80s Fender ( Eminence ) Special Design. Like or Dislike?

Neptical

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There was also Utah, CTS was also still supplying the square magnet and odd ohmage 4, 32ohm stuff although mostly for SS or non guitar amps. You could still option JBLs in the Rivera era, I've seen a Concert with the grey speaker and badge. And of course the Rivera era 6V6 amps like the Superchamp you could get the EV 10M.

It's true though the 'standard' would have mostly have been Eminence.
Dude, I got you. LOL
Again, I'm just talking the standard Eminence ( 67 code) blue labeled speakers.
I have 5-6 80s Fenders ( all Rivera era ) with these speakers.
Appreciate your response anyhow.
 

Dacious

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Dude, I got you. LOL
Again, I'm just talking the standard Eminence ( 67 code) blue labeled speakers.
I have 5-6 80s Fenders ( all Rivera era ) with these speakers.
Appreciate your response anyhow.
67 is still the code, and many of the current lines have a direct lineage to those 80s speakers.
 

FingerMyFrets

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Yes, I'm under the impression 'Special Design' covers a lot of different speakers. If yours sound good to you, they’re good. If not, I always say 'which speaker' threads are like 'which fiancée' threads. What are you going for here? Weight? Volume? Bass? Chime? Breakup? Touch? Alnico / ceramic? And what amps are we talking about?
This. My special designs in my early 2000s frontman 212r sounded great for cleans but meh for anything else. Got bored of em so I cut the enclosure and turned the combo into a head. Came to realize after that those 2000's solid states actually ain't that bad if they are going through a good quality cabinet. Even the stock overdrive channels sounded pretty good through my 4x12.
 

InstantCoffeeBlue

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Eminence often gets questions on old OEM speakers and can't really provide more than general answers. They can guess based on voicecoil and magnet size but it's not certain because the manufacturer did their own tests and ratings in product development.

Might be worth a try. I recently emailed them about a 10726 model (10" brown/gold label) and got a detailed spec sheet back from them. I've heard they can be cagey about OEM speakers but perhaps it's not an issue if the speaker's been discontinued.

As for the older blue label special design speakers, I think they're ok. I had the 12" version in a Deluxe Reverb. I blew the speaker in it and needed something ASAP to get me through a couple gigs that week. Luckily a local store had one of the OEM Eminence 12"s for like $25 and it did the job. Just sounded a bit dull. Not really enough treble articulation to really sparkle in a BF-style amp, maybe due to the big dust cap. Makes sense that they'd spec a jack-of-all-trades able to handle both high gain and smooth out the treble in the SS amps.

The brown/gold label ones, however, are great values and underrated vintage-correct speakers, IMO. One of the best-sounding Fenders I've ever plugged into was an early 90s TRRI with the Eminences. I don't know about the 12"s, but according to Eminence's spec sheet, the 10" in the Pro Junior even has a paper voice coil former, which seems to be a common marketing point these days.🤷🏻‍♂️

As always with all things inherently subjective, YMMV.
 

63 vibroverb

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G'day All.

I have three 80s Fender 1x12 combos ( 2 SS, 1 tube) with these Fender Eminence speakers in them. Seems like there's some unfavorable reviews out there. I have to be honest, these speakers are sounding absolutely fantastic to me. I'm mostly using my amps as clean pedal platforms. I like a fat bottom end in which these speakers are holding up to with absolutely ZERO flub with lots of volume. Still, the cleans are sparkling and chimey with no break-up.

By default on reviews, I was looking at replacing these with either: Rajun Cajun, Swamp Thang, Celestion Gold or Texas Heat. I would use my EVs but downgrading is my destination.

Any fans out here who've kept the Fender Special Designs in who were completely satisfied? They have this SUPER nice spongy, thick/fullness that neither of the speakers in my 4x12 or 2x12 speakers have.
Are you by chance talking about the Fender Sidekick Reverb amps from the 80’s? Those things are hidden gems. If I ever come across any for under $100, I snatch em up. All analog and big hefty transformers.

I agree, the stock Fender Special Design speakers in them sound really nice. They are sweet and sparkly, but spongy at the same time. My only caveat is they are a bit underpowered and breakup fairly early for my tastes. However, if for some reason I needed to play in the same room as a newborn, that speaker would be perfect. The Alltone 1250 speaker has a similar tone, but louder and cleaner. Mojotone Black Beauty even more so.
 

11 Gauge

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I may be hallucinating on this,
but I think I read, a few years back, that the Emi Neo Lil' Texas 12" ( a speaker I put in my BJ, when that speaker first came out- for the super- light weight & good reviews) is actually spec'd to duplicate the response and volume of those massive JBL 12's that Fender put in Twin Reverbs. Go figure, if true!
I'm fairly certain the Lil Texas is a neo magnet variation of the Texas Heat.

And I'm fairly certain that even though Eminence brands the TH as being a Patriot, or American-based design, it's essentially a Private Jack with a 2" voice coil - everything else - cone, magnet - all kinda specs out the same as the PJ.

...And - the Private Jack is branded as being a Redcoat, or British-based design. It's supposed to be Emi's variation of a Celestion greenback.

I've owned a couple of Texas Heats, and also got a Lil Texas a few years back. To my ears, they do sound kind of greenback'ish, just maybe with things a little more relaxed in the treble frequencies, which is what a big 2" voice coil will typically do.

Anyway, in conclusion, based on all the above components going into the design of the TH and LT, I'd say they are very much different from JBLs found in TRs...
 

Chiogtr4x

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I'm fairly certain the Lil Texas is a neo magnet variation of the Texas Heat.

And I'm fairly certain that even though Eminence brands the TH as being a Patriot, or American-based design, it's essentially a Private Jack with a 2" voice coil - everything else - cone, magnet - all kinda specs out the same as the PJ.

...And - the Private Jack is branded as being a Redcoat, or British-based design. It's supposed to be Emi's variation of a Celestion greenback.

I've owned a couple of Texas Heats, and also got a Lil Texas a few years back. To my ears, they do sound kind of greenback'ish, just maybe with things a little more relaxed in the treble frequencies, which is what a big 2" voice coil will typically do.

Anyway, in conclusion, based on all the above components going into the design of the TH and LT, I'd say they are very much different from JBLs found in TRs...
Last night our band did a Fat Tuesday bar gig ( after missing it last 2 years), and I used my blonde Blues Jr., now w/ Emi Lil' Texas speaker
I have not used this amp in 2 years as my gigs are quieter ( Wineries/Brewpubs) and I just use small amps.

The amp volume was just so big and LOUD- I'd forgotten! I had a BD-2 ON for breakup, but that speaker still 'blows out the clean'
* drums ( next to me) were loud, so I was loud...
 

Neptical

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Are you by chance talking about the Fender Sidekick Reverb amps from the 80’s? Those things are hidden gems. If I ever come across any for under $100, I snatch em up. All analog and big hefty transformers.

I agree, the stock Fender Special Design speakers in them sound really nice. They are sweet and sparkly, but spongy at the same time. My only caveat is they are a bit underpowered and breakup fairly early for my tastes. However, if for some reason I needed to play in the same room as a newborn, that speaker would be perfect. The Alltone 1250 speaker has a similar tone, but louder and cleaner. Mojotone Black Beauty even more so.

You are correct! I have a few of the 65s and a DRII. They cover anything I need for my Fender tones. The FSD speakers really are sweet, sparkly and spongey. I haven't had mine break up yet and they've been very LOUD. lol I'm going to hold up with changing them for now, but I'm always curious on what I would get out of other speakers. Thank you for those speaker recommendations as well!
 

63 vibroverb

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You are correct! I have a few of the 65s and a DRII. They cover anything I need for my Fender tones. The FSD speakers really are sweet, sparkly and spongey. I haven't had mine break up yet and they've been very LOUD. lol I'm going to hold up with changing them for now, but I'm always curious on what I would get out of other speakers. Thank you for those speaker recommendations as well!
I knew it, haha. I’ve had a good amount of playing time on the FSD speaker (many hours) so I know its sound/behavior well. Don’t blame you for not wanting to change it.

In addition to the 2 speakers I mentioned above, the Jensen C12K-2 is also another great similar more powerful option (different than the plain C12K). It follows the same recipe of a British cone on a Chicago C12N style.
 




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