Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #152372  by Alley gator
 Wed Jun 01, 2016 4:19 am
I have an original 1966 blackface Champ. I love this amp, it sounds wonderful, and I'm curious about getting a small cabinet for it. I was thinking a 2 X 10 perhaps. Anyone ever done this, or something similar? Any suggestions as to cabinet construction or speaker selection? Maybe a 2 X 8 instead?

 #152375  by TI4-1009
 Wed Jun 01, 2016 10:00 am
Tim makes some nice pine cabs- I think most older Fenders used pine.
 #152379  by Pete B.
 Wed Jun 01, 2016 11:06 am
I like to run small amps like that to bigger cabinets.
I have some Radio Shack alligator-cables and a speaker cord with one end bare-wire for amp/cab mix and match.
An E120 or K120 or whatever in a cab makes a practice amp sound much better than the lil stock speaker.
Sometimes I like to keep the amp within arms reach, and the cab across the room, so the speaker-wire gator-clip thing makes that easy.
Something like this:
 #152395  by Alley gator
 Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:31 am
Thanks. The amp is completely original although it's in the shop getting a couple of new caps now. Original speaker which has, according to the amp repairman, "wonderful cone sag". He explained that it was basically a worn out speaker but one that sounded fantastic as it's on its last legs. So a bit of a two edged sword. I'd like to have a separate cabinet both for fun and to save the original 50 year old speaker.

I found a nice blank 2 x 10 cabinet on ebay. Any speaker suggestions as to what might be good? 2 x 8 ohms. I'm inclined to JBL's naturally...but I know nothing of which brand of speaker has which characteristic tone.

Thanks again.
 #152396  by TI4-1009
 Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:03 am
Old Fenders traditionally had Jensens, and there's a cottage industry built around reproducing various classic tones. By the late 60s JBLs were the speaker of choice.

Check out the Field Guide for original specs:

It says Oxford 8EV, Jensen says current replacement is the P8R, Weber says their Alnico Signature 8S.

Some googling in those areas should turn up the boutique versions.
 #152403  by tatittle
 Thu Jun 02, 2016 8:37 pm
I have a Champ I hook up to cabs occassionally. It sounds great depending on the cab. Its only 8 watts or whatever so it cant really drive larger JBL's to where they sound best IMO. Probably mentioned above you want a 4 ohm load which is perfect for 2 8 ohm speakers wired correctly. Ive tried little 8" D208's they actually dont sound much different than alnico Webers in the Champ to me.
 #152404  by Dwarf Rat
 Thu Jun 02, 2016 10:48 pm
I am now using my H&K Bluesmaster into either a 12" Jensen MOD in a vintage weird cabinet or 2 12" Celestions in a 4x12 cabinet wired for stereo. I had a Hard Trucker style cabinet custom built last summer for a 15" JBL. While efficient, the JBL was too bright with the classic ice pick in the forehead. The builder bought it from me and chose to use with his silver face Twin Reverb. The 5 watts of the Bluesmaster just couldn't do the JBL justice. The Twin really makes it sing.

The MOD sounds great. The Celestions have similar tone with a fatter bottom end and more volume.

It's not a Garcia sound, but very musical and sweet. I can fiddle with my custom Strat and get a fine Europe '72 tone. My Melody Maker with mid 60s PAFs gets closer to Live Dead/Anthem of the Sun, which was when I started to play guitar.

Best of luck on your quest
 #152409  by Alley gator
 Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:12 am
Many thanks. Looking at 2 10" Jupiter Alnico's in a Tough Trucker cabinet - that should be all I ever need. Not trying to reproduce a particular Jerry tone - after all, neither was he!
 #152410  by TI4-1009
 Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:30 pm
Cool! Just be aware that the Baltic birch should make the tone a bit "sharper and edgier" than the pine. Pine is softer so it absorbs and tempers the soundwaves more than the reflective hard birch. Old Fender cabs were pine- because it was cheap.
 #152413  by Alley gator
 Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:24 pm
Thanks - did not know that about birch ply vs. pine. Also, what does venting/porting a cabinet do? How is it different from having an open back?
 #152923  by tatittle
 Mon Jul 11, 2016 6:27 pm
Yeah I often find the differences between certain amps eg Fender BF/SF is foremost the cabinet. Very true of Tweeds with their old growth wood that has been vibrating for years. The renowned Fuji Gen guitar factory in Japan was rumored to have dry their wood while exposing it to Mozart music 24/7. Old Martins often ring out at timbres new models do not replicate too. Cabinets are a primary focus of developing superior home spreakers etc. as well. Even the difference between a glued baffle and screwed one is perceptible.
 #153854  by Bduffy
 Sat Sep 10, 2016 6:19 am
I run a pair of E110 in home made cab. Although I use the cab primarily with a laney 50w head I have hooked it up to a vintage '63 ampeg jet 15w and it sounds great, although I have to run it at top end.