Celestion "Greenback" ID thread, pics, descriptions, etc.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Scumback Speakers, Feb 4, 2005.

  1. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    After being on this board for over a year, I see there's still alot of confusion about what a Celestion "Greenback" is. I'll try to describe all the ones I have myself with pictures, cone #'s, labels, etc. The difference between Pre Rola's, and current "Reissues" from the 80's on forward.

    Hopefully, those of you who wish to purchase "Greenbacks" from the old days can use this thread to ID any "Greenbacks" you're thinking of getting, and keep your sellers honest, and you from being taken to the cleaners. I will refer to Michael Doyle's "The History of Marshall" for some reference points, my own experience in buying over 400 of these in the last 5 years, and pictures, OK?

    EDIT 9/1/10: Date code charts for pre rola era Greenbacks (both G12M 20, 25w, and G12H 25 & 30w) are below.

    1963 - 1967
    YEAR CODE MONTH CODE
    1963 H January A
    1964 J February B
    1965 K March C
    1966 L April D
    1967 M May E
    June F
    July G
    August H
    September J
    October K
    November L
    December M
    Note the loss of the 'I' from the month codes. The date codes from 1963 to 1967 are written in the form: Day, Month, Year. For example: 19MK = 19th December 1965


    Be advised that very few of you will find these early pre rolas. But if you do, the date code and Txxxx code will be on the front of the cork gasket of the speaker. This means you won't see it until you remove the speaker from the cab to look.



    --------------------------------


    This is the date code chart most pre rola speakers fall into. The Pulsonic cones (75hz 102 003, 102/3, 102 3 and "3" lead cones, 55hz 102 014, 102/14, 102 14 and "4" cones)were discontinued in late 73, early 74. RIC xxx cones (Rola Celestion made, not Pulsonic or Kurt Mueller) from late 73-early 75, Kurt Mueller 1777 (75hz) and 444 (55hz) cones from early 75 to present.

    1968 - 1991
    YEAR CODE MONTH CODE
    1968 A January A
    1969 B February B
    1970 C March C
    1971 D April D
    1972 E May E
    1973 F June F
    1974 G July G
    1975 H August H
    1976 J September J
    1977 K October K
    1978 L November L
    1979 M December M
    1980 N
    1981 P
    1982 Q
    1983 R
    1984 S
    1985 T
    1986 U
    1987 V
    1988 W
    1989 X
    1990 Y
    1991 Z/A
    The date codes from 1968 to 1991 are written in the form: Month, Year, Day.
    For example: KH7 = 7th October 1975





    Let's discuss G12M "Greenbacks" first.

    These originally came out in the mid 60's. Ceramic magnet, 35 oz. magnet weight (referred to as a "M" or medium weight magnet).

    T1134 G12M, introduced in November, 1964 with an 1777 lead cone, 75hz bass response, 10-12 ohm rating. This is the forerunner to the T1221 G12M Greenback most of us are familar with (T1221 is a 15 ohm model, 102 003 Pulsonic cone, 35 oz magnet). The T1161 is the same as the T1134 but is a 15 ohm rating. Has no back cover magnet, but a very small Celestion label that's oval, red background with "Celestion" in the middle of the label. This is from a T1417 G12S speaker from 1971.
    [​IMG]


    T1221 G12M, May 1966 intro date. These came with "Pre Rola" Celestion labels like this one:
    This is a T1511 model (16 ohm bass cone 55hz 014 cone, pretty rare these days)
    [​IMG]
    This is the T1239 model, which has a 30 watt rating on it's fake/repro label (15 ohm bass cone 55hz 444 cone, even more rare these days than the T1511)
    [​IMG]
    This is a T1221 (AM17 date code, January 17, 1967) with the "Marshall" script logo, Pulsonic 102 003 lead 75hz cone (this one pictured is a 53-H1777 Celestion reconed model)
    [​IMG]

    This is the G12M Reissue (Vox Label). 6402 cone code, 75hz, bass response, green magnet cover, and a statement on the label that usually says something like the following:
    "This speaker is built to the original G12M specifications. Be careful not to exceed the speaker wattage ratings... blah, blah, blah". When you see that, you know it's a newer one. If it has a big long code on the frame, 12 digits in a row, you know it's a reissue, not an old one. The gray speaker tabs, the long code # (not just a Txxxx code) and the "Celestion, Ipswich, England" address are dead giveaways to it's recent production.
    [​IMG]
    Now on to the other Greenbacks, the Celestion G12H30 Pre Rola's. These heavier magnet, 100db (vs. the G12M 97db) versons came out in October, 1966.

    T1862 & T1234 G12H30 heavy magnet (50 oz. ceramic magnet), Pulsonic 102 003 75hz lead cone model, 8 ohms (pretty rare in 8 ohms). I've seen a total of 7 of these in 200 plus Pre Rola purchases. As rare as Pre Rola's are, these are amongst the rarest.
    The T1862 came out of an open back combo I was told, so I'd have to guess the T1234 did, too. This info can't be confirmed, however.
    T1862 G12H30 8 ohm pic:
    [​IMG]
    T1234 G12H30 8 ohm pic:
    [​IMG]

    T1534 & T1281 G12H30 (50 oz. heavy ceramic magnet) Pulsonic 102 014 55hz bass cone. The T1534's have a label, usually they're marked as 75hz bass response (lead cone type) but they should have the 55 hz on them if Celestion ever printed enough labels, but they didn't... The T1281's were put into 4x12 BASS and 100 logo'd cabs. I got three of these in a 69 Marshall Basketweave cab I bought last year with original wiring and unbroken solder. Of the four I own, none has a label. Makes me wonder why the T1534 has one, unless it was in a 2x12 combo, or 2x12 cab perhaps? Same basic speaker, though.
    T1534 pic:
    [​IMG]
    T1281 pic:
    [​IMG]

    The deepest sounding models have the 55 hz bass cones, the brighter sounding models have the 75 hz cones. The "100" logo cabs and the "Bass" logo cabs used the heavy duty G12H30 55hz speakers (for the most part). Here's a pic of my 69 Marshall straight cab (1982 model) with the gold 6" Marshall and 100 logos.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Hopefully this clears up some of the "Pre Rola" vs Rola vs. Reissue issues in a visually descriptive, informative way. Let me know if there's any questions or if you have an update for me. I suspect that one or two labels could have been lost, changed, or just outright forgeries, but at least the Txxxx codes, the date codes, and the cone #'s will authenticate the construction of these old "Greenbacks" when the labels are gone, swapped or false.

    Keep in mind, these old speakers go for big bucks. I have paid up to $350 each for some of mine (acually six of them). The lowest price I paid was $100, and it was a mistake, too, because the seller thought it was dead (turned out to be a loose lead wire from speaker tab to cone). If you find a quad of these with matching date codes, be prepared to spend $400 or more each (assuming a tested, no issues original Pulsonic cone). Loose singles go for up to $350, matched date code pairs are usually $800, and I've heard of quads with matching date codes going for $1800-2000.

    Good luck in your searches for the old tone! :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  2. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    VERY COOL!

    Thanks
     
  3. Hipster Dofus

    Hipster Dofus Member

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    Can you show the spiders and are the coils all the same size? Can you elaborate on the coils more?

    I have seen speakers with all diff size and height of spiders. Are the GB's the same over time?
     
  4. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    I'm beside myself waiting for your G12M clones tto be ready!!

    The wait is gonna kill me!!
     
  5. pluto

    pluto Member

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    Thanks Scumbag. This thread is very informative for me.
     
  6. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    They changed the suspensions all the time at Celestion. That's why you'll see different spiders, and all that good stuff. I can't really elaborate on the coils much. They're a 1.75 inch voice coil. From what I understand, the longer the voice coil, the more power it handles. If you use different voice coil materials (nomex, fiberglass, paper, etc.) the tone changes slightly and the power handling is altered.
    The Greenbacks changed over time, both on coils, suspension/spider, and cones. That's why I bought over 400 of these things, had them tested, and when my local authorized Celestion warranty station dubbed a speaker as "perfect" I marked it as that.

    What I sent Weber VST to make for me were all dubbed as "perfect" speakers, so that's one reason why the speakers sound as good as they do.
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012
  7. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    They're "creambacks" and the magnet cover is insignificant of the tone. They could probably have been "Greenbacks" if the cone had been used a year earlier and they had green magnet covers.

    The tone is in the cone.

    I have a creamback pair in my personal 2x12 Scumbag combo. It's got the "3" cone, the very last version of the 102 003 cone, from what I understand. I bought two from a guy here in So Cal who charged me $250 for the pair. Then he knocked off $50 because it was missing one magnet cover when I got there. These speakers are very solid, and kick serious booty.. so that was a steal, to say the least.

    So, in essence, I've got Pre Rola tone for a very reasonable price. But I have only seen four of those speakers total, as well in all of my travels/purchases. They were available from late 72 to early 74 (based on my personal purchases) and the 444 55hz cone, and the 1777 75hz cone were used almost exclusively after 75.
     
  8. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Patience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2011
  9. pluto

    pluto Member

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    Scumbag, how much do you think these speakers are worth (They're T1281s, but dated 1976 and 1977 I think):
    [​IMG]

    Thanks (and to the moderators-I'm not selling these speakers, I just want to find out what these things are worth).
     
  10. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Glad I could help. I'm going to sell off all of this stuff you saw in the pics when the next batch of Scumbacks is in. I'm only keeping 12 of the 30 or so I've got here (and that doesn't include all of the speakers, just the oldest ones). That means that ebay and the Gear Emporium will have some classifieds as these are my personal speakers for tone comparisons.
     
  11. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I'd have to see pics of them, date codes, cone codes, etc. Get some good pics, send them to me, and I'll give you a current market price analysis. Keep in mind, I only would comment on "no issues, no voice coil rub, no recones" speakers.

    If it's been reconed, it depends on who did it with what cone. There are alot of variables, and that's another whole can of worms. Send me a pic to the email address I have when you click the "email" button, and I'll see what's up.
     
  12. Lonely Raven

    Lonely Raven Supporting Member

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    Very cool Jim!

    I hope you have all those photos and whatnot backed up on
    CD somewhere. If you're hard drive dies, that's a lot of great
    photos lost!
     
  13. pluto

    pluto Member

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    Thanks. When I get the time to open up my cab again and take pics, I'll send them over to you. The cones are apparently original from what the seller told me. I didn't really question their originality because the cab itself just sounded so awesome with my Marshalls. FWIW-The dates on the frames that is apparent on the picture (two right speakers) say JK27 and LK8 or something like that and then it says T1281 next to it. Anyway, thanks again, and I will send a pic when I get the chance. I appreciate it! Mark
     
  14. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Mark, no problema! You probably have 444 55hz Mueller cones (same ones they'll likely use on the Celeston Heritage speakers when they come out in May). The BlackBack T1281 speakers are very nice. They took them and the G12M's out in 79, so your's are later, but those date codes suggest late 77 models.

    Those are still good speakers, and they sell for about $175 - $200 each if original cones are in good shape. More if they're pristine. For what it's worth.
     
  15. pluto

    pluto Member

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    Thanks again Scumbag! I appreciate your help greatly.
     
  16. ButchR

    ButchR Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the info, Scumbag!:)
     
  17. Laroosco!

    Laroosco! Member

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    NO problem. I'm looking forward to it. I'm sure it will be worth the wait
     
  18. Axeplyr

    Axeplyr Member

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    Thanks for an excellent, very informative thread!

    BTW, I picked up a pair of the T1234 G12H30 8 ohm speakers on Ebay. I got what I considered a pretty good deal on them (about $200 for the pair). They appear to be original cones and are in great condition other than a small cone tear (size of a thumb) that doesn't affect the sound.

    Anybody know what these things are really worth?
     
  19. MickRonson

    MickRonson Member

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    excellent!! thank you, scum! you answered a lot of my questions. :AOK
     
  20. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I was on eBay this morning, and found a pristine example of an NOS Celestion "transition" labeled G12M T1221 15 ohm speaker with a Pulsonic 102 3 75hz cone. Those of you who are looking for a "time capsule" model to own should check this out. $350 starting bid, no reserve. Told you these cost a bunch of money, didn't I? Wow!
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43375&item=3780681224&rd=1

    I did swipe some pics for this thread, and here they are:
    Celestion "transition" label, only made for a few months in 1971 (as far as I know, AFAIK) Notice the large Celestion name in in reverse like a Pre Rola label, but the new "Rola Celestion LTD" name and address are at the bottom. Very rare label, all "Pre Rola" construction. I've got four of these, one is at Weber VST for the Scumback M75 project. Compare this label to the original Pre Rola label, note the differences.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    This is a "Pre Rola" black speaker tab. While you can find the black tab in speakers up to 1973, sometimes they came with the later cone codes (102/14, 102/3, 3, 4). Generally though, this is an indicator of an old Celestion, and likely with Pre Rola Pulsonic cones installed (like this one).
    [​IMG]
    The sometimes hard to find 102/3 or 102 003 cone code on the back of the Pulsonic speaker cone.
    [​IMG]
    The "3" cone code pic of a 1971 T1862 Pre Rola G12H30 8 ohm. Seems Celestion used this cone from 71-74 (approximately).
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    An unplayed, unmolested, and also unbroken in, 102 3 Pulsonic cone's front side. Notice the doping style, placing and technique (exactly what I instructed Weber to do for the Scumback speakers, by the way). The doping on this is very black, normally the doping ages to a light gray color over time. Not this one, it's been "in the box" no dust, no wear, no nothing!
    [​IMG]
    Four G12H speakers in a row. This is how you'll find Pre Rola G12H labels on speakers you'll buy, they come all ways.
    [​IMG]
    Four G12M speakers in a row. This is what you can find for labels on old G12M's. Disregard the "Vox" Reissue G12M, that's there for reference to compare.
    [​IMG]
    "Greenback" magnet covers. The easiest way to tell a G12M from a G12H? The magnet covers on the G12H are much taller to allow for the larger magnet. The G12H magnet covers are straight sides, the G12M covers are shorter, and have a ridge along the bottom about 1/4" tall, the G12H does not. Notice that the G12H cover comes down much farther on the speaker frame, closer to the frame support spokes. In this pic, the G12H is on the left, the G12M is on the right.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2012

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