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Kustom 3-15C

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Virus, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    I was browsing the used section of Bass Northwest and I saw they have a 70's custom 3-15 cab. At $300 it will be like $400 CDN +shipping if I were to buy it.

    Has anyone ever had experience playing or hearing these cabs? The cab runs at 6 ohms, but the amp I'm after (like most amps) runs at 2,4 or 8. Which setting should I use for a 6 ohm cab?

    Also, a vintage cab at a price like that seems like a pretty good deal to me, and this is from a store and they usually try and rip people off.

    If I buy this I'm taking a big risk, and I can't afford to pay $500 for a cab that doesn't work or has problems..

    Has anyone ever ordered used or new equipment from this store? If so, what are their warranty/service policies.. How is their customer service?

    If you can give me any other info/advice other than I asked that would be great. Thanks.

    Here is the link to the cab, http://www.bassnw.com/images/Used Amps and Cabs/Kustom 315C_399.jpg

    This is to Bass Northwest used section. http://www.bassnw.com/usedamps.htm
  2. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    My experience with old kustom cabs is that they are fun to have, but don't expect stellar tone or clean reproduction out of them. I would think of one for around the house use, but not for gigging.

    My first real bass amp was a Kustom head and a 3x15 cab.

    BassNW has a good reputation...I've never heard of them trying to 'rip off' anyone...When I talked to them when I was shopping for a bass recently, they quoted a price so low that none of the other people even tried to match it.
  3. Rezdog

    Rezdog Supporting Member

    Feb 17, 2004
    T.Rez, Canada
    Back in the day I ran a Kustom 3-15 and head too. It was my first 'real' amp set up. You probably won't get any modern sterile sounds out of it but you will get plenty of old school. Think Motown to Creadence Clearwater Revival. Kustom was really popular in the late 60's and early 70's before most bass players were put through the PA systems. So they could get loud enough without the mega watts of today. Sheryl Crowe's band uses them. The ones with the JBL's were the best IMO. If you do go that route make sure you ask if there are any cigarette burns on the tuck n roll.
    Happy Times,
  4. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Bass NW is excellent to deal with. I have bought a number of basses from them over the years.
  5. If the amp has a switch for ohms, you should set it for a lower setting than the load you're hooking to it. So if you're hooking up a 6 ohm cab, you should set the amp for 4 ohms. The cab wont be getting the full rated power of the amp at 4 ohms, but at least it wont blow up or catch on fire, which leads to better results in the end.
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    If the amp has a switch for impedance, then it's almost definitely a valve amp and will have an output transformer; therefore you need to select the next HIGHEST impedance on the amp, not the next lowest.

    If it doesn't have a switch for impedance, then it's a solidstate amp without output transformer, and will be happy driving any load as long as it's a higher impedance than the minimum (usually 2 ohms, 2.6 ohms or 4 ohms). The amp doesn't care if the impedance isn't a 'perfect' number, or an exact 2, 4 or 8 ohms, as long as it's higher than the minimum rating.

    i.e. valve amps get upset if they have to drive too high an impedance; solidstate amps get upset if they have to drive too low an impedance.

  7. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    Like Brian Rost wrote, Bass NW is a great place to deal with.

    I've been told that much of their used gear is on consignment, so prices are pretty much fixed. If you have questions, or worries just ask away, I'm sure Evan and crew would be glad to help.

    I can't imagine what it would cost to have that puppy shipped from Seattle to Ontario...

    I don't know how close you are to Detroit, but the Novi Music Go Round store has a Peavey 410 TVF for a reasonable price. There are a number of stores to check in the area...

    Low Down Sound (in Ferndale, MI) has a used Ampeg 8x10 for $699...plus a bunch of other used cabinets.

    There are Guitar Center and Sam Ash stores in the area that will have used gear.

    If you're looking for something old and funky, try New to You Music, 172 W. 9 Mi, Ferndale (a little bit west of Low Down Sound) (248) 545-4570. I found their prices to be pretty steep, but he had old gear in stock that I hadn't seen in years (decades)...worth a stop (for old guys like me) just for the trip down memory lane.

    Unless you're specifically looking for a Kustom 3x15 cabinet, you'd probably be better off finding a cabinet that you can try out and spend the money that would have gone to shipping on the cab itself...

    Good luck!!!
  8. I've still got an old Kustom 250 head and 2x15 cab, made around 1971. Gigged with it regularly until a couple or so years ago.

    IMHO: For its time, this was pretty good stuff, with something like 125 watts RMS and a mellow sound (what some people call old-school). Loud enough to hold its own in a typical bar gig from the era, in those days few amps were more than 125 watts RMS.

    But by today's standards: the cab is somewhat poorly constructed, IMHO, and the head is far too underpowered. (Not to mention some of the amp's components are no longer in production). A 3x15 is going to be pretty darn heavy.

    If buying a new one, I'd be concerned with the wood in the cab: mine's very soft and all the screws are stripping out. And the speakers are probably due for reconing.

    The cigarette burns are supposed to add character. If the tuck-and-roll is badly shot, it's pretty time consuming to replace, though the sparkly Naugahyde is still available.

    If I were buying a cab or amp, an ancient Kustom wouldn't be my first choice...
  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Used one around 1970, 71. Back then it wasn't bad compared to what was out there, but what was out there wasn't much compared to today. (I ended up tossing the drivers into a 30 cu ft folded horn that did OK but I could beat it today with less than half that size.)The average 4x10 today is better in a far smaller package.
  10. Virus


    Apr 16, 2004
    Thanks to everyone who posted here.

    it turns out that the shipping would make the total amount of money too high for me, I don't want to pay that much for something I can't hear first. So I think my plan will be to find a Fender 300 Pro/Sunn 300T and build my own 2-15. So I guess I'm changing the topic to..

    If I get a 300W all tube head (like the ones listed) what wattage speakers should I get? What impedence would be best and how should I wire them? I think I would like it to end up being 4 ohms because to my understanding 2 ohms is not very safe unless you have good cooling on your amp correct?

    Or if there are any all tube heads around the same specs as the ones above that aren't going to be more than around $1500 CDN that have a cooling fan(s).

    Also please remember I am in ontario so unfortunately, a lot of the british stuff won't be here, or if it is it will be too much money I think.

    Last question, are the Trace V8's still in production?
  11. BillyB_from_LZ


    Sep 7, 2000
    If you're using an amp with a tube power section (and it has a 2 ohm tap) the amp won't care what the load is as long as it's matched properly.

    If you're building a 2x15 using 8 ohm speakers, the resulting impedance will be 4 ohms. If the amp has an 8 ohm tap too, how about building a pair of 1x15s...much easier to haul.

    You'd be fine to use higher power 15s...Eminence Kappa Pro, etc. I personally love EVM15s, but a friend loaded his Sonic 1x15 with a Carvin cast frame 15 (made by Eminence) and it sounds great too. You should be able to find lots of decent choices on eBay or similar. I always recommend buying new Eminence speakers from Dave at Avatar Speakers, but I don't think that he'll ship to Canada...

    Take a look at Bruce Gavin's spreadsheet at www.ofgb.org he offers a wide range of suggestions on driver/enclosure combinations...

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