Thrift Store Tube Half Stack.......WhooooooHoooooooo!!!!

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pandemic
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Thrift Store Tube Half Stack.......WhooooooHoooooooo!!!!

Post by pandemic » Sat Jul 14, 2007 5:14 pm

So a couple of months ago I picked up a pair of Utah home stereo with 12" alnico LF drivers. All of the speakers worked but they sounded like ass so they ended up in a closet........

Fast forward to a couple of weeks ago when I picked up a Silvertone HI-FI extension speaker with 15 watt tube amp built in. It had an 8" driver and worked (half way, it had a bad output tranny). Sound through the 8" with half the amp working was cool but I wisely decided to go further than I ever had before and replaced the transformer with one from Triode electronics. I also replaced the crapped out input RCA jack with a 1/4" and disconnected the 8" speaker.

The Utahs were then taken apart and I disconnected the mid and high frequency drivers and wired the 2 12" alnicos in series. The speakers were then screwed together (from the inside) and a 1/4" input jack replaced the HF boost knob on the back of the top cabinet.

The Utahs were laid on their side and the Silvertone amp was placed on top. Everything was plugged in and I cannot believe how good (and loud) this rig is.

All the original cabinetry was left in place and luckily the tweed grills on the speakers almost match the Silvertones tweed face so this rig looks much more uniform than it should.

Total Investment...
Utah speakers w/ 12" alnicos........$2.99
Silvertone Tube extension amp.....$10.00 (thank you Salvation Army!!)
New output transformer................$25.00 plus shipping
solder, wire and jacks..................$5.00
Smart friend who helped me wire the tranny so I did'nt kill myself.......
PRICELESS!! (and a six pack of PBR)

Pics and MP3's to come...As well as part numbers so everyone can kill themselves scouring junk stores like I do!!!

I still have to dress some cables and add a 1/4 output jack but I am so excited (my other amp is an acoustic guitar!)

more to come....
amos
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Post by Smitty » Sat Jul 14, 2007 8:06 pm

*golf clap* :D
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Post by stevebozz » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:35 pm

can't wait to see pics and hear clips!
Steve

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Post by markitzero » Mon Jul 16, 2007 4:10 am

I turned an old pair of Utah active 3-way home theater speakers that no longer worked into a sick pair of passive mid-field monitors. I pretty much gutted the box and installed new drivers and a crossover. Utah made some good cheap boxes, I tell you what.

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Post by pandemic » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:39 am

I have bought so many "mystery boxes" at the thrift stores lately. Usually they get home, get opened up and then get dropped back off from where they came. The Utahs were going to suffer the same fate but my brother said he wanted some home speakers so I gave them to him until I found a great pair of Cerwin Vega's for him. I'm glad that kept the Utah's. Everything that made them crappy HI-FI speakers also made them awesome guitar speakers.

The Silvertone amp might be needing some more work as it seems to sag as the volume goes up. I'm gonna swap some tubes and replace the big cap and see what happens.

I'll still post Pics and MP3's here but this post might be heading to the DIY forum until I can get the amp sounding right.

more to come....
amos
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Post by KennyLusk » Mon Jul 16, 2007 3:20 pm

I [for one] would love to see pics and hear a clip of how it sounds. Great post! Great story! There's nothing like old all-tube circuitry to make a homegrown ampage man.
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!!!UPDATE!!!

Post by pandemic » Fri Jul 20, 2007 7:12 pm

So's I been playin with this rig a little and it is great! I seem to need to hit the input with a little more signal than the output on my guitar for it to sound "right" but I am loving it. I added a cheap OD pedal as a gain boost and that seems to make the amp behave. This might be an imedance problem?? I am going to change some tubes and see what happens.

Pics, part numbers and MP3's are still on the way I've just been busy...


peece...
amos
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Post by kevin_soda » Sat Jul 21, 2007 3:52 pm

Keep us posted! This is obviously a rare find so congratulations. Every time I go into a thrift store I only see those all-in-one-hi-fi thingys and I've already got one of those. Thanks for filling us with false hopes that we too might find something cool if we just keep looking.

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Post by pandemic » Sun Jul 29, 2007 4:51 pm

OK!!

Here are the part numbers for the Amp and the speakers.

The amp is a Silvertone model 9315-T HI-FI extension speaker. The chassis number is 450.10001. These are small boxes with an amp and a small speaker.

The speakers are Utah model WD66. They are vented three way cabinets with a 12" LF driver.

As I stated in my original post, I took the backs off the speakers and and wired the two 12's together then screwed the cabinets together from the inside.

I am still having some trouble with the amp so I am giving it to my tube guy to see if he can update the power supply and make it sound a bit better.

I'll post sounds after I get this thing right and post pics when I can.

amos
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:06 am

I got a Bell and Howell extension speaker out of a free box in a warehouse complex I used to live in. its a 12" with a little paper cone tweeter highpassed off a big capacitor. It's made to be plugged into a 16mm projector like they used to use in school. Even had a big ole 16mm reel in the back on a little snap mount. It has a trapezoidal cabinet which is hinged. So I can open it for open back sounds or to double mic. Attached 30 foot speaker cable lets me throw it in the bathroom or down the narrow hallway. Sounds freaking excellent on all distorted instruments. Guitars, even basses. Sometimes keyboards. Its only 25 watts handling so my little valve jr tube amp rocks it pretty hard.
Generally everything I have recorded on my own stuff for the last 6 months has had this on it!
Its neat to be able to mic the tweeter (since its paper its not as bad as a CD)
I often vary the geometry of the mic between the tweet and woofer to "pre" eq it.
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by A-Barr » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:32 am

calaverasgrandes wrote:I got a Bell and Howell extension speaker out of a free box in a warehouse complex I used to live in. its a 12" with a little paper cone tweeter highpassed off a big capacitor. It's made to be plugged into a 16mm projector like they used to use in school. Even had a big ole 16mm reel in the back on a little snap mount. It has a trapezoidal cabinet which is hinged. So I can open it for open back sounds or to double mic. Attached 30 foot speaker cable lets me throw it in the bathroom or down the narrow hallway. Sounds freaking excellent on all distorted instruments. Guitars, even basses. Sometimes keyboards. Its only 25 watts handling so my little valve jr tube amp rocks it pretty hard.
Generally everything I have recorded on my own stuff for the last 6 months has had this on it!
Its neat to be able to mic the tweeter (since its paper its not as bad as a CD)
I often vary the geometry of the mic between the tweet and woofer to "pre" eq it.
Hey! I've got the same thing! I got mine off of ebay with the big old Jensen 12" speaker in it, buyer saying "the speaker functions great!" Well of course the speaker turned out to be completely fuct in every way and the cab was full of mildew... sprayed it out with Lysol and eventually put a Weber 12F125 in it, really a great sounding cabinet and sparks a lot of conversations even with non-musicians, we have a lot of photo-friends and they are always amused to see the big "B&H." You even see these things with built-in tube amps sometimes.

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calaverasgrandes
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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:43 am

hmmm my speaker says Bell and Howell on the magnet, but it does look jensen ish. Tha cabinet is so freaking 50's looking. Two tone with the diamond grill cloth (just like the hagstrom guitars).
Mine was clean as heck. Has this weird suede-y material inside for resonance damping? ANd it has a front port too which I think accounts for some of its large sound. I wonder if it came from the Oakland school district facilities building which our warehouse was adjacent to?
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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Post by A-Barr » Mon Jul 30, 2007 11:46 am

Betcha it's a rebranded Jensen speaker.

Killed me to toss mine out but it was far too gone, I love the 50's looks too, my favorite period, aesthetics-wise.

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Post by ??????? » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:08 pm

if it has an EIA code that starts with "220" anywhere on it then it is a Jensen speaker.

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Post by calaverasgrandes » Mon Jul 30, 2007 12:39 pm

"220308" So I am going to guess that its a 30 watt 8 ohm Jensen? Jeez I wish I could figure out the year now!
??????? wrote: "everything sounds best right before it blows up."

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