Speakers vs Amp Circuitry

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Leonardocoate, Jun 9, 2021.

  1. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Tube amps sound great and so do solid state amps, but I'm starting to focus more on having quality speakers for great sound. Speaker cabinets have an acoustical quality as well. So in your opinion, what makes the most impact on your tone (besides your playing). I believe: Speakers first, pre amp second, pick ups third, cabinet fourth with power amp coming in last. This does not include FX pedals. Pedals would tip the scales too much towards the pre amp. What do you think?
     
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  2. Greg70

    Greg70 Tele-Meister

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    I'll agree with you on that to some extent. When I first bought the Marshall head in my profile pic I didn't have a Marshall cab for it. I played it through a Peavey 4x12 that had Peavey's low-end Scorpion speakers in it. It sounded somewhat okay but didn't sound anything like a Marshall is supposed to sound. I finally got a Marshall 4x12 with Celestions for it and couldn't believe the difference. It actually sounded like a Marshall now.

    I also used to play bass in a hardcore band and used a Fender Bassman 70 head. The band had access to a Peavey 2x15 cabinet with Peavey Black Widow speakers in it. My bass was loud enough to get over the drums and guitar and had a nice snarl to it with that cabinet. The owner of that cabinet wanted it back so I bought a Peavey 2x15 with Scorpions in it. It didn't sound near as good and was noticeably quieter.
     
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  3. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Speakers , preamp, power tube type , rectifier type , cab type
     
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  4. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Afflicted

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    One thing about speakers (in the overall picture..) is that they represent the last and final shaping (EQ'ing) of your sound. The speaker has 'final say' what the end result is before it reaches human ears.

    Many players can say subjectively if a speaker has 'good sound' or produces sound that is 'liked' or not. But, I think the issue of speakers is one where guitarists would be well served in delving deeper into the technical details to understand (say, from just specifications) better if a potential speaker is likely suitable for their desired application. A spec sheet with response curve can give up a lot of useful information in knowing whether one should be considered or not or guesstimating how it might sound. Which is not to say, there isn't always some degree of subjectivity involved in assessing a given speaker for a certain application.

    There is no amplification without a speaker (even headphones have speakers :D).
    It's a 50-50 type arrangement. ;)

    IMO / YMMV / etc
     
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  5. benderb9

    benderb9 Tele-Afflicted

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    every speaker I've replaced was a major improvement across the board. Eminence Wheelhouse Neo into my Fender Blues Deluxe was my first real attempt and it was impressive-shed some weight and really made the clean channel sing. Put a Ragin' Cajun into my 76 Princeton and was surprised again-winner winner chicken dinner. Then a Celestion 70th Anniversary G12 came up on Craig's List and that went into the Princeton behind the 10" hole-wow, liked it so much I ordered a MojoTone 12" cab for it (just got it last week finishing the install and tilt back legs install). The Ragin' Cajun went into a VHT Special 6 and what a major upgrade. Vox AC10 w/10" Greenback upgrade from Sweetwater is a great combo by losing the original Celestion. Bought a Weber single 12" cab and put a G12H-75 Creamback into it for a converted Hammond Organ amp a friend made me and it just sings. Have two Marshall 1931A & B cabs from a SS amp in the late 80's that were loaded with Celestion G12T-75's, the amp blew-up and I paired them with a Blackheart HD-15 head and it never sounded very good, thought it was the amp and I rarely used it. Six months ago the A cab got a Celestion Vintage 30 and the B cab a G12H-75 Creamback (both 16 ohm with a parallel input on the A cab for 8 ohms), Suddenly that BH HD-15 came ALIVE!!! Cool part of the Marshall cabs is either pairs up nice with my Origin 5 and lets that little amp sound like a Marshall. Just plugged a Fender Greta into that Weber cab the other day and couldn't believe how cool it sounded. So I agree that the speaker is a pretty important consideration in the whole tonal equation. Especially as it's the last component and the actual output device of whatever your trying to do before it gets to it, maybe one of the more crucial elements involved.
     
  6. radiocaster

    radiocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    The preamp of course, it can determine if the sound is clean or distorted, and the eq.

    I would say the cab is even more than the speaker. It can make a midrangy speaker sound scooped and affect the sound in all kinds of ways.
     
  7. brmusician

    brmusician TDPRI Member

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    I also didn't pay attention on speakers, but last days I've got a Celestion Alnico Blue and a handmade cabinet from a local manufacturer... great deal assembling it by myself and great tone no matter the tube amp. Now I think speakers are the main concern when shaping my tone, and for bluesy and pop stuff, alnico ones are great.
     
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  8. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    That's tough to generalize on, but yes speakers first.
    Pre amp and power amp probably equal. ie: a Cathode bias power amp is gonna get it's point across with any proper working preamp.
    Cab third, but possibly even second to my ears. A proper shape cab can make a cheap speaker sound pretty good.
    Pickups? meh, way down the list unless they are some extreme design.
     
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  9. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the input. That’s a whole bunch of experimenting. My best has been a homemade cabinet with 12” Red Jack and a 10” Red Coat
     
  10. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Can you help with what a rectifier is...thx
     
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  11. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    You got that right!....The amount of space around the speaker, cabinet depth, type of wood, flexibility of the baffle etc it all makes a difference....I have some cabinet designs to experiment with this summer
     
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  12. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    Do you have a picture of your work? i would love to see it
     
  13. brmusician

    brmusician TDPRI Member

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    I'm not an audio tech, but here is my impression about a rectifier.

    It's another parameter that adds vintage "mojo" to your tone due to the "sag" effect, a kind of compression came from the rectifier circuit. Most affordable tube amps have solid state rectifiers, which is fine for high power amplifiers: the effect is originally more evident on lower powered amps since it's easier to stress its power section. However, there are other sources of tube compression, e.g., when reaching the headroom threshold on tube preamp and power amp tubes. I'm looking for a small amp with a tube rectifier for home practicing and recording. I don't see a reason for having a tube rectifier amp on gigs.
     
  14. brmusician

    brmusician TDPRI Member

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    Here are some pictures before fully assembling. The cabinet can be fully closed or half open... I'm using it closed back right now. P.S.: the seller says the cab is based on Mesa Boogie Fillmore 25, but really don't know, I just wanted an affordable cab to drop the alnico blue. Sounds great anyway.

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  15. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    What would be an example of a cathode bias power amp?
     
  16. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    That's a nice job!....is there a lining in the cab?
     
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  17. brmusician

    brmusician TDPRI Member

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    No... it only has a kind of rubberized lining where the back covers touch the cab.
     
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  18. rdjones

    rdjones Tele-Meister

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    The classic example is the 5E3, tweed Deluxe.
    Most (but not all) amps using 6BQ5s are cathode biased.
    The MusicMaster Bass is cathode biased but is unique in that it has a transformer phase inverter.
    The vast majority of single ended amps are cathode bias.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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  19. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    My Roland Micro Cube has a Rectifier setting which is a whole lotta crunch and drive. It's suppose to mimic a Mesa Boogie..I do like that setting sometimes....Stew Mac has a device called Black Ice which adds distortion to your guitar. I am told that it is a series of rectifier diodes encased in epoxy. I am lost on the tech....I did find this article https://www.rogueguitarshop.com/blogs/blog/26721540-what-does-that-rectifier-do-anyways
     
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  20. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Speakers are certainly very important but putting them above the amp makes no sense.

    There are lots of great $59 speakers capable of getting the most out of a great amp.
    There are no $59 amps capable of getting the most out of a great speaker.

    That said, I have 25 amps and 40 speakers.
    Right now my most played amp is running through an Eminence that cost probably $75 but is discontinued, while I have $200 speakers in cabs right next to the cheaper speaker that suits me fine.

    I think also that the guitar hobby modding craze might be making hobbyists assume we are all tech experts who can design amps in our heads.

    It's a fallacy to think we can assign degrees of importance to preamp, power amp, speakers and cabs in something that's a whole system working in concert.

    If an old Plexi Marshall sounds too clean and bright when run through a quad of EVM 12L's, but sounds "better" when run through a quad of G12M25s, does that mean the speakers are more important than the amp?

    And can we then expect every other amp to be "improved" by those "superior" speakers?
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2021
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