For this project you will need:
Dead Combo guitar amp (with good speakers)
Plasti-dip spray (optional)
1/4 inch mono jack
Soldering iron and solder
soap and water
For the speaker repair you will need
Elmers glue (I used clear)
Step 1: Acquire the Combo
The amp was gone, but there were two 12" Scorpion speakers, so I not only had my speaker shell, I had speakers! In a previous life this box was a Peavey Stereo Chorus 212. On a side note, you can score these amps cheap because they are solid state, but let me tell you they are a great sounding amp. Clean headroom for days! Clean and chorusy, lots of fun for clean tone, and takes pedals well too. Check out this videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcVAO1q3iAQ
Step 2: Testing the Speakers
I used 12 gauge 2 conductor jacketed speaker wire, because I had it on hand already. The Scorpions sounded good and I was really digging the sound, when I heard something funny and realized there was a tear in one cone. Before the project went further a repair was in order.You can buy replacement baskets for the Scorpions, one thing really cool about them. But the basket was almost the same price as an entire speaker ($80) So quick side trip:
Step 3: Break to Repair the Speaker
Tested it and it sounds fine. Back to the main project
Step 4: Take It Apart and Clean It
Removed the upper back cover where the amp would have been and the lower. And removed the crappy casters that were on it. They were about 1 1/2 inch, and stuck on everything. Hit her with the shop vac and and then warm water and a dishcloth. Not trying to make it look perfect, just removing the major dust and nastiness. This had probably been sitting in a storage locker for a long time. Notice that the speakers don't perfectly match. This means one was replaced at some point.
I used Plasti Dip spray to cover some holes in the Tolex covering, and also to coat inside the case and reduce any rattling. In theory at least. This product dries to a matte finish so what the heck.
Step 5: Wiring and Re-assembly
I left it open back, since it is mainly for guitar, I am considering making a piece of ply to cover the openings left in the back to see how it sounds both ways. Eventually I want to order different grill cloth and make the speaker cover, well cover the whole thing.
Step 6: Plug It in and ROCK!
I plugged in my Trusty Epiphone Valve Jr. Head and warmed up the tubes, and let her rip. Like all Scorpion speakers, these break up pretty nicely at mid volume. And yet I could play cleanly too and get a nice sound. Since this amp has no eq, only a gain control you really get the sound of the speakers and the guitar.
Next I grabbed the reason I wanted this cabinet so bad, my 1967 Fender Bassman! Since the output on the Bassman is 4 Ohms, I wired this for 4 ohms. Most cabs are wired for 8 ohms, or 4 if you stack them. The amp sounds great, breaks up and distorts nicely, and cleans up by rolling back the volume on the guitar.
Like I said I am the King of the Cheap Guitar. I set out looking for an amp shell to turn into a cabinet, expecting to buy speakers and wound up with a working rig for $30, some spray on rubber and bits and pieces from the garage. I will likely replace the speakers at some point, when I get a really good deal, and then use these to build some smaller 1x12 speakers for other amps.
Don't tell me wife, but I have about 9 amps in total. and they all are going to visit this speaker cab at some point.
BTW if you have a working amp that would fit this cab...