New, reissue speakers...

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by Jared Purdy, May 25, 2020.

  1. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    It was a comment from a poster to a thread that I posted recently that led me down the garden path on Google. Low and behold, the majority of threads and comments, many of them would be considered ancient zombie threads if I had replied to them, were from TDPRI, not The Gear Page.

    I'd like to know what you think are the best reissue speakers, for creating that sound that was defined as classic, in what ever amp, and why you think that is the cat's meow? From what I've read, many people chime in with a near religious ferocity on why so and so reissue is crap, etc. You read a little further, and many other people chime in with a whole lot of other observations.

    The major, old school brand names seem to take the biggest pounding, Jensen, Celestion, to name two. From what I've read (and heard), it seems totally unfounded. Some people speak in definitive terms, as to what is a "real" 65' sound and not. Were you there to hear a real 65', brand new, in such and such speaker? And even if you were, how do yo know you sn trust your memory on sound? Human memory on sound is weak at best. That is scientifically proven. It is noting like our memory on sense of smell, taste or touch. We cannot compare a 50 year old OME piece of equipment to a new reissue, regardless of the manufacture. Oh, and let's leave country of origin out of this, please.
     
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  2. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I can compare what I have heard. I have some original cone 1966 Jensen C12Ns that have a sound that Inprefer over any modern Jensen I have heard? Ommv. I have owned a ‘64 Super Reverb with original Jensen C10s, and there is no modern Jensen 10” that is as musical. I have owned many original Alnico speakers from the ‘50s and find them to be much more musical than say the new P12Q I heard in that DRRI I mentioned in another thread.
    I have experienced the same with modern Celestions....those made in an un-named country other than England. I have listened t9 them with an open ear. I had a young fellow who plays BF/SF Bassman amps bring in a high quality, custom 2x12 cab with V30s in it.
    I did not tell him what the speaker’s sound was....I asked him what he heard. He started listening...and heard it.....a certain raspy edge to the overdriven Sonics. I plugged the same amp into a cab I have, and he heard that raspiness disappear. He tours and has interactions with a lot of musicians...especially out of Nashville. He looked at me and asked with bewilderment “why do so many people play them?” I told him that I suppose they were following the herd and playing logos instead of listening with their ears. I then asked him why he bought them...and he said that he was just following the herd...in so many words.
    Here is another story...real deal. Another fellow bought a Celestion Gold Alnico to go 8n a nice custom tweed open bac’ cab....it was actually a tweed amp cab that was done by Mojo to be a speaker cab for a 10” to work with his Super ?Champ as an option. I put it together for him, when he came to pick it up, I let him hear it. Then, I let him hear the same amp and same licks through an Eminence ALK1028. He immediately pulled out his phone and ordered the much less expensive Emi...and was wondering out loud why he had spent the money he had spent on the Celestion. Oh well, he has a fair amount of money...no harm in spending it,right?


    All of that said....if someone wants to play a certain speaker, that is their subjective choice. and...I keep listening and keep an open ear/mind when I hear a new speaker....no matter what it is. I bought a 150watt, 12” made over where you know where about 12 years ago on a whim just because it was so inexpensive.....$19 my cost. Worse thing about it???? It came with six mounting holes, so I had to drill holes for proper mounting. Even at that, they were a bargain...big firm bottom end, sparkling highs and a warm midrange...all,of it articulate. Best speaker for the money I have heard.....it had a Johnson logo on it.
    I don’t like inarticulate speakers, and I hear it in a heartbeat. I don’t like dark speakers.....I have not heard a hemp cone I like even it was a $450 speaker. I don’t like thin and harsh speakers. Personal and subjective observations....ommv.
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yeah, it's a bailywick vortex to get sucked into. One problem is that some reissues, like some Jensen's are just a number and aren't built the same as the old ones. Especially light duty speakers like the P10R etc. The old speakers had a paper voice coil former. You wouldn't think it would matter much but little things do matter I guess.
    I tend to like robust speakers, but light duty speakers used in 3 or 4 at a time are a wonder to behold. Some speakers just have a "voice" or are musical. Others are just flat and uncolored.
    Just like a singer can sing all the notes in 3 octaves, but some just draw you in hitting the same notes as another that is just without voice or emotion.

    Ted Weber told me once that his C12N (now 12F150) was designed after some Jensen C12N's that were produced during a specific time period only, ie: they weren't all the same. The voice coil gap was a lot of it. I had some early Weber C12N's and boy oh boy, he nailed that speaker. There were a couple of nights where in the middle of a song I just had to turn around and stare at my amp it sounded SO good.
     
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  4. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Jensens are made by an Italian company called Recoton. They produce lots of pro gear for PAs. I've heard some like the C10s and they're not bad. But if you're buying there's more accurate sounding.

    The problem is - which old speakers? 50s, 60s, 70s? Weber makes very period accurate speakers from undoped low wattage with cone cry like real ones, to replicas of JBL and EV 70s screamers. Eminence does very good versions of 50s alnico and 60s ceramics with paper voicecoil formers.
     
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  5. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    The Peavey 5150 speakers, Sheffield 1200's, were designed to sound like EVH's well-worn Greenbacks. I always wondered, if they are designed to sound that way brand new, the what happens when they themselves break in?
     
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  6. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    "Reissue" speakers, like "reissue" tubes, simply aren't. They are products made by companies that bought rights to brand names and product designations. But none of the reissue speakers or tubes are true clones of the originals.

    As @Dacious asked, though - WHAT reissues? And do you want the most accurate clone in name, looks AND performance? If so - you are out of luck.

    OTOH, if you want the most accurate performance reproduction of *ONE* specific speaker you can find it - but it will cost you, as in almost every case it will be a custom made, accurately voiced speaker made with special parts not used in "stock" speakers.

    When I want replacement speakers voiced like 50's or 60's Jensens I contact Thom at Tone Tubby and he makes them. The pricing isn't the same as Jensen reissues but it's not outrageous either.

    I was around when most of the speakers being reissued were new (as were many of the amps) and speaker voicing, response, headroom and other qualities have been exactly what I was expecting.

    At this point in my life (disabled/stuck at home and unable to gig) tone, touch response and control over the "headroom line" are far more important to me than licks/hot playing. So I'm far more critical of of the sound and interaction of every piece of equipment than I've ever been - hence my criticism of so-called "reissue" speakers and tubes.

    So forget the brand names and if you don't understand fairly complicated product specifications hook up with a highly qualified tech who will work with yo to optimize your sound. Because you simply can't do it just buying products by name, and every tonally-critical component will interact with others - often in ways you don't expect.

    Many pros use a team approach to gear selection, setup, maintenance and optimization - player, tech shop and gig support tech. There is so much junk...and so many little-known "prizes"...out there that it's almost impossible for a gigging player to have the time/resources to do anything by himself but ask questions on forums, hope the answers aren't coming from 16 year old self-appointed "professional gear experts", guess which answers are "good" - and hope for the best.o_O
     
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  7. Ess Eff

    Ess Eff Tele-Holic

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    Blah.... Vintage, smintage.

    It's all a load of nonsense!

    Buy what sounds good to YOU!
    .
     
  8. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Oh yeah, the worst Celestion I have heard was an 80th Anniversay G10 Reissue that was in the last Super Champ I bought. It came out of that amp immediately..,harsh, thin. On the other hand, at that time not only did I have the 1996 Made where they should be made custom OEM G10s in my Pro Sonic but also I had six vintage G10s that were in an old Silvertone cab of all places. The new G10RI sounded nothing at all like either of the English G10s.
     
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  9. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    I haven't played a whole lot of vintage speakers but I have been through a number of reissues.

    The one vintage speaker I do have experience with was a 1960 Jensen P12Q that had been pulled from an organ. It was in great shape and went into my 5E3. It was incredibly better than the reissue Jensen C12N that I had.

    I had that 60 Jensen in there for a couple of years and i still found myself wanting. I ordered a Weber 12A125a. The Weber is significantly better than the vintage Jensen. I ended up selling the P12Q. The Weber has been in that amp for years now and I've never had any itch to change it.

    Every Jensen reissue I've had sounds good at low to medium volume but sounds awful when pushed. The breakup is not pleasing. Harsh and brittle would be the terms I'd use.

    By FAR the best modern reissue speakers I've used are Webers. The 10A125 is my absolute favourite. Balanced, chimey, and they are smooth when driven. I've got a quad of those in my 5F6A and I'm about to order a pair for my 1960 Super. Anywhere a P10Q/R would work - just get the 10A125.
     
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  10. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    There may be something wrong with my hearing, because I've played with stock speakers in mid 60's Fender amps, new model speakers in new amps, and I've moved around speakers (Celestion Gold) in older amps and I found no tonal variations that would leave me to say that the Celestion (or another brand) was so bad that I wouldn't want it. The problem that I had was that it had the same problem as the stock speaker: it farted out at low volumes (in early model Fender amps). It couldn't handle bass at higher volumes. In terms of tone, I had no problems with it, until it was pushed. The topic of this thread was started at two different times within the last ten years, most recently, I believe was about five years ago. I'm not the audio expert that many of you are, and I mean that sincerely. I can only trust what my ears tell me. None the less, I appreciate your reply.
     
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  11. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I may look for the equivalent of that in a 10", if it is available. I don't mind playing around a bit. I'm just aware how perverse speaker swapping can be. It's endless, like chasing unicorns.
     
  12. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    I've used for years (and actually just sold) a pair of 10F150's. If you are looking for big low end and crystal clear highs without sounding shrill or harsh that is your speaker (they're also fairly efficient so loud too). I also has a 10A125 and a 10F150 paired in a Custom Vibrolux Reverb and my goodness that is a great sounding pairing. I sold the amp to my buddy and every time he plays it in front of me I regret selling it.

    Oddly enough, I literally just ordered another pair of 10A125's from Weber a few minutes ago. Their customer service is great and what can't you like about having your speakers made to order to your specs for the same price as the off the shelf brands that produce them for cheap overseas? They'll even do a pre-break in at the factory before they ship upon request.
     
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  13. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Have played an amp with two Weber 12F150s in it. Those two speakers were so different from one another that they really have should have had different model designations. With Weber’s, I like to know what the options are because those options determine the final character of the speakers.,..O, T, ????? One of those two Weber’s broke up earlier and the other one would punch a hole in your chest.
     
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  14. alnicopu

    alnicopu Friend of Leo's

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    Last edited: May 26, 2020
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I know the wattage makes a big difference.. were they the same wattage? But I will say, in my purchases of 12F150's over the years ( I let the magic C12N go with a Harvard I built)

    They have been good and bad for me. I dont think I've had a bad 10F150, but 12's yes. Always described as "needs more break in", but my early C12N was magic right out of the box.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Yep the 10F150 or 150T (a bit brighter top end) are superb speakers. 50 watt!

    Years ago, my neighbor, a bluegrass guy bought a Princeton Reverb. he wan't all that thrilled with it, I told him, come over, we'll put this 10F150T in there.
    He was just flabbergasted, like a whole new amp. Louder, Big bottom.
     
  17. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    https://www.tedweber.com/letters
     
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  18. Jared Purdy

    Jared Purdy Friend of Leo's

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    I'm not unhappy with the amp. It's got ample bottom end, especially with my Les Paul. The Strat doesn't suffer either though. I keep the bass at 3.5/10 and the treble at 5/10. Tone controls on both guitars are dimed at 10. When I switch to the lead position on the LP I usually dial the tone down a bit because I find it can be a bit bright.

    I'm just "poking" around. Likely a symptom of COVID boredom. I'd consider buying another speaker just to try it out, to hear the difference, but I wouldn't spend more than $150. At this point, anything that I'd buy, short of a run of the mill Celestion, JBL or Jensen would have to be a special order anyways. The stores around here (Toronto) don't stalk Weber or Eminence speakers.
     
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  19. Wally

    Wally Telefied Ad Free Member

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    yes, I know what those codes mean. However no one ever specifies what options any certain Weber has. Therefore, there is no way to know what speaker anyone is talking about when they say they like or don’t like say a 12F150. And....perhaps Weber includes codes for cone options and doping options at this time, but in the past there was no way to know what a Weber speaker was unless you were the original owner who kept records on the order options. the result of this is that unless someone delineates what options were chosen when they bought a Weber, I pay little attention to their thoughts on that particular Weber. Why?? Well, without those options how does one duplicate that speaker???

    it would be like buying a vintage Celestion without a cone code on it....you would not know if you were getting say a 55hz speaker versus a 75hz speaker. Fortunately, Celestion had cone codes on their paper, and the also delineated the difference by assigning a different Txxxx speaker code. Celestion and their customers knew and still know what each speaker was and is.
    All other speaker manufacturers do things in such a way so as to inform anyone as to what a speaker is.
     
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  20. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic

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    Gotcha. Weber almost does themselves a disservice by having too many speaker options. They're really kinda like a custom shop that way. I haven't really delved into buying any special cone options myself - with the exception of the 12A125A which is the recommended speaker choice for the 5E3 (and for good reason).
     
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