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Earlier breakup speaker?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by scout2112, Oct 8, 2018.

  1. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    147
    Nov 6, 2017
    Colorado, USA
    I've seen in various reviews and posts around the internet talking about speaker breakup, I guess as if it's a good thing. To me the term conjures pictures in my mind of the magnet flying out of the back of the amp or something. What is speaker breakup exactly? Is it good? Is it real? I know that speakers sound different at different volume levels, but I can't say if I've heard one break up before.
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    Good speaker breakup is sound that is only slightly naturally distorted but still has the tone quality from your guitar like an extremely light transparent OD.
    Bad speaker breakup is flab or farting of not being able to handle the bass or low mid transients.

    imho
     
  3. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

    543
    Nov 14, 2010
    Santa Barbara
    Yes -- what Uriah said. I don't like speaker breakup since it is volume dependent, and unreliable. I can't use it well, though others can, I guess. I use speakers that will not break up, and generate the tones I want elsewhere in my signal chain.
     
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  4. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    There you go. Some people like it, and some hate it. Some speakers breakup fast and some slow. Some speakers have nice breakup, some sound terrible.

    Just because the internet says something’s good doesn’t make it so. You need to decide for yourself if you like it, and want to use it.

    Trying to use it as a core part of your tone can be very difficult as well as somewhat limiting. IME speaker breakup tends to sound kind of low-fi, not that it’s a bad thing, but that’s not always what one might want. It’s easier to use a fuzz other effects to approximate it when desired.
     
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  5. J-Flanders

    J-Flanders TDPRI Member

    59
    Aug 4, 2016
    Flanders
    Pretty much every guitar speaker you ever heard, at pretty much any volume is breaking up.
    https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/understanding-recording-guitar-speakers
    It's one of those things, where once you heard it,and from that point on know what to listen for, you can never again 'unhear' it, you'll allways notice it right away when it's clearly there.


    It's not so much about early vs late but simply about more vs less.
    At home I'm playing several amps through two cabs: one has a Celestion Eight 15 and the other cab has a 10" Greenback.
    The breakup shown in the frequency response of the Eight 15 (all those wiggly peaks or spikes after 3kHz) is very noticeable and sounds a bit raspy when compared to the smoother tone of the Greenback:

    Eight 15:
    [​IMG]

    Greenback:
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Meister

    476
    Jan 2, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    On the other side of the coin I have an amp which breaks up too soon and have been contemplating a cleaner, more efficient speaker to get a bit more clean headroom. Any suggestions?
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    There are many examples. ... and it depends on your music and your amp. Some (like me) want a fairly clean speaker and low wattage amp so the amp can provide tube saturation and grit. Others want to dirty up a clean amp with an earlier breakup speaker. Old speakers, like the infamous Jensen P10R and some others are small magnet and break up when pushed hard. The beauty of those is they go into a mode called "compression". The volume and power into the speakers reach a point where the speaker cone "floats" and causes smooth sustained sound. (on solos and leads)
     
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  8. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    What do you have now, and what is it’s efficiency?
     
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  9. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Meister

    476
    Jan 2, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    A Weber blue alnico. Not sure of the efficiency. There are actually two amps I'm thinking of trying pairing with it to test. The Weber cab is being used with my son-in-law's Reeves Custom 30. I think the Weber is a good speaker, sounds fine with my DRRI, but I think it's a bad match for the Reeves.
     
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  10. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Mar 2, 2003
    Lawndale CA
    It can be very reliable when combined with output stage saturation. Really good amp techs can "tune" a tube amp where it can be run near the top of its headroom with the guitar controls rolled off 20-25%. I slight "push" from the guitar provides additional clean volume for solos; a little more progressively "slides" the amp into mild saturation and speaker breakup. I've primarily played this way for decades as do most gigging platers around here. Depending on the different sizes/configurations of venues to play, it takes having (usually) 2-4 amps with different output levels (not necessarily ("watts", which are unreliable in comparing comparative loudness) and a good tech that will work with you to really optimize your tone for each type of situation.

    It can make as much - if not more - difference than having guitars professionally set up.
     
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  11. scout2112

    scout2112 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    51
    147
    Nov 6, 2017
    Colorado, USA
    \

    That article was a great read - thanks for the info.
     
  12. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    northwest
    The Emi Red White and Blue is a loud, cleanish speaker and good in low wattage amps.
    The Emi GA SC64 is a great sounding speaker but not quite as clean or loud as the RWB.
    The Weber Silver bell or 12F150 , either in 50 watt or more are good.
     
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  13. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Meister

    476
    Jan 2, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    Thanks, schmee, for the input. I'll see if I can maybe look into those.

    My apologies to the OP. I wasn't trying to hijack your thread. It just seemed like people in the know were responding.
     
  14. JustABluesGuy

    JustABluesGuy Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    60
    Sep 2, 2016
    Houston, TX
    Without knowing the efficiency of your current speaker it’s difficult to make recommendations, but you do need a more efficient speakers.

    Check out the highest efficiency speakers you can in it. Eminence makes variable efficiency speakers that might be useful.

    Good luck!
     
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  15. 1300 E Valencia

    1300 E Valencia Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 13, 2010
    Fullerton CA
    Unfortunately, "headroom" also comes mostly from the amp, not the speaker. An efficient speaker will be a bit louder, but all it's going to do is reproduce whatever's fed to it. A tiny amp, turned up all the way, is still going to be all distorted to heck when hooked up to an efficient speaker.

    If the speaker is also high power, as in a 20 watt amp into a super-clean 100 watt speaker, the reproduction of all that amp distortion will be reproduced with excruciatingly high fidelity. This may or may not be a goal.

    The reason Fender puts a 100 watt speaker in a 22 watt Deluxe Reverb is mostly so you can turn it up all the way and Fender won't get warranty claims for blown speakers.

    If you replace the 100 watt Jensen C12K with the fifty watt C12N, the amp will still distort at the same place on the dial, but the speaker will start to distort at a lower volume. Not much lower, like stage vs. bedroom, but still noticeably more quiet.

    The secret is to balance the place where the amp distorts with the place where the speaker distorts, so you can get the amount of speaker *and* amp distortion at the right place on the dials for the volume you want to play at.
     
  16. sonicsmitty

    sonicsmitty Tele-Meister

    476
    Jan 2, 2012
    Clarksville, TN
    My thought on this was that when I turn my amp to a comfortable playing volume, but there is more amp overdrive than I like, perhaps a more efficient speaker would allow me to attain the desired volume without driving the amp so hard, thus less amp overdrive/more headroom. I'm not expecting a dramatic difference.
     
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