General question about grille cloth - Tone?

Discussion in 'Amp Tech Center' started by Telekarster, May 6, 2021.

  1. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    Hey all, I'm in the process of building my first speaker cab. I will say that it's been quite a learning experience for me! I had no idea how much work is involved in building a quality cab... wow... I think if I had to do it over again, I might've just bought one from a boutique shop and called it good. But, since I'm fully vested in this project now, I'm muscling forward. I'm nearing the decision on grille cloth but with so many choices out there, I'm confused on what I should get in terms of weave vs. tone.

    Does it matter if the weave of the cloth is more open vs. tighter i.e. will the type of cloth I use have influence on tonality? I'm going to be using a 12" Celestion Gold Alnico in it, and also a vintage 12" Altec 417-8C as well as a vintage 12" SRO/12, to experiment with sounds and would like a cloth that will complement these speakers equally if possible. I've been sort of eyeing antique style radio cloth, cause I like some of the unique patterns that stuff comes in, but not sure if that's an OK option for a guitar speaker cab or not. I don't plan to gig with this cab; mostly living room playing and perhaps some recording time, so it doesn't have to be bullet proof cloth persay I guess. Mostly concerned about affects certain cloth may have on tone. Appreciate the input in advance, and thanks all!
     
  2. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pretty much any fabric that allows light to pass through works great as speaker cloth.

    You're not going to notice a sound difference between the various types available--despite what some suppliers might have you otherwise believe.
     
  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yep, People think it's just a box. A helluva lot of work actually. Heck you can get a nice pine ready to use one for $225 or so. Or used to be able to anyway.
    Normal tight weave fabric can be a little deadening on the highs. But unless you are playing quite quiet it's not too bad. We used to put tye dye etc cloth on cabs back in the 70's. But we were playing 100 watt Marshalls! However, real grill cloth is just not very expensive and those are nice speakers you are planning on!
    I have some old Oxblood that is nice if you need some.
    [​IMG]
     
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  4. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I remember when the RI Champ 600 came out.
    The grille cloth was not unlike the shag carpet in a 1970s van.
    Everybody changed it.
    Turned out it made no difference.
    Who'd'a thunk?
     
  5. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The only actual grille cloth I know of that alters tone is the old Marshall "basketweave" used on some 1960s cabs.
    It's super pretty to look at, but has a slight dulling of softening of treble.
    Also expensive to buy and very hard to stretch!
    I put some on an old Marshall cab and used a scrap on a little TV Tweed.

    Something like Denim or other fabrics might be less suitable, and I've seen wrong cloth that poorly protected speakers.
     
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  6. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

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    Mojotone has a great selection of grille cloth. The cover won’t affect anything. It’s a cosmetic, lightly protective dust cover for speakers.
     
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  7. King Fan

    King Fan Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Good info here. It seems like visual transparency becomes a key factor, not so much in how it sounds as in how it looks. Too thin, you’ll 'see' the speaker and baffle, which tho fine isn’t quite what people expect. Too thick or wooly, like a blanket or carpet, and people will think your amp is eating tone even if it isn’t. :):):)
     
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  8. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I "think" I "perceive" that I "maybe" hear a "possible" slight difference between very thin, transparent grill material and some of the heavier stuff.....but not enough to worry about. In fact, some speakers, especially newer ones, have a perceptible upper high harshness that a heavier cloth helps tame. But my #1 criteria for buying grill cloth is.....buy something that LOOKS good. ;)
     
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  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here's the Marshall basketweave cloth on the same cab I put new basketweave on.

    One mistake I made was I had the new repro Marshall logo that fit the little pin holes in the middle of the front baffle.
    After I fought and wrangled the new cloth onto the old baffle, I realized I could not see or find the little holes to mount the logo.
    Didn't really want to start poking new holes in the $60 cloth hunting for the holes or making b\new ones so I left it nameless.

    https://www.guitarcenter.com/Used/M...MIiOSWqLi18AIV6evjBx2-DAeYEAQYAyABEgLBVfD_BwE
     
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  10. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Holic

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    Building my own cabs, I use fiberglass window screen between speaker and baffle. I don't care much about bling on musical instruments and you can't get much more transparent.

    Window screen+.jpg
     
  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    I did that with some home stereo tower speakers. About as transparent as you can get. ;)
     
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  12. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you all so much for all this input! Most helpful indeed, and I greatly appreciate it! Thanks @schmee for that offer as well, I'll consider that! You are so right... I feel like I'm building another guitar in building this cab! LOL!!

    I will keep all of this info from ya'll in mind as I progress, and will be sure to post a new thread with the build from start to finish with pics of course, and what my experience has been like ;)
     
  13. puddin

    puddin Tele-Afflicted

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    Antique style radio cloth works great, on guitar cabs. My wife and I many years ago, built 3 small 1x12 cabs. The fabric is very easy to work with. Can't wait to see pic's. Cheers..
     
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  14. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I challenge the transparency of your window screen with my lobster trap mesh!

    EA93BAB6-A092-4833-BFEB-C84803149D43.jpeg
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Here’s my 1970 Marshall cab I put new cloth on and a utility 1x12 I made and put a scrap do the same cloth on. The scrap was not big enough to wrap, it's loose held by the four corner screws seen on the front, sandwiching the baffle to the TV front panel.
    It's actually Princeton size but looks bigger due to wide angle phone camera.
    The little cab was built quickly to house a speaker that was being shipped.
    Nice cabs are nice but time consuming to make.
    If I want a really nice cab it’s a better deal to shop at mojo or avatar etc.

    3C04C972-DA22-46FF-9F7B-55D7D718513F.jpeg
     
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  16. yegbert

    yegbert Poster Extraordinaire

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    Around 1970, when I was in my first band in high school, I nailed plywood together to make a set of cabs for our PA, and used my dad’s old hemp feed sacks for speaker cloth. I painted them with a rattle can of cheap hardware store black spray paint. Speakers were from a discarded console stereo.
     
  17. NoTeleBob

    NoTeleBob Tele-Afflicted

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    Gonna have to disagree.

    First, it was more like suede. LOL.

    Second, changing it out makes a huge difference. The stock one is like throwing a blanket over your amp.

    As for the OP... any real grille cloth will be good IME. There are lots on Ebay... or, if the oxblood color is your thing, the offer above.
     
  18. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    FYI,,,,You will need a heat gun to tighten it up
     
  19. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Unless its pretty heavy weave, differences should be minimal. I have a sheet of plexiglass, 1/8" I put in front of mine, acts like a 3 db attenuator. It was free, rescued from the spoils of a wedding cake.
     
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