Thursday, March 17, 2011

Welcome to Bulldog Engineering

Bulldog Engineering is a small shop that builds "big on tone" main and extension speaker cabinets. Presently, there are two of us that do it all. TJ is a professional wood worker and I'm a Machine Designer. We build out of a brand new 40 x 20 building in Greer, SC dedicated to this business only. Our shop is filled with every tool necessary to build superb speaker enclosures that working musicians can depend on. 

I started Bulldog Engineering in 2009 after I got the idea of designing, redrawing, and selling speaker enclosure plans. Some of the plans I had for sale were designed by Electrovoice and JBL, however, I clarified the plans and made drawings of each individual piece of the cabinet. In order to make sure that my plans were accurate I built cabinets from my plans. After I built the cabinets I put them on Ebay only to realize there were musicians that wanted them.

I began building speaker enclosures in the late 60's while in high school. I was a keyboard player in a band back than. My small 1x12 Carvin amp looked tiny next to our guitarist 4 x 12 and our bass players 2 x 15, so I bought a Traynor YBA-1 and a 6 x 10 cabinet. Hey, but in the 70's, bigger was better when it came to sound so I build another cab in the school shop out of 3/4" plywood, the same size as my Traynor. Back than you could build what you wanted as long as you paid for the material. Well, my friends paid for the material and I built a bunch of cabinets, but was told I had to be more creative in shop classes so I had to temporarily stop taking orders for cabinets and build out of my dad's workshop instead.

However, TJ puts the PRO in "professional" as an incredibly proficient woodworker. He has worked with domestic and exotic hardwoods on a regular basis and knows his woods, glues, joints, and fasteners. I've learned a great deal from him as he has taught me the "ART" of woodworking.

The bottom line is this. Bulldog Engineering builds rock solid, take-a-beating, beautiful, kick-butt, made in the USA, speaker enclosures for working musicians, speaker enclosures that you can depend on each night, gig after gig.  


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

A Cabinet for the Guitarist

The Bulldog Engineering “BE/G 1x12” is an open back single driver cabinet with lots of room inside. The larger cabinet (22.75 x 16.50 x 11.25) provides some unique tone. The one pictured is black vinyl covered with a black grill and white piping to lend some contrast. It has large rubber feet and a black handle on top. It is also accented with nickel plated corners. This one has a duel ¼” jack output for daisy chaining with another cabinet. The construction of this well braced enclosure is made from high end cabinet grade plywood. This isn’t a great picture, but the cab is incredibly strong and built to take a beating. Buy the cabinet empty or loaded with your choice of speaker.


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Most Beloved TL-606

Now here's a bass players bass cab. Did I mention that these are built to Electrovoice specs? This is Big Red (yes, I name them for myself) I love this cabinet and have built a few. They sound fabulous, but they're big. If you go from gig to gig in a compact car, BUY A BIGGER ONE JUST TO OWN A 606!!!! GUARD YOUR TONE!!!!!!

The Beloved EV TL-806

Thought I share a picture of Ugly Brown. Ugly Brown is an Electrovoice TL-806 clone, made from EV's plans to EV's specifications. This particular bass reflex cab houses a 12" low frequency Celestion driver and kicks some serious butt. This cab is suited well for the guitarist that wants more bottom end. Want one? Let me know. I custom build to your specs. GUARD YOUR TONE!!!!!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A Box With a Speaker In It

That’s the answer you get when you ask, “What is a speaker cabinet?” In its simplest form, a speaker cabinet is a box with a speaker in it. But, a superb speaker cabinet is so much more than that. It must consist of,

Good Wood – Nothing but the best in my cabinets. I primarily use cabinet grade plywood. Baltic Birch is a favorite, but I also use Poplar, Oak, and some others. I also build with Solid Pine at times.

Secret Bonding Agent – OK, it’s not really a secret, but I can assure you of this; with the glue that I use on all my cabinets, if you try to break a joint, you will break the wood before you break the joint.

Finest Fasteners – Along with gluing up each cabinet, I also nail and screw each panel together. I don’t cheap our here either. I build my cabinets to take the abuse of some of the worse roadies in the industry. I build cabinets for working musicians. They need to sound good, look good, and take a whooping.

Great Woodworking Skills – I have a shop full of the finest tools money can buy. But, that is not enough. An unskilled woodworker can butcher a job with my tools as easily as he can with a chainsaw and shovel. I know wood, and I’m good at working with it. Wood obeys me when it’s in my hands. By the way, when the woodworking is done, I also silicone seal every corner.

The Best Drivers – A kid brought his very nice amp (brand name withheld) to my shop one day to try one of my tuned cabinets and asked, “Why does my amp sound so crappy?” Upon diving into his sealed cabinet I discovered a 15” Radiar Shaak (brand name coded), 150 watt, driver. After explaining the pros and cons of a sealed vs ported speaker cabinet, I pointed to the driver and said, “Poo poo!” If you buy a complete cabinet from me, you’ll find an Eminence, Celestion, Jensen, or Intel Inside. Forget the Intel.

Cabinet/Speaker Optimization Software – Size does mean something when it comes to speaker cabinets. There is a science to this. Speakers have certain characteristics and will only work optimally in certain size cabinets. “Air” is the code word here. Speakers push air, and the air inside of a speaker box will either free the speaker cones movement, or restrict it. This is where software comes in. I only use the best proven software on the market.

Proper Wire – All copper stranded wire is used on my cabinets, and I don’t use the stuff from Radiar Shaak (brand name coded). The gage wire I use is dependant upon the output of the amp or speaker.

High Quality Electrical Components – Jacks are all Switchcraft products or equivalent.

Soldering Skills – Simply put, the wires attached to the jack(s) and speaker better not fall off on the way to a gig, and a lot of solder does not mean this will not happen. A bad solder job will rob you of tone and output.

High Quality Upholstery – I get some pretty stuff. A huge array of colors and patterns and I pay for the better quality fabric, too. Why? Because skin has to be tough as well as pretty. The upholstery is the skin of the speaker enclosure. I like pretty skin. My wife has beautiful skin. I like to touch it, caress it, and love it. And, I want you to feel the same way about your cabinet skin as I do my wife’s skin.

Upholstery Bonding Agent – More secret stuff? Not really, but I’ll just tell you that the skin on your speaker cabinet is sticking to the bones until death we do part. Interestingly, I was at a Guitar Center recently looking at some name brand cabinets and found a couple with bubbles in the tolex!!! Shocking? Not really.

High Quality Hardware – Ah, the finishing touches, and it’s got to be pretty. Most of my cabinets use nickel plated or black powder coated corners. I do use black plastic corners as well. But, again, that’s up to you. You can be assured of this however, whatever hardware is screwed into the speaker cabinet that you chose, will be the highest quality I can find.

So, what is a speaker cabinet? It is a aesthetically and perfectly machined and acoustically tuned wooden housing that is perfectly matched for the components that are attached to it so that you, the working musician, can get the greatest tone possible from your instrument. Pretty simple, don’t you think?