Fender Rumble 350 Bass Combo Repair and Modification

I can’t help but think that this is not a real Fender, but “Fender Bass Amplification” is the nameplate on this unit, not the cursive Fender logo seen for decades.  This unit is very versatile, works better than most bass combos, but just screams “Designed and Manufactured In China.”

A lot of ‘motor noise’ came from one of these loudspeakers in this Fender Rumble 350 bass combo amp.  The owner said, while we were at it, could we wire this unit so that it could be used as an external cab, driven by another unit?  The UnbrokenString Crew said, ‘Sure!  Why not?’

 

If you listen closely, you can hear the warped voice coil rubbing against the magnet gap inside the bad loudspeaker.

Access to the inside of the cabinet is accomplished by removing the loudspeakers.  We are using an electric screwdriver to drill a pilot hole for a switching Neutrik connector that will allow this unit to be used as an external cabinet.

This Forstner bit is just the right size to clear the body of the connector.

Using the pilot hole, we can cleanly cut through the Tolex and into the wood cabinet.  The scratches in the Tolex were not part of this project.

Yes, this looks like a hole to me.

We will replace both Chinese loudspeakers with a matching pair of 200 watt ea. bass guitar loudspeakers.  The original loudspeakers were rated for 75 watts each, which is strange considering that they were tied to a 350 watt amplifier.  The bass loudspeakers have a different hole pattern, so we are drilling new locations for the Tee nuts.

These Tee nuts have little barbs that help keep them in place.

I am using this clamp to squeeze the Tee nuts into the drilled holes in the baffle.

 

Now we can begin wiring this unit up.  The black and white pair connect the two loudspeakers in parallel.

The red and black wires come from the power amp in this unit.  This Neutrik connector will disconnect the power amp when an external amp is connected to the cabinet at this port.  The soldering is done outside the unit.  BTW this is a Neutrik NL4MD-V-S.  The mating connector, an NL4FX, was supplied to the customer for his own wiring.

That looks pretty nice, in spite of the marks in the Tolex.

The new loudspeakers are in place and this unit is ready to test!

Thanks for reading all the way to the end!

CONTACT – David Latchaw EE
281-636-8626

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