Projects for Musicians
The first part of the project is to determine your goals and my goal here was to create a head and cab arrangement from my existing Line 6 Flextone III Plus. I took several measurements of the amp chassis and the existing amp cabinet to determine what size to build the amp head cabinet. I then gave thought to what I wanted from the speaker cabinets. I wanted to keep things as light as I could, yield the best sound that suited my taste, and be flexible enough so that I could use a single cab or two cabs. I decided on two 2x12 cabs. The top cab would be rear ported to give it just a hint of airiness similar to an open back cab but focus the sound more and give me more of that low mid feel it in your chest tone. The top cab would also have the baffle slanted back 7 degrees so that when I used the top cab without the bottom in small clubs the sound would be directed up at me a bit. The bottom cab would be completely sealed.
I decided to build the cabs out of poplar 1 inch x12 inch with 13/16 inch thick A/B plywood baffles and backs. I used the 13/16's because that's what was available at my local lumber yard that was heavier than 1/2 inch. I wanted the baffle and back to be pretty stiff to lessen the change of low end rumble. This page contains the pics of the build.
As you can see the top speaker cab has now been covered in yellow bronco tolex. I also opted for the large industrial type corners. I like the industrial look it gives it a bold statement and contrasts nicely with the yellow tolex. The front grill of the head has also been cleaned and painted with black epoxy appliance paint. I used the epoxy because it's tough and durable. I also have large rubber feet on the head cab because it's smaller in width and the corners won't interlock anyway. There will be no feet on the bottom of the top cab so it will interlock with the bottom. The bottom will have 4 swivel casters.
The first three pics are of the assembled carcasses of the head cab and both speaker cabs. Once I had the carcasses put together and the glue had dried (I used biscuit joinery) I mounted the head in the cab to test fit. I wanted to make sure everything was on track before investing the time to sand, seal, and tolex the cabs. For a template for the screw hole, control cutout, and vent locations I taped 2 pieces of typing paper together and cut it to the width of the inside of the original Line 6 cab. I then traced the location of the holes, vents, and cutout to the paper. I taped the paper template to the top of the new head cab to mark the location and then drilled and cutout the through the paper. As you can see from the pics the am chassis fits nicely into the cab.
The next se of pics show the head cab after the tolex was applied. I chose a yellow bronco tolex and will be using black corners and trim. I used carpenters wood glue (yellow glue) to glue the tolex to the flat portions of the cab and water soluble contact cement to glue the corners and curves because it sets up much faster. You CANNOT use regular contact cement because the solvents in the cement will soften or melt the tolex. Around the control section I studied the original Line 6 cab to see how they had cut the tolex. I cut my tolex in the same manner and used a hair dryer on the hottest setting to soften the tolex for the inside curves. I slowly worked the tolex into place and used painters blue (easy removal) masking tape to hold everything in place while the glue dried. Even the though the instructions on the glue said it dries in a few hours I left it overnight before continuing. As you can see by the picture I used perforated aluminum sheet for the front to allow air to get to the heat sinks and I just like the way it looks. I was test fitting the aluminum here before removing it to paint it with gloss black epoxy.
Here it is. The final amp pics with the head and both 2x12 cabs. Being the habitual tinkerer that I am I have been swapping speakers again;
2 Eminence Screaming Eagles
1 Eminence Screaming Eagle and 1 Eminence Swamp Thing
2 Eminence Swamp Things
2 Eminence Lynch V12's
2 Eminence Red White and Blues
2 Celestion G12T75's
1 Celestion G12T75 and 1 Eminence Swamp Thing
and every combination of the above.
What did I settle on? My buddy the cab builder suggested I try Warehouse Speakers. After making a few calls and talking to some users I purchased 2 Warehouse Speakers Veteran 30 and 2 ET65's and put one of each in each 2x12 cab. Remember these cabs are stereo so I put the Veteran 30 on the left on the bottom cab and on the right on the top cab. Finally tonal bliss and the price was right too at $65.00 each. There is all the low end grunt you could ask for along with screaming highs if you want to dial them in. It also sounds very big and full. Oh, and it is very loud and cuts through the mix too!
Let me know what you think? Post your replies on the Google FlexFax forum or on the Line6 forum. I monitor both. All-in-all it's been a fun project and I'm totally satisfied with the results. I started these cabs for another local musician who backed out part way through the project so these are what I am using currently. I got a lot of compliments on the tone and stanout color combo at last weeks gig.