Hey guys, It’s been some months since I’ve built this stuff but I finally have time to share the build log with you. Click on the pictures to view them in full size.

Let me know what you think of my build!

I have a small, cheap but not overly crappy 25 watt Peavey Rage 258 combo. …well I had one… I only play it clean which does not sound too bad. All the distortion and stuff is done by my old Boss ME-50. Again, this setup did not sound horrible but a single 8” speaker has simply no guts when playing high gain riffs with drop tunings.
I can’t afford a good tube amp right now but I also don’t have a band right now, so I don’t need one immediately. But the 8” speaker got to be replaced by something mightier.

The plan was to free the amp from its combo housing and build a nice housing for it, and a 2x12 speaker cab.

The amp housing was entirely built from scrap. I found old shelf boards in the basement which worked fine. All the hardware, such as steel corners was salvaged from the Peavey combo.

Glueing sh#t together after cutting all the pieces.

First dry fit - fits nicely, looks ugly.

Now this looks much more like an amp housing after treating the corners and edges with the belt sander. The inside and the edges were painted black.

Tolex all the way

The Cab itself was not built by me. I don’t have the tools to make a cab with that stability (dovetail joints…indestructible). I ordered the pine/birch plywood cab with custom dimensions from tube-town (I highly recommend them if you’re living in europe), as well as black tolex, black hardware including steel speaker grills and two 16 ohm Jensen Tornado 12” neodymium speakers which I “reviewed” here:

The supplies

A separating plywood wall was installed between the two speakers and the back panel got a large hole on one side. The result is an open-back and closed-back cab in one. The inspiration for this design came from the Mesa Roadking cabs.
The front panel is painted with multiple coats of flat black. The rest of the case got tolexed.

You can see the separating wall. The inside was painted black.

Custom back panel

Front panel with grills

Tolexed and completed. The speakers are still missing in this picture.

I’ve installed rubber feet on the bottom and on one side so I could place the cab horizontal in small places. …Afterwards I am thinking about adding casters to the bottom side… Even though the speakers have light neodymium magnets, this plywood cab is heavy as f#ck. It is relatively large for a 2x12 and Tube town cabs are built like a tank.

I didn’t want to throw the 8” combo away, so what do you do with this brainless zombie? Create a small practice cab! I closed the front where the amp panel was and placed an input jack there. I also closed up the back with a scrap piece of wood. It does sound tighter now.

Right-wing morons, go suck my d#ck!

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Last edited by offspring93 at Apr 19, 2015,
A couple of suggestions for anyone wading into this process...

It's not necessary to build these cabinets "heavy," especially if you have the luxury of using neo-based speakers. Higher-end bass and pro audio cabinets are being built with thinner plywood and well-planned bracing. This retains stiffness (both for impact resistance and for resistance to "oilcanning," a common power-robber in bass cabinets). Dovetailed corners aren't necessary (though they are pretty) and don't really add strength to the cabinet except for the corners. One builder showed his corners withstanding a huge pickup running over the cabinet. The cabinet was completely destroyed but the corners survived. Gotta think about that for a minute. A standard glued corner will withstand anything the rest of the cabinet will if the cabinet itself is well-designed.

Here are some examples of glued and braced cabinets designed for very high power (the fEARfull 15/6/1, for example, is designed to handle up to 900W) that weigh much less than standard manufactured cabinets: http://greenboy.us/fEARful/ I have a pair of these cabinets that weigh between 40 and 50 lbs and can be one-handed by a girl (tough girl, but still). They easily out-shout the 125-140 lb 8x10 refrigerator-size bass cabinets that are so much fun to haul up and down a set of stairs at a venue.

If you're building a combination closed-back/open back cabinet, make sure that the closed-back portion is airtight. The back can't be simply "covered." This means that the board separating the two speakers really needs to be glued and sealed all round (including at the baffle and at the back) and the back needs to be sealed as well as screwed or nailed down.

Tolex is traditional as a covering, but it's a choice from 55 years ago. It tears, dents, dings and scuffs and there's really no way to repair it other than to remove it and start over. Most Pro Audio cabinets (including a lot of modern bass cabinets) use applied coatings that are tough, that don't tear and that resist things that would stain or ruin tolex. One of these coatings is Acrytex' Duratex coating, a textured paint that looks like tolex when applied with a roller, but that's tougher and can be repaired (if severely scratched) with a bit more paint. It's available in virtually any color. Another coating that's being used a lot is LineX, a specialized two-part coating that goes on hot. It's extremely tough, to the point where the military is using it as anti-spalling and anti-explosion proofing for buildings and vehicles. It was originally used as a pickup truck bed liner, but it's become legendary for its structural qualities. While it adds a bit more weight than Duratex or Tolex, it's become the really smart choice for touring gear that might be subjected to hard use. It's easily repaired, but is not often dinged. Awesome stuff, and available in virtually any pickup truck color and an increasing number of custom colors as well. It's being used extensively as an exterior coating (instead of paint) for off-road vehicles.

If you're adding casters to a speaker cabinet, make sure they're removable. I've got experience with this, since I like to put wheels on anything heavier than a ham sandwich. You haven't lived until you've had casters buzzing away while you play loud. It's also possible to wreck a cabinet when a caster gets "hooked" by something and torn out. It's always better to have a flight case for the cabinet that has (removable) casters on the bass. Pull off the top of the flight case and move the cabinet around stage on the flight case base. If you get buzzing, take the cabinet off the base. The flight cases are also handy as stands for the cabinets, and putting your cabinet on a piece of foam on top of the case will eliminate mechanical coupling with a hollow stage floor (or with the case itself), reduce acoustic coupling with floor/walls and make it easier for you to hear what you're doing. One caution, however. A heavy cabinet in a heavy flight case not only becomes bulky, but becomes even heavier. While your cabinet is protected, it presents a crushing force to your other gear should it shift within the load while transporting.

My lighter cabinets have "top hats" that allow me to put them on speaker stands.
Last edited by dspellman at Apr 20, 2015,