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Confused about Emi 1028k speakers

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by King Fan, Jan 12, 2019.

  1. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Our friend Wally and many others sing the praises of the Legend 1028k ALK / alnico / kapton former. Wally points out the kapton gives a higher power rating (30 or 35w depending on which speaker version you look at). So far so good. I don't think I need or want the paper-former version, though they get some love too.

    After that I start to get confused. I guess these were the famous 'blue-frame Emi' in the early-90s reissue Bassman etc., but those are getting scarce and expensive. As of this morning, a random sample, I find zero used listings for this speaker, recent or older, on the 'bay or the 'verb.

    You can find new the '35w' Legend 1028k in a black frame version which I understand is 'assembled in USA' of Chinese parts selling most places for $104.99. So questions:
    1. I can't tell when plain old 'made in USA' ended. Without judging, let's say I want one with US parts. Is there a way to know by date or otherwise?
    2. AFAIK, the other current version is a blue-frame speaker marketed as a 'Fender' speaker rated at 30w. Fender sells these for $139.99. Is there any reason to think they're better, or made in USA, or???
    3. Is there any better place to shop, or other version to look at?
    4. Finally, can anyone suggest a useful online search term? Putting "Eminence" or "Legend" misses listings that folks think are 'Fender.' Putting "blue" or "blue frame" turns up lots of Fender speakers. And so on...
  2. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 6, 2014
    kamloops bc
  3. teletimetx

    teletimetx Poster Extraordinaire

    Jul 25, 2011
    Houston, TX
    Not sure I quite understand your dilemma, but yeah, the link above is where I ended up.

    I got mine brand new at Sweetwater; got a little discount because I call my "sales engineer" direct. He's pretty ok guy. I like them fine. My cost came out closer to $80/each for two, but that was 2 years ago?

    good luck with your hunt.
  4. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Thanks, I maybe didn’t make clear my goal. I’m searching for the best quality at the best price, new or used. Lol.

    I wondered if the brand new assembled in US version was as good as the made in US version and if not, how to tell the difference. Of course if there's a reason to prefer the old vintage blue frames I'm interested in that too. And I wonder if the new $140 'Fender' blue frames are any different than the new $104 Emi black ones.
  5. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    I think maybe when you get up into that kind of price it's time to consider the Weber equivalent when buying 4.....? 10A100? I mean for 400-500 bucks you can buy a used 4 x 10 amp.
    King Fan likes this.
  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    The older blue frame speakers and the 1028 are similar - I think the major difference is the 'K' for kapton former. The blue frame Emis have paper voicecoil formers IIRC which gives them the lower power handling - I have a GA-SC 10 which is the same cone/basket with paper former rated 20 watts.

    The 1058 is the same basket/cone/spider with large ferric magnet, which due to it's mass allows the 75watt rating due to better cooling of the voicecoil.

    Alnico magnets handle heat well, but the small mass of the slug lets the coil heat more.
    JustABluesGuy, King Fan and asnarski like this.
  7. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

    Jan 9, 2011
    Florida Keys
    Another option:

    The 1058 is a very good sounding speaker which sounds similar to the 1028 and can be obtained for quite a bit less.
    jsnwhite619, King Fan and asnarski like this.
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    I don’t know exactly when the Mande in/Assembled in change took place......a number of years ago...4-5?
    I have had the Assembled in speaker in a SC side by side with my ALK’s in my SC’s and I didn’t notice a glaring difference. There is a cosmetic difference in that my old ALK’s are all black while the Assembled in US speakers have a metal construction detail that is silver. The pictures above do not show this difference...and I don’t recall it well enough to describe it other than to say that is a large circular metal part of the construction.
    The Blue Frames used in the early Bassman Ri were ALP’s...paper formers...which were 20 watt speakers. At one time both speakers were offered by Eminence. I never bought them because my applications were such that I wanted the higher capability speaker.
    As for the 1058....I am going to think that it is a bit different on the high end...judging by the fret charts. The ALK has plenty of sparkle for that BF/SF Fender th8ng, and they are very smooth on the high end when dealing with overdriven signal. This is why I started using tame the harshness of my first ?Super .champ that had the OEM Eminence Ceramic that exhibited weak lows and harsh high end.
    King Fan likes this.
  9. King Fan

    King Fan Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Jan 1, 2013
    Salt Lake City
    Thank you all. Yeah, schmee, you're right, a 4x10 multiplies the expense factor. Luckily, I'm thinking about a 1x10 right now, maybe a 2x10 someday.

    Dacious, you nailed it == I hadn't realized the '90s 'blue-frames' were ALPs. That explains part of why I was puzzled for sure. Of course, the Bassman RI at 4x10 multiplies the cost but divides the power handling.

    Re the 1058 I hear you on the magnet mass, power handling, and, Rick, for sure the price. The deal is I'm thinking of replacing a ceramic 10 with an alnico. I'm starting to think I may be an alnico guy. :D And I have several Weber alnicos and an original CTS, and so a different vintage-voiced alnico appeals here.

    And Wally, thanks, that really helps. When the 'assembled in USA' version first started showing up, I read a lot of threads where people thought they were 'made in China', and when that was cleared up, people still assumed they just weren't as good. I haven't (IIRC) seen an actual comparison. I have no problem buying new if buying used isn't measurably better or significantly cheaper.
  10. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    King Fan, prior to the Assembled in USA change and perhaps still, Eminence offered a made in China series of speaker that was priced as were the Weber made in China line.....properly low. IMHO, it is sad that Celesti9n...headquartered in Taiwan....does not price their Mde in China speakers in line with the lower production costs rather than price them as they do. MIC Celestion should be perhaps 30% of what they charge...if they were fair about it. I suppose those labels are worth it?
    King Fan and jsnwhite619 like this.
  11. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 2, 2010
    WRT Celestions from China and UK factories, seems like Celestion kept the new Chinese made speakers about the same price but raised the UK prices considerably.

    My sense is that Weber can spec a cheaply made lower quality speaker at a negotiated price form China, or they could also spec a top quality higher cost speaker and charge more for it.
    Chinese factories can build to pretty much any quality level, but the market for specialty items views MIC as a cheap version, so making an expensive MIC specialty product wouldn't make marketing sense.

    I'm also guessing that Eminence assembles in USA primarily to comfort the majority of buyers who think MIC is lower quality.
    A Chinese worker has the same basic motor functions as an American or British worker, it's only in reputation that they fall short.

    The biggest problem with MIC products is IMO when the US brand specs to the lowest possible price, with a Chinese company that has or subcontracts with numerous factories, and changes the line as they please when they find ways to make the stuff cheaper.
    This results in 1) stuff that is consistently cheap and disposable. And 2) stuff that sometimes just doesn't work at all or breaks very soon because the cheapest price in China doesn't include any sort of quality control.

    Tell the Chinese exec or factory owner that you need X level of quality and you will not tolerate Y level of quality, and you can largely expect to get X in every shipment.

    I would not worry about the newest "assembled in USA" Eminence.
    They do seem kinda expensive though.

    AFAIK Weber frame/ magnet assemblies are made in China too, even their high price speakers.
    King Fan likes this.
  12. bigben55

    bigben55 Friend of Leo's

    May 19, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    Does anyone KNOW what year they switched from the ALP 20 watt paper formers to the ALK 35 watt Kapton formers? My BFSR has 2 form 1999 and 2 from 2003 and I believe they're all ALPs. But I could be wrong.
  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

    Mar 17, 2003
    Lubbock, TX
    Anthony at Eminence would know that.

    Telemnemonics, about 18 years ago I ordered a MIC Johnson speaker out of curiosity....$18.95 wholesale...$38 list price....150 watt cast frame guitar speaker. It came with 6....yes,6 mounting holes. I had to drill for proper 4 hole spacing, but that speaker was the equivalent or better than any MIC China Ihave ever heard. It put the MIC V30’s that I have heard hands down due to the fact that there was no raspy edge to the overdrive sonics. That was a fairly priced MIC speaker, imho. I will agree that Rose Intl simply applied Made in England prices to the MIC Celestions and jacked the prices up on the few Made In England speakers that are still made in England.
    The Emi ALK is $145 list, $105 ‘normal street price’ according to Parts Express, who is selling them for $85....bargain time, imho, for a high quality Alnico speaker whose production still takes place in the USA. Weber’s Vintage Series is more expensive....and back 25 years ago the Emi ranked a very close second to the Weber clones of the original P10’s...and some over the years have come to prefer the Emi. Weber inexpensive Alnicos are MIC, unless I am mistaken.
    telemnemonics likes this.
  14. dannyh

    dannyh Tele-Afflicted

    Jul 1, 2005
    North Texas
    The paper former speakers have an airier, slightly more pronounced top end compared to the Kapton spkrs, ime. You can still find them (orig paper former version) for decent money if you’re patient. I recently got one for around $50 shipped and another for $35.

    As far as finding some via search engine, you’re right, it can be frustrating. I’ve had the best luck just searching for “Fender Alnico 10”. You’ll have some wading ahead of you, but I’ve usually had luck finding them on Reverb and eBay using those search words.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    King Fan likes this.
  15. Rick330man

    Rick330man Tele-Holic

    Jan 9, 2011
    Florida Keys
    I've owned the 102, the 105 and their 12" cousins, the 122 and the 125. In each case, I have found the tones between the alnico and the same sized ceramic similar, but definitely noticed, as Wally pointed out, that the alnico has a little bit of a cut in the highs.
  16. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    For Celestion, they seem to have managed the transition. The MIC Greenback in my Mini Jube, sounds like a UK GB especially with 18months usage.

    Crisp, woody, sparkly upper notes, solid bass. Apart from the difference aged vintage in new, most Vox-philes agree the classic Blue speakers have not suffered either, once broken in.
    King Fan likes this.
  17. jsnwhite619

    jsnwhite619 Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Can't offer anything on the alnico's, but I love the 1058. Smooth is definitely the word I would use to describe it. I've tried it with a 5f2a, 5e3, 5f11, and Pro Jr (running them all through a cabinet with the 1058) and it made everything sound great. And honestly, I've tried the C-Rex and an Alessandro SC-64 with my 5e3 and hated the sound of both of them through it, but the 1058 sounded good with it - way better than either of the other 12" with it. Different, but I could happily live with it. It's a pretty loud & stout speaker though. Don't know what the efficiency difference is with the 1028, but I'm guessing it would be louder.
    King Fan likes this.
  18. BobbyZ

    BobbyZ Doctor of Teleocity

    Jan 12, 2011
    Snellman MN
    The 1058 has a ceramic magnet, 1.5 in voice coil and it's 98.7db, 75 watts.
    The 1028k has an alnico magnet, 1 in voice coil and a 97.db, 35 watts.

    Comparing those specs to vintage Jensen numbers, the 1028K is like a P10R and the 1058 is like a C10N. (I think the C10N has the 1.5 vc like the C12N)

    Sound wise, I have zero idea. :)
    King Fan likes this.
  19. corn husk bag

    corn husk bag TDPRI Member

    May 18, 2016
    Washington State, the wet side.
    You can order the 1028p through the Eminence Custom Shop. I picked some up 3 or 4 months ago. They are actually less money then the Fender BLUE frame 1028k. I ordered through Anthony and had the speakers in less then a week, shipped all the way to Washington state. The speakers are nice!
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2019
  20. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 16, 2003
    Eminence builds stuff pretty much to order. Anthony is a very cool guy and helpful. He's helped me several times with obscure speakers. If nothing else he can tell you tough characteristics like power handling
    King Fan and Wally like this.
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