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Ampeg 1540HE fun

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ko stradivarius, Aug 21, 2012.

  1. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis
    I have another thread where I showed some pics of an old Ampeg 810DL (8-10s and 2 horns) cab I had restored.

    Well now on another whim I picked up a 1992 1540HE, 4-10s, horn, and 1-15, for $80. These cabs were only made for a brief time and suffered from a stupid design where the attenuator knob would get broken off as it stuck out past the back of the cab. All Ampeg needed to do was recess the jack plate deeper. This cab is no exception to the problem. Not only is the attenuator broken but the 15 is, well, "diassembled".
    When I got it home I pulled the 15 as it wasn't working, and found the magnet had been removed and was rolling around in the cab. It managed to take out the carboard ports as well as tear up the dampting on the bottom of the cab. We have lots of the carboard tubes from paper rolls at work so there's a freebie. The "innards" of the speaker are missing so I assume it was thrown in there on purpose.
    I don't know if this speaker can be rebuilt or not but I'm searching out a low cost, or free, 4 ohm 15 right now.
    The grill is warped pretty bad as to be expected from the crappy particle board frame. Otherwise the grill cloth and piping is in really good shape. I already have it being pressed back into shape. We'll see if it works or not.
    Many people don't like these cabs as they are meant to be bi-amped. Some just don't dig the combo. I'm sure there are deeper technical reasons too. Meh! who cares? For $80 I'll give it a shot.
    They are rated at 400W @ 8 ohm full range and bi-ampable at 200W each for the 4-10s and the 1-15.

    First up is fixing the attenuator. This is easy. Ampeg(Loud) still sells the correct knob used at around $1.50. Digi-key and mouser sell the correct C&K 3 position rotary switch for around $2.70. Since my 810DL has the same attenuator I ordered extras. Part number is #R10307RN02Q for the rotary switch. If you're going this far check the resistors for any heat damage. There's a 20 ohm 10W and a 10 ohm 10W wirewound resistor on the board. You could also try ordering part #R10305RN02Q, which has a shorter shaft but you may need to enlarge the hole so the knob will fit through. My brother is going to school for machining so he's going to make me a jack plate that is recessed 1" so the knob does not stick out past the back of the cab.

    If I end up liking it I'll recover it and more importantly add the handles to the bottom of the cab like my 810DL.

    uploadfromtaptalk1345566115131. uploadfromtaptalk1345566129478.


    Dec 21, 2007
    Cowtown, USA
    I've got one of those 1540HEs-And I don't hate it!
    I do have a couple of questions though-

    That tweeter knob is a problem- Is there a way to dis-connect
    the tweeter all the way so I can forget about the knob thats about to fall off?

    I run mine with an Acoustic 370 head (can do 2 ohms)-
    I plug 2 speaker cables into the speaker outs of the amp-
    One into the top 410 jack-One into the bottom 15 jack-
    Each speaker is 200w @ 4 ohms, the head is approx. 320w @ 2ohms,
    Is the amp giving 1/2 its wattage to each speaker when the
    head is not tech. a "bi-amp"set up?

    I've been doing this for years (15 was re-coned years ago before I started doing the dual-cable thing) and never blew it
    up- I now play in a doom band w/ a Trace Elliot V6 though an
    810E (w/Rusty Box) and the Acoustic 370 w/1540HE (w/ Fulltone Bass Drive) side-by-side and they keep up together
    no problem!
  3. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis
    Not sure I understand. You can just turn the tweeter off if you dont want it on. If the switch is coming loose or off the board its a 5 minute job to solder a new one on. Im a beginner level solderer and it was super easy to do.
    If your amp handles a 2 ohm load you should be fine going out to the seperate 4 ohm hi and low inputs on the cab. Sounds like you have been for a while anyway.
  4. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis
    Well today I got around to replacing the switch and two resistors. So far I have about $90 into this cab.
    I still need a 4 ohm 15" driver though.
    If I can't score a freebie the eminence CA154 may be a good choice given the cabs dimensions. I was playing around with WinISD (not really knowing what I'm doing) and came up with an F3 of 50Hz with this driver using 3.1" ports.

  5. ko stradivarius

    ko stradivarius

    Aug 14, 2006
    St. Louis
    Im still getting this cab together.
    This is what a particle board grill looks like after sitting in a moisture filled environment. This is how I got it. Needless to say I have a new one now. :)
  6. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I used that same cab and the matching SVT-350 head for many years without issue. That switch has never been a problem, probably because the cab was only rolled in and out of the trailer and rolled or lifted on and off stage. Prior to many years of my using it, it was toured nationally with the band Mother Lode by thge guy that I bought it from. So - it's been around. Good luck with your rehab. :cool:

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