Celestion Heritage G12M20 in Tone King Meteor II

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by KLB, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. KLB

    KLB Member

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    A few days ago I put a new 8-ohm Celestion Heritage G12M20 speaker in a Tone King Meteor II combo. This replaced the standard TK "1891" Eminence-made 60w hemp cone speaker, which I think is a great match for this amp. I wanted to try something different out of curiosity.

    I have been enjoying the G12M20 tone, especially the responsiveness and feel. It has a "pretty" breakup and texture, and is a bit easier on the ears than the TK1891, especially for distorted tones. It is brighter, so I have been using the treble around 3-4, where it had been on 5. Bass is not as tight, but is just as extended. (The TK MII, being a Fender BF design, has a LOT of bass.) As it breaks in, the bass response has improved.

    Since the G12M20 is rated at 20 watts, I'm using the half power mode (20w) set to 4 ohms (needs to be half the speaker load to properly match a single pair of 6V6). The 96db 1W/1M efficiency is lower than the TK1891, so I can crank the amp to get the same volume and let the amp breathe more.

    Last night I played a party gig in a large basement with about 75 people. The amps (bass, 2 guitars) and drums were not mic'd. I used the clean channel and kept the amp around 4, moving up to 5 at the end of the night. It was a comfortable volume to stand 8-10 feet from for a few hours and not pummel my ears. The lead tones were a combination of a Zendrive, TIM, and Stephenson Stage Hog (!), in that order.

    I like the lively G12M20 sound, but I'm not sure I'll keep this speaker in the 1x12 combo cab because I can't safely use the 40 watt full-power mode, nor do I want to risk blowing the speaker by pushing the 20 watt mode into heavy distortion.

    I think a pair of these speakers in the Meteor II 2x12 combo or head/2x12 cab would be a GOOD THING! I would use 16 ohm speakers, each wired to it's own speaker plug. This way I could plug in one speaker for half power and both speakers for full power, using the 8-ohm tap for both half and full power.

    Alternately, I could use 8 ohm speakers and wire them for 4 ohm parallel (full power, 4 ohms) or 16 ohm series (half power, 8 ohms). I would put a small box in the amp with a switch for the parallel/series wiring change. The disadvantage to this setup is the half-power mode would be louder, and the extra switch can be a hassle and confusing. However, series wiring a pair of 12" drivers does sound sweet!

    Cheers,
    Ken
     
  2. DAB

    DAB Member

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    Ken,

    Glad to hear you are out gigging. Is it a regular thing? I would love to come hear you play.

    Let's get together soon. I would like to hear your Meteor II and I still need to mod my Bassman for a bias pot.

    Dave
     
  3. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Dave,
    Hello. Good to hear from you on TGP.

    I tuned a buddy in Huntsville, AL onto your Strangebruband.com MP3 clips and he was mighty impressed!

    That was just a little pickup gig for fun with acquaintances. They may ask me to "join the band", and I might just do that. We had fun and sounded surprisingly good. The drummer can sing very well and has a high voice. He had no trouble belting out "Josie," "Lodi", "Message in a Bottle" and other "hard for guys to sing" kind of tunes.

    Do you want to get together this weekend? I'm game.
    My wife is out of town, so I'm "batch'in it!"
     
  4. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Hey Ken,
    I know you owned at least 1 carr slant6v, would you mind giving a little comparison/contrast between the slant and meteor 2? As I recall from our talk last year you have similar taste in tones with these types of amps (eric johnson,etc.) so I would love to hear your thoughts. Right now I have a slant6v combo, and I have owned a comet 40a in the past. I really dig the carr for features and smooth tone, but I sometimes find it a touch muffled sounding at lower gain settings, like a touch of 'air' is needed. I also find the clean can be a little boxy sounding with certain guitars/pickups. I would like to know if the meteor II can get a touch 'bigger' bolder quality while still keeping a smooth high end, if that makes sense. I know the meteor has a bunch of ways of fine-tuning the highs, which I am attracted to!
    thank,
    matt
     
  5. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Oh, almost forgot, do you know how much the meteor II weighs? I assume it is a touch heavier than the comet because of the beefed up design, but is it still fairly easy to carry?
     
  6. KLB

    KLB Member

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    Matt,
    Hello. The Meteor II 740A 1x12 combo weighs about 44lbs., and measures 24"W x 18"H x 12"D (bottom) / 10"D (top). It has a soft, comfortable handle. Tuki already has a stock cover available to fit it.

    The Slant 6V is a fine amp, no doubt. I liked the clean tones more than the OD. Steve Carr coached me through the various circuit changes they made and I modified mine accordingly, so I'm pretty sure I've heard what the lead channel can do. It is essentially a JCM800 2200 series, 3-gain stage circuit. Yes, it is better when louder, I think mainly due to the negative influence of the pre phase inverter master volume, which rolls off bass and highs when turned down. This is exactly the opposite of what the ear wants to hear for lower volume use!

    I think the Meteor II is altogether a better amp than the Slant 6V. The cabinet, speaker, biasing system, tone switches, reverb and tremelo are all top notch. If I can play it loud, the lead channel has a cool tweed/JTM flavor. I normally use pedals for OD.

    The Slant 6V had a very slight hardness to the treble and attack that is absent from the Tone King Meteor II. I liked the Slant 6V the most on full power mode. The MII sounds equally good on half power since it runs the same combination fixed/cathode bias for all tubes. You can easly swap to 6L6, 5881, EL34 -- even mix and match -- for new tones. Bias conservatively and you don't even need to use the (quiet) fan. Bias the crap out of the tubes -- past their rated dissipation like like a Vox AC30 or Brownface Deluxe and other classic amps -- and the fan keeps the heat under control.

    The cabinet and speaker sound HUGE. No lack of air or bottom end, but yet there is meat for the mid tones.

    For the two Slant 6V's I had, the reverb was just OK. The reverb "tail" was too long and overall it was too bassy sounding. I tried a two-spring med delay tank and new tubes, but it didn't really help.

    The Tremelo on the MII is juicy and loads of fun.

    The controls are laid out on top and easy to use. (Unfortunately, the three way brite switch, fan on/off switch, and bias knobs are hard to reach underneath the chassis. Can't have everything I guess! Not enough room on top.)

    Mark Bartel has put much thought into this amp and it shows.
    I don't know how he sells them for what he does.
    There is a LOT going on inside!

    I have not even for a moment wanted to sell this amp -- and that is a first for me.

    Cheers,
    Ken

    PS - I still enjoy that H535 you traded me!
     
  7. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    Matt,

    I have a TK Meteor II 2x12 that I absolutely love. You're more than welcome to come & try it. We just have to try to find an open weekend day. With kids it seems like there is always something going on. Plus you know you would have to bring your Suhr with the SSC.:D

    Joe
     
  8. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    excellent info Ken, thanks much! However, now I have to blame you for making want to spend money:D
    seriously, I really need to check out this amp. Evan Conway (mude) also really digs it and both of you have owned many of the same amps as I have for reference. I might even try to go to marks shop in baltimore someday to try it if he will let me, unless I can find one to try more local. I really like the whole easy bias thing, and all the control over reverb. These are 2 features I have on my aiken invader that I wish every amp had. 44 pounds is still very easy to deal with, it just seems like a great workhorse gig amp.
     
  9. mattmccloskey

    mattmccloskey Supporting Member

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    Hey Joe, that sounds fantastic. I will shoot you an e-mail soon and maybe we can sneak a couple hours in sometime to check out gear. My classic is fantastic, and the ssc really works. Mine has pull knob on the middle tone that defeats the ssc. the tone stays the same, it just gets noisier! I never pull it up except just to show how well it works!
     
  10. Joe Perry

    Joe Perry Member

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    Matt,

    Sounds good. Not sure if you have seen any of the threads, but I also just got the Komet 6V6 proto yesterday. My Suhr should be done late November. I was going to get the push/pull with the "defeat" but I opted for it to add the bridge p/u.

    Joe
     
  11. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    I have been singing the praise of those speakers for while now, my favorite speaker hands down.

    They are bright but in a very good non-harsh way, like a good PAF.
    And you are spot on about the feel, they have a different feel to them.
    AND they sound great right out of the box, what more could you want.
    I put one in my Top Hat CR and put 2 in my Jenkins Highway 61.

    Awesome speakers!!
     
  12. DAB

    DAB Member

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    I would love to. Let me check with the boss and make sure she hasn't arranged my weekend yet.

    Dave
     

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