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Ampeg SVT-1510HE transformation

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Warpeg, Nov 27, 2008.


  1. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I picked up a beat-up SVT-1510HE cab back in october or so. It was made in the 80's and (maybe?) the 90's and rated at 175watts. A 15", 10", and Fostex horn tweeter are inside. From the factory, the 16-ohm 15" and 16-ohm 10" are ran from the low-out of the internal crossover in parallel. The tweeter comes out of the high-out, into a 3-way adjustable L-pad. Anyway, I picked it up used at the local shop with the same problem that most of them developed: a blown 10". Other issues included: ripped grill cloth, shredded tolex on a small section on the front, casters removed, and blue and yellow painted lettering on the tolex. I picked it up for cheap and it has become my project.

    The first step was to use winISD to see what better drivers would work in there. In fact, the 4-ohm Gamma 10a and 4-ohm Kappa 15 I had laying around worked as perfect replacements for the blown 10" and low-powered 15". The horn was just fine. I dropped those in there, then the fun began...

    I generally don't like the tone of a 15" and a 10" getting the same full-frequency signal. My idea is to use my power amp (Crown XTI-1000) in a bi-amp fashion: Channel one handles only the 15", with a lowpass crossover point at 300Hz. Channel two handles the 10" and horn with a highpass crossover point at 300Hz. The internal 8-ohm passive two-way crossover was replaced by one that sets a 3KHz crossover point between the 4-ohm 10" and 8-ohm horn.

    For an amp input, I've installed a Speakon NL4 jack: +1/-1=15", +2/-2=10" and horn. So, this cab can only be run in a bi-amped manner (unless I decide to build an outboard speaker crossover network for it). The factory 1/4" input jack has now been 'capped' with a screw-on lid.

    This setup works great! I can't believe how much louder, fuller, and more natural the tone is! Plus, I can adjust the low/high levels right from the front of the power amp.

    Let's get to appearance. I found a suitable set of 3" casters to throw on there. But, the tolex and grill needed some work. I decided to make this 1510 have a custom/boutique appearance by adding some color.

    Other than the paint on the back of the cab and the ripped area on the front edge, the tolex was in good shape. However, I bought some Duplicolor Vinyl and fabric paint/dye to really have some fun. After removing all of the cab's components and cleaned up the tolex, I put on a burgundy finish. It actually looks like factory burgundy tolex! The stuff is really easy to work with and dries quickly. After it dried, I put the casters on.

    The last part is the grill cloth. This is where I need the advice from my fellow bass bretheren. What color grill cloth to use? I have white, off-white, black and tan, and yellow/brown tweed (interesting to see) grill cloth at my disposal. I can tell you that the black and tan, though I thought it would look great, does not look right against the burgundy. Any suggestions?

    I'll get some pics up when it's all finished. BTW, sorry for such a long post. :smug:
     
  2. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    The built-in SMS on the XTI is great isn't it? Biamping can sound so much better too, if the cab(s) are halfways suitable. Is that 10 in a sealed section? I suppose I should enter the Gamma 10 into my WinISD Pro to see if I could cross over lower, but -- ; }
     
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  4. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I love the XTI. It's got a ton of DSP and it's really lightweight! The Gamma 10a sits in a sealed box. Gamma's are terrible for low end; the 300Hz crossover point is close to where it's usable range can get into higher wattage. There's just about no Xmax on that speaker. The Kappa 15 is a perfect match for its enclosure size and porting.
     
  5. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Cool! It's great to see awareness of the issues and understanding of DSP power!
     
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    I like your thinking!

    If Class D / SMPS modules ever drop hugely in price then I'd like to do a similar cab but self-powered with a monster 18" ported sub (one of the newer BMS drivers) powered by two bridged modules and then lower power module driving a (possibly open baffle) 10" midrange (18sound 10NDA610 iirc is very nice) covering ~200Hz upwards for the ultimate rock rig. Right now that would cost a fortune but who knows what the future holds...

    Alex
     
  7. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    It's almost blasphemy that I've turned an Ampeg cab into a hifi powerhouse with ruler-flat frequency response. However, it does give me a nice alternative to my 610HLF. Does anyone have any suggestions for a grill cloth color to match the burgundy tolex?
     
  8. 62bass

    62bass

    Apr 3, 2005
     
  9. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Grill cloth is a pain to install and get it perfect--but I did it! It looks factory-installed. I even got the white trim piping around the grill (Hard to see in the pic). If I never see another staple gun again, it'll be too soon. :smug: I decided to go with a tan tweed/brown vinyl grill cloth. It looks great an is very durable. I'm not sure if this grill cloth material is still being made; there is a bunch of grill cloths at the shop I work in.

    I finally got off of my lazy but and took a picture. Sorry, it's from my cell phone. Here are the after and before pics. What do y'all think?
     

    Attached Files:

  10. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I think I'm in love! I would really dig hearing that cab. Too bad they don't make it anymore...you could pick up some spare cash doing that mod.
     
  11. greenboy

    greenboy

    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Nice! I'll never go for Tolex and cloth grilles again, but seeing them unscathed and tasteful sure massages the eyes : }
     
  12. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    None of it was hard, just time-consuming. Being that it's still common for many amp/cab makers to still use grill cloth, doesn't make you wonder why these makers don't use more 'interesting' colors? Black tolex and black cloth have been a mainstay for a long time, but, hey, wouldn't you like to see more amps and cabs look fun, classy, etc?
     
  13. anderbass

    anderbass

    Dec 20, 2005
    Phoenix. Az.
    Hey, that turned out great. the tan grill was definitely a good choice.
     
  14. rbonner

    rbonner

    Sep 25, 2008
    Sioux Falls, SD
    I agree the combo looks very nice.

    Say I have an 810 here that I want to recover... and a grill that could get fixed too. Where do we buy AMPEG tolex and grill cloth? BOB
     
  15. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
  16. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    I re-tolexed an early 70's Ampeg 810. It was a bear! Just make sure that you:

    -Get plenty of tolex
    -Get all of the old adhesive off the cab
    -Sand the cab before putting on adhesive.
    -Use an adhesive/contact cement that is very strong, but won't wrinkle the tolex
    -Cut your tolex wisely. :smug:

    For the grill cloth:
    -Get a fairly powerful staple gun
    -Use staples between 1/4" and 9/16" long
    -Always keep your cloth lines perfectly straight.
    -Keep the cloth very tight--it takes a bit of strength.
     
  17. rbonner

    rbonner

    Sep 25, 2008
    Sioux Falls, SD
    Sounds like a pile of work. I used to build a lot of cabs in my youth. That was in my Fender days and my local music store had all the supplies to rebuild Fender and Vox in house... All my covering experience was over fresh wood. Thanks, BOB
     
  18. i have the same cabinet, looks like a cool project! i wish i was talented enough to pull this off!
     
  19. Warpeg

    Warpeg Supporting Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Ohio
    Talent isn't necessary--just a lot of spare time. :smug:

    Seriously, let me know if you want to do any internal or external mods to your 1510. I'd be more than happy to walk you through the process. You'll be absolutely amazed by how much louder, clearer and fuller the cab sounds once the proper crossover is in place! My 1510 now cuts-through a loud stage mix far better than than it used to!