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Basschat easy-build lockdown cab project


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This project was touched upon in another thread. We're designing a bass guitar speaker cab that literally anyone can build. Cabinet assembly is based on Phil's easy-build 12" cab, which some of you have already built. This time, we're going to show you how to build a compact bass cab that you can use at home or for smaller gigs.  It uses a 10" driver plus a compression driver and horn. It will be designed to be as easy as possible to build. It will also be surprisingly inexpensive, considering that we're using good quality components.

Those of you who built the BC112 Mk3 will know that Celestion were very supportive of the project. They are helping out again by providing engineering samples of the drivers. So, thanks once again to Aiden McFall, Celestion's European sales manager.

And they've arrived.

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Edited by stevie
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So what's the point, I hear you ask?

Well, apart from keeping you busy in whatever spare time you may have, this project will give you the satisfaction of having made something useful with your own fair hands during this awful pandemic - because nothing beats plugging your instrument into a piece of equipment that you've built yourself. Well, not much anyway.

The cab we're putting together will be small enough to use for practice at home. It will fit easily under the piano or in a spare corner of a room. And if you'd like it to be really spouse-friendly, paint it white or the same colour as the walls. It's an ideal cab for rehearsals or in your home studio - just paint it matt black and leave it where you plan to use it. No need to keep dragging your usual rig in there. If you'd like to use it on small gigs, paint it with Tuff Cab and fit some corners and feet and a handle. For bigger gigs, build a second one without the tweeter. The cosmetics and external appearance are completely in the hands of the builder. There are lots of options.

Phil is building the cab we'll be working on in half-inch plywood, and that's obviously ideal, but I suggest using whatever you have to hand. If you have a sheet of chipboard or MDF in your garage, use that.

You'll only need a few tools, which I'd expect most people have at home already. A jigsaw, some woodscrews, wood glue, screwdrivers, a soldering iron. If you haven't got a soldering iron, Lidl were selling one recently for under a tenner and may have some left. You can get one from Toolstation, Halfords, etc. for under ten pounds, too. Everyone should have a soldering iron.



Edited by stevie
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On 05/02/2021 at 23:48, JohnDaBass said:

Looking forward to following this new adventure. 

It's something of an adventure for us, too, John. When you start a project like this, you can never be 100% sure  it will work out. Selecting and modelling components based on spec sheets  is one thing, but it can prove trickier in practice. For example, sometimes the technical info supplied by the manufacturers is somewhat optimistic - or plain wrong. I recently received a high-end driver from a prestige manufacturer that had a 6dB  half-octave  dip in the frequency response that wasn't shown in the datasheet.

My experience with Celestion has been that their spec sheets and info are accurate. But we'll see.

Another unknown is matching compression drivers and horns. Some combinations simply don't work well together - sometimes even components from the same manufacturer. I chose the driver/horn combination based primarily on cost/value for money- so fingers crossed that it works out.

The crossover is probably the biggest unknown. Some driver combinations can be made to work together with very simple crossover circuits, while others need more complex crossovers. As I'm aiming for a very simple crossover here, there's no room for extensive driver tailoring - so we need to start with drivers that are well behaved, which I hope these ones are.

However, all will be revealed in due course.

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On 06/02/2021 at 00:34, Downunderwonder said:

''Engineering Sample'' = mates rates on the 'prototype' materials? Bloody good show.

The amount of work needed to get the design from conception to finish, is considerable and getting test samples just makes things a little easier. Although this is a simple design, weeks of thought have already gone into refining the design and cabinet build to make it easy for us to build. Phil "the wood" Starr is already thinking about how to rationalise his easy cab build  even more. Once that is done, there will doubtless be several iterations of measuring and refining the crossover before @Stevie "the coil" is happy.


Edited by Chienmortbb
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I believe Phil is making good progress with the cabinet, which will be our starting point, and I'm expecting to see the cab assembly details on here before too long. The 10" driver we'll be using is the Celestion Pulse 10. I gave it an hour of 30Hz sine wave in open air to soften the suspension, but my first efforts at measuring the Thiele Small parameters were thwarted by the cold weather. I've had the driver warming up in the house for a day and will try again later.

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Edited by stevie
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2 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

I'd love to have a stab at this, but I suspect that some basic knowledge of electrickery will be involved, possibly even a soldering iron at some stage. 

A man's gotta know his limitations.


Soldering is only tricky if you don't know what you are doing and solder away making a mess until you kill it by fire or sucessfully join part A to part B.

YouTube can teach you and then you wonder why you ever thought it was tricky.

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39 minutes ago, Happy Jack said:

You've not seen me dealing with electrons, have you? Best keep it that way ...


At school I was pretty hopeless in the workshop classes, ''all thumbs''. Later I did evening engineering shop classes as part of my degree and barely passed those too. It was only when thrust into working in an actual engineering workshop that I got a handle on paying attention to the little details that result in not making a hash of the job. Learning enought to solder a few wires is a thousand times easier than welding galvanised pipe with stick electrodes. Give it a go!

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9 hours ago, Downunderwonder said:

 solder away making a mess until you kill it by fire or sucessfully join part A to part B.

You've seen me solder then?  :D  I have shaky hands that are getting worse (something called Essential Tremor, another story) and have decided to stop before I do some harm or burn the house down. 😂

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