Ceramic vs. Alnico

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by PRuss83, May 20, 2008.

  1. PRuss83

    PRuss83 Member

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    I have a Fender Vibro King. I've been looking into maybe getting some new speakers, but would like some advice. It has 3-10's. Not sure what brand are in it right now, but I am pretty sure they are stock. The are solid blue with no stamp or writing. I've read several post here, and it seems like some people like ceramic, some like alnico. Any opinions on what would be best for the King?
     
  2. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    There is no right or wrong - it's really what your ear likes best.

    The stock speakers are Jensen P10Rs - Alnico. Personally, my ear likes Ceramic speakers with Fender amps. But, they both sound great. The VK extention 2x12s have Celestion V30s loaded in them - a ceramic speaker.
     
  3. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    Alnico takes the edge off of the tone and compresses earlier, making for a fat and more vintage sound.

    I would choose speakers from these standpoints:
    What year/ era was the amp made/ made to sound like?
    What kind of pickups and distortion do I use?
    How much headroom do I want?

    If it's a newer amp and/ or I'm using alnico pickups or ceramic pickups+want lots of headroom then I'd go the ceramic route.

    For me, I've become infatuated by Lace Alumitone pickups and these being ceramic and 7 times the signal-noise ratio of standard pickups I go with alnico. These don't have that 'zing' ceramics have.

    I'm sure blues guys rather go with alnico and metal-heads mostly go with ceramics. For instance Steve Stevens use the Celestion golds, so there are exceptions to every rule.

    From what era is the Vibro King of yours?
     
  4. PRuss83

    PRuss83 Member

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    Its serial number is in the 400s. It is an older one. I do have the extension cab with V30s. Im thinking go with alnico to blend with the ceramic. Any in particular anyone would recommend? I use a strat with Fralin Woodstock pickups. I use a Fulltone Full-Drive II and a Fulltone Clyde wah.
     
  5. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    I'm not really sure if that would make it a Brown Tolex or Blackface. Historically, tweed and most of the Brown era, I believe, was alnico exclusively (mainly Jensens). In the 1960s the ceramics made their debute but e.g. for Blackface Twins many people prefered the old Jensens or alnico JBLs since these didn't enhance the edge in the twang.

    I would be tempting to direc you towards Celestion Golds or higher power Weber Blue Pups if the british tone is what you're after and these being ancestors of the V30 in matters of tone (the V30 being an attempt of copying Celestions own Alnico Blue but did not get close enough for a straight off replacement).

    Then you could go with something completely different, like a jazzy Jensen or Weber Vintage for more of an American signature tone. Curved cones, such as JBLs and EVs I would think would be out of the question here due to their enormous headroom.

    Choice of speakers also depends a lot on genre and breakup level.
     
  6. Peppy

    Peppy Member

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    My Vibro King has stock Eminence 10"s...an older Vibro King. I would recommend keeping alnico in them. Having said that I replaced the alnico Jensen in my reissue '57 Deluxe with a ceramic Celestion. Anyway, what are you specifically trying to accomplish sound-wise with a speaker change?
     
  7. PRuss83

    PRuss83 Member

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    Not really wanting to change anything, just wanted to get some different opinions on whether i should get the one that was in it repaired or replaced, or try a whole new set. Just in case there are some better speakers to upgrade to. This amp breaks up very quickly-around 2. I generally play with it in the 3-5 range. At this point it is almost too much breakup for me. So maybe high headroom speakers like JBLs or EVs would be good. Thoughts?
     
  8. ToneSter

    ToneSter Silver Supporting Member

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    you can purchase tubes that can get you a little more head room.

    The Weber 10A150 "alnico" is a great speaker, I play hard rock, blues & jazz and the speaker shines in all areas, compresses very nice and the highs do not lack at all.
     
  9. Uncle Pat

    Uncle Pat Member

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    I think Pete Townsend uses JBL's in his Vibro Kings, or so I read somewhere.
    I tried a set of Jensen Mods in mine a while back. They sounded good, and will get better with break-in....but it wasn't improvement enough for me to leave them in, so I went back with the stock blue frames.
    I wonder what a VK would sound like with something like a set of Copperheads, Ragin Cajuns or Ramrods. All killer speakers for different purposes, but the Copperhead seems to work best for Fendery applications.
     
  10. solitaire

    solitaire Senior Member

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    I can definately speak for the California and Michigan from Weber. I have personal experience of the 12" California, which is like a woodier JBL D120(the MI being more of an EV). I use it with my Twin module and it's really smooth, broad and easy on the ears - though of course I went with the paper dome.

    If you want more of the real hi-fi-ish JBL and EV thing, then perhaps the Neo series.
     
  11. afenderman67

    afenderman67 Member

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    if anyone wants to sell some eminence blue frame's,i'm very interested!

    chris
     
  12. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    I had blue frames in my 70's Super Reverb but it was farting out with the average band volume I needed. I put a mix of old C10Q's and Eminence ceramics and liked it much better all around. I like my notes to stay big and full. I used to run an 8 ohm 4X10 with a Deluxe Reverb at 4 ohms (impedance with 6L6's) and I'd add a 16 ohm Greenback. It was the most amazing sound. I did get tired of lugging all that stuff, though.
     
  13. LarryN

    LarryN Member

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    I saw a guy with Janiva Magniss who ran criss cross Weber Ceramics and Alnicos in a blackface Super Reverb. Great sound.
     
  14. candid_x

    candid_x Supporting Member

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    Make mine alnico pickups and ceramic speakers.
     
  15. bosstone

    bosstone Member

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    I don't have any use for AlNiCo any more.
     
  16. tubeinmyhead

    tubeinmyhead Member

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    mix em up!

    A low watt ceramic with a mid watt alnico with a high watt ceramic... you'll get a dimension you won't hear out of a common speaker thru out. just make sure impedance is matched so they all draw the same power
     

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