The story of my Ampeg SVT-810E.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by watchitmike, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. watchitmike


    Mar 7, 2007
    tl;dr - Needs at least 6 speakers, body in rough shape. What do I do with this thing??

    I have this cabinet in my basement. Here's the rundown:

    -Bought it in 2006 on Craigslist for $375. It's an older model (70s I think) that has the single input jack plate. It was missing 2 speakers at the time and was wired as a 4x10 (to make it 8 ohms instead of 6x10 and 5.333). I bought 2 replacement speakers and wired them in. I started touring regularly with it in 2007.

    -In 2010 the Tolex was even more banged up than when I first got it and I decided to to strip it all and coated the cabinet in black roll-on DuraTex. It added a few pounds to the overall weight but it seemed pretty protective and looked nice. It actually did chip away in some spots later, especially the top and bottom panels.

    -In 2011 the bottom rear diagonal panel that the casters are on actually broke off coming up some stairs. I glued it with a construction adhesive and clamped it with ratchet straps to dry and it was solid after that. Shortly after replaced the actual wheels in the casters because the originals were pretty chewed up.

    -The cabinet otherwise sounded and operated beautifully until 2011 when someone borrowed my rig at a show and plugged a SansAmp into my already loud Sunn 1200s and one of the cones tore at the edge. I replaced it but this event somehow opened the door to a series of speakers randomly tearing over the next year. It became a challenge trying to track down 10" speakers that were also 32 ohms in a pinch while being on tour. As a result, I ended up with a whole mismatch of speakers (all 32 ohms). There's one I got at a vintage music shop in Chicago that has the big square magnet on the back and one that a guy literally ran off the field at his adult league soccer game to sell me out of his car. I can even remember sitting at a Waffle House in Dallas crazy gluing the edge of a cone.

    -Speakers just kept tearing and finally in 2012 I bought a newer SVT-610HLF, retired the old fridge to the basement and never looked back.

    So fast forward 7 years...I recently started thinking I'd rather free up some space in my basement and maybe make a couple bucks so I popped the grill off and plugged it in for the first time in a while. It was even worse than I expected:

    Top Left Speaker: Ampeg, in cabinet when I got it - sticker says 32 ohms but back of magnet in Sharpie says, "9-20-2005 reads 27.5 ohms" - no sound coming from it.

    Top Right: Vintage with big square magnet - 32 ohms printed on back - no sound.

    2 Left: Eminence Legend - works!

    2 Right: Ampeg replacement - works!

    3 Left: Ampeg, in cabinet when I got it - sticker says 32 ohms but back of magnet in Sharpie says, "9-20-2005 reads 28 ohms" - no sound.

    3 Right: Ampeg, in cabinet when I got it - last one to tear before I gave up, torn almost all the way around except for a spot that I actually crazy glued - does make (ugly) sound.

    Bottom Left: Same as top left - no sound.

    Bottom Right: Jensen Mod - no sound.

    So that's 5 speakers that don't make sound and one torn. I'm guessing from the Sharpie speakers that this thing had been through some hell before I even got it and that the weird ohm readings had something to do with my bad luck with it.

    What should I do with it? I feel like if I spent $500-600 on speakers I wouldn't even be able to sell it for that much. Do I try to sell the body with the 2 working speakers or maybe just the 2 speakers? Is this something that someone somewhere could potentially be interested in as a fixer-upper? I really hate the idea of just throwing it out.
  2. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    Speakers normally read a little lower with a multimeter. I would probably look for replacement Ampeg speakers but I'm crazy.
    watchitmike likes this.
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    No you're not. They are clearly the best speakers for an Ampeg 810e. It's not going to be cheap unless you can find them used, though.
    watchitmike and bobyoung53 like this.
  4. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    The cab sounds totally trashed. You have a Legend and an Ampeg driver that may be okay, but I doubt it. I suggest pulling these and trashing the cab or giving it away. If you actually want an 810E, you can probably find a working cab for less than you can fix this one up.

    Legend B810s go for 79.99. I don't know if this is the same Legend driver you have, but I believe it's the closest to the OEM driver (aside from the OEM driver). "Eminence Legend B810 10" Bass Guitar Driver 150W 32 Ohm" from!

    8x79.99=$639.92 with free shipping from Parts Express.

    OEM Ampeg replacement drivers are $107.20. Ampeg 86-032-01 10" Woofer For SVT810 And SVT-410HE | Full Compass Systems

    8x107.20=$857.60 with free shipping from Full Compass.

    Ideally you want all 8 drivers to match. When you start combining mismatched drivers it's a lot more likely that you will experience problems such as torn cones. At the very least, you want the two drivers in each compartment to match.

    If any of the blown drivers look like the image below, they are CTS alnicos and might be worth $20-30 to someone who is interested in having them reconed.

    I doubt any of the other blown drivers are worth reconing, but you could make a few calls.

    As far as the Sharpie markings, these probably indicate DC resistance. Impedance is basically a form of reactive resistance that varies with frequency. It's made of pure resistance, inductive reactance and capacitive reactance. The nominal impedance is 32 ohms, but this changes with frequency due to the inductance and capacitance of the voice coil. I believe there is actually very little capacitance involved with speaker voice coils, but it is intrinsic to the discussion of impedance. Here is a relevant Wiki if you want to explore the concept a bit: Electrical characteristics of dynamic loudspeakers - Wikipedia

    When you measure the coil with an ohmeter you are measuring the DC resistance, which is always a bit lower than the nominal impedance.
    watchitmike likes this.
  5. charlie monroe

    charlie monroe Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2011
    Buffalo, NY
    Too bad you painted it with duratex. Now it will be toxic even as firewood.
    watchitmike likes this.
  6. Jim C

    Jim C I believe in the trilogy; Fender, Stingray, + G&L Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Salvage the good drivers and replace the cabinet
    It's served you well in the battlefield of music
    Time for a proper retirement and burial
    watchitmike likes this.
  7. bobyoung53

    bobyoung53 Supporting Member

    That's what I meant but I could never trash anything Ampeg no matter how far gone it seems, I bought a really trashed double 15" BT15C cab last year basically to rescue it, drove from Mass to Maryland for it, about 350 miles.
    watchitmike and JimmyM like this.
  8. Sell it as is supper cheap or give it away and let someone else get new drivers for it. You will not get your money back fixing it.

    Bass speakers act as pistons working together, with your mismatching you had speakers moving not in perfect unison but fighting each other causing rips.
    Always match all speakers by make and models exactly.
    watchitmike, TN WOODMAN and JimmyM like this.
  9. watchitmike


    Mar 7, 2007
    Thanks everybody! This has given me a lot of perspective on how the cab got to this point and what I can do with it from here. I've listed it in pieces and hopefully someone out there wants to make a project out of it. If not, I might use a blown Ampeg driver to try my hand at re-coning and see how it goes. Either way, I don't think I can bring myself to just toss it.

    I'm the same kind of crazy and if I had any plans to use this cab again I'd be doing that.

    That all makes sense and I wish I'd been more aware of it when I was younger and dragging this thing all over the country. The one vintage speaker is indeed a CTS Alnico!

    Excellent point! It will not be getting a viking funeral. Overall I regret that now. The coating really didn't hold up to the beating on the road.

    That it has! This beast has seen a thing or two.

    This is how I feel. I can't bring myself to throw it away.

    Again, this is something a younger me really needed to hear!
    S-Bigbottom, bobyoung53 and Wasnex like this.
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