Celestion Alnico Blue power limitations -- for real?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by amplifiedtorock, Aug 28, 2005.


  1. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    Hey there -- I just got my first Celestion Alnico Blue 8 ohm 15 W speaker and immediately put it in my '54 Tweed Deluxe. It sounds sooo amazingly good! Now, I see what all the hype is with these speakers.

    So, my dilemna lies with worrying about blowing this expensive speaker. How do you guys use these? How many watts can they really take? What about if I pair it with another speaker in a 40W Pro Reverb (which I never run past 4)? Will using two mismatched speakers be additive as far as power handling goes? I was thinking of pairing it with either a G12H30 or Greenback or perhaps another Blue but am weary of the power issue...Hmmm.
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    You will hear different opinions on the power handling - personally I would treat it as a 15W speaker, period. Unless you like the risk of burning up expensive things. But at least Celestion's ratings are conservative, and seem to relate to 'a cranked tube amp of the same power' rather than a strict RMS measurement, so you should be alright with a Tweed Deluxe.

    What you can't do is just add the power handling of two speakers - a two-speaker combination involving a Blue and any speaker of higher power is a 30W pair, because the power will be divided equally between the two, if they're the same impedance.

    ... unless you get creative with impedance mismatching. In the Pro, you could pair the 8-ohm Blue with any 4-ohm speaker of 30W or greater power handling and have a 45W pair, with 1/3 of the power going to the Blue. The total impedance will be 2.66 ohms, which is close enough to what the Pro wants to see for safety. 4-ohm speakers are fairly uncommon, but you can get them (try Weber - or possibly our own Scumbag?).

    Amp control settings are irrelevant BTW - a BF Pro is probably close to maximum power at 4, especially with a humbucker guitar.


    (edit for impedance typo - too early in the morning! ;))
     
  3. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    Not to get off track, but how does the Blue sound compared to a G12h30 for R&R OD sounds? I have been thinking about trying one in my Mercury that at this time has a G12 installed in it. It is powered by a SED EL34 and sometimes a KT-66.
     
  4. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    the Blue was an 'epiphany' type speaker for me, too, when I first got one. the response really suits the guitar's freq range in a classic rock kind of way.

    I think the 15W rating is conservative........but.......I suspect that, like most electronic devices, there will be a range of tolerances......out of 100 speakers probably 95+ of them will handle power levels greater than 15 watts, but the other 5 may not. so, 'you takes your chances' is the way I look at it. I've been using a Blue in an amp rated for 20 watts for a couple of years now with no ill consequences. almost never, though, do I have the amp tuned up to max output.
     
  5. userd

    userd Member

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    BTW,

    would you combine a Blue with a Vintage 30?

    And what about Blues in a closed back 2x12?

    Thanks!
     
  6. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Blue with a G12H in an open back cab is a Vox-a-Liscious great combination!

    Never heard a Blue in a closed back.......
     
  7. 908SSP

    908SSP Member

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    You could combine you blue with a load resistor which works like a silent speaker. A simple load resistor from Webber cost less then two bucks they come in 25 watt 8 ohm wire that parallel to your 8 blue for a 4 ohm load. Half the power now goes to each for a total of 30 watts. It will result in a 3 db volume loss so your drive will come on at a slightly lower volume. It won't cost much to try and certainly won't hurt the amp.
     
  8. Roe

    Roe Member

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    even if a blue might tolerate 20watts it's gonna sound very compressed and dirty.
     
  9. Madison

    Madison Member

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    You're starting out exactly like I did...the Cele Blue is by many accounts the numero uno speaker, but concerns about blowing it were always present. In the end found it stifled my playing...I was unconciously "holding back", kept the amp volume at noon or less, and was terrified of kicking in the RC Booster.

    To compound my concern of the $300.00 investment, Zac Childs reported on another forum that Brad Paisley was consistently blowing pairs of 15w blues in his Rx ES...which is the same amp I use.

    Ended up with a Weber alnico Blue Dog 50w and now push the speaker as hard as need be without any worry. Great sounding speaker and built to take it.
     
  10. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    I love mine in my Mercury for OD! It gives a more raw, crunchy, yet articulate tone while the G12H30 has more bass, which the Merc is not lacking on its own...btw: which KT66 are you using?
     
  11. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    lots of good advice!

    so, it looks like I'll be sticking close to the 15W rating and finding something else to pair up with in my BFPR. Maybe I'll try a Red Fang that everyone is raving about...Ideally, I'd like the pair combined to be as close to the 40W rating as possible so as to decrease the headroom a bit.
     
  12. Moods

    Moods Supporting Member

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    I played a couple Tweed Deluxes with a blues for years. I beat the crud out of the speakers using drive pedals in gigging situations. Never had a problem. I'm guessing you could blow one with a continuous beating from a boost pedal jumped up high. My experience has been blues are good for more than 15 watts.

    However, I wouldn't recommend putting blues in anything bigger than typical Tweed Deluxe or AC15 type amps. 6V6 and EL84 amps produce significantly more wattage than 15 watts when pushed hard into drive. YMMV

    Be careful and good luck. :)

    <M
     
  13. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    I have a GT KT-66 HP and a C which is the Chinese Valve Art tube. I like the C better, but I like the EL34 SED as well as the C maybe better depending on the Guit that I am using ( I like the KT's better with single coils).

    I have found that the G12H30 is buzzy with HB PUP's that are high output, so I'm back to the King Pin.

    Any buzziness with the Blue?
     
  14. cr8z4life

    cr8z4life Silver Supporting Member

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    I am not that knowledgable about this stuff, but if Fred at divided by thirteen is pairing the blue with a g12h30 in his cab for his ftr 37 I would suspect that it can take a little more!
     
  15. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    not sure what you mean by buzziness. I use mainly Vintage style HB PU's and tend to run the Mercury at 8W clean, then layer with pedals, etc. I especially like the Blue for this. For rockin, higher gain stuff, with the Merc on Boost 1 or 2 and maybe dimed, the G12H30 seems to do better.
    I have not tried a Greenback yet or my Weber Alnico Silver Bell. I will say that the Kingpin sounds surprisingly good in most amps I've used it in. Currently loaded in my BFPR with the 50W Weber Alnico Silver Bell, those two yield amazing clarity, bass and headroom! Yeesh.
     
  16. joek86

    joek86 Supporting Member

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    The buzziness is in an OD mode on the lower notes and chords. It is noticable on sustained notes as a buzzy distortion as the OD decays. Kind of a dry sound.........

    Which do you prefer for light amp distortion with OD pedals layered, the Blue or the KP?
     
  17. celestion101

    celestion101 Silver Supporting Member

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    Regarding the two Blues in a 40 watt amp.....you'd likely be fine unless you dimed it all night (we tend to be conservative when we rate our speakers). My Celestion employee disclosure: The following is based on my experience and does not imply a warranty......I gig constantly with my Divided By 13 FTR37 which features a Blue paired with a G12H30, and I've never had an issue. I also slam the front end with a Sparkle Drive, a Drivetrain, or a Hot British depending on what is needed. Glad you like them!







    :dude
     
  18. jetlag

    jetlag Member

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    Amplifiedrock - I also have a celestion blue in a '60 tweed deluxe. It's made it thru 10 gigs, but not dimed. I use a 12AY7 in V1 and turn it up to about 6 or 7. Hit it with P90 pauls, archtops and an open D tuning Dano. The later is probably a good test with the huge strings and dropped D. The blue hangs in there. I think you're safe running pedals too because the OT is small enough to just cave in and really subject the speaker to additional abuse. Blues in a deluxe are a killer combo.

    Now 2 blues in a BFPR. I tried that about 8 years ago. My findings: (1) I had to buy a new baffle because I wasn't willing to drill the blues or clip the amp's excess bolts (2) it didn't sound that great! I really prefer ceramics in BFPR's. For me, I like 2 C12N's - as long as they aren't RI jensens! So I'd skip the blues in the PR. If that doesn't dissuade you, then feel free to make an offer on that spare baffle I still have sitting around, collecting dust!
     
  19. thelionsden

    thelionsden Member

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    As a matter of fact, just tried it for the first time yesterday..one blue in a Bogner cube with a 65 London... I like it! D
     
  20. amplifiedtorock

    amplifiedtorock Member

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    great info. I love it in my Tweed Deluxe. I too use a 12AY7 and keep the thing around 6-7 with tone around 4-5. I hit it with my Klon's and the boost from my G-System, so far it is an awesome combo!

    re: the BFPR, good point about the bolt compatibility. Right now, I have one Ceramic (Carr Kingpin 60) and one Alnico (Weber Alnico Silver Bell 50W) in their and it sounds good just a bit to spanky and clean. Got any original C12N's for me?!?! Which speakers are closest to those in your opinion?

    btw: Have you ever tried lowering the headroom with a different Rectifier tube?
     

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