My review of Eminence JS-1250 in a Deluxe Reverb

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by theprofessor, Nov 6, 2018.

  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I have been curious about the JS-1250 for a good while now, so recently I decided to purchase one to hear it for myself. I have not been able to find much detailed discussion about the speaker, other than that people like it or whatever.

    I just got mine yesterday, so I realize that a review of the sonics of the speaker is a bit premature. So consider this a recording of first impressions after a couple of hours playing time that may change slightly over the long-haul.

    I put the speaker in my '76 Deluxe Reverb, which is where I had hoped it would land, but also where I've had several other speakers to compare it to. In that DR, I've had: WGS Blackhawk HP (when I purchased the amp), Eminence GA-SC64, 1966 Jensen C12NA, 1968 Jensen C12NA re-coned by Weber with their T cone, Eminence GB128. Other 12" speakers I've used in different contexts are: a re-coned Jensen P12P, a "Jensen" reissue C12K that came with a DRRI, a Fat Jimmy 1270 in a DRRI, and a Cannabis Rex in a DRRI.

    Of the above-listed speakers, my favorites have been the two Jensen C12N's and the GB128. These are different in tonality, but both great. The GB128 is a wonderful speaker with that nice raspy (Eminence says "throaty") mid thing from the Celestion Greenback going, but it's much more than that. Great bass and treble as well. Overall a wonderful texture to pair with a Deluxe Reverb. It adds some nice mids to a DR, while still providing clarity.

    So to the JS-1250: I was concerned at first that this would be too mid-focused, but I haven't found that to be the case at all. It is a remarkably balanced speaker throughout the spectrum. It doesn't seem to have the same mid-frequency rasp that is characteristic of a Celestion Greenback. It is chimey and clear and articulate. The most remarkable thing about the speaker so far is that it behaves like an alnico in many ways. The character of the treble is very alnico-like: clear and sweet. The character of the bass is, too: round but not boomy or punchy. The bass and the treble compress slightly when you dig in.

    Whereas speakers like the Eminence GA-SC64 produce a really smooth overdrive when pushed, the JS-1250 again has a different character. The notes don't run together;everything stays distinct. And yet it doesn't get that metallic "clanky" sound that some of the reissue "Jensen" alnicos can get when pushed.

    One of the challenges with Deluxe Reverbs is getting a speaker that is not too bright. Some people resolve the issue by going with something like a hemp cone. Others resolve the issue with a design like the GA-SC64 with a felt dust cap. In my experience, the GA-SC64 is an attempt to produce some of the high-end chimey-ness of a vintage Jensen, but with a more blunted top end, more low end, and definitely more low-mids than a typical vintage Jensen. The GA-SC64 is smooth, but for me, smoothness also sometimes means a bit muddy or boomy or dark.

    The JS-1250 is remarkable in that it retains clarity all around--especially in the top end--without being peaky or spiky. And yet there is nothing blunted or blurred about it. It is as if the unpleasant frequencies you don't want to hear coming out of a DR simply aren't there. And everything you do want to hear is there. When one normally things of speakers that will avoid spikiness, one things of something warm or dark. This speaker is not warm, nor is it dark. But it avoids the spike beautifully.

    I've played two different Teles through it (one with a Strat neck pickup), and a Les Paul with P-90's, and everything has sounded marvelous. Sometimes with overly scooped speakers, it seems like there is something missing in the body of the sound. Other times with mid-focused speakers, things get a bit honky (like with the Fat Jimmy 1270). The frequencies reproduced (or produced) by this speaker blend perfectly with the tonality of my Deluxe Reverb, as if nothing is being added or taken away. That is not true, I imagine, but that is the impression. Perfectly clarity without any brittle high end or ice-pick. Full throughout the spectrum without sounding like something that is mid-focused or like something that is attempting to make up for something lacking in the DR (like certain mid-range frequencies).

    Tone-wise, this speaker reminds me most of a Jensen P12P, but with a ceramic motor. Gorgeous. This is, of course, a premature report, but this is one of the best--if not the best--speakers I've ever heard in any application. I am surprised there are not more folks talking about it. When I started a thread on it a while back, it was clear that no one who responded, at least, had personal experience with one. Josh Smith uses it in his Morgan Princeton-Reverb-style amp (JS12). I can happily report that it is equally at home in a vintage Deluxe Reverb.

    Compared to all the other speakers I've heard in a Deluxe Reverb (or DRRI), this is my favorite. Tied for second is a vintage C12N or the Eminence GB128, for different reasons. I am very pleased I gave this a try. Had I not done so, I would have been very happy with a Jensen C12N or an Eminence GB128. But I think the JS-1250 is better for my purposes in this application. My GB128 has now landed in my 6G2 clone, where it a fantastic match.
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice review , thanks!
     
  3. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the nice review. I have been interested in this speaker. Sounds like it can do cleans and dirt equally well.
     
  4. Webfoot

    Webfoot Tele-Holic

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    Thanks for the nice review. I have been interested in this speaker. Sounds like it can do cleans and dirt equally well.
     
  5. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    Do you happen to have a 5e3 to try this speaker in? :D
     
  6. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  7. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  8. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  9. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  10. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  11. tho618

    tho618 TDPRI Member

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    Thx! I wonder how this compares to the Eminence 1258? Or the TF-1250?

    I currently use the 1258 in my prri. I love the tight lows and chime, but it definitely needs a slight mid boost w my pedals.
     
  12. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, I'll run a 5e3 through it and report back.
     
  13. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Hey Caspers -

    Not good. 5e3's are very full and thick sounding, and in that circuit this JS-1250 speaker sounds tubby and lacks clarity. On the other hand, I ran my 5e3 through a GB128 the other day, and liked it. Not my favorite speaker with a 5e3, but it sounded quite good.
     
  14. RoscoeElegante

    RoscoeElegante Friend of Leo's

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    Great review! Thanks, prof!
     
  15. caspersvapors

    caspersvapors Tele-Meister

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    what a relief! I almost bought one for my 5e3
     
  16. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I just ran a Princeton Reverb through the JS-1250. This should come as no surprise, but this speaker is absolutely perfect for a Princeton Reverb. If you're looking for a 12" speaker for a Princeton Reverb, you'll have a hard time finding one better than the JS-1250. It was essentially designed for a Princeton Reverb.
     
  17. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I don't have experience with either of the speakers you named. However, the JS-1250 would be absolutely perfect for a Princeton Reverb (see above).
     
  18. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, it can. I think the promotional video for the speaker does a good job of showing that:
     
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