Other Amps

Calling all speaker size upgraders!!


When you guys are going from 8" to 10" etc. :

Are you hacking up the opening, or just centering over the existing speaker hole?

Does it make a big difference either way?


Well my obsession for 2017 is to stuff the largest speaker in the smallest possible cab. it may not optimize the sound as much as I think but there are these great little amps blighted by 8" speakers. You do have to have a proper size opening -- or it's worth it to me.

Not that I have the tools and talent to do this but with Powdog doing some mods, and also Mojo making some custom cabs for me it's been a banner year.


Never had to enlarge a speaker opening. I wouldn't buy an amp with an 8" in the first place.


I get a new baffle board and save the old one in case I want to go back to stock.


A lot of cabs have glued in baffles making that impossible.

Not much sense in upgrading speaker size without opening up the hole.


Aw c’mon. For loud cleans, an 8” speaker just won’t cut it. But for low volume, “sitting all alone” playing they’re great. Super overdriven nastiness at volumes that won’t make your ears bleed. The choice of many a harp player.

Plus, they work great in pairs.


8"s are better than the 6" in a Fender Champ 600. Still, you'll never get much low end out of an open back cab, no matter how good the speaker is. Small cabs will give you a small sound.


The biggest problem with the new production “small” amps is they’re built like big amps. Champ 600, Gretsch Electro, Fender Pro Jr, all constructed with 3/4” particle board cabs and baffles. They’re absolutely dead sounding. Small amps benefit greatly from thinner cabs and baffles. We did an A/B test at a Roundup a few years back and everyone heard the difference.


Mu understanding of physics and speakers is that you do not want a resonant baffle. If the baffle moves if robs the speaker of sound. That's like cabinet 101 isn't it? The cabinet isn't a speaker,the baffle isn't a speaker, the speaker is a speaker. . With open back, size isn't as big a factor, but with closed back the dimensions, shape and ports are much more crucial. I've always enjoyed the sound of the speaker being held firmly by a good stiff baltic birch baffle, like it's designed to be. then you really here the speaker well.

Small amps should be made out of lighter material because the components are lighter and the potential vibration would be less thus you can get away with lighter material making a lighter more portable amp. I don't believe it's for sonic reasons. it certainly wasn't in Leo fender's day. He was just going for cheap.


Yep, that’s how it works. I’ve had this discussion countless times with HI-FI guys. Resonant cabs subtract the resonant fx from the speaker.

I counter argue with this: every rock-n-roll record you’ve heard from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were recorded using amps in resonant pine cabinets.

That’s the sound of rock-n-roll.


Don't forget---half of the speaker's output goes out the back of an open cab. It also keeps the bass response down due to cancellation (measure the distance from the front of the speaker to the back. That's why sealed cabs or bass reflex cabs have far better bass response. In hi-fi and PA cabs, resonance is your enemy. Pine cabs are easier for woodworking. Finger joints function better. Ply and particle board are far denser, but aren't as easy to join panels together.



Not sure what your experience is. I’ve been building cabinets for almost 40 years, and nothing is easier to join than plywood. It doesn’t warp, check, swell or shrink. Finger joints cut a week ago slide together like you cut them 5 minutes ago.

When dimensioning lumber, all the tension held in the wood grain is released. Boards can change overnight. Figured hardwoods are even worse. It’s like trying to hold down an octopus.

Baltic birch makes cabinet construction easy. It’s also more expensive.


Yep, that’s how it works. I’ve had this discussion countless times with HI-FI guys. Resonant cabs subtract the resonant fx from the speaker.

I counter argue with this: every rock-n-roll record you’ve heard from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s were recorded using amps in resonant pine cabinets.

That’s the sound of rock-n-roll.

– Powdog

That's a good counter argument, however I will counter your counter argument with the fact that there are many slips between the cup and the lips. Room sound, Studio gear(mikes, mike pres, compressors etc), miking technique, players choices in EQ and volume settings, instruments, Possible pre-amping devices in front of the amp(echo units etc) and differing speakers themselves...Didn't the Beattles often use Vox particle board cabs?)

Anyway not really arguing, just having a different opinion. Likely my practical experience is as nothing to yours.

You're totally right about lumber stability. That's one of the rationals for making plywood. I make baltic birch cabs because for small amps I can use 3/8" with a bit of light bracing and it's still really sturdy and stiff. My largest amp is a vibrolux and I used 1/2"

For fellow who started the post I'll say that unless his baffle is easily removable and he can make a replacement as was suggested. Then maybe an extension cab would be the thing and he should order one from Powdog! Unless his amp isn't a particularly a valuable one.


I have a '59 tweed Princeton converted to 12" from 8" To do this correctly, the speaker should be off center so the magnet doesn't hit the output tube...or one must search for a shallow speaker that will fit. I tried several ceramic and Alnico speakers that sounded good (including hooking up the P12R in my tweed Deluxe), but nothing made this amp loud enough even for rehearsal. Being it's a cool little ankle-biter, I figured, why not return it to 8" originality. I had a couple 8" Alnicos around and bought a couple more very cheaply on Ebay. I was really shocked that the perceived volume of this amp did NOT go down. If anything, the 8" cut through the mix better and was ALMOST suitable for rehearsal. It would be a killer amp to record...I wish I did more of that. I'm really shocked at how big and balanced this little thing sounds; especially considering that one of my favorite amps was a 5E3 build in a Pro-sized cab pushing a 15, and I still own a '54 Pro with a 15 that is pretty amazing. Hard to imagine that I would love a 1x15 and a 1x8...but there ya have it.


I had Powdog make me a new cabinet for my Vibro Champ/Bronco so that I could change the speaker from an 8" to a Weber California 10" (think JBL clone). Couldn't be happier with it. He made the cabinet taller and deeper than a standard VC cabinet as the transformers couldn't clear the speaker without modification. So for me, the answer is that I used an entirely new cabinet. This is how it turned out:


I had a late 70's Princeton Reverb that I blackfaced and then took a jigsaw to the baffle to make it larger,,,then stuffed a 12" Jensen C12N in there. Sounded better. More bass response. A lot more like a single channel Deluxe Reverb and less like a boxy toy.


Or if you don't want to (or can't) mod your cabinet, get an extension cab. Not that hard to have a jack installed and disconnect your original speaker.


Or you could always go the “Mini-piggyback” route.

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