How to build a Marshall Speaker Cabinet REPLICA (1960a 4×12)

Tolex the Back Panel

Once patched, you can start the Tolex process. This is time consuming, and I would recommend doing it in a dust free place with plenty of ventilation. The cement fumes are rather strong. I ordered 3 yards of this Tolex and it worked perfectly.

I started with the back panel, and if I made a mistake, it wouldn’t be readily visible. You’ll need about a quart of contact cement for this process. Don’t use regular glue that will harden. This is the contact cement I ordered, and it was very manageable.

Paint the cement on the canvas side of the tolex, and the wood you’ll attach it to. Let both pieces sit for about 5-10 minutes until both sides are tacky. Then apply evenly from one side to another pushing out air bubbles as you go. I wrapped my tolex around the back panel by about 3 inches and then trimmed it to a 1 inch overlap. Tape each side down until the cement dries, just to keep a tight bond. On the corners, make one cut 45 degrees outward, then overlap the two flaps, and make another 45 degree cut through both pieces to give yourself a perfect seam as shown below.

Tolex the Rest of the Body

After getting the hang of things on the back panel, you can move to the body of the cabinet.  I chose to do this with one seam on the bottom, and roll the whole cabinet in one big long piece of Tolex.  I started with the bottom, followed the instructions above, and then moved over to the side, the top, the second side, and then back to the original start.

Now I have all the panels Tolexed, but the sides and corners need to be glued.  This is a slow process that can only be done properly by being careful and deliberate.  The straight sides are easy, but the angle of the slant in the cabinet will naturally create a bubble at that point.  I had to slice across the bubble with a blade, and manually make a small seam there on the point of the cabinet angle.  It’s visible, but only when you look hard.

Install the Marshall 1960a White Piping

After some hard work, and heavy cement fumes, you should be ready for the piping.  I purchased 11 feet of this manufactured by Marshall.  It simply staples in from behind the front lip.  Staple all the way around, and create a single seam in one of the bottom corners.

Wire the Speakers

I didn’t take pictures of this part since everyone’s wiring setup might be different.  There are different methods based on the type of input jack(s) you choose, but the methods are easily found on the web.  One thing that makes assembly easier is using the slip on speaker connectors so that you can wire everything in the cabinet, then as you put the back on, just slip the two or four connectors on their posts and close her up.

I’m assuming you’ve wired your speakers in the frame they sit in currently.  Now we go ahead and slide that frame in the back of the cabinet, and flush with the front lip and white piping you just installed.  At this point, I added a 1×1 strip behind each panel as snug as I could get it to keep the speaker panel in place permanently. Go ahead and install your handles now, as they should slide in the holes and screw in easily.

Finishing Touches on the DIY Marshall 1960a

Next, connect your speaker wiring to your speaker jack, and screw on the back panel.  I used stainless screws and grommets to replicate the look that Marshall uses.  After the back plate is on, turn the cabinet over and screw in your casters or wheels, as well as the corner brackets.  Turn her back over, glue the 11″ Marshall logo on the speaker mesh for the final touch. And, now you have all the information you need for how to build a Marshall speaker cabinet.