Amps that sound good with alnico speakers

M

member 124523

I'm wondering if there is a type of amp that sounds best with alnico speakers. I've read that difference between speaker design is greater than ceramic v alnico, but for the sake of argument lets say there are certain amps that alnicos work best in, or is typical for a classic sound with that amp.

For Fender, it seems that they are favored for tweed style amps, where blackface amps tend to come with ceramics. Is this because of tradition, does alnico fit the tone better of these dirtier amps? Are they used more often for amp overdrive, or less in high headroom platform amps? Any Open vs closed back, American sound or British/tweed, etc. ?
 

BlueRiff

Senior Member
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7,745
I've only been exposed to the Jensen P-12N speaker which I had in a 40 watt Fender deluxe kit amp from mojo. It worked tremendously for a blackface amp. I wanted a modern, right low end and regretfully put in a Brit style speaker and sold the Jensen. I wouldn't do that today for sure. The P12N had very rich, textured mids and breakup. I'll get one again some day. I hope this helps.
 

71strat

Member
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10,322
Technically if you look at Fender.

The Upgrade Speakers in the 60-80s were 10/12/15s were JBLs. Up until the late 70s the upgrade speakers were all Alnico in the DF Series, and the K Series. The E Series came along I believe in the very late 70s to early 80s and were Now Ceramic. IMHO much of the switch was because of $$$$$$$. Even today Alnico is much more expensive vs Ceramic. And even at that, you can see the EV 12L is pretty expensive considering its also a Heavy Ceramic speaker. Eventually even JBL E Series got to expensive to build, so they stopped making them. SRV used the E120s/130,110s, and then switched to EV when JBL no longer made these speakers.

The JBL is even heavier than the EV12L. And the voice coil tolerance ion the JBL makes the EV look like the Grande Canyon. No way the EV has the construction tolerance of a JBL. Not even close.

Altec Lansing/Great Plains Audio still make the Alnico 417H x 100 watt, and its a $340 speaker. No Discount. Buy it now price. The 418H is $370.00

Fender also supplied Altecs as Upgrade, as well as Gauss, and Cerwin Vega. But you had to specifically order them and specify, and weren't readily available. But were available. I myself have never see the Gauss/CVs in them, but it is documented. Santana used the Altec 417C in his Twin Reverbs. nd still does. He was quoted a while back as saying the Twin/Altecs was his best sound ever.

I believe the Earliest JTM amps from Marshall used Alnico, and then in 67 went to Ceramic, and different voice coils. JTM45, and 45/100 I believe had Alnico speakers.

Although they had Silverface looks, the 67 Dual Showman was 100% Blackface and the Upgrade Speakers were the JBL D120F. Same for ALL the other Fenders of that time.

Its true that all of the stock speakers that Fender used from their own to CTS/Oxford/CTS were all Ceramic, and IMHO most all of that was because Alnico was/is more expensive, and Leo wasnt going to put them in a mass produced amp. They offered them as an upgrade only. Leo was frugal.
 
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flantrax

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,256
Technically if you look at Fender.

The Upgrade Speakers in the 60-80s were 10/12/15s were JBLs. Up until the late 70s the upgrade speakers were all Alnico in the DF Series, and the K Series. The E Series came along I believe in the very late 70s to early 80s and were Now Ceramic. IMHO much of the switch was because of $$$$$$$. Even today Alnico is much more expensive vs Ceramic. And even at that, you can see the EV 12L is pretty expensive considering its also a Ceramic speaker. Eventually even JBL E Series got to expensive to build, so they stopped making them. SRV used the E120s/130,110s, and then switched to EV when JBL no longer made these speakers.

Altec Lansing/Great Plains Audio still make the Alnico 417H x 100 watt, and its a $340 speaker. No Discount. Buy it now price. The 418H is $370.00

Fender also supplied Altecs as Upgrade, as well as Gauss, and Cerwin Vega. But you had to specifically order them and specify, and weren't readily available. But were available. I myself have never see the Gauss/CVs in them, but it is documented. Santana used the Altec 417C in his Twin Reverbs. nd still does. He was quoted a while back as saying the Twin/Altecs was his best sound ever.

I believe the Earliest JTM amps from Marshall used Alnico, and then in 67 went to Ceramic, and different voice coils. JTM45, and 45/100 I believe had Alnico speakers.

Nice info...thanks
 
M

member 124523

Thanks for the history, and reminding me to listen to Auld Lang Syne Fillmore East
 

LPVM

Member
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2,675
What?
Huh....whacha say?



I can only imagine how loud pedal driven cranked Dual Showman's would be through a wall of D130F's.
 

PurpleJesus

Moderation is key
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,682
Check out all of the Aluminum Domes peeking out of the cabinets. JBL D130Fs 15 inch Alnicos. 67 Dual Showmans. Blackface.




Great info!

I do chuckle when I see. YouTube videos titled "Jimi's best solo ever!!" ....because that might not even be his best solo in the set he's playing, or even in the last 15 min, lol.
 

onetracker

Member
Messages
385
I've only been exposed to the Jensen P-12N speaker which I had in a 40 watt Fender deluxe kit amp from mojo. It worked tremendously for a blackface amp. I wanted a modern, right low end and regretfully put in a Brit style speaker and sold the Jensen. I wouldn't do that today for sure. The P12N had very rich, textured mids and breakup. I'll get one again some day. I hope this helps.

agreed. love the warm crunch of this classic alnico
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,322
1 thing for me and Fender amps is that IMHO Fender, and many companies did, and still do grossly under speaker their amps.

An example is a Twin Rvb. Originally they are 85-100 watts.

Almost every speaker Fender ever put into a TW RVB was not a good match power wise. Incl the JBL D120Fs. They are only good for 60-75 watts, and a cranked Twin can put out 150-180 watts cranked. All the others were even a worse mismatch. The JBLS will usually hold up as they were slightly underrated, but still is close enough to verge oon the edge of unreliable if you often crank the amp on 10.

The 1st thing I do to any amp/speakers is to crank it, and play if for at least 3 hours, using every pedal I have to try and muck it up. Ill do this for a few weeks.

I figure if the speakers can take cranked/drive pedals for at least 50 hours, its probably going to be reliable.

I got tired of blowing Jensen/CTS/Oxfords and the like in the 70s, and switched to Altecs, and I still have my Altecs since 73.

ALl those other speakers can sound great too. Not saying that. Only that in most applications, Fender did a bad job of matching.

I myself like at least 2x speaker capacity vs amp RMS. Even more if I can get it. I run 2 Celestion 90 watt Creams wuth a 30-38 watt Metro. I also HATE any kind of speaker funny business, and only want amp/tube/pedal drive. Not the speaker.
 
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pressure

Member
Messages
243
In the 70s I played thru a Kustom K200 amp. The 2 speaker columns it drove were fitted with 3 15" Altec Lansings each. Yep thats right 100 watts of transistor power into 6 15" Altecs. Incredible volume and never broke down.
 

teefus

Senior Member
Messages
8,939
having owned several alnico 12" speakers over the years and using them with voxy style amps i was honestly not that impressed. a few years ago i picked up a tone tubby black alnico/hemp cone and plugged my rivera knucklehead 55 into it. absolutely amazing. not sure if it is the speaker or speaker amp combo but it is my favorite pairing so far. fwiw, the hemp cone seems to mitigate some of the harshness i was hearing in the previous alnico speakers.
 

MissoulaGriz

Member
Messages
1,411
I'd always heard about the "Vox/Alnico" magic. I didn't truly understand it or appreciate it until I loaded up an Avatar Alnico A25 and A50 into my AC15C2. Wow!!!! There's some real mojo there that can't be denied.
 

zenas

Member
Messages
8,871
You just have to try different things. Alnicos in blackface Fenders ? About every ones favorite Super Reverb speaker is the CTS alnico. As mentioned the early JBLs were alnico and so were some (maybe all?) of the EV SROs.
I don't worry too much about power handling in a Twin Reverb simply because no one in a working band today actually dimes one. I've done it at home but would be kicked outta my band if I tried it with them. :)
 

Shiny McShine

Member
Messages
9,493
Vintage Princeton Blackfaces sound good with them. I've got the 10" Celestion Gold in one of mine.

The Ampeg Gemini really can use a Celestion Gold well as it's very thick and chewy. The AlNiCo seems to help that amp more than any other.

I have one in my Clark Beaufort (5E3 clone) but I think I'm moving away from the chimey sound and heading for a C-Rex there.
 

Peppy

Member
Messages
7,092
My new Princeton Reverb sounds great, both clean and cranked, with its 12" Celestion Cream alnico speaker. Ideal speaker complement to this model of amp...decent headroom and fat natural overdrive.
 

BlueRiff

Senior Member
Messages
7,745
Check out all of the Aluminum Domes peeking out of the cabinets. JBL D130Fs 15 inch Alnicos. 67 Dual Showmans. Blackface.




That is fascinating and makes sense that he would choose 15s for the kind of tunes he was doing at that time. Rich fat warm tone for the blues.
 

wrxplayer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,968
I recently purchased a Top Hat Supreme 16 head. I've run it through two 1x12 cabs, one loaded with a Celesiton G12 Neo and the other with an Austin Speaker Works KTS-70. Both sound great to my ear.

But Brian, who builds this amp, is a HUGE fan of this head with a Celestion Blue. If it sounds even better then I'm all for it. But I don't have the scratch for it now.
 

71strat

Member
Messages
10,322
Not that it matters a lot, but that's a drip edge silverface.

Its also a 1967, But its a Blackface Circuit. AB763

They didn't come out with the Silverface circuit until 1968

The above are also NON Reverb.

Silverface Showman (Non-reverb) with AB763 Circuit
A12000 to A12499......1967
A12500 to A14999......1968

Silverface Dual Showman (non-Reverb) with AB763 and AC568 Circuits
A12000 to A12499......1967
A12500 to A14999......1968
 




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