Speakers are everything

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by Guinness Lad, Sep 10, 2017.


  1. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I know people know this, but when shopping fo ran amp, start off with what the manufacturer designed the amp around, if this doesn't work chances are it's not the amp for you. I got a Mesa Tremoverb a while back, then decided to get a 2x12. The guy had a ASW KTS70 also so I got it as well. Pretty soon I got another because the clean sound was so nice. The problem was the lead sound never was right, I tried tubes, extreme settings everything.

    Listed the amp to sell, but decided to get a V30 as this is what's in the combo. Soon as I did that and compared it to the KTS in the same cabinet I knew immediately what needed to happen. Both KTS70 speaker swere sold and I now have the amp sounding like it was meant to. What a badass amp!
     
  2. Irreversal

    Irreversal Member

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    Speakers are that last 10%. If you're close to the sound in your head, your best investment to bridge the gap is with a speaker swap.

    For me, speakers have taken mediocre amps to good amps, and good amps to great amps.

    Never understood why people drop $300 on pedals and skimp on speakers...
     
  3. honeyiscool

    honeyiscool Member

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    Last 10%? Speakers are more like 1/2 of the amp to me. Not just the driver but things like configuration of speakers, construction, size, etc. I almost start from the speaker and choose an amp that fits well with the speaker.

    And yes, it's hilarious that people spend a fortune buying NOS preamp tubes and boutique guitar pickups and pedals but think that the only device that actually makes sound doesn't deserve a little monetary consideration.
     
  4. Guinness Lad

    Guinness Lad Silver Supporting Member

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    I would say they are 50% of the equation. They definitely allow for the designers intent to be realized. Take a Marshall and use Fender speakers and you most likely won't be happy. You get get shades of change within speaker types and this where I would look to make improvements.
     
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  5. dczay

    dczay Gold Supporting Member

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    Totally agree......
     
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  6. blackba

    blackba Supporting Member

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    I have also noticed that some amps are more sensitive to speakers than others. Some seem to work with a wide variety of speakers and others are more picky. For example I find my fender bandmaster reverb a bit picky on speakers and conversely my fender brown super sounds at least good through the wide variety of speakers and cabs I have, sure there are some favorites that I use the most.

    I am also a big fan of mixing speakers, most of my multi speaker cabs have 2 different speakers in them. I generally mic both when playing live.
     
  7. IAm MI

    IAm MI Supporting Member

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    Those amp builders actually know what they're doing most of the time.

    Of course, reading the history of how these amps came to be, and how much was guesswork or happy accident, it's also important to let yourself try combinations that might work for you, even if they aren't "classics."
     
  8. soulman969

    soulman969 Member

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    I believe both are universally true especially the first sentence.

    The market is saturated with advertising about the latest pedal because all anyone has to do is fork over the cash for one. Speakers are a major part of the voice of any amp just as pickups are the voice of a guitar. But since it takes a little effort to actually research them and some skills and effort to install them as opposed to just plugging into one many avoid the two main factors that can very often improve any guitar or amp.
     
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  9. fiveightandten

    fiveightandten Member

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    They're easily 50% of the equation for me. The speaker(s) make(s) a big difference, and even the box they're in makes a notable difference. And lastly, how hard you drive the speakers is the last part of the equation. That makes a big difference as well.
    It's the frequency response of the amp. Something like a Bandmaster is pretty contoured, so you're probably relying a lot on the speaker to determine where the mid spike is sitting. A brown has more in-amp midrange to work with, so it's not necessarily relying as heavily on the speaker.

    The same thing can happen with any part of the frequency spectrum. Bright amps with bright speakers, vs dark ones...etc.
     
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  10. MHG

    MHG Member

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    I agree. Speakers can make or break an amp. I sold a really nice, pretty rare 2x12 combo amp that I thought I didn't like, and later found out that it was the ASW KTS70's it was loaded with that were the problem, not the amp. These were the speakers that came with the amp.
    I've purchased amps from quite a few different builders where I felt the stock speaker was a poor choice.
     
  11. Irreversal

    Irreversal Member

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    Interesting, the KTS-70 is the only speaker I've found that sounds great with all of my amps, clean or dirty. Probably my favorite speaker of all time.

    I'm a huge Dr Z guy, but I've never liked the speakers that Doc recommends pairing with his amps. Just further proof that we all hear things differently and you need to experiment from time to time.
     
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  12. ksandvik

    ksandvik Member

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    My Mesa Boogle 2x12 cab started to bloom when I replaced one of the two C90s with a V30.
     
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  13. eriwebnerr

    eriwebnerr Member

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    Agreed speaker and cab are easily 50% or more of the sound equation. More IMO if you rely on pedals a lot and use a basic platform clean from the amp.
     
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  14. Crash-VR

    Crash-VR Supporting Member

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    The only problem with speakers is the price and resale values. The used value to shipping cost ratio is terrible. There are so many combinations to try too.
     
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  15. MHG

    MHG Member

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    Yeah, we all hear things differently and have different preferences. I had the KTS70 for many years, tried it with many, many amps, and just didn't like it paired with any of them. It's one of my least favorite speakers. Obviously that doesn't mean it's a bad speaker, as you and many others really like it. It's just not my cup of tea.
     
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  16. ChampReverb

    ChampReverb Silver Supporting Member

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    Speakers make a tremendous difference and I used to swap speakers a lot in my various amps.

    However, once you have a decent speaker in an amp, adding a good EQ pedal, that's easy to dial in by ear, to your chain is even better, especially if:

    -you play in varying situations that sound quite different (indoors, outdoors, basements, clubs, larger stages, etc.)

    -your amp has limited EQ controls (like maybe just a pot labeled Tone)

    The Fromel Shape EQ is a great option.

    -bEn r.
     
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  17. fenderjapan

    fenderjapan World Heavyweight Champion Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes.

    And when all else fails, EVM-12L.
     
  18. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Completely agree. I find speakers to be a massive part of the tone. I had to use a borrowed cab last night and did not like how it made my amp sound. Speakers have a big impact on your sound.
     
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  19. Humble Texan Fan

    Humble Texan Fan Member

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    The speaker is the last and final... 'filter' to your tone, if you will. We tend to think of tone in that the earlier in the signal path it comes the more impact it has. Well, the later it is the closer to your ears... It's almost like mastering a record in that's its the final touches that defines the outcome.
     
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  20. BigKD

    BigKD Supporting Member

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    Made this realization a few years ago. Had a Mesa designed around v30s and a cabinet that also ships stock with v30s. Never sounded right until I replaced the speakers with...v30s.
     

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