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Sunn 200s Cabinet thoughts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by moonliner, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. moonliner


    Jan 22, 2009
    Hello All,

    I'm considering purchasing a Sunn 200s cabinet from a friend of a friend. I don't know the specs yet, only that it is in "great condition".
    I hope to find out more information in the next day or two but thought I would tap into the vast wealth of information that is Talk Bass!
    So.... what should I look for... or look out for? Aside from the obvious of potentially damaged speakers, did they load them with decent speakers to begin with? Are there certain years which are better than others?
    I'll post again once I get solid stats on the thing... thanks for the help!
  2. Original speakers are likely to be quite crusty these days. D140 were the OEM iirc. Probably some Altec too. You can get reconed E140 as an upgrade. There's a fair bit on them if you search amps forum.
  3. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Great cabs. Original speakers were JBL D140 drivers, I think. If they're still in decent condition, should sound great. Those will have the aluminum dust caps, if I recall correctly.

    The biggest thing to watch out for, I think, might actually be non-original drivers.
  4. moonliner


    Jan 22, 2009
    I know it's hard to gauge without more information, but what would a ballpark figure be for one in 'great condition'?
    I'll hopefully have more information tomorrow.....
    thanks again.
  5. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Speakers in good condition, not rusty, tolex with no large tears (though possibly a few dings... it's a 40+ year old cab, after all).
  6. Test with a 9v battery. Both cones should jump together. Plug in a solid state amp and see what you get.

    Old vintage surrounds can get "dry" rot from damp storage. That's the flexing material between the cone and the frame.
  7. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I picked up one, a l969, just a couple of months ago. Original untouched JBL D140's. Also had a '78 Sunn red knob Coliseum (325 watts RMS) included. That is one sweet cab, and, I've discovered that the head is way more impressive than I thought it would be. Other than the grill cloth having been painted black, both pieces were in excellent shape. I've re-habed (meaning a good cleaning, detailing and servicing) the head and I'm now working on the cab. The original maker of the grill cloth is located about 30 minutes from me, so I went there and bought some original grill cloth in both the "new" look and a "smoky/aged" look. After a lot of negotiating, I walked away with the duo for $325.00! A real steal IMO. :)
  8. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    Man, i would jump on that deal if i was able too if it was a fair price. Good luck!
  9. Slade N

    Slade N sunn #91 AZ Bands #?

    May 28, 2005
    i have 2 loaded with different sets of speakers, both 4 ohm loads. 1 cabs has crowns, i dont remember more about them. the other has sunn magmas which are really a cerwin vega speaker. the vegas are thicker/darker to my ear where the crowns are clearer/brighter. they both sound great just very different flavors.

    I have not played one with the jbls but have heard many good things about them
  10. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    I have no idea what a crown speaker might be, but the Sunn Magnas were not Cerwin Vegas. Magnas were manufactured by Sunn, they offered Cerwin Vega as an upgrade after they stopped using JBL as OEM.

    Moonliner, you can find out pretty much anything you need to know about 200S's at sunnforum.ampage.org
  11. moonliner


    Jan 22, 2009
    Thanks everyone. I really appreciate all the great advice.
  12. beebassdude

    beebassdude Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2008
    Sterling, VA
    did the 200S cabs have the same drivers as the 2000S cabs?
  13. Korladis

    Korladis Supporting Member

    Yes. Just in a smaller box, I believe.
  14. bottomend!


    Oct 23, 2007
    great deal Oren Hudson! I just picked up a silver Sunn Concert bass SS head. It's low on power but otherwise all there... now I've just got to get it fixed to find a matching cab. ( P.S. dont rat me out over on the Acoustic forum, k?)
  15. Oren Hudson

    Oren Hudson

    Dec 25, 2007
    Gastonia, NC
    I won't tell if you won't. Hey - we're just a couple of music dudes that enjoy fine vintage gear that still performs well. Just happens to be some Sunn stuff right now. In fact, I make a little trip Monday to pick up a '75 Sunn 2x15 SH unloaded cab. I have some JBL D140F's to throw in it.

    Recall that Harvey Gerst said to only use 4 of the 8 speaker mounting bolts on JBLs and not over tighten. The 200S cab had just the 4 mounting bolts. Wasn't even drilled for more. Sounds great. :D
  16. If by chance that cab reveals 'Sunn Magna' speakers..they may be CTS with a Sunn re-brand. If so, then they will only sound OK at best in my experience.

    In mid-late 1970's, I owned (2) 2-15 Sunn Magnas...bought them cheap..sounded cheap and sold them. Maybe yours is not same cab??..forgive my ignorance . I DO LOVE MY SUNN 118vh cab.

  17. JonDark


    May 21, 2013
    Detroit MI
    This was my first 'Big' cab. I had the 200s head with it.
    As said already pop open the cab and look for JBL D140's.

    I loved this cab and would still have it today (even though with my back i can't move it, still would have kept it) if it hadn't been stolen :(

    Hope the speakers are in good shape and original JBL's for you!! Heck of a cab to have.

    Amen! +1 *fingers crossed*
  18. Funny..sometimes my wife gets concerned with my ocasssional cavalierness in the past...I explain NO ONE WANTS TO STEAL THAT CAB....They'll get a hernia.
  19. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003

    My first good amp was a Sunn 200s with a Sunn 200s 2x15 cab.
    JBL D140 speakers, I loved this cab. This speakers record great.
  20. edbass


    Nov 8, 2004
    Yes, here's an example of them side by side;


    Sunn mostly manufactured the Magna's at Hartzell's KY speaker facility, later some in their Oregon facility.
    Magna's were not re-branded CTS, some of the earlier "Sunn Transducer" drivers were CTS manufactured.

    Those square magnet CTS 15's were very prolific in the 60's and even more so in the 70's, finding their way into pretty much anything that needed a 15" woofer, and wearing a multitude of labels.
    They sound great for what they are, will handle a decent amount of power, and were relatively inexpensive by comparison to the "premium" drivers of the era; good enough to be selected by Ampeg as the OEM drivers for their B15 Portaflex, which is general accepted as a pretty iconic tone machine for bass guitar, one of the benchmarks in bass tone for over 50 years and counting.

    All of which may be moot, as 200S cab only came with D140F's for their entire production run.
    Except of course for the very few endorsers that were allowed to order Altec or EV or some other personal favorite.
    Theoretically one of these "name" artists could have ordered the CTS drivers, but it's difficult for me to imagine somebody calling Sunn and saying "Pull those JBL's out and put some Sunn Transducers in there". ;)