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Considering a speaker swap in an old 1x12” combo amp I’ve got. Here’s the back story...

I took over a new clinic this week and now have an hour commute instead of 15 minutes. This means I will no longer be coming home over lunch so I’m going to set up a little practice area in the back break room. I pulled out my old Dean Markley K75 I got 30-some years ago. It’s a solid state combo amp with reverb. The drive channel is god awful but the clean tones are actually pretty nice and the reverb is usable. It’s a surprisingly good pedal platform. Plugged it in this morning For the first time in years and ran my Charvel with Gravelin pickups into a Radial tone bone Hot British tube distortion pedal in front of the amp.  I was pleasantly surprised at how good it sounded and it will definitely serve my purposes. I’d like a little more low end thump but I can absolutely live with it as-is  

Then, I got to thinking....  I wonder how big of a difference a good speaker would make...

herein lies my dilemma. There are almost an infinite number of speaker brands and styles out there  well, at least enough to make my head swim. I know nothing of speakers so I don’t even know where to begin. 

now, I do have a homemade 2x12” extension cabinet that is loaded with a Celestion vintage 30 and an eminence manowar. Both speakers are the appropriate 12”/8ohm that I would need to put into this combo amp. So, I could cannibalize that cab to see what it would do for my little practice amp. 

the question is, should I? And should I dive into the rabbit hole that is speaker swaps...?

 

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My answer is almost always the Celestion Alnico Cream. But very costly. Not sure how it would match your amp. i also like the Cl-80 a lot, for a lot less. But you could start with the V30 unless you want to keep your cab intact.

Is Bubs still trying to offload some very nice speakers?

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1 minute ago, django49 said:

 

Is Bubs still trying to offload some very nice speakers?

You know, I did a search for his sale thread before posting this but I didn’t find it. Wonder if he deleted it or else I’m not the worlds greatest detective...

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I like the Swamp Thang for the tight bottom end. I have one in an open back boogie and one in a closed back Ear Candy SOV. The closed back is ported and literally kicks you in the chest. That’s my nickels worth!!! 

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1 hour ago, Travis said:

the question is, should I?

It'll cost you an hour or so to see if one of your available speakers shows improvement over the stock speaker. Maybe it will , maybe it won't.

After that, the rabbit hole is your decision.

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Eminence Lil Texas:

https://www.eminence.com/speakers/speaker-detail/?model=Lil_Texas

Nice and light, sounds pretty amazing in the SuperChamp.

....or talk to bubs. He is all-knowing.

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@Travis beware of the rabbit hole. If the amp works for you like it is, use it. Now if you want to try something without loosing your lunch, then try the Lil Texas, CV65, something with the a nice smooth high end, but with good punch. The Lil Texas or Texas Heat is full sounding, with big low end and a smooth top end. I run the Texas Heat in my Crate and IMHO makes that amp sound bigger and badder then it should be. Both of these speaker choices also work great in small cabinets. The Texas Heat did work from Dimebag...

Disclaimer: I have no idea what one of those amps sounds like, but if you setting it pretty flat and getting all your tone from the pedal you should be ok.

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18 minutes ago, bubs_42 said:

@Travis beware of the rabbit hole. If the amp works for you like it is, use it. Now if you want to try something without loosing your lunch, then try the Lil Texas, CV65, something with the a nice smooth high end, but with good punch. The Lil Texas or Texas Heat is full sounding, with big low end and a smooth top end. I run the Texas Heat in my Crate and IMHO makes that amp sound bigger and badder then it should be. Both of these speaker choices also work great in small cabinets. The Texas Heat did work from Dimebag...

Disclaimer: I have no idea what one of those amps sounds like, but if you setting it pretty flat and getting all your tone from the pedal you should be ok.

The amp itself is probably worth $50 on the used market, maybe $100 if I take advantage of someone who doesn’t know any better.  But, there is some sentimental value to it, which is why I still have it after all of these years.

I started with the EQ completely flat with bass/mid/treble all at 12:00 and contoured the tone on the pedal. I did end up boosting the bass on the amp trying to get a bit more low end. Didn’t do much. It will definitely serve its purpose as-is, in that I can hear what I’m playing and I was very surprised at how “not awful” it sounded. Now, as a gear nerd, I always want it to sound better.

it does seem like the amp is a solid pedal platform with a clean that is well more than adequate for my purposes and would probably do well enough for a gig. While I can do a ton with pedals, I do absolutely feel that the speaker is the weak point. 

I don't HAVE to have this amp sound “amazing” but if I can get it to sound significantly better for $100 or less, then I’ll do that all day long. 

I’ll more than likely try it with the manowar and vintage 30 I have just to see what kind of difference a speaker will make. Then I’ll explore other speaker options at that time...

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I'd use it as is @Travis I've lived some amps out into a "Better Cab and Speaker" thinking it would make a differences and some amps just sound the same. I would't go down the rabbit hole with that amp. 

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35 minutes ago, bubs_42 said:

I'd use it as is @Travis I've lived some amps out into a "Better Cab and Speaker" thinking it would make a differences and some amps just sound the same. I would't go down the rabbit hole with that amp. 

Probably for the best. Maybe I should just build a 1x12” extension cab... 🤔

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On 7/4/2020 at 12:08 PM, Travis said:

Probably for the best. Maybe I should just build a 1x12” extension cab... 🤔

Plug it into the Budda Cab and see how that sounds. 

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+1 on the Texas Heat...a great speaker and not too expensive. 
Heck, will send you an old 12” alnico from the 50s or 60s for free if you cover shipping. But that won’t give you a big bottom or hold together like a modern speaker....But it will sound sweet...especially clean.

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Posted (edited)

Why don't you email Ted Weber Speakers and tell them what you have and what you're looking for? Unfortunately, Ted Weber passed on, but I'm pretty sure that a company that's in that specialty would have an abundant knowledge of vintage amps and replacement speakers of differing magnets, frames, cone materials, and designs to achieve a particular sonic goal.

Consider them as sherpas for rabbit holes.

Edited by JohnnyB
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Good idea. CJ at Weber speakers is very knowledgeable and returns emails pretty quickly.

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Posted (edited)

I'd try the Vintage 30 first.  It'll probably sound like all Vintage 30s: $hitty, high-mid prominent (in a bad way) and thin, but you never know.  I'd then switch in the Manowar because after the V30 anything will sound better and, though I have no experience with it, anything named Man-o-War has to be badass.

Seriously, though, Mojotone was blowing out Celestion Anniversaries at $80.  They may have some left.

 

Edited by BadgerDave
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On 7/8/2020 at 1:50 PM, it's me HHB said:

The name of the proper guitar speaker is Celestion Greenback (English)

Say, HHB, is that what's in your TopHat combo or speaker cab? I have a Club Deluxe, a combo with a 6V6 power section based on a Fender Deluxe powering a 12" Celestion Greenback. It's a good match with a lot of dynamics and Brit/uSA tonal possibilities.

Edited by JohnnyB
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Did you look into getting a lil portable practice amp lol blackstar or roland micro . They sound great for practicing and small.  As far as 12" speakers I suggest vintage 30 , cream back , and green back...all great speakers.  

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1 hour ago, iownit4 said:

Did you look into getting a lil portable practice amp lol blackstar or roland micro . They sound great for practicing and small.  As far as 12" speakers I suggest vintage 30 , cream back , and green back...all great speakers.  

I was all set to grab a Yamaha thr5 but everyone is backordered on them. The plan was to use the THR at home for low volume practice in the morning so while the family is sleeping and take the old combo amp to my office for noodling over lunch. 

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I got lucky and grabbed a used thr5 a couple of years ago, it’s a great little amp, sorry that’s not very helpful! I would suggest you give eminence a call, they have some great speakers and when I had an issue with one they were all over it. 

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Last time I speaker shopped, Eminence, had a tool on their website that enabled you to listen to the different speaker choices. Good descriptions as well. I called them once and they were helpful in giving advice on making a choice. This was a while ago FWIW. 

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On 7/9/2020 at 8:03 PM, JohnnyB said:

Say, HHB, is that what's in your TopHat combo or speaker cab? I have a Club Deluxe, a combo with a 6V6 power section based on a Fender Deluxe powering a 12" Celestion. It's a good match with a lot of dynamics and Brit/uSA tonal possibilities.

Absolutely it is! Mine is a UK made that is sooo broken in. I used to do 32 show runs w that thing for over a decade. 

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