• Ryan

My Steel String Singer #004 Clone is Complete!!

A year and a half in the making! I'm finally done with this endeavor! It's been so much fun doing the research, learning a few new skills (AutoCAD, AutoDesk Inventor, Inkscape, GIMP, finger joints, etc.) I met a few friends along the way too which was nice.

The last thing I was waiting on to come through was selling a few pedals and pickguards so I could afford the JBL D131 per original SSS #004. I found a great deal on a pair of D131s that were pulled from a HiFi system. I read as much as I could about JBL D131 and D120's to try to understand what sort of recone effort was needed. I ultimately decided to go with Speaker Repair Pros out of California. http://www.speakerrepairpros.com/

One thing that stopped me from reconing these myself was the fact that AlNiCo magnets (like the ones in the D131s) tend to lose some strength over time. I did not want to take a chance so I continued to sell a few things to bring the funds in line to have a recone and a magnet recharge. The magnet recharge requires a special machine with some high DC voltage so I determined it was best piece of mind to just have it done.

One thing about the speakers I received from eBay besides they were only 3 serial numbers apart, was that one had the original JBL 21230 cone paper surround cone and the other had a E120 kit installed. This was neat because I was trying to figure out which one I would prefer with my build. At the time, I assumed that I wouldn't be able figure out which speaker cone was installed on SSS #004's. I noticed that light was coming through the E120 kit and then realized that the cloth surround was porous so light shines through! I checked out my stash of #004 pictures and it was easy to confirm that those speakers had an E120 kit installed!! I'm really happy to find that because I was ready great things about the E120 kit, but I was leaning to the traditional D120 paper surround just because that's what Fender used back in the day even though I prefered the tone of the E120 kit. Here is some pictures of the speakers after they were returned from Speaker Repair Pros.

These speakers sound amazing! Compared to Celestion G12-65H speakers, these speakers have an extended bottom range, smooth top end, and extremely responsive. The articulation is a great upgrade too. The G12-65H is an amazing speaker, but these JBLs just extend musical tone in both directions on the frequency spectrum.

Now I'm ready to do a ton more videos on the capabilities of this amp as it was intended by Dumble. Here are some more pretty pictures from a photoshoot I did recently before it rained! haha.... <nervous laugh>

Tone demo YouTube video in 4K!

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We're just beginning to have fun now :-)

-Ryan "The Tone Geek"

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