Just performing a little surgery...


...on my old Marshall Lead 12 Micro Stack guitar cabinet.

You'll probably recall an earlier entry about how I scored such a rare beast. In the old entry, you'll see that I had complained about some distorted noise from the 20+ year old cabinet, and that I thought it was related to the potentiometers (knobs and controls). Well, I replaced those, yet the noise remained, which meant only one thing: bad speakers.

I set about researching the speakers that were used in the original cabinet, and it turns out they're about as scarce as hens' teeth. Your only chance of finding original replacements is to find another micro stack and pray the speakers aren't blown.

So, I turned to plan B: a newer model speaker that would still honor the sound of the original cabinet. My search lead me to some "Greenback 10" speakers from a UK company called Celestion. And that's when problem number two presented itself - cost. Each speaker cost $170, new. UGH.

As luck would have it, I was in St Paul earlier this week (work assignment) and was browsing Craigslist late one evening. I stumbled across a very simple posting that read, "Celestion Greenback 10 Pair - never used - new in box - $120."

I immediately contacted the poster and discovered he still had the speakers. I said I would take them, and we made arrangements to meet. He's a fireman for the Minneapolis Fire Department; I picked-up the speakers, paid and anxiously drove back to my house to perform a little surgery.

Here's one of the speaker cabinets, as seen from behind, prior to disassembly.


The speaker cabinets are ported units, meaning there's a small port in the back of the speaker to help improve bass response. The speakers are constructed of 3/4" birch wood and are wrapped in a leather-like material called "Toulex." The backs are designed to come off for servicing; there are 12 screws that hold the back on. Removing them reveals the inner workings of the speaker cabinet.


4 more screws hold the speaker in the cabinet. Removing those allows you to lift out the speaker. Here's a side-by-side picture of the two speakers (new one on the left; old on the right - the new one is considerably more substantial).


I installed the new speaker, paying careful attention not to over tighten any of the screws. The speaker frames are somewhat easy to warp/distort if you over-tighten them. Here's what the new speaker looks like:


I reinstalled the back of the cabinet and repeated the process for the other speaker cabinet. Before long, the stack was done.


I fired things up, and am happy to report that the new speakers sound absolutely superb. They have the perfect tone for classic rock - AC/DC, Ratt, Tesla, Van Halen, Metallica... now if only I could do those groups justice with my playing skills.


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This page contains a single entry by Steve published on January 10, 2014 9:19 PM.

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