#1
I have a Crate G412ST speaker cab, just like this one:



I like the sound i'm getting from it, but it's really heavy and hard to move from place to place.

Yesterday, while talking with a friend (who is mainly a carpenter, but he can build pretty much anything he sets his mind to), i had the idea of converting my Crate 4x12" into two 2x12" cabs. Something like this:


but with black tolex and metal corners to match my Laney amp head.

I'd also want to add the feature (on both cabs) of a removable back panel to switch from closed back to open back.
My friend said it would be pretty easy for him to do, and pretty cheap, too. I would only have to pay for the materials to build the two new cab structures to house the Crate's speakers.


Here are my questions:
1. Is there any reason why this is a bad idea/will not work/it shouldn't be done?


2. So far, the materials shopping list looks like this:
- wood;
- tolex;
- metal grilles;
- metal corners;
- handles;
- rubber feet (for the top cab);
- casters (for the bottom cab);
- input/output jacks;
- jack plates.

Am i forgetting something?


3. Wiring the speakers, what rules do i have to follow to define impedances? And what about matching watts?
I'd like to be able to use not only both cabs at the same time, but also to use just one of them. So that i could leave one at home when i didn't need the two, for example.

My Laney amp head has 120watts, and 2 loudspeaker outputs.
The amp manual reads:
Connect your loudspeaker cabinets here. The total impedance of the cabinets must not be less than 4 Ohms. Connecting cabinets that have a lower impedance than 4 Ohms will result in the amplifier overheating. Continual use in this manner may cause permanent damage. Permitted configurations could be 1x4Ohm, 1x8Ohm, 2x8Ohm, or 2x16Ohm cabinets.


The back of the Crate cabinet has 2 inputs, and reads:
Power handling: 120watts
Impedance: 8 Ohms



4. About connections:
Right now, i'm using one speaker cable from one of the outputs on the amp into one of the inputs in the cab.
I never thought about it, but are there any advantages in using 2 cables to connect my amp head to the cab? One from each output into each input?

Also, if i decide to "split" the cab, when i want to use the two cabs together, how should i connect them?
Amp -> Cab A
Amp -> Cab B

or

Amp -> Cab A
Cab A -> Cab B



Sorry for the wall of text. Thank you for your time and help.
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#2
Let me tell you a story...

My Drummer and I, while starting our band and building our PA system needed a Rack to put it all in. Well, "It's only a sturdy box with some rack rails for mounting equipment right? Lets Build One" I said, exhuberence in my voice. So several trips to Lowes, a few internet orders and about 2 weeks later we came up with the perfect Rack for our PA. At about Twice the cost of buying one that was half as heavy.

If you like the thought of two 2x12 cabinets, sell the crate and get some. You'll come out cheaper in the long run...

Now, if you want the challenge of doing it, and don't care about cost, go for it... You seem to have a good plan going...

Here's something to think about though...

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/bugera-212v-bk-2x12-guitar-speaker-cabinet/502587000001306

I own one... Great Cabinet.. Not too heavy and they sound great...
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#3
Quote by Papabear505
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/guitars/bugera-212v-bk-2x12-guitar-speaker-cabinet/502587000001306

I own one... Great Cabinet.. Not too heavy and they sound great...

I disagree. I've played a couple amps through one of those, and i didn't like it one bit.

Besides, i can build the two cabs for way, way cheaper than the price of ONE of those cabs, and they'll still sound much better.
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#4
There was a guy did this with his 6505 cab, try to find the thread.
It worked definitely, he re-rolexed it to be blue and stuff, looked badass.
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So very true...
#5
I would not change your crate to two 2x12's. The speakers are horrible in those. the cheapest sugestion that is good is the Jet City 2x12 cab $220 new.

If you want your friend to build you a cab, I would highly suggest getting new speakers to go with an entierly new 2x12 cab using absolutely nothing from the crate at all. WGS speakers are great and very in-expensive also $70ish new
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#6
Quote by Linkerman
I disagree. I've played a couple amps through one of those, and i didn't like it one bit.

Besides, i can build the two cabs for way, way cheaper than the price of ONE of those cabs, and they'll still sound much better.


Ok...

can you, just for comparison sake, keep track of your expenses, and let us know how that turned out....

Thanks
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#7
I just saw your in Europe, check out the Harley Benton 2x12 vintage cab. it is like 200 euros and itis loaded with celestion V30 speakers which cost $160 each. You can find these on Thomann
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#8
Quote by Robbgnarly
I would not change your crate to two 2x12's. The speakers are horrible in those.

Again, i disagree. As i said, i'm very happy with my tone.

Quote by Robbgnarly
...and itis loaded with celestion V30 speakers...

No, thanks. Not a fan of V30s.


Quote by Papabear505
can you, just for comparison sake, keep track of your expenses, and let us know how that turned out....

If i go forward with the project, absolutely. I'll keep track of the expenses.


I'd love if anyone could please answer any of my questions...
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Last edited by Linkerman at Feb 5, 2012,
#9
Don't do it- it's not worth it unless you're looking for the experience and to have a long project.

Here's what you do:

Step 1) Sell your Crate 4x12
Step 2) Go on Craigslist / eBay and find an inexpensive 2x12 with good speakers
Step 3) Find a duplicate somewhere

You'll save money in the long run.

I see 2x12 Mesa Recto V30 cabs going on CL for $350-$400. You can sometimes find other brands (Avatar, Crate) with V30s swapped in. I'm not trying to push V30s on you at all- just showing an example of how there are a lot of interesting deals out there that might help save you money.

1) It's not that your idea won't work. It will.

2) Your list looks complete to me.

3) Most amps have impedance selectors, so this shouldn't be a problem. I am not an expert in that field though.

4) Route two input chains if you like:
L IN - L Speaker
R IN - R Speaker
Mono IN - Both speakers

I know how these "DIY" projects go. I'm just trying to suggest alternatives. Check eBay for the parts you want to buy though- I see some nice stuff going on there for low prices.
Last edited by CV334 at Feb 5, 2012,
#10
Quote by Linkerman
Again, i disagree. As i said, i'm very happy with my tone.


No, thanks. Not a fan of V30s.

If you like the speakers, then use them it is your choice. Have you really ever tried any cabs loaded with other speaker types using your Laney? Laney voices lots of there amps to run V30's/70-80's/Greenbacks.

V30's aren't my personal fav, but they are widely used that is why I made that suggestion.

I still wouldn't bother with making 2 seprate cabs from your 1 but thats my opinion.
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#11
go ahead, you've nothing to lose other than the cost of the timber. Keep the cabs exactly half the size of the original and if you hate them you can always put the speakers back in the original cab.

Make sure the cabs are airtight by running some mastic round all the joints after you have finished building the cabs. Reinforced butt joints using 25mm batten is the best way of joining panels together.

Wiring the cab is slightly problematic. If your Crate is 8 ohms then the speakers in it are 8 ohms and wiring them in parallel will give a 4 ohm 2x12, ideal for your amp. If you plug a second cab in however it will take the impedance down to 2 ohms which is bad news for the amp. The alternative is to wire each 2x12 in series which will make them 16 ohm cabs, this will make them draw less power from the amp so your system with a single cab will be noticeably quieter. You may need to worry about power handling too depending upon how you wire the new cabs.

One advantage of a 2x12 is that it has a much better dispersion pattern than a 4x12 if you put it on its short end.

Personally I have no idea why guitarists use 4x12's. It made sense when the original Marshalls etc used speakers with coils that melted at 30W but a single 12 gives you more than enough stage volume and the rest is better going through the PA anyway. A single 2x12 should be plenty loud enough leaving you to concentrate on tone rather than volume.

tell us what impedance and power handling your Crate is.
#12
Quote by Phil Starr
go ahead, you've nothing to lose other than the cost of the timber. Keep the cabs exactly half the size of the original and if you hate them you can always put the speakers back in the original cab.

This is exactly why i considered the option in the first place.
My friend is a carpenter who owns a company where he designs and builds furniture, and he would build the cabs for free. I'd only have to pay for the materials.

And i was thinking the same thing, i can always put the speakers back in the 4x12" if i don't like the sound.

Quote by Phil Starr
Wiring the cab is slightly problematic. If your Crate is 8 ohms then the speakers in it are 8 ohms and wiring them in parallel will give a 4 ohm 2x12, ideal for your amp. If you plug a second cab in however it will take the impedance down to 2 ohms which is bad news for the amp. The alternative is to wire each 2x12 in series which will make them 16 ohm cabs, this will make them draw less power from the amp so your system with a single cab will be noticeably quieter. You may need to worry about power handling too depending upon how you wire the new cabs.

Making them 16 Ohm cabs should be the best solution, then.

I think it wouldn't matter if it would be quieter when using a single cab, since i never even used the amp at more than 60-70% of the volume. Usually i don't even turn the volume knob past 4 (in a 1 to 10 scale).
If a single cab sounds quieter, i can just turn the volume up more than i normally would to compensate... Right?

Quote by Phil Starr
tell us what impedance and power handling your Crate is.

It's in the OP, 120watts @ 8 Ohms.
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#13
http://www.dvmark.it/product_detail.php?id=15

nice 2x12. probably a little expensive though..

but seriously, I wouldnt bother with the crate cab...
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No.


Well, technically it could be done, but only in the same way that you could change a cat into a hamburger. It's an unpleasant process, and nobody is happy with the result.
#14
If you like the speakers then I don't see a problem. You already own the cab so the only thing you'll have to buy is tolex, 2 pieces of wood, cabinet corners and casters if you want them.

It's as easy as sawing the cab in half and attaching a piece of wood on each end 'til you have 2 seperate boxes. Wiring the cabs is easy. Just find out the Ohms of your speakers and go from there. If you're head can power 2 cabs at once.... awesome.

If not the first cab CAN power the 2nd but I can't remember how to wire that. But, www.google.com does. It's more complex though.

I built myself a 2x12 cab and not including the speakers it worked out to about £45-50 including wood, tolex, piping, grill cloth, castors, wire, corners and screws. Ebay is your friend. It also helps having a friend at a local hardware store. I threw some no name speakers in there and I had a 2x12 cab for £75. Perfect for home use or jams.
Don't take me too seriously.

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#15
you also need to check the impedance of each speaker (we are assuming 8 ohms each right now) and the power rating of each. beacuse if your head is 120W and the cab with 4 speakers is rated for 120W, then running into 2 speakers (60W) might be a bad idea.
#16
OK it looks like each speaker is 8ohms and 30W. You'll wire the cabs in series internally so you can run two cabs in parallel using both sockets on your amp.

This means when you come to wire your speakers you run a wire from the + on one to the tip of your Jack socket and the - on the second speaker to the sleeve. Then run a third wire from the - on speaker 1 to the + on speaker 2. The cab will then be 16 ohms at 60W.

Unless the Laney amp is a valve amp then it will halve its 8 ohm power output into 16ohms so you won't blow the speakers.

If you ever use the two 2x12's together the sound will be better if you line them up so the 4 speakers make a vertical line of 4. ie cabs end on end and not like the two 2x12's in the photo.

You can make the cabs and test them without tolex and fittings and add them when you are happy, This means you only have the extra expense if you like them.

Good luck