Speaker Box Designs 2x10

These Bass Guitar Speakers Box Designs below are my own creation.  However, I have utilized the engineering provided by the manufacture for these systems (See BassLightCabinetDesigns.pdf document).  This 2x10 system is the basis for a modular 8x10 system, which is just four of the 2x10 boxes in a stacked arrangement.  My intention here is to emulate the Ampeg 8x10 bass speaker system, which is usually used with the famous SVT bass head.  Some of the original systems had a 32 ohm cabinet, which indicates that the speakers were 4 ohm and likely wired in series.  This of course was designed to match the amplifier's output transformer.  Also, the Ampeg speaker cabinet used Eminence 10 inch woofers, and the cabinet was divided into 4 compartments, with two 10 inch woofers in each section, which would handle +75watts at the full output of the amplifier.  Each 2x10 compartment was an infinite baffle type system (i.e. enclosed box, not ported in any way).   If you have never used one of these systems, you have no idea what a great bass system these units are.  They are the Holy Grail for most bass players.  Even a "not so great bass" usually sounds much better on one of these systems.  This is due to two main factors:  1) the all tube amplifier, and 2) the large speaker cone area.  This modular speaker box design of mine gets you half way there!

In my modular design, I have 4 individual cabinets, each with 2x10 systems, which are wired in parallel for 4 ohms.  The approach of my design here is to provide flexibility and easily transport the system.  In contrast, the classic Ampeg system, is quite large, and requires a van or truck for transporting the speakers, not to mention that a hand truck is quite handy in moving this unit also.  My modular design, by comparison, can be loaded into a compact vehicle in the back seat, and moved with two trips, one 2x10 system in each hand.  Also, you have the option of using one, two, three or four of these boxes, depending on your need for the gig.  I have chose the Eminence CA2010 10 inch woofer as the woofer of choice for my system, in the 8ohm version.  This woofer has a power rating of 150watts, a resonant frequency of 51Hz, and a frequency span of 48hz-7khz.  This is an aluminum cone type woofer, which has extended high frequencies, and is normally quite punchy.  This type of woofer is also the choice of pros like the late Jaco Pastorious.  I also chose to wire the two speakers in parallel (See Speaker Wiring), which means that the impedance for the box system is 4 ohms. 

The actual design and layout can be downloaded here (2x10_CabinetDesign_Layout.pdf) in pdf format.

The size of the box which I have chosen, will accommodate both infinite baffle and vented options.  Originally, I have chosen the infinite baffle, for the tightest sound possible.   The design calls for a 1.723 cubic foot cabinet box for the 2x10 unit.  This has an f3 (the start of the low frequency cut off point) of 88Hz.  This particular design also limits the power of unit (pair of 2x10) to 100watts.  So, with four cabinets, you can drive them with 400watts, which should handle most situations.  For this design, I have chose the following internal dimensions of the speaker box:

Height:  12 inches

Width:   22.5 inches

Depth:   11.0 inches

These dimensions yield a box which has 1.723 cubic feet of volume (1 cu.ft = 1728 cu.inches).  Since I made the box 14 inches deep, and I made the front panel so that it can be removed, I can change the depth of the inside of the cabinet to accommodate the size needed for a vented cabinet design modification, which also requires isolation for each woofer, by using a divider between the woofer pairs, and getting 0.894 cu.ft. for each woofer cabinet, and a f3 of 70hz, but an increased power limit of 125 watts per woofer.  If this is done, you can push 1000 watts (8x125w) of power into this system, and it will rock the place (you should be able to get 140db of sound at 1 meter from the cabinet, and with 4 of these systems behind you and 4kw of power (this would yield 151db of sound), you could actually kill yourself on stage!--hence: "killa-bass").  However, you will likely not have as tight of a bass sound as you would with the infinite baffle design, but that is the trade off here--volume of sound v.s. quality of sound.  

The infinite baffle option design here requires the inside of the box to filled full with acoustical dampening material, which reduces standing waves inside the box.  You can purchase this material at places like www.parts-express.com, or you can use fiber glass insulation (not the best choice for several reasons), or you can by cheap pillows at Walmart and take out the stuffing.  The latter is what I chose to use, since the material appears to almost the same as the acoustical dampening material, but about 1/4 the price.

Below is the 3/4 inch plywood I used for my 2x10 cabinet project, and some left over 10 inch woofers I had laying around, just to get me motivated for this project.  What a beautiful site!  The plywood I used here is shop grade which I bought at Home Depot.  One sheet can be laid out for two cabinets.  I did use some extra 1/2 inch plywood scraps to reinforce the corners as you will see below.


And here is what the cabinets look like during the construction process.


I used quarter round oak at the corners.  This is not necessary to do, but is a preference that I have when making speaker boxes. 


Notice below the 1/2 x 1-1/4 inch plywood strips attached to the corners.  I also used liquid nail on the corners to seal and strengthen the joints.  Liquid nail needs to be tooled quickly after being applied. 


I used Tight Bond wood glue on all of the joints and glue mating surfaces.  This is a very good glue and it is water proof too.  I also used 16 gauge 1-1/2 inch finish nails on the corners, and 16 gauge 1-1/4 nails for the front panel backing strips below, followed by 1-1/4" drywall screws.   The front panel is finally screwed to these strips.  Do not forget to use weather sealing to seal the box before setting the front panel permanently.

This speaker terminal part below was found at Radio Shack and then modified for standard 1/4 guitar jack.


Here is what the final product looks like now.

More Designs are coming soon!


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