Drilling out the four holes needed to mount a Celestion Alinco Gold in a Fender Deluxe Reverb

The goal here is to mount a Celestion Alinco Gold speaker in a Fender Deluxe Reverb amp.  Since the Celestions have four mounting holes, the additional four holes need to be drilled out for the Fender cabinet.  The requires drilling holes in a fairly expensive speaker, but its better than mangling a vintage amp, and I've seen my share of vintage amps with four of the mounting studs cut off.  A lot of people have done this modification to their Celestions and it only requires some careful marking and drilling.  This took me about an hour, although most people probably have done this is a few minutes.  However, in my case, if something CAN go wrong, it generally WILL.  So what follows is what I call the paranoid way to drill the holes, taking no chances.

Click on the thumbnails to see the full-size image

Here is the new Celestion Alinco Gold speaker next to the vintage '56 Jensen that I had previously installed in the Deluxe Reverb.        
Step 1.  Using the Jensen, transfer the hole locations to the Celestion.         
Step 2.  So I'm paranoid and decided to protect the cone.  Using a compass left over from my speaker cabinet building days, I cut a disk of cardboard from a box, exactly 11 inches in diameter, which fits snugly within the gasket.          
Step 3.  Mark the gasket for the cutouts.  The new mounting holes are 3/16" from the outer edge if the basket.  To match the factory cutouts, I made the cutouts roughly 3/8" wide, extending back about 5/16" from the outer edge of the basket.  I did the cutouts with an ExactoŽ knife. Note:  The fiber gasket is hard on blades-- get extras.             
Step 4.  I masked the interior areas of the speaker with paper to prevent the possibility of metal filings reaching the gap.   The right photo shows the speaker finally ready to be drilled.             
Step 5.  Inserted strips of masking tape into the cutouts and marked the locations for the holes.  The right photo shows how I braced the basket and center punched the hole locations.  Then, the pilot holes are drilled from the front side with a small drill bit (not shown).             
Step 6.  The four speaker mounting holes were drilled with a 9/32" bit on a drill press.  The factory holes are not round but if accurately placed, these holes are sufficient.  The metal shards are cleaned off and the paper removed.  Then the cardboard disk is carefully pried out.  That's it. Finally.                    
These photos show the speaker with 8 mounting holes.             
... and mounted in the Deluxe Reverb.             

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Created 13 Jan 2008

Last edited: 03 January, 2013