Customize Your Amplifier cheap!

Okay, I'm not going to show you how to make your amp go to "11", but I've got something that worked pretty well for me in making my cheap-ass Ampeg 4x12 cabinet look cool and expensive for pretty much no money. Seems fair enough. All your money went to gas to get to the last show you had an hour away; I know, I've been there. Anyways, here's a little something I took a risk on, and it paid off pretty well (at least I think it looks cool). Customized wood cabinet made easy.

1. Gathering Materials-
So you've got your goods, right? You've got your amplifier, a utility knife, various levels of sandpaper, if you're lucky an electric sander, a Phillips and a Flathead screwdriver, a plastic cup, a paint brush, an ice cold beer (or six... this could be a while), a pint of black paint, a pint of your favorite (or whatever you have- darker is better) stain. Got em? Good. Crack that beer open, crank up the tunes, and let's do this.

2. Unscrew the excess-
Ok, go around and unscrew all the little things; the handles, the wheels, the little rubber stoppers, the pack piece. We'll get to taking off the screen that covers the front later on. Make sure you put all the screws and such in the cup (hah, and you thought it was for the beer).

3. Go House-
Go house? What?!? Yep. Put a soft cut into the black vinyl surrounding the amp, but be gentile, you don't want to put a gash in what is going to be your new exterior! A little bit of a mark won't matter, that thing is going to be sanded down like no one's business. Rip that shit off; let the beast in you come out. But before you do, play around with the screen in the front; for me, the Flathead screwdriver worked pretty well in popping it out, but I know most cabinets are different.

4. Sanding time-
This is when it begins to be a pain in the ass. Chances are, if you're doing this, your guitar cabinet sucks. That being said, your guitar cabinet is probably plywood or particle board, which sucks, is extremely rough, and looks like shit. This is why I recommend the darkest stain you can get. Start with your roughest sandpaper and grind the shit out of it, side by side. Just imagine that you're using a cheese grater to the face of that kid that shat in the brown paper bag and switched it with your lunch in junior high. Crack open that second beer.

5. Is that baby smooth as butter? Ok, time for some painting-
Here's what you do; put a coat of stain on it. Don't forget to stain the back piece (like I did). You're going to probably slab five or six coats on this beast to really give it a good look. If you're painting in a dry hot area, it should dry for a few hours between each coat. This is perfect time for beer three, four, five...

6. My more custom touch (optional)-
Ok, well I thought this was a nice additional touch, but you don't need to. On the insides of the cabinet, around the screen, I painted it black to make the white rubber piece that surrounded it stand out. I did two coats. I also took off the "Ampeg" logo to make it not obvious that it was shit.

7. Waiting, reconstruction-
Give it a day or two to dry and put the hinges, wheels, screen, etc. back on. Now rock that sucker like it's no one's business.

DIY Guitar cabinet save money

DIY Guitar cabinet save money


There; now you're a rock God. Go blast em' away and buy some new strings while you're at it with all that new saved money.

No comments: