#1
Hey guys,

Since I'm out of school, I am thinking of building a guitar cabinet, and have a quick question. For the enclosure, can I just use the plywood or particleboard that I have around the house, or are there better woods I can use? Like, do certain woods give a certain tone like with a guitar body and neck, or does it not matter?

Thanks for the help.
Gear:

ESP EC-50
ESP FB-204

MXR '78 Custom Badass Distortion
Dunlop Crybaby
MXR EVH Phase 90
MXR Analog Chorus

"Music is the strongest form of magic." - Marilyn Manson
#2
Quote by SexyBeast810
Hey guys,

Since I'm out of school, I am thinking of building a guitar cabinet, and have a quick question. For the enclosure, can I just use the plywood or particleboard that I have around the house, or are there better woods I can use? Like, do certain woods give a certain tone like with a guitar body and neck, or does it not matter?

Thanks for the help.


Cheap cabs usually use mdf, more expensive cabs usually use birch plywood. Some people will tell you there is a big difference, others will tell you there is no difference.
#4
MDF is fine for home use and occasional gigging, but it's not very impact resistant, it's got issues when it comes in contact with moisture, and it doesn't hold screws, etc. with any durability.

Plywood is usually the choice for gigging gear because it's got more impact resistance, fewer issues with moisture and it holds fasteners well.

Generally there are no "tone woods" in cabinetry. In fact, you usually want to eliminate stray resonances in the audible range as much as possible; they're usually uncontrollable and annoying.

Worth noting, if you're going to be building your own cabinet, is that the 3/4" plywood normally used in guitar cabinets is used by commercial manufacturers largely because 30"x30" cabinets can be built with generally large panels and little extra (expensive) labor. You can actually build lighter weight cabinets by incorporating bracing on 5/8" or 1/2" panels that will have every bit of the stiffness and impact resistance of the heavier versions. In fact, lighter cabinets are less likely to take themselves out because they have less inertia working against them if dropped or left to slide around in the back of a trailer.
#5
Birch ply is what is used most of the time in high end cabs. Cheap construction grade ply has durability issues because the glues isn't always even making it susceptible to damage so if you use ply, go with high grade ply.

MDF is fine and is a more popular choice for PA gear because it is more neutral than ply. Guitar players tend to gravitate to what we are familiar with and birch ply is what marshall used back in the day so it's what we tend to go with.

Pine actually makes great open back cabinets. Vintage fender combo's always used pine so if you want the vintage "American" tone then an open back pine cab is at least worth consideration. I wouldn't use pine for a closed back cab though.
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#6
Thanks for the help you guys. Hopefully this weekend I can check the price of the wood and make a decision. I'll check the price of the birch ply, but I think that it might be a bit expensive, but I'll see. If it's too expensive, I'll check what some other plywood costs, as well as MDF, and I'll make a decision based on that.
Gear:

ESP EC-50
ESP FB-204

MXR '78 Custom Badass Distortion
Dunlop Crybaby
MXR EVH Phase 90
MXR Analog Chorus

"Music is the strongest form of magic." - Marilyn Manson