Other Equipment

Vintage P12R worth $100?

1

Antique store near my house had a pair of speakers, something akin to this:

but as a pair that latched together back-to-back (I'm guessing part of a portable PA system?). I didn't have my phone on me, so no photos, but one of the pair was a Jensen P12R (silver frame, seemed original to the cabinet, I forgot to check the date code) and the other was an old RadioShack "Realistic" (70s era by the look of it, probably replaced a blown Jensen). The shop keeper assured me that they worked, and anyways I could return them if they didn't. He started at $150, and went down to $100.

I'm thinking it could be a cool pair of extension cabs to have around, or maybe something I could stick a 5E3 chassis into. Would you do it?

I tend to be wary of purchasing vintage music equipment from "antique" stores rather than music shops. Their items tend to be less well-maintained and often overvalued (mostly due to unfamiliarity with the music gear scene), though they've been more willing to haggle than guitar shops, in my experience.

2

OH heck yeah.

3

Those old cabs are always cool. The price of vintage speakers has come down since new ones are so good (mostly) but still that looks like a fun project.

4

Just as part of music décor in your music room, I think, working or no, they're worth $100.

5

The P12R if in decent condition (no voice coil rub rips tears or staining) is probably worth the $100 or more I'm guessing the cabinets are worth that by themselves If you have a stereo guitar rig they'd probably be a pretty cool way of using it. Especially as they'r4e angled which makes it easier to hear the top end. Offer the guy $75 cash

6

Those are actually old institutional wall mount speakers like what would have been in schools and government buildings in the 40's and 50's. And yes turning them upside down and building a small amp inside them is a good idea.

I stuffed a 5C1 champ circuit in this one

7

Complete with a field coil speaker. I was going for a 40's vibe. Turns out I disliked the 5C1 and am changing it over to a Valco Spectator circuit with a 6SL7 instead of the 6SJ7 the champ uses.

8

If you look at the speaker, the first digit after the numbers 220 will be the last date in the year of manufacture. In other words 220905 would be the fifth week of 1959 or possibly 69 you just have to kind a know what you're looking at for that part.

9

And yes, for the pair that's totally worth it. 50 bucks for a single Jensen speaker from the 50s or 60s is a very good value. I would buy at that price all day long, plus the cabinets are cool too.

Edit - Missed the part about realistic speaker, duh. Make that 'ok deal if you dig it'

10

Those are actually old institutional wall mount speakers like what would have been in schools and government buildings in the 40's and 50's. And yes turning them upside down and building a small amp inside them is a good idea.

I stuffed a 5C1 champ circuit in this one

– fistpicker

Fistpicker, the photo is not of the speakers I'm looking at (kicking myself for not having my phone). I'm familiar with the wall mount speakers, these are a bit bigger and latched together (with suitcase latches and a handle) as a pair for travel. Kind of like the Fender Passport PA system.

Also, I should say they are painted green like the back of a Gretsch Anniversary.

11

I found this old PA speaker cabinet and built a Filmosound amp conversion out of it. It’s always fun to find these types of old equipment and repurpose them.

12

Backside shot

13

Kinda like this? Always a cool find. You can squirrel a little amp inside one cab like fistpicker has done, and use the other for an extension.

Vintage Jensens are always a cool find. Scrutinize the paper cone. The edges are prone to cracking.

14

Yes Powdog, just like that, with some cool retro slots across the speaker grill. I do like the idea of using one as an amp, and one as extension. Would also be cool to build a standalone reverb amp into the second one.

15

The first picture looks like the intercom speakers at my elementary school (the school was built around 1910).

16

It's an OK deal if it's something you want. The box with the P12R would be a cool extension cab for something. The speaker would be worth more if it had a blue frame and went with a 50's Deluxe. I'm not sure if Fender used silver P12Rs in anything. It's amazing how many Radio Shack speakers are out there! I've seen them in tweed Champs and Princetons...all kinds of stuff. All ceramic. Never saw an Alnico. I wonder if there are any decent ones...

17

It's amazing how many Radio Shack speakers are out there! I've seen them in tweed Champs and Princetons...all kinds of stuff. All ceramic. Never saw an Alnico. I wonder if there are any decent ones...

When we bought Radio Shack replacement speakers, we weren't asking about the magnets. Wouldn't have known the difference if we had. If a speaker was blown, an amp was useless. We who went to Radio Shack generally lacked the information, the time, or the money to get choosy. In that context, their speakers were more than decent, they were divine. It was the difference between off and on.

18

I was lucky. My Dad had worked at EV and still knew a couple of guys there. The factory was only 12 miles from my house. The radio station I DJ'd at was even closer.

Those wood PA cabs were in every schoolroom in the US. I pulled a few out of the university when we upgraded the sound gear in the '80s.

19

I was lucky. My Dad had worked at EV

You were. I was so ignernt of such things I wouldn't even have known how to go looking for EVs or JBLs. I thought they dropped from heaven on the worthy. Jensens just "came in things," and I didn't even hear of Eminence or Celestion till the 80s.

20

Otter, just keep in mind a P12R is realistically speaking a 10 watt speaker, 15 watts maybe. And it's probably over 50 years old, so you won't have to try really hard to blow it.

21

Actually that might be a showstopper. I guess I'd seen the modern P12R spec which says 25 watts rather than the vintage one which says 12 watts. I already have a Champ, I want a Deluxe.

22

you won't have to try really hard to blow it.

Then you'll end up at Radio Shack.

23

We do still have Radio Shacks here in Mississippi, but unfortunately I don't think they sell musical instrument speakers anymore.

To be honest, I've been pretty satisfied with the Realistic brand. I had one of their tape decks growing up and a clock radio.

24

Actually that might be a showstopper. I guess I'd seen the modern P12R spec which says 25 watts rather than the vintage one which says 12 watts. I already have a Champ, I want a Deluxe.

– Otter

I have a P12R in my tweed tremolux. Sounds awesome.


Register Sign in to join the conversation