Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

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DrLo
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Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by DrLo »

It's been noted that as one turns down (scales back) the power amp voltage (using a VVR or equivalent), the volume goes down, but the sound can get a little fizzy in the top end (even when properly adjusting the post-PIMV).

Fargen has suggested a few speakers that he considers good matches for VVR-equipped amps, all of which he says roll off some high end to control the fizziness. However, none of his amps are a typical 18 watt build.

In your experience, which speaker is best for reproducing the fully cranked 18 watt tone when scaling back the power amp? I know the G12H30 (or equivalent) gets a lot of praise here, but would it receive as much praise from those who scale back their power amp?
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by CAlbertson »

DrLo wrote: In your experience, which speaker is best for reproducing the fully cranked 18 watt tone when scaling back the power amp? I know the G12H30 (or equivalent) gets a lot of praise here, but would it receive as much praise from those who scale back their power amp?
Get on of the Weber "signature" Alnico series speakers. The "not S" type have smooth cones and break up early. They are nominally 15W speakers but you don't intend to crank on them so they will work.

If you are more conservative with power rating use two of them in a 2 x 8 cab. They only cost $35 each. Of buy a 10" Alniico "britsh series" from them like this
https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/

I think you want the lowest power speakers you can find that will not blow up. These will have the smallest and lightest voice coils and thin cones so you will get highs at low power. Also I think the AlNiCo magnets get you a bit of that too. The small "signature" webers are inexpensive and are a lot like the speakers Jim marshal had to work with in the 1960's
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Post by DrLo »

Thanks

Anyone else?
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rock_mumbles
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Post by rock_mumbles »

The first thing that popped into my head was a Greenback ... they are pretty inefficient ...
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Post by Bronsboi »

I have tried greenbacks, g12h, vintage 30's, Jensen c10's and p10's,
I prefer the g12h, even with the vvr. One interesting thing you can try is running a 10inch Jensen with and an 8inch celestion like Dave hunter did on the two stroke amp in his tube amp book. You can wire the cab with 3 sockets and a switch so that you can run each speaker on its own or together in series or parallel. You can get some really interesting sounds a low volume this way , A bit of bottom end from the 10inch and top end juicefrom the 8inch speaker as it freaks out!
Another option would be to make 4x10 cab with 10inch vintage 30's ... I quite like the sound of these, not as stiff as the 12 inch version.
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Post by Daviedawg »

"10inch vintage 30's" - Bronsboi.

I agree. My pair sound great with my VVrd trem version.

Dd
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Post by Chris72 »

It's hard to beat the greenback - low efficiency and sounds nice an creamy.
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by Animal »

do you guys realize that I am working with about 1-3 watts total and building a 2x12 cab. So.... 20 watt or 25 green backs ? if so, which company. I did like the sound of the tone tubby 40/40 ceramic because of not only their tone but the low sensitivity, 97? or 96. But, these are 2 40 watt speakers being driven at 3 watts max, due to playing in the basement of my house and not wanting to blow the family out from the first floor.
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by Daviedawg »

As I think I posted elsewhere, I have two speaker set ups for my 18 watt. One cheap low efficiency Fender special for home use when VVRed at 1 to 2 watts and one cab with two Celestion 10" Vintage 60s. The cheap speaker is great for use in the house and generates no issues but still sounds sweet at that level. Anything over 1 or 2 watts any perceived quality is gone.
Plug the same output into the two Celestions and with no adjustment the sound is not just louder but seems to generate comment immediately because of the penetration of the sound. It is hard to get the VVR low enough and maintain sound quality as well.
So if you only ever intend to use the set up in the basement then that is one decision. If you ever need to use it in a larger space then the best speakers are justified. Which ones to get is very much a personal thing. But a bit of reading in this forum and you will find many opinions which should give guidance.

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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by JMPGuitars »

Animal wrote:do you guys realize that I am working with about 1-3 watts total and building a 2x12 cab. So.... 20 watt or 25 green backs ? if so, which company. I did like the sound of the tone tubby 40/40 ceramic because of not only their tone but the low sensitivity, 97? or 96. But, these are 2 40 watt speakers being driven at 3 watts max, due to playing in the basement of my house and not wanting to blow the family out from the first floor.
Speaker wattage doesn't make the speakers louder, the efficiency does. 40 watt speakers run on 3 watts output, means you get plenty of headroom before any speaker breakup (distortion) is perceived. The tone tubby 40/40 ceramic is a great speaker. It does produce a slightly brighter sound, which is probably good when being used with VVR or an attenuator. That being said, I think it's not low efficiency, so it might be a little loud, but not bad.
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by Animal »

Well I do have to add to the 40 watt tone tubbys working off 3 watts. I don't want a speaker that takes for ever to break up. Looking for the magic combo for my amp and speakers to work together and give me that rich harmonies blend for some killer blues tone.
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by CurtissRobin »

It takes force to make a speaker behave in the way we call "breakup." Breakup is the speaker's inability to accurately follow electrical signal applied to the voice coil and many things contribute to this: voice coil (turns, thickness, length, diameter, wire gauge, mass, bobbin), magnetic field strength, voice coil-magnet gap, cone material, cone suspension, basket (frame) construction, cabinet design/construction, signal strength (power), signal waveform, et al. The speaker's power rating, while it's a factor, is truely trivial. You're going to get speaker breakup when you DRIVE the speaker.

Throttling back the amp output to the point where you can play in a living room without threats from the family and neighbors, you are not going to get speaker breakup.

KennyO
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by JMPGuitars »

I agree that he's not going to get any speaker breakup at 3 watts, but do you really think the power rating is trivial? All other things being equal, won't a 15 watt speaker breakup a lot sooner than a 300 watt speaker (if at all) when being driven by an 18 watt amp?
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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by Daviedawg »

I suppose that what I was referring to was design for a particular use. The Celestions are much more efficient but are also built to operate on specific parameters whereas the Fender one is built to give the best it can for a small budget. That is where the headline wattage comes in.
I was trying to say that if you are using it ONLY EVER at domestic volumes then the speaker selection is different from the situation where quality of sound at higher output matters.

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Re: Best speaker for use with VVR-equipped 18 watter?

Post by CurtissRobin »

OK, "trivial" wasn't a good word choice. Perhaps "obvious" instead. When a speaker rating is two orders of magnitude greater than the amp output (i.e. 100 times the rating) that speaker certainly will be working nowhere near the edge of its capability. Speaker breakup happens at the edge of performance. Closer to home, given a 3 watt output feeding a 15-watt-rated speaker I wouldn't expect any noticeable breakup there either.

Truth be told, everything in audio design is a tradeoff. You can't make one change and reasonably expect that nothing else will change. If you could, there'd be mighty little for this forum and the dozens of other forums to talk about! If you find a speaker that will break up with a 3 watt amp you'll immediately hear its many other shortcomings. One day in the future maybe a modeling amp can be programmed to give you exactly the Marshall stack sound you want in a box you can carry like a six-pack and play in a New York apartment without the neighbor noticing. But I'll bet not. What'll happen is that tastes in music will change and tube amps will at long last be put out to pasture in museums.

KennyO

N.B. I left out one characteristic of speaker power ratings that I'd intended including in my list above: the adhesive that secures the voice coil to the bobbin that's attached to the cone. Many a "blown" speaker has been the result of the voice coil heating up in operation (they get hot, y'know) and coming unglued from the bobbin. It doesn't need to come completely loose, merely loose enough to move a bit. There are adhesives that won't do that but those will have other faults like brittleness and instability. Tradeoffs. KO
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