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How to make an amp cover on the cheap

When the time comes when you need to carry your amp a short distance through a rain shower, you’ll find yourself wishing that you had a nifty means of keeping it dry. You can buy a fitted cover for a tidy sum, or throw something together on the cheap that does an adequate job.

My bass amp

This is my new bass amp – an Ashdown Electric Blue 12-180. You can get a fitted cover for £35 but I’m making one out of a spare Ikea shopping bag that cost 25p.

My bass amp with a bag on it

The bag isn’t deep enough to reach all the way to the ground, but it covers the important bits. Unless the rain is heavy or horizontal, this will suffice. In terms of length and width, it’s perfect. Step one is to snip the handles off of the bag, of course.

Marking where to cut

This is how to cut the bag. The black lines represent the handle (the squares at the ends are where the handle is attached, and the rectangle in the middle is the handle itself) and the white lines are where you should make your incisions.

Checking the cuts

Having made the cuts, check that they are long enough by popping the bag in place and tucking the flaps under the handle. All seems good here. These flaps might be overkill, and if I find that they start to annoy me, I might cut them off. I doubt that it will make any significant difference to the watertightness of this unit.

Reinforcing with tape

Use a bit of electrical tape to reinforce all around the edges, to prevent fraying or tearing.

Finished article


Finished article

*UPDATE: This amp cover doesn’t do much to protect from cats though. If you have a carpet-covered amp, it’s probably best to get a fitted cover from somewhere like Silverstone.*

9 replies on “How to make an amp cover on the cheap”

Yes, the possibilities are endless. As a general rule, with an amp cover you just want something that you can toss over the top, so total waterproofness is not the goal.

I have that amp. It’s good isn’t it?
I used it most recently as an extension to my guitar rig, playing in a guitar/drums combo (bass-less). I used a touch of the octave-down it can provide to make my guitar sound like the voice of God.

It’s a most passable amp. Some people find Ashdown gear to be a bit muddy and lacking in clarity, but I guess it’s all just a matter of personal tone preference. It meets all my criteria though. And if I need more volume, I’ll just plug in an additional 2×10 or something.

I have found that with other people’s Ashdowns that I’ve plugged into, but the electric blue series seems fine, and it’s a lot more convenient than the home-made 1×15 cabinet and head I used to use. It seems to provide a very musical compression compared to previous rig as well. Although it certainly would be muddy if you actually played through it with the eq set as pictured.
FWIW I haven’t ever needed an extension cabinet across a variety of venues including open air Obviously they route me through the PA, but for onstage sound it’s easily enough volume. I was expecting to use the 15 occasionally, but it’s never come up. So assuming you’re not playing > 4 strings, you should be pretty confident that it’ll be enough.

it certainly would be muddy if you actually played through it with the eq set as pictured

Heh, those are my son’s EQ settings. He doesn’t have a clue about decent bass sound. But then, he is only 2.

The version that I have doesn’t include the compressor. Which is a bit of a shame, but I’ll live.

Neither does mine, it’s just something it does. I expect yours does too. The head I was using before was a bit of a Frankenstein effort, not designed for guitar or bass, very transparent but it was actually quite difficult to play through. Good for keys though. It started life as a high-power low frequency generator in a physics lab.
Maybe Bernard isn’t ready to tour with you as bass tech yet. Won’t be long though!

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