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12" combo cab for a AB165 Bassman.

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  • 12" combo cab for a AB165 Bassman.

    I want to build a 12" open back combo cab for an AB165 Bassman I rebuilt. I have the original head cab, it's pretty rough, but I can still use it for some of the dimensions. It is approx. 22" wide and 9.5" deep, question is how tall should it be? And will that dimension effect tone much? I plan to use pine for the box, and baltic birch for the baffle.
    It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

  • #2
    Make a new cab, same width, depth and "wooden rails to hold chassis" as current head, reserve same internal height for amp, including iron, tubes, etc, and add enough for a front speaker panel, same width plus 12.5" for speaker frame plus 2" height so you can vertically center speaker and have *some* wood joining left and right halves (most of the center will be the 12" speaker hole).
    It will be a very compact and luggable combo.

    Optionally you might add extra 1" or 2" height, your choice, combo will still be compact; and/or up to 5" extra depth if yopu want sound slightly fatter but combo still fitting in a standard car trunk with room to spare.

    If in doubt make it 1/2" too large than 1/2" too small.

    EDIT: I would turn both channels (which as-is have no sparkle at all) into 2 standard Blackface "Normal/Guitar" preamps.
    Juan Manuel Fahey

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    • #3
      Juan's got some good ideas as always. Let me pitch in a couple too. I had a customer recently who brought in a sort of Frankenstein combo, the amp was a standard BF Bassman, the cab I think was a 1x12 brown Vibrolux. You could check dimensions, and if the Bassman's width matches the brownie VLux, it should be simple enough to find the plans for that cab and build it.

      What to do with that bass channel? Not many guitarists like it much. I'd alter it with a 5F6A Bassman tone stack, optional mid control taking the place of the low-sensitivity input #2, or on the back panel. This way you'll have a choice of preamp options, both of them good.
      Enjoy. Every. Sandwich.

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      • #4
        I tend to leave these Bassmans and all that follow alone, as far as topology goes - the channels share the same number of gain stages (2), with that 3rd stage shared. And that 3rd stage (according to legend and internet lore; I don't have a scope to verify) is part of what sets these apart from other Bassman heads. So, a patch cable, and you can dial in some super-phat tone with just a patch cable. Tweak the tone stack to liking, but, why everybody gotta mess with these?

        One notice: mine has a Twin Reverb OT... Otherwise, it's pretty much stock.

        BTW: 12" combo for these heads are KILLER.

        Justin
        "Wow it's red! That doesn't look like the standard Marshall red. It's more like hooker lipstick/clown nose/poodle pecker red." - Chuck H. -
        "Of course that means playing **LOUD** , best but useless solution to modern sissy snowflake players." - J.M. Fahey -
        "All I ever managed to do with that amp was... kill small rodents within a 50 yard radius of my practice building." - Tone Meister -

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        • #5
          "I had a customer recently who brought in a sort of Frankenstein combo, the amp was a standard BF Bassman, the cab I think was a 1x12 brown Vibrolux. You could check dimensions, and if the Bassman's width matches the brownie VLux, it should be simple enough to find the plans for that cab and build it."

          They don't match, the Vibrolux is narrower according to Fender Field Guide.
          It's weird, because it WAS working fine.....

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          • #6
            There are always ways around a retrofit. I recently had to mate a chassis that was narrower than the cabinet opening, but matched the depth well. So I made thin panels that I Tolexed to match the cabinet and take up the gap. I used self stick Velcro on the back of those panels and at the wide ends of the chassis to make it look like the cab was built to match the chassis. Worked a treat.

            Like this:
            Attached Files
            "Take two placebos, works twice as well." Enzo

            "Now get off my lawn with your silicooties and boom-chucka speakers and computers masquerading as amplifiers" Justin Thomas

            "Being born on third base and thinking that you must have hit a triple is pure delusion!" Steve A

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