Ampeg 810 - Need a little help from the experts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bassjnky1, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Long story's time for me to have an Ampeg 810.

    There is one available locally (3.5 hour drive)that I am investigating. What can you advise me about this cab. Serial Number: I81EJ40034

    1) I believe that this is a 97 cab-indicated by the J
    2) Has only a 1/4 input. Is this a problem?
    3) It is an American made unit by SLM. I know that this is not the "dark" era but what should I expect for sound, etc.
    4) What speakers should be in it?
    5) It appears to be in primo condition (no tears) from the pictures. Other than the usual visual inspection(tolex, wheels, etc) what sort of tests would you recommend to perform before committing. Of course, I would make a purchase conditional on playing the unit to listen.
    9 volt test?
    What else?

  2. Razman

    Razman Supporting Member

    Feb 10, 2005
    Orange Park, FL
    Your bass, your amp, at any volume level you choose for at least a couple of songs. And definitely the 9v. test.

    Pm coming to you also...

  3. My big test for any cab is to crank it pretty hard , then get my good ear next to each speaker and listen for anything that sounds the least little bit abnormal. The contortions to hear the bottom speakers on an 8 10 can be pretty interesting. Any fuzziness or lack of volume is a red flag for me. Keep in mind that a cranked 8 10 can make walls , doors , ducts and just about anything else in the house rattle so make sure if you hear something weird you know where it's coming from. Never did the 9v test on any of mine but it IS a good idea. Mine are all a bit newer than the one you are looking at and seemed unmolested which is why I didn't 9v them. On a cab the age of the one you are looking at , it is a really good idea.
    Pull the grill cloth off and look for any creasing on the speaker cones (not likely on an Ampeg 8 10.) Creasing means the speakers have been pushed too hard at some point and would be a red flag for me.
    Now for the part that has me scratching my head a bit. I am NOT an expert on these cabs (just happen to own three of them) so don't take this completely to heart till you head from someone a bit more knowledgeable than I am (where's that lunatic in the Devo hat when we really need him;)) but I would think that a cab from this era would have the speakon connections on it. I know the older cabs just had the 1/4 connections but I would think (holy crap , there I go thinking again) that a '97 cab would have Speakons on it. Again , not positive on this one but it's something to think about. Hopefully Jimmy M will chime in on this one.
    slade likes this.
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Actually, I think at that time, Ampeg had the 810e and 810en, the N designating Neutrik. Speakons were still very much a new concept back then, and weren't stock on the 810e at first, but were a separate model until they finally decided to incorporate both speakons and 1/4" jacks into all of them a couple years later. Won't hurt a thing to use a 1/4" cable, although there is a potential for shock from amps that do 500w or better if you touch the 1/4" barrel while plugging in a cab.

    The speakers that should be in it are Eminences with the part number 86-032-01.
  6. Thanks sharkbait! I'm just trying to get as much info as I can before drivng 4 hours (each way).
    All of my current cabs have the speakon connectors, so, it's what I'm used to. Don't know if having only a 1/4" should be a concern really??
    I too am curious about the whereabouts of that Devo hat.
  7. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    Um, dude...look above your last post ;)
  8. Hehehe... look up^ Thanks Jimmy

  9. Thanks Jimmy,
    Any way of knowing if its plywood or mdf? Is a speakon conversion a common upgrade on these?
    Should the age be a problem?

    A bunch of questions...I know, but, I'm just trying to gather info.

  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    It's's OSB. Boogerwood, yes, but a stronger kind of boogerwood. Bad news if it get soaked or if it gets a puncture injury, but there are a buttload of even older Ampeg cabs with OSB that are still going strong, so even though I greatly prefer plywood, these OSB cabs seem to be doing well for the most part.

    Speaker conversion is not too common on them, however, replacing one or two speakers with random 10"s is always a possibility, so check and make sure the cones match and look like the typical cones you see in 810e's. If they do, it's a good bet it's stock.

    Age is not a problem, but reckless usage is. Speakers can blow if abused, but if they're not abused, they can outlast you.
  11. Speakon , not speaker he said. lol I have 3 OSB cabs and have abused the hell out of all three of them with no bad results yet. Pretty tough stuff actually although I would prefer plywood. No big deal however. I lost my grip on a cab going down a flight of about 7 wooden steps. The cab came through it just fine. Can't say the same for the bottom two steps.
    10cc likes this.
  12. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG

    OK, speakon conversion is also not common, but if you don't mind drilling out the back plate, it can be converted easily enough.
  13. If you are going to make the effort, Carvin sells a Speakon that has a 1/4 in the center.
    That doubles your chances of having the right cable. :)
  14. Coming from the speaker reconing side... take your hand. Spread your fingers out, like a spider. Center it over the dust cover, apply even pressure and gently push in on the cone (about 1/4" -ish). Do it several times per speaker and listen. IF ANY make a scratchy sound, or you feel anything other than smooth action... that driver may have issues. Just my opinion.