Wired 2×12

I finished wiring my jury rigged 2×12 speaker! I even plugged it in last night and it worked! I then plugged in my 1×12 speaker and both worked together. The 2×12 has two 16 ohm drivers and I think I successfully wired them in parallel, so the speaker should be 8 ohms. I also wired a second jack (which I think is correct, but I’m still nervous) so I can connect my 8 ohm 1×12 speaker in parallel, so together they would be 4 ohms. My Frenzel Super Sportser Champ head has a switch for 4, 8, and 16 ohm speaker output, so I just have to make sure I’ve got the right ohm setting for whatever speaker configuration I’m using.

The interesting thing is how different the sound is between the two speakers. Admittedly this was all done after my kids were in bed, so the volumes were very low. But the 1×12 had a lot more bass and presence. The 2×12 was more airy and had less presence. I presume a big part of that is the speakers. The 1×12 has a Celestion Vintage 30 while the 2×12 has some old Ampeg 12 inch speakers.

However, it also could be the differences in the speaker cabinets. As you can see from the pictures in my old post here, the 1×12 is open back and solid pine. But there is a lot of wood with a small 5 inch space in the back. In contrast, the 2×12 is just the old Raven RG100 plywood cabinet with an almost completely open back and a 4 inch wide opening the length of the front.  I also have only two bolts per driver in the 2×12 holding the drivers in place.

I’ll probably turn this 2×12 into a closed cabinet with some scrap plywood. It won’t be pretty, but I will report back on how it changes the sound!

I’ll also include pictures in the next few days.  As well as a specific description of how I actually wired the 2×12. I’d hate to blow a speaker or my amp head!  Your advice and help will be greatly appreciated!

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Band Practices

I think it is becoming painfully obvious that I do not know what titles to use for regular band practices.

Anyway, we had one Sunday night and it was really nice. We only played for an hour, but we got through two new songs and rehashed an old one. I must say that this whole process has been very exciting! Learning music and trying to figure out what sounds best for each song has been a great experience.

Now if I could just find time to practice!

Spring Reverb Potential

In taking apart the Raven RG100 I presume I have stumbled upon a spring reverb.

Knowing nothing about the actual mechanics (other than the fact that a spring is involved), I may try to put this spring reverb apparatus into an enclosure and turn it into an effects pedal with a foot switch. Hee hee. This could be fun! We’ll see what happens with this little potential project.

2×12 postponed

I think I figured out the 2×12 speaker cabinet (thanks to some help from the internet and internet friends!), but after I got everything organized and ready to put together, I didn’t have any solder for connecting the drivers to the jacks. Oops.

So here’s a pic of when I only had one driver in the cabinet after I took out all the guts.

Roadie

Tonight my daughter told me that she wanted to play a game with me. I agreed.

She then proceeded to describe her character as this amazing singer who had written amazing songs and was world famous and was loved by everyone…including me. My character was to be a person who had grown up admiring her character. I had worked really hard my entire life to be able to be her assistant and now I was.

I told her she sang wonderfully.

She thanked me.

Then she told me I should try harder to play the keyboards, drums, guitar, and bass better. “Don’t give up!” she exclaimed. “You can do it.”

I don’t know what all of this means, but I did not find it flattering.

2×12 project

This evening I began dismantling the Raven RG100 I got out of the dumpster from my local guitar shop. The speakers are gone and I assume it doesn’t work at all. I want to finish taking out the guts, throw in the two Ampeg 12 inch drivers I’ve got, and turn it into a 2×12 speaker cabinet until I have found some wood to build a closed cabinet for these two 12 inch drivers/speakers.

I tried to put the two drivers in, but the Raven’s mounting screws were not equi-distance. They must be in some proprietary configuration. Only two were directly across from each other, so I took out the rest and used those two to put the drivers in the cabinet. There is a lot of open space in this cabinet now that I’ve also removed the amp. It is an open back, so I may cut out some plywood to make it closed back.

The one cool thing I found inside the amp was a spring reverb. Maybe I’ll take that out and put it in a pedal!

Only now I’m wondering just how bad the Raven RG100 is broken before I truly trash it. The only problem is I can’t find any information online about what ohms the speakers need to be for the 100 watt amp. Oh, and the other problem is that I can’t figure out what wattage the Ampeg 12 inch drivers are rated for. I know the Ampeg 12 inch drivers are 16 ohms. I know that the speaker out on the Raven RG100 is 4 ohms, but what ohms rating were the combo cabinet speakers. Raven’s user manual is not very helpful and I haven’t found any blogs or discussion groups with more detail. I’m hoping to at least find someone who replaced the speakers in one and described it online, but haven’t yet.

I’ll get pictures soon!

One Song in the Can

Her Lovely Trees came by this evening for dinner and band practice. We had a great time! She brought her boy friend, who was awesome! He was very low key about his abilities and played bass for the one song we did of hers while I played guitar. Then he hopped on guitar and we played one of his originals. It was a rocker! He also got a great dirty distortion sound out of my Wolverine guitar, Frenzel amp, Marshall Guv’nor plus pedal, and EHX Holy Grail Reverb pedal. I won’t let my two year old mess with the settings any time soon so I can try to recreate it.

Anyway, we took about an hour to have dinner and chat when they arrived at 5. Then we plugged in and spent the next hour going over her Rain song. Here are my notes:

C D – hold D one extra measure at end

C E A G

E A G F (crescendo)

C B D G

C E

That’s the song. Her Lovely Trees was on piano and sang. I was on guitar playing chords. Her boyfriend was on bass alternating between interesting bass lines and following the root note. My wife was on drums. It took quite a few tries for me to be able to play it all the way through without messing up (I am the weakest link here), but we did it.

We chatted a bit more and they were out the door at 7:20.

After they left my wife said she was still pumped with energy from how much fun she had! We put the kids to bed, straightened up the house, and started to unwind for the evening in the next hour.  This is what I call a successful night!  It would’ve been nice to work on a few more songs, but we didn’t. We had fun. We worked on the one song till we got it figured out. Then we played one of his songs. Then we called it an evening. It worked well with the kids and it worked well for us. We did what we could with what we had and didn’t try to get o

This was a good reminder that I need to remember moderation. We could’ve kept playing for hours into the night, but that wouldn’t have been good for the kids. That wouldn’t have been good for work tomorrow. That wouldn’t have been good for most of the things going on in life. But if we keep working on it, we’ll make progress one little step at a time!

Live Music Tonight

I saw two bands tonight perform at a local bar. The first band was better than any group I’ve played with, but didn’t capture my attention. The bass player played through the same Peavey bass amp I own, but he had the one with the 10 slider EQ. That made me happy since I like the idea of having all the equipment a band needs to play right here in my own home (my wife just shakes her head at that thought).

The guitarist had a very nice Fender Tele (probably an American Deluxe) and a Mesa Boogie 5:50 Express amp head and matching 2×12 speaker cabinet. It was very pretty.

The next band was Congratulations. I was really there to just get their album for my wife who wasn’t feeling well, but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed their set. The lead singer/keyboardist had a very good voice and sound. He often sounded like Thom Yorke of Radiohead…or at least influenced by him. I watched the guitarist closely to see how his playing interacted with the piano (based on my wife’s suggestions for our current band). I liked his playing, but still feel a bit lost on my own front. Perhaps I’ll figure it out a bit when we get together to play tomorrow.

I walked away from the show with Congratulations’ new and old albums. Overall, a good night.

Inspired

I came home from an exhausting day at work and spent the rest of my energy on the kids. Then I wasted time and brain power catching up on the internet and none of it was really that important. I finished that and wanted to play guitar, but felt too tired and brain dead to do anything.  So I got out a book and turned on the Bettye Lavette/Pine Top Perkins episode of Austin City Limits that was waiting on the ol’ DVR.

Can I just say that Brett Lucas’ creamy white P-90 pickups on his gold top reissue Les Paul was a reminder of how cool some of the modern reissues can be? And then to hear him play with Lavette singing? It woke me up! It made me want to plug my guitar in to my amp and hear it sing.

But the kids are asleep so I ended up playing unplugged. Perhaps I’ll get a chance to plug in tomorrow. Good night.

pseudo-nightmare

I had a dream last night…a nightmare really. A dream about playing the guitar, which is why it turned into a nightmare. I dreamed I was invited to a local high school music festival. The campus was filled with bands and performers set up in every nook and cranny (think SXSW at a local high school). Each band would play for their allotted time and as soon as one stopped, another would start going around and around the campus. The audience was made up of kids, but there were also a lot of people from the community too. It was pretty packed and I got there with plenty of time to set up in my space.

I was doing a solo gig on the guitar. Throughout the whole dream I kept ignoring this nagging feeling that I didn’t have a set list or even a song to play. I set up my amp and put out two guitars on a double guitar stand. I hooked up my pedal board. I had some trouble getting a microphone set up, but finally got that figured out.

The entire time I was setting up different event organizers would stop by to see if they could help and to tell me how excited everyone was to hear me perform. It felt good to hear that I was apparently one of the main attractions and everyone couldn’t wait to hear me. As I was setting up each piece of gear people seemed to get more and more impressed that I was there and what I was using. They commented on how this will probably be one of the best performances of the day.

Only I don’t know any songs. I kept trying to drag out my set up time while I tried to remember songs I could play from beginning to end. Even when I came up with some songs that I could flub through, I couldn’t remember the lyrics and certainly couldn’t sing and play at the same time.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized I couldn’t even perform an instrumental by myself. In my dream I started picturing the awkwardness and humiliation of trying to make up a song or play anything in front of these people.  I just kept slowly setting up and never getting to the point where I was ready to play. I was stalling in my own dream.

I wasn’t afraid for my life. There were no monsters out to get me. Everyone seemed very supportive and happy that I was there. This was not a full blown nightmare that I awoke from screaming into my pillow.

This was a pseudo-nightmare of embarrassment. I felt embarrassed that I had accepted this gig. I felt embarrassed that I couldn’t/can’t perform even one song on my own. I have only performed on the guitar in front of people a handful of times. Twice my law school band played in front of people: a law school party and my birthday party. Twice I have played at work. Once I tried to lead a group of coworkers through Row, Row, Row Your Boat with the lyrics rewritten to address a work issue in a silly way. Once I played a blues riff while a coworker sang at a Talent Show fund raiser. Once I played Happy Birthday in a team meeting/quarterly birthday party. Every time I’ve played on my own I have not adequately practiced, so I was awkward and made a lot of mistakes. But each time I’ve played in reality, it has only been a one song deal or I’ve had someone else to take the lead and cover up my mistakes.

This dream/nightmare was an entire set list of failure.

In my dream I started frantically thinking of people I could call to help me out. Someone who could sing or even play and sing while I backed them up. My first thought was our friend who has come over a couple of times for us to play the songs she has written. But I still don’t know her songs very well and if it sounds like the recordings of our last practice I will hit a lot of bad notes trying to figure out which key each song is in.

Then I thought of my friend who gave me the Snark tuner. He could play a bunch of classic country/western songs and some of his own compositions and I could just follow his lead on guitar. It would be better if I had a bass, but it would be better than nothing.

I woke up looking for an extra microphone still in a panic as to how I was going to pull this off. Dream over…

Anxiety remains.

I have got to learn some songs and get some performance experience under my belt. This whole experience/dream reminds me of an old blog post I read about every guitarist needs to know a few songs they can play for those times that someone asks them to play. Just something that you can play on the spot and be done. Everyone will be happier that you played, but you can stop after a song or two. If you can’t play anything then everyone feels awkward for having asked. And we don’t want anyone to feel awkward or embarrassed. Especially ourselves!