Huge difference in tone between identical speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Golden1984, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Golden1984

    Golden1984 Member

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    Hello.

    I lately tested 2 Mesa 2x12 cabs. Both with 16ohm Celestions Vintage 30, Made in Egngland, Selected for Mesa, etc.
    I used SM57 for recording, the same positions, the same settings, the same guitar...

    To be sure I tested them also in 1x12 isol cab, there is the result:

    http://www.tonefinder.com/files/511421927367-mmmmmmm.mp3

    Earlier I tested Chinese V30s in the same cab with the same result:

    http://www.tonefinder.com/index.php?section=id&value=14608

    :ideaCan anybody tell me, what causes such a huge difference between identical speakers?:idea No visible differcences, they differ only in tone.

    Thank you, Peter
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  2. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    Every speaker has it's own independent frequency response. This is the biggest cause of tonality differences in cabs. Different cabs will sound different too based upon its construction or the timber used to build it, but the biggest factor is speaker construction. A speaker with poor frequency response on the low end will simply not be able to produce low end content. The only real simularities between a British v30 and a Chinese v30 is the name. Even in identical speakers made in the same country there are some differences in tone. This is why recording engineers will test out each speaker in a cabinet before picking which one to mic up for a recording session.
     
  3. Bieling3

    Bieling3 Member

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    Break in time? I'm enjoying this Chinese made 8 ohm Vintage 30 way more than any of the English made ones I've ever tried. Like night and day... and almost the exact opposite of the results you recorded.
     
  4. 8len8

    8len8 Member

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    Identical names, but likely not identical build quality or resulting specifications.
     
  5. Golden1984

    Golden1984 Member

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    I used identical cabs or swapped speakers in one cab. All of them were Vintage 30s, so producer says they should be identical, but they are not. The biggest problem is not bass, but overal tonal characteristics.
     
  6. Heady Jam Fan

    Heady Jam Fan Member

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    Yes, the Chinese and English V30's are definitely different. Mostly in the bottom-end. To my ear, the English V30 has more bass/warmth, which makes the upper-mids sound a bit more tame, while the Chinese V30 has more bite. I had one of each in a 212 for a while and really liked it. I also tried pairing the V30 with an EVM12L, a Gold and various Gold clones.
     
  7. drmcclainphd

    drmcclainphd Member

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    In the first case you tested two cabs. I take it they each had their own drivers, ie. you didn't swap them. Factory sealed, not opened.

    In the second you tested one cab with two different sets of drivers, swapping them out. Was the first set factory sealed into the cab? The second obviously wasn't.

    Is this correct?

    If so, they may or may not have the same causes. You can test both the same ways, but may get results from different tests. It's hard to say it's not, because just as the two sets in each comparison differ, the two comparisons differ also.

    Ohm out the cabs, and the individual drivers, unwired. Drivers should have a solo resistance around 80% of their impedance value. Celestion says these should be 12.9, or 7.3 if 8 ohm impedance.

    If a cab differs from the theoretical expected by the combination, check the wiring for any that weren't connected properly as well as any hooked up reverse phase.

    Check the cabs for sealing. Some might be leaking. Put the first 4x12 set back into the cab and check that. If it's sealing, the first set should now sound like the second. The driver flange to baffle mount is another place the seal might differ. I always use new gasket tape when mounting any drivers, but using that much I go cheap and buy the same stuff that just says "window and door weatherproofing" on the package instead.

    Were all the drivers within each comparison broken in? Equally? Apparently V30s vary a great deal across break in time. Here's a portion of one review posted at Musician's Friend, others say similar but not in this detail: "When I first tried out the V-30s I did not like them - the infamous bright/harsh/thin effect. I took them out of my amps and put them away - for years. Finally it was clean out time; they had to go. I decided to give one more shot a breaking them in using a sound wave CD that I burned specifically for breaking in speakers - and yes, insert all kinds of disclaimers here now. Nevertheless, after a very lengthy break-in the speakers changed rather drastically. They are sweet, full bodied and articulate, handling either cleans or distortion with perfect composure. They literally went from useless to favorite - all on the basis of break-in. I have tons of speakers and have never seen the need - or results - of the break-in process so pronounced in any speaker. V-30s are among the best, but you will never hear it unless you break them in very thoroughly."

    There are also claims that the Celestion and Mesa versions differ in break in time, but I'd have to know how they determine that before supporting it. Regardless, there is actually a break in service listed on Reverb that specializes in giving the V30 the necessary Frankensteinian lightning bolt shock through the neck bolts to bring it to life. Not necessarily a suggestion, just the observation that if such exists, it's probably more than just a finicky user ego-salve.

    I haven't built much that needed a lot of break in, but when I had to apply some I used the suggestion to break them in with signal similar to what they'll be expected to play (just in case there actually in a difference in just how they break in). I see people claiming break in times from 2 to 40 hours, most of them in the single digits. So I'd say the best course at this point is to file away all the previous stuff in case breaking in doesn't work, or for bug hunting use in other situations, and wail away on these bad boys until they fall into line and double time in lock step. And get ready to do another set of comparison recordings, before and after break in, because you're well set to provide what nobody else has that I could find, objective proof of the process. I suggest doing a recording after each hour of break in, until you get a few in a row that sound the same. Using the same pre-recorded signal as source for this would improve the validity.

    If you're looking for an alternative, pop over to Parts Express and check out the G12 Century neo-mag. Very similar specs with more linear and neutral sound. I prefer having more variability in sound controlled by me, to having drivers that make everything sound more similar due to their color. They weigh less than half as much, something that matters more to some of us than others. They're on closeout at P-E for $79@.
     
  8. J M Fahey

    J M Fahey Member

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    Probably different break in, sort of logically to be expected since:
    a) "English" by definition will be old, "Chinese" will be new or at least quite newer.
    That alone explains a lot, even if nominally made with same materials and parts.
    2) you are finding the older one with better LF response and mellower; the new one harsh and dry ... exactly what's to be expected from new vs. well worn speakers.
    I would doubt if results were exactly opposite, but as shown they match the break in theory.
     
  9. Golden1984

    Golden1984 Member

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    My favorite chinese speaker sounded good even when it was new, from the box, without breaking in. After few hundred hours of playing realy loud it sounded even better. But if speaker sux from the begining, breaking in doesn`t help much...
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2015
  10. trailrun100s

    trailrun100s Member

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    I had always heard that the Mesa V30's are a different spec than the Chinese V30's you buy off the shelf...
     
  11. JamminJoe

    JamminJoe Member

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    I thought the OP was making the point that there are differences even between the same English made Mesa V30's. And also among the Chinese V30's.

    If you are comparing a Mesa V30 and a Chinese V30, then obviously there will be differences because I would assume that Mesa purposely voiced their speakers differently from standard V30's.

    Just wondering, but are Mesa V30's the only V30's that are being made in England with all other V30's being made in China?
     
  12. Golden1984

    Golden1984 Member

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    YES :)

    So I wanted to know what is the reason of these tonal differences...
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2015
  13. Golden1984

    Golden1984 Member

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    Maybe individual weight of cone in each speaker is the reason?
    Is anyone here familiar with clearly technical side of speaker construction?
     

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