Scumback S75-PVC and the Reissue Celestion Blue alnico

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by ZackyDog, Aug 5, 2019.

  1. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

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    @telemnemonics

    I guess I misunderstood this article?

    @uriah1

    Yeah---that's great Celestion is offering something (e.g. the "Ruby") in between (wattage-wise) the Blue and the Gold.

    upload_2019-8-15_12-26-16.jpeg

    The Ruby would be perfect in the VOX AC30S1 (single speaker):

    vox.png
     
  2. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I had a coffee can once (EV SRO)..I put that in
    a fender music-master and it kept tipping it over..lol
    one heavy speaker.
     
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  3. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That article does mention that presumably the alnico went from 15 to 20 watt power handling when the ceramic 20 went to 25w.

    But the rest is about the ceramic AKA Greenback Celestions.
     
  4. ZackyDog

    ZackyDog Tele-Afflicted

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    [​IMG]

    That's a ceramic magnet speaker; interesting. It sounds like it is more similar to the Blue than Celestion's Vintage 30s(?)
     
  5. deus56

    deus56 TDPRI Member

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    Off topic but, Tele what amp/amps did you use with those Altec speakers?
    Would you also mind giving me a brief sonic sketch of those speakers?
    Thanks
     
  6. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    No, the Jensen P12N was (and is) an alnico speaker similar to the Celestion Blue, in that it had a huge round alnico magnet instead of the horeshoe alnico type in lower power handling speakers.
    It sometimes had a metal bell cover over the magnet like in the picture you posted of the Italian made reissue Jensen P12N that most say doesn't really sound like an original.
     
  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I had a pair in a SFTR but the sound those made was mostly the cracking of the Twins baffle from the weight of those speakers.
    It's been years since any of mine worked but they have I'd say a thick yet clear sound with a balanced eq. I'm not the best describer because it's been so long and back when they worked I wasn't really comparing speakers.
    Maybe thick is the opposite of balanced eq, but I guess they can produce what you send them, as opposed to speakers that mush out on bass, attenuate treble, produce shrill treble, or boost mids. So not those things!

    Most of Santana's sound was a single Altec 417 in a Boogie, but more recently when he used a Dumble I'm not sure.
     
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  8. deus56

    deus56 TDPRI Member

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    Thank You, very much appreciated.
    I think you and ZackyDog will get a kick out of this, a "PRE" Greenback G12H. Pulsonic cone.
    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Lawdawg

    Lawdawg Tele-Meister

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    I have a pair of Altec 417s in my 73 SFTR, which was a fairly popular speaker/amp combo. As posted by @telemnemonics Santana also used them with his Boogie which was also not an uncommon pairing.

    Always hard to describe sound with words, but I think the 417s have a very balanced smooth frequency response that works well with Twins. Mine have the aluminum caps which are often criticized for contributing to ice-pick highs, but that hasn't been my experience. Plenty of bottom end with these speakers. Overall, they are extremely clean and articulate, but retain a fair degree of warmth, which probably explains why they are a popular choice for a high headroom amp like a SFTR. It also explains why you don't see them used in amps that you want to cut through the mix like a Marshall or Vox.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That seems like what I think, they are sort of harder to describe because they sound great but not in any really specific way.

    I think of the Celestion Gold similarly in that they work with almost any amp, a well behaved and balanced speaker, though they are I think more mid forward than the 417.
    They don't sound the same, but they have a similar versatility.
    The 417 might have more low mids where the Gold has more mids which are pretty high frequencies.

    The interaction between all components is not as textbook as one might think because the boosted mids of a Marshall and of most Celestions actually gets near and into a higher frequency range than the highest notes on a guitar, but those frequencies boost harmonics above the fundamental which adds complexity and clarity to actual fundamental notes played on the guitar.
    Midrange is written as 300hz to 5000hz, but turning up the mids on a guitar amp sounds more like a treble boost than a 300-600hz low mids boost. And while the Celestion Blue and Gold have 102db peaks around 800hz, they also have 108db peaks above 2000hz, well above the highest fundamentals and into the harmonics range.
    AKA sparkle or chime I suppose.
    ...

    Many speakers have a distinct personality either to the eq, or to the ability to accurately produce vs fail to accurately produce the frequencies sent to them. And how a speaker compresses is a personality trait.

    I think the 417 compresses less than a Gold but more than something like an EVM12L.
    Likewise an alnico EV SRO compresses more than an EVM12L, but is still a pretty punchy speaker compared to most alnicos.

    Speaker compression is hard for me to hear these days because I always plug into a smaller (15-30w) cathode biased amp, which doesn't have very punchy transients to tax the speakers ability to punch out big transients.

    It's possible that something like the 417 is desirable for that slight compression that smooths out sharp pick attacks and makes a fluid playing style even more fluid, while also being capable of handling more power, which back when those speakers were in production was not common in speakers: high power handling but fluid sounding slightly compressed alnico speakers.

    Despite ceramic speakers being more punchy and less compressed than alnico is known for, the original ceramic Greenbacks served to compress and soften the big Marshalls extremely punchy sound.
    The metal panel Marshalls around 1970 were massively loud and clean, right up to near full volume, and really needed the inefficient GB speakers to dull down the cut and punch a bit, into the more creamy and crunchy Marshall sound we think of those amps as making.
    Other aspects of the design and materials besides the alnico magnets not present in the GBs gave them the ability to reign in the Marshalls output, all of which was in the VC and cone.

    Later Celestions including the 65/ 70/ 75w models used the same basic frame and magnet but the cone and VC were changed to make entirely different speakers.
    This is why many reconed Greenbacks just don't sound like a greenback.

    And also why so many other vintage speakers never sound original after getting reconed, if the shop uses whatever generic cone/ VC/ spider they have that fits.

    Celestion had no trouble reproducing the frame and magnet of the reissue Blue, but they spent at least two years trying to develop a cone assembly that sounded like originals.
    And again, that was what Scumback worked on developing, those expendable soft parts are where the magic is.

    WRT the Altec 417, I've wanted to get some reconed but am wary of spending $100 plus $25 shipping twice and ending up with a dud because the recone isn't right.
    Great Plains Audio bought out the Altec speaker tooling and makes speakers as well as cones.
    They are supposed to be correct but are expensive and I haven't seen much in terms of detailed first hand testimony on how good they really are. As my back no loner supports heavy amps I'm less inclined to take that plunge.

    But I'd like to hear from those who have personally compared a Great Plains 417 recone to an original not worn out 417.
    Santana for example reported getting his Altecs reconed quite often, despite their being "high power handling" speakers.
    So most we find used have already been reconed, not always with correct original parts.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2019
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  11. deus56

    deus56 TDPRI Member

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    To Lawdawg and once again Tele, outstanding.
    Thank you both for taking the time and effort to give your experiences.
     
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  12. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Never tried the new scum back alnico but my new cream has some nice blue tones. Only issue is it has extremely high headroom. That could be good or bad depending on your love of early break up
     
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