Advice on Brit style speakers for blackface amps

GorgeousTones75

Senior Member
Messages
457
Hey all.. I've really been growing tired of the typical American Jensen kind of speakers in my Fender amps, Particularly with the blackface era combos. I've never used any other amp or speakers other than vintage American voiced stuff. I'm thinking about swapping a Weber Blue Pup, Or a Celestion gold 10 into my Princeton Reverb to hopefully give some warmth and depth and spark back in the rather vanilla sounding amp. I definitely don't want more volume like a lot of guys do in Princeton amps just a different character. Any thoughts, suggestions? Thanks in advance!:cool:
 

Advisable Owl

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,203
I thought the Celestioj Alnico derived speakers were generally pretty efficient and might add a bit of volume?
 

Rumble5

Member
Messages
1,677
I run two Weber Legacies (Greenback-types) in my '66 Pro Reverb. It definitely provides a different sound than the typical scooped Fender tones. Celestion-type speakers tend to do better than American-types at higher volumes, IMO, because they smooth out the distortion (if you choose the right one). My Pro now has a little more Marshall growl when it's cranked now.

If you don't want more volume then you need to pay attention to the efficiency of both the current speaker and the one you're replacing. Depending on whether your Princeton is an original or reissue, I'd guess the current Jensen is somewhere around 96 - 98 dB. That would be relatively inefficient for a modern speaker. A Gold is 98 dB so it would be about the same. I don't know what the Blue Pup is. You'd have to ask Weber.

If you order from Weber they can customize the speaker to your desired specs. The weight of the magnet you choose has a big influence on the bass response and efficiency (I chose light magnets so the speakers would be highly inefficient- about 94 dB). They can alter the power handling capability (I chose 65-watters so I don't ever have to worry about blowing them). They can also alter the cone type and doping which will impact the tone.

Scumback is another good option if you want a speaker customized to your specs.

Either way, I think you'll find that there are a lot of people who prefer British style speakers in BF Fenders.
 
Last edited:

woof*

Member
Messages
8,803
Celestion 10's, the ones that come in 80's Marshall 4x10 cabs are killer in Super Reverbs.
 

TimH

Member
Messages
6,457
Do you strictly want to stick with 10's or are you open to a baffle change in the Princeton?

If so, G12-65 type speakers are really nice in Fender type amps. They're also quite inefficient at around 97db (if memory serves me correctly).

you may also want to check out the new 68 princeton employs the celestion Ten 30.
 

PB Wilson

Member
Messages
882
I often use a Weber alnico Blue Pup and alnico Silver Ten with my Fender Deluxe-inspired amp. I'm crap at describing tone but they work really well and I don't feel the need to seek out "American-voiced" speakers at all.

I kinda wish the marketing folks didn't separate speakers into British and American categories. Many useful combinations of amp and speaker might be more popular today.
 
Messages
1,335
I have a large 12" cab with an Eminence Governor in it. I also have a cab with a Cannabis Rex. Both my HRD and my new Superchamp x2 head sound great in the CRex cab.
But the Superchamp sounds GLORIOUS with the Governor!
 
Last edited:

GorgeousTones75

Senior Member
Messages
457
I run two Weber Legacies (Greenback-types) in my '66 Pro Reverb. It definitely provides a different sound than the typical scooped Fender tones. Celestion-type speakers tend to do better than American-types at higher volumes, IMO, because they smooth out the distortion (if you choose the right one). My Pro has a little more Marshall growl when it's cranked now.

If you don't want more volume then you need to pay attention to the efficiency of both the current speaker and the one you're replacing. Depending on whether your Princeton is an original or reissue, I'd guess the current Jensen is somewhere between 96 - 98 dB. That would be relatively inefficient for a modern speaker. A Gold is 98 dB so it would be about the same. I don't know what the Blue Pup is. You'd have to ask Weber.

If you order from Weber they can customize the speaker to your desired specs. The weight of the magnet you choose has a big influenced on the bass response and efficiency (I chose light magnets so the speakers would be highly inefficient- about 94 dB). They can alter the power handling capability (I chose 65-watters so I don't ever have to worry about blowing them). They can also alter the cone type and doping which will impact the tone.

Scumback is another good option if you want a speaker customized to your specs.

Either way, I think you'll find that there are a lot of people who prefer British style speakers in BF Fenders.
Thanks! I don't mean to sound bitter about TGP members, but that was frankly the best response I've ever received on here. And I've been on here for a couple years. That was to to the point, Straightforward, Informative and not overly technical or difficult to understand. Believe it or not the responses I expected to get (if any) would be either along the lines of; "Do a search on here.. Or maybe try Google" or a few sentences referring to dynamic variable properties of mechanical Q factor linearity.. :p
Again I don't mean to sound bitter. Just showing appreciation.
-Anyway, Can I ask why you chose light magnets that are so inefficient? What would very low efficiency translate to in terms of sound/dynamics? Also, I understand that power handling capabilities (i.e. Rated Wattage) is something you should consider to make sure that your amp isn't to powerful for it. But is there any difference in sound between a 25 watt and 100 watt speakers in the same 15 watt amp? Other than the likelihood of it blowing of course.. Any thoughts on speaker doping? I'm fairly certain I'm going with Weber but I have no idea how to choose doping level.
 

bgio

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,284
Thanks! I don't mean to sound bitter about TGP members, but that was frankly the best response I've ever received on here. And I've been on here for a couple years. That was to to the point, Straightforward, Informative and not overly technical or difficult to understand. Believe it or not the responses I expected to get (if any) would be either along the lines of; "Do a search on here.. Or maybe try Google" or a few sentences referring to dynamic variable properties of mechanical Q factor linearity.. :p
Again I don't mean to sound bitter. Just showing appreciation.
-Anyway, Can I ask why you chose light magnets that are so inefficient? What would very low efficiency translate to in terms of sound/dynamics? Also, I understand that power handling capabilities (i.e. Rated Wattage) is something you should consider to make sure that your amp isn't to powerful for it. But is there any difference in sound between a 25 watt and 100 watt speakers in the same 15 watt amp? Other than the likelihood of it blowing of course.. Any thoughts on speaker doping? I'm fairly certain I'm going with Weber but I have no idea how to choose doping level.


Agreed. Well thought out response there.

I like swapping the speaker in my silverface Deluxe Reverb between American and British styles. I really like the Gold and the Mojotone BV30V. I would recommend giving a British style speaker a shot for sure. It's different, but I really enjoy it.

Low efficiency will just allow you to turn the up and let it break up at not as loud volumes. In general, I believe higher wattage speakers will have a smoother sound to them. A general rule of thumb is to get a speaker that's wattage is twice the wattage of your amp.
 

GorgeousTones75

Senior Member
Messages
457
Do you strictly want to stick with 10's or are you open to a baffle change in the Princeton?

If so, G12-65 type speakers are really nice in Fender type amps. They're also quite inefficient at around 97db (if memory serves me correctly).

you may also want to check out the new 68 princeton employs the celestion Ten 30.
I'm not sure about changing the baffle.. It's definitely not the kind of thing I can do myself, I'm awful with woodwork/mechanical type stuff. And the amp techs here in Boston are ridiculously expensive. If not for those factors I'd absolutely be open to rebaffling for a 12". In fact I know for sure I'd like it better. Not to mention there are so many more 12" speakers on both the new and used market..
-I brought my silverface deluxe to a guy here last spring to check out and replace the filter caps and do a retube/bias.. He charged me 390$!!
 

TimH

Member
Messages
6,457
I'm not sure about changing the baffle.. It's definitely not the kind of thing I can do myself, I'm awful with woodwork/mechanical type stuff. And the amp techs here in Boston are ridiculously expensive. If not for those factors I'd absolutely be open to rebaffling for a 12". In fact I know for sure I'd like it better. Not to mention there are so many more 12" speakers on both the new and used market..
-I brought my silverface deluxe to a guy here last spring to check out and replace the filter caps and do a retube/bias.. He charged me 390$!!

replacing a baffle is honestly a matter of ordering the right part and taking out a few screws. I'm not much of a handyman either bit this isn't really the kind of job you can screw up much...maybe poke around on google for instructions or a youtube video.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,483
Thanks! I don't mean to sound bitter about TGP members, but that was frankly the best response I've ever received on here. And I've been on here for a couple years. That was to to the point, Straightforward, Informative and not overly technical or difficult to understand. Believe it or not the responses I expected to get (if any) would be either along the lines of; "Do a search on here.. Or maybe try Google" or a few sentences referring to dynamic variable properties of mechanical Q factor linearity.. :p
Again I don't mean to sound bitter. Just showing appreciation.
-Anyway, Can I ask why you chose light magnets that are so inefficient? What would very low efficiency translate to in terms of sound/dynamics? Also, I understand that power handling capabilities (i.e. Rated Wattage) is something you should consider to make sure that your amp isn't to powerful for it. But is there any difference in sound between a 25 watt and 100 watt speakers in the same 15 watt amp? Other than the likelihood of it blowing of course.. Any thoughts on speaker doping? I'm fairly certain I'm going with Weber but I have no idea how to choose doping level.
Well, I'll take a shot:
"But is there any difference in sound between a 25 watt and 100 watt speakers in the same 15 watt amp?" Most often there is. Higher wattage speakers often have more bass response. A good example is the Weber xxF150. In 50 watts it's big and full, in 25 watt , not so much so.
"Any thoughts on speaker doping?" Doping is less clear to me. It keeps the cone from going out of control a bit I think, and may dampen the tone a bit. I have not found a huge difference to my ears, but not A/B'd identical speakers with vastly different dope either. In the F150 types I always like no dope, but light dope no big deal either.
"..for Blackface amps.." I like the Silver Bell ceramics a lot in BF amps. I've had 50 and 75 watt and hemp cone in one also. Not a huge difference. I've had xxF150 50 watt I loved, but not all of them. LONG break in on those. The Legacy is cool, very G12-65 to me, kinda fizzy on the top.
I have a 2 x 10 baffle I used to use in my BFDR. A Weber 10F150 and 10F150T (16 ohmers) on it. Man it's killer, but makes a DR very heavy to carry around and loud too.
 

Rumble5

Member
Messages
1,677
Thanks! I don't mean to sound bitter about TGP members, but that was frankly the best response I've ever received on here. And I've been on here for a couple years. That was to to the point, Straightforward, Informative and not overly technical or difficult to understand. Believe it or not the responses I expected to get (if any) would be either along the lines of; "Do a search on here.. Or maybe try Google" or a few sentences referring to dynamic variable properties of mechanical Q factor linearity.. :p
Again I don't mean to sound bitter. Just showing appreciation.
-Anyway, Can I ask why you chose light magnets that are so inefficient? What would very low efficiency translate to in terms of sound/dynamics? Also, I understand that power handling capabilities (i.e. Rated Wattage) is something you should consider to make sure that your amp isn't to powerful for it. But is there any difference in sound between a 25 watt and 100 watt speakers in the same 15 watt amp? Other than the likelihood of it blowing of course.. Any thoughts on speaker doping? I'm fairly certain I'm going with Weber but I have no idea how to choose doping level.

Thanks. I'm a teacher in real life so I've had to learn to thread the needle between a clear explanation and one that's not too complex :)(plus, even though I've been playing for a couple decades my technical knowledge is not close to what others here possess).

I prefer lower efficiency speakers because I set my amps up well past the point of breakup, almost fully dimed, and then roll my guitar volume back if I want to clean it up. By using a lower efficiency speaker the volume won't be as ear splittingly loud when the amp is breaking up, which becomes important with a 40-watt 2x12 Pro Reverb (but would be less so with a Princeton).

Generally, if you play with a lot of breakup you might go with a less efficient speaker so that you can turn the amp up to the sweet spot without the volume becoming a problem. If you want clean headroom you'd go with a more efficient speaker. This way, when the volume is at 3, for instance, it will be louder than it would be at 3 with an inefficient speaker, and you won't feel the need to turn the volume up until it distorts.

But my needs with the Pro (getting breakup but keeping volume down) are probably different than yours with the Princeton. If you're playing with a full band with a drummer and/or get your dirt from pedals, then the more efficient (100 dB) speaker is the way to go. If your style is like Neil Young and you want to have the sound of a small amp on the brink of exploding (or if you're just an at-home player), then a less efficient speaker (96 dB or less) would be the way to go.

Another consideration is bass response. A light magnet, in addition to making a less efficient speaker, will provide a more diffused, softer bass response. In my 2x12 Pro this is desirable because the bass on BF amps, especially those with multiple big speakers, gets overwhelming as you turn up the volume. A heavier magnet, in contrast, will generally provide a more focused, punchier bass, which may or may not be what you want for your Princeton.

In terms of wattage, since I tend to play my amps at the brink, I've also blown a few speakers so I personally like to go with at least 2 times the wattage of the amp. My Pro is 40 watts but the two 65-watt speakers in it can handle 130 watts total. Likewise, my Marshall is 50 watts and I run it through two 70-watt speakers for 140 watts of total handling power. I've got a 24-watt Supro with a single 65-watt speaker. Clearly, I've become overly cautious with the wattage ratings and that's probably overkill. I'd think a 25 or 30-watt speaker would be sufficient for your Princeton unless it's a Blue. Those things can handle more than what their rating suggests. They're also one of the most efficient speakers produced.

I don't remember how the specifics of the cone (smooth or ribbed) or dope translate into tone. I just knew that in my Pro I wanted an inefficient speaker with a soft bass response with the tonal characteristics of a Greenback so I got the Legacies. And for the Marshall I wanted a speaker with tighter bass and more punch but some creaminess so I got V30s (heavy magnet and fairly efficient) with bass cones.

Oh, yeah, one of the Legacies in my Pro is a 75hz lead cone and one is a 55hz bass cone. Hendrix used G12h-30 speakers with 55hz bass cones to get his creamy tones.

If you go to the Weber website and look at the descriptions for the Legacies or some of the other speakers they customize, it has descriptions of how the different characteristics translate into differences in tone. Then figure out which characteristics you're looking for and the speaker that matches those criteria. If you want loud with tight bass look at heavy magnet or Alnico type-speakers: G12h-30, V30, or the Blue. If you want the opposite look at Greenback-types, G12-65, etc.
 
Last edited:

lostpoet2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,309
It's not quite the same amp, but I have a VHT special 6 combo, which is a 1x10 based on a blackface champ. I run an el34 or 5881 for 8-10 watts, and I just changed my speaker to a Weber Legacy 10". The blues and blues rock type of tones are now incredible. I would strongly suggest you consider this speaker, or a Celestion greenback 10, which is very similar.
 

john guay

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
367
The Celestion Gold sounds great in a Princeton Reverb but it takes a while to break in. It will sound a bit stiff and congested new. When broken in it opens up and sounds rich and harmonic.
 

Tone Meister

Member
Messages
3,266
I've had a pair of WGS ET65s in my early 1968 Pro Reverb since 2010 and have never once wondered if there was another speaker I'd like better, so I've had good experiences with Brit-voiced speakers in BF era amps. Many folks describe the ET65s as a dark speaker, but I prefer to describe it as adjusting the Fender treble respone exactly to where it should be. I can run the bright switch without calling the bats from the attic.

If you're staying with a 10" speaker, then the Celestion Gold would be a great choice as would the Blue Pup, with the Gold a good bit more efficient, thus louder than the Pup. Another one worth considering is the alnico 1028K by Eminence, which definitely has a character all its own and pairs well with a PR where max volume is not a primary concern. That speaker will compress nicely and growl in a musical way when pushed.
 

Rumble5

Member
Messages
1,677
I've had a pair of WGS ET65s in my early 1968 Pro Reverb since 2010 and have never once wondered if there was another speaker I'd like better, so I've had good experiences with Brit-voiced speakers in BF era amps. Many folks describe the ET65s as a dark speaker, but I prefer to describe it as adjusting the Fender treble response exactly to where it should be. I can run the bright switch without calling the bats from the attic.

Agreed. The Celestion Greenback derivatives dial in some of the midrange that BF amps tend to lack (and Pro Reverbs, while having a bit beefier tone than most of the others, lack a mid pot to adjust). The British-style speakers also mellow out any icepick highs while smoothing out the bass. It's not as sparkly as the traditional BF sound, but to me my '66 Pro with Legacies hits the perfect spot between tweed tone, BF tone, and early Marshall tone.
 

Tone Meister

Member
Messages
3,266
Agreed. The Celestion Greenback derivatives dial in some of the midrange that BF amps tend to lack (and Pro Reverbs, while having a bit beefier tone than most of the others, lack a mid pot to adjust). The British-style speakers also mellow out any icepick highs while smoothing out the bass. It's not as sparkly as the traditional BF sound, but to me my '66 Pro with Legacies hits the perfect spot between tweed tone, BF tone, and early Marshall tone.


Agreed on all points. That said, I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend the 1028K in that amp since the OP isn't seeking max volume.
 

NotWesYet

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,358
Years ago my tech put Greenbacks in my BF Pro Reverb and I am thrilled. No real experience other thanthe Utah's that were in it....
 




Trending Topics

Top Bottom