Hi, I'm new to this forum, but I have been interested in old school Kustom amps since the late 1960s, about 68 through 71, when we were playing gigs in a local band. After looking at the cover of Cosmos Factory CCR, I began realizing that these amps had a certain tone and power that was necessary. Now, close to 40 years later, I have a small collection of early Kustom 200 PA systems, some 100 heads, a couple of 200 watt base heads, and recently I acquired a 1-18-B Kustom cabinet. It is so heavy that you cannot even lift it off the ground. Right now I am in the process of taking off the back cover to see what's inside. (Maybe there is cement in there!) Plugged into a 200 watt bass Cascade color head, it sounds awesome. I would like to know what year the 1-18-B came out, which now I reliaze by looking at this website was part of a 2-speaker column setup with a high-powered head and some type of module to boost power? Any information would be appreciated. The amp I have is black in color, which seems to be more common than the other sparkle colors.
P.S. In 1969, we went to see a professional band that had all custom amps, but they were the 400 series, charcoal gray, and they actually blew the place up, it was so loud!
stevem Messages: 3845 Registered: June 2004 Location: NY
Hi, your 1-18 cabinet was part of the 250 and 500 serise of amps that kustom(now owned by baldwin organ in 1971) put out. The cabinet had a driver made by the eminence speaker company and it was or, is a top of the line driver for back then.
If you ordered a 500 serise amp back then you got a k250 head with two cabinets, and the second cab had a power output section from the 250 head so you had a 250 watt RMS set up with 500 watts peak.
This is not alot of bass wattage by todays standards but you got over twice the clean head room over a K200 serise head out of the 500 set up.The best way to pin down the year of the cabs birth is to open it up, and stamped in ink on the speakers frame or magnet will be a stamping of 67 and then 3 or 4 digets, like 67-7142 or 67-142, the first diget or two being the year and the next two being the week of production of the driver, so your cabinet you have may have been made with in a month or two on either side of that 42nd week of 1971 in this example.Speakers did not sit around too long at the factory before they got stuffed into cabinets!
Steve, thanks for the information. I took off the back cover to discover no cement inside, only one giant speaker facing rear-ward and some heavy duty plywood construction. Also, some very dense particle board or whatever you want to call it, and another set of screws holding the wooden fixture that the speaker is mounted to. I did not take that thing apart because it looks like somebody might have glued and also screwed this thing down to prevent vibrations inside. There was no module or preamp or whatever inside this cabinet that I could find unless it is behind where the speaker is, so this makes me think that this was part of the matched set that probably is long gone by now because I have had this speaker box for over 11 years (that's recent to me). I'm kind of behind the times, or in slow motion, but at least I keep checking all around the local used amp and guitar places in my area and sometimes a Kustom will be hidden in the back, kind of like an old car that has seen better days, but still runs fine. I would definitely be interested to find out where to get that head or an earlier style 400 series head or another entire speaker cabinet so I can rattle the rafters the way they once did. At least it gives me something to do when you hear a car go by that thinks they are playing something loud.
I'm sorry to keep writing things, but my lifelong quest is to also find out who Bruce is, what happened to the Bruce company (Englewood, Colorado) that made amps from 1968 until we think 1972 in limited quantities. I have 3 of these amps, but at the present time only 1 of them is working. There are unique parts inside the amplifier section of the Bruce amps that nobody seems to know about or be able to repair or replace other than use just the speaker cabinets with another head, such as a Kustom or a Fender Showman, which really could make a lot of noise for bass or guitar. I'm sorry to keep dreaming over here, but it was such a fun time being a teenager in the 1960s with these type things on "10" playing some cool songs and becoming weightlifters at the end of the gig at 3 o'clock in the morning. Also, you needed a U-Haul to carry all of this stuff around with you. If you ever wonder what a Bruce amp is, get a copy of the Three Dog Night "Naturally" album with the members of the band set up inside a swimming pool with no water in it, of course, with the Joe Shermi (spelling?), god rest his soul, that had 3 Bruces that he was sitting on and the other 2 or 3 were on the other side. If you look close, you can see the Bruce insignia on the furthest bottom part of the amp speaker column. These had two 15-inch JBL D140F base speakers and two air holes in the front to cool down the amp that was inside the speaker cabinet. When I first bought the amp in 1968, I was unable to drive so my father brought me to get it. With this amp on "2", it drowned out our whole band that was using Fender Twin Reverbs and a Hammond B3 back in the day. I never became famous, only in my own mind, so I got a real day job, and I could always think of those times. Hope I didn't bore you too much about Bruce amps and bygone eras and mysteries of now obsolete, what they call transistor dinosaurs. Thanks again.
(This is all the info that I have on the 1-18B speaker cabinet.. if anyone knows more information please let us know)
The Kustom 1-18B is a folded horn enclosure with a backwards-facing 18" speaker.
It was made in 1972 to 1973.
It was normally used with the Kustom K250-1 bass amp (125 w at 4 ohms)
The dimensions I believe are 51 H x 25 W x 18 1/2 D
Boxed weight is about 165 lbs so the net weight must be around 150 lbs.
The nominal impedance of the speaker was 3.2 ohms.
The power rating of the speaker, I believe, is 150 watts RMS.
According to Steve, the speaker was made by Eminence or Gauss.
Plush also made one of these 18" folded horn cabinets.. theirs was I believe 48H x 30W x 20D
Univox made one also.
If you ever need to ship a 1-18B cabinet, there was a suggestion posted a while back to use ForwardAir.com for terminal to terminal shipping. A 1-18B cabinet (165 lbs) was shipped via Forward air from NY to OK for $65 (in 2004). At that time you could ship up to 150 pounds for $50 terminal to terminal.
terryweasely Messages: 1 Registered: February 2011 Location: Morriston Florida
I used an Acoustic 470 Head with this cabinet and it sounded great. I was in a Contemporary Christian group called Selah out of Ohio in the 70's. On a setting of 3 you could rattle the back wall of the auditorium. I went up to about 4.5 for large outdoor concerts. I have since aquired 2 Acoustic 470's, but have not found a cabinet that can reproduce the sound of the Kustom W cabinet. I was told at the time I purchase my Kustom 1-18 (used in about 1976) that it had a Cerwin-Vega in it. I never dissasembled it so I never found out. I consider it the best Bass guitar cabinet I have ever played through.
sunnhead Messages: 192 Registered: June 2010 Location: Minnesota
I own a 1-1b and it had a 18 inch SRO in it, I put a cerwin vega L-188 in it, sounds pretty tight. I also Own the Acoustic 360/361 rig... that rig is and still is the best 1x18 W cab and amp combo, but Kustom did do a knock out job, plus Kustoms.. just look cooler