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Early 70's Ampeg SVT 8x10... The makeover starts here.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by davelowell2, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    I've finally tracked down another flatback SVT cabinet. The one I had 10 years ago was in great shape but had replacement drivers that sounded horrible. I traded it away.

    Playing in a new, loud, band required more air to be moved. I used the 8x10 at the studio for awhile, it was sufficient but from the "dark" period of construction (dark speakers and OSB).

    So I knew an 8x10 would be enough and started searching for a squareback that needed attention, to match my early 70's SVT. I didn't want a pristine cab because I will be moving it and I have a new love for Duratex after doing 2 1x15 cabs that turned out pretty cool.
    I didn't even care if it came with original drivers because I planned on getting new Eminence B810's.

    Well, this one is beat up and it has 7 original drivers. Not bad.

    I plugged in expecting the speakers not to cut it volume wise.
    Well, I think they will. It does sound really good. I'll have to try it at practice volume to be sure.

    I have one concern that maybe you guys can help with.
    The uppermost, top, the part where the cups are for the head, is separating a little and does make some rattling noise when the lowest notes are played. If I play, say, in drop d and hit the low d there is rattle but I can push on the top of the cab and it goes away.
    So, how should I go about fixing this? PL Premium glue squirted in there and then clamp?

    On to the before pics. I'm not sure the grill cloth is original, but it's old, I don't know about the frame either, seems like the inside corners should be rounded. But I will strip it and apply Bondo, sand and Duratex it. I will get new 70's blue cloth and maybe a new middle handle, it's been repaired.

    Oh, I haven't taken out a speaker to date it because I couldn't find a clutch head bit yet.












  2. will33


    May 22, 2006

    PL and clamps/brads/screws or whatever will make any of the wood parts solid again but the stuff doesn't bond to plastic. May want to use something else if the cups are popping out.

    You used to be able to get recones for the original CTS drivers, don't know if you still can.

    You'd have to ask other Ampeg guys here about the correct grill frame, etc.
  3. will33


    May 22, 2006
    Depending on the repair needed, like a little crack or separated seam, sometimes it's easier to pry it apart just a little, and use a runnier glue like Titebond II that will run down in the crack, them clamp and let sit. PL is thick, like caulk.
  4. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    Ok, so I VERY CAREFULLY removed the screws with a small flathead driver and snapped this...


    Looks like a '72!
  5. klejst


    Oct 5, 2010
    It looks pretty gnarly right now (I love the look of legit road ware, it tells a story of the history of the cab), however cannot wait to see it made over.
  6. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    Subbed, good luck! frame look OE and i say glue and clamps probably before you bondo.
  7. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    If you need parts, go to Fliptops.net. :)
  8. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    When you take the vinyl off you will have a better idea of what the problem is. Apply warm water with a rag it a seam, the glue will loosen and the covering will come off. The hide glue is both heat sensitive and water soluble. A steamer works well for this. In the old days they would use an iron with a damp rag under it to remove the vinyl for repairs. Do it carefully as you can pull off splinters of wood. Avoid this as much as possible. Don't worry if some comes off. You can fill them. When the covering is off, wet it down with a damp cloth and use a razor blade to scrape off the excess glue from the wood. Don't soak the wood in water as it will get ripply.

    Once everything is cleaned, any problems with the wood will be clearer to see. The old wood in cabs of that era had voids in it. Sometimes the bits inside can rattle. The top section of the plywood could be delaminating or it could be a bad finger joint on one or both sides. Sometimes the filling that they used when the cab was manufactured shrinks and that can be rattling.

    I wouldn't use PL Premium for the repair. It expands as it cures and could result in uneven blown out sections. I'd use Titebond II, injected into any areas that are loose. If you tap on the wood, you can identify voids. These can be filled by injecting a liquid epoxy or stabilized with some glue. A cyanoacrylate works as well. For filling at the joints or on the surface of the wood, I use a water based wood epoxy putty called QuikWood. A very good product for this type of work.

    I would rather use the same type of speaker in each of the four chambers. It might not be an issue here if the replacement speaker is close enough to the old ones in terms of specs. If it is very different, I would be inclined to find an original replacement. They turn up on ebay quite often.
  9. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    While laying in bed trying to fall asleep, I realized that there would "probably" be no rattle if I set my head on top. 85lbs sitting right where the separation is will work for practice tonight. When I get it all gutted I'll glue and clamp it.

    I'm also thinking of a recessed jack for the back. The one there now is chewed up from loading.
  10. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    One thing I noticed... The SVT has eq points that never seemed to do anything useful with other cabs to the point that I bought an Empress Paraeq. With this cabinet and the CTS's, the eq points are spot on. The 220, 800, 3000 mid really changes things and the bass, @ 40hz cuts down on boom, so does the 220hz with some basses.

    This is fun but I think I'll be selling the CTS's for more power in the Eminence b810.
  11. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Feb 13, 2007
    Davenport, IA
    like i said in my refin thread i played outdoors with no PA support and it killed. you would be surprized. If your not running your SVT into distortion, the CTS drivers will be fine.
  12. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    These are far out cabs. Just ask JimmyM or me for that matter. I have two of the last batch made in '73. The grill cloth is not original. That's from a much newer version. I personally would stick with those nice CTS original speakers, but that's just me. :cool:
  13. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    Yeah, I knew the cloth was not original, I was asking about the frame. Anyway, it fits well so I'm assuming it is. Even if it's not I'm going to use it with the new cloth.
  14. svtb15

    svtb15 Commercial User

    Mar 22, 2004
    Austin,TX - McKinney,TX - NY,NY, - Nashville,TN
    I play it all. Whatever works for the gig
  15. So, is the oddball speaker a reconed CTS? Or do you know yet? I agree with the above posters and would keep the CTS's. IMO, they are worth reconing, or at least keep them and stash them away if you do go with the Emmies.
  16. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    I didn't pull it yet, so not sure. It looks like a modern version.

    I'm pretty sure that I'll go with the B810's. All the reviews are great. I'll keep the CTS just in case I want to use them in another 8x10 cab I have a trade in the works for. Could be a nice stays-in-the-studio cab.
  17. Cool, I'll keep watching for progress updates. Good luck.
  18. davelowell2

    davelowell2 Uhh... FaFaFooey is BaBaBooey... Supporting Member

    Apr 20, 2006
    NYC via StL
    beans-on-toast, you would use Quikwood instead of Bondo? Am I understanding correctly?
  19. Unprofessional


    Mar 5, 2012
    Very cool project. If you don't mind my asking, how much did you pay for it? I'd like to take on a similar project.
  20. beans-on-toast

    beans-on-toast Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2008
    Yes I use QuikWood instead of Bondo. Using QuikWood is simply my choice based on my experience.

    Quickwood is more expensive than Bondo but it adheres very well to the wood, can be machined so it is tough, and I've found that it doesn't shrink or crumble with time like some other products do. Companies use Bondo on cabinets and are happy with the results.