Stonefield Music's Tomm Stanley has been in touch to let us in on some exciting news for him and Stonefield. He tells us that they've been hard at work this year to develop a new line of amplifier cabinets and they've gotten the first of the range together just in time for the winter NAMM show in Anaheim, CA. Tomm says, "Over the past five years or so I've been watching the interest in small, lightweight amps and amp cabinets grow. Not many people are aware of it but before I had ever built basses I had designed and built both amplifier and p.a. cabinets."
As with most young musicians, Tomm's band was in need of good p.a. gear but was already trying to figure out how to pay for their personal instruments and gear, much less come up with money for more. "I was around 20 years old and had already been into woodworking for several years and figured I could learn how to build speaker cabinets as well as I could build furniture. I got hold of the David B. Weems book, Building Speaker Enclosures that Radio Shack was selling and wow, what an eye opening experience. I had no idea so much went into the design of ported speaker cabinets."
Coming to grips with T/S parameters and getting his head into the mathematics, he worked out designs for a pair of horn-loaded enclosures with 15-inch drivers. "They were okay but yeah, a first effort at best." That first experience was repeated twice more in a later band, with the progressively more difficult designs being built by the father of the band's guitarist. "We used those cabinets for years and years. Somewhere in that time frame I also built the cabinets for my 18/15/2-10 stack ... good 'ol 1980's sized gear." he chuckles.
Which brings us back to the current time frame and the breaking news of Stonefield's Mighty Mini series of amplifier cabinets. The line-up will begin with the two cabinets that will be making their debut at the NAMM Show. Both contain drivers with carbon fibre cones and neodymium magnets that carry an impressive punch for their size. The Mighty Mini 106 has a 6 1/2-inch driver that can deliver 200W and the cabinet weighs in at only 13lbs/6kgs. The Mighty Mini 108 runs an eight-inch driver that can provide for a 250W input and that cabinet comes in around 17 lbs/8kgs. These numbers put both cabinets firmly into range of lightweights amps and cabinets that have been growing in the market over recent years. Adding to their versatility, Stonefield have also equipped them with series/parallel switching on the combined 1/4-inch/Speakon output connector.
Tomm tells us that he's used the high-tech drivers along with aircraft grade laminates to keep the weight down. On a very interesting note we've learned that along with developing the cabinets he also has invested some of his R&D time and budget on a surfacing compound that the cabinets are covered in. "It's a roll-on finish that offers a close approximation to vinyl, Tolex or other fabric-based coverings but it's more durable and far more easily repaired if damaged." Perhaps the most attractive feature of the surfacing compound that we noted during our discussion is its availability in a wide range of colours ... even custom colours can be done by request. He's indicated that at some future point the compound may be launched as a stand alone product but for now, it's a Stonefield exclusive.
Tomm wraps things up with a final insight, "The Mighty Minis produce a wall of sound that is entirely disproportional to their appearance and that's how they got their name. They are Mighty and they are Mini. It's so crazy that I can't help but smile and sometimes just laugh out when I'm playing through them. I'm honestly not sure if my giant stack from the '80's could keep up with these tiny little things."
For more on the entire line of Stonefield products check out their website at www.stonefieldmusic.com and also their social media channels with FB, IG and YT all under Stonefield Music.