Speaker power and Magnets

Discussion in 'Amps/Cabs Tech Corner: Amplifier, Cab & Speakers' started by alanfc, Mar 30, 2005.

  1. alanfc

    alanfc Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    Speaker power and Magnets

    For some reason I have the idea in my head that a high watt speaker is harsh and a low watt speaker is smooth. I don't get higher than 5 on the Master volume on my 55w amp. So I don't know if this means my options are wide open in terms of speaker watts high/low.

    my only experience with high watt speakers is my Rivera's gt-85 and my old Marshall solid state's Gt12-70 somethings.

    Do I have the wrong idea about this hi/lo watt difference? With the Rivera once I get to full band volume I have to cut the Treble down to 3 or so and the Presence is at =0=, or else I'm killing everyone in the room with harshness. Is this the high watt speaker? It seems shallow and tight to me.

    I have an SD Custom Custom on my guitar which I love, and I like mids. I know that when I changed from my Ceramic magnet pickup to the Custom Custom with the Alnico 2, I noticed a huge differnce with less hardness of attack and some 'give' to the tone which was pleasing. Gave me this sort of old Eddie VH kinda tone.

    Does this count for speaker magnets too?
    You can tell I'm a little befuddled.
    Thanks if you can shed some light on this:confused:
     
  2. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

    Messages:
    13,080
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2002
    Location:
    Scotland
    No, you have no way of telling how much power the amp is putting out based on the volume setting!

    This should be a 'sticky' here... :)

    Many people assume that full volume = full power, so half volume = half power. Not so! Many amps reach full output power at well below 10 on the dial, and simply overdrive more after that. Some old Marshalls reach full power at around 2 on the volume control, for example. My own Mesa DC-5 reaches power stage clipping at around 6 on the Output Level, with the preamp settings I use... I'd imagine that the Rivera will be similar - it's actually unlikely that it's not, or at least in the same range.

    You need a speaker that will handle more power than the amp will put out, period. (Unless you're playing at truly, obviously low volume, like at home, not in any kind of live mix.) You can't easily tell the difference between (say) 30W and 50W by ear, but that makes a lot of difference to a speaker.

    To some extent, yes, but there are big exceptions in both cases - there are plenty of Alnico-magnet pickups which sound very bright, and even harsh, and plenty of ceramic-magnet speakers which sound warm and smooth too. Some Alnico speakers are pretty bright, although they do tend to sound sweeter.

    There are also not too many Alnico speakers which will handle the 60W+ that you need (there are some, but they're not common, and expensive).

    Don't go by just the G12T-85 and the G12-70 (especially in a solid-state amp). I don't have much experience with the Rivera speaker, but the 70 is one of Celestion's worst (IMO) models, and has a sort of odd flat, dull and harsh tone all at the same time. Even Celestion's 'good' speakers vary widely in terms of top-end response and upper-mid harshness, and it can be very amp-dependent too.

    You could try a Mesa/Celestion 90, a Classic Lead 80, or even a Vintage 30... which can be harsh-sounding, but actually it's all in the upper mids, the real top-end is much darker and smoother.
     
  3. alanfc

    alanfc Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    excellent/thanks this helps alot:dude
     
  4. alanfc

    alanfc Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    for my case-
    someone told me this:

    " Also.. you are running the R-55 at 4ohms..As long as the avatar is 8ohms. I guess you already know that "

    could this be right?

    I'm running the Rivera speaker at 4 ohm ? That sounds dangerous ! I have 2 8 ohm speaker jacks on the R55, both say 8 ohm. ??
    thanks
     
  5. alanfc

    alanfc Member

    Messages:
    975
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2004
    hi thanks, this is OK
    there's no selector but Rivera folks calmed me down
    :)
     

Share This Page