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Head cab for my Laney VC15 - Suggestions and comments

Discussion in 'Shock Brother's DIY Amps' started by jakaj, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    I love my re-tubed Laney VC15, but have always felt 1) the looks do not go with the sound (which is nice and chimey and has a beautiful OD when driven). 2) That the 1x10 speake configuration does not let the sound shine, nor achieve the clean headroom.
    Since I like to have my amps as portable as possible; love to divorce the head and cab because I always feel like the vibrations are killing or at least rattling my valves; looove to tinker and make cabs (obviously still a novice at it though, but getting there slowly) -
    And so I am making a head cab for the VC15 - to complement a 2x10 I made initially for my Hot Rod (also head cabbed) Deluxe - but which is in itself rather large and frankly its loudness is often uncalled for. (It will also sound and look great on 2x12 with vintage 30s (thinking of buying the Harley Benton g212 - a bargain if only for the speakers (the cab with a new grill may well be good too - it is unfortunately closed back - but I have a saw...)

    So here goes -
    I am adding pictures from Cheetah 3d of the design for my Laney VC15 head cab - The 2X10 cabinet I made is also in the pictures below, for reference. I wonder if any of you have any ideas about changing it up? I plan to use the tan-brown grille and green tolex, so it would complement the 2x10 - but I wonder what ideas there may be out there among you savvy ones...

    So here goes:

    2x10 that gave me the idea (on the Fender HRD HOMEMADE HEAD CAB):

    [​IMG]


    This is the old Laney box - it hasn't lived here for a while:

    [​IMG]

    Here's the design:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Thx... :)
     
  2. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Hey Jakaj, sounds like an interesting project. I'm really curious what the result will be, soundwise. I also own a VC-15 but since it's a special white edition, I appreciate it for it's looks and size.
     
  3. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    The sound is awesome - I tried it out first, I am running 2x10 in parallel (jensen and legend combo) adds bass like nobody's business (my only gripe with 1x10 was lack of bass response with my single-coil guitars) and remains portable. I currently have the amp in a 12" combo box, which is also nice and open, but not as "present" as the 2x10. The white ones are very "British looking" to me a kind of late 60's London scene - don't know why, but it is a good thing :)

    (I hope to do a better job on the tolex - don't know what I did wrong on the cab...)
     
  4. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    You got me thinking now. Since I'm not a very skilled craftsman, I might consider just getting the 2X10 Laney box and use it as an extension cabinet.
     
  5. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    I'm not a skilled craftsman either - I had a Jensen at home that sounded too good to miss and gave it a try - sound-wise I got lucky - >I made it sturdy as hell as well, you can see its homemade - unless light is really bad (and in clubs it usually is!) - best of all I did not succumb to my GAS in buying anything ;)
     
  6. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    Yet :) - fighting GAS arrrgh always
     
  7. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, GAS is a terminal disease. I feel that one of the only benefits of living in Europe, and I do mean only, is the affordability of Laney amps. My VC-15 in retail costs 25% less than a Pro Junior.
     
  8. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    In the end I decided not to build a head, as portability would be hindered - instead, I will risk some tube rattle in a combo paired with the efficient Cannabis Rex (in the mail) - I like the C-Rex so much in my Hrd and the Vc15 is just that tad bit too quiet.

    The project, as usual utilises only salvaged wood, apart from the speaker nothing has been purchased specifically for this build -
    the handle is from an old belt that tore and some screws, the baffle covering is made from women's tights (high density) - and the feet are from wine corks - the rest is wood and screws.

    Dimensions: i took the Laney vc15 width (+5mm space for foil) so I can easily fit the amp and the Blues Junior depth as wall as height - to fit the 12" C Rex - while keeping portability.

    Here are the photos:

    [​IMG]

    here is the process of the baffle designing:
    [​IMG]

    I opted for the cross design (also a diffuser?) such as you may find in the times of my studies:
    [​IMG]
    I also opted against buying paint, instead I tolexed the baffle with my old Hot Rod's tolex - If I wanted the pattern to come through, I needed the background black.


    After some deliberation - thinking about the feet (high enough to clear handles on potential amps below) should it be erasers, wood, wood in tolex... I decided for wine corks - cork is the perfect material for this build! I used a cork of the champagne we opened on the first new year in this apartment - constructed and renovated in 2008-9! Music magic!
    [​IMG]

    here they are screwed in:
    [​IMG]

    First I thought, light brown women's tights would do - but the dar grey is just nicer with this wood (sand would be best, but I didn't have any light enough:
    [​IMG]

    here he is, the whole thing:
    [​IMG]

    and next to his progenitor - the more portable though less efficient VC15
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Hey, that looks really nice, better than the original. I wonder what the sound difference will be. I'd like to try it with the old Laney speaker first, just to compare.

    Oh, and it's always nice to see an Iskra tool, brings back fond memories.
     
  10. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    Thank you for the nice words.

    You know what - I can't do it exactly like that, because I already replaced the c10q with a legend 105 - but I can compare the latter - and the c10q (has its own designated pine cab) and then the C-Rex, when it comes - I'll try to get to it this week.

    Oh on the Iskra - I love it, the trigger is pefect it is just responsive enough to control speed of rotation - unfortuantely the batteries are giving out - so I'll have to buy a new one - but it will be this one Li-On be damned ;)
     
  11. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    Haven't gotten around to recording it yet - but I have finished the handles:
    [​IMG]

    Added a more suitable logo plate (used a soldering iron to burn the name into the wood):
    [​IMG]
    This is just temporary, since my girlfriend is making a proper aluminum plate for me.

    And this is the box awaiting transplant now:
    [​IMG]
     
  12. bayside

    bayside Tele-Meister

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    Heres a photo of a Laney AOR 30 and in front an AOR 50 waiting for it's cab. I run them both into Marshall 1960b 4x10 cabs. These mid 80's amps are real heavy in their original
    combo set up and ugly, but repackaged and driving different speakers they make a fantastic set up.
     

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  13. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Just one question for you guys:
    do you think the Laney internals are worthy of transfering to a new box, or do you also do some electronical modifications like tube socket reinforcements or point-to-point rewiring?
     
  14. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    Nice marshallage :)

    Vladimir, I like the tube sockets, and I really like the VC15 - with the stock jensen I like to record cleans, with the legens I can use it for a driven sound - I have to say it is one of my favourite lead tones - drive at 7, volume at 8 and humbucker - I have combined the c-rex today, and I am certain, that once it breaks in (it takes the C-Rex longer) I will enojoy it even more - it will be my gigging amp I think...

    Here's my rationale: the VC30 is too loud and too heavy, my Fender HRD is great, but also too loud and too heavy I am also fairly ok with the drive channel, so in addition to the heavy HRD I have to lug a pedalboard (or at least a pedal) - also I really like the Hrd when there is an additional 12" ... so that setup is really heavy.

    My laney vc15 was too quiet, with the C-Rex ( i have yet to test this in a band setting) I imagine it should hang better and I can tell you the bass response is much better now - although thank God there is not enoughj space for an additional transformer, because I would be tempted to try that as well.

    Bottom line - the already very nice VC 15 can benefit from fine tuning, but I don't think it needs very much.
     
  15. bayside

    bayside Tele-Meister

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    Vladimir. . the AOR 50, mid 80's is a copy of a JCM 800 2205, so I've read. I had 2204 for awhile and the Laney sounds as good or better. So a JCM 800, 2204, is going for about $1200 and Laneys are on e-bay for about $300, $350. Look at the photo I posted, that OT is one big mother and when Marshall went to to 2 capacitors , Laney stayed with 4. Yes I think their worthy of a new cab.
     
  16. jakaj

    jakaj Tele-Meister

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    That OT really is a MOFO - the VC 15 is a tad on the small side - but still, I don't really want to have too much going on where the bass lives - so its fine - chances are, the new OT wouldn't change that anyway

    Vladimir - another thing to consider is - that the VC15 you have seems to do it for you - and in terms of portability it just about wins - mine was too quiet and I still thought about red fang (apparently no mojo but crazy loud) and then pondered for a while if I should try the Ragin Cajun - just to keep the small laney combo - you could probably drive that on a moped, and still have space left for the imaginary girl who would be seen on a moped. The main reason I went for the 12" Cannabis rex - and then had to build a cab to house it (the laney VC combo is 20cm deep and there is no way to fit the 12" in there even though height and width seem like they could accomodate - because the amp itself is just that bit too big) was that I had and loved one in my HRD, tried it with the laney (plugged it in to the ext cab while in the hrd enclosure) - liked it and knew it would be loud enough for my needs - while the ragin cajun is unknown to me, and I just didn't want to try and fail. Also I love to build cabs, each new cab I make is a lesson and they are slowly starting to look better. One day I may even buy new wood for abuild.

    So - if your laney works for you as is, it is a wonderful amp of a beautiful size and weight. I played one gig with mine, and that was with the legend (3db louder than the jensen), and still clean sound was an intangible ideal. All my cleans were crunchy and all my drives were metal, my volume knobs were open all the way- and still it seems I was not heard (no pa on the guitar cab) -
    The drummer and bass player were having so much fun it was hard to hear me - I maintain that with a slightly less enthusiastic rhythm section you could gig a VC15

    Actually - here is the footage, excuse my playing, I swear I can do better:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kePUxgsdUs&feature=youtu.be


    Oh and the pickups on my then brand new Classic Vibe 50's tele are a bit less powerfull then other pickups in my guitars - so that played a part.
     
  17. Vladimir

    Vladimir Friend of Leo's

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    Actually, a few months ago, I traded the VC-15 for a Fender Blues Deluxe (with minimal payment). When I realized the Deluxe is too damn loud for playing at home, I then traded it for a brand new VOX AC15. The VOX is a fine amp, but I now somehow regret selling the VC. It was small, easy to cary and sounded pretty decent. Fortunatley, they pop up quite often in local ads so I might pick one up again.
     
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