Grateful Dead Music Forum

A place to talk about the music of the Grateful Dead 

 #128415  by Ray_Anastasio
 Mon May 27, 2013 3:16 pm
So I recently dug up these old speakers my dad bought (a few decades ago) and had the idea of using them as cabs for my guitar setup. Ideally, I would like to have a custom tube amp head built and set up stereo output running out of these two speakers. each cabinet has maximum output of 100 watts.

The speakers look pretty old and definitely would need to be serviced and fixed up a bit. Im willing to get some new parts if need be. I'm hoping I have something cool here. they are real heavy and are made of some old wood.... I like the idea of having a unique setup, different than your standard fenders or marshalls... My main goal as a guitar player is to develop a tone that separates me from all the other players out there.

I figured I would bring my curiosity to this forum, because I have never started a project like this... has anyone done something similar? I am interested in what other kinds of setups people like me are assembling these days. feel free to share your experience, or comment on the feasibility of what i am looking to do, because like i said, never done this before!

the speakers are jensen system 500. dont know much about the company, maybe someone here does. Or if you built your own cabs/rig.. lets see it! here's what im working with
 #128423  by mgbills
 Tue May 28, 2013 8:52 am
Good Morning Ray_

I'll take a stab at your question. It is my belief that stereo speakers (if that's what I'm seeing in the photos) are voiced for a broad sonic (frequency) range. You'd have to look up the individual drivers specifically to see if the range (Hz) even remotely resembles that of a guitar speaker. On Waldo's site there are charts which show Frequency Ranges for our treasured JBL's. By guitar speaker standards, the JBL's (I believe) have a pretty big range. I'm sure there is data on Jenson's and everything else as well.

If it were me, I'd look at the physical characteristics. If they're close, then I'd look at availability. Is this a cool short term guitar cab quest, or are you looking for a unique sound? What if you create a totally new cool tone, and you get famous? Can you get these drivers to recreate your individual tonal signature? Also...are they going to be durable when you dig into them?

All questions worth testing! It's a divergence from the Jerry-tone quest...but it's your Bus...Man...
Drive it like Cassady!
 #128424  by mgbills
 Tue May 28, 2013 8:56 am
Ahhh...fixed. Didn't address this...

If they need work, well might just be time to JCS for a new engine. Or find some guitar speakers on CL.
 #128433  by Ray_Anastasio
 Tue May 28, 2013 12:39 pm
Thanks for the feedback guys! Really appreciate it.

So at this point i've popped out the speakers, and judging by the serial #, they are (jensens) from 1981. As mgbills pointed out, these are in fact stereo speakers.

So at this point, I am thinking about stripping the cabinet of all the old speakers and buying new ones on CL. Then I will have to install a 1/4" jack and have the wiring for the speakers done.

I guess my question is, is there anything that could go wrong that i need to address?

I have never done anything like this before. The speakers are 12", 100 watt speakers, and there are 2 smaller speakers (you can see in the picture) that i am not sure of the name of what kind of speaker (tweeter and..?)
 #128443  by zambiland
 Wed May 29, 2013 12:14 am
They don't look incredibly road worthy, but if you're just playing at home, that's fine. Also, they look like sealed cabinets. Not always the best for guitar. The internal guts are probably incapable of handing significant guitar level. Remember that back in the day, hifi speakers dealt with limited dynamic range, maybe 40-50 db. A guitar amp can go from a whisper to a scream, which means popping speakers is easy. Been there, done that.

In general, I'd pass. They weren't great speakers to begin with and I doubt they'd be all that successful in a repurposing like this. It would be better to spend your time and resources in building a cabinet from scratch that would be suitable for guitar.

But, if you've got a wild hair and cash and time to burn, go for it and see what happens. It could be cool.....
 #128444  by Tennessee Jedi
 Wed May 29, 2013 6:20 am
Ray_Anastasio wrote: I like the idea of having a unique setup, different than your standard fenders or marshalls... My main goal as a guitar player is to develop a tone that separates me from all the other players out there.
Best thing I ever did was to start buying different guitar speakers and trying them out ... I used to think they were all the same
Now I cant live without the JBL's and Commonwealths !
The world of guitar speakers is pretty big - you will find something that fits what you are looking for thats unique
Thats my advice to you - buy some geetar speakers
Good luck !
 #128459  by Ray_Anastasio
 Wed May 29, 2013 2:21 pm
thanks for all the responses everyone!

i think im going to pass on the project for now. going to explore the world of speakers already out there.. maybe down the road i will build a cabinet, but for now.. it's back to the basement for these bad boys.

really appreciate the feedback!