Celestion G12-65 vs. Classic Lead 80

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
So, bottom line, the CL80 cab will not be redundant along with the G12-65 cab, is my takeaway from this discussion.

The CL80 is to the G12-65 what the G12H30 is to the G12M greenback. Is that an accurate statement? It would seem that was Celestion’s plan when the two original models of G12-65 and G12-80 replaced the G12M and G12H30 back in 1978 or so (at least in Marshall cabs).
 
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7,405
So, bottom line, the CL80 cab will not be redundant along with the G12-65 cab, is my takeaway from this discussion.

The CL80 is to the G12-65 what the G12H30 is to the G12M greenback. Is that an accurate statement? It would seem that was Celestion’s plan when the two original models of G12-65 and G12-80 replaced the G12M and G12H30 back in 1978 or so (at least in Marshall cabs).
The G12-80 is to the G12-65 what the G12H is to the G12M, I grant you that

The CL, as you are aware, came later and is middier and not as bright. Sometimes I blame myself for selling the pair of vintage G12-80s I had. The fluff on top was otherworldly.
 

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
The G12-80 is to the G12-65 what the G12H is to the G12M, I grant you that

The CL, as you are aware, came later and is middier and not as bright. Sometimes I blame myself for selling the pair of vintage G12-80s I had. The fluff on top was otherworldly.
I really appreciate the feedback on this topic. Only one question remains for me: which current speaker would be closer to that original G12-80, the CL80 or the Mesa MC90 Black Shadow?
 

Tommy_G

Member
Messages
2,837
I have a couple MC90s and had an early 80s?? CL80. In the same 1x12 cab they sounded similar. Obvioysly not an A/B but sequential by memory.

I really cannot stand MC90s. Dark and lifeless. Some might say smooth.. I say yeah.. like a turd. I do like brighter speakers.

I much prefer a G12H30.
In a 4x12.. no brainer... some can be found broken in. Or if the money is right I would go scumback equivalent.
 
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Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
I have a couple MC90s and had an early 80s?? CL80. In the same 1x12 cab they sounded similar. Obvioysly not an A/B but sequential by memory.

I really cannot stand MC90s. Dark and lifeless. Some might say smooth.. I say yeah.. like a turd. I do like brighter speakers.

I much prefer a G12H30.
In a 4x12.. no brainer... some can be found broken it. Or if the money is right I would go scumback equivalent.
Thanks for the comments. I also love G12H30s and have a 2x12 cab of them too. I think my interest in CL80s is simply to have two late-'70s, early-'80s Marshall cabs with speakers roughly equivalent to what they offered during that time period. I'm hoping they'd match up with the 1987X and JVM205H heads I have. I know the G12-65 cab definitely sounds great through them. I'm thinking I'll like the CL80s in the other cab. Just wanted to know more before I fork out the money.
 

ekkybedmond

Member
Messages
2,005
I really appreciate the feedback on this topic. Only one question remains for me: which current speaker would be closer to that original G12-80, the CL80 or the Mesa MC90 Black Shadow?

Try and find a WGS built Reinhardt G12H-65 LHDC, great speakers, besides, I'm sure WGS will build you a custom one
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
Ive always thought the vintage 30 to have a bright upper mid emphasis, the g12-65 is dark, and the cl80 sits in the middle. Not as dark as a 65, more neutral mids than a v30 but with the large dust cap to keep the sizzle down.
 

MoBigBro

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,097
I think they're not very close at all. The CL80 has this hard hitting, gnarly midrange sans of the airy quality of the original G12-80, the big brother of the G12-65

I agree: I have a 70s vintage G12-80: Rola but still with a vent. I also have CL80s.
I do like the CL80s a lot, but I prefer the G12-80 due to the "Airy" quality that HTF described above.

To the OP's question: Yes the two speakers (G12-65 vs CL80) are different enough to justify the choice of CL80s for the other cab.

FWIW: I have a 2X12 (Open Back) Cab with a CL80 and a Creamback 65. I think that is a great pairing if you are inclined to mix speakers.

I don't have experience with MC90s but they do have a loyal following on TGP.

Cheers,
MoBigBro
 

Dharmajester

Member
Messages
317
There was a guy operating on ebay as Atlas Modified a while ago who sold refurbished G12-80's. He also did MC90's with Mueller 444 bass cones which produced huge 3d clean sounds.
 

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
I agree: I have a 70s vintage G12-80: Rola but still with a vent. I also have CL80s.
I do like the CL80s a lot, but I prefer the G12-80 due to the "Airy" quality that HTF described above.

To the OP's question: Yes the two speakers (G12-65 vs CL80) are different enough to justify the choice of CL80s for the other cab.

FWIW: I have a 2X12 (Open Back) Cab with a CL80 and a Creamback 65. I think that is a great pairing if you are inclined to mix speakers.

I don't have experience with MC90s but they do have a loyal following on TGP.

Cheers,
MoBigBro
Thank you, MoBigBro. Your comments are really helpful to me. I'm getting closer to going for the CL80s. Right now, one 1960B cab has Heritage G12-65s and one 1960B cab has Heritage G12M Greenbacks. I love them both and won't be selling the Greenbacks, but honestly I don't hear a significant (enough) difference between the two cabs. The Greenbacks are a little grittier when driven while the G12-65s are a bit smoother, but the overall tone is similar to me. That's why I'm considering a heavy magnet speaker for one of the cabs. Plus, the CL80 keeps me in the same relative late '70s - early to mid '80s tonal ballpark, which is my favorite era of music. Anyway, that's my rationale for all of this.
 

blackba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,183
I like CL80's put typically prefer them mixed with something else like a V30. So I would either go with a CL80/V30 mix or go more the G12H30 route and get a set of Scumaback H75's or BH75's.
 

Gnarlly

Member
Messages
2,864
I've owned originals of both and to my ears they are quite different.

The CL80 is very neutral in sound - think of it as Celestion's "American/Fender" sounding speaker before they got into all their A, V type and other recent offerings. It's nicely balanced in tone and feel but somewhat bland compared to the other classic Celestion models. I'd definitely take it over a G12T-75, but not over most other non-budget Celestion models.

My original G12-65s have a lot of mids and are like Greenbacks on steroids but without the "sizzle" in the high-end and with firmer bass response. Despite them being described as dark speakers, they have more character to my ears than the current Creamback M65, which is also a darker speaker. My old G12-65s remind me somewhat of a very, very, very broken in V30 I used to have which had a heavy midrange focus, but the 65's are nowhere near as efficient/loud as a V30. Listen to AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's High n' Dry albums; that's the sound of G12-65s with a Marshall. Original G12-65s may be my favorite speaker of all time.
 

Ed DeGenaro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
26,045
I was hoping the CL80 would give me the equivalent complement to the G12-65 as a G12H30 would give to a G12M Greenback. Namely, more depth and low end with more headroom and better cleans, along with the typical high gain mayhem that speakers of this kind are known for (when I want to get crazy).
That's pretty much exactly what b the CL80 is.
That said I really don't like that speaker... Only Celestron I like less is the 75.
My fave are 65s, followed by Greenies, Golds and Blues, for recording V30.
 

alivegy

Member
Messages
1,176
I would pair the lead 80 with something like a bh75ld. I would compliment it with something that has more high-end grind but still a large dustcap so that they blend well.
 

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
I've owned originals of both and to my ears they are quite different.

The CL80 is very neutral in sound - think of it as Celestion's "American/Fender" sounding speaker before they got into all their A, V type and other recent offerings. It's nicely balanced in tone and feel but somewhat bland compared to the other classic Celestion models. I'd definitely take it over a G12T-75, but not over most other non-budget Celestion models.

My original G12-65s have a lot of mids and are like Greenbacks on steroids but without the "sizzle" in the high-end and with firmer bass response. Despite them being described as dark speakers, they have more character to my ears than the current Creamback M65, which is also a darker speaker. My old G12-65s remind me somewhat of a very, very, very broken in V30 I used to have which had a heavy midrange focus, but the 65's are nowhere near as efficient/loud as a V30. Listen to AC/DC's Back in Black and Def Leppard's High n' Dry albums; that's the sound of G12-65s with a Marshall. Original G12-65s may be my favorite speaker of all time.
I have both of those albums, so I will check them out. I was always under the impression both bands were using G12M greenbacks, so that's interesting to know they were actually G12-65s. My biggest concern is that my two cabs are too similar with G12-65s and Greenbacks and I would like to change things up. I know Vintage 30s are popular with a lot of people on TGP, but I just do not like them (and I've tried them many times). They give me ear fatigue to the maximum. I think that's why I generally prefer speakers that are considered "darker".
 

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
That's pretty much exactly what b the CL80 is.
That said I really don't like that speaker... Only Celestron I like less is the 75.
My fave are 65s, followed by Greenies, Golds and Blues, for recording V30.
I am in complete agreement with you on your favorites. I have cabs with all of those. I think the CL80 is about the only Celestion speaker in their classic lineup that I haven't tried yet, so it's making me curious.
 

wntbtw

Member
Messages
1,985
I have the WGS version of the CL80 & like it though I`m sure I would like the Celestion version as well. Here`s a good comparison video:
 

Alnico Blue

Member
Messages
92
I have the WGS version of the CL80 & like it though I`m sure I would like the Celestion version as well. Here`s a good comparison video:

Thanks for the video! They are all pretty similar. I'd say the UK CL80 is a bit smoother with more bass than the Chinese version. The WGS is more like the UK CL80.

By the way, Celestion is making the CL80 in England again. They moved production of some of the speakers they had been making in China back to the UK last year. The (non-heritage) G12M Greenback, G12H Anniversary, and Classic Lead 80 are all being made in the UK again. Rumors are circulating that the G12K-100 and Vintage 30 production may switch back to the UK also. According to information I received directly from Dr. Decibel, the Heritage G12M, Heritage G12H(55), and Heritage G12H(75) are all being discontinued from retail sales. For you speaker-heads like me, you've probably noticed quantities of the Heritage line drying up and disappearing from online retail sites. They still show them on the website, but they are no longer in the PDF catalog.
 




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