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Thread: Speaker weight and baffle thickness/sturdiness

  1. #1
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    Speaker weight and baffle thickness/sturdiness

    Don't know which area this question should go, but this seems close enough.

    I have this Fender mystery cabinet. It kind of looks like a Showman tone ring 1x12, but it is slightly smaller and has no piggyback inserts. The speaker in it is a 15", mounted directly to the baffle. The speaker is not original, but looks like a Jensen P15L (or LL) 16 ohm that has a Kustom sticker on it. I LOVE the way this combination sounds, it really softens up the highs on my tube amp. The problem is my amp head is 120 watts (can switch it to 60 watt triode mode) but the alnico Jensen was probably rated for 35 watts when new (and now has a lot of years on it). I don't want to destroy the speaker, so would like to put in something that can handle power and have a similar frequency response to the Jensen. I have at hand a Peavey 15" Black widow, which can definitely handle the power and tops out at about 2kHz. My concern is the weight of the BW is considerable, I am guessing twice the Jensen. That seems like it will a.) make the baffle more "lively" and b.) potentially shake the double baffle construction to bits. I don't plan on playing this at full volume or for super long duration, but would to not destroy the cabinet in trying to save the speaker.

    Thought?

    Thanks in advance,
    Greg

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    Pics of the cab?
    How thick is the baffle and what is it made of?

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    Quote Originally Posted by galaxiex View Post
    Pics of the cab?
    How thick is the baffle and what is it made of?
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Sorry for crappy pic, can get better ones (and internal) tomorrow. Pretty sure the floating baffle is 1/2 plywood, probably attached to the cabinet with 1x2s.

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    Here is a diagram of general tone ring cabinet construction

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Does the grille come off, to get a better look at the front?

    If it were mine I'd open it up and kinda gently "stress test" the baffle (pull-push with hands) to see if anything is loose or starting to crack.
    Examine glue joints and cleats, see if they are stapled/nailed/screwed.
    IOW, how is it constructed.

    My feeling is that Fender generally built quite sturdy cabs, but anything could have happened to it over the years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by galaxiex View Post
    Does the grille come off, to get a better look at the front?

    If it were mine I'd open it up and kinda gently "stress test" the baffle (pull-push with hands) to see if anything is loose or starting to crack.
    Examine glue joints and cleats, see if they are stapled/nailed/screwed.
    IOW, how is it constructed.

    My feeling is that Fender generally built quite sturdy cabs, but anything could have happened to it over the years.
    That makes sense, and I guess there isn't a reason I couldn't reinforce the floating baffle itself if I am worried about the weight.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glebert View Post
    ...I have this Fender mystery cabinet. It kind of looks like a Showman tone ring 1x12, but it is slightly smaller and has no piggyback inserts. The speaker in it is a 15", mounted directly to the baffle. The speaker is not original, but looks like a Jensen P15L (or LL) ...I have at hand a Peavey 15" Black widow, which can definitely handle the power and tops out at about 2kHz. My concern is the weight of the BW is considerable, I am guessing twice the Jensen. That seems like it will a.) make the baffle more "lively" and b.) potentially shake the double baffle construction to bits...Thought?
    Greg,
    I am guessing that your mystery cabinet was an extension cab and that is why there are no piggyback inserts. I seems that you are saying that the original 12" tone ring has been removed and the 15" Jensen is mounted to the inside baffle. That is where the tone ring would have been attached. Those cabinets were designed to hold the D series JBLs. The 12" D120F weighed 14 pounds and the 15" D130F & D140F weighed 15.5 pounds. I never knew those cabs to be damaged by the weight of the JBLs so if the Peavey BW that you have is in the same weight range as the original JBLs and you don't find any existing deficiencies in your cabinet then I think you are good to go. At least with respect to speaker weight. The positioning of the speaker will be offset from the original design but so is your existing speaker. I say just give it a try and let your ears be the judge.
    Cheers,
    Tom

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Phillips View Post
    Greg,
    I am guessing that your mystery cabinet was an extension cab and that is why there are no piggyback inserts. I seems that you are saying that the original 12" tone ring has been removed and the 15" Jensen is mounted to the inside baffle. That is where the tone ring would have been attached. Those cabinets were designed to hold the D series JBLs. The 12" D120F weighed 14 pounds and the 15" D130F & D140F weighed 15.5 pounds. I never knew those cabs to be damaged by the weight of the JBLs so if the Peavey BW that you have is in the same weight range as the original JBLs and you don't find any existing deficiencies in your cabinet then I think you are good to go. At least with respect to speaker weight. The positioning of the speaker will be offset from the original design but so is your existing speaker. I say just give it a try and let your ears be the judge.
    Cheers,
    Tom
    Great information! Thanks Tom!

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