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CTS Speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Deadwood, Jan 27, 2008.

  1. Deadwood

    Deadwood Member

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    Does anyone here know much about these? I've got three 12" that I believe came out of an early 70s Carvin PA. They're 16 ohm. I've played guitar through them for about 20 years and they sound pretty good. How do I find wattage ratings on these? Thanks.
     
  2. dr.circles

    dr.circles Member

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    Sorry to piggyback, but I'm also interested. I've got 8 "10 CTS speakers (square magnet) in my old Ampeg 8x10 bass cab. Anyone know much about these? Their value?
     
  3. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    I had 4 10" CTS square magnet speakers in my VT40. I pulled them. They broke up too early. Not worth a lot...unless someone is willing to buy them to restore an amp to its original condition, IMO. I think I sold them for about $25 each.
     
  4. 67super

    67super Supporting Member

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    Fender used them in a lot of BF Super Reverbs and a lot of people feel that combination is one of the all time great tones. I'm talking about the 10" alnico's, probably like the ones you sold. My 67 SR has them and it's been my favorite amp since I bought it 20 years ago.
     
  5. RDM

    RDM Senior Member

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    One man's junk another man's treasure. I'm glad I dumped them! Haha.
     
  6. QuiterFan

    QuiterFan Member

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    This is an old thread, but whatever helps. As the best that I know, the CTS speakers came mainly from solid-state Lab Series amps from the late 70s to mid 80's. Gibson initially sponsored the development of these amps and they were designed by Moog. These were not cheap knock-off amps-- they were at the same price level as new Fenders and Marshall's. I had a L7 amp with CTS 4-10's that was a great amplifier. It got a lot of use, but first the compressor died and then the reverb. One of my biggest mistakes was not fixing those problems. You can look and buy Lab Series amps at very low prices and I think if they are in good condition, they are worth it. The L7 with 4-10's is most famous for being BB King's amplifier for almost 40+ years. Since he passed away, I cannot believe there has not been tribute after tribute for BB-- I don't get that.

    I am not part of tube/solid state argument, since Lab Series still has a great reputation for tone. But what I did 100% correct was I kept the CTS 4-10's and put them into 2 cabinets. These 4-10's are rated at a total of 120 watts RMS. I play mostly pedal-steel not my strats. Then in the last 2 years Pat Quilter comes along with with with the 200 watt Steelaire amp for pedal-steel. His amps have balls. I was invited to play rhythm guitar in a band and I thought why not. So what I did was take the CTS 4-10's and carefully drive them with Pat's 200 watts. I played a clean tone with a strat, but it was not surf-clean. I am not a young player, but every place I played, I had all age groups of musicians ask me what was doing. Effectively, on guitar, I had 4 incredible CTS speakers being over-driven by Pat's 200 watts. My CTS speakers have round magnets and I am not sure when they were made, but they are incredible speakers. I exchanged emails with Pat Quilter and he knew all about CTS speakers. I strongly recommend these speakers since now they are probably relatively inexpensive. I know my speakers are in great condition, but I could not tell you how to make that judgement with a visual inspection.

    Last, CTS is still in business at some level. It has merged and morphed into a larger company. Those type of changes are not always easy to follow.
     
    redeyedjim likes this.
  7. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    Ampeg went to square magnet Eminence ceramic drivers to cut costs as CTS AlNiCos were being phased out.
    The speakers with a U wrapper shaped square magnet are AlNiCos and far more valuable.

    Below a CTS AlNiCo

    [​IMG]

    The solid square magnet Eminence ceramics are less desirable.


    [​IMG]
     
    redeyedjim likes this.
  8. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I was super lucky to grab 2 AlNiCo loaded 8X10's when I bought my rig .
    Cabs were $500.00 each with cover and dolly.

    Today to outfit an SVT 8X10" with AlNiCo drivers alone, you'd be talking $1600.00++ just for the speakers at $200.00 each.
    I sold one of my cabs years ago but still have the other.

    SVT 10" were 32 Ohm.
     
  9. H. Mac

    H. Mac Member

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    CTS speakers were popular in the late 60s/early 70s and were one of the speaker brands used in the rolled and tucked Kustom cabs. I thought they were excellent and on a par with Jensens, but that was 45 or so years ago.
     
  10. zenas

    zenas Member

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    Some of those old CTS speakers are kind of inefficient. That can be a good thing if you like to turn amps a bit without quite so much volume.
    Only ones worth any thing are the ten inch alnicos from Fenders. The rest are cheap enough to mess with.
     
  11. drbob1

    drbob1 Silver Supporting Member

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    CTS was a serious speaker company, providing stock to stereo and sound reinforcement as well as musicians. It's their connection with Fender and Ampeg that makes us remember them here. It's not hard to find the alnico 10s, although some of them are in need of recones now; Weber and Orange County do fine with them. I've heard some argument about the CTS alnico vs ceramic in Super Reverbs, but I'll stick with my alnicos, thanks!
     
  12. 71strat

    71strat Member

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    My grandparents bought me a solid state Carvin head. 100 Watts rms, and 2 x 15 cabinet in 72. It was loaded with CTS 15s.

    I had waited 3 months for the amp. I got the amp, dimed it, and the speakers instantly blew, so for me I got a bad taste for CTS on my first try. I also had the same experience with a 1972 Kustom 50 with 1 x 12 Jensen. It lasted 2 weeks. Same for a 1969 Twin Reverb. It had the stock Fender Spekaers and they lasted 3 days. I had it reloaded with JBL D120Fs. I still have the amp and speakers.

    I like to dime my amps, and have the ability to, as neighbors don't care. Its my estimation, if the speakers came with the amp, then they should be able to take the amp dimed for hours on end. If not, IMHO its junk, and not reliable in the long run.

    Also IMHO many of those old speakers.. SOUND GREAT, but came from the factory in applications that were not optimum for the amp.

    Ever wonder why SRV took the CTS, out of his Super Reverb and put JBL E110s or EV 10Ms in it ? Or a JBL E130, EV 15L in his Vibroverbs ?

    When I blew the CTS in the Carvin, my grandparents bought me 2 Altec 418H and they have been in there since 72, and Ive not had the 1st problem out of them.

    I also sometimes wonder when I blew the speakers in the solid state amps, if part of the problem was, the amps were producing a lot of Square Wave Distortion. Being Dimed/solid state and all. But IMHO theres still no way those small magnets and voice coils can take 100 watts for hours, when a heavy magnet JBL D120F is bare minimum for an old Twin Reverb, and some of the earlier model D120Fs werent suitable either, as they weren't even 100 watts, but in fairness are underrated for RMS capacity.

    The old full stack, early 70s Hi Watt Dr103 with is 8, 80-100 watt Fane Cresendos were good for 640-800 watts, for a 100 watt amp. Even 1 x 4 x 12 Hi Watt cabinet with the 4 x 80 watters, was enough for the 100 watt amp. Try cranking a 100 watt Super Lead through a 1 x 4 x 12 of original Pulsonic Cone 25-30 watt Celestions. The most Ill put through my 4 x 25 waters is a 38 watt Metro GMP45.

    The old Plexis had only 200-240 watts speaker capacity, with 8 x 12 by comparison to the Hi Watt. Its no wonder Hendrix was always blowing speakers, and you rarely hear of anyone blowing the old 80-100 watt Cresendos.

    Even the Hi Watt DR201 was good with the same 8 x12 as the DR103.

    Bottom line for me is, ( YMMV ) they ( CTS< Jensen, Oxford, Eminence, Fended Branded ) can be great sounding speakers, but Beware of the Application, especially if you plan on extended cranked volumes, and use any kind of Drive or Distortion pedals. I also had the same problem with early Eminence and Oxfords.

    I also believe TODAY, Eminence makes the best speakers they ever made, and would take them over modern production Jensen, or any of the other Modern repros. IMHO they are the Only, old speaker manufacturer, that is still in business, that has Progressed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2015
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  13. LPVM

    LPVM Member

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    I got 3 of those the original owner pulled from a Kustom cab.

    [​IMG]

    They are good speakers. I've got a pair of them in a pine 212 cab now and they sound great.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2017
  14. vintagelove

    vintagelove Member

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    I have a pair of cts and vintage Jensen c10r, a phenomenal combination.
     
  15. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    I have a pair of 15" CTS's I pulled from a pair of Folded corner horns years ago. I use them as subs in my PA. They work pretty good.
    Not sure what they are rated at though. They are crossed over at 100 hz.
     
  16. swiveltung

    swiveltung Member

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    I like some of the older CTS, ceramic or alnico like used in the Super Reverb are great. just a bit in efficient , which can be nice. They are very crisp sounding... so in a single speaker application may not be that desireable, but with a 4 x 10 the big bottom comes out. Various CTS were use in a lot of different amps and manufacturers.
     
  17. FFTT

    FFTT Member

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    I'm being very conservative with my 8X10 these days.
    The cab has served me well for 43 years.
    The original CTS AlNiCos still sound great and I'd like to keep it that way.
     
  18. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    Can I get an Amen?
     
  19. LPVM

    LPVM Member

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    Got this pair of 10" CTS alnicos today from my son. He picked up a '70s Traynor YC810 loaded with them and got 6 good ones out of it.The other 2 are torn and need to be reconed. I'm going to make a new 2x10 baffle for this Hammond inspired cab. It should be real nice.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    TEPR likes this.
  20. cerebralpaul

    cerebralpaul Member

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    I have an old Super reverb I'm working toward restoring, and I'd like to go the ceramic CTS route. I see cts 10's on eBay/reverb sometimes but I'm not sure they're the correct type for a BFSR. Anyone have a photo or a resource to see the type of CTS ceramics that would've been originally used in a BFSR?
     

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