Question to speaker experts

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by bopplayer, Dec 17, 2009.


  1. bopplayer

    bopplayer Member

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    Any difference between reissue and original speakers? like V30's or Greenbacks? Fane?
     
  2. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    I can't speak for Fanes, but while the Celestion Heritage series are good speakers in their own right, they're not satisfactory replacements for the originals. You might want to check out Scumbacks.
     
  3. SatelliteAmps

    SatelliteAmps Member

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    Depends on what you are comparing. If you are trying to compare new in the box reissue speakers to vintage speakers that have been played for 40 years, you won't find anything that will be exact.
     
  4. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    Age alone is going to change things, because they're mechanical devices. But, even if Celestion used the exact same engineering documents, factory people, tools, materials, etc., I doubt a reissue would sound exactly the same. I mean, they probably would to me, but I'm just a human. There are those who think a microfarad is not necessarily a microfarad depending on... something. Nobody knows what. Some say color, others like to point at the dielectric material. Others refuse to say. Same thing with resistance. To hear some people talk, some 100 ohm resistors sound different than others. Apparently, the laws of physics don't apply to them.

    So, our reissue speakers can't sound like originals. Hell, some originals can't sound like originals. There may have been a 1,000 gallon batch of raw paper pulp made one day that a june bug tried to fly over but died midway across, adding his chitinous carcass to the mix and changing the consistency of the paper the speaker cones are made of and thereby changing their tone.

    I'll bet Eric Johnson could hear it. Why can't you? <grin>
     
  5. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    You seem to be suggesting that people listen to measurements. They don't, they listen to physical parts, not theoretical math. If you were to have a private conversation with an engineer from Vishay Sprague, you'd learn that there are many things that affect the sound of real life capacitors. Capacitance is only one of many measurable attributes they have. It's the one they're sold for, and official policy at Sprague is to deny the influence of others, but then their Orange Drops and Black Beauties are legendary among connoisseurs so Sprague needn't make any claims themselves to have healthy sales.

    Also, before you ridicule others, bear in mind that raising your hand when you can't hear something is how you fail a hearing test. ;)
     
  6. KGWagner

    KGWagner Member

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    I know people don't listen to measurements. They listen to their moods, their attitudes, hearsay, other people, suggestion, imagination, hope, and a variety of other things. Once in a while, they'll even listen to how they play and what their equipment sounds like.

    But, a .022µf 600v cap is a a .022µf 600v cap. It has specific electrical properties, or it can't be called a .022µf 600v cap. It's going to behave in a very specific way under given circuit conditions. I don't care what color it is, what someone's been told, what day it is, how someone feels or what legends have been circulated.

    I suspect what all the confusion is that's arisen around these things is that there are tolerances to parts. What a cap is labelled usually isn't what it is; it's just close, give or take 5% to 20%. So, changing from a polystyrene cap to a mylar cap may change the performance of a circuit, but not because you went from polystyrene to mylar. It's much more likely it's because the original cap was really a .019µf part, and the new one is really a .023µf part. Even that may not be audible, but the power of suggestion is tremendous.

    Plus, we can intensify it. Change a bunch of caps at once, and you change a bunch of values at once. On top of that, there are tolerance stackups that can occur. You may end up with all higher capacity parts when you had all lower capacity parts before, or more likely some mixture of the two. You may also have had some bad or marginal parts previously. So, to say "These lovely orange things I just paid $95 to have installed sure do sound better" is not a validation of orange things, it's a validation that you changed something. It should sound different.
     
  7. Jef Bardsley

    Jef Bardsley Member

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    All very true. And there are physiological considerations as well as psychological. Since our auditory sense are secondary to our visual senses there's a whole lot of pattern recognition and triggering going on. It's very hard for a sighted person to hear directly. Mostly, we hear what we expect to hear.


    Again, you'll get no disagreement from me. I strongly suspect that most reported changes are due to slight variances in capacitance. After all, these parts are positioned in a circuit in such a way that their capacitance matters more than any other quality they may have.

    I still maintain that things like ESR, ESL, and Q can have an audible effect, especially as part of a highly resonant generator circuit such as a guitar. For those who listen closely, I think exploring varieties of capacitors can be a rewarding pastime. However, they ain't gonna make you play better. :)

    Getting back on topic, I rather liked your statement: "So, our reissue speakers can't sound like originals. Hell, some originals can't sound like originals." I think what often gets overlooked among the vintage aficionado wannabes is that the old production methods allowed for more variation, and when all the variables lined up with the stars, an above average piece of equipment was produced. Which is wonderful for those that own them, and certainly explains the glowing praise that befalls them, but it also suggests that the average bit of old kit is somewhat below standard.

    Now, there are things that will never be the same. Steel is rolled differently. The saturation of an old transformer cannot be duplicated. Paper is different. The cones in Celestion's Heritage range will not age the same as the pre-Rola speakers. But "not the same" does not automatically mean "worse". Truth is, only time will tell. If enough money is invested, things might even improve. Wood skis and leather bike seats, which for a long time were preferred to their synthetic counterparts due to the complex qualities of natural materials, are now largely historical oddities.

    So again, my point to the OP is, if you want to match an old Celestion, look elsewhere, but if you just want a damn good speaker, you'll likely be happy with a Heritage.
     

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