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'81-84 Ampeg SVT-810E "Red Devil" Resto/Custom

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Ariabasser, Feb 3, 2013.


  1. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    I recently (December) made a purchase of an ooold SVT-810E from Ben McKee, the bassist for the upcoming band Imagine Dragons. You may have heard of them. Now, the speakers were all-original and sounded phenomenal, but the Tolex was all torn up and just plain ugly. However, I instantly saw the future of this cab and my brain started to work, thinking of different options. I was recently in the forums asking about how or if a certain paint/finish would affect the sound of the cab itself, and after arguing back and forth with some people about the durability (or lack thereof) of Tolex I finally received my answer. No, the finish will not affect the sound of the cab. Game on.

    Now, I decided to take pictures throughout the ordeal so that i could post a thread for everyone, and possibly even convince some of the nay-sayers that this wasn't such a terrible idea.

    Here are a couple pictures of exactly how the cab looked when I first got it. Notice the Tolex all torn up along the front and back.
     

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  2. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Now that you've seen the front and back, here are the sides. My job was easy here; the Tolex was already gone!
     

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  3. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    The top was also a little beat up, but look at those speakers! Absolutely brilliant! They look and sound new, which is exactly why I bought this cab! Now, though, the work begins.
     

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  4. 5StringThunder

    5StringThunder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Looks like good project. Good luck.
     
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  6. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    Ya man, looking good. Would like to see a close up pic of the back plate and speakers when you pull them if you get a chance to do it.
     
  7. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Didn't snap a pic of the speakers pulled, but as soon as I get chance I'll snap a pic of the back-plate. Any help accurately dating this beast would be appreciated, since '81-84 is all I could narrow it down to. Thanks!
     
  8. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    It already looks better, even just having the Tolex stripped off. When I bought it the rubber feet were missing, so after being dragged along the front corners had started getting a little worn down as you can see. Gotta fix those up before I can start anything else!
     

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  9. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    The sides look almost exactly the same, but hey, gotta show what I'm working with that way it is even more impressive when you see the finished product. You can really see how worn down those front corners are in these photos.
     

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  10. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Here was the first layer of Plasti Dip. I could already tell I was going to enjoy where I was headed. It was also clear to me that I was going to need more cans of paint.
     

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  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    Well that's real plywood, so unless it's an 810 that came with the Skunkworks SVT's, we can rule out it being an old SLM cab from the 90's. You're probably pretty accurate with the timeline.
     
  12. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Fast forward a few weeks and a few more cans of Plasti Dip. Now how about that? I think it looks gorgeous. Hell, I wish it was safe to leave the grill screen off! Those speakers look so good against the red. Now after this it just needs the finishing touches and I will be good to put on the rest of the effects. Keep an eye out; I'll be throwing in the last batch of photos after the Superbowl!
     

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  13. 5StringThunder

    5StringThunder

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    What is Plasti Dip? Is it like paint that dries hard like plastic?
     
  14. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Not hard like plastic, like a rubberised coating. Pretty nifty stuff. I've used before on diving weights and stuff. Pretty durable, especially with this many coatings.
     
  15. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Got the feet on, the wheels, the hand rail, and a a couple of the corner pieces here. We had to brace the wooden frame inside the grill screen because it was cracked and warped.
     

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  16. Mastermold

    Mastermold Supporting Member

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    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    Orange County, California
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    Firemelon
  17. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Thanks! It was over a month of work, but it's finally finished and I love it! Just getting these last few pictures put up!
     
  18. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Got the cups in on top, and that black I think still is a killer match against that red. Just glued a couple in. Most were a pretty snug fit or we still had the original staples. At the bottom corner, we felt that a cab like this deserved a little custom recognition. The nickname suits it well!
     

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  19. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    And now for the big reveal! On the back end, we put on the kick-plate and slide-rails that didn't originally come on this year-model, but I felt like it could use the extra protection! Not to mention it makes it look a little cleaner and more complete.

    On the front side, got the grill screen screwed into place so I know it's not going anywhere (and so people at gigs can't screw around with it, ya just never know these days). Also got the last couple corner pieces but on. I absolutely love it, and it was more than worth the time I put into it to make it look this nice. I hope you all enjoy this as much as I do, although I'm sure there will be some purists out there who are appalled at what I did to this old cab :p.

    The Red Devil, 167Lbs of beast coming to a Sick Loves show near you!
     

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  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    Apopka, FL
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps
    Turned out very nice looking. Now you just need an MTI SVT ;)
     
  21. Ariabasser

    Ariabasser

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Location:
    California
    Oh what a great day it would be if I could afford that!
     

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