Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The Python

When the Silvertone 1483 was testing out to be a substantially toneful harp amp, it was pretty obvious that the 2x10 Sunn cabinet was not going to project enough volume from a live stage. Stephen S hammered home the point that more speaker area translates to more volume dispersion needed in a real world scenario. The 1483 test runs plugged into his multi-speaker cabs illustrated the difference extremely well. So, the move to upgrade began.

After checking around the 'Net and elsewhere for cab and speaker prices, it was pretty much ascertained that I'd have to "poor boy" it once again. I began researching the discussion boards and forums for anything related to speaker cabinet construction. I also decided to go with a 4X10 configuration, using the two Weber Vintage alnicos from the Sunn cab and then placing an order for two Weber Signature ceramic speakers that were on sale. I sent the Weber alnicos into Ted Weber to have the ohms changed from 16 to 8, in order for the configuration to end up matching an 8 ohm load. I had no idea how the combination of ceramics and alnicos would sound, but I had heard that Sonny Jr used a similar combo in his, then new, 4X10 amplifiers. I did feel that the ceramics would provide a little more bottom end than four alnicos.

Then, I sat out to construct my own speaker cabinet. Not having the tools to build a cab with the much preferred finger jointing or dove tailed construction, I had to use cleats, screws and glue to stick it all together. I decided to go with 1x12 pine for the framework and 3/8 baltic birch plywood for the baffle board. I set to work doing the necessary cutting, drilling, glueing, screwing and bracing and soon had a box resembling the beginnings of speaker cabinet that measure out to a square 26 1/2" by 26 1/2". I was told that a floating baffle was the way to go for the type of tone generation that I was looking to achieve from the effort and the weight dictated that installing a set of caster wheels would lower the stress on the old body.

I had already decided to enlist the aid of my wife when it came time to covering the amp with tweed or tolex or whatever, because she had spent time wallpapering our house walls and the skill and approach of that duty appeared to be somewhat similar. I also involved her in the process of helping me choose which covering to use--hands down, it was the faux Python that won her over with black grill cloth. She did a fabulous job of slicing, tucking and glueing the tolex down and the finished product turned out to be a thing of beauty--but how would it sound.

Stephen S invited me back over to his "live lab" where he was involved in running a jam with one of the best blues guitarists in the state, Jonn Richardson, who was, by the way, impressed with the Python (this was a few years ago and the venue is now non-existant as such a place). I sat and listened to SS put the 1483 through its paces with it's new companion and thought that it sounded great--of course his natural tone can make a lot of combos sound great. After the first set, they got me up and allowed me more extended jam time than I expected. Everyone complimented me, so that was worth the trip over to the club and SS thought that we'd hit on the right combo and the rig was definitely a winner. The Python ruled the night. The 1483 is pictured sitting atop the Python accompanying the Silvertone posts. I'd planned to post additional photos today (5/6/08), but the camera's battery went dead, but they'll be forth coming. Anyway--

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