Speakers - 10" vs 12" - Is it the size or the model?

sws1

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13,109
In troubleshooting a new amp today, I was swapping speakers around, and noticed some things that need answers from experts.

I have a 1965 Princeton Reverb in which I have put a Celestion G10 Gold (alnico) speaker in it. At loud volumes, it can sound a bit "ratty", as if the speaker is distorting will all the bass that comes in a Princeton.

For giggles, I connected the amp to the 12" speaker that came in a new Fender Tweed Deluxe. That speaker is a 12" Alnico made for Fender by Eminence. Don't know the specs on it, since it is custom for Fender. Anyway, the Princeton sounded GREAT. The distortion was much smoother, and had none of that ratty sound.

So the question is...is the loss of ratti-ness simply due to it being a 12" speaker (vs 10"), or is it more related to the specific design of that 12" speaker? In other words, can I find a 10" speaker for the Princeton that doesn't get ratty, or am I stuck with that due to only having 10" to work with?
 

67super

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Wow, what a can of worms :). Just kidding. I don't think the 10 inch size is cause of rattyness. The search for the right speaker with a particular amp can be an endless one. I've never had the Celestion Gold but based on what I've read it is suppose to be one of the nicest sounding 10 inch speakers. PR with a nice 10 are there own thing and can really sound great.
 

makerdp

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797
Different speakers will absolutely make a difference in your sound. You can for sure find a 10" that works well with a Princeton. Lots of folks prefer 10's over 12's because 10's are less-directional (or beamy) and generally have a tighter bottom-end. Being less directional, the crowd and the player can hear them better and there is no section of the audience where the guitar sound is annoyingly "in their face" (cough-vintage 30-cough) They are also often chosen because a single 10 will be quieter than a single 12. In general, two 10's will be about as loud as a single 12 and have about the same, but tighter, bass response.
 

champster

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Try a different brand speaker, something more on the Fender side. I have no problems using both size speakers with my PRRI. I also won't use a Celestion or Weber, but that's just me.
 

caspersvapors

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Different speakers will absolutely make a difference in your sound. You can for sure find a 10" that works well with a Princeton. Lots of folks prefer 10's over 12's because 10's are less-directional (or beamy) and generally have a tighter bottom-end. Being less directional, the crowd and the player can hear them better and there is no section of the audience where the guitar sound is annoyingly "in their face" (cough-vintage 30-cough) They are also often chosen because a single 10 will be quieter than a single 12. In general, two 10's will be about as loud as a single 12 and have about the same, but tighter, bass response.

In my experience, 10s are more directional.

I have a 10" Eminence Alnico in my 68 CPR and it sounds fantastic. Maybe its just a good combination??

A lot of people like the Celestion Gold in a Princeton, but I personally dont. Just not my jam.
 

lostpoet2

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Plenty of 10" speakers are non-ratty, but plenty of 12" speakers sound bigger than non-ratty 10"ers.
 
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I think we would need to elaborate on the word "ratty" here. The 10" Gold should have quite a bit of lows despite its inches. Then a 10" can only move so much air and the cab is likely proportionate to this driver.

I know several 10" drivers that sound way larger than some 12" ones, then question is if you'd like them and whether they go well with this amp and its intended use or not. One example is the Fane Axa 10 and the Weber Axis 10 (both out of production, but Weber could make you one should you want to). These may actually prove too big bottomed.
 

sws1

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13,109
I think we would need to elaborate on the word "ratty" here. The 10" Gold should have quite a bit of lows despite its inches. Then a 10" can only move so much air and the cab is likely proportionate to this driver.

It sounds like the speaker is distorting. And not in an upper midrange sweet sort of way. While not the same, it is sorta like that harsh type of breakup you hear on You Reallt Got Me, the kinks version.

I'll try to record a clip.
 

Khromo

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Ten inch speakers (even the Jupiter!!!) are subject to the Laws Of Physics, just like every other available transducer. Unless you use more than one, don't expect too much when you crank it up and hit the low strings hard.

If you are cranking that Princeton Reverb up louder, you may have a tough time finding a ten that will handle the low end comfortably. Obviously some will do better than others, but don't expect miracles. Miracles don't happen to people like you, miracles happen to Madonna.

But seriously, your '65 will have a "floating" (actually bolted-in) baffle, so you can very easily remove the old baffle, and replace it with a new, plywood baffle cut for a twelve inch driver that will handle the bass frequencies better than a ten, all things being equal.

This is a totally reversible, non-permanent modification. Cheap, and maybe an hour-and-a-half in your buddy's garage, if you have a buddy with a few woodworking tools. If not, I think MojoTone sells replacements.

You'll want to slide the hole for the 12" driver over a couple inches toward the preamp side of the amp, to avoid the trannies and power tubes. Test the fit with the new baffle in place before you cut the hole. Put a driver in there and slide it to the spot where it's not hitting anything, and not too close to the top of the new baffle so you don't create a thin, weak spot. Mark the holes in the frame, connect the opposite holes, and that's the center of the new hole.

You can use the old grill cloth, or buy some new cloth in the same style from MojoTone.

The 12" driver will beam high frequencies more than a 10", in spite of what you've been told. There is a wider selection of 12's available, and they will all handle bass better than a comparable 10". I've got a 1967 Princeton Reverb with a 12" Celestion Alnico Blue that sounds fantastic, and a couple of silverface Princeton No-Verbs with 12's (and GZ34's) that scream with a boost or mild overdrive pedal in front.
 
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This is the exact opposite of what is pretty much universally accepted as truth.
Very true: the larger the speaker, the beamier/ more directional it gets, typically. This is why the Mitchell Donut is designed the way it is: the narrow diameter makes it operate much like a lens distributing the highs at a wider angle.
 
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7,833
It sounds like the speaker is distorting. And not in an upper midrange sweet sort of way. While not the same, it is sorta like that harsh type of breakup you hear on You Reallt Got Me, the kinks version.

I'll try to record a clip.
Would you refer to it as crunch or conecry? From your description it could be crunch, which is, like you said, the cone breaking up. I know the 12" Golds to be headroomier than that so I'm surprised the 10" ones don't hold up as well... Then Celestion want these to have that vintage timbre which means a minimum of dope and rather low headroom.

Then again it could be conecry afterall, which would indicate a flawed speaker - not too uncommon w. Celestions. Perhaps additional doping of the surriound and around the dustcap could save it. But there's no guarantee this would take care of it and it would likely void warranty.
 

sws1

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Would you refer to it as crunch or conecry? From your description it could be crunch, which is, like you said, the cone breaking up. I know the 12" Golds to be headroomier than that so I'm surprised the 10" ones don't hold up as well... Then Celestion want these to have that vintage timbre which means a minimum of dope and rather low headroom.

Then again it could be conecry afterall, which would indicate a flawed speaker - not too uncommon w. Celestions. Perhaps additional doping of the surriound and around the dustcap could save it. But there's no guarantee this would take care of it and it would likely void warranty.

Definitely not cone cry. When I post a clip, it'll be obvious. But, it's more akin to the type of distortion that you might hear if a home speaker is played too loud.

I don't want to say it's speakers distortion, per se. But it's certainly some combination of the distortion the amp is putting out with the frequency response of the speaker.

Stay tuned.
 

hacinador

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764
Celestions need about 100 hours of very loud playing, then they lost that harsh sound. But G10 Gold is quite ratty sounding, the G12 Gold is the same. Maybe they are not your cup of tea... I found that even the Blue is more pleasant sounding when driven hard. Golds are more modern sounding.
 

swiveltung

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14,483
Model.
A Weber 10F150 in a PR will sound great like a 12F150 does. There are minor differences regarding lows. Regarding the "ratty"... almost all Alnicos sound that way to me, so I guess I just don't like them. (JBL, EV excluded)
It's very much about magnet size and cone type. Normally a 10F150 has the same magnet and voice coil as the 12F150. This is an apples to apples comparison.
Some 10" speaker models don't have as big a magnet as their bigger brothers, so hard to compare apples to apples with those.
 
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kiki_90291

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How old is the Gold? I had a 2x10 with Golds in it and it took a long time for them to break in. Before the broke in they sounded really rough (I called it "crangy" . . . .) so that may be part of the issue. Even when they were broken in they had a very middy tone that worked for me, but I could imagine some people not caring for much, so it might also just be that you don't like the Golds. I played mine with a Bandmaster for a while and I did not think the Gold's paired well with a blackface circuit (although this was mostly in the break-in period). I switched to a Mesa TA-15 and though they sounded absolutely amazing on the Green channel (Vox sound) and pretty good through the Red Channel on the Tweed setting.
 

sws1

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13,109
How old is the Gold? I had a 2x10 with Golds in it and it took a long time for them to break in. Before the broke in they sounded really rough (I called it "crangy" . . . .) so that may be part of the issue. Even when they were broken in they had a very middy tone that worked for me, but I could imagine some people not caring for much, so it might also just be that you don't like the Golds. I played mine with a Bandmaster for a while and I did not think the Gold's paired well with a blackface circuit (although this was mostly in the break-in period). I switched to a Mesa TA-15 and though they sounded absolutely amazing on the Green channel (Vox sound) and pretty good through the Red Channel on the Tweed setting.

It's virtually brand new. It sounds totally fine and chimey when the amp is lower and the tones are mostly clean. But turn the amp up to 5, to get some breakup, and that's where it it less than stellar.
 

kiki_90291

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5,080
It's virtually brand new. It sounds totally fine and chimey when the amp is lower and the tones are mostly clean. But turn the amp up to 5, to get some breakup, and that's where it it less than stellar.

I would give it some breakup time - it took several 4 hour rehearsals at band volume for mine to start smoothing out.
 




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