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Pine cabinet vs particle board tonal differences?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Cadillac_Mike, Jan 19, 2021.

  1. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Meister

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    I know a lot of you guys have played tons of different amps that likely have both so I'm really curious how much you can hear that difference alone. All the higher end amps seem to have real pine cabinets but doesn't the speaker basically just shoot the sound straight through? It seems like the quality of the wood wouldn't make a ton of difference shaping the sound unless you're using reverb.
     
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  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Well some swear by black face super reverbs. Most 60s were particle board.
     
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  3. loopfinding

    loopfinding Tele-Afflicted

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    i'm not sure it really makes too much of a difference, but i'd sure as hell rather lug a pine cab around than MDF.
     
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  4. jman72

    jman72 Tele-Afflicted

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    I use pine for all my cabs. When you're playing, the whole cab vibrates (especially if you use a floating or thin baffle), so I like to think of the whole thing resonating like an acoustic guitar. It's probably not THAT big of an effect, but you can imagine that it makes a difference when the wood is absorbing some vibrations.
     
  5. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    My back and surgically repaired shoulder says pine is better than particle.
     
  6. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Afflicted

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    This has been done to death.

    The cork sniffers swear by ply/pine. You can hear the diff, feel the diff, taste the diff, etc.

    Other ppl don't care/can't tell.
    .
     
  7. slider313

    slider313 Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    The cabinets were pine. Only the baffle was particle board.
     
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  8. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Meister

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    That's funny, I didn't even consider the weight difference. My Blues Junior does seem a bit hefty for its size.
     
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  9. Cadillac_Mike

    Cadillac_Mike Tele-Meister

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    Did all Silverface amps have pine cabs?
     
  10. Jbnaxx

    Jbnaxx Tele-Meister

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    In my limited adventures in cab building, I find that solid pine cabs have a bit of a woody ring to them. Birch plywood seems to not have that ring to them...... never worked with particle board.

    edit: I expect in an amp cab after it’s covered with telex, you couldn’t tell the difference.
     
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  11. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    My 0.02..

    I guess I'd have to agree with most of the previous comments. Perhaps the biggest differences probably isn't in the sonic qualities so much but more in weight and/or strength. Having said that, I will add.. when I have built my own with solid pine, inevitably I do a good pass over the exterior with a random orbital and/or finishing sander. When I run the sander(s) over the [mostly] finished box, it will resonate at a certain frequency and the volume of that vibration can be astonishing loud! I like solid pine finished in a clear coat --- not because I'm picky about appearances and styling, but because it is easy to touch up, strong as heck and lighter than ply or particle or OSB type materials too.

    YMMV. Good luck.
     
  12. Rockinvet

    Rockinvet Tele-Afflicted

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    For me it's the weight. You'd have to have really good hearing to really notice the difference. So I lose on both accounts!
     
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  13. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    I'm absolutely certain the wood affects the tone of a solid-body guitar.
    I'm absolutely certain the wood (ply or particle) DOESN'T affect the tone of a guitar speaker cab (at the same thickness).
    Absolutely.
    Certain.
     
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  14. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Pine is lighter. Particle board can swell and disintegrate if it gets wet

    Later Silverface cabs the top and bottom were pine, the sides and glued in baffles were particle board. They definitely weigh more - 5,6 lb for my late Princeton Reverb.

    Early Drip-edge, the baffles were detachable, cheap screwed-in compressed particle board that crumbled with age. I'd replace with 5 ply myself.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2021
  15. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    I stripped the Tolex off my PRII, and it really opened up the tone and let the pine breathe.
     
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  16. Dan_Pomykalski

    Dan_Pomykalski Tele-Meister

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    Pine is super light, super cheap, and super easy to work with. Even if there wasn’t a tonal difference, I’d probably still build my cabinets out of pine.
     
  17. drewg

    drewg Tele-Meister

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    I briefly owned a 60s Gibson Minuteman and that particle board was a sponge of stale dankness (probably exaggerating slightly). That, and its less than satisfactory sound made me get rid of it.

    I want to believe pine resonates better – and it makes sense that it would, over time, if only subtly so – but even if it doesn't (as you say) I won't buy another MFD amp. I like well made furniture with real wood. Nothing says cheap like particle board– not to mention all the chemicals in the glue. (I wish Vox would stop using the stuff).
     
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  18. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm also curious about a related question, which is whether changing from a particle board baffle to a Baltic ply one will have a sonic effect. Specifically, is it likely to be brighter?
     
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  19. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    It adds chime.
     
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  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    I don't think it makes much difference.
     
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