Are there any issues with converting an old tube radio...

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by rubbersoul, Jul 9, 2008.

  1. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    ...into a guitar amplifier? I'm looking to get my hands on an old tube radio, one of those cathedral style, 1930's radios, put a Weber 8 incher in there and something like a Gilmore Jr. or a d-labamps 3 watt chassis.

    What is the minimum size the shell of the cabinet should be? Some of these look pretty thin...is 1/2 inch the "minimum"? I know Emery Sound amps are 1/2 inch mahogany.

    Some of these look like they're made of cherry? or oak? Would there be resonance issues?

    I'm just looking for a cheap project to engage in. I think I could rig up a pretty nice tube amp for around $350 and have something with some cool style.

    Has anyone tried this? Are there issues in general?

    Thanks for any help.

    Cheers
     
  2. baald

    baald Member

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    i did exactly that to an old floorstanding westinghouse (i think it was a westinghouse...). made a great living room amp.
     
  3. Fxrs

    Fxrs Member

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    I bought an old console stereo at my neighbor's yard sale (for $1), I forget the brand name, but it's got 4 Amperex EL-84's, 3 RCA 12AX7's and an RCA 5U4GB, I asked one guy (who does a lot of high end tech work around here) and he didn't want to touch it.
     
  4. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    Thanks guys...anyone else have experience doing this?? :)
     
  5. sdgvintage

    sdgvintage Member

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    I have seen inside some of these old types of radios and things.
    Sometimes it seems better to just use the shell of the unit and then build a new board and wire things up with a regular guitar amp circuit.
    Most of the ones I have seen have been really funky inside with resistors and wires all over the place.
     
  6. rubbersoul

    rubbersoul Member

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    Oh yeah, my intention was to gut the thing down to just the cab and then re-install a small guitar amp chassis and new speaker in it. I should clarify that my concerns were really about the cabs themselves...do I need to make sure I have a certain thickness of cab and does the wood type make a big difference?

    I was wondering if anyone out there had done this and had a good sound come out of these old radio cabs.
     
  7. nofootprints

    nofootprints Member

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    My Dad had an old tube stereo amplifier that he built from a kit when he was in college. Unfortunately, he sold it when I was out of the country several years ago. I wasn't into electric guitar back then, but I was still sorry to hear he'd sold it...at this point in my life I'm even sorrier!!
     

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