Trying to Customize My Super Sweet 70s Sunn Rig; got a gig on Saturday, please help

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Tommy628, May 11, 2016.

  1. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Hi all,
    I just picked Sunn 410s cab for $25. So obviously it is not in anyway functioning as originally intended. The speakers do not respond to 9v and the head works perfectly running any of the other 8ohm guitar cabs i have around. What I would really love to do is replace the jack, seal the back, (maybe throw some isolation in there??) and put a new baffle in there containing my brand new Eminence CB158 speaker that I got weeks ago and has just been waiting for a cab to stand in...
    Got a 73 Sceptre Head up top. I really dig a 15" speaker, and am generally working on music that would be completed by a more mid centric bass sound.
    Please let me know if this is a terrible idea. I realize that in working order the 410s is quite a nice cab for guitar, but it's really in bad shape as it is now, and I've got some old fender amps that I tend to lean on for guitar duties.
    Thanks in advance!

    Attached Files:

  2. Make yourself a nice cabinet from a design by BFM or fearless or someone, or buy an empty 15" cabinet, but leave that one alone. It's better as is; someone can overhaul it. You'll get better sound and a relic will retain its value.
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
    Ductapeman, Ewo, Okstatefan and 2 others like this.
  3. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Hey Old Spice,
    Thanks for the reply
    I know, that seems to be the standard response from what I've read on similar questions, "leave it alone you fool!!" But I guess I'm just trying to find a way to make this work for me with the speaker and box I have in front of me. I know I could sell this to someone who could fix it up right and use it the way it was ment to be used, but it looks like my head, and I paid next to nothing for it. I'm not really looking for a specific sunn sound, just need something that sounds and looks good for this weekend. I just made another cab with a 15 in it, and it just so happens to be the exact width needed for a 410s swap, I'll just need to trim 6 inches off the bottom of the new baffle to fit it in the cab, its a ltitle tall right now.
  4. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Honestly, if you butcher that cabinet, you will have a poor bass cabinet and will have destroyed a piece of vintage Sunn guitar gear. To me, this is a bad idea just for one gig. I'd borrow or rent a decent amp.

    Get the Sunn into working condition and flip it for $350 to a fan of Sunn gear. For a long term DIY bass cabinet solution—look here:
    DIY Speaker Building, Parts, Cabinets, Kits and Components | Speaker Hardware
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
    Okstatefan, SirMjac28 and Tommy628 like this.
  5. Before you even think of butchering the cab, have you measured the internal volume of the cab to see if it is even a good match for the T/S specs of the speaker ?

    If these terms are foreign to you, then don't do anything.
  6. AcridSaint

    AcridSaint ベーシスト Supporting Member

    Jan 30, 2012
    I don't play well.
    Please don't do that.
  7. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Ok thanks guys.
    Haters gon hate
  8. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    And yes, I've build cabs before, as well as a couple guitars and preamps.
    I'm not really asking if "you'" would do it, just if it will work. maybe even leave it open bassman style. And again, i know bass amps are "not supposed" to be open back anymore.
    I'm not doing anything to the cab that can't easily be undun. Saving original baffle and speakers as is, and putting a new one in literally the same screw holes.
    PaulReside likes this.
  9. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
  10. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    I look at it this way. Cosmetically, you can build a box for the 15 and get grill cloth. Gear like this can't be recreated.

    It ain't worth it. Think about all the vintage Ps we see butchered...
    Tommy628 likes this.
  11. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Honestly Tommy, it's not really about hate. Just honest advice from some older players.

    There are a very small number of pieces of vintage gear in decent shape. Yours appears just to need a little service. Yet, once you modify the baffle, its value plummets to near zero to anyone who wants a vintage piece. In effect, it ceases to be. Keep in mind that just because you got a great deal doesn't mean it isn't valuable once it is working.

    The real point is that this will never be a particularly good bass cabinet, even if you replace the drivers and seal the back. Plus, the driver you have is unlikely to be a match for that cabinet's geometry.

    However, it's yours, so do as you see fit. :whistle: :whistle: :whistle:
    Last edited: May 11, 2016
    Bim1959, petey293, Humbled and 3 others like this.
  12. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Thanks Jim,
    I know, and I do appreciate any and all advice coming from people who have been around longer than I, or anyone with an interesting idea.
    I was just trying to keep it loght.
    I think maybe this is not the right forum for this question, or maybe its just not a forum question. I know that it always upsets people when you mess with classic merchandise, but really I'm not interested in fixing the cab up to original spec, especially not for the perpose of reselling or bringing up the value. So if I ever do want to put the 10s back in for guitar I'll do it, with intact grill cloth and logo... but this cab ain't goin anywhere so I'm not worried about that at all. I need a functional bass amp, got $50 to my name and some experience with my hands.
    Didn't mean to come off ungrateful, I just forgot about this thing in forum culture that I don't really dig.
    It's like every time I go to read about a vintage MCI console or Studer tape machine, there's a question, then usually someone post something to get it going, then at some point very soon in the reply chain someone has to "test" the person who posts originally, "if you don't know what _____ means, I suggest you just give up now" type thing. Like "you dont belong here, this is our thing and you're just a snot nose kid who doesn't know whats he's gotten himself into, leave it to the pros." Then the post quickly turns into a discussion about something related but not on point.
    Really, I just really like to tinker with things and create things, so I'm going to give it a go, even though it's a very unpopular idea.

    So again, having said all that, i do appreciate the input from everyone and I'll work something out.

    I appreciate you all taking the time.

    Peace, Love, Rock & Roll
    PaulReside likes this.
  13. Although, OP, you have already been given the best advice, it seems like what you really want is validation of your proposal. I'm your guy! Who cares about a lame old Sunn guitar cab? Close the back, replace the baffle and slam that 15 in there! It will be a learning experience regardless of the minor potential for failure and regret.
    rufus.K, SirMjac28 and Tommy628 like this.
  14. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Haha thanks wighat!
    I know, I should have posed my question differently.

    This is what I have, this is what i need, this is what im about to do, limited time, no money, any suggestions...
    Thanks again for the validation :)
  15. BassmanPaul

    BassmanPaul Inactive

    Tommy you joined today so welcome to Talk Bass. Calling folk “haters” ‘cos they disagree with your proposed route is not an auspicious start. I too say leave the cabinet be as I too don’t think it will make a good bass cabinet. There is a lot involved with matching a particular driver with it’s enclosure. It’s not just speakers in a box like a typical guitar cabinet. If you do as you suggest the box will make noise yes. Whether that noise is musical is another question. :)
    Tommy628 likes this.
  16. Ok - here's what you do for best results:

    Take some of that $50, and rent a speaker cab for your gig. Maybe $20 or so? Then figure out what's wrong with the Sunn cab. Test each speaker. Hopefully they are not blown.

    Clean up the Sunn cab and replace the speakers with era-correct ones (hopefully at a low cost), or put in some newer speakers if you find a used set cheap someone is dumping. Then sell the Sunn cab for $2-300, and turn around and buy a bass cab of your choice.

    Its possible someone might buy the Sunn cab with non-working speakers, or trade you for their bass cab. You can find functional bass cabs for as little as $100 used that will sound better than throwing together a makeshift one with the Sunn.

    Consider this too: if you mess up the cabinet design, including leaving it as an open back, you could easily blow your 15" speaker! Then you're out even more money.

    And renting a cab for the gig can allow you to play a much nicer cab than you could build, and not need to worry about it.
  17. Remyd


    Apr 2, 2014
    St. Louis, MO
    Need the name of your rental place stat please. I tried to do this once and the fee was $100, but the cab was nice at least.
    D.A.R.K. and Tommy628 like this.
  18. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    San Diego, CA
    You've been told: this is a terrible idea. For all kinds of reasons.

    Now me, I've seen so much butchered vintage stuff what's one more? Here's the problem minus that consideration: you've got a speaker that's not made for an open back cab and it's also not designed for sealed back use. One of these poor ideas is somewhat better than the other. Remove the old baffle, carefully, put in your new baffle, making sure the screw holes all line up, and run it open back and just deal with the fact it's going to sound like garbage and have little bottom end. But it will be somewhat louder than running it sealed. It's not going to be very loud regardless. Saturday is not a lot of time so you best get cracking.
    Bim1959 and Tommy628 like this.
  19. The_Janitor


    Jun 30, 2012
    Madison, Wi
    If all 4 drivers aren't responding to the battery test and NO sound is coming out then I'd wager that there's a loose wire connecting to the input jack. If I were you, I'd find that loose wire, fix the cab, then play the half-stack AS IS.

    The Sunn head (probably) won't put out enough low end to blow the drivers. It won't be an ideal bass rig by any stretch of the imagination but it'll make sound and probably work fine if you're not competing with 100W half stacks and a loud drummer.

    I'll pile on to what everyone else said, modifying this cab for bass use will lead to lackluster results. You need specific drivers for specific cabs, just sealing a guitar cabinet and putting bass drivers in it will not yield good results. If it did work, then why would there be so many different shapes and sizes of bass cabs?

    Fix the cab, sell it, buy or make something that looks like a vintage sunn cab. You'll be much happier. Otherwise you're tossing money down a hole and destroying a valuable cab in the process.
    Tommy628 likes this.
  20. Tommy628


    May 11, 2016
    Hey Paul,
    Thanks for the suggestions.
    I was completely joking, haters gon hate, but seems to have gone over quite poorly.
    But as stated before, I'm quite out of options as the back line is no longer available this weekend, and I'm quite poor. Saw the sun, $25...
    Is it likely that I'll blow my new speaker in this unsealed cab with the amp set no higher than 3 or 4?
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