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Vintage Ampeg 810 + Orange + Peavey Q...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnnysomersett, Apr 23, 2015.


  1. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Hi there :)

    I recently bought an old Ampeg 8x10:

    [​IMG]

    ...I can't get a speaker out to get the info on them as I haven't an AF 1/4" socket (I'm in the UK where we run metric) but can anyone roughly date it and what power it's rated for? It's a tilt-back with fixed casters, single 1/4" jack @ 4 ohms on the back. The guy said he thought it was 1976 - sound about right?

    Secondly, I have been using either a '75 Orange OR120 or a '76 Peavey Deuce head-conversion (also 120w) as an amp. The Orange sounds amazing but gets too dirty too quickly (EL34), the Peavey is mildly better being 6L6 but the tone isn't as great.
    I also, through a 2x15, have been using a Tronographic Rusty Box preamp into a QSC RMX850 PA power amp, which is a great sound but until I know what the 8x10 can handle I fear to put it through as temptation to crank will be too huge to resist.

    I haven't the $$££ to buy any other gear really as I spend too much as it is and want to get the best I can out of what I already have.

    So, thoughts/suggestions/ideas/etc? Everything greatly appreciated.

    Many Thanks

    Johnny Somersett
     
    GreaserMatt likes this.
  2. Our resident Ampeg Guru is @JimmyM. He should be able to give you some idea.

    The type of output tubes in an amp have little to do with overdrive. That's more a matter of the amount of gain pushing them.
     
  3. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    76 sounds reasonable. Only way to get an accurate year on it is pull a speaker and use the date code (first two numbers after the number 67, with the next two being week of manufacture). And you are wise not to send crazy signal to it, as its rated power handling back then was 250w. 800w 810's didn't come along till the 90's.
     
  4. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Wow, 250 is not a lot!
    The dude I bought from thought it was 800 and was using an 800 watt head with it! Guess he must never have cranked it then as the speakers are all fine (thankfully)

    Looks like I'll just have to plumb as many tube watts in as possible rather than SS

    Oh, and BassmanPaul, I only mention the valve types as it's usually indicative of the 'voicing'...el35s are usually in grittier amps, 6l6 often in big clean American amps
     
  5. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Well on the bright side, they sound great, and nobody ever needs to be any louder than that cab can go anyway ;) But yeah, I'm pretty sure that's 70's. The logo is white, and that's in keeping with the look of the 74-79 period.
     
  6. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    It does go pretty loud! Even with just 120w tube.
    I might see if I can butcher in a preamp-in socket on the peavey to use the preamp pedal but the tube poweramp ...see if that can give me what I want.
     
  7. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Is the 250w a conservative rating?

    I know a lot of the old amp people did that. I only ask ask my power amp can be set to 300 if I want
     
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Some have said they feel it's conservative. I never felt like taking the chance myself. One thing is for sure...if it's conservative, it's not by much. And a 300w amp can put out 600w in peaks if you crank it into the red. You could probably use it if you exercise a little restraint, though.
     
  9. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    So, what are the speakers they put in these rated for then? 30w?
     
  10. waltdogg

    waltdogg

    May 24, 2014
    Those later 70s 8x10s are probably more like 400 watts handling. Ampeg never updated the spec sheets for the 8x10 cabinet after switching from CTS to Eminence. I have a cab from the same era as yours, all original drivers, dated to 1978. Handled a Mesa Boogie Bass 400+, SVT-VR and SVT-CL no problem. Just keep an eye on the speakers and use your ears.
     
  11. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    35w, I believe. I guess that would make it actually 240w power handling, but there's no practical difference between 240 and 250w, and it was all guesstimations back in those days. And Walt may be right that the Eminences handled more. He's not the first I've heard say that. I don't have one of those cabs, and have only used one once on a gig in recent years. But whatever you do, if you feel the need to test the limits of that cab, do it slowly.
     
    johnnysomersett likes this.
  12. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Oh, don't worry, it'll be tentative!
     
  13. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Okay, so I dug out a 1/4" spanner and pulled a speaker:

    [​IMG]

    ...I believe this makes it a '78, right? I'm guessing still the same wattage?

    Also, the cavities have insulation in them:

    [​IMG]

    ...is this standard or someone elses work?

    Still, all the speakers are original which is nice:

    [​IMG]
     
    GreaserMatt and City like this.
  14. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Yes, a 78, and that insulation was factory installed and necessary to the operation of the cab, so don't remove it!
     
    johnnysomersett likes this.
  15. waltdogg

    waltdogg

    May 24, 2014
    Looks like your dust caps were replaced. With those speaker you most likely have 400 watts handling total. The speaker gurus of TB believe they're too big to be rated any lower than 50 watts each.
     
    johnnysomersett likes this.
  16. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Interesting, maybe the old glue gave out on the originals. Still, they sound great and no farting/buzzes at all.
    I just need to replace the top right hand velcro/griplock as it's not biting and holding any more and shes's ready to gig. I'll be using this for bass and guitar duties possibly - just got to test it properly with the Orange head and a 6-string to see if it's suitable.
     
    waltdogg likes this.
  17. waltdogg

    waltdogg

    May 24, 2014
    For a 6 string. You'll probably scrape by the skin of your teeth. Those cabs only go as low as 40Hz, so you'll be able to get the harmonics of your low B, but no fundamental and idk about the 6th string on a sixer bass. But if you're talking guitar, knock yourself out those 10" drivers are excellent guitar speakers for the time.

    Well the original dust caps were 2" caps and those are 4" caps so they're glued father up the cone and cover up the originals which is really weird if you ask me. Why didn't the owner replace with proper 2" caps instead of gluing ONTO the cone with 4" ones. Or did they install the 4" caps to protect the originals (this is pretty dumb IMO, but so is putting a bigger dust cap than there is an opening for on the cone if you ask me)?

    If you need parts try fliptops.net
     
  18. johnnysomersett

    johnnysomersett

    Apr 23, 2015
    Yeh, it'll be 6-string normal guitar (through the OR120) so that's good news about the drivers being suited. My band plays in a C# G# C# F# A# C# tuning so we're a little lower than standard so the extra bass response will be nice for the clean bottom notes. Pretty excited to give it a good run-out actually :)
    I was just looking online too at the dust caps and thinking they were rather large! Weird. I'm not gonna start poking about inside them though to work out why, it sounds fine so I'll just rock it as-is.

    I'll go have a dig on that Fliptops site. I have some 3M dual lock at home already for pedalboards so I might just use a square of that.
     
  19. waltdogg

    waltdogg

    May 24, 2014
    Nice! In that case if it sounds good it sounds *good*.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
    johnnysomersett likes this.
  20. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I used to use a 5-string with a vintage 810, and it sounded magnificent. I see no reason why a 6 wouldn't, either.

    Bass, that is.
     

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