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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Grillcloth Noise

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Royal Tele, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    843
    Jul 13, 2009
    Lone Star State
    So, a while back, I built a 5E3. Built a head separate from a 1x12 cab. For the grillcloth, I used the "Fender Style Old Brown Grillcloth" from Mojotone: http://www.mojotone.com/Cabinets_x/Grillcloth_x/Fender-Style-Old-Brown-Grill-Cloth-53-W

    Well, for the longest time now, I've been unhappy with the excessive low end flubby nature of the sound I get--especially when the amp is cranked. I know that 5E3's are notorious for a loose and saggy low end, and it's just the nature of the circuit. So I told myself that for a while.

    Then it bothered me some more. I thought, maybe it's because of how I built the 1x12 speaker cab. I made an oversized cab in hopes of creating a bigger sound with more muscle so the amp wouldn't sound as "boxy" as some original 5E3's do to my ears. It's a pretty good sized 1x12--similar to the widebody oversized 1x12 that Mesa used to make.

    Well, today I'm playing it, and I've got it cranked pretty good since I'm the only one home, and there's that low end flab I've grown to dislike so much. Then I noticed something new--the grillcloth seemed to be flapping as I played, especially when I'd hit notes or chords in the lower register. I got closer to the amp, hit a chord and let it ring, and inspected the grillcloth in front of the speaker. Sure enough, it's flapping and rattling on there, and making an audible sound. (And if I held my hand firm on the grill cloth, it would stop.) By appearances, the grill cloth is nice and tight and looks great. No visible excess or folds or creases or anything like that.

    So I decided to cut thr grillcloth off and see what happened. (Grillcloth ain't that expensive to replace.) Presto! No more noise! And, conveniently, the high end is coming through really nicely--more than before.

    So here's what I've concluded. If you look at the grillcloth in the link above, you'll see that this grill cloth is some tightly-woven fabric, really. I believe that since it's such a dense fabric, it was actually hindering the movement of air coming off the speaker (which was a lot of air when I've got the thing cranked like I usually do)... This in turn stretched and loosened the fabric to an extent over time, which made it easier for the fabric to flap and fart on the speaker baffle. At the same time, since the grillcloth was such tight fabric, it was literally a blanket of sorts over the speaker, hindering the high end to a degree.

    Now I have to decide what to do with in the grillcloth department. I'm wondering if this problem would be solved if I used a grillcloth that allowed air to pass through more freely? Or am I going to keep running into this issue because I've yet to learn how to put grillcloth on a baffle properly? Would I be better off finding a round metal grill guard that protects the speaker and allows air to really move freely off the cone? (If it wasn't such a hazard, I'd leave the thing uncovered indefinitely. But with three young kiddos in the house and gigs where accidents happen, I'm just asking for someone to poke a hole in my precious 15w Alnico speaker.)

    Suggestions? Would the "right" grillcloth that allows air to flow easier through it be a good solution?
     

  2. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    It sounds like you are right about too tight of a weave causing the noise. Try with a lighter material next time, and maybe glue the the cloth to the baffle to physically prevent it from flapping against it?

    Good luck with it!
     
    Royal Tele likes this.

  3. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    This is just a wild guess, but Mojo's oxblood or wheat look a lot more porous both in photos and in person than that brown cloth looks in the photo...
     
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  4. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    Oh no... tone cloth... :D
     
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  5. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    843
    Jul 13, 2009
    Lone Star State
    Haha! Far from it... But I wouldn't be too surprised if someone claimed one grillcloth had more magical mojo than another...
     
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  6. SolidSteak

    SolidSteak Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 27, 2016
    USA
    Maybe your grill cloth is mounted upside down? Take out the baffle and flip it. Then the weave will funnel the sound up, where there's more treble.

    It's like adjusting the AC vents in a car really. Same principle.

    :D
     
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  7. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Do a Pete Townshend and slash the grill cloth -- oh, wait, they slashed the speaker cones... :D
     
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  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    So you're not planning a new line of cargo shorts... :)
     

  9. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Directional cables would probably sound great with that! :lol:
     
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  10. Royal Tele

    Royal Tele Tele-Holic

    Age:
    30
    843
    Jul 13, 2009
    Lone Star State
    Well, tone IS in the underpants, so...
     
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  11. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Tele-Meister Gold Supporter

    273
    May 2, 2017
    Tulsa, OK
    I don't know about air impedance, but I've seen references to gluing wood trim pieces to the front of the baffle as standoffs so the cloth won't slap the baffle board when it vibrates.
     
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  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Tele-Holic

    Age:
    65
    894
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    What about directional grill cloth? Maybe he had it mounted outside in....? (or is that what Solid Steak was saying?)
    .
    .
    But seriously, I've wondered before about the damping effect of heavy or dense grillcloth. I once used a "beam blocker" on a small Vox amp with an 8" speaker.....helped cut down on shrillness and unpleasant high frequencies....wouldn't account for "flapping", though.
    BTW...The Grateful Dead used to remove their grill cloth for this very reason.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2017
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  13. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    60
    Jul 18, 2010
    Western Connecticut
    In all seriousness, I had a Champion 600 once - the modern reissue. Total piece of crap, but that aside, the little blanket they used for grille cloth DID in fact impair the tone. I replaced it with a piece of oxblood probably from an old organ. The amp still sucked, just not as much.
     

  14. mherrcat

    mherrcat Tele-Meister

    424
    Dec 12, 2013
    California
    Looks more like a solid brown version of the tweed cloth used to cover cabinets. You should try the more "open weave" variety.
     
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  15. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 19, 2015
    TooFarFromCanada
    Hempweave grillcloth. A real thing? Accents the highs?

    Just askin'....
     

  16. Jakeboy

    Jakeboy Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sedalia, MO
    Lol Google Marshall Bluesbreaker grill cloth....people DO believe that there is a significant tonal difference....
     
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  17. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Poster Extraordinaire

    Aug 6, 2014
    UK
    Put a nice open wicker on it :)
     
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  18. zook

    zook Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2003
    Cochise, AZ
    This was my first thought. The baffle should always have standoffs around the edge to raise the grillcloth.
     

  19. bowman

    bowman Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2006
    Framingham, MA
    It doesn't matter what amp I'm using - the noise coming from behind my grill cloth is always bad. I'm starting to think that it might be something other than the cloth...
     

  20. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    I think that they are normally designed that way. It might flap, but it won't flap "against" anything.
     
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