#1
Hey guys *bow*

I have not been on here in a while, what is up? I had this idea earlier today to design, and build my own speaker cabinet, as well as a preamplifier thingy with those cool knobs that change the usual things, (Volume, Bass, Treble, Gain, Mid, etc.) I have checked the internet, and looked at all these crazy schematics and such for the wiring, but I have not really found anything of much assistance in the field of designing these schematics- the process that gives these manufacturers their signature tone. I was wondering if anyone could help me get on my way with the science behind these diagrams?

Thank you guys in advance,
Dave
#2
Do you have any electronics experience at all? That's what determines where to start. If you don't, the first step is to take a course on basic electronics and/or buy a book on basic electronics and study it.
#3
You might just check out the Dave Green designs for the fEARful cabinets (and check out speakerhardware.com for the cut-sheet kits available for DIY builders of these cabinets). While you're at it, check out the multitude of fEARful and fEARless threads on Talkbass.com (some date back four or five years) and the forums on www.greenboy.us (you need to register to read them).

While it's admirable to "build your own" bass preamps, you may find that something like the Jules "Monique" preamp is everything you want. Or maybe the Bass Pod XT. Or maybe the whole preamp and amp thing in the Carvin BX1500 amp head (10 lbs, 1500W) for $499.

My advice is to start with cabinets and go back up the chain from there. If you have cabinets that don't have a "baked in" sound, you have a much better platform for accepting sonic wonderfulness from a preamp.
#4
I will be glad to check these various sources out- thank you for saving me the time of weeding out the faulty side of the internet for me. I will see what I can find, and report back my intel- thank you, dspellman! I will also try to keep this post open, and report my progress as I construct the head/cab.

I guess it is not really a matter of finding the "right" tone- but rather finding the "unique, right" tone. I had my eyes set on the Orange Terror / Orange cab for a while, just because not too many people use them, (compared to a Mark Bass, Fender, etc.) and it seems to offer a wide range of tonality compared to some other ones one the market. But in the end, I feel like making my own- even mimicking another combo on the market will still create a differential between my tone, and something that would be manufactured as a standard- (store bought units.)
#5
TJ- I used to- made a radio or two back in 2010, I lost most of my knowledge since. There is no way I could build an amplifier from scratch right now, without being reminded of the importance of it's components- which is why I am here! I guess I am looking for just that; someone to explain to me the fundamentals of an amplifier, so I can begin to add on to that template, providing a more distinct, signature sound.

-Dave
#6
Quote by Datremos
But in the end, I feel like making my own- even mimicking another combo on the market will still create a differential between my tone, and something that would be manufactured as a standard- (store bought units.)


Manufacturers don't necessarily use the *best* materials. They use what's readily available and what will make them the maximum profit. Remember that most manufacturers of ready-made gear figure an average of 6 - 10X actual selling price over manufacturing cost. IOW, what cost Fender $76 to build will cost you $500-800 to buy by the time you pay for Fender corporate, distributors, shipment, brick and mortar costs, endorsement deals, glossy magazine ads, etc.

What you do NOT want in a cabinet (usually) is "tone." Not for bass, anyway. The two most important things for a bass cabinet are neutrality (and wide frequency response range) and the ability to handle gobs of power without farting out. You really don't want "tone" in your power amp output, either. The preamp section (and, of course, your bass itself) is where you want your tone shaping to take place.
#7
I knew there would be some crazy difference in price as far as manufacturing/listing price would go. This definitely helps me out in the sense that it seems a lot more logical to fabricate my own at this point. That and even copying a schematic- there is no way it will end up sounding identical to their line of products. Thank you for the intel, this is starting to get interesting!

-Dave
#8
Well, there are also kits. Weber has kits, Ceriatone has kits. Building your own has its own charm (I put together a JTM45 a couple of years ago), and learning things like how to dress your leads (if you don't already know) can be fun.

Weber: http://taweber.powweb.com/store/kits.htm
Ceriatone: www.ceriatone.com

if you like what Ceriatone has to offer, start a conversation with Nik (the owner) if you're considering changes or modifications.

Here's another option: Contact Bruce Egnater (he's actually a participant on several forums and can usually be found wandering around at the LA Amp Show in October (check the NY Amp Show as well). He actually answers emails while taking a break from counting Guitar Denter money. For some years he had a two-day amp building seminar wherein you spend Saturday assembling a 50W EL34 JTM-style amp (you took this home with you as part of the class tuition) and the next day learning everything there is to know about tube amps and how to modify your new baby. For a time Sweetwater sponsored one of these seminars, and recently there have been one-day seminars as well (no amp building). If you're interested in having your hands inside the guts of you amps, you absolutely want to attend one of his seminars at some point. It's also worth keeping an eye on Dan Boule and Myles Rose. Dan is the principle of 65 Amps and Myles has forgotten more about tube amps than most folks know. Find them on Facebook; Dan will occasionally have "gatherings" at the factory, and you want to be a fly on the wall for one of those. And DO attend one of the Amp Shows (LA, NY and now, I think, Dallas?). You'll find yourself unexpectedly cheek by jowl with everyone from major rock stars and amp designers to raw beginners, and you'll be able to crank the poo out of the amps while doing so.
Last edited by dspellman at Nov 6, 2014,
#9
I think you just typed enough text for half a Harry Potter book- Thank you! I will definitely give them some serious thought- I have not heard about Weber, Ceriatone, or any of these seminars before, they all seem very interesting. I was wondering: If I buy a kit from one of these manufacturers, and then decide to switch the speaker cone or something, maybe even just a resistor or two- would my warranty on the kit be obsolete? (I almost see eye to eye with that, as with switching out the speaker cone, resistor, etc. on a pre-constructed amplifier, no?)