Craig’s SE-5a … in a yurt … in Mongolia

I don’t know how many guitar amp builders there are in Mongolia, but there’s at least one. He describes some of the complications below!

“About the side shape: I realized that to get what I wanted the combo cab would have to be rather tall and ‘thin’ making it prone to topple over under the right circumstances. The ‘right circumstances’ in our case being a couple of young boys who love to climb and knock things over. So I wanted a wide base but at the same time I wanted the back and front of the amp to show out of the cab; so I made the top the same width as the amp but sloped it out in the back for a wider base. The wider base also allows me to put about ten kilos of weights on the floor of the cab to help with stability.

“It’s got two 10-inch Celestion Greenbacks in it; I would have preferred a couple of 12-inch speakers but here shipping is all about weight and size so I decided to go with the smaller 10s. I get plenty of kick out of them so certainly no problem there.

“The materials are a bit of a mix and match. We can get plywood here but it is thin. So I used Chinese wood glue to glue two pieces of plywood together. Originally I thought, “Hey, I’ll slap some glue down, put the two sheets together and clamp the four corners; that will work just fine. I quickly found out that plywood doesn’t work like that. My wife and I had to scramble to find blocks, books, and tables to set on every centimeter of the plywood to keep them solidly pressed together long enough for the glue to dry.) The result wasn’t factory grade plywood by any means but it was good enough for Hovd, Mongolia.

“I was able to find some Tolex type material at the open market here in Hovd. I picked up three or four meters of that for around US$20. I’m really happy with how it turned out; never having covered a cab before I was a bit nervous about doing that as well.

“I’ve attached a couple of pictures of the amp in our real house (we built it out of sand bags; but that’s another long story.) We’re starting a small recording studio/ business here. “The guitar is a Warmoth “Partscaster”. The combo and the guitar have been almost nine months in the planning. It’s been a lot of fun, and some frustration, putting them together; I have to say I am really happy with the sound I’m getting from them; having assembled everything makes them all the more sweeter to play– a feeling I’m sure you’re aware of.”