Does anyone plan on building 2?

I’m tempted to build one (probably myself, not a kit) and maybe just run the driver low passed without a horn ... I only say that because I think it was a suggestion of Stevies - while I say that I have almost zero need for another one 

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11 minutes ago, Chienmortbb said:

Does anyone plan on building 2?

Possibly, but the next stage for me is to design and build a balanced input stage and icepower module driver to build into the cab. If that goes well I could well build another to use for keyboards and monitoring. So it will be several weeks at best before I decide.

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