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Vintage Home Stereo Speakers: Repurposed as Rockin Guitar Cabinets

by vaughn skow September 16, 2013 3 min read

Burriss Royal Blue Rig

Hi fellow lovers of guitars, amps and … SPEAKERS, of course!  This blog is gonna be a blast for me to write and for you to read, too … I PROMISE!  Ever wanted a one-of-a-kind vintage rig that you and you alone possess?  Option A: spend BIG bucks working with a custom manufacturer.  Option B: find some groovy 1960s home stereo speakers and make it yourself BAYBE! (Imagine that last sentence in the shagadelic voice of Austin Powers).

Recently the always groovy Brad Sample took a pair of vintage high-end Fischer stereo speakers and repurposed them into 1x12 guitar cabinets … and it got me to thinking:  why not?  I mean, really … why not?  Totally awesome vintage stereo speakers are available everywhere these days.  Garage sales, junk shops, flea markets, and Uncle Albert’s attic; they are everywhere!  Coolest part: they pretty much give them away.  Big speaker cabs just ain’t in vogue anymore.  Folks want cute as a button little “satellite” speakers in there homes these days.  But in the 60s, big beautiful cabs ruled!  The 1969 Fischer cabs Brad used are a prime example of good quality vintage stereo speaker cabs.  They were made of quality components and put together in America by workers whose give-a-damn was properly functioning.  These cabs left the Fischer factory sporting CTS Alnico 12” woofers, a pair of cone midrange drivers in their own sealed-tube compartments, and a big soft-dome tweeter.  Ah the joy of such speakers playing vinyl and powered by a McIntosh tube amp.  Sonic nirvana!  And so it was a sad day that found these previously glorious cabinets destined for the garbage heap.  Until our hero showed up to rescue them.

If you don’t know Brad Sample, you should.  Having spent time on the road and in the studio with artists like Joe West, Alice Cooper, Color Me Bad, Vince Gill, Kerrie Roberts, Ricky Skaggs, Brett Eldredge, Kerrie Roberts, The Drew Davis Band, Sarah Davidson, The Peasall Sisters, The Telecommunicators, and a bunch more, he’s a bona fide super-picker.  BUT!  He’s also a seriously “outside the box” kinda thinker; his work with his own band, Run With Bulls, is a prime example of this, check them out if you have not yet done so.

So here is exactly what Brad did: 1. Removed all the original speakers and crossover components from the Fischers.  2. Installed dual parallel 1/4" jacks in place of the original positive & negative banana plugs, while retaining the original Fischer jack plate, and its inherent vintage aesthetic mojo.

Home Speaker Cabinets as Guitar Speakers

3. Installed a WGS Retro 30 in one cabinet, for a full-bodied well-rounded cab with lots of highs and lows; and an ET65 in the other to add in some warm and wholly vintage midrange.

WGS Retro 30

4. As of this writing, Brad is experimenting with using the midrange and tweeter baffle cutouts for various porting schemes.  The 4” tubes that previously housed the midrange drivers and the square tweeter opening provide quite a plethora of options.

The rig, complete with the original Fischer grill cloth and logos and powered by a Burriss Royal Blue, took her maiden voyage on a festival tour with Kerrie Roberts.  It made quite a splash, too!  Other artist’s guitar players also choose to play through this unique retro-mod rig, with accolades abounding.  Cool, huh?  Next week I’ll tell the tale of a super tone-tweakers Super-Reverb adventure.  It’s a SUPER (get it) story, y’all come back now.

On Tour!

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