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What amp to build around 2x10 CTS ceramic speakers?

Discussion in 'Glowing Bottle Tube Amp Forum' started by theprofessor, Nov 24, 2020.

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  1. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    I recently picked up a pair of CTS ceramic 10's from 1977-1978 that are newly re-coned. When I got them, I had a particular amp in mind. I may still build that amp, but I thought I'd throw this out to see what other folks say about where these may shine. Maybe the answer is obvious, but perhaps there are some other configurations or circuits that I should consider. If you had two healthy CTS ceramic speakers, what tube amp would you want pushing them?

    EDIT: P. S. I already have a 5f4 Tweed Super clone I built.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
  2. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    My Marshall jtm30 is a 2x10. I recommend a 2 x 6L6 as it'll push those 10s nicely. I would stick with one channel with master volume and effects loop.
    If I could build an amp though, I would include a 9v DC tap to power a pedal board, an XLR out for recording, and a bias compensation doohickey to roll with other octal tubes.
    Have you got a circuit in mind?
     
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  3. JRapp

    JRapp Tele-Holic

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    The obvious ones that come to mind are BF/SF Vibrolux, tweed or brown Super, or add a speaker and make a bigger baffle for a 3x10" Bandmaster setup. I kinda favor the latter because there's more low end and apparent volume. A 6L6 5F4 chassis is pretty much the same as a Bandmaster and that would be a pretty cool amp IMHO. I made a 3x10" combo out of a BF Bandmaster head and it was a great amp.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2020
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  4. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    A ‘63 Vibroverb would be my choice...

    or maybe a half-Super Reverb...A Sup Rev?
     
  5. Bill Moore

    Bill Moore Tele-Afflicted

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    I've been holding on to a couple of late 60's C10N Jensen's for a 6G16 build.
     
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  6. Lowerleftcoast

    Lowerleftcoast Friend of Leo's

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    Beside the obvious...

    A 5E7 with 5881's (low powered 6L6) as a 2x combo.

    The gravity thing is more problematic these days so I might let them live in a 2x10 speaker cabinet. Like this.

    IMG_20191126_112644x2.jpg
     
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  7. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    A V-front Super would be cool.
     
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  8. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    Do you think CTS's would sound good in a 6G16, or do they "need" to be in a BF style amp?
     
  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    That is a GORGEOUS cabinet! May I have it? :)
     
  10. Intubator

    Intubator Tele-Holic

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    I think they'd sound great in a 6G16. It's already half BF anyway...
     
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  11. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've not found the ceramic 70's CTS's to be very good sounding. They sounded kind of loose and grainy, big voice coil gap would be my guess. Albeit they have large magnets. But yours were reconed, who reconed and to what type of speaker were they done? What were they out of?
    Mine looked like this:
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2020
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  12. dogmeat

    dogmeat Friend of Leo's

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    I'm in love with the Hoffman 18W 6V6 powered Plexi
     
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  13. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Yeah, I like the 6g16 or BF Vibrolux idea!

    35-40 watts, 2x10... Bet those CTS would sound just fine!
     
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  14. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    They're on the way to me now. I'll see about posting more pics when I get them. Of course, if I don't like them, all bets are off. But they came out of a Fender amp of some sort -- a Vibrolux Reverb or a Super Reverb -- as they're the Fender Special Design speakers. They were re-coned by Acme Guitars in St. Louis. Here are some pics of the '78 one from the seller.

    CTS 10 1978.jpg CTS 10 1978_2.jpg
     
  15. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    I believe mine were 16 ohm out of a Super Six or something like that. Yours may come out great!
     
  16. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    +1. Nicer trem, more usable volume than Vibrolux which otherwise would be the pick.
     
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  17. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Or go crazy and a little rare/oddball and make a replica of the old Brownface/Brown Tolex Super...

    Pretty rare—I’ve only seen two in my life...

    EDIT:
    can y’all tell I’m a Brownface enthusiast?
     
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  18. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    I picked these to make a Blackface Vibrolux, and I think that's closer to my sound than a 6g16 Vibroverb. But a 6G16 is not at all far away...

    Some questions and comments:
    • Would either a 6G16 Vibroverb or an AA964 BF VR really be different enough from the tonality of my 5f4 Tweed Super?
    • @Dacious: is the 6G16 Vibroverb really more manageable, volume-wise, than a VR? If so, how? I know it has the nicer tremolo for sure, but I am much more sanguine to the BF reverb tuning than the 6G15-type reverb tuning in the 6G16.
    • Is it fair to say that the 6G16 Vibroverb sounds a little more "rootsy" than a BF VR? It sounds that way to me. Not necessarily a bad thing, but it's what I'm hearing.
    • If I do build something other than a BF VR, I think it would be a 6G16. I'm just worried that I won't like it as much. I'm not certain I'm a brown Fender guy, but I know I love BF sparkly cleans.
    • That said, I already have a '76 Deluxe Reverb that I love. And there's also the question of how different the VR would be from that.
    • So, in sum: if I already have a DR and a 5f4, which of these two amps -- a 6G16 or a BF VR -- would be different enough to warrant building? It's not that I have to have it; it's more that I love building guitar amps.
     
  19. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    Blackface amps, such as the Vibrolux Reverb, are going to be a bit cleaner and—in your words—“sparklier” than a brownface amp such as a Vibroverb.

    There’s plenty of clean tones in the Vibroverb and—with some tweaking of the tone knobs—some sparkle to be found as well...

    But it appears the Blackface Vibrolux is your goal, so I would go in that direction...
     
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  20. Axis29

    Axis29 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I've had a BF Vibrolux Reverb and a 6G16 Vibroverb (Reissue) at the same time. Also, had a Princeton Reverb Reissue at the same time as well. Oh, and I owned a Deluxe Reverb Ri at the same time I had the Vibrolux.... It's been a convoluted journey. LOL

    I do not have any real experience with a tweed Super, I'm afraid.

    But, I'll try to give you a brief (LOL) version of my experience.

    Started when I got the Deluxe Reverb. Great rock and roll tone, bright, cutting, it's a DR, right? Lance brought over his '69 Vibrolux Reverb and I was hit by it basically being a bigger, punchier version of the DR... But with the glassy 6l6 thing added in. I was in love and knew I'd have to own a VR some day. I began searching, and ended up stumbling into a '63 Vibroverb Ri for a deal.

    The Vibroverb was much warmer, a lot more clean headroom than the DRRi and has the bias vary trem. Chewy, juicy, warm. Loved it from the get-go. I sold the DRRi. Never looked back. Eventually, Lance made me a deal on the Vibrolux Reverb, and I had these two great gigging amps. The Vibroverb worked better at lower volumes... The Vibrolux had that kinda thin lower volume tone, but it was still much better than the Deluxe at low volume. It is definitely more scooped than the 6g16. The reverb is more scooped, the general tone is more scooped and the vibrato is much less appealing to me. Somewhere during this period, I landed a '65 Princeton Reverb (with a V30 in it) and had all three... They kinda lined up Vibroverb, Princeton, Vibrolux in the warm to scooped scale.

    But, they all sounded like Fenders.

    The Princeton went first... The V30 made it almost as heavy as either of the other two amps, so it really wasn't the grab and go amp I had wanted.

    The Vibrolux went next. Traded it for a 5e3 and some cash. Still got the 5e3. More grab and go compatible, breaks up sooner for smaller gigs... And, heck, it sounds like a tweed Deluxe!

    I still have the '63 Vibroverb. Although, admittedly, I haven't turned it on in a while (I need to figure out some oscillation thing going on with it) and I've been playing mostly tweed amps for a while now. Also, I added a Marshall to the mix, it's been another smaller wattage amp.

    For me, the warmer, mid-heavier older Fender amps are more appealing. I don't currently own any blackface derivatives... Although, I've contemplated a Super Reverb recently... Or, maybe another Princeton Reverb, probably a bit more stock, though.
     
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