Twin Reverb: Weber California, Chicago or other?

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
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I'm in the process of rebuilding a Twin Reverb that I acquired in a trade. It came with a 1x15" and the original baffle, and I am leaning towards going back to the 2x12s. I've had a great experience with a recent Weber purchase for another amp and am thinking about a California or a Chicago. I'm still open, though, to other manufacturers and would be willing to consider any recommendations. I play with either a Tele or a 175 and like it clean, but with a bit of breakup when I dig in. Thanks!!
 

zenas

Member
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8,763
Nobody is going to like my favorite TR speakers. Mid 70s Radio Shack Utahs, orange frame so they looked like the JBL D120Fs did 60 watts. Honestly I planned to toss them in the trash but ended up liking them better than JBL D120Fs. The real reason is probably just that there lower efficiency so I can run the thing on 4 instead of 3 or whatever. Just my opinion but in a big amp like a TR (85, 100 or 135 watts) I don't want today's 100 deceble @ 1 watt type speaker.
Not sure if anyone makes something with high enough power handling for a TR but lower efficiency today?
Of course if you just play clean or really really loud that's not a problem.
 

Benny

Platinum Supporting Member
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1,284
For my personal preferences and my 175, I'd probably go with the Chicago, especially if i was using a boost or an overdrive to get the twin to break up. It might be worth talking to the folks at Weber about their Cerwin-Vega ER-123 type speaker as well - my favorite, long gone twin had CV's (forget which model), and was great for a fat, but never fizzy push when digging in with a 330 or 175.
 

bigben55

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2,475
Based on what you said OP, if you get the Weber California's, I'd go ceramic but with the H dome. I've had one and while super loud and clean, it wasn't at all harsh with overdrive. Also, it's super heavy so be prepared.
 

WhoJamFan

Member
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2,556
WGS ET-90s with a Twin is great. You can gas the Twin and not worry about blowing them, you can overdrive them to the moon and they don't flub out or get crazy bees nest annoying-even with the bright switch engaged.
Plus, they sound fantastic at low volumes, and the cleans are very nice without being ear fatiguing.
Really a great speaker, have an Avatar Traditional 2x12 loaded with them I run my modified 73 Bassman 100 through. A good friend was so impressed with them that he pulled the Californias out of his Twin and replaced them with ET-90s.
Great price as well.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
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6,260
Based on what you said OP, if you get the Weber California's, I'd go ceramic but with the H dome. I've had one and while super loud and clean, it wasn't at all harsh with overdrive. Also, it's super heavy so be prepared.
Can you describe how a California with an H dome is different than a Chicago?
 

BlueRiff

Member
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6,282
Can you provide a little more detail? Are ou talking crisp attack, full clean tone, or, perhaps more airy overdrive?
The Emi Legend 1258 was the original speaker in the TRRI. Fender then changed to the Jensen C12K. The 1258 breaks up earlier and is more vintage sounding than C12K. I also like the C12K a lot in the Twin - it is a warm speaker. But it sounds like you're going for an Un-colored tone with the Weber choices so the Emi and Jenson might not appeal to you.
 

bigben55

Member
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2,475
Rotten, I'll try to answer.

I have no experience with the Weber Chicago, but have had 2 California's. A regular one I put in a Blues Jr years ago, and a H Dome model I put in an old Roland Blues Cube BC30. The regular California did what I wanted, gave the BJ giggable cleans. But it didn't have a smooth OD sound, at all. The H Dome model did. Big volume increase, ample headroom, but smooth when pushed. The thing with any California's is, they yield ZERO speaker breakup. They sound exactly like the amp does. Could be good or bad. But, they are definitely loud. And heavy.

I had a stellar, glorious sounding 1970 Twin for a while. It had a pair of "Ruby Loudspeakers." Never heard of them, but I noticed the familar Eminence sticker on the magnets. Emailed them, Anthony Lucas with Eminence told me they made them in the 1990s and that they were basically clones of the Legend 1258s. They sounded incredible. I never even thought of changing them.

Re: the Twin. You should forget about trying to get amp overdrive out of it. WAY too loud, unusable. It sounded amazing at 3.5-4 on the vol, but 2-2.5 was as loud as i EVER got it in a band format. And(I've dimed it) the OD is not that great Fender OD you get from a DR or SR. So use it as a clean machine, pedals for OD, and forget about speaker breakup or amp breakup. Unless you're playing the truly big stages.
 

Norjef

Member
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1,160
Weber ceramic California regular paper dome AND ceramic Michigan combo is perfect (for me)
Open back cab and Dual Show Reverb (blackfaced) -- a "2 piece Twin"
 

71strat

Member
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9,284
Of those 2 EMI I would probably look into the Michigan vs Cali.

I would also probably get the Weber NeoMag12 vs the other 2.

Also look into the Emi Commonwealth

I myself use 2 Celestion 90 Cream/Alnicos with my Blackfaced 69 Dual Showman/ODS Mod., and also sometimes use, or mix a Hemp Coned JBL E120 x Celestion Cream. Killer Results. I also use these with a Metro GMP45, as well as 2 x 15 Altec Lansing 418Hs. Ive used these Altecs with my Showman since new in 73. I got the 69 Showman in 73.

I would also look into the Weber Ceramic CV123. ( Cerwin Vega ER123 copy ) It is a really nice speaker and not often thought of, and is very under the radar.

For the money Id go for the Weber CV123. And if not that 1, Id go for the Celestion Creams, or 2 original Altec 417H/JBL K120. And use a 3/4 ply baffle.

I also like the EV12L with a Showman/Twin.

For simplicity though I d look into the Weber CV123.

If I was going to use a lot of pedals/effects/drive/od I would hands down go for the Cream/Celestions. They also do beautiful cleans. IMHO its the best speaker Celestion makes.
 

keithb7

Member
Messages
1,421
I love JBL K120s in my '73 Twin. Can't imagine how you'd dig in for a little dirt. Maybe on a 57 low power Tweed Twin. Maybe '59 high power. But blonde twin and up, it'd be painful.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,490
The Chicago and Cali are pretty heavy and that amp is already heavy. The Chicago is a bit flat sounding to me and lacks sparkle. Not sure what you want though. Cali is not terribly different , although if you get the alum dust cap maybe not. But still a pretty flat response speaker. I haven't had a twin for years, but in Webers I would be pretty tempted to go with something like Silver Bells, maybe 75 waters. The Bells have some nice character or voicing going on. Hard to pic speakers for others though. The C12K mentioned above is very similar sounding to the Chicago to my ears.
 

rufedges

Member
Messages
1,268
Discontinued speaker for about a year now, but still some new ones to be found on the internet. Comparable to the JBL's of old, huge voice coil, deep lows, such a 3d speaker. Stupid heavy (21 lbs), but glorious. Sounds amazing in my AB763 DR, can't wait to hear it once Rick installs the larger PT and OT, and 6L6's / 35 watts.

http://www.eminence.com/pdf/Commonwealth_12.pdf

The Alnico Weber California w/ H dome looks promising to me as well, never played one, but that would probably be my next speaker choice in the future.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
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6,260
Update. First of all, when the Twin arrived, it sounded kind of anemic. I thought it was because of a mismatched 16 ohm JBL 15" speaker. Turns out, the JBL was 8 ohms, but I decided nonetheless to put the original baffle back in.

Next, I spoke with my tech. He recommended that I go a different direction and try some new Jensen C12Ns. I have fun swapping speakers so I thought I would give them a try and bought a pair.

Finally, I took it to my tech who opened it up and immediately noticed that the amp was not a '72 as advertised; it was a '68 in original condition. Nice surprise. He went through and put in new caps and resisters.

The result? The amp sounds phenomenal? Could be my finest amp. Sounds great with my Tele and Strat, but sounds unworldly with my 175. I plug it into the normal channel and it gets all the clarity I need with the thump of the hollow body fully realized. Plus, I can pick at an angle for a slightly warmer sound, which comes through without the need to slightly overdrive it. Totally stoked.
 

WhoJamFan

Member
Messages
2,556
Update. First of all, when the Twin arrived, it sounded kind of anemic. I thought it was because of a mismatched 16 ohm JBL 15" speaker. Turns out, the JBL was 8 ohms, but I decided nonetheless to put the original baffle back in.

Next, I spoke with my tech. He recommended that I go a different direction and try some new Jensen C12Ns. I have fun swapping speakers so I thought I would give them a try and bought a pair.

Finally, I took it to my tech who opened it up and immediately noticed that the amp was not a '72 as advertised; it was a '68 in original condition. Nice surprise. He went through and put in new caps and resisters.

The result? The amp sounds phenomenal? Could be my finest amp. Sounds great with my Tele and Strat, but sounds unworldly with my 175. I plug it into the normal channel and it gets all the clarity I need with the thump of the hollow body fully realized. Plus, I can pick at an angle for a slightly warmer sound, which comes through without the need to slightly overdrive it. Totally stoked.
Congrats on the score, 1968 was a good year(;
I had those exact Jensens in my 2x12 I'd been running Twins and my 73 Bassman100 through for years. I had the ET-90s in another cab that I replaced with Fanes last year. I swapped out the Jensens for the ET-90s and the difference was incredible-even with the amps cranked.
If you like swapping speakers, seriously put a pair on your list, I don't think you'll miss those Jensens, and you won't break the bank getting a pair.
What really sets them apart is how the Jensens sound sweet to a point, and then they start getting a little shrill, and the bass flubs out and falls apart.
Et-90s sound great from bedroom levels to Enormodome cranking, bass never flubs out, and they never get shrill. They sound great out of the box, but after a good 30hours, they fully break in and just get sweeter. They sound right for everything from 50's through modern detuned gain from hell metal.
Worth a shot if you like speaker swapping, they're really that good.
 

Gridlock

Member
Messages
2,033
I bought a 1966 Twin Reverb with Weber Chicago's in it and it was the best sounding Twin that I've ever heard or owned (owned 4). Sold that amp stupidly to buy a 1965 Vibrolux Reverb that I no longer own. I am currently thinking of buying more Chicago's for my BF'd 69 TR.
 
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bigben55

Member
Messages
2,475
I can't say I'm a fan of those RI Jensens, but I suppose they'd be good in a Twin. You wont be pushing them too hard, which is when I found them to get spiky harsh.

Good story, great amp, good luck. I miss my 1970 TR some times
 




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