A little history...
Had one of my friends sell their Hot Rod Deluxe/Tweed Pro that I did one of my re-builds on, and in an effort to help, I made myself available for all questions about the amp (since I did the work on it). Ended up getting an e-mail from someone who said "Everything in the build seems to be first rate. My concern is the (cheap?) cab. Wouldn't you agree that a solid pine cab would greatly enhance the tonal quality of this or any amp?"
Well, I don't subscribe to the cabinet tone-wood theory, personally; my belief is simply that the only component that affects any sound significantly is the baffle, since it holds the speaker. That, and shape/size/backing of the cab, but not the actual wood.
But in the spirit of experimentation, I went about in testing my own theory.
Got with a co-worker/buddy of mine who loves to do woodworking on the side to see if he'd be interested in the cabinet build. Having a musical background as well he was more than excited to try. So we set out and did some in depth measuring and replicating of a stock Hot Rod Deluxe cabinet with true-to-form Tweed Era Narrow Panel construction.
Started with the standard 1/4" box-jointed cabinet assembly:
Finished off all the parts with the appropriate birch ply baffle, narrow panels, and rear panel:
Drilled the holes and did a dry-fit of the chassis:
Paint the baffle black
Tweed it up and do some grill cloth and add feet (yeah I have some of the tweed cut wrong and the stripes go in the wrong direction...but it's a prototype and I didn't want to use more than one piece of tweed for this):
Some shielding on the back panel and put it all together:
And the finished product:
So far, I have found that a solid pine build shaves off a full 8 pounds off the stock MDF cab. It weighs in at 15 pounds, where the stock cab comes in at 23 pounds. Also, we ended up with an extra 1/8" in interior width, so theres a bit of a gap, but it's the only error, I'm sure it's not going to hurt anything.
Soon, I'll give it some play time and see if I notice any sound changes/improvements.