British Vs. American Amp/Speaker Tones

Texicaster

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Here's a typical definition found on the web:

"British amps tend to place more emphasis on the mid-range and upper-mid range frequencies than American amps. American amps usually play emphasis on the treble and bass frequencies. This causes American amps to have a “scooped” sound and British amps to sound more gritty and crunchy."

Let's say that's so....How much does speaker influence these tones?

Can one push say a Vox towards a Fender by using a Fender spec'd speaker? And vic versa?

Or does the desing of the amp overwhelm speaker choices when aiming for such specific tones?

Thanks!
 

uriah1

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A greenie in a Blues jr will definitely sound more brit and gritty than a basic Jensen.
 

ReverendRevolver

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A speaker swap is the fastest way to change an amps sound, but the amp circuit and the speaker interact for a whole, a single GB doesn't turn a princeton into a jcm800, and a Vintage Jensen doesn't turn an AC15 I to a deluxe.

Using seemingly contradictory amp to speaker setups can yield interesting results, but there's less mad science involved in putting a GB style speaker into a tweed style amp, where they both accentuate mids in different ways. If that makes sense.
 

ReverendRevolver

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My recent experience swapping speakers in my amp for the first time ever tells me that speakers can make a huge difference in the tone of an amp, but i don't know how far it'll go towards making a 6V6 circuit sound like an EL34 one.
6v6 circuits are typically smaller amps than el34 ones, but 6l6/6v6 circuit sounds can be had from el34/el84 based amps, if designed to do so. Which is handy if you have a stockpile of one kind of power tube, but annoying when grouping tube to circuit to sound generalizations.

A head into different cabs is proof you can't make it sound like another circuit, for sure.
 

Si G X

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I think it depends on what you are comparing. It's kind of a lazy description anyway.

Orange and Mesa both typically use Vintage 30's in their cabs (as I understand it) .... but a Mesa doesn't sound 'British' because of it. ... to my ears anyway.
 

schmee

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Speakers labled "British" seem more warm somewhere in the top end to me. Upper mids are warmish maybe. Like a G12-65 etc. They often seem less "distinct" to my ears. Not that they dont sound good in the right application. Maybe that's because AC15/30 are so bright, they tamed them a bit with warmer speakers?
 

Texicaster

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Thanks!

I'm goofing around with my Broadcaster through a Swart STR-Tremolo amp and the primo upgrade is to a Celestion Blue which I gather defines the Vox tone.....more or less...generally speaking.

It comes with a Mojotone BV-30 that's cool BUT when I listen to the samples online I can hear the BV-30 and like the Blue MUCH better! The BV-30's only got 3-4 hours of play time so far from broken in.

The Swart is a 6V6 powered amp and has nice cleans so maybe going more "British" will beef it up....But trying not to chase my tail.....
 

Shango66

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I’ve noticed the US type amps will go either USA or Brit voiced speakers but not seen the UK type amps use a USA voiced speaker.
 

Vibroluxer

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Thanks!

I'm goofing around with my Broadcaster through a Swart STR-Tremolo amp and the primo upgrade is to a Celestion Blue which I gather defines the Vox tone.....more or less...generally speaking.

It comes with a Mojotone BV-30 that's cool BUT when I listen to the samples online I can hear the BV-30 and like the Blue MUCH better! The BV-30's only got 3-4 hours of play time so far from broken in.

The Swart is a 6V6 powered amp and has nice cleans so maybe going more "British" will beef it up....But trying not to chase my tail.....
I have a Weber Blue Dog in my 5e3 and it certainly doesn't sound British. I also have a Swart 6v6SE, the 5e3 sounds much more like it than a British amp. I have a couple Laneys for comparison.
 

Texicaster

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I ask this sincerely,
Could a fella just get an EQ pedal and scoop here and boost there til he approximated said tone profiles?

I dunno...

I have my doubts you can push the voicing of an amp with an EQ since it's the out put that colors the tone in the fashion I'm speaking of.

My amp has tone and 3 eq settings, full, neutral and bass cut plus my pedal train has several EQ knobs. I can't seem to add the color/tone by tweaking with those. I mean I can get full extreme range from bass to treble but again it's like shades of the same color. Changing the final output of speaker will impart it's own tones or colors if you will.

I've only swapped a couple of speakers with mixed results. $100 speaker no problemo but a $300 Celestion Blue means homework before I spring for it.
 

JamesAM

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I dunno, I don’t buy “British” vs “American” description of amp sounds. British amps are kind of derivative of American tweed amps anyway (Marshalls from the bassman and vox from the Gibson ga-77- at least the top boost).

People put greenbacks and blues in 5e3s all the time and they still sound like tweeds. I had an ac15hw with a greenback in it and it didn’t sound like my 18w. I guess those are both British though, I dunno.

The circuits themselves are the big thing honestly. The speaker is the last 10-20% of the sound imo- plays a big role in the flavor of the tone, but it doesn’t change the foundational voicing of the amp.
 

telemnemonics

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Yes to speakers having an EQ curve just like an amp and thus influencing the tone your amp produces.

No No No to the internet saying British amps are more gritty or mids make Brit amps gritty.

Grit is totally unrelated to EQ.
Association between the popular BF Fender mid scooped American amps being clean or cleaner or used as clean pedal platforms is just an asdociation.

American amps used to all be dirty and gritty regardless of EQ.
Leo designed the BF amps in cooperation with Country players he liked who at the time played more clean sounds and liked mid scooped cleans.

Aside from that we had gritty tweeds, gritty Ampegs, gritty Supro, gritty Mesa, gritty Soldano etc.
Many more modern amps have front end EQ knobs that allow mid scoop to mid hump tones as well as clean to griity to searing gain.
 

telemnemonics

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I dunno...

I have my doubts you can push the voicing of an amp with an EQ since it's the out put that colors the tone in the fashion I'm speaking of.

My amp has tone and 3 eq settings, full, neutral and bass cut plus my pedal train has several EQ knobs. I can't seem to add the color/tone by tweaking with those. I mean I can get full extreme range from bass to treble but again it's like shades of the same color. Changing the final output of speaker will impart it's own tones or colors if you will.

I've only swapped a couple of speakers with mixed results. $100 speaker no problemo but a $300 Celestion Blue means homework before I spring for it.
The Blue is more neutral, plenty of treble and bass so not changing an American amp as much as something like a G12M25 GB.
Or even more extreme Brit tone from the G12M20 GB thats all thick low mids with not much treble or bass.
The Greenback came in a dozen versions and the internet refers to a single one.
 

JIMMY JAZZMAN

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I can get my Vox ac15c1 close to the Fender but it's still apples and oranges. Pedals
overcompensate the Fender tone but it's still got that Vox sound.
 

nojazzhere

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¡Bueno!™

Here's a typical definition found on the web:

"British amps tend to place more emphasis on the mid-range and upper-mid range frequencies than American amps. American amps usually play emphasis on the treble and bass frequencies. This causes American amps to have a “scooped” sound and British amps to sound more gritty and crunchy."

Let's say that's so....How much does speaker influence these tones?

Can one push say a Vox towards a Fender by using a Fender spec'd speaker? And vic versa?

Or does the desing of the amp overwhelm speaker choices when aiming for such specific tones?

Thanks!
My preference for speakers doesn't go along with many opinions. I have preferred "American" (Jensen-like) speakers in my amps, regardless of brand, for decades. When many guys were putting Celestions in their Fender combos, I've been using Jensens or Jensen-clone Eminence in my Voxes. My main gigging amp of several years is a Vox Pathfinder 15R chassis, in a custom cab with a Fender (Eminence) 12" speaker. Just the sound I "hear" in my head. ;)
 




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