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Starting a 5F11 Vibrolux build - bias question

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by jsnwhite619, Dec 12, 2016.

  1. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Well, you know how tdpri junkies are once we get the itch. So, I looked at my scrap wood pile of end cuts, and random sized pieces of birch plywood, and scrap pile of Tweed end cuts, and I decided to build a Champ cab too. 1492748323020.jpg
     
    robrob and tubeswell like this.
  2. King Fan

    King Fan Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Nice. You make it sound so easy -- and instantaneous.
     
  3. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I think I'm a minority around here. The woodworking is what I grew up around and is the easier part of it for me, I started out as an absolute rookie on the electrical part. You guys leave me scratching my head and running to Google a couple times a week.
    I've learned a LOT about the wiring and electrical stuff in the past couple years, but so far, I've never felt 120 volts through a piece of pine!
     
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  5. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Jan 7, 2011
    Washington, USA
    I'm with you. I've always been amazed when the amp gurus get stumped by a little wood work, because they're so knowledgeable about something that is soooooo much more difficult, at least to me.

    The cabs are looking great by the way. What kind of baffle are you going to use? I replaced the thin baffle in my 5e3 with a 3/4" ply baffle and found it improved the amp noticeably, at least to my ear. It got rid of some the "looseness" that is the 5e3. Anyway, just curious.
     
  6. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Thanks. I use 3/8" Baltic birch for the baffle. I have to order it online because nobody local carries anything like it quality-wise, I think it is 7-ply void free. https://www.woodcraft.com/products/baltic-birch-plywood-9mm-3-8-x-24-x-30
    I've never used the 1/4", it just feels too flimsy to me. I can flex the 1/4" with my hands, the 3/8" feels like a piece of plate steel. On the cabs I finished with the oiled wood, I used the 3/8" for the back panel. The ones I covered in tweed had 1/4" panels, but after the tweed wraps around it's close to 3/8" finished. Lowes has 1/4" thick pieces of poplar that are maybe 6" wide x 2ft long that I rip strips from and glue on around the edges for the grill offset.

    How would you describe the 3/4" sound? Do you think it boosted/cut the bass or treble any?

    As far as the woodworking, I love it, but now that I think about it, I can see it being harder to do just because of the investment cost if you didn't have any tools already, and you have to have a space where you can operate. A $40 soldering iron & an open window can get the job done without noise or dust in any apartment or neighborhood. A few hundred $$$ for a table saw & router wouldn't be worth buying and learning how to use for one or two builds.
     
  7. CapnCrunch

    CapnCrunch Friend of Leo's

    Jan 7, 2011
    Washington, USA
    You're right on the money with the observation about tooling cost for those who just want to build a single cab.

    Regarding the difference between 3/4" vs thinner baffles, I would describe the difference as the thicker baffle causing the amp to sound more focused. It would be interesting to analyze the frequency response difference between the two, but I don't have that ability. My ears tell me that a thicker baffle causes the amp to sound less "loose". The most noticeable difference to my ear is that the low end sounds tighter. I'm sure there is some comb filtering going on with any baffle, regardless of size. The thicker baffle yields a different resonant frequency and probably damps different frequencies than the thinner baffle does. It's worth experimenting with different thicknesses because it is a pretty cheap and easy thing to build. It may be a way to kind of fine tune the sound of certain amps when you want to accentuate one quality or the other i.e. more focused vs. a little looser.

    The thicker baffle also helps in decoupling the sound waves produced by the cone of the speaker from the waves produced by the baffle. I'm not a sound engineer, and I don't pretend to completely understand this, but decoupling was one of the goals of the old Fender tone rings, and also one the reasons why surface mounted speakers sound different than rear mounted speakers. The thicker baffle is much more effective at decoupling than thin baffles are.
     
  8. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I've gotten some more work done on the cabinet. I'm hoping to maybe get the Tweed started this weekend....depends if the the wife gets out of the house or not. Haha. I also have kept the same pace with the little Champ cabinet. I don't even have a Champ, but I just felt like I should use the wood for something.
    1493471140349.jpg
     
    robrob likes this.
  9. RollingBender

    RollingBender Tele-Holic Vendor Member

    688
    May 14, 2011
    SW Minnesota
    Im happy to hear that I'm not the only one who does stuff like that
     
    jsnwhite619 likes this.
  10. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Didn't get any Tweed on today, but just to be clear, here is what is getting covered up. Just doesn't seem right.... 1493530005892.jpg
     
    robrob likes this.
  11. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Finally had some good weather the past couple days and got some Tweed done. Humidity has been 25-30% range in the afternoons, so I've taken advantage. Already got the alert on my phone e for severe thunderstorms tomorrow, so I've been burning it down tonight. 1493872319107.jpg
     
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  12. Kev Reg

    Kev Reg TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    76
    Dec 2, 2016
    Scotland
    I really have to have a go at covering in tweed sometime soon. I have zero experience though! The stuff aint so cheap in the uk either. I guess I should just go for it though. I fancy doing a tweed super in the future. Maybr just a head version.
     
  13. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I suggest a carpenter's speed square and a good razor/exacto knife to be in the arsenal. I only use scissors to cut tweed of the main roll, and razor blade & straight edge for the rest. Those corners are by far the hardest part of it though.
    It's around $38 a yard here, so it isn't cheap. The Tweed styled tolex actually looks pretty good and is only $13/yard. Maybe an option to experiment?
     
    Kev Reg likes this.
  14. Kev Reg

    Kev Reg TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    76
    Dec 2, 2016
    Scotland
    Sure i might try a 2x10 speaker cab in tolex or tweed tolex first. Thanks for the tips.
     
    jsnwhite619 likes this.
  15. jhundt

    jhundt Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    63
    Mar 23, 2003
    Netherlands
    Man, jsn - you do some real nice work! Humidity 30%? Wow, here in Holland it never gets below about 99%!
     
  16. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    I don't recommend ever wasting your money on hide glue! haha. It would probably never set!

    It's really hit or miss here. As the saying goes, "if you don't like the weather in Georgia, just wait -- it will change soon." The past couple days were great for it - kinda felt like September/fall weather - but today it's cloudy and back up to 70-80%, so I'm not even going to waste my time until it dries out again. I've learned the hard way, even with a dehumidifier in my shop, if the air is too wet, you can still pull the whole panel off at the end of the day.

    The air was actually drier yesterday than I've ever worked with it before. I could smear on some glue, hold the corner in place with my fingers for 30 sec. or so and it would stay. I had to keep a spray bottle and wet rag close by because it even set too quickly a few times. But THAT is why I like that glue, and i used it for my first tolex experience a few weeks ago -- no matter how long it's been, a hot wet towel can always get it off again. If the lines don't match up, or something just isn't right, you can take it back off without destroying the material or cabinet.

    If anyone here decides to try it, I've learned to only spread the hide glue on the cabinet and not the tweed because it will bleed through and darken it. With the tolex, I spread thin layers on both. Both ways, I use a use a rolling pin to flatten out any bubbles, and don't ever wrap an edge until you have the bubbles out -- it has to be able to escape somewhere.
     
  17. King Fan

    King Fan Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    This is turning into a nice tutorial, Jason. Thanks.
     
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  18. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Thanks! I can't believe it has lasted so long. Several folks smarter than me added a lot of info a few pages back on the bias section that helped me out a great deal and hopefully will help others in the future. I know that the HV tap bias was my big "new" problem on this build, but it helped me leaps & bounds in understanding how fixed bias works now. With the dual primary on the PT, I was also able to hear the difference in the same amp across a 100 volts difference - 320v to 420v - and that was interesting to actually hear and feel what the difference makes.

    The only thing left besides finishing the cabinet is adjusting the caps on the tremolo. I got the different values to hopefully slow it down some, but the biggest thing I've learned from that is speaker choice. The tremolo is much more exaggerated through a heavier bass response speaker. I love my Veteran 10 I've tried it with, but it doesn't have much low end. When we played it through the ET65 and the bass was there, you could REALLY feel/hear when it wasn't on the tremolo. The top end doesn't seem to be as affected, so I guess if you really dig the tremolo on an amp, maybe try a bass-heavy speaker and see if it boosts the effect.
     
    robrob likes this.
  19. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Time for another update. After dealing with the wonderful soggy South for the past month (I've never seen this much rain in my life), I tried something different and bought a pound of real, hot melt hide glue. The stuff is amazing. Where the bottled kind has to evaporate to bond, this has a lot of initial holding strength in the cool down. I got the top Tweed panels on yesterday and it worked like a dream.
    So, in the past month I have the rear panels cut & hope to cover them today maybe. The baffles are cut to fit, but no speaker cutout yet. Hopefully, this project is in the short rows now, though.
    1497190224322.jpg
    1497190231288.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2017
    Kev Reg, robrob and King Fan like this.
  20. King Fan

    King Fan Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Those cabs look amazing. Strong work.
     
    jsnwhite619 likes this.
  21. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    965
    Sep 10, 2013
    Georgia
    Here's the last of it to finish. I found it's easier to trim those strips after they are on there instead of trying to cut to fit.

    I used a cove bit to smooth the vent holes of the panel, but I don't know if that is right. The round over wouldn't touch it on the 1/4" ply. Does anyone know what bit they used to smooth those vent holes?

    If I get enough cleaned up and out of the way to work, I may get a panel covered tonight. I am liking the hot hide glue. It would be tough to learn with because of the fast set time, but for the weather I've been dealing with, it's a dream come true - fast set that is water soluble/reversible if needed.
    1497312534803.jpg

    And the glue
    1497312546763.jpg
     
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