I did it


Hero Member
Well, I did it - I made my speaker cab out of my old 6" cheap ass nissan clarion speaker.  I stuck one in a cardboard box, wired it up to a guitar jack, and plugged it into my Epi Valve Junior.  And, it sounds really good even in the cardboard box!  Cleans are smooth, not harsh at all (even with my tele).  Turned up it sounds like "You really got me" (Kinks' version, not Van Halen). 

Anyway, this leads me to my next question - what is more important to tone - speaker and cab or amp?

I am making my master plan for a cab - should I go 2x12 or 1x12?  Opinions?  Does "mixing and matching" different speakers add a lot if I do go 2x12?

can't really give an answer, speaker vs amp.
each tubes has a certain character, each circuit has diferent EQing, each speaker diferent theile small parameters all make up your tone. if you asked about volume that's easy the speakers sensitivity is the major factor there, volume is logryhmic(sp?) and 100 watts is 3db louder than 50, 6 db louder than 25, and 10db louder that 10 watts. a typical car speaker has around 85db at 1 watt at 1 meter distence, eminence guitar speakers are most often 99db+ so a mashall head pluged into a car speaker can be less loud than a lil 5w'er pluged into the most efficient guitar speakers.

i would say the speaker can be a huge drawback tone wise if you go outside the guitar realm. most other speakers are desighed to work well in certain set conditions like with a crossover and in a given box. some cone materials are resonant and without a Xover will sound like a cymbal, very chimey very bad. and without the right enclosure the speakers own suspension ( the spider and surround) may not be enough to prevent bottoming. and car woofers aren't woofers at all, guitar speakers typically have better low end. cabin gain in a small space makes up for what the speakers lack.

if ya mix and match i'd seal the two halves from each other or do an open back. the two speakers might not interact well otherwise. i think doing this might have some merit for a clean sound, maybe.
I've been working on the assumption lately that the electronic things that affect your tone the most have thousands of feet of thin copper wire coiled up: pickups, transformers, speakers. Resistors, caps and tubes are fairly straightforward things to my mind, but magnetism is witchcraft. Speakers have the additional complication of being a moving part that interacts with the air, so, little things can mean a lot. Consider how unconvincing the "speaker-voiced" outs on amps are, and it's easy to see how important a speaker is.

So, given the choice, I'd prefer really good speakers and an average amp to an awesome amp and meh speakers. Part of that is because I don't really ask for a lot out of an amp: decent volume, mildly overdriven, clean up when I back off the volume. Some people are more demanding, use lots of preamp drive or like things steel-guitar clean. They might flip my equation, and that's perfectly understandable.

For a first build, I'd say go with something classic like a 1 x12 or 2 x12 open back. There's lots of commercial examples to provide inspiration for your own plan. There's also plenty of diy info on the web to help you choose materials and hardware. I've had good luck with Eminence's Redcoat series; I recently built a 1 x 15 combo using their Big Ben speaker. I also have a Sammi 12" that I like very much, especially for the price. New Jensens are overpriced. Celestions are everywhere; you've heard them a million times. If you're a fan of rock, having an opinion about Celestions is kind of like having an opinion about air. When at flea markets, keep your eyes open for old Jensens and Oxfords; they used them in movie projector speakers.