Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Big Cabs

The last 3 days I've spent building a pair of 218SLVX subwoofers.  Man, building big cabs by yourself is not very much fun.  When just the top takes 2/3 of a sheet of 3/4 BB it gets heavy fast.  I had to get pretty creative with clamps, cleats and contortionism to keep things square. 

I only had one major disaster.  When I pulled one off the bench I lost it and it fell hard.  Broke a side panel loose that I had just glued up.  Had to fix it on the floor, there's no way I can lift one of these back onto the bench.  But it turned out okay, with some judicious use of a big hammer, jorgensen cabinet clamps and blue language.  Pretty sure the language is what fixed it. 

I don't know if any of you hang out on the BFM forum, but there's new stuff at Speakerhardware.
I recently went and toured a CNC shop fairly close and was suitably impressed.  There are now CNC cut and dadoed flat packs for most of the BFM subwoofers.   I've resisted doing flat packs for them for a long time, because of the size and assembly difficulty from a non dado flat pack.  These guys allayed my problems so here we go.  We're still working out the delivery times, the shop works these in between the BIG jobs they do, and I mean big jobs. This shop is no joke. 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Been a while

Sorry.  I just kind of forgot about this for a long time.  The last 4 months were pretty much insane. 

GCSoundworks is now reality.  The site's been up a while, thanks to Steve Regier of BigE Loudspeakers.  It's not complete on the back side, that's up to me.  But it's there.  We have a finalized lineup of pro audio cabs that have been tweaked to the gills for the MVW effect. 
GC25E 2x5 killer tiny cab.  2 will handle small venues, 4 for up to mid size venues.  Subs required. We did 4 per side in a church in Ft Worth with a single 218slvx.  350 seat capacity, I think the 129db we were hitting with a kick drum was probably enough. 

GC28 2x8 coax box that will handle big venues.  2 for mid size venues, more as needed.  We've been running 8, 4 per side at the Concert in the Park with avg levels of 104-105db at 200 ft.  The cabs were just cruising. 

RachÉ 12, 15, and 18 subwoofers.  Clean, punchy, and powerful. 

And finally, not on the sites anywhere,  The 218SLVX.  The big bruiser of the line.  60x30x24.  A dual 18 in a configuration like the PA tops.  Bone crushing.  Price tbd. 

On a shitty note, a friend recently had a table saw accident. If you can't afford a sawstop saw, get some Grippers. 

Get a pair.  Use them EVERY time.  Even if you can afford a sawstop you should have some.  I don't give a shit if you've been running a table saw for 50 years.   All it takes is a millisecond and you're crippled for life.  I've stopped kickbacks using them, made impossible cuts using them, they are in my hands for every cut except for when I'm ripping up full panels.  There are a pair sitting on my table saw all the time. Watch the video.  I sell em, I don't care where you buy them.  Just get some.  No woodworking is worth your hand. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014


Man, I've been able to work in the shop for a few days with the doors open.  I was actually sweating the other day.  I get SO much more done when I can do that.  Working under heaters just sucks.  Spring is finally showing it's wings.  About damn time.

On the MVW front we've finalized all the current designs.  There are 2, maybe 3 new cabs coming though.  A GC26, a GC210, and possibly a new home audio cab.  GC28's are done, just waiting for me to do the final assembly and finish work for pictures for the website. 

The first iteration of the GC210 is an animal.  Just an enormous wave front.  It's somewhat of a departure from the other cabs in that it uses an off the shelf line array waveguide for the tweeters.  The second iteration of the cab will get constructed next week.  The first has a few anomalies that we know how to fix.  There has been enough research and burned plywood now that Steve and Tom can get very specific on what to do in a box to cure something.

If you want insights into MVW cabs be sure to check out the next issue of Bass Gear Magazine.  The MAS bass cabs are lighting up.  There will be a complete review of MVW bass cabs, AND an article by Steve and Tom explaining the technology, and a drawing of the inside of a cab.  The bass guitar world has been quick to pick up on the qualities of these cabs, and this is kind of a thank you.

On the fEARful/fearless bass cab front Dave's fearless line is going great guns.  They got high praise at NAMM this year, winning a best of show.  The fearless line is not DIY, but the fEARfuls are great build it yourself cabs.  Especially with one of my kits. :-).  But of course I'd be glad to build a fearless for you.  There are lots of models, I'd encourage you to visit his forum at the link.

Tools.  Nothing new to report, no new toys.  But, we did some swapping around.  We replaced Sam's contractor SawStop with a cabinet model I had in storage.  He's finally in a place he'll be at for a while, so the heavier saw was worth the move.  So, if anybody needs a frickin' fabulous table saw, drop me a line.  It's this one, with 36" fence and the wheel option.  In pristine shape.  I ain't shipping it though.  $1200 if you do it here, I'm going to put it on craigslist at $1400 before long.  You never see used SawStops for sale.  Ever. 

Keep warm, keep cutting plywood out there. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Okay, I know it's cold.

Man it's been tough to get anything done the last month and a half. It's just freakin cold.  Everywhere.  My shop is heated, but not heated to handle the kind of cold we've been getting.  Running the pellet stove wide open, an overhead 220 radiant and a small heater will just about make it bearable after running for a couple of hours. PL cures slow, takes a couple of days for a cab to get strong.  Be sure if you're building right now to dampen the joints before you glue up.  PL requires moisture to cure properly, and there's not much moisture in the air when it's this cold. I set the small fan heater in front of the cab to keep it warm enough for the glue to cure properly. 

I know it's not just me either.  I get emails and see posts in the forums all saying "when it warms up I'm going to build xxx". 

It's supposed to get to 60 by this weekend.  I'm guessing we'll all be running around in tee shirts and shorts after getting used to 15-20 being the highs.  Man I hope so.  I need to test some new cabs outside. 

Yes, new cabs.  You heard it here first.  A new GC28, revised waveguides, a couple of db more output, smoother response.

A new RachÉ12, first of a new series of subs.   Bigger, stronger, deeper. Not for the faint, they're big, close to horn cabinet size.  I haven't decided on a name for them yet.  RachÉ something something to differentiate them from the more easily portable originals.  .

Lastly, a new monster.  Tops to go with the new line of subs.  The GC210.  2 10" drivers in an MVW configuration top.  It's a beast of a cab.  Not pole mountable, at least not on my stands, it's for big venues, outside, anyplace you need huge wavefronts and lots of horsepower.  

There will also be some exciting new stuff on the DIY front in the next 3 or 4 weeks.  At least 2 and maybe 3 new cabs by noted designers avialable exclusively through Speakerhardware.  Stay tuned, stay warm, keep building.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Alrighty Then.

Been venturing out into the home audio world with the MVW cabs.  They're utterly stunning for home audio.  I assume all you readers here are hooked up with me on facebook , but in case not here's some pics of home system I shipped a few days ago.  Technically it's the GC2512.  We call it Wally. 

I learned a few things doing this system.  I'd always just had mediocre luck staining BB.  It's blotchy, and does not take stain well. Cured that using General Finishes Gel.  This stuff is awesome. That's Georgian Cherry you see in the pics.  Don't sand too fine, to 120 is adequate.  If you go much higher than that it doesn't take on as much color. 

While I was at Woodcraft getting the stain, of course I shopped around.  And found a solution to the problem of sanding inside I talked about in the last blog. 
These things kick ass.  You do have to be a little careful as they'll sand a divot.  But man the time they've saved on making the interior corners pretty on all my cabs is huge. You can get them here

I was pretty proud of myself when I left Woodcraft.  I only spent $130.  I could have easily added another zero to that number.  They just have cool stuff. 

Don't forget, all kits are free freight right now.  Instead of bitching about the cold and snow, go BUILD something.  It always warms the heart.  Does me anyway. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

New year, new stuff, new outlook.

This is the year it all happens.  MVW cabs come to market.  New DIY Designs from the BigE guys.  New DIY designs from Bill Fitzmaurice.  New DIY designs from another famous designer are on the way.  We are stepping up the game this year. 

TBH the last few months or so SpeakerHardware hasn't met my expectations.  I've had delays, slower shipping than I want, UPS and Fedex slowing down, trouble getting parts, and me.  Part of it is growing pains.  I've outgrown my systems yet again and have to develop new ones for pulling parts and tracking inventory.  We are finally on track though with Sam running his own shop in Lawrence, which will speed up flat packs considerably.  He has far more time to run a shop than I do. We are going to improve everything we can as quickly as we can. 

On the tool front I am on the hunt.  Prep work takes a long time on the MVW and BFM cabs.  Braces, horn throats, and deep cabs make getting into the corners a real pain.  I use these little rascals currently, and they work really really well.. The MicroZips are on my site, but I don't have them in stock yet.  For the volumes of cabs I'm starting to do I need a powered solution for more speed.  None of the long nose belt sanders I've found will work.  I think I'm going to have to build one. 

That's all for now.  Hope all of you have a prosperous and LOUD new year!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Big Doin's

We've launched a bunch of new stuff over the last few weeks.  Sawdust has been flying.  BFM Loudpeakers came out with a new line of simple direct radiator cabs I spent a lot of time figuring and working out in order to put them on the Speakerhardware web site.  New cabs always take a long time to get up.  Bill's cabs always have lots of options. 

I finally got Ashly amplifiers and processors up also.  If you've never heard an Ashly, you're missing it.  They will run 2 ohm loads all day long, and sound great doing it. 

Oh, btw, FREE FREIGHT on damn near every kit on the site, and the Ashly products. 

End of promotion.  Shop stuff.

We've started construction on a new MVW cab for the high end audio market.  I mean the HIGH END audio market.  PA cabs make you a lazy woodworker, or at least all the ones we do.  All butt joints, because PL is so strong.  You don't have to worry about glue bleed because it's going to get Duratexed.  Sand to 80g is more than good enough.  We don't do much fancy joinery because it's just not necessary.  .  Got to step up the game.
This cab will be all mitered hidden joints, many of them complex miters, out of Walnut faced plywood.  Price that stuff and drop your drawers.  Edge banding with walnut veneer, the works.  Been quite a while since I did this level of woodworking, it's really a piece of fine furniture.  We're building a prototype out of BB first just for practice.  I really don't want to ruin $170 sheets of plywood.  1st lesson we've learned is 45deg joints in 3/4 require 0 biscuits.  Even #10's plunge too deep. It's going to be interesting.

And a cab tip I stole from the BFM forum, a better way to mount grilles.  It works freakin great, practically invisible.  For it to work your grilles must have a 3/4 to 1" return bend all the way around, the grilles must fit within about 1/8 of the sides of the cab.  Cut a strip of ply out of 1/2 1" wide, about 1/4 shorter than inside width of the grille, for the 2 long sides of the grille.  Evenly space hurricane nuts along it, keeping them to the backside.  Use it as a template, put it in the cab, space it evenly between the opposite sids.  Mark the cab and drill holes for bolts. I used flat heads and countersunk them.  Install the strips, leaving them very loose.  Slide the grille in, tighten the bolts pinching the return between the strip and the cab.  Damn near invisible.  It or some variation is going to get used on every cab I do from now on.  Here's some terrible pics.

Happy Holidays!