low-efficiency speakers

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by kingink, Jul 28, 2005.

  1. kingink

    kingink Gold Supporting Member

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    A few weeks ago, I picked up a couple of greenbacks from this forum (thanks Gary and Joe) and they're just what I'm looking for. I've made a huge leap forward in the tonequest. I played through some greenbacks years ago, and I liked the tone a lot, but I had forgotten how much! This is really it for me, just what I was hearing in my head.

    I put them in my Z Best cab, and both my Bassman heads and my Maz 38 Sr. sound incredible through this cab/speaker combination.
    Aside from the tone, I like the fact that the greenbacks break up early and are kind of "quiet." The Bassmans and the Maz are already so LOUD that I don't really need efficient, 100db sensitivity speakers, especially since I get my distortion from the amp, not pedals.

    So now, I have two questions that I imagine the speaker gurus around here can answer.

    First, are the new-and-improved "boutique" versions of greenbacks as inefficient as the Celestions? I'm thinking of Scumbag, Weber, and Emininence Private Jacks. If the PJs have a bigger magnet and handle 50 watts, does that mean they don't break up and get all squishy like a greenback?

    Secondly, how does one determine speaker efficiency? For instance, Ted Weber describes some of his low-wattage, early-breakup models as "loud."

    Thank you much,

    David
     
  2. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    No, a 50watt rating doesn't mean it will break up less.
    A speakers efficiency is measured in db's, usually
    tested with one watt at one meter away.
    So, if the speaker rating is lets say 90db,
    that means its 90db loud with one watt,
    one meter away.
    It takes double the amount of watts for a 3db
    increase in volume, so there's a big difference
    between a 90db and 87db speaker.
    Imagine the difference between a 102db efficient
    speaker and an 87db speaker.
    Very simple way to scale down you amps volume
    by just changing the speaker to a less efficient one.
     
  3. kingink

    kingink Gold Supporting Member

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    That's exactly what I'm thinkin'! Seriously, Doug, thanks for the info.
    I'm guessing, from what you're saying, that the only way to determine speaker efficiency, from the consumer's point of view, is to either A) look at the specs chart (Celestion, Emininence) or B) if no specs are posted on a manufacturer's website, email said manufacturer and ask about the efficiency of the various models (Weber).

    Thanks again,

    David
     
  4. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    Exactly!
     
  5. TheAmpNerd

    TheAmpNerd Member

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    Doug,

    Boy you aren't kidding either.
    a 50 watt amp with an 87 db speaker is like
    a 1600 watt amp with a 102 db speaker.

    It takes a while to understand this, so I created a little table below to demonstrate the power and
    db ratings and how you see the affect of efficiency!
    It is a major major consideration. Study this example:

    Watts - db
    50 - 87
    100 - 90
    200 - 93
    400 - 96
    800 - 99
    1600 - 102

    What were most oxfords in Fenders?
    Celestions in marshalls?
    Fane in Hiwatts?
    Jensen in Silvertones?

    Thought provoking indeed.
     
  6. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    Don't concern yourself with sensitivity, I tested many speakers yesterday at the same amp settings. A 300 watt EV to a $20 Carvin and I, nor my mic, noticed any difference. Just go for the best sound.

    Years ago, I was using the old Celestion G12M-70s, which was the standard for Marshall cabs before the current 75s. I bought and returned a greenback, as I didn't like it at all. It sounded just like the 70, but the low end was all muddy. If you want the same sound but with a tight, substantial low end, find a 70.
     
  7. Roccaforte Amps

    Roccaforte Amps Member

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    There's a substantial difference between any EV and a Celestion,
    a 70 tighter than a Greenback? I disagree.
     
  8. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    FWIW the new Celestion Heritage G12M is one amazing speaker. Right out of the box they sound awesome. I just put one in my Top Hat and I have 2 sitting here that are going in my 2X12 today.


    Low efficiency speakers can be great cause you can open up the amp more and not get kicked out of a club by some lame-assed soundman. I don't know bout you but I have heard the immortal "stage volume has to come down" more often then I like, and that is with a Masonette (25W).
     
  9. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    What speaker were you replacing in your TopHat, the TopHat labeled G12H?

    Does the Heritage have the same (low) efficiency as the Greenback?




    And back to the original poster's question........are there any other speakers available which are low efficiency like the Greenback?
     
  10. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Hey Riff;

    I have a TH from 1999, originally it came with a GB, then I put a G12H in there at Brian's reccomendation.

    The Heritage G12M has the same efficiency rating as a greenback, it may even be 1 db lower.
    It is the least harsh speaker I have ever heard and that is compared to a GB and G12H, V30's I never liked.

    The G12M is truly amazing, sweet, articulate all the qualities you love in a GB but a lot smoother, they just have vibe.
    The other thing I noticed is that they are either not doped or Celestion is using a different doping material cause that sticky flypaper surround is gone on these speakers. They also have this kool neon yellow/green spider, and as we all know anything with neon sounds better.

    Try one and see what you think. If you like them the way I do you will be buying more, I just put 2 more in my Jenkins 2X12.

    Ask Greg Germino about them, he put the bug in my ear.

    Steve..
     
  11. riffmeister

    riffmeister Gold Supporting Member

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    Dammit! I thought I was DONE with speakers for a while!! :mad:

    :dude
     
  12. kingink

    kingink Gold Supporting Member

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    Now that's what I'm talkin' about! And, to bring in riffmeister's return to my original post, wouldn't it be cool to have low-efficency speaks
    that have tonal characteristics different from greenbacks? That's why I was wondering about Weber's various vintage models, thinking that you could get some low-efficiency speakers with a more "American"/"Fender" tone, as opposed to that Celestion "British"/"Marshall" tone. Or, what about the tone of a V30 in low-efficiency package, for the reasons Mr. Hanky talks about.

    Gulliver, I respectfully suggest that I think you missed the point of my original post. I _am_ interested in what sounds good, and greenbacks are it! Not only do they sound good, but they feel good too (I have some G12-65s, which arguably have a similar tone to greenbacks, but to me, lack the "squish" of greenbacks), and they lower the overall volume of my amps.

    Actually, the 65s are great in other applications, as are V30s, EVs, G12Hs, etc.

    In other words, my interest in sensitivity isn't purely theoretical, but is directly connected to my search for a good or particular sound.

    Ampnerd, thanks for the chart. Actually, I was actually going to post a question on that very subject. Does this mean that when you set an attenuator to -4db you're actually cutting an amps wattage by over half?

    Thanks for the posts, everybody, and rock on!

    David
     
  13. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    King, I know exactly what you mean by "feel" try the new G12M, if you don't like em call me, I'll by them used.
     
  14. kingink

    kingink Gold Supporting Member

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    Good point on the Super Reverb, OTM.

    Mr. H, how much will the feel of the new G12M cost me? ;)

    Also, I meant to tell Ampnerd: I have some cast-frame Hiwatt "high efficiency" speakers made by Fane, and I'll say that they're very clean, tonewise, meaning kind of "hi-fi" and flat in the mids, but they're probably not as efficient/loud as say, something like a V30. Certainly some Eminence Legend V16s that I have are way louder than the Fanes. However, the Fanes do sound really great nonetheless.
     
  15. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Oh, they are not cheap that is for sure.
    About $180-190 each, the G12H is more.

    I just played the 2X12 and it sounds great now. Can't wait to bring it to rehearsal and slam it for a few hours. I can't imagine how good these will sound once they settle in a bit.
    Sure nice to have a light 2X12, the small magnets are light.
     
  16. gulliver

    gulliver Member

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    These are the speakers I was listening to, as metioned in my first post:

    http://thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?s=&threadid=94104

    I did say I didn't notice a difference in the EV vs Celestion regarding sensitivity (perceived volume), but should note that the EV was in an open back cabinet, which changes the variable. I retract...

    It was a while back since I tested the greenback against the M70, but now remember a difference in sensitivity. I'm thinking these suggestions regarding the use of low senaitivity speakers are to try to overdrive the power amp tubes more??? is that the ticket? Maybe I'm missing the point because I think the difference isn't enough to substantially effect the desired results.

    You can put me in my place on this one, but at least my clip shows some attempts at substantial differences.
     
  17. Troubleman

    Troubleman Silver Supporting Member

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    It's a log scale, so each increment in dB represents an order of magnitude increase. That's dramatic

    jb
     
  18. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    Other way around. 1600 watt amp with 87dB speaker = 50 watt amp with 102 dB speaker, but yeah, it makes a big difference.
     
  19. SAMIAM

    SAMIAM Member

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    I too am a HUGE low wattage/ low efficiency fan - I want tone at obnoxious free volumes and believe in micing for larger spaces.I've used Green Backs in 1x12 closed back ext. cabs with great success for years and am currently looking for a low watt/efficient 10"er for a 5 watt combo-it's difficult to predict wether the 15 watt rated alnicos (specifically the weber sig 10 a) would break up with such a low pwered amp pushing them and weber doesn't really address this to my satisfaction on thier site - other than to say early breakup , any 5 watt experience with various 15 watt speakers?Specifically going for speaker breakup and as low a volume as possible as 5 watts in MH experience is as loud as I'm ever going to need and can always throw a mic on spkr for larger spaces/ more exuberant drummers!
     
  20. Boogs

    Boogs Member

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    I wish Ted would put efficiency ratings on his site, but I'm not sure if he has tested them all like this or not? Maybe if he did, though, I would be tempted to buy more of them, and I don't need that... ;)

    He does say "loud", "very loud", and the rare "loud as heck" about various speaker relative to their size. Since he calls the ceramic Blue Dog "loud", and I happen to have confirmed over the phone that it is 98db sensitivity (of course upper-mid and presence frequency emphasis plays a role in percieved loudness also...), I don't imagine that even his "very loud" (i.e. California/Michigan/etc.) 12" get up above 100db. The 10" version of the Cali I believe is 98db, so that would make sense.

    I would call him if I were specifically looking at low efficiency drivers regarding their SPL ratings, and even if he didn't have a number, could hopefully tell me their relative loudness to one of the models he has a number for. I would GUESS that any 12 inchers he doesn't call loud would be 97db or below.


    David
     

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