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Thread: Researching beater cabs available for cheap builds

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Researching beater cabs available for cheap builds

    So while I've been convalescing from my heart attack I’ve been bored out of my mind and even though I can't be lifting cabs around yet I'm trying to find used SS beaters to mount some finished chassis I have in. What I keep finding is Line 6. They seem to fail a lot ( although I think a lot of the failures are minor if not just a need of a reset. I have a couple of 200 watt chassis in the garage that I picked up dead for $19 and now work fine. Just are useless, lol), are in generally good shape, have the right configuration, and can usually be found for around $100 with a Celestian 12" or two in them. The only problem is that they are MDF and heavier than I would prefer. Anyway…. this is what I'm finding:
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    Just waiting to be gutted and the combo chassis mounted from the top. Might have to make a back cover but so what? And make a new badge of course!

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    Supporting Member eschertron's Avatar
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    Almost as if Line 6 was making the cabs just so they could be re-purposed! Classic looks for such a "modern" amp

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    A friend of mine had one of those but in a 2x12". He played in three different bands with it, and of all the thousands of sounds (and even the contemporary Variax to go with it) and 160W, he could only find one sound that cut through a REAL drummer... he went back to tubes. But that cabinet took a LOT of abuse.

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
    "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    A friend of mine had one of those but in a 2x12". He played in three different bands with it, and of all the thousands of sounds (and even the contemporary Variax to go with it) and 160W, he could only find one sound that cut through a REAL drummer... he went back to tubes. But that cabinet took a LOT of abuse.

    Justin
    IMHO they are just loud, obnoxious, and the presets seem to lock up at the worse possible moment. I've played a lot of gigs where I have had to lend my amp to someone with a "locked up" DSP amp. They don't like unclean AC mains in old buildings. Lol. That said... I think gutting them for cabs is a good option. But they weigh 48 lbs with the SS amp. Probably ad at least 5 lbs more with a loaded tube chassis. Is 50 -55 lbs acceptable for a 20-30 watt, 1x12" combo? I swear that dense MDF is like steel plate! But cash local pickup for a lot less than a custom made or home build cab with a speaker is a no brainier.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Just waiting to be gutted and the combo chassis mounted from the top. Might have to make a back cover but so what? And make a new badge of course!
    I think you have a spare Bugera logo you could put on it.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    Is 50 -55 lbs acceptable for a 20-30 watt, 1x12" combo? I swear that dense MDF is like steel plate! But cash local pickup for a lot less than a custom made or home build cab with a speaker is a no brainier.
    the problem is that MDF is heavy, it sounds dead (they love it for HiFi speaker builds) and it's not all that durable. get it wet and you're really in trouble. so it's got 3 things going against it. i hate MDF but it's hard to pass up a ready-made box that has decent speakers if you get it at the right price.

    I'd get a handtruck.

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    I think you have a spare Bugera logo you could put on it.
    I usually slap a band logo bumper sticker over it.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by olddawg View Post
    The only problem is that they are MDF and heavier than I would prefer.
    FWIW even Fender and Marshall are MDF today.

    And I have seen Marshall and VOX (including AC4) made out of chipboard (which in any case is lighter than MDF).

    Here you can appreciate that fine wood grain and texture in all its glory:


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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Nothing wrong with chip board. It's light and has no voids. Just don't get it wet. Just ask Silvertone.

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    I use nothing else since forever, except for a few selected cabinets for real Pro touring customers where saving a few pounds translates into important savings in air freight, in that case I use thin (1/2") "baltic birch", our locally available version made out of very good Chilean or Brazilian woods.
    Light and strong cabinets, but take extra internal bracing to minimize wall vibration.

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    Juan,

    Is the Vox you posted above MDF or chip board?
    I always associated chip board with the stuff they use as sub-flooring, usually called "plywood" around here. Plywood I consider to be wide (comparitively) sheets pressed together in opposite grain orientation.

    Depending on what that Vox is, I'll refrain from any remarks about new vs. old for the moment...

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
    "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    A good question. To me the stuff in the photo looks like pressed sawdust. What I call chip board - perhaps incorrectly - is the stuff that looks like large flakes of wood, like an inch or two or three across, all hunked together to form a sheet.

    what I call chip board:
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    Don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Justin, are you talking about OSB ?
    (aka flakeboard)

    I think chipboard is the older type paper based like silvertone.
    Particle board, mdf, and osb are all something else:

    http://www.diy-live.com/particle.html

    I think the Vox example above is actually particle board? But seems to depend where you are. In some countries, particle board is called chipboard, in the US, chipboard seems to refer to paper-based.

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    Last edited by g1; 09-20-2017 at 07:25 PM.
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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    I think chipboard is the older type paper based like silvertone.
    The greyish board often seen in Silvertones, Danelectros & similar amps is what I call homasote, also known as beaverboard. It was popular in the 1930's - 60's as a cheap wall & ceiling board, in fact my bedroom ceiling is made of 8 sheets of the stuff. Made of cellulose fiber slurry pressed & dried into sheets, sort of a very thick felt paper product. I like the way Dano put a couple of saw slices in a piece then bent it 90 degrees for soft-shoulder box corners.

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    Quote Originally Posted by g1 View Post
    Justin, are you talking about OSB ?
    (aka flakeboard)

    I think chipboard is the older type paper based like silvertone.
    Particle board, mdf, and osb are all something else:

    diy live, home improvement, do-it-yourself

    I think the Vox example above is actually particle board? But seems to depend where you are. In some countries, particle board is called chipboard, in the US, chipboard seems to refer to paper-based.
    G1, what I call chipboard is what Enzo posted - 1"-3" flakes all laid together haphazardly, usually in large sheets, then glued and pressed. The stuff they use for sub-flooring, walls on houses, etc.

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
    "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    The "1"-3" flakes " stuff is OSB and is water resistant by design. Each individual piece is soaked in water resistant varnish which also glues it to others.

    The "sawings residue" stuff where individual pieces are clearly visible is chipboard.
    In fact there is a machine called wood chipper to turn any residue into this.

    The stuff where wood is boiled in lye so fibers separate and make some kind of "cotton" is pressed into MDF.

    Enlarging the picture I can see smooth beige floor and sides, probably MDF, and whiter chipboard used for struts where front and back panels are screwed. Chips and rough edge are clearly visible.

    Sexy VOX type leatherette covers and hides anything, and is all customer sees.

    FWIW this is a relatively expensive (compared to similar SS amps) tube AC4.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Sexy VOX type leatherette ...
    What's next? Sexy VOX Latex?

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    What's next? Sexy VOX Latex?
    Ribbed for her pleasure.

    On a more serious note, I've wondered why nobody is making molded plastic guitar amp cabinets. It seems to have caught on in the small P.A. market. It also seems to me it would be a logical progression. Light, strong, cheaper to mass produce, lower shipping costs, etc.

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    Last edited by The Dude; 09-21-2017 at 02:34 AM.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Why not molded plastic guitar amp cabs?

    GAF*? (*Gutiarist Acceptance Factor)

    Bass players seem willing to accept change. Guitar players not so much.

    Most bass players would accept a lightweight plastic cab if it was lighter and could deliver the goods. To get guitar players to accept a molded plastic speaker, Marshall would have to introduce it and say it's better than their 1960A 4x12. Somehow I don't see that happening.

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    Supporting Member The Dude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    GAF*?......

    *Gutiarist Acceptance Factor
    That's probably true. But, I'm not sure it would be such a big deal. Amps would be cheaper to ship- saving the end user. They'd be lighter, which (I'd think) would be attractive to many. From the audience perspective, who would know?

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    That's probably true. But, I'm not sure it would be such a big deal. Amps would be cheaper to ship- saving the end user. They'd be lighter, which (I'd think) would be attractive to many. From the audience perspective, who would know?
    I've used two 15"ABS plastic passive wedges for bass a couple of times. And once I used an ABS 12" plastic wedge for guitar but I had to disconnect the crossover and the horn. It worked... not great but it worked. It may be difficult to mold into a functional rectangle that won't collapse. Lol.

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    Lifetime Member Enzo's Avatar
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    PA tops, but I can;t offhand think of a PA sub made of plastic. That may impact the bass amp market.

    Guitarists love tradition, but we see more and more of the computerized amps, like Line 6, the Fancy Vox ones and even the entry level ones from Fender, Peavey ,et al. people accpet those now. Neo magnet speakers are showing up. Who made the tiny lunch box amp like ZZTop use, I forget. AA metal lunch box, hey, why not plastic. I think it has to start with a basic level amp to introduce to the market.

    On the other hand a basic small wood cabinet from China costs about 8 cents, with little more than blue prints and a table saw, a plastic needs to have molds made etc.

    And speaking of plastic, there sure are a lot of pros playing those Ovation guitars...

    And like those, why does a guitar amp have to be a rectangle?

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    Old Timer Leo_Gnardo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    Ribbed for her pleasure.
    Maybe this is what explains the popularity of Kustom's tuck'n'roll look. 50 years later people still love 'em.

    Meanwhile other companies that tried to emulate Kustom, for instance Earth and Plush, covered some very crappy ply boxes with their tuck'n'roll.

    On a more serious note, I've wondered why nobody is making molded plastic guitar amp cabinets. It seems to have caught on in the small P.A. market. It also seems to me it would be a logical progression. Light, strong, cheaper to mass produce, lower shipping costs, etc.
    Molded plastic cabs have been the norm in large PA as well. Those hanging arrays you've seen at big concerts, most are lightweight plastic, loaded with neodymium magnet drivers so that a dozen or more can be hung from each rigging point. This started to become common right at the turn of the millenium.

    Fender offered a version of the Blues Junior in a molded plastic enclosure in early 2000's. I forget what it was called. Styling recalled amps of the late 1940's. List price was sky high, around $1000. One hung around a local music store here collecting dust for years, what the sales managers call "a stone," you can't move it. One of my friends picked it up cheap due to their frustrations selling it. Turns out it's a well-engineered tough enclosure, and to my ear sounds better than the wooden/MDF box Blues Jr's. Nice surprise!

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bob p View Post
    To get guitar players to accept a molded plastic speaker, Marshall would have to introduce it and say it's better than their 1960A 4x12. Somehow I don't see that happening.
    Saying is not enough ,they would have to pull Jimi Hendrix`s remains from the casket and have him play with one.
    While burning a few guitars to better deliver the message

    That said, tough public, guitar players still respect **Tweed**

    EDIT: as of:
    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    Sexy VOX type leatherette ...
    What's next? Sexy VOX Latex?
    I see no fault in:


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    Last edited by J M Fahey; 09-21-2017 at 03:56 PM.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    That said, tough public, guitar players still respect **Tweed**
    You mean, "Non-Master-Volume (read as, "GOOD!") Marshall," right? Because apparently the best way to get authentic Marshall tone anymore is with a big Fender tweed clone...

    Justin

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    "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
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    "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin Thomas View Post
    You mean, "Non-Master-Volume (read as, "GOOD!") Marshall," right? Because apparently the best way to get authentic Marshall tone anymore is with a big Fender tweed clone...

    Justin
    You mean *this*?


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    Old Timer J M Fahey's Avatar
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    Or this?



    funny thing I notice is that used with its intended guitar, a Strat (and probably even more with a Tele), even as used here with all knobs on 10, sound is not really "distorted" but sharp, quite articulate, and in the intended place, a large barn turned into a Country ballroom with horrible acoustics, heard clearly even at the farthest ends.

    VERY well designed amp, and clearly tweaked by ear to perfection in the actual "battlefield".
    You certainly can´t miss that bright piercing sound.

    Notice that original AC30 also had a similar bright jangly piercing sound, probably for similar reasons.

    The current craze among bedroom rockers about clipping bright caps in their amps is missing the point big way and just reinforcing the idea that they *are* bedroom rockers, best case living room or garage ones.

    The "nails on a blackboard" sound they complain about makes sense in a cavernous hall with hundreds of people (if not thousands).

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    funny thing I notice is that used with its intended guitar, a Strat (and probably even more with a Tele), even as used here with all knobs on 10, sound is not really "distorted" but sharp, quite articulate, and in the intended place, a large barn turned into a Country ballroom with horrible acoustics, heard clearly even at the farthest ends...
    I haven't watched that video recently, but I remember thinking how clean the Tweed Bassman's tone was when I watched it.

    I think that the -16dB (!) of feedback* has a lot to do with the articulation and clarity. The power section of the Tweed Bassman is actually designed to be a very clean amp. I think that most of the grit that people get out of that amp comes from overdriving the PI, and from speaker distortion in the P10, rather than from the power tubes themselves. If I had to guess, I'd expect that he didn't have the guitar's volume at 10.

    * I think that I can count on one hand the Fender amps that used that much NFB.

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    Last edited by bob p; 09-21-2017 at 07:12 PM.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by J M Fahey View Post
    I see no fault in:

    THAT is more along the lines of what I was thinking about with the latex reference ... but in a rubber-fetish sort of way.

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    Last edited by bob p; 09-21-2017 at 07:13 PM.
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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Dude View Post
    That's probably true. But, I'm not sure it would be such a big deal. Amps would be cheaper to ship- saving the end user. They'd be lighter, which (I'd think) would be attractive to many. From the audience perspective, who would know?
    To get a lightweight injection molded plastic cabinet accepted on stage in lieu of a Marshall stack, the stage crew would probably have to do this:

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Old Timer olddawg's Avatar
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    Well..... I blew it with that cab. I could have got it for $140 ten minutes away, no tax. A working amp with a 12" Celestion. So I checked out some 1"x12"x12' clean pine boards from Dixieline. $42 plus tax. I should have bought the damn amp. By the time I bought the wood, the Tolex, the corners, the handle, and a speaker it would be that much. That's not counting the time and effort involved. I guess I'll keep looking. I've always recycled cabinets for my builds before. I'm not in a huge hurry. Just bored.

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    Better Tone thru Mathematics bob p's Avatar
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    there's another thread where we've been talking about how bugera is blowing "refurbished" amps out so cheap on ebay that it's not cost effective to shop in the used market. even cabs. there's a Bugera 412 that they'll sell you for $210 shipped.

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    "Stand back, I'm holding a calculator." - chinrest

    "I happen to have an original 1955 Stratocaster! The neck and body have been replaced with top quality Warmoth parts, I upgraded the hardware and put in custom, hand wound pickups. It's fabulous. There's nothing like that vintage tone or owning an original." - Chuck H

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    Looks like even in good working order, these 2x12 amps are dead cheap where I am.

    I've been kinda hoping for a dead Frontman 212R or Champion 100 to turn up, so I can try building an ultra-low-watt 'twin' in a 'twin' cab. They're pretty rare, and when they do come up dead, they're about the same price as these Line6 amps are good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo_Gnardo View Post
    The greyish board often seen in Silvertones, Danelectros & similar amps is what I call homasote, also known as beaverboard. It was popular in the 1930's - 60's as a cheap wall & ceiling board...
    If this is the same stuff, I see that it is still available at Menard's and Home Depot.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sound-Ba...6136/202090212
    https://www.menards.com/main/fiberbo...795-c-5779.htm
    I haven't seen it person. Can someone say if it works for baffle board as well as cabinet shell?

    Thanks,
    -rb

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    DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

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    Member Emeritus Forever Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rjb View Post
    If this is the same stuff, I see that it is still available at Menard's and Home Depot.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Sound-Ba...6136/202090212
    https://www.menards.com/main/fiberbo...795-c-5779.htm
    I haven't seen it person. Can someone say if it works for baffle board as well as cabinet shell?

    Thanks,
    -rb
    Sound Barrier Sheathing 1/2 in. x 4 ft. x 8 ft. R-1.2 Sound Board
    • Improves sound insulation
    • Guards against termites, rot and moisture

    Huh?!?

    Steve A.

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