Orpheum 700 Circuitry

23 03 2009

A real spaghetti junction!


Point to point wiring.


Just not all that orderly.


Orpheum 700 Speaker

14 03 2009

When I pulled off the back of the Orpheum, I expected to find a Jensen speaker, as I’ve read they originally featured.


But, as can be seen above, it was not to be!


Researching the numbers, it appears that the speaker was made by The Best Company sometime in 1971, which makes it definitely a replacement speaker.


Regardless of who made the speaker, it sounds great! It isn’t as smooth or as clean as a Jensen but in this case, that’s fine since I want a ratty blues grit coming out of the amp and the Best speaker delivers.


I made another unexpected discovery when learning that one of the speaker wires is coming off the large electrolytic capacitator rather than both coming from the output transformer. This can be seen in the photo above as the leftmost cable of the pair of white wires heading off to the speaker.

Popping The Top On The Orpheum

8 03 2009

Time now to crack open the back of the Orpheum and see what lurks behind the 50 year old thin plywood.


Three preamp valves guard the approaches to the tube bank; one Sovtek 7025, one blank ECC83 and one totally blank 12AX7.


The output tubes are a pair of RCA 6V6GT valves and the rectifier is a RCA 5Y3GT. All the RCA tubes are marked “Radiotron Electron Tube”.


Elmore James: It Hurts Me Too

17 10 2008

Cheap guitars and dusty old amps coupled with a masterful slide guitarist, who was also my favorite blues singer of all time, the great Elmore James. A contemporary of Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson II, who didn’t get the chance to make his own recordings until 1953, James recorded this, the second version of “It Hurts Me Too”, in 1961, two years before he tragically passed away at 45. In what sounds like a classic case of Mississippi-style razorblade slashed speakers, just listen to the way that the amp that the guitar playing the bass line is going through is distorting. Blues heaven.