Gretsch Amps

Replacing oval speakers in a Valco Gretsch Amp (6161)

1

I love Valcos. Many early versions had the Rola oval speakers. No re-cone kits exist and there is nothing the same size (some close, but not exact). Additionally, those ovals are 4 ohms. With two, the Output Transformer is 2 ohm, plus it is riveted to one of the speaker frames in my 1957 6161 amp.

That's where the forum came in. Forum member Powdog recommended to me that I could use an output transformer from a 5E3 Deluxe since it is pretty close and is 8 ohm, making available speakers much more plentiful.

I removed the baffle with the ovals and the output transformer, made a baffle for the 12" speaker, attached the output transformer .... and my amp was sounding better than ever!

2

Sorry, couldn't get more than one photo to upload. Here is the original baffle, speakers and OT.

3

Clean work. I’m gonna start sending my cab repairs to you.

4

Clean work. I’m gonna start sending my cab repairs to you.

– Powdog

Be careful what you wish for!

6

Nice clean work, Ned!

– JBGretschGuy

Thanks, Josh! Your work to go through it and get everything square before dealing with the speakers made it possible ... I am really loving this amp!

7

Hey guys,

wondering if anyone has experience with different speakers in the 6161? I’m doing the exact same mod currently (changing the output transformer to 8ohm) and I’m trying to decide on a 12” speaker.

thanks, Ryan

8

Actually, they were 3.2 ohm, which was a standard back then. I forget why, but it had something to do with the turns ratio.

9

Actually, they were 3.2 ohm, which was a standard back then. I forget why, but it had something to do with the turns ratio.

– Billy Zoom

3.2 Ohms was pretty common in cars and smaller table top radios back then. A modern 4 Ohm speaker should work.

10

Weber will make you a 12” speaker with a 3.2 ohm voice coil.

11

I still say Valcos from the next era -- around 1963-66 -- many of them Gretsch labeled-- when totally tweaked, give Fender a run for the money. Valco reverb wasn't up to Fender level, but few except Ampeg were, and as most know Ampeg beat Fender by a bit integrating reverb into the amp

Valco was cool for several reasons --sorta thought outside the box. I wrote about this some in the Map bass listing I have on reverb.


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