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Author Topic: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!  (Read 2155 times)

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Rockhart

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Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« on: May 27, 2017, 09:35:20 pm »
Ok, I've been kicking around this idea since about 2013... and it's finally time to do something about it! This will be my first build, so I want to make sure I get the details right before any wood gets cut! Please feel free to chime in with advice!!

Rough Form Sketch:


Control Panel + Head Amp Panel:
[/URL]

The general idea is that this pedestal is going to resemble a stacked amp with working head amp controls and the MAME computer housed in the large amp. I wanted the design to be large enough to accommodate 2 players, but small enough that it can be rolled into a corner when not in use.

Project Goals:
  • 2-Player MAME cab with minimalist control panel (no aircraft landing on this one)
  • Motorized 4/8 way ServoStiks for both players
  • HDMI (+ VGA?) out
  • LED lighting under the amp

Project Challenges:
  • Woodworking will have to be done at a friends house because i don't have a garage or adequate work space
  • I am terrible with assembling electronics and programming
  • Those two metal control plates are going to cost a pretty penny

PL1

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2017, 11:18:23 pm »

1. Where are P1/P2 Coin?

Do you plan on using shifted functions for them?

Coin-up via cosmetic knobs on the front? (if you do this, consider moving the volume control to the far left)

2. Are you planning on using momentary pushbuttons for the 4-way/8-way controls or do you want to use a rocker switch so someone doesn't accidently push both at the same time?

3. Have you looked into auto-switching instead of manual switching between 4-way/8-way?

Those two metal control plates are going to cost a pretty penny
They look fairly simple to fabricate.

If your friend has a drill press, a step bit like this should make it fairly easy to drill the joystick/button holes in metal.



If you use the wood top and front panels as a support for the metal, you probably won't need to add edge bends for rigidity.   ;D


Scott
« Last Edit: May 27, 2017, 11:20:06 pm by PL1 »

Rockhart

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2017, 12:40:10 am »
Hi Scott, thanks for the input!

1. Where are P1/P2 Coin?
Do you plan on using shifted functions for them?
Coin-up via cosmetic knobs on the front? (if you do this, consider moving the volume control to the far left)

I didn't realize there needed to be separate buttons for Coin, couldn't they be mapped the same as P1/P2 Start?

2. Are you planning on using momentary pushbuttons for the 4-way/8-way controls or do you want to use a rocker switch so someone doesn't accidently push both at the same time?

I thought about a rocker switch, but the buttons look better aesthetically... but maybe a locking push button switch could work?

3. Have you looked into auto-switching instead of manual switching between 4-way/8-way?

I haven't, is that an easy thing to do?

Those two metal control plates are going to cost a pretty penny
They look fairly simple to fabricate.
If your friend has a drill press, a step bit like this should make it fairly easy to drill the joystick/button holes in metal.
If you use the wood top and front panels as a support for the metal, you probably won't need to add edge bends for rigidity.   ;D

I'm not sure if he does have a drill press, but I was also thinking the art on those two panels would be laser etched + color filled too and there's a couple places in town that can doo the whole thing all at once. I was thinking that this would be a fairly thin piece of metal sunk into the wood to hide the edge and also so I can mount the joysticks from underneath.

Richie_jones

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2017, 02:30:29 am »
Have you considered buying a second hand amp and just gutting it and fitting everything inside?

Rockhart

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2017, 02:34:20 am »
Have you considered buying a second hand amp and just gutting it and fitting everything inside?

That was my original plan, and part of why this has taken so long. I just haven't been able to find a cab that fits the general size I need that's in good condition and doesn't cost an arm and a leg.

Ultimately building it gives me a lot more control over the layout while (hopefully) saving a little bit of money

Locke141

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2017, 02:44:03 am »
I guess this is cool if you like amps> I have one built on an oil drum so no judgment.

I would have just put everting in the top part and use the large amp as the sound for the build.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2017, 03:11:50 am »
1. Where are P1/P2 Coin?
Do you plan on using shifted functions for them?
Coin-up via cosmetic knobs on the front? (if you do this, consider moving the volume control to the far left)
I didn't realize there needed to be separate buttons for Coin, couldn't they be mapped the same as P1/P2 Start?
I've never tried tying Coin and Start together --  it's definitely not how MAME is designed to work.

Not sure if it would cause problems with any of the titles on your game list.   :dunno

You have compiled your "can't live without it" game list, haven't you?

It's step 2 in the "What type of build meets my needs?" section of the FAQ here.

Please review that design process to see if there are any other questions/concerns that arise.

Another option that MIGHT work is setting each game on your list to freeplay, but that depends on the specific games.

IMHO avoiding separate coin buttons, knobs, mechanisms, and/or "shifted functions" (i.e. IPac P1 Start + P1B1 = Coin) creates a needless amount of pain.

2. Are you planning on using momentary pushbuttons for the 4-way/8-way controls or do you want to use a rocker switch so someone doesn't accidently push both at the same time?
I thought about a rocker switch, but the buttons look better aesthetically... but maybe a locking push button switch could work?
There are lots of different styles of switches if you really feel the need to put those controls on the panel, but it would be easier for your guests if you use auto-switching.

3. Have you looked into auto-switching instead of manual switching between 4-way/8-way?
I haven't, is that an easy thing to do?
Haven't looked into it much, but there are a number of threads on the subject and Andy wouldn't put out a product like the ServoStik if it didn't have decent software support.

Those two metal control plates are going to cost a pretty penny
They look fairly simple to fabricate.
If your friend has a drill press, a step bit like this should make it fairly easy to drill the joystick/button holes in metal.
If you use the wood top and front panels as a support for the metal, you probably won't need to add edge bends for rigidity.   ;D
I'm not sure if he does have a drill press, but I was also thinking the art on those two panels would be laser etched + color filled too and there's a couple places in town that can doo the whole thing all at once. I was thinking that this would be a fairly thin piece of metal sunk into the wood to hide the edge and also so I can mount the joysticks from underneath.
OK.  I was thinking custom vinyl like this from SlammedNiss.



A shallow/even countersink for the whole 20.25" x 7.5" plate might be difficult unless your friend has a CNC or makes some sort of jig to keep the router from tipping.


Scott

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2017, 03:38:52 am »
1. Where are P1/P2 Coin?
Do you plan on using shifted functions for them?
Coin-up via cosmetic knobs on the front? (if you do this, consider moving the volume control to the far left)
I didn't realize there needed to be separate buttons for Coin, couldn't they be mapped the same as P1/P2 Start?
I've never tried tying Coin and Start together --  it's definitely not how MAME is designed to work.
Not sure if it would cause problems with any of the titles on your game list.   :dunno
Well, it's easy enough to add another two buttons  ;D I'll look into it some more and make some revisions to the control panels tomorrow. Like I said, the electronic and programming side of this is definitely my weak points.

 
You have compiled your "can't live without it" game list, haven't you?
Yup! As much as I'd love to make a 4-player cab I just don't have the space (even for a pedestal) and if I really find I can't live without the track ball games I'll just have a new project on my hands.

2. Are you planning on using momentary pushbuttons for the 4-way/8-way controls or do you want to use a rocker switch so someone doesn't accidently push both at the same time?
I thought about a rocker switch, but the buttons look better aesthetically... but maybe a locking push button switch could work?
There are lots of different styles of switches if you really feel the need to put those controls on the panel, but it would be easier for your guests if you use auto-switching.
3. Have you looked into auto-switching instead of manual switching between 4-way/8-way?
I haven't, is that an easy thing to do?
Haven't looked into it much, but there are a number of threads on the subject and Andy wouldn't put out a product like the ServoStik if it didn't have decent software support.
Great, I'll take a look. I'm definitely building a rough cardboard box mockup of this panel to make sure everything's working the way I want it before any wood or metal is cut.

A shallow/even countersink for the whole 20.25" x 7.5" plate might be difficult unless your friend has a CNC or makes some sort of jig to keep the router from tipping.
Good to know! Luckily, I do have access to a CNC machine (thank goodness)

Rockhart

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2017, 03:40:57 am »
I would have just put everting in the top part and use the large amp as the sound for the build.

Oh, don't worry, this build will have some good speakers in it!

PL1

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2017, 05:09:57 am »
Well, it's easy enough to add another two buttons  ;D I'll look into it some more and make some revisions to the control panels tomorrow. Like I said, the electronic and programming side of this is definitely my weak points.
Here are three ways to add the Coin functions:

1. Dedicated buttons on the control panel.

2. Use "shifted functions" (i.e. IPac P1 Start + P1B1 = Coin)

3. Mount switches behind two spring-loaded fake knobs on the front so they work the same as mounting switches behind the coin return on a coin door -- pushing in the knob closes the switch.

You could use amp knobs with different color inserts/rings/tops -- green, gold or silver for money.

   

You could do something similar for the Start and Exit buttons as well which would give all the fake knobs real functions.   ;D

I'm definitely building a rough cardboard box mockup of this panel to make sure everything's working the way I want it before any wood or metal is cut.
Wise choice.   ;D

A shallow/even countersink for the whole 20.25" x 7.5" plate might be difficult unless your friend has a CNC or makes some sort of jig to keep the router from tipping.
Good to know! Luckily, I do have access to a CNC machine (thank goodness)
I was half-joking, but that should make it easier to do some of the  precision wodwork like the joystick top-mounting.   :applaud:


Scott

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2017, 12:30:28 pm »
Really excited for this project!  :D

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2017, 12:47:04 pm »
Slightly reminds me of Knievels Guitar Hero with a bit of metal station... good times!
Every normal man must be tempted at times to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin to slit throats.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2017, 05:41:42 pm »
Great project idea.  I had the same one back then.
What about a Rocktron cabinet version. It has almost the same word combo Rockade and that in the Rocktron style.

I would go with all the original knobs .
And keep an eye on the fine details to make it an Ace ;)


Good luck and have fun

Greetings

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #13 on: May 28, 2017, 08:11:28 pm »
Mapping coin and start to the same button will work fine.  You can also do an auto hot key script that does short press =1, long press = 5.  Etc.


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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2017, 03:34:42 am »
Will it go up to 11?

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #15 on: May 29, 2017, 09:24:18 am »
Just in case you hadn't seen it, eds1275 did a slim standup cab with the Marshall feel:

http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,107662.msg1507385.html#msg1507385
« Last Edit: May 29, 2017, 09:26:35 am by BadMouth »

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2017, 12:28:35 am »
Thank you everyone for all the interest!

Here are three ways to add the Coin functions:
1. Dedicated buttons on the control panel.
2. Use "shifted functions" (i.e. IPac P1 Start + P1B1 = Coin)
3. Mount switches behind two spring-loaded fake knobs on the front so they work the same as mounting switches behind the coin return on a coin door -- pushing in the knob closes the switch.
You could use amp knobs with different color inserts/rings/tops -- green, gold or silver for money.

#3 Is an interesting idea! While I'd still like to limit buttons, if I have to have them, making the knobs usable is a great compromise.

While color-coding might work okay, I'm probably going to label each knob since I'm laser etching these panels


Really excited for this project!  :D

:cheers:

Mapping coin and start to the same button will work fine.  You can also do an auto hot key script that does short press =1, long press = 5.  Etc.

Do you have an example of someone who's done this? This would be my ideal setup  ;)


Will it go up to 11?




Just in case you hadn't seen it, eds1275 did a slim standup cab with the Marshall feel:
http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,107662.msg1507385.html#msg1507385

That's pretty awesome looking!

Rockhart

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2017, 01:31:23 am »
So, while I'm figuring out the control panel, I put some more thought into the construction of the cab itself. These are pretty close to final dimensions so I'd appreciate feedback!

« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 01:36:15 am by Rockhart »

Mike A

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2017, 06:55:59 am »
Buy a Marshall half stack on Craigslist. I see them for sale all the time. It will probably be cheaper. You can use the knobs, buttons, and the speakers.



« Last Edit: May 30, 2017, 07:04:45 am by Mike A »

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #19 on: May 30, 2017, 11:43:14 am »
Buy a Marshall half stack on Craigslist. I see them for sale all the time. It will probably be cheaper. You can use the knobs, buttons, and the speakers.

This is a good approach. Definitely the least amount of work needed. If you find a Marshall one, it would allow you to just change a minimal amount of details... though you're a slave to the dimensions of whatever you find online. Look for a 1x15" or 2x15" bass cabinet. Should be a decent height for an amp cabinet base along the lines of your build plan. And most people are eager to get rid of empty old big tubby cabs like this.

Tolex is no picnic for a first timer who wants it to look good. I commend your bravery. As an alternative consider Duratex... it's textured paint that people put on their home theater speakers and such. Looks good and am considering it for my subwoofers. Roll it on, no cutting and gluing of vinyl.

I am sure you can get a decent set of knobs on Ebay for a fair price that look just like Marshall knobs too if you don't find a ready made amp.

If you want to listen to music through the cabinet, and not just play guitar... DO NOT use guitar speakers. Please.


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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #20 on: May 30, 2017, 11:49:22 am »
I didn't realize guitar amp speakers were no good for music. My son is a drummer. On Thursday I take him to lessons. I can ask the music store guys if they have anything that would fit your needs.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #21 on: May 30, 2017, 12:46:24 pm »
+1 on converting an existing amp.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #22 on: May 30, 2017, 01:26:06 pm »
Rockhart, here is a link http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,146400.0.html to the jukebox I made using alot of amp elements in the build. I used the exact Tolex the Marshall factory uses. Results turned out spot on.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #23 on: May 30, 2017, 04:16:01 pm »
Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Like I mentioned previously, The main reason why this project has taken so long is that I've been unable to find an amp set that not only fits the look I want, but also doesn't cost a ton more than just building it from scratch.

I know it's going to be a lot more work, but I really do like the idea of building this cab from the ground up and not just trying to squeeze it into whatever box I can find. I also happen to have leftover knobs, vinyl glue, etc from a previous project too  :dunno


Tolex is no picnic for a first timer who wants it to look good. I commend your bravery. As an alternative consider Duratex... it's textured paint that people put on their home theater speakers and such. Looks good and am considering it for my subwoofers. Roll it on, no cutting and gluing of vinyl.

I'll take a look at Duratex, thanks for the tip! I also happen to know someone who makes/wraps amps professionally ... maybe I can convince them to give me a few pointers  ;D

Rockhart, here is a link http://forum.arcadecontrols.com/index.php/topic,146400.0.html to the jukebox I made using alot of amp elements in the build. I used the exact Tolex the Marshall factory uses. Results turned out spot on.

That does look great!!

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #24 on: May 30, 2017, 05:39:02 pm »
I'll tell ya I highly recommend using contact cement if using Tolex. It really is a piece of cake in simply brushing on an even coat to both the Tolex and the wood. It is even better if using two sets of hands to help stretch it to get the tightest wrap. I have 100% perfect corners that are flat and not fudged or flared. Watch Uncle Doug's great videos to see how to do it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxcLri3yn8Q

mwhitney

Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2017, 11:51:18 pm »
This is a great idea man. Looking forward to seeing this come to life.  :applaud:

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #26 on: June 01, 2017, 11:25:21 am »
Nice!  Reminds me of the legendary Knievel here on the forums when he built his Guitar Hero cab:
http://knievel.webs.com/guitarherocabinet.htm

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #27 on: June 01, 2017, 11:45:47 am »
UGH.  Couldn't you find a design a little more tasteful?   :lol


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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #28 on: June 01, 2017, 01:11:16 pm »
UGH.  Couldn't you find a design a little more tasteful?   :lol

Im an Orange guy myself, but i love the start of this project.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2017, 06:40:25 pm »
UGH.  Couldn't you find a design a little more tasteful?   :lol

Im an Orange guy myself, but i love the start of this project.

Sorry guys, I sold my soul for black and gold!!

Quick Friday update! Starting to get a few essential pieces in the mail and still doing research on the control setup... more coming soon as soon as I can...


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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #30 on: June 03, 2017, 01:18:22 am »


 >:D

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #31 on: June 05, 2017, 10:41:22 am »
UGH.  Couldn't you find a design a little more tasteful?   :lol

Im an Orange guy myself, but i love the start of this project.

Sorry guys, I sold my soul for black and gold!!

Quick Friday update! Starting to get a few essential pieces in the mail and still doing research on the control setup... more coming soon as soon as I can...



Should build one to look just like Lemmy's bass amp... those Marshall bass rigs look cooler than the newer styled JCM900's and that ilk.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #32 on: June 05, 2017, 03:14:15 pm »
Very cool aesthetic. Looking forward to it.  One thing to anticipate: having to stand an extra inch or two back from the cab if your toes are stubbing the base there.  Maybe putting it on some rolling casters would alleviate that.  Or just be very careful in planning button placement/standing comfort before drilling holes.  It'd be a bummer to have a beautiful cab that's a little bit uncomfortable to play.

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #33 on: June 05, 2017, 10:45:25 pm »
Should build one to look just like Lemmy's bass amp... those Marshall bass rigs look cooler than the newer styled JCM900's and that ilk.

Haha that would be pretty cool to build a "Murder One" cab...

Very cool aesthetic. Looking forward to it.  One thing to anticipate: having to stand an extra inch or two back from the cab if your toes are stubbing the base there.  Maybe putting it on some rolling casters would alleviate that.  Or just be very careful in planning button placement/standing comfort before drilling holes.  It'd be a bummer to have a beautiful cab that's a little bit uncomfortable to play.

There will be casters but that's a good point about making sure the joysticks + buttons aren't too far away from the edge. I'll make sure to factor that into my design!

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Ok, small update / mail day post. I'm still working on the control panel design + computer elements but probably won't have anything to show until next weekend.

Here's what I have so far:
  • 2x Ultimarc Servostik (+ control board)
  • 1x I-PAC 2
  • 2x Black metal bat tops (so much nicer feeling than plastic)
  • 12x Black Classx micro-leaf buttons
  • 8x Marshall Amp knobs
  • 7x Momentary Push Buttons (knobs fit over these really well + they still spin!)
  • 2x Black metal momentary push buttons
  • 2x Black metal red LED momentary push buttons
  • 1x Power plugin w/ switch

Now that I've found these momentary push buttons that work so well with the knobs I'm thinking of moving all non-gaming buttons to the secondary control panel...


morton

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #34 on: June 06, 2017, 02:04:57 pm »
Nice parts choice... This is gonna be good.

fryed_1

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2017, 12:15:13 am »
If you really wanted kick*** sound out of it, I'd look for or recreate an old Ampeg 4x12 SVT cab.  Maybe find/recreate the older tweed/cloth front heads to match.  The bass cab itself you really wouldn't have to modify - just fix up/replace speakers and you have an excellent bottom end.  Put maybe 4 4.5" and 4 2" tweeters behind the head grill.  You'd have to squeeze a decent amp in there, but I'm sure car audio has something that will work.

If the head were detachable from the "speaker cab" and you had some 3-ways or high/mid hidden in them, you could just unplug the base and carry your "amp" with you as a portable console.

fryed_1

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Re: Rockade - A Pedestal Cab That Looks Like An Amp!
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2017, 12:28:03 am »
Oh and if you're looking for ideas for knobs... make one an input selector with arcade on one input, maybe an external somewhere and put a bluetooth module in there (about $20 for them on amazon).  If it's going to have awesome sound, take advantage of it.

  
 

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