Early ABB - Marshall's with JBL speakers?

Discussion in 'The Sound Hound Lounge' started by ChazFromCali, Jan 18, 2015.

  1. ChazFromCali

    ChazFromCali Member

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    I've always liked the guitar sound of Allman Brothers Band especially the earlier stuff like Live at the Fillmore East and Brothers & Sisters. It used to be all over FM radio back then. Was talking with a bass-playing buddy the other day who dropped something of a bomb on me by telling me that Duane and Dickey put JBL speakers in their Marshall cabs?

    I immediately did like a head slap thing ;-) Doh! :thudI had no idea.

    Guess I never really thought about it much but it sure explains what I would call that characteristic ABB guitar sound of that era. Cleans up the Marshall/Celestion grit and gets a more defined sound.

    I'm not a pro or have I ever owned a Marshall amp. Has anyone here tried using JBL's with a Marshall? Curious to what you think about that sound.
     
  2. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Dickey used JBL's running 100 or 50 watt heads
    Duane ran some Cerwin Vega's 50 watt heads

    Those speakers were definitely one of major ingredients in those legendary blueprinted tones!

    Hearing Duane and Dickey running those old Les Paul's into those screaming, creaming, verge of self destruction, Marshall output distortion through those JBL's and Cerwin Vega's created one of the most righteous guitar
    tones ever recorded.

    No secret Duane also used Twins loaded JBLs in the studio.

    JBLs sound fantastic!
     
  3. GTRJoe

    GTRJoe Supporting Member

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    Yes they did use JBL's. See the photo below
    [​IMG]

    Notice that the upper cab is pretty much open and the bottom cab is closed. I have also heard that Duane also used Cerwin Vega !2" speakers at some point.

    Long ago I was really into the ABB so I went out and bought a 50 watt Marshall head and an angle front 4X12. Since I was running the amp pretty much all the up in those days I blew all the original Celestions. I replaced them with JBL D 120's. So I ended up with the ABB set up. It was loud as hell and clear as a bell.
    You could crank the amp and it was dirty but every note was distinct and it cut through everything. Pretty amazing, but ultimately not really practical for most gigs. Too big, way too loud.
     
  4. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Do a search, there are a couple of old threads detailing Duane's marshall and speakers. One talks about Derek Trucks now owning it and PRS documenting and cloning it. Both have a lot of good information on how to get there. Weber makes a decent CV clone, and tied with a heritage or wgs reaper 55 mhz in a heavily built cab, you can get very close.

    BTW - pretty sure that it's been established that that is Dickys cab with the JBL's in the photo above.
     
  5. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Yes, I was such a huge Dicky fan, I replaced the stock speakers in my Marshall half stack with JBL's.
    This was probably 1974.
    To this day, I could never put the experience of playing and hearing that tone
    in a live situation into words, straight in with a Les Paul, no pedals.

    Godly righteous is what it was, the feel, the respose, insanely ballsy clean singing sustain in spades. A wall of it
    that you could always feel wherever you were on stage. It filled the room and the tone from that amp sounded better than
    the PA system.

    The other thing I remember was how consistent the tone was everywhere regardless of distance.
    Fender amps don't do that. They sound different wherever you go..know what I mean??
    Not that amp!

    It helped we were playing the perfect kind of music for exploiting that tone, rock and rocking blues.

    It was that sound, or as close as I've ever come to it.

    But the clubs were obviously much much bigger then. I could never get away with that rig these days.

    It was LOUD though man! The best kind of loud, but Loud.

    And that cab was insanely heavy loaded with those JBL's!
    I found some pics of me running it.
    Maybe I can post them sometime.
    I always thought it looked so cool seeing those JBLs shinning through the grill cloth.:dude
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  6. bigtone23

    bigtone23 Member

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    Wow! That is a amp set up I would have never guessed. Learn something new every day!
     
  7. louderock

    louderock Member

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    Pretty sure that they were also using Fender (Twins?) on the first few studio albums
     
  8. cottonmike

    cottonmike Member

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    Allen Collins was doing that JBL trick too, first in Marshalls and later in the Peavys.
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  9. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Brown Fender Super if I'm not mistaken.
     
  10. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Blue Sky and no doubt a few others were the Brown Super, from what I've read;
    But Duane used a cranked Twin for his session stuff and early ABB recordings.
    Even the guitar tones on
    Idlewild South sound bf Twin clean to my ears,
    like the studio version of Elizabeth Reed :beer
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2015
  11. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I have a pair of those original CVs in a Bassman cab and they sound pretty sweet. I made a trade just for the cab, and when I opened it up, they were in there, unwired. All I had to do was wire them up and bang, they worked just fine.
     
  12. davebc

    davebc Member

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    I've never played though Cerwin Vega's, but remember seeing them around in the early 70's.
    The thought just never occurred to try them. :bonk

    In fact I never realized Duane was using them until maybe 5 years ago.
    I did hear a clip black face Deluxe the CV and it sounded incredible,
    much better than the stock Fender I seem to remember.
     
  13. scottlr

    scottlr Member

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    I knew nothing about them either. The guy I got the cab from told me the speakers didn't work. I told him that was no problem, I just wanted the cab. Finding unwired speakers in it solved the "didn't work" part. I knew of the CV brand, so I came on here and asked what they were. A guy PM'd me and offered up $500 for the pair. So I decided I should keep them. Apparently they are no longer made. These are vintage 70s speakers.
     
  14. davebc

    davebc Member

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    They must sound f***ing unreal!!:aok
     
  15. smolder

    smolder Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow. I've probably used up all of my "lucky finds", but that's sure one I'd welcome. Congratulations.
     
  16. Tom CT

    Tom CT Old Supporting Member Gold Supporting Member

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    There was a fairly large stash of NOS 1970s Cerwin Vega PS-12s unearthed a few years back. They're basically orange frame Fender-branded ER124s which was the model that followed the ER123 (sort of like the JBL 120D/K/E succession). I picked up four of them. They're cool, high-wattage, heavy-duty speakers along the lines of JBLs and EVs from the same period.

    This is the 15" version, but the appearance is almost identical.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2015
  17. davebc

    davebc Member

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    Beautiful!!
     
  18. GerryJ

    GerryJ Member

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    It's a great sound, but probably the main reason they replaced Celestions (back then) with hi power JBLs was the same reason SRV replaced his fender spkrs in the early 80s with hi power EVs - they won't blow.
    Blown speakers render an amp immediately unplayable in public (they're not silent), and are a real pain to repair/replace.
     
  19. JL75

    JL75 Member

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  20. 808

    808 Member

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    Seems reasonable, Warren Haynes has said Dicky played louder than **** back in the 90's when he joined the ABB. Apparently those 50 watt marshalls were always cranked.
     

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