Vox + Greenback = great tone?

Discussion in 'Amp Central Station' started by AJBaker, Apr 26, 2021.

  1. DFB1

    DFB1 Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I only bought an AC15 GB last month.
    The tone is friggin great. No need to switch speakers imo.
    I play Tele's,and Les Paul's through it.
    Totally happy with the setup.
     
  2. DeepDangler

    DeepDangler Tele-Holic

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    I loved the greenback in my AC15HW1. Great combo! I heard the alnico version and it wasn’t my thing for the cost. The alnico gets that vintage and old school Vox sound which is a bit too loose for my tastes. The Celestion Creambacks and Redback are fun speakers to try if you need more headroom but like the sound.
     
  3. gusfinley

    gusfinley Tele-Afflicted

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    A few years ago I shifted some equipment around and ended up with a DIY AC15HW that I needed to sell. I wanted to keep the Weber Alnico Blue Dog that I originally used with the amp, so I loaded the amp with a Greenback to sell it (I needed to sell the greenback to fund a Creamback M65). I was surprised how good the AC15 sounded with the greenback after playing it with a "blue alnico" speaker for all those years.

    I surely didn't feel like I was skimping the amp's next owner selling it to them with a greenback.

    The alnico blue is now paired with my new AC15 that I built using JMI era construction methods and it is sounding great, too!
     
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  4. Dukex

    Dukex Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a Weber Z-Matcher because I have three different amps and a couple of stand alone cabs.

    One option is a 2x10 cab. The 10" Weber AlNico Blue and Silver are only $110 each (half the cost of a single 12" Weber Blue). Mine are 16 ohm wired individually. I made a parallel cable so I can also play them together at 8 ohm, so three different tone combos (four if you count the GB).
     
  5. Churchjack

    Churchjack Tele-Meister

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    I'm very satisfied w/ my Greenback in the AC15C1. It's rock'n'roll.
     
  6. JamesAM

    JamesAM Tele-Meister

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    I really like the greenback in my ac15hw! I think it gives it a bit of plexi-ish tone to its breakup characteristic- the alnico blue sounded kind of “swarm of bees”ish to me at the levels I play at. I could see if you’re an edge of breakup person how the more efficient alnico would be better, though.

    I wish the ac15 had a bit more bass thump, but I think a closed back cab with 2 greenbacks in it might fix that.
     
  7. CV Jee Beez

    CV Jee Beez Tele-Afflicted

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    I replaced the blues in my hardwired with Celestion Lynchbacks. Everyone said I was crazy until they heard it. So why not a greenback? Vox seems to think it's OK.
     
  8. MyLesPaulHatesMe

    MyLesPaulHatesMe TDPRI Member

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    I got rid of the greenbacks in favor of a bunch of different speakers, including alnicos.

    I went back to one greenback and a Celestion G12H Anniversary. That was a nice combination.
     
  9. TokyoPortrait

    TokyoPortrait Friend of Leo's

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    Hi.

    Personally, I don't know. But, I have heard this before from people who have the experience to know. That it adds a hint of Marshall. And, it's always been mentioned in a complimentary way, as far as I can recall.

    Incidentally, I was just plying* my hand-wired AC4 during lunch (still working from home), quietly but with drive and grit added by my KoT and Keeley Super Phat Mod. Plus harmonic tremolo and swirly modulated delay. Man it sounded flippin' good.

    Pax/
    Dean
    * typo, but I liked it :)
     
  10. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    They say that a Greenback is particularly good with drive, but I like the cleans as well.
     
  11. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten TDPRI Member

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    Here's the problem with that comparison (and many many others); the amp is being played with the volume barely cracked open. For someone also using the amp at very very low volumes, this is relevant. But for anyone pushing the speakers at gigging volumes and expecting them to sound this similar, the comparison is not very valuable. Most speakers sound the same at low volumes.

    At volume is where things separate, and where these speakers make the amp sound quite different. And one of the most important differences is something that the reviewer didn't even mention; the sensitivity.

    AlNiCo Blues are 100dB, whereas Greenbacks are 97dB (or 98dB for newer ones). Due to this, the Blue pumps out a good whack more volume. This could be desirable or detrimental, depending on your preferences.

    Greenbacks have a distinct grainy character to them, a woody midrange bark, and a loose forgiving response with minimal low end and a high end roll off that some call warmth and others call lack of definition (compared to most AlNiCos or H mag speakers). The grainy texture is pronounced when pushed and mixes with the texture of the overdrive from the amp, creating an overdrive sound that is classic rock and roll.

    The Blue has a similar top end roll off, but pairs with the upper register of a Vox to make a chiming sound that's become the yardstick for these amps. This was the original speaker type that was used in the early Voxes, which is why it is the standard. AlNiCo is now quite expensive compared to ceramic magnets, but the differences are the same, for better or worst. The Blue has a springier bass response that is more controlled than the Greenback, and has a characteristic upper midrange quack (if you will) that's distinct to this speaker. When pushed, it transitions into an aggressive spikey crunch that rides on top of the amp's sound. It's downright scary when you realize how much of the dirt from a cranked AC-30 is coming from the speakers breaking up. There's also a natural compression to the Blue that many people love. The Greenback is loose and forgiving, but this is a different feel from the compression of an AlNiCo speaker.


    The Blue doesn't have the vocal midrange bark or classic rock and roll crunch tone of the Greenback. It doesn't let the amp give up the goods at lower volumes either. The Greenback doesn't have the chime, upper mid quack, or compression of the blue, and it's less aggressive when pushed (for better or worse). They're different tools for different jobs, and I don't consider the Greenback to be a lower cost alternative to the Blue. There are other speakers for that, but they have to be AlNiCo. Conversely, the Blue is not a Greenback with a higher price tag. It isn't automatically better for everyone because it's more expensive. But it *is* the sound that these amps are historically known for.

    Apologies for the novel if this is TMI. But I'm a Vox nut and I figured I'd throw out my experiences from using these amps with both speakers for 20+ years now.
     
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  12. BUG80

    BUG80 Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    Agreed, although I never use my AC30 dimed (not even at gigs) so it was very relevant to me personally.

    Not so sure about that, I clearly hear subtle differences in the video that made me decide to keep the greenbacks.


    No apologies necessary, thanks for your great insights.
     
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  13. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten TDPRI Member

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    I don't blame you, a dimed AC-30 is loud! I had to move down to the 15W versions. I guess part of my point is that the volume makes a big difference and it's something people should be aware of.

    I see it a lot. People will listen to a comparison done at low volume, hear that subtle difference and write the Blue off as overpriced, and write off people who prefer the Blue as paying too much for subtlety. Conversely, one may listen to a comparison done at volume, hear a notable difference and expect that for their bedroom playing situation. It won't be the case.


    It is indeed subtle in the video. At high volume the speaker difference makes it sound like 2 different amps! Someone made a comment earlier about the Greenback making it sound like a Marshall. This is a good point, as we tend to associate the coloration of speakers with the amps they're commonly used with. It's not the amp though, it's the speaker.
    And thanks for yours.
     
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