Is there room for another bespoke cabinet maker?

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So I'm a wood machinists and I've a friend who's a very good upholstery craftsman. Is there room for another bespoke cabinet manufacturer? I play guitar and my friend plays bass? Seems a partnership made in heaven. Whatcha think?
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  • I would say Zilla have a good reputation and are widely known in the UK, so you’d not want to go head to head with them. May be worth working out what would make your cabs unique and work on a business case around that.
    Karma......
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    edited October 2019
    Yes I agree. Make something unique and very old skool British if you know what I mean? Think Bentley/spitfire/Aston Martin sort of vibe. Would be interesting to know what exactly people want in a custom cab so I could build up a range to cover all bases? I'm thinking mostly 1×12,2×12 and slightly smaller 1×12/10's for smaller watt heads?. Could all be pie in the sky but who knows ha. Just putting it out there. Have pitched it to my pal but not heard back so who knows ha.
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  • Sounds like you wouldn’t have to invest in much on the tooling side of things, so as long as you have the free time then it’s worth knocking out a few cabinets and seeing how they’re received. Take them around to local gig venues for different bands to try, that way you get to hear them in lots of different rooms, genres and gear, while also spreading the word locally and getting valuable feedback from users.
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 1410
    The trend seems to be towards lighter stuff these days, so worth looking into Neo speakers etc.
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    Mm Neo speakers sound interesting.
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  • Could be interest in lightweight pine cabs, see the 1950s Fender cab designs. They had a different approach to most modern cabs
    One of those with Neos could be very popular
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 918
    Ahh man, I'd love to see a company offering affordable fender-looking cabs with side handles. You could knock up a load of single- and double-speaker sized boxes and offer 10 or 12 inch baffles. Tweed/blues dlx & dvl style and silver grille/hot rod style. 
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    Been pricing up speakers,looking at £100 mark each:(.  Is there much of a market for cabs unloaded? 
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  • sawyer said:
    Been pricing up speakers,looking at £100 mark each:(.  Is there much of a market for cabs unloaded? 
    yes, you'd need to offer both options. Maybe put solderless wiring into the empty cabs, and make things easy for the buyer
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    This is all good stuff chaps,keep it coming. Like I say might be pie in the sky but worth looking into.
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  • guitargeek62guitargeek62 Frets: 1803
    edited October 2019
    What materials are you thinking?
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    edited October 2019
    Birch/marine ply. 18mm Open backed,biscuit jointed and screwed. Vinyl and grille cloth in something different, but staight black too. Speakers bolted into baffle with t-nuts. What sorta price yas reckon? We talking £200 just for speakers in a 2×12. What would be considered a saleable price?. Speakers obviously biggest expense but ply and vinly+hardware add up. Would get a few cabs outa sheet 8×4. 
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  • Winny_PoohWinny_Pooh Frets: 4092
    If you want to compete you should look at a price point between Harley Benton and Zilla.

    It will also be worth identifying the most common cabs kit builders buy such as tweed 5e3 combos or 1987 Marshall headshells. 
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  • SCRelicsGuitarsSCRelicsGuitars Frets: 3838
    tFB Trader
    sawyer said:
    Birch/marine ply. 18mm Open backed,biscuit jointed and screwed. Vinyl and grille cloth in something different, but staight black too. Speakers bolted into baffle with t-nuts. What sorta price yas reckon? We talking £200 just for speakers in a 2×12. What would be considered a saleable price?. Speakers obviously biggest expense but ply and vinly+hardware add up. Would get a few cabs outa sheet 8×4. 
    If you’re aiming for a visual USP with these cabs that no one else is really doing then you’re the only one who can set a price point for now. You’ll need to cover your materials and time to start with. Once you’ve sold a few you’ll see the effort involved in each sale and adjust the price accordingly. 
    Formerly lonestar • Owner of SC Relics Guitars • www.screlics.co.uk • aged boutique partcaster bodies and necks
    Trading feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/99272/
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  • bbill335bbill335 Frets: 918
    sawyer said:
    Been pricing up speakers,looking at £100 mark each:(.  Is there much of a market for cabs unloaded? 
    I'm sure i can order two decent Eminence 12” speakers for <£200 right now
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  • LebarqueLebarque Frets: 1410
    Have a look at Warehouse Guitar Speakers too.
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  • jpfampsjpfamps Frets: 1987
    sawyer said:
    Birch/marine ply. 18mm Open backed,biscuit jointed and screwed. Vinyl and grille cloth in something different, but staight black too. Speakers bolted into baffle with t-nuts. What sorta price yas reckon? We talking £200 just for speakers in a 2×12. What would be considered a saleable price?. Speakers obviously biggest expense but ply and vinly+hardware add up. Would get a few cabs outa sheet 8×4. 
    18 mm will be heavy.

    I think the trend is for lighter cabs.

    You'll need to be able to source speakers at trade or better OEM prices, although this may mean limiting the range of speakers you use. 
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  • CHrisP86CHrisP86 Frets: 207
    edited October 2019
    On the speakers (as a reference) Zilla charge £80/£90 per ceramic speaker over the unloaded cab price.

    The ZIlla cabs I've had have sounded great but I don't think the finishing is quite as good as it could be.

    If you could essentially take the Bogner/Friedman aesthetics and quality (ie seamless finished corners, solid handles, chunky feet etc) at a ZIlla price point then you might have a chance.  Maybe along the lines of V boutique cabs in the US.

    Still tough to match the presence that Zilla have though.  You could also think about teaming up with some of the UK amp builders who might be interested in outsourcing cab work to you (if they don't already outsource it).

    Also definitely go lighter weight!
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5547
    Zilla don't seem to offer 1 x 10" as standard.  Might be some kind of market for them with all the little 5W heads around these days.

    2 x 10" doesn't seem all that common either.  That sounds great in some of those old Fenders.
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  • JD50JD50 Frets: 428
    sawyer said:
    Birch/marine ply. 18mm Open backed,biscuit jointed and screwed. Vinyl and grille cloth in something different, but staight black too. Speakers bolted into baffle with t-nuts. What sorta price yas reckon? We talking £200 just for speakers in a 2×12. What would be considered a saleable price?. Speakers obviously biggest expense but ply and vinly+hardware add up. Would get a few cabs outa sheet 8×4. 

    Surely no need to screw if using a biscuit jointer?
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 4223
    headshells. 
    Headshells for sure - for Kempers
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

    Feedback
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    Well my upholstery friend has gone quiet on this front:( Looks like its been a pipe dream as suspected:( Thanks for input guys,appreciated.
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  • A lot of the bespoke cab makers only offer 12" speakers in their custom builds. Definitely space for someone to make cabs with 8, 10 and 15 inch speakers. A while ago I wanted a custom 4x10 and ended up having to make one from a broken Fender Deville
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  • Maybe working with an established amp company to offer a lush custom line. 
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  • Not sure if this helps but Im a new cabinet maker in the UK. Its a difficult market but we are trying. As people have said, working out your cost and efficiency is key. Also some eye catching different styles help. Good luck if you are trying.
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 480
    ^Thanks man but my upholstery friend isn't prepared to take the risk,which is fair enougth,I understand his hesitance. So this project,for me at least,is on the back burner. Good luck to you with your venture. All the best:)
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