#1
ok this is probably noobish but i know about car audio but i know nothing about guitar audio, so what do i need to look for in a guitar amp cab?
#2
Solid build mostly. Even if it has bad speakers you can always replace those. Good cab companies are Mesa, Orange, Avatar, Marshall (highend) and Bogner from my personal expierence. Speakers are user specific so i wont bore you with that stuff. But again you want to look at how their built, How solid does it feel in your hands and how it sounds with your favorite amp.
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#3
^ that, and you want it to be decent quality plywood (or solid wood i guess, but that's a lot rarer).
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#4
most cabinets are made with baltic birch ply, most are going to use some type of fitted joint.

baltic birch ply is fairly light weight, pretty sturdy and resists moisture pretty well. it is also a voidless ply which gives it favorable resonance properties (it has very little resonance). some people prefer a thicker ply of baltic birch, claims of better low end usually follow this preference. i couldn't really tell you there is a difference.

stay away from cabs jointed with screws or nails, a dovetail or finger joint is considered superior quality. you will be hard pressed to find a self-respecting cabinet maker using screws or nails with their product.

after that speakers are a big factor in tone. as mentioned before you can always replace speakers. my two PPC212's both have aftermarket speakers, it took me about a half hour and a trip to radio shack (and two shots of tequila) to change out the speakers.

as for design? there is not much to tell. guitar cabs do use speakers/drivers, but they cabinet is usually not tuned the way a sub or hi-fi system is. guitars don't produce fundamental notes low enough to warrant the use ported cabs (though there are ported guitar cabs out there).

the most design that seems to go into a guitar cab is whether it is open or closed back. if it is closed back, they seem to keep the internal angles at odd proportions to cut out some of the standing waves in the cab... but that is about it.

i use PPC212's mainly for their large size, more internal air space generally means a better low end response. i seriously doubt they designed the cabinet around the speakers though, not a lot of optimization in the guitar cab world.
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Last edited by gumbilicious at Mar 7, 2013,
#5
well i used to be into car audio, i sold my stuff so i could get guitar stiff but at any rate could a person such as myself that is privy to box building for car audio be able to build a cab and make it musical? i know you cant put 4 sides together and cut out some holes and walla but is their formulas for design and such? im a mechanical engineering major and if i could build something that cost me 4x as much im gonna do it if it is feasable
#6
Yes, you absolutely can build a solid, good sounding cab. I suggest just doing a search on google for "how to build a guitar cabinet".

But you might be just as well off checking CL to see it there are any good ones for sale in your area. If so you could save yourself quite a bit of time and probably not spend any/much more money than doing it yourself (especially if you cover it in tolex and do all the appropriate hardware).
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#7
Go to the music store with a ruler and copy the cab you like the most.

Or, if you like closed back and ported, find the speaker(s) you like the most, email the manufacturer to get their ideal cab measurements for that particular speaker. JBL provided the interior volume and port size for my paricular speakers, for example. They now sound better by far than in any of the random cabs I tried beforehand.
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#8
well the outside measurements are all well and good but the really mystery is what do the do inside the cab? in car audio box's can get quiet complicated. and i will check craigs list to see what they got.
#9
Quote by sw4l
well the outside measurements are all well and good but the really mystery is what do the do inside the cab? in car audio box's can get quiet complicated. and i will check craigs list to see what they got.


they don't do much. sometimes i'll see some random soft padding inside to help absorb some sound.

many sites actually publish sizes of their cabs. orange does that for sure.

if you really want to build a box to get the most out of your speakers then i recommend trying a number of speakers with your amp, then decide on what speakers you want, then contact/PM Phil Starr. Phil can help you choose what type of cabinet you want and even help you calculate the internal air space... he'll do what most guitar manufacturers do not: optimize the box to work with the speakers.

if you want more info on how to calc your box then you can read one of his articles:

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/choosing_speakers_to_drive_your_cabs.html

this is another one on guitar cabinets

http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/gear_maintenance/cabinets_for_guitars.html
punk isn't dead, it's always smelled that way.

"A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem."
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