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blown CTS speakers worth $$ for repair?

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,216
I have a mid-'70s master volume Super Reverb with the original alnico CTS speakers. One of them is buzzy/farty, probably a broken voice coil.

Is it worth it to get it repaired (I have a quote @$80)?

Right now I have a ceramic replacement speaker in, the amp still sounds great to my ears, but I do like the idea of "completeness." I just don't know if it's worth chasing that, though.
 

Drak

Senior Member
Messages
5,055
I love Supers, I love CTS alnicos. Great classic matchup.
I have swapped various speakers in and out of Supers for many years.
As much as I love the CTS alnicos, and that is a lot, my findings are that I prefer to only have one pair of them in a Super, and augment their tone with a pair of good ceramic 10's that have great bass and treble.
The CTS' excel at that thick/fat midrange, and a good ceramic will have clean tight bass and clear treble, best of all worlds.

So, I wouldn't throw it/them away for sure, but I wouldn't bother to have it/them reconed either, I'd take the money and find a great pair of ceramics to match them up with, and that combination will most likely sound even better than a straight quad of CTS'.
 

sideman

Member
Messages
2,371
Yes, it is certainly worth it. CTS AlNiCos are the paradigmatic Super Reverb sound. Nothing else sounds like them. I tried alot of speakers in a '64 Super Reverb, including vintage CTS Ceramics, Kendricks, and two kinds of Webers. Finally sold them all, and bought a '66 SR with CTS AlNiCos. And that was it. Also, generally, you have a vintage amp, and its value will be enhanced by keeping its original speakers.
 

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,216
What kinds of ceramics do folks like to pair with the alnicos in a Super? Vintage 30s?
 

jcs

Member
Messages
8,093
I use Reverend Alltone 1030's on the bottom of my 71 Super Reverb, big ceramic magnet with a JBL style cone....big bottom like a 12 but a bit dark by theirselves.

Any Jensen C10N style on the bottom will work very well....on top i use real 50's-60's alnicos; Jensens,Beckers,Quam,CTS etc.....many excellent 10 USA alnicos if you know where to look.
 

Drak

Senior Member
Messages
5,055
Basically what jcs said ^

What kinds of ceramics do folks like to pair with the alnicos in a Super?
I have a pair of Weber C10NT's in the bottom of my Super, and a pair of Weber Cali 10's in the bottom of my Marshall 1965A 4-10 cab, both have a pair of CTS alnicos in the top, love both of them.

I think there are a lot of choices you could pick tho. That's the nice thing about ceramic 10's, they tend not to be too expensive so you can buy/try w/o spending too much.

The Cali 10's are beefier and darker which work really well in the closed-back marshall cab, and the C10NT's have a very clear treble with great bass response as well, so they work great in the Super.
 

johan

Member
Messages
2,565
Bought a 66 SR about 8-10 years ago. Amazing condition. It had been played some but mostly at home so the CTS Alnico 10" were still "fresh" and not beaten to death.
I've taken good care of it. Apart for some change of caps and tubes it's still original.

IMHO the speaker has a major part of the magic. They are brown, fat, singing and grunting but can still sting and bite. If they fade away some day I hope I'll be able to recone they with great result. I don't use the amp in a large band at loud volume. I think it would be a bit too soft and would probably prefer it with a pair of ceramics to go with the alnicos just to make it a bit stiffer.

Amazing amp!
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
When my '64 CTS 15 watt ceramic failed, I sent it off to Weber.
The re-cone was $85.00 plus round trip shipping.

You might talk to Orange County Speaker Repair since you're in CA.
 

scelerat

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,216
I don't use the amp in a large band at loud volume. I think it would be a bit too soft and would probably prefer it with a pair of ceramics to go with the alnicos just to make it a bit stiffer.
I tried it in its current configuration (1 ceramic speaker, 3 original CTS) in a loud band a few weeks ago and it just didn't cut the way I wanted to. Sounded muffled and lost next to a loud drummer, bassist and a Music Man HD130 4x10.

Thought I would go back to the Sound City Concord I had been using (which cuts amazingly well in this particular band), but then I recorded the SR and -- wow. Stunned everyone in the room with how good it sounded. Keeper? I don't know we'll see.
 

Drak

Senior Member
Messages
5,055
Super Reverbs are to me one of the most versatile amps out there, via swapping speakers, what you want is IN there somewhere, haha!

The change in sound and texture with how much versatility is in one of those amps just by swapping different varieties of speakers in and out of them, the sound difference can be nothing short of staggering depending on what you put in them, I have probably had over 15 different speaker combinations in mine over the years, just to try them out and see the difference, primarily because I always had a bunch of extra speakers lying about as I did various amp makeovers over the years.

It was actually doing all those swaps is where I learned what exactly the CTS alnicos brought to the table, what exactly their character IS, when I removed them totally and realized there was a big hole in the midrange, and I learned how they fill that hole so well...but I didn't want the amp to be ALL midrange either, that's where I learned my 'half and half' method.

To me, CTS alnicos are like salt. I don't want to eat straight salt, but I wouldn't want food without it either, they are like the perfect spice or condiment that food would taste totally bland without, but a quad of them is just too much salt for me, too much of the same thing.
 

FFTT

Member
Messages
28,354
The CTS AlNiCo's are a very low efficiency speaker in about the 95-96 dB SPL
range. That means they cut volume by real world 30% compared to a more modern
high efficiency driver like a EVM10M.

They also sing and compress beautifully when you push them, so you can get
the goods at lower volumes.

The CTS is not really a clean headroom speaker unless you go easy on the volume,
so lots of super owners will run a cleaner speaker in an X pattern with their CTS drivers
for a tighter low end response and more punch and clarity.
 

throbert

Member
Messages
1,136
I've always had fond memories of CTS Alnicos in my SFSRs that I've used over the years and when I finally decided to try and duplicate that sound in my '65 BFSR, I just couldn't find that tone with a recone. My BF Super Reverb had 4 blown ceramic CTS 10" speaker when I bought it and I had a local guy who was very experienced recone them most likely with Waldom kits at the time. Not bad but not great either. I eventually found some blown CTS Alnicos and again I had another very experienced recone guy perform the restoration and again not the result I was hoping for. Weber has 2 different versions of the CTS 10 and I remember Ted talking about developing those speakers at the time saying it was difficult duplicating the soft paper cone and there also the dustcaps which were different than anything else that's around now. Alessandro's AHEP recreation of a CTS 10 ceramic speaker is the best attempt I've heard for a new or reconed speaker. I finally settled on a set of those in my Super and I can at least live with those. Perhaps Weber could do a credible reconing a CTS Alnico now. I would think 2 of the AHEPS along with your 2 best original cone alnicos would also work very well. You could also just use the 3 good speakers and you would also be fine. Probably wouldn't be that hard to find one original cone CTS on EBAY or on the various forum boards. You do have some good options now.
 

jcs

Member
Messages
8,093
@throbert, i talked with Ted Sr. years ago when he mentioned trying to clone the CTS 10's on his forum and i have considered sending one of my 3 bad CTS alnicos to Weber for reconing.

I really get perturbed when i ask reconers what recone kit they are using and their normal response is "what ever will fit".

Personally, if i needed more cut in a live venue i would use the most efficient speaker i could find.....not a CTS.....i have always enjoyed mixing speakers in my 71 Super Reverb.....it really demonstrates what these wonderful circuits can do!
 






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