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Author Topic: My custom Mesa Express 5:25  (Read 1060 times)

Offline ParkerPlayer

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My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« on: February 21, 2017, 08:35:18 PM »
Hi everyone,
I'm posting a few pictures of a project I recently completed.
https://imageshack.com/a/C5eM/1
I figured there are a lot of Parker enthusiast who like DIY projects, and others who appreciate lightweight music gear.
This is both.
It is the 3rd in a series of 3 lightweight speaker cabinets I've built (this is the first one that is part of a combo amp).
It's basically the same materials and construction techniques used in my previous cabinet which I posted here:
http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,16687.0.html
except the carbon weave is visible since I did not put a wood veneer on top of it.
The whole idea was to make my favorite amp (a Mesa Express 5:25 1x10 combo) more portable; from 40-ish pounds down to 25.
As a side benefit, it looks even classier than before.
'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2017, 10:20:00 PM »
Looks beautiful!

Nice work...how thin/thick ply you using for the sides?

B.S.
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2017, 11:36:14 AM »
Looks beautiful!

Nice work...how thin/thick ply you using for the sides?

B.S.

Thanks B.S. !   There's a layer of 1/64" Birch Plywood beneath the 0.018" layer of Carbon cloth.
-Luke
'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2017, 04:05:23 PM »
1/64"...That's like almost nothing!

Wow.

And the carbon fibre is stiff/strong enough to...well dunno to do what exactly, stop a foot going through the side? (or a falling cymbal stand i guess).

And vibration...just seems extraordinarily thin for cab sides.

I've never messed with carbon fibre, so don't really know what's it's capable of beyond being "super light and super strong", v impressive.

Cheers

B.S.


94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #4 on: February 23, 2017, 05:33:55 PM »
Oh I was wrong.  :(
I just measured a piece of the core laminate, and the plywood is 1mm thick.  It can handle being kicked just fine.  Not sure about falling cymbal stands.  Time will tell.
This first speaker cab I built was just ridiculously light (4 or 5 lbs without the speaker installed).  I used only 1 layer of carbon, no plywood, and yes, it was too delicate. 
'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #5 on: February 23, 2017, 05:42:49 PM »
Cheers... 1 mm, still incredibly thin compared to usual cab construction.

I've been thinking of building a lightweight cab myself of late, therefore the interest.

Hadn't considered carbon fibre...yeah, be interested to see how it goes real world.

But still, it's a beautiful looking pice of kit, kudos on the construction concept and execution!

Yes, forever in search for the lightest, most efficient and great sounding cab..especially as i'm getting to that point in my life where lugging gear up stairs is almost becoming a factor in taking a gig or not..almost....

Ciao

B.S.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2017, 05:46:27 PM by Big Swifty »
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #6 on: February 23, 2017, 09:02:22 PM »
But still, it's a beautiful looking pice of kit, kudos on the construction concept and execution!
Thanks !
Quote
Yes, forever in search for the lightest, most efficient and great sounding cab
Have you considered the Mark DV combos and cabinets? http://www.dvmark.it/products.php?id_g=2&dvmark=Cabinets
I don't know they sound, but they are relatively lightweight.
Quote
i'm getting to that point in my life where lugging gear up stairs is almost becoming a factor....
Funny coincidence. I was in the waiting room at a chiropractor when I read this.  I guess I'm getting to that point in my life too  :o

'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2017, 03:35:22 PM »
Cheers thanks for the link.

What I've been thinking is making something small that has a slanted front, somewhere between a normal amp and a wedge i guess.

Currently have a Roland Cube 80xl which does the job ok for the small, no stage, squeeze into the corner of the bar type gigs, but it can get so squishy that often there's no way to actually lean the amp back and have it pointed in a direction i can hear it etc.

I might experiment with replacing the back of it with a more open design first up, let some of the sound "circulate" a little more as it's almost a sealed cab (small gap for airflow) and pretty directional.

I know that'll change the overall sound of it, see what happens.

Chiro's..love 'em but kinda expensive.

I had one of those horrible surfing accidents a few years back, was just mucking around in the shallows with a boogie board and fully got caught up and slammed head first into the sand..biggish wave, there was blood, heard my neck craaaack..all that stuff.
Knock on wood all ok, but had a severe case whiplash i guess, my neck/shoulders were just this achy frozen rock. Tried a few phsio's/chiro's over a few weeks, but it didn't really help, and was $$$$!
So i figured what the hell, try a yoga session for $20, and bingo, an hour of concentrated gentle stretchy movement (beginners yoga..) just did absolute wonders.
Not that i kept it up for very long, but that's kinda my first port of call these days when the body's getting outta whack, and it's a pretty nicely focused experience too, worth a look if you've never tried it.

Ok, where were we? Oh yeah...guitars

 8)

Ciao

B.S.
94 Fly Deluxe
2010 DF 524
The system can't get you in your dreams.

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2017, 08:03:56 PM »
Whoa, that's a horrifying surfing story.  You're lucky to be alive, B.S.
Thanks for the yoga advise; I've been putting off trying yoga, but I'm going to for sure.  Especially since I can't afford to go the chiropractor AND own awesome guitars.

Regarding the amp, ya tilting it up might be the way to go if you have to cram it into a corner of a tiny stage.  That may also help with getting the sound distributed evenly.

'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Patzag

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #9 on: February 25, 2017, 04:12:28 AM »
I use an Axe FX with a powered wedge.
Before this I used an amp with a slanted 1x12 cab made by Coyote Cabs. Great dispersion and great sound in a lightweight package. I never thought of Carbon Fiber for cab construction but this is not only brilliant but also beautiful. I'd love to hear samples of the original compared to the carbon model.
Very professional.  Nicely done.
Check out Coyote cabs for a nice slanted design.
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #10 on: February 25, 2017, 04:03:59 PM »
...never thought of Carbon Fiber for cab construction but this is not only brilliant but also beautiful. I'd love to hear samples of the original compared to the carbon model.
Very professional.  Nicely done....

Thanks Patrick.  It was a pretty fun project, and I really didn't know what to expect when finished.  I rough-sketched the whole thing on a single sheet of paper, and started cutting out the material.  It's more exciting that way, versus doing some kind of CAD rendering to get a "preview" of the finished project.
Though I would like to post a sound comparison, I'm not very good and recording (or uploading audio for that matter), and then I'd need a stock version of the amp which I no longer have.  I know the tone has changed from the original, but I suspect that is mostly due to the speaker change (went from a 10" ceramic to a 12" neodymium speaker). Overall, it's an improvement in tone.
'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline Patzag

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #11 on: February 26, 2017, 08:29:26 AM »
I bet!
Teal Fly Classic 1998 / White Deluxe Hard Tail 1994 /Axe FX II

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline billy

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #12 on: February 26, 2017, 11:59:42 AM »
Sweet! 

Just to join in the war story fun, I injured my back about 20 years ago at a gig. It was a bit cold and rainy, and there was a flight of outdoor stairs needed to load equipment into the hall. I had a newish 4x12 that weighed almost as much as me that I was hauling out.  My foot slipped on the wet stairs, and I did what I could to avoid trashing my cab and not go tumbling down on top of it. I tore some ligaments in my back and in hindsight, I wish I had just let the cab drop like a rock.  Or had a roadie friend who worked for cheap. Either would've been much cheaper and less painful.

I switched to a 300w stereo 2 space rocktron rack setup with a pair of 1x12s soon after.

Anyway, now I have to be very careful how I lift stuff and do some consistent excercise or I end up in a world of hurt for a week or four. If I ever start gigging again, I'll do an axefx with in ears or similar for sure.
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline bembamboo

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2017, 06:44:36 PM »
nice to see you using celestion neo vintage speaks. 60 watt? you like?  I use a pair of 80 watt century neos too in some cabs.  naked pine dovetailed cabs are the way to go but I do like the carb fiber look--fender princton w/celestion blu and black tweed is nice too

Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25

Offline ParkerPlayer

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Re: My custom Mesa Express 5:25
« Reply #14 on: July 23, 2017, 04:09:12 PM »
Yes, it is a 60 watt speaker.  I think it sounds good, certainly better than the Eminence Tonkerlite that I tried first.
My favorite speaker cab is my Avatar 2x12" closed back with Celestion Blues, but that thing weighs a ton.  So it's good for playing at home, but the lightweight Express Combo is for gigs.



'96 Fly Classic, Cherry Red          '09 Artist, Custom Hard Tail          MIJ Strat           PRS Custom 22  
Mesa Amps (Express5:25, MarkV:25, Nomad45, DC-5)