Recommendations for a great-sounding 15" GUITAR speaker

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by audiodrome, Aug 9, 2008.

  1. audiodrome

    audiodrome Member

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    I have a 1966 Fender Bassman VT15 sealed enclosure (large style) with 1 15" speaker. At first I thought about refitting it with 2 12" speakers, but I've been told that a 15" speaker can sound great for guitar as long as it's the RIGHT speaker - any recommendations, especially for this particular cabinet?
     
  2. mad dog

    mad dog Silver Supporting Member

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    The one I have tried that would certainly work in this application is a JBL (D-130?). I play open backed combos. The two big winners for me are the Weber Cali ceramic paper dome, and the Emi Big Ben. Preference to the Big Ben, which has become an alltime favorite speaker for me.
     
  3. Purplexi

    Purplexi Member

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    Mesa Boogie had an Electro-Voice 15 specially voiced for their 1x12 combo from the early 80's. From gritty clean jazz to medium overdriven Santana tones, this speaker was extemely soulful for darker applications.
     
  4. audiodrome

    audiodrome Member

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    Here's the deal. My father told me that the speaker was blown and that's why I was looking into a replacement for it (the amp was reconditioned about ten years ago). Since I already had my '64 Super Reverb and my AC30, and since this rig was such a monster to lug around, I had never bothered to try it out. However, last night, I pulled it out of the garage and fired it up for the first time in a LONG time, and it sounded really good! So now I'm curious as to what's in there (I don't feel like removing 30-something screws to find out). What was Fender using back then for stock speakers?


    [​IMG]
     
  5. DGG

    DGG Member

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    When oh when is some speaker manufacturer going to reissue the JBL D130 (w/the aluminum dust cap) in 4 and 8 Ohm impedances? It's long overdue.

    I've addressed a few manufacturers directly and they think there's no money in it. How wrong could they be? Aftermarket JBL D-130's in good condition with their original cones are ~$300 and upwards and yet no one is building clones of these?

    From surf, country, jazz and soul there are plenty of musicians worldwide who would love to get these. I'll continue to dream.......
     
  6. pbradt

    pbradt Senior Member

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    Not to mention steel guitar players. D130F is one of the great 15" speakers.
     
  7. cpike

    cpike Member

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    Thought I read a couple years ago that Ted Weber was gearing up to clone D120s and D130s--was satisfied with the sound of the prototypes but could not secure a vendor for the cast frames. ???

    He was also going to build tone-ring cabs...
     
  8. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

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    Highly underrated 15" speaker...Weber 15A150 (P15N). Had one in my Victoria 35115T Tweed Pro and it made my mouth water it sounded so sweet. It just got sweeter and sweeter as it broke in. Great balance, very sweet (there's that word again), harmonic highs. I'd tried a Weber Ceramic California with paper cap but it had a little too much sizzle on top for my tastes. The P15N was smoother and more crystalline on top, which was the opposite of what I expected. It was highly recommended by Little Charlie Baty (at least at the time) and that's why I bought it. One of the best speaker/amp combinations I've ever heard.


    Tom
     
  9. BadHat

    BadHat Supporting Member

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    I thought the Weber California was supposed to be based on the D130? The JBL is a great speaker, you might call Aviator Guitars in Edmonds WA, they have a bunch of old JBL's.
    I have an EV15L on the way that I found on the Tele board, can't wait to see what that sounds like.

    Oh yeah... a cordless driver is a must have when you start fooling around with closed back cabs.

    Sweet looking rig, BTW. I just put a set of TV Jones Powertrons in my Telecaster and can't put it down. One of the best gear purchases I ever made.
     
  10. jumpnblues

    jumpnblues Member

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    Yeah, it's my understanding the "Cali" was based on the JBL but I'm not sure how closely? The paper cap "Cali" sounded great clean but had this top end sizzle during breakup that made it sound thin and tinny to my ears. It's been at least 35 years since I owned an amp with JBL 15's (it was a Sunn) so I can't remember how it sounded. I do remember really liking JBLs though.


    Tom
     
  11. Darth Tater

    Darth Tater Supporting Member

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    You haven't seen the Weber NeoMag's?

    https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/neo15.htm
     
  12. frank4001

    frank4001 Member

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    I have a Weber F150 15' in 4 ohm and its a great speaker. I like Emi legends in general but never tried their 15 and it doesn't come 4 ohm. They make a model call the Commonwealth thats supposed to be like a JBL that comes in 4 ohms but its $150.00. I also have 15" Jensen on my Supro that sound great and its fantastic recording amp.

    I think they were using Utahs, Oxfords and maybe JBL's back then...
     
  13. slider313

    slider313 Silver Supporting Member

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    I believe what you have there is a later cabinet ('68 ?) with 2X12's and not 1X15. Open her up and check. You'll most likely find two Utah 12's with orange and silver labels.
     
  14. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    Possible Good Call on the 2x12 top and bottom Baffle, whatever you got Just send them to Ted Weber for Testing

    He'll clean them up check the coils and gap etc and will only repair the cones if necessary. Check your own wiring as well. And your output transformer

    Really Talk to Ted, I have a pair of Hi-Fi JBL 200 TI speakers with 15inch drivers from the early 80's its like I live inside a Club when I play records. Great speakers and the originals JBL 130's came with paper not cloth rims and very light dope.

    Standel was the first to use them years before Fender
     
  15. infiniteposse

    infiniteposse Member

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    Question about 15's in general - can you use them at lower volumes and still get good results? I have a smaller studio (low ceilings, not a ton of lows) so I tend to track at moderate volumes, but I played through a 1x15 cab my friend Jeremy of Sumo cabs made (with a 15" Weber AlNico) and it was stunning sounding. It seems like a lot of cab, but I swear it was just the best sound ever. Clean, but big and round.
     
  16. DaveG

    DaveG Gold Supporting Member

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    The Jensen Neo 15-150 is a great sounding speaker; smooth highs, takes gain well, and the light weight is a nice bonus.
     
  17. Groovey Records

    Groovey Records Member

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    A 15'" in a ported Cab would work great for recording and lve work but its gonna way a ton
     
  18. NFB

    NFB Senior Member

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    EV-SRO 15"

    Great speaker for your application.
     
  19. doctorx

    doctorx Member

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  20. audiodrome

    audiodrome Member

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    It turns out that there are 2X15's in there, but there doesn't seem to be anyway to identify what they are. The baskets are a dark copper color with these numbers printed on the rim: 126383/137 7038. I found some information on a website that said 137 is the code for CTS speakers but I don't know if that's correct. The back plate on the speaker enclosure says V.T. Bassman 15 / Speaker Impedance - 8 Ohms / Total Impedance - 4 Ohms / Serial # 21388. I couldn't find any info on dating Fender speaker cabinets, but I'm guessing that it's a 1967/1968. The amplifier is dated Oct. 1966.
     

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