Spring Cleaning: PA Units & 12" Cab

Well! I'm shifting gears on my live sound units (going both bigger and smaller), so I'm letting go of some of my very-cool PA & electric guitar gear. This is the first batch including 2 powered speakers in vintage projector audio cabs and one 12" unpowered guitar cab (also a vintage projector cab). This first pic is to give an idea of "size" on these old cabs. That's a pretty standard-issue 16"-wide archtop guitar pulled off the porch wall.

Powered Speaker #1 is this old 40s/50s Bell & Howell projector speaker cab (nice, heavy, ply construction) equipped with a Kustom 100w 12" powered speaker unit mounted on the inside.

I've used this and its brown companion (see below) for a ton of live shows including small-venue things (with a small mixer and popped behind us with mostly acoustic instruments) to full-on outside "on the gazebo in the park" or wedding shows. As long as you're using a powered mixer in front of this (or a guitar, mic, or bass pre), this unit can get very loud with a good, full sound. Because of the medium-vented rear you can also hear a bit of your sound "leaked" out of the back to use as a lo-fi monitor for smaller shows.

Every time I bring these out someone in the audience will ask about, talk about, or compliment me on them. They have a lot of stage presence and are super-sturdy (I've taken these all over). Because these don't have input preamps on-board they don't feedback as much or act wacky like a ton of other powered speakers that have on-unit pres.

I bought this particular unit off of eBay from Canada, hence the Montreal plate.

These are sturdy latches and the two of them secure the hinged rear door quite well.

My mounting of the $130-200 (depending on whether these are on sale on any given day) Kustom KPC12P powered speaker guts is crude but effective. These cabs are now going for a decent amount of money themselves, too, these days.

I plug everything in before I turn these on because I like to avoid the very random chance of getting shocked by reaching around the backside of the board...! The line out 1/4" jack can be used to daisy-chain to other units.

Cables can come out of either the rear side vent...

...or the "cable window" in the front, as per use was expected back when these cabinets were made. When these are in front of me at shows (ie, mains) I use the rear cable exit and when they're behind me I use the front one.

Powered Speaker #2 is the same as the above grey one, save that a couple extra holes were drilled in the front of it when I was using this as a (rock-on) guitar amp. Both this and the grey unit are fully-functional, sound great, and put it out.

The Natco plate is something from my parts stash and not original, but it does look cool so I popped it on.

Third up -- a 50s Victor 12" metal speaker cab! I've used this one as an alternate electric guitar cab for a while, now, and it's gone through several changes. Currently it has a 40s/50s vintage 16-ohm, 20w-rated Jensen speaker inside from one of the above B&H cabs. The original speaker (which was a honey) blew out (grr!) but this speaker sounds nice, clean, and clear with a lot of good mellow midrange sound to it. This cab is super-lightweight for its size and I've used it for lower-volume shows from time to time.

The rear dust/handling cover is missing but I've moved the front one to the back.

Cool metal grill, too...

A simple Switchcraft jack on the rear lets you plug the cab in easily.

Note the foam/tape muting -- necessary on a metal cab at any but the lowest volume to cut down on rattle.


Johanul said…
I am super impressed! Way to go! It looks amazing! I've never had the guts to take on a project like this before.