Crimes Against Cabs - Rehab Help Request

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Cardinal Fang, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Let me preface this post asking for advice by saying I know nothing about acoustics or speakers so please feel free to speak as though I know nothing. Small words, basic concepts, etc. Thanks.

    This is my cab (see attached pictures) and I love love love it. It has served me well for many many years in spite of the numerous bad things that have been done to it, some by me, some by the last two owners. I bought it from a guitar player in 1996 for $74.00 and I only regret my purchase when I have to carry it up steps. He acquired it from someone else, that's all I know.

    I've decided to rehab the thing this weekend and am looking for some advice. Here's the dirt, feel free to laugh:

    1. The guy I bought it from put three car stereo tweeters in it, you can see in the pictures that I removed the tweeters and tried my best to cover the holes with what must have been bits of fence post and bathroom sealer. You can also see that he had plans for a fourth tweeter but I bought the thing before he got around to it.

    2. For some reason he drilled a second hole in the back panel for some kind of weird parallel input setup.

    3. The fabric on the front was torn beyond repair so I removed it, painted the front with black paint, and added steel mesh backed by strips of green outdoor carpet for vibration dampening held in place by some kind of construction staples. Forgive me father, for I have sinned. I don't think the speakers would have survived the abuse heaped on this thing over the years if there was only fabric protecting them anyway... Vans are a dangerous place for a speaker to be at two AM.

    Also: more bathroom sealer around the edges. Don't know what I was thinking.

    4. When I opened the thing for the first time all the batting from the back cover was in a pile on the bottom. I found some foam tiles and tacked them, literally with tacks, onto the back panel. Amazing that they've stayed in place, eh?

    5. Around about 2002 I replaced the speakers (a good thing, one had a tear) but for some reason didn't use the existing nuts and bolts to install the bottom speaker... I used brass wood screws. Maybe the screws were missing, the details are hazy now. After reading up here on Talk Bass it seems like I chose good speakers (Eminence Betas) and they were worth the investment.

    6. The back panel screws have been removed/replaced so many times (read: stripped out) that I've had to replace the majority of them with 1.5 inch wood screws.

    So as I see it these are the steps I need to take:

    1. Remove and replace the front - It's like Swiss cheese up there. Apart from the crap repair job I did patching the three holes the gigantic construction staples have made a mess of the panel. There's also the issue of the brass wood screws, very few of those are actually straight and should be properly replaced.

    2. Replace the batting on the back panel.

    3. There is no third thing.

    Questions (and this is the part where your experience and expertise come in, please):

    1. Should I use 3/4 inch particle board for the front (as it is now) or is there something better? I'll be sure to replicate slots on either side of the bottom speaker as they are today.

    2. I bet the front panel is glued on, any advice how to get it off? I'm confident I can release the thing from the frame with a saw set CAREFULLY to the proper depth but if there's a better way I'm all ears.

    3. Where the heck do I buy the sound deadening/batting stuff, or is there something comparable? I've never seen anything like it in any store.

    Thanks for your time and attention, this isn't a crisis repair or something that has to be done, I just think it needs some love and is personally worth it to me. If nothing else this is good for a few chuckles and serves as an example of what not to do to your equipment if you love and respect it. ;)


    IMG_20170926_182336425~3.jpg IMG_20170926_183037474~2.jpg IMG_20170926_183534190~2.jpg IMG_20170926_183913912~2.jpg
    Fuzzonaut likes this.
  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    How does it sound?

    Open cell foam can be used inside the cab.

    Since you're going to replace the front, maybe one of TB's speaker gurus will chime in so you can get the correct porting and put lenght for the speakers and cab.
  3. It sounds fantastic to me, loud and punchy. I'll look up open cell foam.

    Stumbo likes this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Cardinal Fang likes this.
  5. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    Depends how much work you want to put in. Also what mates you have with skills, but ripping out the whole front panel for basically cosmetics feels kinda drastic. Why don't you sand all back smooth and level it with reasonable wood filler, and if it seems it will still look like hell if you paint it glue on a piece of thin plywood. Use a staple gun to hold it down while the glue sets. Tip is to put each staple through a bit of packing tape then they come out better.If you have a mate who is into wood boat building he'd be perfect for assistance.

    Alternative to open cell foam is polyester wadding which you get from quilting supplies shops. Yeah not very rocknroll but still. No idea which is better.

    If you're going to keep your steel mesh one option might be wood screws through large washers then rubber door stops or feet to provide isolation, better still maybe washer , slice off doorstop grill, rest of doorstop, but there are probably better ways.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
  6. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Maybe find an empty cab and transfer your speakers.

    Here's a thread to check out:Custom DIY 2x15 cab build
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
  7. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    I'm with Stumbo here.

    It's not worth putting any real money or time (if you value your time at all) into a cabinet that really has seen better days. The world is awash with VERY inexpensive good used cabinets. As folks trade away their older but still good condition cabinets for higher performance, lighter weight models, it's totally a seller's market. This way you can actually try one to see how it sounds before buying it.

    Or, build (or have built) new cabinets based on what would work for your drivers. Even that would be easier and potentially turn out better than jacking around with an already jacked up cabinet.
  8. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    Play Punk and keep it like it is.

    I just stick a screw driver or an awl under the staple gun so I can get a screwdriver under it later or grab with pliers. Don't staple the screwdriver. :D
  9. JimChjones


    Aug 6, 2017
    SE England
    That's fine if it works for you, but you're not getting much hold down from the staple if it isn't flush with the surface. Whether that's a problem or not depends on the job, but laminating on a piece of ply I'd want a bit more clamping effect than a staple standing proud provides.

    Oh, back to the OP - if you do do this, don't forget to fill all the staple holes with wood filler and sand back a bit before you paint - you'd think a heavy coat of thick paint would fill all the staple holes, but its amazing how many still show, so a finger smear of wood filler over each one is well worth it.

    On refurbish or replace: for sure the guys are not wrong, but (and bearing in mind that you love the sound) if you can do a basic refurbish for less effort and hassle than its going to be to source, sound test, purchase and collect a replacement then you're ahead. I bet you find that if you spend a couple of hours with an orbital sander and some wood filler and figure out a neater method of holding your grill on you'll be well on the way to what you want.
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    BadExample, Cardinal Fang and Stumbo like this.
  10. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I totally get where the OP is coming from, but I would +1 the idea of robbing the speakers out of that thing and starting anew.
  11. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Get a tetanus shot and play it for another 10 years.
  12. If you just want to keep that one, it looks like the front baffle
    is held on by screws from the inside.
    That means you should be able to remove it and use that as a
    pattern to make a replacement out of good plywood.
    Learn what T nuts are.
    They can give you a much better way of mounting speakers
    than wood screws.
    If you are happy with the sound, then maybe, just maybe
    the ports are close enough with those speakers.
    This would be the time to change them if they aren't.
    Measure carefully and find the internal volume of the cabinet
    and see what Eminence recommends in their listing for your speakers.

    If you are willing to put in the time to save that one, we can talk you through it.
  13. You make a good point. The more I think about it starting with a cosmetic refresh sounds more much reasonable for the time and money. As far as I can tell the front panel isn't actually falling apart or anything. I'll talk to the guys at the hardware store about wood filler that can handle a lot of vibration.

    I know a couple places I can get that, thanks for the alternative. And I myself am not very rocknroll any more so no big deal there. :)

    Good point, I'll be sure to come up with a reasonable budget limit and then make some decisions. I know from past experience I've had ideas of doing things to vehicles or around the house that seem like they'd cost X number of dollars but after I screw up a few times it ends up costing double. And my time this weekend doesn't really have any value, wife's going on a long trip and I'm doing this partially to stay out of trouble and sip cocktails in the driveway.

    As far as whether it makes sense to bother with the effort... There's some sentimental value involved here. And I'm a sucker for sentiment.

    That being said... If I screw it up badly enough, YES, I'll pull the speakers, go find a used replacement cab, and turn this one into a very large door stop. :)

    Now THAT right there is solid advice. :)

    I do love the sound, I originally bought the thing because it was such a bargain and solid as a steam ship but since replacing the speakers and driving it with a Genz Benz GBE500H it's an absolute delight to listen to. Once I get the volume above two it starts to really deliver good, tight sound. And at eight... Oh BABY! This thing's an absolute wrecking ball.

    Yeah, the mesh is great for protection but I always had to be careful of those rusty edges. Priming and painting at the time I installed them would have been nice but I didn't have the means, unfortunately. Life's a bit less hectic now and I have a bit more cash in my pocket so I'm going to try to make it look nice, don't know yet what my fabric options are. Time to go shopping I guess.

    That would be a huge win, I'll get my glasses and a flashlight and look closer tonight. Thanks.

    Yeah, I really goofed when I used those screws. I had money for speakers (one at a time, in fact) but didn't have money to pay a pro to install them. Now here I am doing it later.

    This is a T-Nut:


    This ia a P-Nut:


    Thank you so very much, this forum has been a great resource since I recently joined.
  14. BadExample


    Jan 21, 2016
    But we're trying to talk him down from it :D

    Seriously, if you have the time and money (or parts in hand), and its fun, why not?

    Good one on the P-nut!

    If you need to hold on the grill replacement, check you autoparts for products that say converts rust. Extend by Duro, now I believe by LockTite was the original, but other brands have worked for me. Spray type. Spray it on, dries clear on paint, purple to black on bare metal. Makes a good primer for most spray paints.
  15. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    "If it's not broke, don't fix it!" Somebody said that.

    You would be putting lipstick on a pig.

    I kind of like how it looks now.

    If I had an unsupervised weekend looming, I'd be picking up a couple sheets of 1/2" Baltic birch and whipping up a new cab or two.

    The TL 606 plans are available online. The 606 is a basic 1-15 cab that seems to accept a wide range of drivers for with good results. The plans are dated, as far as construction methods. You can do better with modern adhesives and joinery.

    But the basic 606 plan is a workhorse. You could try your current driver and see how it goes.

    Or you could just skip to the good stuff and build a fEarful 12/6.

    Since your cab has access through the back, if nothing else, I'd add more insulation, and get screws with aircraft lock nuts on the drivers. If you really want to patch the holes, cut a disc for each and glue it in. Bondo fill the gaps, sand and paint. A little steel wool or sand paper would prep the grill for paint.

    Check out speaker hardware for fEarful one stop shopping, or parts express for various other parts.

    Doing the dishes and vacuuming the house covers up cab building projects.
  16. Somebody wiser than me, surely. ;)

    I'm ambitious about this, but not THAT ambitious. My carpentry skills are good enough to do repairs, not good enough to build from scratch.

    "A man has got to know his limitations." Clint Eastwood said that.

    Wow: fEARful™ enclosures for bass/drums/keys

    Double and triple wow: 1515+66.png

    Don't it just? Amen.
  17. Michael Schreiber

    Michael Schreiber Commercial User

    Oct 14, 2014
    Kassel / Germany
    My favorite quote! :D

    @Cardinal Fang : The cab doesn't look too bad, I've seen worse. Yet, I wonder: Does it smell? Any traces of mildew (or whatever biohazard may have happened ^^).
    If so, I'd get rid of it.
    Cardinal Fang likes this.
  18. yodedude2

    yodedude2 Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2005
    san antonio, texas
    just lending support to the o.p. also, i like your user name.

    "The Comfy Chair?"
    Cardinal Fang likes this.
  19. Nope, smells like pure rock fury. Sweet sweet victory. Like bass heroism.

    Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. ;)
  20. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Any progress with the cab?
    Cardinal Fang likes this.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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