Become a Supporting Member


Go Back   The Gear Page > The Gear > Amps and Cabs

Notices


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-22-2009, 07:55 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
WGS BlackHawk 100W review/comparison...

Got my 100W WGS BlackHawk last week, and I've been playing it almost every day since then. Comparing it to my Fane AXA12, Fane AXA10, Celestion Gold, and EV SRO/12 AlNiCo.

The BlackHawk isn't fully broken in yet, but so far I really like it a lot. Very balanced and harmonically rich - great feel, especially with OD tones. Nothing negative to report - it's all very good. WGS has come up with a unique offering that holds its own among many other notable contenders. It's in very high contention for a spot in my setup.

After only 4 days of comparisons between the 4 speakers, I can honestly say that all the speakers are truly excellent, each with its own unique voice and character, yet with the expected AlNiCo similarities, re chewy compression, sweetness, etc. I truly love them all, but I'll only be able to keep 2, due to downsizing my setup.

FYI... For these comparisons, my Kingsley D32C has 2 x EL84 Mullards + 2 NOS Tesla EL34s for power tubes and a mix of great NOS preamp tubes.

Comparatively speaking, the EV SRO is very in-your-face - as if you kicked in a compressor or boost. With a singing OD tone, it feels like molten liquid glass and rubber combined, under your fingers. The other 3 are very close, but not quite so intense and dramatic. I can see why many people love this speaker. The BlackHawk is the closest to the EV of the 3.

The clean tones are much closer to each other - no dramatic differences per se. Just wonderful, unique variations of that AlNiCo beautiful, sweet clean 3D thing. The Gold does have the high mid/high sparkly, edgy thing that the others don't have, but some of that can be EQ'd in if you want.

The OD differences are a bit more obvious. I can't say that one is 'better' than the other. It boils down to personal taste and tonal preferences and how they 'feel' under your fingers.

Here's how I'm comparing/rating them relative to how they relate to my tastes. Let's say that they share many similarities, so I'll only list some of the differences and distinguishing features as I'm experiencing them so far...

EV SRO/12 - fat/thick mids/low mids, more girth, LOUD, sweet, detailed, commanding, great feel

WGS BlackHawk - defined, clear, stout, solid, creamy, beautiful vocal quality, great feel, not broken in

Celestion Gold - nice upper mid edge, sparkly, not as thick/fat, leaner, sweet

Fane AXA12 - nice mids, 3D, not quite as thick/fat, open, nice vocal quality

Each speaker has a slightly different 'feel' under my fingers, which is a key part of the whole speaker/tone connection, IMHO. It's the Tempur-pedic effect! The EV SRO and BlackHawk feel the most inspiring to play, with the Gold and Fane not far behind.

I wish I could keep all 4 of them. They are all excellent speakers. Maybe I'll figure out a way to do that.

But to bring this first part of the review/comparison back into focus, I have to say that I am very impressed with the BlackHawk. I tried a Jensen Blackbird several months ago with high hopes, but it wasn't for me. The BlackHawk is stunningly good, and that's in the context of the EV SRO, Fane and Gold. That's saying something IMHO.

This is a killer speaker - WGS has a big winner on its hands IMO. Highly recommended if you're into high powered AlNiCo speakers.

That's it for now. I'll report more when I have more to reveal.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 11-22-2009, 08:47 PM
James BCM's Avatar
James BCM James BCM is offline
Gold Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Memphis, TN.
Posts: 633
Completely agree.

WGS owner and I worked a deal out last year where I was to beta test the original 50 watt Black Hawk in my own exclusive Soldano 44 BCM 1 x 12" combo amp. It sounded awesome but compared to the Jensen Black Bird in 100 watts, there was no comparison at higher volumes. Since I'm a Jensen OEM dealer, I asked if this speaker could be built as a high powered version for a better test with the Black Bird. That is what became the 100 watt Black Hawk.

I now have a Black Hawk in both of my serial #001 and #002 Soldano 44 BCM combo amps. 001 always stays at home with me, and 002 is in our studio full time. I LOVE what this speaker does in all guitars playing all types of music. The only thing I think that the Black Bird excels at better than this speaker is very high gain or very hot, i.e. EMG pickups. The Black Hawk can handle it, but the slightly darker Black Bird loves the aggressive stuff.

WGS guys hit a home run with this speaker. It is very open and dynamic with a Strat, handles classic rock very well, and can run with the Creed/Alter Bridge stuff too. Again, if you are a death metal guy, keep running with the V 30's.

LB
BCM
__________________
Authorized Dealer: Soldano, Diamond, Diezel, Splawn, Louis Electric, Diamond/DBZ Guitars, Zemaitis Guitars, Solid Cables, American DJ lighting, etc.
Personal Rig: Soldano SLO-100 (one off), Soldano 44 BCM combos (#001/#002), Diamond Spitfire II (Custom Shop #001), original 1969 Marshall SLT/Plexi, Louis Electric BCM "Bluesbreaker" 2x12" combo.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 11-23-2009, 11:51 AM
Nathan Nathan is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 612
I'm happy to say I picked one up on ebay for a great price. If it's even remotely in the same ballpark as the AXA12 I had, I know I'll be holding on to it for its looks. I'm only about lower wattage amps nowadays so speaker breakup is not something I'm after. Do any of you guys have an opinion on lower wattage going through a higher powered speaker? (I know the technical answer but sometimes tone comes accross in mysterious ways).
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 11-23-2009, 01:03 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
Nathan... Did you get that new one that was up for auction for $165? That came up one day after I bought one at full price!!! D'OH!!! Lucky you.

I'm actually preferring the BlackHawk to my Fane AXA12 at the moment - by quite a margin.

My Kingsley D32C is only a 30W amp, and I typically run it with Power Scaling set around 60% - 80%, and it has no problem bringing out the goods on all my higher power speakers, including 200W EVMs.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 11-23-2009, 03:15 PM
Nathan Nathan is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Montreal
Posts: 612
Yes sir, that was me. I thought WGS might be going back to their low prices for some kind of promotion, but it turns out the guy won it as a door prize and can't really use it. As for wattage, it really is nothing more than a heat dissipating measure. To get a higher power rating they change the material of the voice coil. I know the Fane is fiberglass, can't speak to the others. That doesn't affect a speaker's ability to reproduce sound. However cone breakup IS audible and you may desire that kind of distortion. Personally I have no idea what it sounds like per se.

Last edited by Nathan; 11-23-2009 at 03:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 11-23-2009, 04:22 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
Good score Nathan! Nice door prize. I'm not hearing any cone breakup on the BlackHawk as I'm using it.

Please contribute your review to this thread once you've tried it.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 11-23-2009, 09:01 PM
pula58 pula58 is offline
Silver Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 3 reviews
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 1,549
how efficient is the 100W blackhawk compared to the EV SRO?
Is the bass tight on the blackhawk 100W-er?
__________________
owner: www.sunnyside-amps.com
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 11-23-2009, 09:10 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
The EV SRO is the most efficient speaker I've ever played. It's rated at 103 db. I believe the BlackHawk is around 97 db - 98 db, so it's not as efficient. The differences become less apparent at higher volume levels. The BlackHawk is right there with the Gold and Fane and even the EVM-12L, as far as perceived efficiency.

The bass is tight and focused on the BlackHawk - a bit more so than the Fane, and very close to the EV SRO - very defined and throaty. It has more girth than the Gold, which seems to be the leanest of the 4, by a small margin.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 02-06-2010, 11:05 AM
mxr2000 mxr2000 is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 820
bump
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-05-2010, 01:52 PM
jbp jbp is offline
Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 1,111
Anyone know how the Blackhawk (100 watt) sounds in a closed back cab?
__________________
Good dealings: stratovarius, harpinon, Dr. Tweedbucket, Guitardave, Notsobizarre, guitarua, Moat, wxrplayer, dplive, telechuck, ripley156, Joe Gamble, Astronome, Pa'ani, Vintage, Phil M, stashman, fugot, Brion, tubeinmyhead, Brads, Big Daddy, Timster, lifeiswonderful, boosted1, bartmcartman, sdd17, gpabbeb, Wallace, michael.e, Johnnythunders, kingpinboogie, inuitdream, eddie v, tvegas99
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-05-2010, 02:18 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
My BlackHawk sounded great in a PCW 2-12 and really nice in its final home, a Forte 3D, which is closed back with side ports...

Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-05-2010, 02:58 PM
jdolll jdolll is offline
Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 2 reviews
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 1,069
Anyone had any experience with the blackhawk against the asw alnico elegante?
__________________
| K-Line Truxton '72 reissue | K-Line San Bernadino | Gretsch Jet Baritone | Taylor 210 |
| Pure 64 Nytro II | Axe FX II | MFC-101 | Mission Eng | Relay G90 Wireless | MONO |
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-05-2010, 03:07 PM
Macaroni Macaroni is offline
Senior Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Los Angeles
Posts: 4,372
Quote:
Anyone had any experience with the blackhawk against the asw alnico elegante?
I'm curious about that too. I have heard that ASW gets their parts from WGS, and they look pretty much identical externally, but that doesn't mean they are of course. The price difference is the big issue for me.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-06-2010, 08:09 AM
dbeeman's Avatar
dbeeman dbeeman is offline
Gold Supporting Member
Feedback Score: 1 reviews
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: DFW
Posts: 4,119
I have them both. Quick comparison with Aiken Invader and similar, but not the same open back cabs:

WGS has more bass and a more even sounding freq resp.

ASW More high end and breaks up a lot faster. But the Highs are those sweet ASW highs.

Which is better? I have no idea. Depends on application and ears. I intend to try both in some live situations.


As far as the parts - the frames look similar. The cones do not. Not sure about vc, spider, magnet systems etc.
__________________
dB

I once did some contract work for StageCraft Cabinets

Last edited by dbeeman; 08-06-2010 at 01:50 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 04-28-2011, 07:48 PM
Mustardcustard6 Mustardcustard6 is offline
New Member
Feedback Score: 0 reviews
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Posts: 12
Does anyone know, for sure, if the WGS blackhawk can be used in a 1x12 with a 100w head?

I heard that 100w heads can actually run up to 150w or so when using the head's tonestack (dumble type head).
__________________
Name's Barf. I'm a mog, half man half dog. I'm my own best friend.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:05 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©1999-2014, The Gear Page, LLC, Brian Scherzer
All rights reserved.
Banner Design: Chris Sileo