My amp needed a new look

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ddhm, Jul 16, 2013.

  1. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    So, a little while back, I decided that I needed a new amp. I got it. G.B. Shuttle 9.0. Then I decided that I needed a new cabinet. I got that too, an Avatar 4x10 neo. I'm totally happy with that rig's tone. It sounds great and I've gotten nothing but compliments on it.

    There were only a couple things that I didn't like about the rig though: The Avatar has carpet on it and my girl has two Siamese cats. As we all know, the 2 of those don't mix well.

    The GB is very small and light. Usually those are two things I like and honestly were a huge part of why I bought the rig. When that amp is on top of the cab, it has a tendency to bounce around a bit.

    I kinda wanted a traditional looking rig but would have to do some customization to get it. I decided that I wanted tolex and a head case. After doing this, I almost feel that I'm a head case lol.

    I built a head case that would match the footprint of my Avatar but be able to hold a standard rack size piece. I then argued with myself over colors for about 2 weeks and made my decision.

    Now that leads me to the fun part. If any of you have ever tried to remove carpet (or felt) from a cabinet, you know that it's a terrible process.

    Here are the mistakes I made in carpet removal:
    1. I started by just ripping the felt off. Wow, did I mess that up? You betcha. There was so much scrap left in the glue that I can't even tell you.

    How should I have done it? Well, that is a piece of info that I couldn't find on the interwebz. What I have discerned is this: use a heat gun to soften the glue and you'll be able to pull the felt off almost complete.

    That leads me to the glue. Man, they use a LOT of that stuff and it's impervious to even 80 grit sandpaper. I ended up using a putty knife and my heatgun to remove it all. I barely had to sand the cab after I did it that way. Here's the hang up: It took me hours and hours to go about it that way (aka all friggin' day).

    Now, the scary part. I've never done upholstery and you only get one shot. I got the head case wrapped... no problem. The cabinet was another thing. There is a specific order that the pieces have to be laid in and I blew it the 1st time. Fortunately, I got enough extra tolex to do another cabinet.

    I decided to let the pros handle it the 2nd time and took it to my local car upholstery shop. They handled it for a crisp hundred.

    If you've made it through the essay, you deserve a look at the finished product. So, here ya go:

    The raw case:

    The finished rig

    Whatcha think ladies and germs?

    Be good,

    Ps. If you are wondering what the little hole on the left of the head case will be for, I'm going to remove the guts from my TU-2 (tuner pedal) and put it as well as a mains power switch in a small enclosure. That's a project of another day though.
  2. Chef

    Chef In Memoriam

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    If you like it, it's cool!
    Personally, part of the reason I dig micro-heads is cause they're small.

    ymmv, etc.
  3. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    @ Chef,
    Size is certainly a part of the thing with the micros. The head and case only weigh about 8 lbs together. It's still very light and locks in to the Avatar corners now. The benefit to the head case is I can change amps without any issues since it's a standard sized rack set up. I'll probably end up with a spare amp in the rack too.
  4. nukes_da_bass

    nukes_da_bass Inactive

    Feb 19, 2006
    west suburban boston
    I dig it!
  5. johnpbass


    Feb 18, 2008
    Glen Mills, PA
    Looks good!
  6. sonic 7

    sonic 7

    Aug 10, 2011
    Queens, N.Y.C.
    Cool. I like it
  7. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Very nice work! I think you've re-invented the combo and added more content.

    Not my color, but a different touch indeed. (Anything purple and Cougs don't mix well.)
    ddhm likes this.
  8. preside


    Aug 7, 2010
    Scottsdale Az
    Cool, now get some black lights to shine thru the head grill and you'll be rockin!! I like the color too.
  9. chicomalo


    Jul 17, 2012
    Escondido, CA
    Looks good! I'd take out those perforated rack space panels and replace them with a rack mounted tuner and a power conditioner.
  10. Very nice. Personally I wouldn't have left a gap to make the head the same size as the cab, or would have centred it instead leaving equal gaps on each side. Still, it's awesome and I dig the colour.
  11. gregoire1


    Oct 19, 2008
    Looks good, any color is better than black.
  12. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    I would have bought an SKB rack and a tolex cab.
  13. this makes me want to take the rat fur off of my 410pro cabinet, it's made of 1/2" void free ply too, so it might look good with just a simple laquer finish
  14. chicomalo


    Jul 17, 2012
    Escondido, CA
    Years ago a friend of mine who owned a cabinet shop and I built two small bass cabs out of void free ash plywood and just clear coated them. Looked great for a while but after a number of gigs they got banged up and started splintering. Not good for the fingers. Best to have some sort of covering.
  15. will33


    May 22, 2006
    I dig.

    One of the things I don't like about micros is they're tiny and don't come in protection.

    It is done and looks really nice. Of I were to critisize, I'd say you should've given it a go yourself with the second piece of tolex. Your firat shot is always your worst and the quality curve goes up quick.

    No matter, you like it and it looks nice. Cool idea with putting tuner guts in there.
  16. ddhm


    Mar 18, 2011
    Memphis Tn USA
    Thanks so much for the compliments and suggestions guys.

    @ Will33:
    I probably should have tried the tolex a 2nd time... I just didn't want to have to order more (if I blew it again) and THEN have it put on, ya know? All in all, I want to practice applying tolex more and to actually get the understanding of how it's done. I'll probably make myself another little box to practice on... although my Nemesis combo is looking a little ratty too.

    @ Chico:
    That was my original intention. It's still developing and I'm not 100% sure that it'll be the TU-2 in the little side hole. I could go to a rack tuner and Furman or I could have a spare amp in the cab to either power my sub or as a back up. Only time will tell :)

    @ Pilgrim:
    It's actually called "Wine Taurus" or "Buggy Whip". It's not quite purple... more burgundy with a little variation in the color. To be perfectly honest, it was almost British Racing Green. I just didn't think that the B.R.G. was quite dark enough.

    @ Pieman:
    Brother, I'd say go for it if you have the tools and time (lots 'o time). I can't stress enough that you MUST have a heat gun. If you have any questions about how I went about removing the felt, feel free to PM me. I will say that if you do a lot of gigging, stain might not be the best choice. It WILL get dinged up fairly quickly... I've seen it too many times. Perhaps a coat of marine epoxy over the stain? Now, if you have a road case for your amp, that might be another story. Good luck with whatever you choose.