I have recently built the P1x from AX84.com. I really like some of the tones I can get out of it, and I have decided to build a cabinet for it. I already have the tolex, grill cloth, and speaker. I decided to get some advice before I pick up the wood.
I know that different woods have different tonal properties, especially in something like a drum or a guitar. I was wondering if the same was true for the cabinet. I was considering Birch because of Birch's tone in a drum. It is cheaper than oak where I live, and maple is cheaper. I'd rather not maple if it is going to give me a brighter tone. I'm not a bright tone kind of guy.

Long story short- Is there a tonal difference between Oak, Birch and Maple in a combo cabinet?
I'd imagine that denser, harder woods would sound brighter because they'll reflect the high frequencies out of the cabinet, while less dense woods will sound darker because they'll absorb the highs.
I think the wood your cabinet is made of determines such a tiny portion of your tone, so small that it's not even noticeable, that I think you should just buy the sturdiest wood, not the 'best' tonewood.
^That's kinda what I was thinking, but I don't know a whole lot about acoustic properties. I assumed since the sound will be coming out of the speaker, and the speaker is mounted to the wood, that the wood would absorb or accentuate certain frequencies. Not to a large degree, but I thought it might have an affect.
I went with pine because it's a great tonewood, even for guitars just to easy to dent and shit but if you tolex it it's nothing to worry about. Fender cabs are made out of it too. It is also very cheap compared to the woods you mentioned.
The cheapest cabs are made out of particle board. But most I see use plywood of some kind pine would probably be the cheapest and easiest to get. Im not going to imagine a mahogany cab would make a huge difference in tone.
MDF is very heavy, and not as structually strong as plywood in my experiences.

Plus, birch (Russian) plywood can be finished naturally if you want.
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It's MDF all right, just hella weighty and really cheap...
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I think the wood your cabinet is made of determines such a tiny portion of your tone, so small that it's not even noticeable, that I think you should just buy the sturdiest wood, not the 'best' tonewood.

Then why those 4x12 V 30 cabs made by Fame are only 500€ and those made by Mesa are about 1300€ ? Why such a difference in tone?

I think woods are absolutely determinant in tone. Also, the shape and size of the resonant cavity is veery important.
Last edited by bazuriya at Nov 6, 2008,
If you're not building a closed back (sealed) cabinet, the wood is less important. With an open back, you also need not worry about the dimensions as much. Pine is common not because of the tone, but because of the price and the finished weight. Most people do agree that it provides some pleasant resonance, though. Baltic birch plywood is a favorite mostly because it has many more plys than the cheaper common stuff. The only real advantage of this is that plywood typically does not claim to be 'voidless', aircraft ply being the exception.

Most plywoods have voids in them due to chunks being missing from the layers at various points. They are just glued up with these pieces missing, and you find them on the edges of your cut pieces later. Because baltic birch plywood has so many layers, some small voids are of no consequence sonically to your cabinet. Larger, thicker voids in cheap plywood may result in a cabinet that sounds like it's rattling at certain frequencies, and you can never fix it.

Pine is, of course, voidless. Plenty of people who built homebuilt cabs use the wide glued-up pine boards from Home Depot. They seem to work just fine if you choose to go that route rather than the baltic birch ply.
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open-back cabinets are basically superior to closed backs for GENERAL tonal purposes (if you want ultra gain metal, closed backs are better).

cabinet wood doesnt make ad ifference so much in TONE, but how the tone travels throughout the room. the BEST cabinet wood ever is pine. 4/4 pine is incredible to build cabinets out of, its not easy to work with as its ultra soft, but you will love the tone you get out of it, plywood is okay in a sense that it does not vibrate, so you just get straight speaker, but if the cabinet vibrates along with the speaker, it will sound pretty rad.
I'm actually learning something here. I planned on doing the open-back. It is a vintage american voiced amp. Right up my alley with my Traynor YCV40. I will look at both Pine and Birch when I go to get the lumber. I will then let price decide which one I will get .
you can get the pine from home depot, OFTEN TIMSE you can find a piece with a big chunk taken out of the end, or "warped", telll them and they will mark it 50% off. just get knotty pine, and tolex it up.
an oak cabinet would way a ton, and i wouldnt think it would sound good. you should make one out of plexiglass and add lights lol i think that would be cool.