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#1
a lot of people lately have been asking "how do i turn my combo amp into a cab" so i figured i'd address it with a quick tutorial.

first you'll need to make note of what the ohm rating is of the speaker(s) you'll be using. always make sure the ohm rating of the speakers matches that of the head you'll be using with it.

also make note of the wattage of the speaker. if the speaker is only 20 watts please don't try to crank a 120watt tube head through it, no matter how bad you wanna play it.

now that you have that information if the ohm rating matches the head and the speaker is of appropriate wattage you can move on to the next steps.

k, here we have the amp being used as the test dummy for visual aid.



start off by flipping it over and taking the back cover off the amp.



now that you have the back off you can see all the guts and what not. you're going to want to disconnect the red and black wires from the speaker tabs.





now that the wires are disconnected, you're going to need some speaker wire. in this case, i'm using some 18 AWG copper wire that i clipped off an old phone car charger.



strip the ends on both sides and solder one end up to a 1/4" mono jack and the other up to the speaker tabs.



with an end result looking more or less like this,



next you'll need a speaker cable.NEVER USE AN INSTRUMENT CABLE TO HOOK A HEAD TO A CAB. they look the same but using an instrument cable will sooner or later fry your amps transformer, making you sad.

hook one end to the jack you just soldered up,



and the other to the proper jack on the back of your amp. in this case the proper one being 8 ohm.



turn it on and enjoy


the sound may or may not be to your liking depending on the quality of the speakers. if you happen to have good quality speakers in your combo then more power to you as you just saved yourself a bunch of money, but if the speakers are sub par/lame it would be wise to invest in a proper cab in the future.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
Last edited by mikeyElite at Feb 15, 2009,
#2
This should be stickied, good job.
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#4
I have that same amp
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#7
Quote by RIP_bonham
DONT use an instrument cable?
...uh oh.

maybe ill have to make a trip out to the store...

but first can you explain the difference?


speaker cables need to carry a higher level signal than instrument cables. instrument cables just aren't built to handle the power amp heads put out.

speaker cables are usually a thicker gauge as well, the thicker the better.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
Last edited by mikeyElite at Feb 25, 2009,
#8
I was told that the difference is a guitar cable is shielded and the amp cable isn't.
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#9
In the pic you said, "connect to the amp output, the correct one being 8 ohms" (or something like that) then you plugged it into the 4 ohm jack

Are you going to actually build a head two, as in the box/ enclosure?
#10
Quote by guitarcam123
In the pic you said, "connect to the amp output, the correct one being 8 ohms" (or something like that) then you plugged it into the 4 ohm jack


there's no 4 ohm jack on my amp head, just two 8's and a 16.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#12
they're wired so you can run two 16 ohm cabs at once by plugging them into both 8 ohm jacks.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#13
this is a pretty cool tutorial, and simple too. ive been looking at getting a low wattage tube amp but i cant afford a cab right now also. if i get a new head ill do this to my 2x12 combo.

i have a question though that i know some of you electronics wizards should be able to answer no problem.

can you wire up a switch so that in one position youre connecting the speakers to the built in amp and in the other position the speakers are connected to the input jack? maybe even a three position switch that allows you to play through both amps for two guitars through one set of speakers?
#14
i personally don't know how to do that off the top of my head, i kind of have an idea, but if i'm wrong and you turn your amp head on with no speaker load it'll fry something.

if you take it over to the ultimate wiring diagram thread your question will probably be answered quickly.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1019006
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#16
"Don't use an instrument cable"

Oops... Oh well, mums bf's fault... He uses instrument cables to hook up his Marshall Valvestate stack =s

Anyway, cool thread... I'd try it, but the head I'm about to get is 120watt valve (lol, like you referenced =D) and my only combo amp is a 10watt laney. D= Looks like I'll have to use the old 1965A cab sitting in my room... What a pitty =P
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#17
Quote by Jesstaa
"Don't use an instrument cable"

Oops... Oh well, mums bf's fault... He uses instrument cables to hook up his Marshall Valvestate stack =s

Anyway, cool thread... I'd try it, but the head I'm about to get is 120watt valve (lol, like you referenced =D) and my only combo amp is a 10watt laney. D= Looks like I'll have to use the old 1965A cab sitting in my room... What a pitty =P


That would be a horrible situation.

Sell the 1965A and buy a higher wattage combo.
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#18
Good Job Mikey good job.
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#19
Quote by TheBuddhistPalm
this is a pretty cool tutorial, and simple too. ive been looking at getting a low wattage tube amp but i cant afford a cab right now also. if i get a new head ill do this to my 2x12 combo.

i have a question though that i know some of you electronics wizards should be able to answer no problem.

can you wire up a switch so that in one position youre connecting the speakers to the built in amp and in the other position the speakers are connected to the input jack? maybe even a three position switch that allows you to play through both amps for two guitars through one set of speakers?

dpst switch.
if you want, you can use a on-off switch from either the jack leading to the wire of the other option (amp) and have the dpst selected to (in this case) the amp. I'll upload some diagrams in a few minutes (forgive the crudness, it's being done up in paint)

edit: crap, I'm smoking crack or something, dpst would work thought. sorry about that.


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Last edited by Wicked Rose at Mar 2, 2009,
#20
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#21
Quote by deftonesordie
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that was probably meant for the Jim thread
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#22
Quote by TheBuddhistPalm
this is a pretty cool tutorial, and simple too. ive been looking at getting a low wattage tube amp but i cant afford a cab right now also. if i get a new head ill do this to my 2x12 combo.

i have a question though that i know some of you electronics wizards should be able to answer no problem.

can you wire up a switch so that in one position youre connecting the speakers to the built in amp and in the other position the speakers are connected to the input jack?
this is not a great idea. it would be easy to have the switch in the wrong position and have no speaker connected to the amp you were using at the time. Tube amps can have catastrophic failures if you run them with no speaker connected, so if you had a tube head plugged into this and the switch was in the wrong position ...


Quote by TheBuddhistPalm
maybe even a three position switch that allows you to play through both amps for two guitars through one set of speakers?
absolutely NOT.

Running the output of two amplifiers together like that is a recipe for disaster. You'll almost certainly damage one if not both of the amps. If anyone suggests you do that, kick him in the balls and spit in his face.
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#23
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
this is not a great idea. it would be easy to have the switch in the wrong position and have no speaker connected to the amp you were using at the time. Tube amps can have catastrophic failures if you run them with no speaker connected, so if you had a tube head plugged into this and the switch was in the wrong position ...


absolutely NOT.

Running the output of two amplifiers together like that is a recipe for disaster. You'll almost certainly damage one if not both of the amps. If anyone suggests you do that, kick him in the balls and spit in his face.

*shifty eyes* oh, and I was reffering it a an experiment, not a proven and great idea. personally, if I'd ever do that I'd have it done with cheap solid states.
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Ahahaha TS just got gobsmacked.
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#24
Wow what a great thread.Seems like you got a handle on the combo to cab thing.Heres my question.what if you had three speakers? how would you set that up?lets just say that the ohms match (8) and you have two 12" and a 15" and you want to rip the head from a 75 watt combo(solid state) and have it power a cab with these speakers?can this be done? by the way the speakers are rated at 100 watts.
shut up an play yer guitar
#25
that's kind of tricky wiring up 3 speakers of the same impedance.

three 8 ohm speakers wired in series = 24 ohm load
three 8 ohm speakers wired in parallel = 2.67 ohm load

it'd be much easier to do two 4 ohm speakers in series (8 ohms) then wired in parallel with an 8 ohm speaker = 4 ohms

or

two 8 ohm speakers in series (16 ohms) then wired in parallel with a 16 ohm speaker = 8 ohms
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#26
Im sorry man im a noob. i dont know what that means. whats the diff between series and parrallal?i just want to be louder and still get the super clean sound from the rick head.
shut up an play yer guitar
#27
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
this is not a great idea. it would be easy to have the switch in the wrong position and have no speaker connected to the amp you were using at the time. Tube amps can have catastrophic failures if you run them with no speaker connected, so if you had a tube head plugged into this and the switch was in the wrong position ...


absolutely NOT.

Running the output of two amplifiers together like that is a recipe for disaster. You'll almost certainly damage one if not both of the amps. If anyone suggests you do that, kick him in the balls and spit in his face.

thanks for the answer, it helps to hear it from somebody you trust.

its a little bit disappointing to hear that though... but it just give me a NEW question!

can you connect the wiring so that it is easy to connect and disconnect. that way, should i decide to use my solid state amp again, i could disconnect all the wires and reconnect everything without grabbing a soldering iron. i think this would eliminate the danger of turning on the amp with the switch in the wrong position because i would be forced to think about the wires and which ones are connected in order to swtich amps.
#28
Quote by TheBuddhistPalm
thanks for the answer, it helps to hear it from somebody you trust.

its a little bit disappointing to hear that though... but it just give me a NEW question!

can you connect the wiring so that it is easy to connect and disconnect. that way, should i decide to use my solid state amp again, i could disconnect all the wires and reconnect everything without grabbing a soldering iron. i think this would eliminate the danger of turning on the amp with the switch in the wrong position because i would be forced to think about the wires and which ones are connected in order to swtich amps.
absolutely.

- install a jack on the amp part of the combo. it now becomes a "head".

- install a jack on the speaker part of the combo. it now becomes a "cab".

- use a speaker cable to connect the "head" to either the "cab" or a real cab.

- or use that speaker cable to connect a real head to the "cab".

NEVER plug the power cord of a head in, until you have a cab connected to it.

ALWAYS unplug the power cord of a head before you disconnect the cab.


do that, and you'll have total flexibility. and it's very "visual". you don't have to think about what position the switch is in. you can SEE where the cable is connected.
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Quote by Jackal58
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Quote by SK8RDUDE411
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#29
Hello guys

newbie question here.

i have an orange rocker 30 combo. i would like to use it as a cabinet for an orange head

as per the posts above, i have checked that the speaker in the Combo is 30 watts, 8ohms. The Head is also 30watts, 8ohms

the speaker inside the Combo is connected to the Combo's amp section by a 1/4" cable running from the speaker into one of the amp section's 8ohm external speaker outputs. like so:



questions:

1) if i unplugged this cable and plugged it into the 8ohm external speaker output of the Head, will this turn the Combo into a cabinet for the Head?

2) This cable from the speaker however, is too short to reach the Head. Can I extend it with some kind of 1/4" female-to-male extension cable?

I've tried google but i can't seem to find this kind of extension cable for speakers. i've read the posts above about using ONLY speaker cable. so far, i have found only 1/4" female-to-male extension cables for headphones. will these work?

3) Assuming i've successfully connected the speaker in the Combo to the Head, when i use the head, is it necessary for me to power on the Combo as well? If not, where will the speaker in the combo draw power from?

4) Is doing this safe for the Combo and the Head?

Again, apologies for the newbie questions. THANK YOU

Cheers
Jon
Last edited by ltj1980 at Mar 17, 2009,
#30
from the looks of things you could just disconnect the cable from the combo and plug it into the 8ohm jack on your head. turn the head on and jam away.

whatever you do don't turn the combo on after unplugging the speaker, that'd lead to an unfortunate event.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
Last edited by mikeyElite at Mar 31, 2009,
#31
Hey mikeyElite wouldn't it be easier to get one of these speaker to jack coupler ?

(Invalid img)

I just found this
Spinal Tap:
You would, though, if it were playing, because it really... it's famous for its sustain...I mean, you could, just hold it....
Last edited by GozitanThrasher at Apr 27, 2009,
#32
i suppose i've never seen one of those before. i guess for people that aren't handy with a soldering iron that'd be a good solution.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#33
Quote by mikeyElite
i suppose i've never seen one of those before. i guess for people that aren't handy with a soldering iron that'd be a good solution.


Ok I found a better one (more clear and with a brand name lol)

http://www.4electronicwarehouse.com/products/monster/p500-sc.html
Spinal Tap:
You would, though, if it were playing, because it really... it's famous for its sustain...I mean, you could, just hold it....
#34
pretty cool cable. that seems like it'd work quite well.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#35
Great!!!!

Tiny Terror here I come!!!!!
Spinal Tap:
You would, though, if it were playing, because it really... it's famous for its sustain...I mean, you could, just hold it....
#37
could someone explain the diagram from the first page to me??

where do i have to wire + and - wires ??

i want to use a simple 6-pin switch to switch between amp and jack
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#39
Sorry if this thread is dead, but i have some questions. I'm currently doing this to my peavey bandit and i'd like to know two things:

1 - Can i just use the two wires that are attatched to the "head" part to make the cab? These wires were connected to the speaker when it was a combo.

2- if i use the "head" wires, can i just snip them off of the "head", or do i need to do something special?

Thank you!
#40
you won't be able to switch it back (easily) to a combo if you snip the wire at the head. much easier to just use some new wire, unless you never plan on using it as a combo again. if you have no plans of using it as a combo again the "head" wires will work fine.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
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