#1
Well I finally got tired of the crappy speakers in my Crate 4x12 Cabinet and got some new speakers. It was the $199 model with the SLM 16ohm speakers, and they just don't have much bottom end to them, and I was starting to get some noticable buzzing like maybe one of the speakers was blown.

Here's what I had to start with...


The cabinet itself (minus the speakers) isn't bad, made with decent quality plywood, but not Baltic Birch or other high-grade plywood, and is quite solid. Here's a closeup view of the plywood used for the cabinet, all 4 sides and front baffle are made of this plywood, with the back pannel made of Particle board.


My original plan was to go hybrid... 2x Celestion Vintage 30's & 2x Celestion G12 Century Vintage, & I already have the two Vintage 30's. However, I took out a low interest loan to pay off all of my credit cards & buy some much needed things, and I decided I would go ahead & shell out for some Electro Voice Zakk Wylde Signature Series EVM 12L Black Label speakers. I saved almost $200 by going with the 16ohm instead of the 8ohm, and the savings was the primary reason behind getting the 16ohm variety.

After a bit of a mix-up by the store I bought them from, they eventually arrived, but instead of getting 4 speakers at once, I got two speakers last Friday, and two more this past Tuesday. Annoying, but no big deal.

Eventually I'm going to build a new cabinet, this one is really too small for the Black Label speaker, but that'll be a year or so down the road.

Anyway, I decided to check out the first pair since I had them but not all 4:


Nice boxes, but it's what's inside that matters! So I open up one of the boxes to find a cloth flag of sorts:



Which immediately sets off an idea in my head... since I'm gutting the Crate cabinet, it'll no longer be a Crate cabinet... Anyway, I remove the flag to reveal:



Holy cow... that's a huge magnet... no wonder the shipping weight is 21 pounds a piece. Of course a picture just doesn't quite convey the size without a frame of reference, so...


I also noticed the two round Red & Black knobs.. I've seen them in photos but wasn't sure how they worked, I thought they might be screw-on connectors


But a closer look reveals that they are spring loaded connectors, which means they won't vibrate loose!
Last edited by chaosdsm at Jul 19, 2010,
#3
Here are some comparison shots between the SLM speakers & The EV's:




I love how the frame is cast, not just punched out of a piece of sheet metal.

So anyway, I now have this gutted cabinet


and I decided that before I put the speakers in, I'm going to make it a bit more custom... So I pull the baffle out of the cabinet


I lay the flag face down on the carpet, remove the Crate logo plate from the front baffle, leaving the steel mesh grid in place, center the baffle on top of the flag, & fold the flag over the back of the baffle & staple it into place, making sure I do it very tightly so there aren't any wrinkles when it's all put together.
put the baffle back into the cabinet & screw it in place.



Damn... I should have washed the flag first, that ring bugs me, it's where the cardboard spacer that kept the speaker from bouncing around inside the box pressed the flag against the lid of the box. Oh well.. I have 3 more flags & if I do the same thing with the custom build cabinet, I'll be sure to wash one of them first.

Now that that's done, only thing left to do is put the speakers in the cabinet, wire them up, and put the back on it.


My wire of choice for this project is a little... extreme!!!


Solid 18 gauge .999 pure silver. There are advantages & disadvantages to using silver over copper... on the plus side, silver has lower resistance, is a better conductor of electricity, and is stronger than copper. On the negative side, it's 80x the price of copper (as far as bullion values are concerned), it's harder to solder, and it tarnishes easier. However, when compared to say Monster Cable 16 gauge premium home theater speaker wire, it's only about 1.4x the price for the 18GA silver.

Oh & the cabinet is wired in series-parallel.

Unfortunately, I don't have a decent & accurate way of doing any before/after sound clips, but OMG the cabinet sounds so much better.

EDIT: Oh.. there is one big drawback... now I can't carry the cabinet with one hand & getting it in & out of the car is a real chore... I feel sorry for Zakk's road crew
Last edited by chaosdsm at Jul 17, 2010,
#4
Quote by Ippon
Nice! I wonder how the bottom end and mid compare to the Celestion G12K100?



Bottom end is absolutely crushing... at least compared to the SLM speakers & even the Vintage 30's. I used to crank the bass knob on the amp up to about 8 at a volume level of 4 & about 5 with the 2x12 Vintage 30 cabinet, but now I can keep it down to 3 at the same volume level & it sounds so much better. Can't wait till I can get a decent amp... which is next on the list
#6
Quote by chaosdsm
Bottom end is absolutely crushing... at least compared to the SLM speakers & even the Vintage 30's. I used to crank the bass knob on the amp up to about 8 at a volume level of 4 & about 5 with the 2x12 Vintage 30 cabinet, but now I can keep it down to 3 at the same volume level & it sounds so much better. Can't wait till I can get a decent amp... which is next on the list
Sweet! I love the K100s for the bottom end and mids, specially with 7 strings.

#7
I will be using the cabinet for everything from standard tuning, on my Schecter to A tuning on a PRS SE Mike Mushok 27.7" baritone.

One thing I didn't expect (and at first I thought that it was just me happy over getting new speakers) my band mates commented that my tone is so much clearer. Part of that may be because I had to turn the amp volume down. With the old speakers I had to have the volume on the amp (solid state) up to about 3.5 to be heard over the drums, but with the EV's I've turned it down to 2.

I also noticed that the sound is much more focused into a tight cone in front of the cabinet. With the SLM speakers, you could move around and whether you were off to the side of the cabinet or directly in front didn't seem to make much difference as far as hearing the sound. With the EV's, you can hear it just fine from the side, but if you move from say 45 degrees from the side of the cabinet to directly in front, you hear a considerable increase in volume and clarity. So they will probably be much more suitable for mic'd recording which I like because I like the tone I hear from the cabinet, but I don't like the recorded tone I hear going directly from my effects to the mixer.
#8
Just a thought, Your EV's are well damped by their huge magnets and they don't need a big box. If you have the Thiele/Small specs I could calculate the optimum size for you but if you are happy with the bass sound keep them as they are.
#9
Sound wise, I think the cabinet is great, but there are still a couple of things about it I'd like to change.

Here are the Thiele/small specs that I could find, source: http://www.musik-service.de/electro-voice-evm-12-black-label-prx2663en.aspx

•Resonant Frequency (fs) 55 Hz
•Impedance (Re) 5.4 ohms
•Coil Inductance (Le) 1.27mH
•Electromagnetic Q (Qes) .245
•Mechanical Q (Qms) 4.37
•Total Q (Qts) .232
•Compliance Equivalent Vol. (Vas) 82.9 liters / 2.9 cu.ft.
•Voice Coil Overhang (Xmax) 3.3mm
•Surface Area of Cone (Sd) .05 m2
•Efficiency No. % 4.3%
•Displacement Volume .0059 m2

Phil, how much would say a 3/4 to 1 1/4 cubic foot change (smaller or larger) affect the cabinet response? I know that the Marshall Cabinets Zakk Wylde uses with these speakers are about the same depth, about 2 inches wider, & about 3 inches taller than my Crate cabinet. So basicly, if I built a new cabinet to the same spec's as the Marshall cabinet, how would it affect what I hear?
Last edited by chaosdsm at Jul 20, 2010,