Sunday, 11 March 2012
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Here's a link to the designs: http://greenboy.us/fEARful/ These designs are generously provided to the DIY community by Greenboy. There is endless discussion on Talkbass.com, at this point 14 mega threads and innumerable offshoot threads. You could probably build a cab faster than you could plow through all of the reading. That would be my suggestion. If you are a DIY guy, or have access to someone who is, these cabs are fairly economical to build. The extended low range is what makes these cabs perfect for the Dingwall basses. Think of them as a full range PA for your bass. Crisp and clean all the way down to my low B flat tuning. Super mid and high present. I'm a carpenter by trade so building these cabs is fun time in the shop. Wiring crossovers: not my favorite thing to do, but it's a cookbook recipe. I don't need to understand it, I just put it together. Meatball electronics, with a 1/2" plywood circuit board. Here's a 12/6 cube. This thing has become my go everywhere cab. [img:2w5jj5l9]http://img827.imageshack.us/img827/4130/6readytogo.jpg[/img:2w5jj5l9] This cab uses the inexpensive Alpha 6A mid driver, and the 3012LF. The whole project came in under $300. (I got a good deal on the 3012LF before the prices went up.) [img:2w5jj5l9]http://img10.imageshack.us/img10/6355/carvinstack.jpg[/img:2w5jj5l9] Here is the 12/6 cube sitting on one of the 15/6/1 cabs, each getting a mere 300 watts @ 8ohm per side from the Carvin HD1500. I'm running a drum machine, or canned music , as well as my bass and vocals through a small mixer into the Carvin. This would be plenty of sound for most small rooms. At this point, there are probably a few hundred of these cabs out in circulation. I know the fEarful crowd can be pretty vocal, even fanatical, but these cabs are game changers. Kind of like Dingwall basses. I'd be happy to answer questions!
9 years ago
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#23172
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are the necessary parts for the build easy to buy? i mean not having to spend hours looking for a shop that sells the stuff
9 years ago
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#23175
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One stop shopping at Leland's Speaker Hardware. [url:1oua478p]http://www.speakerhardware.com/categories.php?cat=138[/url:1oua478p] These are great guys to work with. Leland will have all the crossover parts, things that may be on backorder or out of stock at the other suppliers. This would be how I would go, you would save on shipping and hassles. Before Leland took on the task, I would typically order from three suppliers: [url:1oua478p]http://www.parts-express.com/[/url:1oua478p], (handles, grills, corners, t-nuts, and misc black hardware, input dishes, speakons, ect.) [url:1oua478p]http://www.partsconnexion.com/[/url:1oua478p] and [url:1oua478p]http://www.erseaudio.com/[/url:1oua478p] (for the crossover parts). The shipping charges added quite a bit to the cost. Erse could be very slow. On the first build I found drivers on the Talkbass classifieds. And it was just as you describe, hours of tedious ordering. I just received some custom made grills from [url:1oua478p]http://www.reliablehardware.com/customspeakergrill.aspx[/url:1oua478p] They look great! Reliable is another place for cab hardware. [img:1oua478p]http://img813.imageshack.us/img813/2572/p3130003.jpg[/img:1oua478p] This is a little 1-10 "combo" I'm building for a buddy. (not a fEarful) A GK 200mb slips in the top. A hinged hatch on the rear. Take apart hinges and clasp from Reliable, still to be installed. The grills came in exactly to my spec, with a 3/4 bend/return on each side. They have a selection of looks. I'll use these guys again, the grills are slick. I buy plywood from a local lumber yard, 1/2" (12mm) baltic birch. About $35 for a 5'x5' sheet. As an estimate, two sheets built two fEarfuls, a 12/6 cube and a 15/6/1. Here's a link to Greenboy's own forum: [url:1oua478p]http://greenboy.us/forum/index.php[/url:1oua478p] There is a classifieds section there. To register on the fEarful forum, the code word /answer is Shaft. I don't know if 1970's "blaxploitation" movies were ever big in South America. You may remember the theme song. [url:1oua478p]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPqao-ialNs[/url:1oua478p] It's a fun project if you are into DIY.
9 years ago
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#23177
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- Would you consider this a cost-saving option over factory cabs? (Considering your own time "free".) - I've heard (I think from you :P ) that fEARful cabs sound better than any factory equivalent. Is this true? - Would you recommend this to a professional bassist, or should this only be for amateurs? - 1/2" plywood can't be light. Can you give some perspective on the weights of these cabs?
9 years ago
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#23196
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First, the easily quantified: Weight by the bathroom scale. The 12/6 weighs 47 lb. I was hoping to come in under 40, but baltic birch is a dense, 12 ply plywood. Also, I didn't use a neo Alpha 6 which might have saved a few pounds. I put scoop handles on both sides, but I often just grab it with one hand for short trips. I added a bit of bracing around the handle cutouts so I could use longer screws on the handles. For comparison, I had a Epifani 1-12 that was lighter at 30+ lbs, but it wouldn't do anything like what the 12/6 does. Not nearly as powerful in the lows or as clear on the highs. I bought and sold the Epifani (used) for $300, I built the 12/6 for $300. As far as bang for the buck, they weren't even in the same ball park. The 15/6/1's are 60-65 lb, one is heavier than the other because I used 3/4 ply I had in the shop. They have two scoop handles as well. In size and shape and weight it is like picking up a medium size PA cab. I would recommend these cabs to any bassist, no question. [b:bi8rh7l6][color=#00FF00:bi8rh7l6]Burningskies, can I get a witness?[/color:bi8rh7l6][/b:bi8rh7l6] As far as factory equivalents, it's hard to find apples to apples comparisons. Our little bass community holds GTG's roughly twice a year. [url:bi8rh7l6]http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f158/hood-river-portlandia-gtg-11-14-2010-a-709419/[/url:bi8rh7l6] At this last GTG the fEarful cabs really shined, and the show stopper was Duke's AudioKenesis Thunderchild. Both the fEarful and the Thunderchild spring from the same school of thought. Duke has helped refine the fEarful crossovers. If you wanted to buy a very high quality, ready to play cab, especially for acoustic upright, or UEB, this is something to look into. If you want to get there with a DIY project it's back to the fEarfuls. There is a lot of side by side testing going on at these pow wows. (microbrews, wine, scotch, chili, tall tales, as well as too much expensive gear) It was one of these events where I first ran aground on the fEarful rocks. I took my pair of TL 606/3015 full range cabs. I was pretty proud of this project. They looked and sounded good, and they were cheap to build. And they held their own with the other conventional cabs, Mesa, Bag End, ect. But the fEarfuls and the other DIY cabs using LF drivers, mids and horns and some kind of crossover blew them away. (we've got some fairly tech savvy bass geeks around here) Cost: There is the beginnings of a retail market with the fEarfuls as builders come on line. I wouldn't quite be ready to say there is a MSRP on these. There is also starting to be a used market. Check the TB ads. DIY is generally not a big money saver if you need to put an hourly rate on your labor. I'm a carpenter by trade, so my skill set fits this kind of thing. I happen to have all the tools and a place to work. (If it's not too cold out there in the garage). I can work on something for a few hours and leave it sitting for days, there's no rush. I find it very satisfying, both the tool time and playing something I built. Tallying up my hours wouldn't do me much good, I'm not in it to make money. It would be like putting a rate on practice time. Just like woodshedding when I don't have a project, building stuff helps me keep my construction chops up. At least I like to think so, and that's what I tell my wife. She'd really rather I get to the tile job in the bathroom.
9 years ago
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#23235
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I concur entirely. [b:2eq8gwde]There’s not a good comparison in the mainstream MI industry for these cabs, and there’s only a few comparisons for them in the boutique and custom cab world.[/b:2eq8gwde] I’ve been running mine for a few years now, those being a 15/6 with a 15sub underneath. Unlike commonly available cabs, these go wider, more faithfully, with more clarity and volume. They don’t have a response hole in their frequency range like most woofer/tweeter cabs and don’t have a baked in premeditated voicing that you’ll have to fight. The lows are ‘true’ lows, and not the low mid bump that many cabs have that sound good solo but create mud in the mix. The cool think is that there’s no dip between where the woofer ends and the mid speaker begins. It was revelatory the first time I played mine. Especially given that the mids and highs are very useable and inviting. The design makes for awesome off-axis response on stage. Its probably important to note that these cabs are way ‘cleaner’ sounding than any other speakers I’ve used (and I’ve used a bunch). They remain clean to very loud volumes (past which point many other cabs lose linearity and distort), and as such, I found that my amp was giving up before my cabs were. I know that early on, Greenboy was happy to see that a Dingwall player was on board, given the Dingwall penchant for hi-fidelity, wide range sound, that’s clean and clear, and I believe that he really saw the combination of fEARful and Dingwall as an ideal match as the cabs have the same end philosophy as Sheldon’s shop. And in conversation, I know that Greenboy has been happy to see OTHER Dingwall players on board with these cabs (He’s a member here, although he doesn’t post regularly anymore). These are cabs that don’t ‘hobble’ your bass’ potential. I built mine back in the day and age that there were no authorized builders or pre-made kits. At that time, the crossover wasn’t set in stone, nor was there a proscribed L-Pad. I got the plans and had a local woodworker make my box. My parts came from a variety of vendors, but these days, you could buy a kit or source almost everything from one or two places. My second box came about 8 months later and I traded with fEARful related stuff for it. I’m not a woodworker. I had no real experience in electronics or speaker building before this either. If I can do it, you can too. [b:2eq8gwde]Is it cheaper than a ‘store bought’ cab? No. But they’re a heck of a lot better[/b:2eq8gwde], to the same extent that after buying a Dingwall I stopped playing production basses, I’ve now stopped playing or wanting ANY production cabs. I honestly think that Sheldon should have a 15/6/1 or a 12/6/1 or two as a test and promo rig. He could throw them together in a day (given his shop, woodworking and electronics experience), and I think it would blow away anyone who demo’ed his basses with it. It would also make an awesome reference rig for R&D. [img:2eq8gwde]http://homepage.mac.com/burningskies/.Music/IMG_0055-5.jpg[/img:2eq8gwde] [img:2eq8gwde]http://homepage.mac.com/burningskies/.Music/doubleDing.jpg[/img:2eq8gwde] Please note, While I still have the LMII, I no longer use it. I'm using a pre/power rig these days.
9 years ago
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#23362
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Great questions, TheGrandEnigma. I'm looking to get an amp in the following period (need a vehicle first ;) ) and I'm really curious about these. With no woodworking experience or tools, I'd have to buy one from an authorized builder; and that doesn't come cheap. I'm not complaining, good things never do, as we all know on this forum. I'd still like to save a few bucks if possible, cause I'd have to save to get these, and would also need an amp head.. Buying used is hardly an option for these, heh. Anyway, from what I've read, these cabs don't merely sound better - they sound true, which is perfect. I'd like to ask you, does this quality benefit the perceived volume of the cabs? You know, as in more clarity, cutting through the mix, all that. Using the same amp and settings on a regular cab and a comparable fEarful, what are your thoughts on the perceived volume in a band setting? The reason for asking: smaller fEarfuls are cheaper, and I'd save some on an amp too. I think something comparable to a 600-800W powered 4x10 would suffice for me. Also, what's your though on the high frequency drivers? They seem optional, and I never liked the tweeter all that much on normal cabs - I usually cut it's volume or bypass it if possible. Makes the sound somewhat too clanky for my taste. Yet, I don't know, maybe they're an important component of the fEarful design. I assume BurningSkies opted not to use them because of his usual reggae setting. Guessing here, I'd like to know the reason. I see one of the singlemalt's cabs comes with it, the other doesn't. Probably two tweeters would be redundant. Don't know; experience/thoughts?
9 years ago
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#23364
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Hi Bo. I wouldn't let the lack of woodworking skills and tools stop you. Get the plans for the wood layout - dimensions etc and the minimum of tools you will need. Places like Home Depot or Lowes rent tools by the hour , day week etc. Practice cutting on some scrap wood and be really careful - power tools can be dangerous to the careless! I have to qualify and say I have never built a cab, but I have studied these pics. The construction looks like simple boxes with butt joints - no fancy joinery techniques or routing dados etc. As long as you are accurate with your layout and cuts the assembly should be simple. You should be able to cut out all of the necessary components in a relatively short time, even without experience. The other option (and maybe better for you) is that these same building stores will probably custom cut the plywood, which you buy from them, at a pretty reasonable cost. then you can do the assembly at home with minimal tools required. Then we would still have a Bass Playin' Bo with all of his fingers!!
9 years ago
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#23372
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Fingers are good, and I do prefer them attached to my hand. Even if I did order all the wooden parts cut to measure, I'd still have to solder the electronics together and I've never used a soldering iron. That aside, I guess I could buy the handles and corners and other plastic stuff and would be able to make it whole, and I could paint it black, how hard can it be... I can buy the front grill online, that's cool. If Home Depot can cut the wood for me, I guess I could pay someone to solder the electronics for me too so that I only need screw the stuff together. I don't know of anyone able to do it locally, worst case I can just ask someone on craigslist; but is there a company or a chain that I may go to and ask? I checked Radio Shack online, they don't seem to offer services like that, but that's judging only from the website. Any problems with this idea, or just advice on where to go to? EDIT: A friend of mine turns out to be very good with a soldering iron and all that. So much for that! I've spent the morning looking at speakers and the other stuff I'd have to buy, they don't come cheap. I had no idea. Just the drivers would go to around $600 for a 1212/6, and that's without a tweeter. Judging from [url=http://www.anchakaudioworks.com/fEARFULSforSale.html:3ncf7nsr]this[/url:3ncf7nsr], I could probably get the woodwork and the gluing & painting and all that for ~$300, which doesn't seem that bad. But add the hardware, dampening stuff, the tools I'd have to buy (don't even have a screwdriver), easily reaching $1k. I don't know, this is an expensive game; especially because I could just order an 1212/6 for not that much more and be done with it, or lurk until a used deal pops up. Meh. How do the 15/6s you guys have compare to other cabs in terms of achievable volume?
9 years ago
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#23377
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The fEARfuls can also be found as kits, if you'd like the middle ground rather than build from scratch or buy fully completed. Some builders will also complete the box and ship it to you raw for your own completion. I posted to your thread on Greenboy's forum, but I'll cross post and try to answer your questions here too. I find the overall sensitivity to be roughly the same as a standard 4x10 cabinet, but in terms of clean headroom, its got way more than most any 4x10, meaning if you have the wattage, you can use it for more volume without distortion. I find the cab very 'hearable' in the mix because it is clean and clear, and the present mids that have wide dispersion. The clarity may take some time of adjustment. For quite a while I was playing way louder than I needed to because you don't get any of the brain's telltale signs of volume, namely distortion...that our minds read as high volume. I chose to not get a tweeter, not because I don't need the mids and upper mids, but because the 6" speaker actually covers quite a range of frequencies (including well up and past the 'string noise' area of a bass, and I don't need the upper upper reaches (most guys have found that they can't actually tell much of a difference between tweeter on/off unless they're pumping recorded music through their cabs, and can tell in the cymbal wash). I've had non-reggae guys play it and not feel like it was missing anything.
9 years ago
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#23378
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Thank you very much. Tweeter is out of the picture, and a 15/6 would be much cheaper then a 1212/6.
9 years ago
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#23379
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Yeah, I could easily live without the horns, and unless I'm using my GK for power, the way I've got them wired, they don't function. With the GK's high side I get 5K and up to the horns. Really, there isn't much there except a breathyness, and openess, that's subtle. If you played EUB or acoustic stuff you would like it. For my 12/6 is skipped the horn, and used a very affordable mid driver, making it the "biggest bang for the buck" of the cabs. Even with the 12/6 there is plenty of spanky brightness to be had. Like Burningskies says, the mid goes well into the high range. Also, originally the horn was crossing over at about 6K. Most guys felt like they didn't hear much difference with or without. I wish I had a variable crossover on the GK, because I think the horn should crossover closer to 3K, and the spec says the ASD 1001 driver will start at 1K. With that kind of set up I could eq highs out of the main cab and add back in with the horn. Skip the horn and you save a few pounds, simplify your crossover, and save about $40. The flip side is you get some options, and the horn is easy to install. Today's experiment was an older, slightly modded Ashley BP 41 preamp into the Carvin HD1500 with a 15/6 on each side. That's only 300 watts a side at 8 ohms. I got shut down pretty quick with noise complaints. Later, I'll try the Ashley into the GK's effects return, bypassing the GK eq for the Ashley's. I can run the horns that way, both cabs together at 4ohms. The reason I mention this is the Carvin was $300 for an insane amount of power, the Ashley was $100. The flat pack kits are cut and biscuited for easy assembly. Leland's Speaker Hardware has really done a great job of letting people decide how much they want done for them and how much DIY. The crossovers are pretty simple. I'm a firm believer in overkill, so I use crimp sleeves, solder, wirenuts and tape. It's not pretty, but I've never had a connection fail. I use scrap romex for wire, black and white to keep the + and - sorted out. Soldering is just practice. Pick up a basic soldering iron at Radio shack and a roll of solder, you'll be rewiring your Dingwalls in no time. The crossovers are meatball electronics. I'd be more concerned with the wood working part if you don't have: basic tools and some experience with them, and a safe place to work. There's no mystery to square parts and edges and accurate cutting, but getting close tolerances takes some practice. Doing it with just a skill saw takes lots of practice. Getting someone to build you the bare cab might be the ticket. There's only about $30 of plywood in a 12/6. Don't discount the 12/6 set up, it can get very loud. My pet peeve is high stage volumes, it just kills the sound in the room. So, I would never be out with a pair of Marshall stacks on either side of me. Guitards can do enough damage with a Fender twin. I like guys with 22 watt tube amps. YMMV. If it's got to be big and loud the 15/6 should do it. I wouldn't be surprised if you found someone in your area who has a fEarful and would really like to hear your Dingwalls.
9 years ago
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#23385
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Thanks Singlemalt, that advice really helped me out. I also inquired over at the fEarful forums. I'm going to go with a hornless 15/6. I found some people to help me out - guess what, when you're at an university with a big electrical engineering department, you're bound to find someone who has made speakers for himself. We're yet to work everything out, but I'm feeling very optimistic about this. As for the amp, I'll probably go with just a Carvin HD1500 power amp. I like the sounds I can get out of my Boss GT-10B more then enough, and I don't need [i:3i56y0pu]more[/i:3i56y0pu] expenses at this point. A preamp is scheduled for the future, eventually, maybe.
9 years ago
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#23388
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It's a revelation the first time you hear everything your Dingwall will put out. The 15/6 will knock your socks off. Good luck with the build, and holler at me if you have any questions.
9 years ago
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#23401
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Can a HD1500 be used to power a single cab, mono? As in, only using channel 1 input and output; would channel 2 explode or catch on fire or anything? If that'd be a problem, how hard is it to bridge both channels into a single cab - as long as I'm careful not to push the amp too hard and damage a 15/6? EDIT: posted on the fEarful forums. I'll stop hijacking this thread.
9 years ago
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#23821
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[img:2tsi69z4]https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-dIW_38YjUAc/T8LyLFhpglI/AAAAAAAAAqw/A22Yc2pyYCg/s800/IMG_20120527_202507.jpg[/img:2tsi69z4] [img:2tsi69z4]https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-d1vAKCW8NzE/T8LyLEZ7hiI/AAAAAAAAAqs/_t9RcROvA8g/s800/IMG_20120527_202603.jpg[/img:2tsi69z4] [img:2tsi69z4]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-eUN9lK6IjWE/T8LyLOG0jzI/AAAAAAAAAq0/dKArQnkpH40/s800/IMG_20120527_202643.jpg[/img:2tsi69z4] ..and it sounds better then it looks ;) It sounds... wow. The low B was so clear and didn't strain the cab one bit, the low A sounded healthy and full as well. The percussive component of slapping was too loud, or maybe I'm just not used to hearing it :) EQ will take care of that as I discover things. As for going to the power amp from the processor directly: not only did it take it, but it accepted the phone's headphone output :) So that's nothing to worry about. I don't know how heavy it is, I cannot measure, but I would have made a mistake if I went with heavier then this. This is just enough for one person to carry; a 1212/6 would probably be too much.
9 years ago
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#23824
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Good job on the build - it looks great!
9 years ago
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#23884
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Well done! The HD 1500 is perfectly happy with any number of options. I run a cab on each side at 8 ohms, two cabs on one channel at 4 ohms, main PA cabs on one channel and monitors on the other. I haven't tried the bridged mode, because even 300 watts at 8 ohms( one cab, on one channel) has been plenty loud. Manual says you can use the bridged mode at 8 ohm or, for maximum power at 4 ohms. The little recessed switch does the bridged thing, and the amp is supposed to be off when you switch it. I'm still feeling my way along with the preamp/ HD 1500 set up. Pretty amazing what the fEarful can do! :shock:
9 years ago
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#23939
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I have in bridged mode, that's 900W. Not only can my processor work with the power amp directly, but both Dingwalls also work directly, even in passive mode :D
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