Shellacking Grill Cloth Guitar Cab Yay or Nay?

teleman78

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Hello Folks,

I recently build a home made 1x12 guitar cab out of a honey bee NUC box from the bee supply store ($15). Came out great but also just build a little Tweed Champ (5F1) Head cabinet from the same material to match the speaker cabinet. To make it nicer I applied some Shellac to the head cabinet baffle, the problem is that now my head cab baffle is darker than the speaker baffle. I was wondering if applying shellac to the speaker cabinet grille cloth will have a negative effect on the sound of the cabinet? I say that because I feel it might close the thread holes on the grill cloth therefore stopping the sound from traveling through? I'm not sure.. does anyone have any experience with this? Please see pictures of the cab attached. Thanks
 

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archetype

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Hello Folks,

I recently build a home made 1x12 guitar cab out of a honey bee NUC box from the bee supply store ($15). Came out great but also just build a little Tweed Champ (5F1) Head cabinet from the same material to match the speaker cabinet. To make it nicer I applied some Shellac to the head cabinet baffle, the problem is that now my head cab baffle is darker than the speaker baffle. I was wondering if applying shellac to the speaker cabinet grille cloth will have a negative effect on the sound of the cabinet? I say that because I feel it might close the thread holes on the grill cloth therefore stopping the sound from traveling through? I'm not sure.. does anyone have any experience with this? Please see pictures of the cab attached. Thanks

IMO you'll ruin the cloth for it's intended purpose of being as acoustically transparent as possible, while attenuating as little as possible. You'll regret it.
 

SoK66

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Gerald Weber (Kendrick Amps) suggested soaking grill cloth in a strong tea solution to give it an aged look. He was refering to repro blackface silver/blue cloth to give it that brownish look (exposure to club smoke, etc.) That might work for whatever you have planned.
 

tomasz

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I haven't considered putting shellac on a grill cloth of an amp yet. I don't think it will affect tone much, but will definitely stiffen the fibers and make them feel more rough. Probably also darken them. I like what you got though, wouldn't change that look. Nice project!
 

schmee

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I agree with most of what is noted above, certainly in the theory.
But you CAN spray grill cloth with many things to no noticeable ill effect. It's been done for years attempting to color duplicate old BF Fender cloth etc. People seem to like spray Min Wax poly. Getting the shade to come out how you want is difficult.
Mist the cloth with the spray far away from it, like 2 ft..... A little goes a long way, so give it a look along the way. You can always add another mist coat.
 

teleman78

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Thank you all for your comments. I guess the consensus is to leave it alone. Here are a couple pictures, one with flash so you can see the difference in color. Thanks again
 

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Nicko_Lps

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Please see pictures of the cab attached. Thanks
As others said its probably a bad idea.

Seeing your cab, bamboo grille cloth would fit PERFECTLY and you can apply any type of varnish or shellac on it.

Installation is extremely easy, you wet it as much as you can and fit it on your speaker with staple nails, when its all dried out it will tighten up.
You cant stain it with water/oil dyes but you can apply colored finish on it to achieve the taint you need, if you need it tainted anyway.

Mesa's use it pretty often in their high quality wood cabs/heads
 

Axis29

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Put the shellac on. It won't hurt a thing.

I have used odd fabrics for speaker grills before, even including a coffee bag! I have used spray lacquer and spray shellac, as well as sprayed my own shellac on grill cloth.

The stiffness does not have any tonal effect. It helps it get installed and helps keep it from sagging later.

Most grill cloth is plastic.... Do you really think stiffening up some fabric with shellac will really make it harder than plastic strands?

MqrfBvl.jpg
 

King Fan

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I have used odd fabrics for speaker grills before, even including a coffee bag! I have used spray lacquer and spray shellac, as well as sprayed my own shellac on grill cloth.

I like contrarian thinking. Buy low, sell high.

TBH I was picturing a brush here, saturating the cloth, filling the holes, etc. Ack. But a careful spray, nice amber shellac, several light coats, might not make an audible difference.

I've looked into sound transparency just enough to get confused. Lots of dueling viewpoints with demos on YouTube. Hard science? I dunno. We can tell what conventional wisdom here thinks — and consensus isn’t always wrong.;)

But final word? In the pics, to me, the OP's unstained cloth looks better than the head. In fact his cab looks mostly like your lightly shellac'd cloth, @Axis29 . Me, I’d make sure both baffles were black, then re-do the head au naturel…

65E432EB-339B-48C8-AA2F-A664B80FF495.jpeg
 
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Oxidao

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I like it as it is.
Little 'imperfections' of natural life.
Time will probably do the job in some way

Awesome stack btw !!
 

teleman78

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Well guys, based on some of your encouragement I bit the bullet knowing that I could have ruined it. I like it better now as a whole, looks more "cohesive". I'm also happy to report that the sound has not changed at all. I did however thin out the shellac with mineral spirits and was applied very thin in order to avoid the clogging of the threads in the fabric. I might apply a few more coats later on but for now I'm happy with it.
 

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Axis29

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Looks great!

Well guys, based on some of your encouragement I bit the bullet knowing that I could have ruined it. I like it better now as a whole, looks more "cohesive". I'm also happy to report that the sound has not changed at all. I did however thin out the shellac with mineral spirits and was applied very thin in order to avoid the clogging of the threads in the fabric. I might apply a few more coats later on but for now I'm happy with it.

Only suggestion I would make is not to use mineral spirits to thin shellac... Use denatured alcohol, rubbing alcohol (with a percentage above 80%) or Everclear.

Mineral spirits doesn't dissolve the shellac. It may make it runnier, but the shellac is not evenly distributed in the solution.
 




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