Which 12" guitar speaker has the best midrange?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs' started by effectsman, Oct 16, 2017.


  1. BADHAK

    BADHAK Member

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    Yeah, that 77 slant originally had all Blackbacks but 2 developed buzzes as the note decayed so the V30's went in. When it was all Blackback the tone was brighter, a tad looser, and yes, slightly less mids, though I wouldn't call it scooped. Amazing speakers for late 70's ACDC, but also did Zep tones really well. Would love to get another cab loaded with them.

    The reissue Greenbacks do have some wood to the tone but nowhere near the 68 Greenbacks.

    My fave cab at the moment is the 77 Blackback /V30 cab. It's a tad less modern sounding than the 1960ax but tighter and punchier than the 68. It is bright and mid focused but not harsh or boomy, and in any case, that's what I find works for me in a band setting.

    Edit: Regarding those V30s in the 77 slant, they were originally in a friends Blackstar open back 2x12.....probably not as good quality as the Artisan, but a Blackstar nonetheless. Neither of us thought it was a good sounding cab....way too middy/dark/loose.

    I bought them off him to help him out and put them in an older 1960ax with 2 English Greenbacks. Liked it better than all Greenbacks but when I decided my newer 1960ax was a better sounding cab I put the Greenies back in and sold it. Now they're in the 77 and I'm stoked.

    So the lesson is, the cab itself plays a big part. Also, I've played those V30's alot over the last couple of years......maybe they just needed to break in.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  2. deeval

    deeval Supporting Member

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  3. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Once again, Happy New Year to Everyone !

    Good points, particularly about the contribution high and low wattage handling gives to tone. I had that debate before, and I believe some guitarist don't realize what they are giving up by using high powered speakers in place of perhaps the marginal wattage ones they started with.

    No one likes a blown speaker, particularly at a gig. But on the other hand, some of the best rock sounds bellowing out of guitar amps are at least in part do to uncontrolled speaker cone movements. The trick is to either ride the ratted wattage and hope for the best, or find a speaker that has a TRUE early breakup. Weber makes speakers like that, and I happen to own one. A speaker that exhibits breakup in a most definite way, and around half it's wattage ratting. The magnetic structure barely get's warm after playing for quite some time, but the speaker sound like it's getting ready to pop. That type of sound is not going to come from a high powered JBL driver that easily.

    Some guitarists indeed may not want that sound at all. Jazz guitarists, the ones who emphasize cleans come to mind, but for Blues and rock guitarists speaker breakup is an important component to both the overall frequency response and the dynamics of their 'Tone'.

    Thanks for bringing that up again. Could be the lack of speaker breakup in a high powered JBL or EV is more critical than the low wattage frequency response, regarding getting a good rock sound.

    Fender choosing a radio speaker was still not equal to a flat more modern JBL in any sense. I would expect those old radio speakers had lot's of hills and valley's in their frequency contours much like guitar amp speakers, but yes they were not initially dedicated guitar speakers as such. The very earliest guitar amp speakers were Field coil type, which are generally good Hi-Fi speakers. But many of the earliest field coil speakers used in guitar amps and radios were handicapped (a good thing for guitar) in High end reproduction, do to the smooth coil design, along with the magnetic power structure being attached to the amp DC power, hence any Sag from the rectifier / transformer response would make some small dents in the magnetic field. Again, good for Blues or classic Rock guitar, but not anything like a Perma Magnet JBL.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  4. jimpridx

    jimpridx Supporting Member

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    Just for the record, the JBL D120F & K120 speakers were built with alnico magnets where as the E120 was built with ceramic.
     
  5. Joe L

    Joe L Supporting Member

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    Eminence Texas Heat
     
  6. straight outta fuzz

    straight outta fuzz Member

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    Good points. I basically agree with everything you said. I love the sound of speaker compression in most applications. And a overdriven speaker can make the difference between great lively tone and ordinary tone. I’m just saying those big pa speakers have there place and in the right hands can be a extraordinary. They can sound great for scooped piano like cleans with a thumping bottom end. To me, they are almost a must in any 50 watt or more 1x12 open back combo. A lot of more typical lower wattage guitar speakers would fart out when cranked in that setup. They also sound great paired up with a mid heavy speaker in a 2x12 cab. They are also great for their transparency for guys who like to get their overdrive/distortion from pedals or preamp gain. I never was much of a pedal or cascading pre amp guy but who am I to judge. Believe it or not, I’ve been around some guys who have gotten pretty impressive dynamic tones like that.

    Anyway, I don’t think I’ve even answered the question yet of my thought on the speaker with the sweetest mid range. To me, I don’t even need to think about it. It’s the Celestion alnico blue. Not only do I think that it’s the sweetest mids, they are the smoothest I’ve ever heard. They are very chimy but never harsh clean. Overdriven they sound like woody creamy butter. Pair it with a ev or a fane Medusa in a semi open 2x12 and they will roar together. And believe it or not the blue will hang with the ev or fane cause it is a pretty loud speaker. I think a blue is rated at like 100 dbls
     
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  7. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Just reading about Alnico speakers last night a bit on the Weber company website Q&A. They were talking about Demagnetization (temporary do to voice coil creating its own magnetic field) in both Alnico and Ceramic magnets. I read an engineering paper on this about a year ago as well.

    Seems Alnico magnets have more of a temporary Demagnetization than Ceramic magnets do. Again, it seems the 'Flaw' in the design if alnico magnets leads to a good result for guitar dynamics ! The temporary Demagnetization is dynamic in nature, that is more Demagnetization occurs as the voice coil is energized higher, and the leads to a speaker compression (in part) we know and love from Alnico driven speakers.

    Ceramics are less prone to this temporary demagnetization, and hence better suited for the fast staccato note flurries found in lead playing in the more modern era.

    One is not better than the other in a qualitative sense, but it's something that should be accounted for when you are assessing the quality of different speaker variants.
     
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  8. straight outta fuzz

    straight outta fuzz Member

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    That actually makes sense. Never knew that one was actually more efficient than the other. In fact, if I were to guess I would have guessed the alnico would have been more efficient of the two. The thing I do know is that they do sound different. At least to my ears I find alnico warm and smooth. Ceramic more bright and edgy. But of course there are great ceramics too. But now that you said that, looking back now that makes sense. Another quirk in 60 year old technology that us guitarist benefit from. The heart of electric guitar tone is how the signal compresses and distorts. And it’s one of the reasons we love vintage gear. It’s the inefficiencies of vintage gear that really makes it sing and come to life
     
  9. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    I'm going to be doing a demo video with David Bray Amps soon. Hadn't planned on it, but I guess I should bring along my 67 stack with the 20w G12M's and a 68 30w G12H30 pre rola cab, record it, and then members can judge for themselves what midrange really is.

    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/08scumclip.mp3 = 08-G12M-T1221 16 ohm 20w-PreRola-65Amp-Strat.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/10scumclip.mp3 = 10-G12M-20w-Heritage-65Amp-Strat.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/11scumclip.mp3 = 11-G12H30-75hz-PreRola-65Amp-Strat.mp3

    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/14scumclip.mp3 = 14-G12H30-75hz-PreRola-65Amp-LP.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/15scumclip.mp3 = 15-G12M-20w-Heritage-65Amp-LP.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/17scumclip.mp3 = 17-G12M-20w-PreRola-65Amp-LP.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/26scumclip.mp3 = 26-G12M-20w-Heritage-Marshall-LP.mp3
    www.scumbackspeakers.com/stf/27scumclip.mp3 = 27-G12H30-75hz-PreRola-Marshall-LP.mp3
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2018
  10. aman74

    aman74 Supporting Member

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    Feels spammy.
     
  11. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Well, efficiency has a lot to do with the combined factors, i.e. Voice coil gap, size, magnet Gauss, and probably several other things I don't know about. So theoretically, you could get an alnico speaker that would still wipe the streets with a Ceramic counterpart. I wouldn't want to focus on just the behavior of the magnetic field of either type.

    But the compression from the larger change in magnetism, is an element that adds to the tonality and relative volume as the watts increase for the Alnico, that is not there in it's entirety in a similar ceramic mag speaker. Again, this is assuming all else equal.

    I had JBL Alnico type speakers as well as the ceramic magnet ones, and they were both super efficient overall, and that's a good indication that acoustic efficiency per wattage input is related to multiple factors.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018
  12. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Huh? I'm providing clips of old Celestion pre rola speakers to show the midrange quality that some were referencing. Nothing more.

    Or is this directed somewhere else?
     
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  13. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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  14. sharpshooter

    sharpshooter Member

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    Intresting,, just what is this "proper color" you speak of,,sounds like an extreamly subjective term,, might it be that the "proper color" is the one that YOU like,, whilst all others, and those who favor them are certainly wrong?
    I believe that the last time I looked, that clearly stated on the backs of my Altec 417-8H-IIs, and the Altec 418-8H, are the words "Musical Instrument Speaker".
    And guess what,, Altec also used them in non-musical instrument application,, and with great success.
    Oh,, the "smart guys" at Celestion, et all,, well, I made several trips to the Altec facilities, back in their hey-day, when they were in Anaheim, and I can truthfully say,, they didn't have any dummies there,, the accoustical testing/measuring, and design/production facilities were well advanced, and probably much more high tech than anything at the other companys you mentioned.
     
  15. Red House

    Red House Silver Supporting Member

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    He had his Super Reverb loaded with EV's and both his Vibroverbs with JBL E130's before he made it big and had a budget, and his tone was AWESOME as usual according to 100-ish bootlegs I have from 1983 and before.
    I don't need to assume anything, and I did make it easy on myself by using the same exact speakers in my SR and original Vibroverb. And guess what, I've got the same tone.

    As a matter of fact, I like JBL's so much I also have an E120 in my Drip Edge DR, and a pair of orange basket K120's in my Pro Reverb, and both amps sound phenominal.

    Apparently you have no idea what you're talking about, although you'd like to think that you do.
     
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  16. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Fine, you like what you like. If you've tried Altec and favor them over Celestions, great !

    I had Altecs in my Ampeg years ago and I originally thought they were just OK, but once I found the sound of Celestions in a Marshall, there was no turning back for me. I also found than virtually any Guitar Amp Head I tried with Celestions sounded better in the sense of more like my 70's and 80's rock idols. Yes, that's my taste, and it just so happens, the preference of Many other guitarists as well, including some of the most iconic and influential ones throughout the years.

    I'm not posting my opinion to sway anyone who has already tried many speakers in a guitar amp, and has settled on PA type speakers as their preference. If that's their choice, so be it.

    I am warning off someone who thinks they will get the same type of sound you would typically find in a Celestion, while using a JBL or other 'PA type' speaker.

    Funny how Altec never took over the guitar speaker market, isn't it ? What stopped them ? I remember them quite well, and I also remember a lot of professional guitarist getting quite sick of that flat PA type sound, hence why they never caught on. It's not just happenstance that led to that outcome, they were a big company who was already well established in the Audio equipment world. Their 'High Tech' approach is great for sound reproduction, but we are talking the ART of sound creation, not reproduction.

    JBLs and other PA type speakers are very efficient, and handle LOTS of power, but they don't sound like Celestions or Jensen Guitar amp speakers, or a host of other speakers that guitarists more typically use, so if your goal is to start with a sound close to the great rock amp sounds that sold millions of albums, don't start with a handicapped speaker for your needs.

    Guitar speakers break up early, JBLs and other PA type speakers do not, they were never intended to.

    You are fully entitled to you preference and opinion, and I am fully entitled to voice mine as well, and also to discuss the handicaps of both our choices.

    Enjoy your choice, and Happy New Year !
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  17. Timbre Wolf

    Timbre Wolf GoldMember Supporter Gold Supporting Member

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    You've woven in a lot of assumptions about what great or typical guitar sounds are. You're definitely overlooking other possible options that are equally magnificent. You don't need to change your tastes, however, but I do hope you can recognize that your tastes are limited, and that they're not everybody's taste. Personally, I am grateful for diversity of sounds, and I appreciate your enthusiasm about Celestion speakers.

    - T
     
  18. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    Diversity can also be viewed as a scale. From right (sounds sterile and lifeless) to Left (a great electric guitar sound).

    I like Jensens, Rolas and Webers Too, they are on the left with Celestions !

    Question : Do you think there is such a thing as bad taste and good taste ?

    Or is everything just to be viewed as the same ?
     
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2018
  19. HaroldBrooks

    HaroldBrooks Member

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    LOL, have it your way ! You are Da Man ! :aok
     
  20. dwoverdrive

    dwoverdrive Supporting Member

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    The best could mean anything but you can feel safe having nice presence and sticking out in a mix with Celestion Vintage 30s. Mids are what I would call well represented with that speaker. The only speaker I would avoid is the Celestion G12T75. The mids sound horrible in that speaker.
     
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