what's the best 15" speaker?

RSRelic

Member
Messages
621
Looking for a good 15" speaker for a Tweed style amp for playing blues, does any one have a suggestion?
 

noctilux1

Member
Messages
863
agreed, JBL D130, king of the mountain. it's a personal taste but boy when you drive it hard, it really shines. same with the JBL D120
 

Swarty

Member
Messages
1,130
The D130 would be IT if it were a BF/SF amp, but I think a tweed really needs a P15N (original).
 

KCblues

Member
Messages
217
I'm in the middle of a Bandmaster-o-Verb project right now. Had to recap the donor amp and make some other repairs and it's now 100% stock in 1969 AA768 form. Prior to doing the BF mods, I have been playing it a bit in SF form, the idea being to get an appreciation for each of the mods. I have it in a new JD Newell cab with a vintage D130F. I have also been experimenting with the amp using some different cab/speaker combos.

For clean and volume (and 'clarity'), nothing beats the D130 in my opinion. I still have an all-original '68 Dual Showman with D130's that I got new as a youngster, and also a '66 Pro Reverb with D120's, so I do dearly love JBL's. With a touch of reverb and a nice Fender amp you have tons and tons of clean headroom. Man, what a great clean tone.

But for breakup, crunch, and grind, JBL's just don't do it for me man. Not in stock form, anyway. They accentuate some high freqs too much to get a good dirty sound, IMO. I know Ted Weber recommends paper dust covers on re-cones, that might make a big difference.

Over the weekend I played the SF-BM-o-Verb through my '71 Twin with original speakers; they are old and much less efficient than the JBL, and I was able to dime the amp and get some nice crunch and grind from it, even in it's current SF form.

I'd reckon if you are looking for a 15 to use with a tweed, you would want to look at something less efficient and with a more limited bandwidth than a JBL; I'd be interested in knowing what you choose and how it works. Guy I know has a '54 tweed Bandmaster with a single 15, he gets a great vintage style tone with it and a 335.

KC
 

jetlag

Member
Messages
1,122
KCBlues - the 15-inch speaker in brandon's bandmaster is a reconed '54 jensen P15N. That amp does sound great - I recorded with it a little bit before Brandon bought it from Lee McBee. Unfortunately those speakers can only handle about 25 watts or so, but are perfect for old tweed pros.
 

jetlag

Member
Messages
1,122
If the amp is under 30 watts, then an old P15N with a fresh cone is my choice. If it's 30 watts or so, I'd use an old C15N. If you want a loud, efficient speaker that's full range, then the advice of an eminence 151 is good or any weber 15 - his P15N or C15N copies. The smooth cones are more raw sounding, the ribbed ones are brighter and stay clean longer. Then if the amp is 40 w or more, same thing - the 151 or a weber. I hear eminence has another 15 out calle the Big Ben that deserves some attention too.
 

Bluewail

Tone curmudgeon
Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,877
I've used the Legend 151, Big Ben and a JBL D130 reconed with a paper dust cap in my Carr Slant 6V. I usually look for a pretty clean speaker and get my break-up from the amp or with pedals. The JBL is my favorite for its definition and smooth and balanced tone. When you lose the aluminum dust cap, you do lose the tendency to become too bright at higher volumes. All the bene's of the stock D130 with none of the drawbacks. Killer! The 151 is a close second having great articulation but it's a bit too bright in that amp. The Big Ben I liked the least. I bought it to tame the highs I got from the 151 but it rolls of too much for my taste. To be fair, I didn't have the Big Ben for long so it may have needed to break-in a bit more.
 

jetlag

Member
Messages
1,122
Originally posted by KCblues
Jetlag, thanks for the inside info!

You have to be Jeff?
Nope, sorry. It's Karl. Maybe you're thinking of Jeff the amp guy - the fellow that repaired the tweed bandmaster in question? I used that amp on the Blues Notions first (and only) CD back in '96. At least on some tracks.
 

KCblues

Member
Messages
217
Hey Karl, yes I though you might have been Jeff G.

Man I dig your playing, that slow blues number you did up at the Gladstone festival this year was just outstanding. It was back to the woodshed for me.

Got any spare time to give a few lessons?
 

Richard Guy

Member
Messages
1,182
If you go with an early JBL, you will notice that the 'ohms' in print on the rear cover read " 8 or 16 ohms". Use an ohm meter to find out what the ohms are by getting the nominal DC reading across the two unterminated terminals. For 8 ohms, it will be a value slightly less than 8. For 16 ohms, same thing, the value will be slightly less.
 

zachomega

Member
Messages
30
I'm a huge fan of 15" speakers for guitar. Right now, my personal favorite might be the generic CTS 15" ceramic speakers from the 60's. Very clean and very loud. I know they can also handle a ton of power.

I also have a 1954 P15N in a Gibson amp and it sounds really good, but the wattage handling is around 25 watts. I know of a lot of guys who blow them out pushing them. I think the new ones are supposed to handle more wattage, but I suspect they also sound a bit different.

Contrary to what everybody is saying about the D130's, I don't like them. I mean, there is nothing bad about them. But compared to the CTS speaker, they are muddy and lower volume. They make a much better bass speaker in my opinion. I have a set in a Sunn cab that I'd probably sell if an offer was made. Then I'd spend less than a 1/4 of what they sell for each on the CTS speakers.

-Zach Omega
 

mad dog

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
10,975
I really like the sound of efficient ceramic speakers with tweed circuits. Best I've heard yet was a Weber 15F150-O, the straight cone. It had all the volume, big bass I expected (based on liking the 12F150 in a DR). Along with the smooth on top you get a very cool growl at the higher volumes. Not really early breakup, just a bit of scream along with the warm. I"ll bet the Alnico version is just as good in its own way.
 

Reeek

Member
Messages
1,196
I have a Weber California 15 with an aluminum dust cover in my Sano BA-1 that sounds spectacular.
 

KCblues

Member
Messages
217
I love the sound of JBL's, though mainly for Fender-type clean tones. I prefer 10 or 12" speakers with small coils and paper dust covers, preferably in a sealed enclosure for high-gain, overdriven stuff.

Watched the Dickey Betts DVD from the R&R Hall of Fame recently, and noticed big ol' aluminum dust covers peeking out through the Marshall grillcloth.

KC
 




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