Friday, June 13, 2008

Tone frustration...

I haven't been happy with the way my rig has been sounding lately. I narrowed it down to the attenuator and speakers. I knew there was a ton of harsh highs but I wasn't sure where it was coming from. Turns out a lot of it was coming from the attenuator, but the AlNiCo blues have such a bright top end, they were very clearly accenting to harshness coming from the attenuator. I decided I need to ditch the attenuator, or at lease use it less - right now it's attenuating about 7 db which is a fair amount. That means the Blues have to go since they only handle 30W and my head is 100W (that's why I was using the attenuator). I know blues are great speakers, they just don't work for my rig. I thought about getting AlNiCo Golds (higher power blues) but after talking to people who know way more about speakers, I decided against it.

The reoccurring recommendation was the Celestion Heritage G12-65. It's basically a Greenback but handles 65W instead of 25W. Greenback's are classic british marshall sound and the guy who sold me my 72' Marshall Superbass has been trying to get me to buy the half stack he used with the head - an early 70s 4x12 with greenback's. He says it's the perfect pair for the head, and I believe him, but there's no way I'm lugging a 4x12 everywhere I go. In theory the G12-65 would let me get a similar sound from my 2x12.

Which checking out speakers and getting recommendations, I came across a company called Scumback speakers. Jim, the owner, is obsessed - in a good way - with vintage celestion speakers. He spent something like 40k on a collection of vintage pre rola celestions, then had them tested to find the "best of the best" perfect speakers. Once he found them he had Ted Weber (of weber speakers) dissect them and recreate them as perfectly as possible. The process sounds quite cool and in the end you get a new speaker that sounds like an amazing vintage celestion - it even comes factory broken in to sound 20 years old! I talked with Jim and for my sound, he recommended one H75-LHDC and one M75-LHDC for my 2x12. These should sound like vintage Celestion G12-65's... just like I wanted! Only problem, it's going to take 4-5 weeks to build. Looks like I'm waiting.

This is a good lesson in trust and patience. If I hadn't talked to anyone I would have ordered 2 Golds. I hadn't even considered the G12-65s, but then again I don't know a lot about speakers. Lots of people who know what they're talking about tell me the G12-65 (0r scumback equivalent) are what I want. I hope they're right! I guess I know in mid July.


rhoy pamparo said...

i find that finding the TONE is an endless search. one day we are happy with the sound, the next day we think its crap. nothing wrong with experimenting and finding that elusive perfect sound if you have the resources (read: money). but there are really a lot of things that factor into finding that TONE.

hope you find what you are looking for soon. i found mine but it seems to be slipping away again :)

electric community said...

UPDATE: turns out one of the patch cables I made has a cold-solder joint and it was massivly hindering the tone. Fixed it and I was much happier. I feel pretty dumb that I was trying all sorts of changes and it was just a stupid cable :( I still needed to get new speakers though.