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Speaker Cab for Harmonica

Back to the Gear Room

Nov 23, 2009 4:45 AM GMT

I should be receiving an old DuKane PA amp head any day now. It is about 50 watts, has been wired for 1/4 inch input and output. It is from the fifties, and the schematic is very similar to a Fender Tweed Deluxe. It was Joe L here who helped me to figure that out. Thanks, Joe! I don't have any separate speaker cabinets. Since most of my gear is more oriented towards guitar, I was thinking that I'd like to get a speaker cabinet optimized for harmonica. So, what do you recommend? Several small speakers, one large one, or something else?I'm probably not buying this cabinet right away, but I'd like to settle on what I want, so I can keep an eye out for it.

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Nov 23, 2009 4:45 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

<a href="" target="_blank"><img src="" border="0" alt="DuKane"></a>

Nov 23, 2009 4:47 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

The previous post was an attempt to post a photo. It seems that I forget how to do it here.

Nov 23, 2009 4:54 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Try this press HTML button below and then Paste your code in. Resize the image to fit.


Now your turn. hey that looks cool!!

Nov 23, 2009 4:12 PM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Chris --

Thanks! It does look cool and I may receive it today!

Nov 24, 2009 6:19 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Thanks! Just checked out Coyote Cabs and they have a very nice looking product. I was sure I'd be getting that old PA amp today, but no luck. Maybe tomorrow!

Nov 24, 2009 4:26 PM GMT
ron a Replied:

I am currently using a 12 inch Jensen jch-12/70 (70 watts handling) guitar speaker a milk crate, with high density seat foam (like motorcycle) stuck into the back and rubber tool box matting covering the holes in the sides. I pulled it out of one of my twin 12 amps and it sounds great for no money. I have two and they sound good together with increased volume and the ability to place them wherever you want. I drape a black cloth from walmart..$2.50 worth..over it at the gig. Because they are milk crates, i carry cables in them so they can serve two functions at a gig. I hate heavy cabinets and these are extremely light by comparison. It gives me the sound of two 12s with little extra weight..just the speakers...added to normal gig stuff. I also play congas/bongos/trumpet/bass and guitar, so my aversion to weight carried may be higher than The tone is whatever I want it to be.

Nov 25, 2009 3:51 PM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Available from some retailers but a little pricey are Egnater 12X1 Cabs. Tried one at the local Music store with an Egnater20w head and I want one. Sounded great.

Heard a bit of noise about EarCandy cabs as well on the web.

Hey Ron, while I understand the want to keep the wieght down, I'm a little suprised that the milk crates sound any good. I do beleive you just a bit suprised. I thought cab designwas high art and an exact science.

Nov 26, 2009 6:47 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I think that Ron's milk crate cabs sound cool .. and I could see them morphing into a cool new boutique product. I received the amp today, but wasn't able to check out the sound because the amp that I thought had an external input didn't have the right kind. So, it may be Monday, but I hope to sneak over to give it a try this weekend.

Dec 01, 2009 9:10 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

I hate 12'' speaker, especially 2x12''. Now Jenson 10' is in my amp and it's good. Wanna amp with 2x10 or one amp with10, and one with 2x5 (great phil jones cub aag-100!)

Dec 04, 2009 4:56 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

The Egnater products sound great for guitar, did you try one with harp, Chris?

Has anyone every bought a cabinet made for bass guitar that has four, six or eight 8 inch speakers? It seems like it might be fantastic for harp ... but I'm not sure that I want to be the first person to try, and we have no large guitar stores on this island where I can test it.

Dec 04, 2009 7:29 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

It's pitty that there're no amps with differen speakers (except harpgear 50 1012). Why there is 4x10 but no 12+10+8"? It need more complex electronic scheme to allow speakers to play at the same volume orsome mixer for speakers, but it seems it can worth it.12'' give great bass, but very muddy lowmids and lack of highmids. 8'' has a lack of bass, but greatest high mids and highs. 10'' is optimum but anyway it seems that it can sounds better. It's good idea to use two amps, but it's heavy to take to gig...

Dec 04, 2009 4:50 PM GMT
walterharp Replied:

An alteranative would be to buy a weber cabinet. That would give you more variety of speaker choices. Many of the top botique harp amps use weber speakers now

Also, you could, with a little creativity, use two cabinets (e.g. 2, 2x10s) and put different types of speakers in each. Then you could seperate them and get some of the benefits of a two amp set up (the sound wave seperation) as well as the benfits from mixed types of speakers

Dec 04, 2009 5:13 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

An amp Paul Oscher used for many years for harp was one he got (and still uses) while he was with Muddy, and it was during the time Muddy had an endorsement deal with Guild, where they outfitted the band with guitars and amps (but of course, no harps, drums, or keyboards) as part of the deal and Paul used a Guild Thunderbird. There are several versions and the one he had was the big one that had a 12 and a 10 and that thing sounded awesome for harp.

Dec 05, 2009 2:44 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

BBQ Bob -- That's a cool bit of history regarding the Guild amp and the Muddy connection. I tried to look those amps up, and there wasn't that much information, but something I found led me to think that they might have had an 8 and a 12. I'm not sure, though.

I may be looking online at cabinets tonight.

Dec 05, 2009 4:27 PM GMT
Barbeque Bob M Replied:

They had two versions of this amp and that's why I mentioned Paul had the larger version of the amp. the smaller one had a 10 and an 8, the bigger one, which is much rarer these days, had a 12 and a 10, which Oscher owns. These have been out of production I believe since the late 70's.

Dec 06, 2009 2:17 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

BBQ Bob --

Not another cool amp on my list of "buy if you ever find one"! It's a long list!

Dec 06, 2009 6:11 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

It is a temporary solution, but I found a cool old 6 inch speaker in a metal enclosure on eBay for about $25 shipped. It wouldn't be able to handle the full fifty watts of the PA head, but assuming the speaker works, I'll be able to test the amp. I really bought the little speaker because I have this little one watt amp in a pedal enclosure, and a self-contained six inch speaker is perfect.

Dec 06, 2009 7:57 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Hey Drew I did try the Egnater Cab with the 20W Egnater Head with harp and I got the impression that it would make a great harp setup. I may not be the most experiencedAmp head here as I have used Line 6 stuff allot. I also tried an orange 1X12 cab which didn't sound any near as good as the Eganter. Also I tried the Orange Tiny Terror with the Engater Cab and it sounded alright butthe Orange head isa one trick pony in my estimation. I beleive the Egnater stuff to be real quality to my ear but I have not tried allot of different harpamps.

Dec 06, 2009 9:42 PM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Well, I just read and learned a whole lot more about Gibson amps ... maybe one is on the list with that Guild, some Fenders, a Marshall (for guitar) ...

I can't wait to hear more about that Egnator for both guitar and harp.

Dec 09, 2009 1:29 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

So Joe, Whats the word on the Egnater Rebel 20 for harp?

My first reaction when I tried it was to pick it up and start running. Want to know if I should have done that.

Dec 09, 2009 5:56 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I have a funny feeling that it will turn out to be a cool harp amp.

Dec 11, 2009 5:10 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

I've 100% shure that 1x12, 2x12, 4x12 and 1x15 don't fit harmonica. They are muddy. Some amps are better with 12 speakers, but anyway they don't have enough high mids, that gives edge for harmonica tone.
So it seems that I need 12+8 or 12+10 (heavy!) or 10+8 or 2x10 or 2x8 (lack of bass I suppose). Which one? Does anyone try all this configs?

Dec 11, 2009 7:24 PM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Boris --

That's a great question, but in addition to the configurations based on size, the brand and type of speaker undoubtedly plays a huge role. We may never settle on the perfect configuration for harmonica, but I'd love to hear from anyone who's tried a bunch!

Dec 12, 2009 1:47 AM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:


AFAIK, Most harmonica players prefer Weber and (rarely) Jensens. Let's speak about good speakers, no cheap celestion.

Dec 13, 2009 6:30 PM GMT
mike w Replied:

I would suggest (and I prefer) a 1-10" X 1-12" speaker set-up. My favorite combination is a Eminenece Rajun Cajun and a Eminenece Governer.

You won't beleive the bottom end.


Dec 13, 2009 6:49 PM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Cool options. Wezo, you're suggesting a single 10 with a single 12, right?

Joe, have you seen a 2 X 8 cab? That sounds very cool to me.

I feel as I do with many musical things -- so many options, I want to try them all, but since I live in the middle of the Pacific, I can't without buying them all, and I won't do that!

Dec 14, 2009 8:19 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

Hm... Tastes differ. One tell that 10+12 is better, other that 2х8

Doеs anyone try 12+8 cabs?

Dec 14, 2009 10:18 PM GMT
mike w Replied:

Yes ..............a 10 and a 12 together. That's what you need ! 8s don't project very well in a gig situation.


Dec 15, 2009 3:33 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

For me, the cab would primarily be for the PA amp. I may wait a while to get one, although I am very tempted by Wezo's creations. In the meantime, as I wrote below, I had bought a little vintage six inch speaker in an old metal enclosure (supposedly it was for ham radio, but I picture it in an old time police car). In any case, I finally was able to test the PA amp with this little old speaker today. It was probably the size of the speaker, but it sounded horrible with guitar, although I did detect some nice natural overdrive. I suspect that this amp will be great for guitar with a real cab. When I plugged in a mic, it was a totally different experience. The amp and the tiny speaker sounded awesome with harmonica. It was old school warmth, a little natural overdrive, just lovely.

The metal enclosure is built like a tank. I haven't figured out how to take it apart to get a clear view of that wonderful little speaker inside. I'll try to figure it out, or punt and take it to the tech when he rewires a mic, and let him open it up. It doesn't matter what brand or type it is, because it sounds good, but now I want to know!

Dec 15, 2009 2:02 PM GMT
Boris Plotnikov Replied:

So sweet cabs and amps, but first I have to buy a car. Even Pro Junior make me tired while go to club by bus. Anyway, hope I'll try it.

Mike, is it normall to make just a cab and put speakers in parallel? Or I need some mixer to work with speaker balance?

Dec 15, 2009 7:17 PM GMT
mike w Replied:

Try and make sure that when you get a cab for your speaker/speakers that it is deep enough. During our research, we found that the deeper the cab the better. Our combo measures about 12". Some of the Avatar and Avatar type cabs are as much as 14". Those things are ideal for "throwing" the speaker sound real good. You'll also get more bottom end that way, in my humble opinion.

Sounds like you're really doing some good research before you buy something. That's always good.


Dec 15, 2009 7:25 PM GMT
mike w Replied:

I've added a pic of our "Big Ass Speaker Cabinet" that we use to audition speakers to my pictures. Stop by and have a look.

8" long by 6" tall by 14" deep. Each speaker is in its own 14" X 14" X 14" box and is semi closed in the back.

Dec 15, 2009 8:24 PM GMT
mike w Replied:

What I meant to say was --the cabinet-- 8' long X 6' tall X 14" deep.



Dec 29, 2009 1:18 PM GMT
bluesmandan Replied:


Here's a pic of a cab that I made to accompany my Bogen 50 watt... It is a closed back design with 2 old Hammond 6x9's with whizzer cones on top and 2 10" Jensen MODs on the bottom... After a few speaker swaps with the 10" this has been the best sounding combo with pleasing gritty tone and buckets of cut through the mix volume...

Pardon the dust(mojo flakes), this stack is a beauty to both see and hear...

Dec 30, 2009 6:07 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

Dan --

Looks like a hot red custom JT-30 on top, too. I bet that PA amp head and speaker rock together, and I suspect that it'd sound good with guitar, too.

Looking over this thread, I realize that I never noted that I finally got that little metal speaker enclosure open and there is a single little (5 1/4 inch I think) Quam-Nichols speaker in there, based on the speaker code on it. Quam is still around, and if I understand correctly, made some of the speakers for Gibson amps long ago. My speaker is a '48 or '58.

Jan 01, 2010 1:38 AM GMT
Chris C Replied:

Hey Dan that rig looks unique and awesome. 50 watts is a big rig for harp. I wouldn't turn it on near that glass cabinet. Someone wouldnt be happy.

Jan 04, 2010 3:06 PM GMT
bluesmandan Replied:

Chris C...

You are correct bout the cabinet... Fired it up for a quick mic test drive near the curio and anything near or above mid volume and the thing begins to vibrate and reminds me of the old Memorex commercials. Was a good time watching my wife's face as she passed through the room with that unnapproving glare on her face...

Jan 14, 2010 12:39 AM GMT
Andrew T Replied:

50 watts is a lot of power for harp. The infamous Little Walter tone was achieved by oversaturrating low wattage guitar amps. I've been playing through a Fender Blues Deluxe Reissue with no mods and it sounds great in one room but feeds back like crazy when I try to push it in the other rooms in which I jam and gig. I'm thinking about ging with a lower watt amp in the future. I don't know...

I've read that 2x10 and 4x10 produces better tone for harp than do 12" speakers...

Apr 14, 2010 6:09 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I still don't have a cabinet for harp ... and probably won't get one because I wound up addressing some of the very cool suggestions here by buying a cool old Voice of Music amp (about 4 watts) with two 8 inch speakers. I hope for it to be an awesome harp amp.

Meanwhile, I did test the Dukane PA amp posted here with my friend's 12 inch speaker cabs. While it is a perfectly respectable harmonica amp, it is a great guitar amp, with sweet overdrive. So, the cab I eventually get has switched from harp-focused to guitar-focused. I found noted on the schematic that this amp has ten watts of output, but it sounds louder.

Jun 23, 2010 4:21 AM GMT
Maka M Replied:

Welcome to the dark side..........

Cabs are a great place for GAS to take over your life!

I've got a 10" combo tube amp that I run alone or with an extension cab. I've got a 2 x 8" suitcase cab (with vintage speakers) and a 4 x 8" bass cab for this rig.

I've also got an old 5W tube amp from a '60's electric piano that I run into a pair of towers, each with six (yep 6) 5"x3" speakers. I've also got a suitcase cab with 2 x 6" speakers for this amp.

And a Smokey amp that is mounted in a home built cab with a 6" vintage speaker for busking.

And if I really want to be silly, there's also a 4 x 12" guitar cab, a 2 x 15" bass cab , and a pair of 300W PA speakers laying around. The Smokey into the 2 x 15" bass cab is really earning its money!

Can't have too many cabs!

Jul 31, 2010 4:56 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

I haven't been around for a while, so it was fun to find this thread alive. I did find a great speaker cabinet for my Dukane PA.


Jul 31, 2010 4:58 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

It is an extension speaker for an old Bell and Howell Filmosound film projector. It has its original 12 inch Jensen speaker from 1956.


Jul 31, 2010 5:00 AM GMT
OrthodoxBlues Replied:

This combination sounds great with harp, maybe even better with guitar.

The previous owner was way optimistic with the wattage ... it says right on the schematic on the bottom of the amp ... it is ten watts, which is far better for my purposes.

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