This was also fun.


I have never done as much music-related stuff in as short a period of time as I have this memorial day weekend.  I recently got a fantastic deal on a new amplifier, a Jet City JCA50H.  I’ll do a proper review on that later (when I have time to gush about how it is essentially an inexpensive Soldano SLO-100 when you look at the circuit).  For now, let’s talk DIY.

I love this amplifier.  For high gain, I don’t think I’ve ever played anything better.  Even the clean and crunch tones are delicious.  But, through my open-backed 2×12, it had a bit too much treble.  The sound was great, but it sort of … hurt.

So what can you do in a situation like this but build a new speaker cabinet.  I’d been jonesing for a closed-back cab again (I had to sell my old 4×12 a few years back when I moved).  Closed-backed cabs generally have more bass response than open-backed ones.  They sound very good with high-gain amps.  Designing a closed cab is actually pretty complicated and can involve a ton of acoustic simulation and revision and careful attention to volume.

Fortunately, guitars are fairly forgiving.  I picked my dimensions so that the cab would fit perfectly under my new guitar head.  We had a few 8″ speakers with a pretty dark (low) voicing sitting around, so I decided to use four of those and make a mini-half-stack, so-to-speak.  My roommate ran a quick simulation based on my dimensions, and the response looked good – attenuated highs above 2kHz (which would help with the amp’s extreme treble response), and a small peak in the lows (which would give a nice low-end thump.  This amp has very tight lows, so there wouldn’t be any problems with “boomyness”).

So I went to town.  The workmanship was, admittedly, pretty shoddy, but it turned out … functional.  And it sounds GREAT.  Exactly the tone I was looking for.  Very tight response.  However, it is EXTREMELY “beamy”.  The frequency response changes more based on where you stand in front of it than I have ever seen on any cabinet before.  If I knew more about acoustics, I could probably tell you why, but alas, I do not.

Anyway, here it is (the packing crate with the speakers in it).  I originally planned to clean up the edges, paint it, sand it, and give it a nice finished look, but I kind of like the rough ugliness of the wood.  It has a certain charm.


Alright, enough of my yakkin’.  See you all on Thursday!