Speaker cab is finally finished!

The cab is finally done!  Since the last post, I poly’d the speaker baffle, attached & wired the jackplate, mounted the speakers, and painted & attached the speaker grills.

I found the Marshall switchable jackplate at Antique Electronic Supply.  It allows the use of both speakers at 4 ohms or 16 ohms, or either speaker at 8 ohms.  With two heads or a stereo head, the cab could be run in stereo for more spacious chorus and delay effects.  So far I’ve used it with the Stulce SA-10H shown in the picture below, as well as my friend Pete’s Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier head, and it sounds great with both.

The speaker grills are basic 12″ metal waffle grills.  When I painted them, I achieved a texture similar to the amp head’s texture by spraying them with Valspar Stone paint and then spraying the red over that. If I wanted it to be durable, I could buy Valspar’s fixative spray and cover the stone paint with that before spraying it red.  But I think they’ll actually look better when they get a little scratched up, so I’m leaving them alone.

I installed two different speakers: One is a Tone Tubby Hempcone H1E Alnico, and the other is an H1E Ceramic.  I ordered them from South Valley Vintage Amps.  As I researched speakers, I found a really helpful GearNet review of a ton of speaker combinations—definitely worth checking out.

One of these days I’ll post some audio clips.  For now, pictures:

Back of cab
Back of cab

By the way, these pictures were taken in the elevator behind our stage, which has become our makeshift amp isolation booth.  We put the amp heads in the stage hallway so we can run cables to them, and we mic the cabs in the elevator or the back room.  Of course, it would look cooler if they were all on stage, but at the volume we run our services (roughly 90dB), there’s no way to get a tube amp to sound good and also make a sound guy happy.  :)

6 Responses to “Speaker cab is finally finished!”

  1. I don’t blame you for the chuckle. I think we ought to be running 94-97dB. People are used to attending concerts run at 110dB, so they walk away from our low-volume worship services feeling like our music had no energy.

    It has nothing to do with worshiping or not worshiping; it has everything to do with practical considerations like being culturally sensitive to people (part of being “all things to all men”). It’s like preaching for an hour with no visuals or stories at all. Can you honor God that way? Sure, but people won’t remember what you said, so it’s counterproductive.

  2. nice looking cabinet, Tristan. Great Job! I look forward to hearing it sometime. I had to chuckle at the 90db comment. Our youth services run between 95-105 depending on how much AMP energy drink the student mixing has had that morning. :)

  3. Josiah,
    So far, all the Stulce amps I have seen are red. Since I wanted one of their amp heads, red became the theme of the cabinet, too. I wanted a natural wood finish for the cab rather than gluing on Tolex or carpet, so I experimented with different red stains. The red mahogany stain was my favorite by far. Then when I saw it all together, the birch baffle was too light-colored in comparison to the rest of the cab, so I stained it slightly darker. The picture makes it look orangish, but it’s actually closer to a golden pine.

    At the end, I still needed something to tie the cab colors to the red amp head, so I added the red speaker grills. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. If anything, I might eventually give up the two-tone and refinish the baffle the same red mahogany as the rest of the cab. We’ll see how I like it when I live with it for a while.