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Flat profile guitar amp and cabinet design
Flat profile guitar amp and cabinet design
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Old 6th December 2019, 01:10 AM   #1
antonmcmillan is offline antonmcmillan  Lithuania
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Default Flat profile guitar amp and cabinet design

Hello guys,

I have a task to build a flat profile guitar amp and cabinet that would be driven by transistors instead of tubes. I have searched the forum but was unable to find proper information due to large amounts of posts that come up after every search..

What I am after is a closed cabinet design with 2 or 4 drivers.

The dimensions of the cabinet would be around 450x150-200x600 (LxWxH) in milimeters.

Prefferably a digital type module that would have the possibility to run the signal through several digital effects like reverb, delay, chorus and so on.

The device would also have a jack for audio line input to play audio and a microphone in to be able to actually play the guitar and sing at the same time.

I am new to speaker designs although I have proper qualifications in engineering and acoustics. I really want to do a DYI build and get more familiar with the ins and outs of speaker and guitar amp design.

If you could forward me to some forum threads that are worth reading - I would love that. Any reference to books I should also read would be greatly appreaciated. Also, any advice or questions are welcome.

First questions:
1. What speaker cabinet volume should be optimal for such a design?
2. I am investigating low profile drivers to do the cabinet as flat as possible. Is it a good idea of should I aim for a certain width for sound quality and loudness?
3. The focus is not to only play the guitar, but sometimes use it as a line or microphone playback device. Therefore, would it be wise to use different types of drivers to cover as much of frequency range as possible?

P.S. The idea is to fix the cabinet to a hinge system (like a door etc.), thats why the profile has to be flat.

I know the thread will look weird, but I think its a very unique design idea.. I couldnt find much to be read in detail about something like this..

Thank you and have a nice day,
AM
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Old 6th December 2019, 02:24 AM   #2
hitsware is offline hitsware
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For guitar an open back cabinet would give a more
' guitar like ' sound ....
The dynamics of a guitar signal will be compressed
in any reasonable sized box .
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Old 6th December 2019, 02:43 AM   #3
leadbelly is offline leadbelly  Canada
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We can certainly help you with the design. May I play devil's advocate and ask how you came up with your unconventional design? I ask because for a first DIY project something basic and conventional is typically preferred, and selecting something unconventional without having experience to back it up can lead to disappointment.
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Old 6th December 2019, 03:21 AM   #4
antonmcmillan is offline antonmcmillan  Lithuania
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Originally Posted by leadbelly View Post
We can certainly help you with the design. May I play devil's advocate and ask how you came up with your unconventional design? I ask because for a first DIY project something basic and conventional is typically preferred, and selecting something unconventional without having experience to back it up can lead to disappointment.
I am totally on board with you here, brother. I understand the path to where we are going might be hard and disappointing, but I am ready to do it.

I already went through a daunting process of designing and building a recording studio so this one shouldnt be as hard, i think.. I do have quite a bit of knowledge about sound related engineering, but I think speaker design is a completely different world in itself.

The idea came as a request and maybe a sort of a weed induced joke to build a guitar amp/speaker system/player that would be fixed to a hinge system (a door in this case). Since its a door - we need it to occupy as little space as possible and have the most effect.

I might be a noob, thats why i asked about a closed type system. I thought since it would be fixed to a flat surface i thought it should also be closed. Maybe an open design wourks as well? I know plenty of materials to dampen the vibrations, but does it make sense to have an open end design if it would be permanently fixed to a door?

And thanks for the love guys Just registered and already getting help Gotta love the internet

Cheers!
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Old 6th December 2019, 03:48 AM   #5
JMFahey is offline JMFahey  Argentina
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Your specs are contradicting and confusing, you are asking too much from too little and it won´t work, or work poorly and in any case NOT meet your desires.
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Old 6th December 2019, 04:01 AM   #6
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Solid state guitar amp designs are easy to find by the thousands. Look at some Peavey "Transtube" series designs. Those sound nice and the circuits are not challenging.

An amp/speaker that sounds good for both guitar and vocals is a compromise at best. Acoustic guitar maybe, but electric guitar, not so much. For vocals or acoustic guitar we have basically a small PA system. Like any PA or hifi, the goal is to faithfully reproduce the input signal and send it out the speakers. The speakers want to be fairly flat for true fidelity.

But a guitar amp is the opposite. It is not made or designed to REproduce sound, it is intended as a primary creator of sound. It is not supposed to sound flat or neutral. it is intended to have a sound of its own. That is why players prefer Fenders or MArshalls, or whatever brand. They like the particular sound of those brands. Plug an electric guitar into a PA system, and it sounds very ordinary. Like an unseasoned steak.

GUitar speakers tend to be more efficient that hifi speakers, and they are anything but flat. In fact the speaker is the single most effective way to change the sound of the amp.
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Old 6th December 2019, 04:11 AM   #7
antonmcmillan is offline antonmcmillan  Lithuania
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Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
GUitar speakers tend to be more efficient that hifi speakers, and they are anything but flat. In fact the speaker is the single most effective way to change the sound of the amp.
I understand that. Thats is why I was thinking about a 4 driver system. What about a cabinet, that consists of 2 guitar drivers and 2 flat drivers that are connected as separate circuits. When you plug in a guitar - the guitar drivers and the circuit is engaged and the drivers pump out that sweet electric guitar goodness, but if you plug a microphone or a line - the other two speakers start playing the fairly flat sounds of their circuit.

I am not sure about how combining these speakers would work, but I think it should be possible..

BTW - thanks for the directions!
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Old 6th December 2019, 04:37 AM   #8
PRR is offline PRR  United States
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> 450x150-200x600 (LxWxH) in milimeters.

So in antique units, 18" 7" 24".

Many upright two-Ten cabinets are about this size.

I do not understand hinged like a door. Can you draw a picture? Even a cardboard model?

You could also look at existing "Modeling Amps". They ARE different from a conventional guitar amp. It sure would be easier to buy a pre-made amp and change the cabinet to your design, just keep the same box volume and any venting.
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Old 6th December 2019, 07:10 AM   #9
Enzo is offline Enzo  United States
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Well now you are talking two amps in the box, one for each set of speakers. Seems overly complex to me.

I think modelling amps would work, but they are full of DSP and such, and since this is a DIY project, I suspect that is beyond the scope of the project. Just an opinion.
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Old 6th December 2019, 07:23 AM   #10
antonmcmillan is offline antonmcmillan  Lithuania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
Seems overly complex to me.
I understand this. But I dont think there is another way to approach this.. Or else compromising on sound between the two inputs..

Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzo View Post
I think modelling amps would work, but they are full of DSP and such, and since this is a DIY project, I suspect that is beyond the scope of the project. Just an opinion.
Hmm.. DO you think it would be too expensive or too complex? I have money to fund this project and I am ready, if I need to, to make 3 or 5 pieces until I make a good one that I like So the determination is there..
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