speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Seeing and hearing is believing

Moderators: CurtissRobin, colossal, zaphod_phil, Daviedawg, Graydon

BukkaCasjet
Unrated
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 11/15/14 8:21 pm

speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by BukkaCasjet »

I've gotten lots of info from this community so far as I plan my build based on Richie's 'improved tremolo B' layout. I already have some new Mullard output tubes and Classic Tone output transformer. Haven't selected a speaker (or speakers) yet. I'm building the chassis and probably combo cab myself since I like to build stuff generally. Anyway, I'm interested in good advice about a good 12" speaker to fill this out. I'm thinking a little higher power handling as I'd like maybe a little more headroom. My band does a variety of material from swing to full on rock and I'm looking to add some sound choices for performance and recording. I appreciate your opinions. Bill
0 x
redseapedestrians.com

dotfret
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
Posts: 922
Joined: Wed 09/29/04 2:00 am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by dotfret »

I looked at your site.

For what you are doing, I wouldn't fit a guitar speaker. You will get better service from a speaker designated for use as a stage monitor or general PA, if you play mandolin through a guitar speaker it can cause ear bleeds, and guitar speakers are not good with acoustic guitars.
0 x

BukkaCasjet
Unrated
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 11/15/14 8:21 pm

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by BukkaCasjet »

dotfret wrote:I looked at your site.

For what you are doing, I wouldn't fit a guitar speaker. You will get better service from a speaker designated for use as a stage monitor or general PA, if you play mandolin through a guitar speaker it can cause ear bleeds, and guitar speakers are not good with acoustic guitars.
Ah - sorry to mislead. I intend to use the amp with a 335 style guitar clean to crunchy sounds. Not with acoustic gtr or mandolin. I've been thinking that a G12H might be good - maybe Preferable to the G12M for clean tones too - but also see some other brands like Weber and Eminence or WGS get good marks here.
0 x
redseapedestrians.com

User avatar
JMPGuitars
Super Duper Admin
Super Duper Admin
Posts: 3287
Joined: Tue 09/18/12 8:00 pm
Location: South Central, MA
Contact:

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by JMPGuitars »

I wouldn't worry too much about the speaker wattage rating for headroom. There's a lot of variables that affect headroom, but going with too much speaker wattage only means that you will be removing speaker distortion from the equation entirely with an 18 watt amp.

If you want volume, you need speaker efficiency. The speakers I use from Eminence tend to have a higher efficiency than their counterparts from other brands. The Red Fang has been one of my favorites so far, and it's 103db efficiency, so it's very loud compared to a 97db greenback and its clones.
0 x
'I installed a skylight in my apartment yesterday... The people who live above me are furious.' - Steven Wright

Modern Ground Schemes
Soldering Technique
B+ Voltage Reduction


Web Design: DolceVittoria.com
Guitars / Amps / Effects: JMPGuitars.com
(anti)Social: Facebook · Instagram
Items for Sale

BukkaCasjet
Unrated
Posts: 3
Joined: Sat 11/15/14 8:21 pm

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by BukkaCasjet »

Thanks for your advice. There are truly lots of speaker choices out there. I've read good things about Eminence elsewhere, too. I'm thinking more about pairing an Alnico speaker with a ceramic based in part on listening to the retro king stuff online. On this forum I've gleaned that it's good to keep the power rating in the same ballpark with a pairing such as this. I worry that an Alnico alone might be too bright. Sounds like the red fang is nicely balanced. Thanks and I'll post pics as I move through the build a little more.
0 x
redseapedestrians.com

User avatar
JMPGuitars
Super Duper Admin
Super Duper Admin
Posts: 3287
Joined: Tue 09/18/12 8:00 pm
Location: South Central, MA
Contact:

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by JMPGuitars »

Brightness is determined by the speaker design more than just the magnet type. You should look at the frequency response charts generally supplied by the manufacturers for that info. One thing I can tell you is that most people find Vintage 30s to be way too bright with this circuit, and those are ceramic.
1 x
'I installed a skylight in my apartment yesterday... The people who live above me are furious.' - Steven Wright

Modern Ground Schemes
Soldering Technique
B+ Voltage Reduction


Web Design: DolceVittoria.com
Guitars / Amps / Effects: JMPGuitars.com
(anti)Social: Facebook · Instagram
Items for Sale

dotfret
Frequent poster
Frequent poster
Posts: 922
Joined: Wed 09/29/04 2:00 am
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by dotfret »

There is too much attention attached to the nature of the magnet when speakers are mentioned. Don't think too much about that, it is how people make money from you.

Guitar speakers have a frequency prominence, they boost the region of frequencies in which guitars make sounds, and that suits most guitarists for playing solos.

If you want to play rhythm most of the time you get a more balanced sound from a PA speaker, it allows a better bass response and is "chunkier" overall.

If you are looking at using two speakers, I would choose a PA / monitor type for one of them, just to get the meat into the sound. But don't get fooled into thinking Alnico V is some kind of magic.

I use old speakers = mostly Goodmans Axiom, because that is what I have. But my dotfret semi sounds just as good through a 10" MacKenzie ceramic, if I mess around with the amp's tone controls.
0 x

User avatar
JMPGuitars
Super Duper Admin
Super Duper Admin
Posts: 3287
Joined: Tue 09/18/12 8:00 pm
Location: South Central, MA
Contact:

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by JMPGuitars »

dotfret wrote:There is too much attention attached to the nature of the magnet when speakers are mentioned. Don't think too much about that, it is how people make money from you.

Guitar speakers have a frequency prominence, they boost the region of frequencies in which guitars make sounds, and that suits most guitarists for playing solos.

If you want to play rhythm most of the time you get a more balanced sound from a PA speaker, it allows a better bass response and is "chunkier" overall.

If you are looking at using two speakers, I would choose a PA / monitor type for one of them, just to get the meat into the sound. But don't get fooled into thinking Alnico V is some kind of magic.

I use old speakers = mostly Goodmans Axiom, because that is what I have. But my dotfret semi sounds just as good through a 10" MacKenzie ceramic, if I mess around with the amp's tone controls.
I agree that there's too much focus on magnet type, but I definitely disagree about the EQ frequencies. There's a HUGE range of EQ shapes available for guitar speakers. Smooth mids, accentuated, bright highs, boomier bass, whatever is appropriate, it's out there.

A lot of guitar speakers go for punched high mids, with a high boost, which is like what you're talking about- like the Vintage 30. But that would be a bad match with an EL84 based 18 watter anyway.

The biggest reason I would avoid a PA or monitor type speaker, is that the efficiency and wattage handling will in no way compliment the amp's tone. It can sound good, sure, but it would be sterile in regards to guitar tone, and overdrive tone. A quality guitar speaker, close in wattage to the range of the amplifier, will be much more responsive to the amplifier, and contribute to the distortion tone.

A guitarist's tone has three primary parts (outside of skill and modifiers): guitar, amp circuit, speaker. By using a PA speaker, you neutralize 1/3 of the tone factor.
0 x
'I installed a skylight in my apartment yesterday... The people who live above me are furious.' - Steven Wright

Modern Ground Schemes
Soldering Technique
B+ Voltage Reduction


Web Design: DolceVittoria.com
Guitars / Amps / Effects: JMPGuitars.com
(anti)Social: Facebook · Instagram
Items for Sale

robthemac
Unrated
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun 01/16/22 4:55 am

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by robthemac »

Bump! Need speaker recommendation.

I'm looking at my first 18W build (probably the standard GDS kit). Not sure about head or combo yet, but will be 1x12 either way.

I'm a purely bedroom player, as it's been over a year since my last gig. So something low-efficiency is preferable, to get me a little closer to overdrive without pissing off my neighbours. I play clean to very slight crunch (think Brothers In Arms sort of levels). The 1974x is my second favourite sounding amp, so maybe a G12-M? Or something less efficient? Or cheaper? I'm in New Zealand, so local availablity might be limited and shipping costs are horrific.

Cheers all!
0 x

User avatar
zaphod_phil
Builder, Admin
Builder, Admin
Posts: 15190
Joined: Wed 03/19/03 2:00 am
Location: YYZ

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by zaphod_phil »

Decent-sounding guitar amp speakers are all pretty loud, to put it mildly! So I recommend using an attenuator or a VVR to tame the sound level. :)
2 x
Nature abhors a clean tube amp

User avatar
Bieworm
Verbose Wizard of Oz
Verbose Wizard of Oz
Posts: 1720
Joined: Mon 02/10/20 8:24 am
Location: Belgium

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by Bieworm »

zaphod_phil wrote:
Mon 01/17/22 12:19 pm
Decent-sounding guitar amp speakers are all pretty loud, to put it mildly! So I recommend using an attenuator or a VVR to tame the sound level. :)
Now that you mention good speakers.. while buying 2nd hand weber 10" alnico and ceramic speakers, the seller told me he was cleaning out his garage. I got a quad of 70's eminence alnico 10" horse shoe speakers, which I paid 100€ for the 4 of'em.
20220115_153009.jpg
20220115_153035.jpg
20220115_153601.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
1 x
"THIS should be played at high volume..preferably in a residential area"

robthemac
Unrated
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun 01/16/22 4:55 am

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by robthemac »

zaphod_phil wrote:
Mon 01/17/22 12:19 pm
Decent-sounding guitar amp speakers are all pretty loud, to put it mildly! So I recommend using an attenuator or a VVR to tame the sound level. :)
I know, it's a sad state of affairs. I have a 2W build coming for the super low-volume stuff. And an attenuator which can take 18W a little.

But my experience has been that low efficiency speakers make a small but noticeable difference.
0 x

Daviedawg
Superior Amp Tech
Superior Amp Tech
Posts: 687
Joined: Fri 01/08/10 2:00 am
Location: Scotland

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by Daviedawg »

"low efficiency speakers make a small but noticeable difference."

Yes they can be an effective method of managing the output. My Watkins Scout which is one of the 18 watt's ancestors, has a single 10" Elac Alnico speaker. It works very well as a smaller space amplifier. That is at the low efficiency end of the spectrum.

As a solution it is not very flexible compared with VVR which is what I use on my 18 watt.

Dd
1 x

User avatar
zaphod_phil
Builder, Admin
Builder, Admin
Posts: 15190
Joined: Wed 03/19/03 2:00 am
Location: YYZ

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by zaphod_phil »

JMPGuitars wrote:
Sun 03/01/15 10:07 am
One thing I can tell you is that most people find Vintage 30s to be way too bright with this circuit, and those are ceramic.
That's very true! However, the background story is that Celestion designed the Vintage 30 to have the same frequency/ dynamic response as their famous Alnico Blue, but using a lower-cost ceramic magnet 8O. The result was somewhat hard on the ears!
2 x
Nature abhors a clean tube amp

robthemac
Unrated
Posts: 12
Joined: Sun 01/16/22 4:55 am

Re: speaker selection for first 18 watt build

Post by robthemac »

Daviedawg wrote:
Tue 01/18/22 4:39 am
"low efficiency speakers make a small but noticeable difference."

Yes they can be an effective method of managing the output. My Watkins Scout which is one of the 18 watt's ancestors, has a single 10" Elac Alnico speaker. It works very well as a smaller space amplifier. That is at the low efficiency end of the spectrum.

As a solution it is not very flexible compared with VVR which is what I use on my 18 watt.

Dd
How hard is VVR to incorporate into a standard 18W circuit?
0 x

Post Reply