Q: Jensen C-series/P-series, R, Q, N, K … what’s it all mean?
Q: Can you recommend a good 8” speaker?
Q: Can you recommend a good 10” speaker?
Q: Can you recommend a good 12” speaker?
Q: Can you recommend a good 15” speaker?
Q: Tell me about your speaker inventory selection?
Q: What kind of wood should I use for a speaker cabinet?
Q: How do I determine a speaker’s impedance or ohms rating and why do I care?
Q: Should I match my amp’s impedance with the speakers?
Q: What are the wiring options for 16-ohm speakers?
Q: What are the wiring options and impedance loads for two speakers?
Q: What are the wiring options and impedance loads for four speakers?
Q: Where are the current Celestion speakers manufactured (England or China)?
Q: Tell me about the new Celestion G10 Vintage?
Q: What is the warranty policy for new Celestion speakers?
Q: Tell me about the C12N and how they compare to other Jensens & Celestions?
Q: What is the difference between a Vintage 30 and P12N?
Q: What 12” & 8” speakers would you recommend for Harp?
Q: What is the Tone Tubby "EC”(Eric Clapton) voice coil?
Q: What does "doping” a speaker mean?
Q: Can you compare the Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12, Weber Blue Dog and Celestoin Blue Speakers?
Q: A few thoughts about output transformer impedance and speaker wiring choices?
Q: How do you install a new speaker?
Q: Have you compared the standard G12M & G12H to the G12M & G12H Heritage speakers?

Q: Jensen C-series/P-series, R, Q, N, K … what’s it all mean?

A: It does get confusing, doesn't it? But, don't despair, I'll see if I can clarify things a bit (of course, it took me an Engineering degree and about 2-years to figure this out myself).

First, let's talk series. Jensen makes two series, the "P" series speakers with AlNiCo (Aluminum, Nickel and Cobalt) magnets and the "C" series speakers with Ceramic magnets (powdered ferrite manufactured with a ceramic process). Why should you care about the type of magnet? Directly, you shouldn't. However, there are some general tone characteristics associated with each of these types of magnets, which you should care about (tone type, that is).

In general, the "P" series speakers are lighter weight, have a warmer "creamier" sound, typically earlier breakup (this is the "crunchy, bluesy" tone associated with when a speaker begins to saturate at pleasing sound levels), have a more compressed tone at volume, with punchy mids (mid frequency response) and tend to be more expensive (due to the more expensive AlNiCo magnets).
On the other hand, in general, the "C" series speakers are heavier, have a later breakup point (e.g. sometimes called more "clean" headroom), are more dynamic and articulate at volume, tend to be brighter speakers, and in most cases provide the maximum volume per watt.

Now let's talk about the suffixes, "R", "Q", "N" and "K". As you progress through the versions (R to K), power handling increases, typically 25-watts for the R, 35-watts for the Q, 50-watts for the N, and 100-watts for the K. More importantly to players, the tone and speaker response is also affected. In general, each progression (again, from R up to K), will provide a flatter response in the guitar frequency range, more low-end response (sometimes called "bottom" end), more volume per watt, and more clean headroom.

From a vintage Fender tone perspective, the Q and N versions are the most accurate, if that is the tone you are after.

So, to sum things up:
 • C series = low cost, more clean headroom, better articulation at volume, higher volume per watt, and is a brighter speaker
 • P series = higher cost, warmer “cremier” tone, earlier breakup, better "bluesy" sounding speaker
 • R,Q,N,K Suffixes = Use the R's for lower cost applications, use the N or K series for maximum wattage and headroom applications, and the Q for applications in between.

I stock all models of Jensen Vintage Reissue speakers and have them ready for immediate shipment.

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Q: Can you recommend a good 8” speaker?

A: In 8" speakers, I stock the Jensen Vintage Reissue (VRI) C8R, 8", 25-watt, 9.9-oz ceramic magnet, the Jensen VRI P8R, 8", 25-watt, 7.1-oz AlNiCo magnet, and Weber 8A100, 8”, 15-watt, 7-oz AlNiCo magnet speakers. The P8R has a more bluesy tone, with early breakup and a more compressed tone at volume. The C8R has more definition and clarity at volume that allows you to better cut through other band members. The Weber 8A100 is their replacement for a vintage Jensen P8R and is voiced with a warm, crunchy tone, early breakup and compressed / fattened tones at volume and has a warmer tone (at least to my ears) than the P8R reissue speaker. NOTE: the Weber 8A100 will NOT fit in Tweed and early Blackface Champ amps. I recommend and also stock the Weber AlNiCo Sig 8S, 8”, 15-watt, 7-oz AlNiCo magnet and Ceramic Sig 8S, 8”, 15-watt, 16-oz ceramic speakers for these amps.

I don't stock the Celestion Super 8 15-watt speaker. But, could special order it. It would take 5 to 9-business days to get it into my shop.

Another excellent speaker to consider would be the Weber 8F100, which is an affordable classic sounding 15-watt, 20-oz ceramic magnet speaker that also provides a warm and crunchy tone, with early breakup, but has a bit more aggressive attack and definition at volume. This speaker would be a special order and would take approximately 7 to 10-business days to get into the shop.

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Q: Can you recommend a good 10” speaker?

A: In my opinion, the most accurate vintage reproduction speaker built today, both construction and tone, would be a WeberVST (www.webervst.com). Jensen also offers some excellent low cost vintage reissue replacement speakers. In general they tend to be a bit brighter than the Webers (Webers are warmer sounding, at least to my ears). If I was putting a 10” in a vintage amp, I'd probably put either a Weber 10A125-0, 10F150 or one of the Jensen P or C series speaker in it.
Here is a broad range of speakers, with varying type of tone and price levels, to consider.

The Weber 10A100 is a 10", 8-Ohm, 7oz AlNiCo plug magnet, 15-watt, 1" voice coil, straight cone type speaker, that provides a warm, crunchy tone, with early breakup, aggressive attack and compressed/fattened tones at high volumes. This is Weber's replacement for a Jensen P10R.

The Weber 10A125-0 is a 10", 11-Ohm, 7oz AlNiCo plug magnet, 20 ro 30-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil, straight cone type speaker, that provides a warm, crunchy tone, with early breakup, aggressive attack, compressed/fattened tones at high volumes and a little more low and mid-range frequency response. This is Weber's replacement for a Jensen P10Q with earlier breakup characteristics.

The Weber 10F125 is a 10", 30-oz Ceramic magnet, 20 or 30-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil, seamed cone speaker, that provides a brighter tone, with later/smooth breakup (e.g. more clean headroom) and is very aggressive, loud and has better articulation at higher volume than the Weber "A" series AlNICo speakers. This is Weber's replacement for an early 1960's ceramic speaker where more loudness, dynamics and attack are desired.

The Weber 10F125-0 is a 10", 30-oz Ceramic magnet, 20 ro 30-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil, straight cone speaker that is voiced similar to the 10F125, except it has an earlier breakup and a more “crunchy or gritty" sound. This is Weber's replacement for an early 1960's ceramic Oxford or Jensen C10R speaker.

The Weber 10F150 is a 10", 40-oz Ceramic magnet, 25 or 50-watt, 1-1/2" voice coil, ribbed cone speaker that has a big, bold bottom end (low frequency response), sweet mid-range (mid frequency response), that is aggressive and has a later, smooth breakup. This is Weber's replacement for an early 1960's ceramic Oxford 10 or Jensen C10R speaker, where tight low end and strong punch are desired.

The Jensen P10R is a 10", 8-Ohm, 7.1 oz AlNiCo magnet, 25-watt, 1" voice coil type speaker, with a good clean tone at lower volumes, with more emphasis on the mid-range frequencies. It has a fairly early break-up point and provides a smooth distortion type tone at saturation, with punchy bass and hornlike mids. This is the classic Jensen vintage reissue speaker for mid-1960's Blackface Fender amps and is excellent for blues and rock!

The Jensen P10Q is a 10", 8-Ohm, 10 oz AlNiCo magnet, 40-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil type speaker. The P10Q is a higher wattage version of the P12R and to my ears, has more mid-range punch, a bit more definition and articulation at higher volumes, as well as slightly later break-up.

The Jensen C10R is a 10", 8-Ohm, 9.5 oz Ceramic magnet, 25-watt, 1" voice coil type speaker that provides the classic 1960's Fender ceramic type tone. It has a bit more definition and articulation than the P10R, which allows your tone to better cut through the other band members and provides for more clean headroom than the P10R/P10Q.

The Jensen C10Q is a 10", 8-Ohm, 15 oz Ceramic magnet, 35-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil type speaker that provides the classic 1960's Fender ceramic type tone. It is voiced similar to the C10R, with a bit more emphasis on the low and mid-range frequencies and in the same amp would provide a bit more clean headroom than the C10R.

I know this is a lot to digest, but when it comes to speakers and individual tone ... there is no such thing as "one size fits all"!

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Q: Can you recommend a good 12” speaker?

A: My personal favorite vintage style speaker, which I'm currently running in my own 1950's 5E3 Tweed Deluxe Amp, is the Weber 12A150, which is a 12", 8-Ohm, 40-oz AlNiCo magnet, 25-watt, 1-1/2" voice coil, ribbed cone type speaker, that provides a warm, crunchy tone. It has a warm, smooth early breakup, aggressive attack, is very loud and full sounding, with compressed/fattened tones at high volumes. In my opinion, Weber manufactures the most accurate "vintage" reproduction speakers on the market today and the 12A150 provides the classic AlNiCo vintage tone, very similar to the original 1950's (NOT reissue) Jensen P12N speaker ... an excellent bluesy sounding speaker! By the way, the Fender Custom Shop is using these speakers in their new hand-wired, reissue 1957 Twin Amp, announced at the January 2004 NAMM show (I’ll have one of these amps in the shop probably in late-April or May 2004).

The Jensen Vintage Reissue (VRI) P12N is a 12", 8 or 16-Ohm, 12.5 oz AlNiCo magnet, 50-watt, 1-1/2" voice coil type speaker, with loud, punchy clean tones at lower volumes. It has a strong mid-range, a fairly early break-up point and provides a smooth distortion type tone at saturation, with punchy bass, hornlike highs and more compressed at high volumes (compared to the C12N). This is the classic speaker for vintage 1950’s Fender AlNiCo tone and is excellent for sustained blues and rock solos! This speaker is offered either with a Bell Cover (slightly higher cost) or without the Bell Cover. Does the bell cover change the sound? The answer depends on who you ask, but to my ears they sound the same. I have a P12N (with Bell) and a P12N-NB (no Bell) side-by-side in the same 2x12 cabinet and I don’t hear and difference between them. The Bell Cover version looks more like the original P12N’s found in vintage Fender amps, the NO Bell cover version has the added benefit of a smaller profile and will fit in smaller amps (for example, the Fender Blues Jr. or Blues Deluxe amps).

The Weber 12F150, which is a 12", 40-oz ceramic magnet, 25-watts, 8-ohm speaker, with a 1-1/2" voice coil and ribbed cone, is also an excellent choice. This speaker provides a warm tone, with smooth breakup, with aggressive attack and it is punchy and loud. It has more clean headroom than the Weber 12A100 or 12A150, as well as a bit better articulation at high volume. This speaker has a classic Ceramic tone and would be equivalent to the vintage Jensen C12N, but has a sweeter mid-range and is a little warmer than the reissue C12N (the reissue C12N is a brighter speaker, to my ears)... a good rock or cleaner blues speaker.

The Jensen VRI C12N 12", 8-ohm, 28.6-oz ceramic magnet, 50-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil ceramic speaker is my personal favorite Jensen 12” speaker (both new reissue and original vintage)! In my opinion, the current vintage reissue C12N is the closest sounding Jensen speaker to true vintage Jensens (all Jensen Vintage Reissue speakers are not equally as accurate sounding, in my opinion). I have a 2x12 demo cabinet loaded with VRI C12N’s sitting next to a 2x12 cabinet loaded with original (NOT re-coned) vintage 1968 C12N’s and they sound very close. The VRI C12N’s are brighter and not quite as smooth sounding as the original C12N’s. The C12N provides the most emphasis on the midrange frequencies and has better dynamic response throughout all frequency ranges (compared to the C12R and C12Q versions). Ceramic speakers tend to be more dynamic at high volume and provide higher maximum volume per watt. The ceramics don't break up as early as the AlNiCo's, which gives you more clean headroom.

The Jensen VRI P12R is a 12", 8-Ohm, 7.1 oz AlNiCo magnet, 25-watt, 1" voice coil type speaker, with a good clean tone at lower volumes, with more emphasis on mids. It has a fairly early break-up point and provides a smooth distortion type tone at saturation, with punchy bass and hornlike highs. This is the classic speaker for sustained blues and rock solos.

The Weber 12A100 is a 12", 8 or 16-Ohm, 7oz AlNiCo plug magnet, 15-watt, 1" voice coil, straight cone type speaker, that provides a warm, crunchy tone, with early breakup, aggressive attack and compressed/fattened tones at high volumes. The 12A100 provides the classic AlNiCo vintage tone, very similar to the early-1950's Jensen P12R speaker ... a good bluesy sounding speaker at a reasonable price. Weber builds all speakers as special orders, so it would take about 7 to 10-business days to get this speaker in the shop.

The Tone Tubby Ceramic 12 is a 12", 55-oz ceramic magnet, 40-watts (tube amp), 8 or 16-ohm, H1E Hempcone (treated for extended highs) speaker that offers an amazing range of tone, in the guitar frequency range. More overall lows, mids and highs, with NO "cone cry" or "ice pick highs" … Classic ceramic magnet speaker clarity and definition, with later breakup and more clean headroom than its AlNiCo 12 counterpart. This amazing speaker provides a smooth and warm tone, with fat, silky and thick overdrive without any harsh high end. Compared to a Vintage 30, it has a tighter bottom end and sweeter, smoother top end. Ideal for both closed back or open back cabinets. If you haven’t heard a Tone Tubby yet, you should stop by my shop or find someone who has one and try it out!

The Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12 is a 12", 32-oz AlNiCo magnet, 30-watts (tube amp), 8 or 16-ohm, H1E Hempcone (treated for extended highs) speaker. Called "The most significant development in speaker design for decades", by David Wilson at ToneQuest Magazine. The Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12 offers an amazing range of tone, in the guitar frequency range. More overall lows, mids and highs, with NO "cone cry" or "ice pick highs". A smooth and warm tone, with a mid-range airiness and fat, silky and thick overdrive without any harsh high end and NO beyond-the-limits "farting out" that tends to plague other low-wattage AlNiCo speakers. If you’ve recently heard Carlos Santana, then you’ve heard four of these speakers in a 4x12 cabinet! In an open back cabinet, the TT AlNiCo 12 offers amazing mid-range airiness and projects THE most 3-dimensional sound, when compared to the other dozen speakers we have side-by-side in demo cabinets. This speaker likes to breath, I’d highly recommend placing them in an open back cabinet. Again, if you haven’t heard a Tone Tubby yet, you should stop by my shop or find someone who has one and try it out!

The Weber AlNiCo Blue Dog is a 12", 8-ohm, 40-oz AlNiCo magnet, 50-watt, 1-3/4" voice coil, ribbed cone speaker. It is a warm sounding speaker, with clear, well detailed tone, excellent mid-range punch, a sweet high end and is compressed at higher volumes. Voiced similar to the Celestion AlNiCo Blue, only with a fuller mid-range and sweeter top end (at least to my ears). This is an excellent speaker for a player who desires an AlNiCo punch, but later breakup, as this speaker typically has a later breakup point than the Weber 12Axxx series speakers. I’m currently running a 2x12 open back cabinet with a Weber AlNiCo Blue Dog and an AlNiCo Silver Bell, and it is my personal favorite extension cabinet! The AlNiCo Blue Dog just oozes a full, sweet mid-range and top end, while the AlNiCo Silver Bell fills in the bottom with big, bold and crystal clear low-E and A string notes!

If you like a chimy British tone, my personal favorite Celestion 12” speaker is the Celestion G12-M Greenback. The G12-M Greenback speaker is 12", 25-watt, 8 or 16-ohm speaker with a 35-oz Ceramic magnet, that is dynamic, articulate and provides a warm woody tone, yet retains the brightness and punch needed to cut through the mix. Ideally suited for blues-rock styles, with a real classic Celestion tone.

If you want a really loud and brighter speaker, you might consider the Celestion Vintage 30, 12", 50-oz ceramic magnet, 60-watt, 1-3/4" voice coil speaker. To my ears, the Vintage 30 is a bit brighter than the other speakers, much louder and very punchy. My personal tone tastes tend to run towards warmer sounding speaker and this one is a bit bright for me, but if you are looking for a bright, loud and articulate speaker, this is it! Put a pedal in front of this speaker and it handles huge amounts of overdrive with ease! I actually like this speaker with a pedal, typically I use a TS9 Tube Screamer, Big Muff or Marshall Guv'nor.

The Weber Ceramic California 12, is a 12", 60-oz ceramic magnet, 80-watt, 8-ohm, 2" voice coil, curved cone speaker. It is a very smooth, loud speaker, with a crisp, clean and uncolored tone and huge clean headroom. This speaker has the classic tone of the 1960's JBL D120F speaker. The ultimate clean speaker, which is excellent for jazz, country, rock or cleaner blues playing styles.
Good value priced speakers would include the Jensen Vintage Series C12R and C12Q.

The Jensen VRI C12R is a 12", 8-Ohm, 9.5 oz Ceramic magnet, 25-watt, 1" voice coil type speaker, that provides the classic 1960's Fender type tone. It has a bit more definition, articulation at volume and more clean headroom, than the P12R, which allows your tone to better cut through the other band members.

The Jensen VRI C12Q is a 12", 8-Ohm, 15 oz Ceramic magnet, 35-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil type speaker, that is voiced similar to the C12R, with better power handling capabilities and sensitivity.
I know this is a lot to digest, but when it comes to speakers and individual tone ... there is no such thing as "one size fits all"!

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Q: Can you recommend a good 15” speaker?

A: I stock Jensen Vintage Reissue (VRI) P15N, 15”, 29.1-oz AlNiCo magnet, 50-watt, 1-1/5” voice coil, Jensen VRI C15N, 15”, 28.6-oz ceramic magnet, 50-watt, 1-1/4” voice coil, and Jensen VRI C15K, 15", 51.2-oz ceramic magnet, 100-watt, 2” voice coil speakers. The C15N provides classic ceramic clarity and definition, while the C15K offers higher power handling capability and a bit bigger bottom end. The P15N offers the traditional Jensen AlNiCo punch and tone in a 15” speaker. I have all of these speakers in-stock and can ship immediately.

I also really like the 15" speakers from Weber VST. I would need to order these speakers, which would take approximately 7 to 10-business days to get them in my shop. Here are a couple of my favorites:

AlNiCo California 15, 15", 40-oz AlNiCo magnet, 60-Watt, 2" voice coil, paper or aluminum dome, curved cone. This speaker is loud, smooth, uncolored, compressed at higher volumes, and delivers 1960's JBL D130 type tone.

Ceramic California 15, 15", 60-oz Ceramic magnet, 80-Watt, 2" voice coil, paper or aluminum dome, curved cone. This speaker is loud, smooth, uncolored and delivers 1960's JBL D130 type tone with ceramic punch.

As an added note, the aluminum domes (dust caps) look pretty cool, but l personally like the tone of the paper domes better. The aluminum domes can be a bit "tinny" sounding to my ears. So, choose the one that best meets your tonal requirements.

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Q: Tell me about your speaker inventory selection?

A: I stock every model Jensen Vintage Reissue speakers (AlNiCo "P" series and Ceramic "C" series), every model Celestion Classic Series speakers, every model Tone Tubby speakers, numerous WeberVST speakers and a few select Mojo and Kendrick speakers. Due to my low overhead and high volume sales, I have the best prices anywhere!

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Q: What kind of wood should I use for a speaker cabinet?

A: Typically, vintage Fender amps are manufactured out of Pine, which is still a good choice. However, you want a high grade of Pine with little to no knots. The knots have a density that is different than the sheet wood and therefore, is not the best choice sonically. Additionally, these knots could work loose over time resulting in a rattle. I’ve also seen the sap, from a large knot, bleed through and stain a lighter color covering (like Blonde Tolex or Tweed).

C-select, D-select or sugar Pine is the best choice as it is a more consistent board. C-select is th higher grade board. D-select typically has a few small knots and would be the second choice. #2 Pine has the larger knots and would be the last choice.

That said, to keep costs down, Fender did use #2 Pine, because it was the lowest cost.
So, use the best Pine you can afford and seal any knots, by apply primer or wood filler to the knots, on the covering side of the board.

It is also helpful to inspect the boards yourself and pick out the best boards that are not cupped, warped or have a large crown (again, looking for the fewest/smallest knots).

Another good choice is Baltic Birch Plywood (BBP). BBP is manufactured with little to no voids, so it is high quality plywood. Lower quality plywood can be used, but these boards may have a lot of voids and/or may be poorly glued. Again, voids have a density different than the rest of the board, which is not sonically a good thing. Additionally, over time, the voids in the board may cause the plys to come loose and rattle … definitely NOT a good thing for an audio cabinet!

I like using BBP for the baffle in both BBP and Pine cabinets.

Sonically, a high density, high quality particleboard is also a good choice. The down side to particle board is it is much more prone to cracking or breaking, than either Pine or BBP, so it is more susceptible to damage as a result of being dropped or severely banged around during movement. If you are NOT going to be gigging with or moving the cabinet a lot, good quality particleboard should be fine.

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Q: How do I determine a speaker’s impedance or ohms rating and why do I care?

A: The short answer is, it is important to match the speaker's impedance (ohms) to your amp's Output Transformer. Therefore, if you are considering replacing a speaker, you need to ensure you purchase a speaker with the same impedance rating. The easiest way to verify your amp's impedance and speaker impedance (in ohms) is to check out the manual or spec sheet that came with the amp. If that isn't available, assuming your speaker is the factory original speaker and has not been been changed; you can verify the speaker's impedance by looking at it and see if it is marked. It might say "8-ohms" or just "8-". The omega "" symbol is used to designate ohms.

To accurately measure a speaker’s impedance, you need a fairly expensive piece of equipment called an Impedance Bridge. However, you can figure it out if you have a multi-meter. Place you meter’s selector switch to measure ohms and touch the two probes to the speaker terminal (+ and -). Your multi-meter should measure somewhere around 25% to 30% below the actual rating. For example, if the multi-meter measures around 5.6-ohms, the speaker is an 8-ohm. If the multi-meter measures around 12-ohms, the speaker is a 16-ohm.

If you still can't figure out the speaker's impedance rating, send me an email letting me know the type of speaker and amp it is installed in, and I can probably tell you or find out.

TO LEARN MORE - READ ON

The impedance of a speaker is the mathematical combination of reactance and resistance at a particular frequency. Ohms are the units of measure used for determining impedance rating. Most speakers today are rated at 4-ohms, 8-ohms or 16-ohms.

Every amp has a specified impedance rating (in Ohms), which is based on its Output Transformer (OT) impedance. Most amps have a single impedance rating. However, there are a few amps, with a multi-tap output transformer that has multiple impedance ratings (like most Marshall heads) that can be switched by a selectable impedance knob.

The reason it is important to understand this, is because you want to ensure that your speaker's impedance matches your amp's Output Transformer.

I wouldn't recommend a mismatch between your Output Transformer (OT) and the speaker load, as it could possibly damage your OT. In general it's good to match the amp's rating, so if your amp's OT has an 8-ohm output, then whatever speaker you plug into the amp should be 8-ohms. Keep in mind that a mismatch between the speaker impedance and the OT's tap WILL change the tone. Depending on the direction of the mismatch (either higher or lower), you either increase the stress on the tubes or lighten their load (if it is a tube amp and not solid state). For example, increasing the load, like a 16 ohm load (speaker) plugged into an 8 ohm tap (OT), gives a more compressed type of sound.

If you are going to mismatch, then it is usually safe going up or down one impedance step. For example, if you have an 8-ohm OT, it would be OK to plug into a 4-ohm speaker load (down one step) or into a 16-ohm speaker load (up one step).

With older vintage amps and/or old output transformers, you want to be careful miss-matching the impedance, because these older OT's may be less able to handle the miss-match. If you have a new amp, with a new, strong output transformer, you would most likely be okay with an impedance miss-match one step up or down. When in doubt, refer to your amp's owner's manual or contact the manufacturer.

Where is gets tricky, is if you have an amp with multiple speakers. Each speaker has its own individual impedance rating, BUT when wired together they aggregate to a different total impedance load, depending on if they are wired in parallel, series, or series-parallel. For example, two 8-ohm speakers wired in parallel provides a total 4-ohm load, the same two 8-ohm speakers wired in series provides a total 16-ohm load. Again, this total impedance load should match the amp's particular output transformer impedance. However, to get to that correct total impedance load, you need the correct impedance rated speakers and must ensure they are wired properly.

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Q: Should I match my amp’s impedance with the speakers?

A: I wouldn't recommend a mismatch between your output transformer (OT) and the speaker load, as it could possibly damage your OT. In general it's good to match the amp's rating, so if your amp's OT has a 4-ohm output, then whatever you plug into the amp should be 4-ohms. Keep in mind that a mismatch between the speaker impedance and the OT's tap WILL change the tone. Depending on the direction of the mismatch (either higher or lower), you either increase the stress on the tubes or lighten their load (assuming you have a tube amp). A mismatch is a bit more forgiving in a solid state amp. For example, increasing the load, like an 8 ohm load (speaker) plugged into a 4 ohm tap (OT), gives a more compressed type of sound.

If you are going to mismatch, then it is usually safe going up or down one impedance step. For example, if you have an 8-ohm OT, it would be OK to plug into a 4-ohm speaker load (down one step) or into a 16-ohm speaker load (up one step).

With older vintage amps and/or old output transformers, you want to be careful miss-matching the impedance, because these older OT's may be less able to handle the miss-match. If you have a new amp, with a new, strong output transformer, you would most likely be okay with an impedance miss-match one step up or down. When in doubt, refer to your amp's owner's manual or contact the manufacturer.

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Q: What are the wiring options for 16-ohm speakers?

A: For qty-4 16-Ohm speakers, you have two options: (1) in Parallel for a 4-Ohm total load or (2) in Series-Parallel for a 16-Ohm total load.

If you were running only qty-2 16-ohm speakers, you really only have one usable option: which would be in Parallel for an 8-ohm total load. Series wiring would be 32-ohms, which is typically not usable in guitar amplifiers.

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Q: What are the wiring options and impedance loads for two speakers?

A: Series (+ to – between the speakers) or parallel (+ to + between the speakers). Examples shown below.


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Q: What are the wiring options and impedance loads for four speakers?

A: Series (+ to – between the speakers), parallel (+ to + between the speakers) or series-parallel (two pairs in parallel wired together in series). Examples shown below.




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Q: Where are the current Celestion speakers manufactured (England or China)?

A: CELESTION COMMENTS ON COUNTRY OF ORIGIN FOR MANUFACTURING

Celestion has been manufacturing products in the UK since 1924. Nearly 10 years ago, Gold Peak, a Hong Kong based company, purchased Celestion and Kef in the UK. Gold Peak is a large manufacturer in the Far East and builds for JBL, Fender, QSC, Samson, and many others.

Their factories are first rate and in fact, do not offer the typical low cost manufacturing for which China is known.

In the last few years, Celestion determined they would need to relocate from their site in Ipswich as the factory was very old, run down, and inefficient. Looking in the UK, Europe, and the Far East, it was evident that using the existing company facilities in China was the best alternative to keep up with record demand levels and continue to match performance. Earlier in 2003, Celestion began moving most production to China. The products still manufactured in the UK, in a brand new facility, include the AlNiCo Blue & Gold, G12M & G12H Heritage, and all Neo Products, including Century/Century Vintage/ BL Neo. Celestion doesn’t manufacture piece parts in this factory, so the paper cone assemblies could very well still be sourced from the original supplier in the UK. That is simply a supply chain decision. The early boxes coming out of China were not always marked with the county of origin, current production boxes should be clearly marked now as to country of origin.

In November 2003, Celestion flew the editors from most of the major Guitar and Music Trade publications to the UK to outline their manufacturing strategy and give them a preview of the new Celestion speakers. We should start seeing the articles in print by January 2004.

Celestions’s experience with the actual performance of the Far East product has been excellent. In fact, they’ve reported a more consistent result driver to driver across production runs. Their “blind tests”, with all of their major OEM customers have been successful, and Celestion’s business continues to grow at record levels. It's important to consider that Celestion did NOT go to an outside contract manufacturing company for production (like some other speaker manufacturers) – they used an existing company owned facility in China that had been making the Truvox range of lower cost guitar speakers for years.


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Q: Tell me about the new Celestion G10 Vintage?

A: At the Anaheim NAMM show, in January 2004, Celestion announced the release of a new 10” speakers, the G10 Vintage. The new G10 Vintage, 10”, 31-oz ceramic magnet, 60-watt, 1-3/4” voice coil speaker is the successor to the original Vintage 10. It provides a myriad of clean tones, with a big bottom end, full mids, extremely articulate top end and classic Celestion growl when pushed. The new G10 is voiced with a bit more emphasis on the top end than the original Vintage 10. In my opinion, this is the best high-powered 10” speaker around.
This new Celestion 10” speakers began shipping in July 2004. I already have one loaded into a demo cabinet.

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Q: What is the warranty policy for new Celestion speakers?

A: 5-Year manufacturers warranty in the USA – for All moving parts. NOTE: Units that have been mechanically altered or modified or shows signs of excessive power, distortion or abuse (i.e., burnt, bent, or separated voice coils); torn or punctured cones, spiders, and surrounds; or any other signs of misuse or neglect are not covered under warranty.
However, there are some international limitations. If there is no "authorized" Celestion warranty repair center in a specific country, they do not offer the warranty in that country. Check the Celestion website for the most current information on warranty policies.

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Q: Tell me about the C12N and how they compare to other Jensens & Celestions?

A: Realize that tone is in the ears of the beholder. But, here are my thoughts on the Jensen Vintage Reissue (VRI) C12N.

The C12N ceramic speakers are my personal favorite Jensen speaker (both new reissue and original vintage)! In my opinion, the current vintage reissue C12N is the closest sounding speaker to true vintage Jensens. The C12N provides the most emphasis on the midrange frequencies and has better dynamic response throughout all frequency ranges (compared to the C12R and C12Q versions). Typically, ceramic speakers tend to be more dynamic at high volume and provide higher maximum volume per watt, than their AlNiCo speaker counterparts. The ceramics don't break up as early as the AlNiCo's (e.g. that "bluesy" tone), so I use a TS9DX Tube Screamer pedal when I want a more colored or bluesy tone. With the ceramics and a good pedal, you can get the best of both tones … more clean headroom when you need it, and colored tone with the pedal!

Regarding comparison to the Celestions, they are differently voiced speakers. In simplest terms, the Jensen VRI C12N will provide more of a vintage Fender amp sound. While the Celestions will offer more of a chimy British rock sound.

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Q: What is the difference between a Vintage 30 and P12N?

A: To my ears, the Celestion Vintage 30 has more of a brighter, British rock type tone to it. It is a very loud speaker, that is also very good at producing 1970's rock type tones and is excellent with high gain amps.

Whereas the Jensen Vintage Reissue (VRI) P12N is warmer, more "creamier" sounding, has earlier breakup, more compression at high volume and provides a smooth distortion type tone at saturation. The P12N also provides a flatter frequency response, more bottom end and is generally the fullest sounding speaker in the P12x series, e.g. compared to it's lower wattage/smaller magnet P12R and P12Q counterparts.

I associate the P12N with more of a classic "Fender" tone, if that is what you want, you'll like it. If you like the classic Vintage 30 British tone, you might not like the P12N's

Another good speaker to consider, If you like a chimy British tone, and my personal favorite Celestion speaker is the G12-M Greenback. The G12-M Greenback speaker is 12", 25-watt, 8-ohm speaker with a 35-oz Ceramic magnet, that is dynamic, articulate and provides a warm woody tone, yet retains the brightness and punch needed to cut through the mix. Ideally suited for blues-rock styles, with a real classic Celestion tone.

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Q: What 12” & 8” speakers would you recommend for Harp?

A: The best harp speakers I’ve found so far are the WeberVST 12F150-H and 8F125-H speakers. These are standard Weber speakers with the addition of the larger "H" dust cap, voiced for harp. The 12F150-H is a 12", 8-ohm, 40-oz ceramic magnet, 25 or 50-watt, 1-1/2" voice coil speaker, with the larger “H” dust cap optimized for Harp. This speaker provides a tight low end, strong punch and excellent dynamics.

The Weber 8F125-H, 8", 8-ohm, 30-oz ceramic magnet, 20-watt, 1-1/4" voice coil speaker, with the larger “H” dust cap optimized for Harp. The 8F125-H is loud, punchy and is a more aggressive sounding 8" speaker.

These speakers would be special orders and would take approximately 7 to 10-business days to get into the shop.

Another lower cost solution would be the Jensen VRI C12N 12", 8-ohm, 28.6-oz ceramic magnet, 50-watt, 1-1/2" voice coil speaker is one of my favorite Jensen speakers. It provides excellent dynamic response, sweet midrange and good punch (though, to my ears, not quite as full or warm sounding as the Weber). The Jensen VRI C8R 8", 9.9-oz ceramic magnet, 25-watt, 1" voice coil speaker would be a good match to the C12N, though it is not as strong a sounding speaker as the Weber 8F125. The C12N and C8R are always in stock and ready for immediate shipment. Weber 8F125. The C12N and C8R are always in stock and ready for immediate shipment.

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Q: What is the Tone Tubby "EC”(Eric Clapton) voice coil?

A: Here's the scoop on the Clapton voice coil.

In about 2002, Dennis Cornell (the designer and maker of Eric Clapton's Cornel amp) contacted Tone Tubby and said that EC loves their AlNiCo 12” speaker, but would like a little more low volume response from the speaker. So, the TT designers, worked with Cornell and their voice coil supplier to develop a new lighter weight, special coil. This new coil, referred to as the "EC” (for Eric Clapton) coil, is an "Edgewound” coil which goes through a special ionization and winding process that produces a coil that is 1/3 lighter than the original. This lighter weight coil provides better low volume response, which perfectly met with EC's approval. Since approximately August of 2003, all newly manufactured Tubby speakers have shipped with the new "EC” coil.

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Q: What does "doping” a speaker mean?

A: Doping refers to the application of a material, to the speaker's surround, which seals the surround and suppresses the surround resonance.

Doping reduces the character and texture of a speaker's tone and increases the break in time on most speakers. However, doping will eliminate or reduce cone cry (shrill sound when the speaker is pushed hard) and ghost notes. Some players also believe that doping will extend the life of a speaker.

Since the doping reduces the texture and complexity of the sound from the speaker, many guitar players prefer un-doped cones. Most speakers don't require doping for most applications and I myself prefer my speakers un-doped, as I prefer the natural sound of the speaker.

That said, there are valid applications for doping, such as when you have a specific problem to resolve (like excessive cone cry).

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Q: Can you compare the Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12, Weber Blue Dog and Celestoin Blue Speakers?

A: First, I'm an authorized Tone Tubby, Weber and Celestion dealer; I stock all these speakers and therefore, can sell you any of these speakers. So, my comments are based on extensive testing and my own ears and not by which speaker I want to sell ... I sell them all.

I have all three of these speakers loaded side-by-side in the exact same type cabinet and have extensively compared and tested them all.

First the Tone Tubby. To my ears, the Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12” H1E Hempcone speaker is one of the few speakers on the market today that is rich and full sounding across the entire guitar frequency range. Full rich bottom, mid-range and top end frequency response. It is a warm, sweet, and rounder sounding speaker that you can push without the flabbiness of some other AlNICo speakers. It is also THE most 3-dimensional sounding speaker in the shop! I do ONLY recommend the Tone Tubby AlNICo 12 in an open back cabinet, as it likes to breath. A closed back cabinet just stifles this speaker. I'm personally running a 2x12” Tone Tubby cabinet, this is my "warm, sweet, bluesy” sounding cabinet. If you have heard Eric Clapton (2x12 AlNICo 12” open back Cornell amp) or Carlos Santana (4x12 AlNiCo 12”open back cab), then you have heard the sweet sound of the Tone Tubby AlNiCo12”!

The Weber AlNiCo Blue Dog is Weber's re-production of a Celestion Blue (AlNICo). Voiced similar to the Celestion Blue, only with a fuller mid-range and sweeter top end (at least to my ears) vs. the Celestion Blue's "chimy” British rock sounding top end. This is an excellent speaker for a player who desires an AlNiCo punch and sparkle, but a bit later breakup, as this speaker typically has a slightly later breakup point than the Weber 12Axxx series speakers. Weber also offers an AlNICo Silver Bell, which is voiced very similar, only with more emphasis on the bottom end. I'm currently running a 2x12 open back cabinet with a Weber AlNiCo Blue Dog and an AlNiCo Silver Bell, and it is one of my two personal favorite speaker cabinets (the 2x12” Tone Tubby being the other)! This is my "chimy”, British Rock and Rock-A-Billy sounding cabinet. The AlNiCo Blue Dog just oozes a full, sweet mid-range and top end with sparkle, while the AlNiCo Silver Bell fills in the bottom with big, bold and crystal clear low-E and A string notes with absolutely no buzzing or mud at all!

The Celestion Blue provides THE classic chimy British sound. But to my ears, has less mid- range and bottom end than either the Tone Tubby or AlNiCo Blue Dog. If you are looking for THE classic "chimy” British sound (think vintage Vox), then this speaker should definitely be your number one choice!

Compared together, The Tone Tubby AlNICo 12 has a much bigger bottom end than either the Blue Dog or Celestion Blue and a bigger mid-range than the Celestion Blue. The Tone Tubby AlNICo 12 is also louder at lower volume levels than the Celestion Blue (it is a more efficient speaker). The Tone Tubby AlNiCo 12 has the warmest, smoothest tone out of the three. The Blue Dog has more of a mid-range sparkle than the Tone Tubby, but a sweeter sound than the Celestion Blue.

Bottom line. For a chimy British sound, go with the Celestion Blue (AlNICo). For a bit sweeter sound and more sparkle, go with the Weber AlNiCo Blue. For the biggest sound period, more bottom end and a warmer, sweeter tone with less sparkle, go with the Tone Tubby AlNICo 12.

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Q: A few thoughts about output transformer impedance and speaker wiring choices?

A: Here are a couple of thoughts.

First, your output transformer (OT). If you have what is referred to as a "multi-tap” OT, this means you have a single output transformer that is "tapped” at various points within the coil winding to provide the three impedances, 4-ohm, 8-ohm and 16-ohm. The impedance which uses the full winding of the coil is considered to be the "best sounding” by many players. In most cases, that would be the 16-ohm tap, because it uses the full winding of the coil, has the winding with the lowest turns ratio and is subject to the least amount of coupling loss. The tone difference is not huge, some players say they can hear the difference between the different taps and some say they cannot. Let your ears be your guide, you are the best judge of sound for your own amp and setup.

Second, the speaker wiring options. For two 12” speakers, you can wire them either in parallel or in series. The difference in sound of the two possible wiring schemes is related to inductance. The parallel wiring scheme would provide the least inductance and therefore would have a bit more high-end sparkle. The series wiring scheme would provide a higher inductance and therefore, would be slightly more inhibitive to high end frequency response. It is important to note, that we are talking about minor tone changes here, that are not dramatic differences. Again, let your ears be your guide.

As a side note, it is interesting to note that historically Fender wired his amps in parallel to get the cleanest, crispest sound. While most British companies, like Vox and Marshall, wired their amps/cabinets in series or series-parallel (4-speaker configurations) to get a slightly less clean sound and a bit more "grind”.

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Q: How do you install a new speaker?

A: Here's the process.

  1. You may need to remove the rear panel(s) from the back of the amp, in order to gain access to the speaker. Typically, a "Philips-head” screwdriver is all you'll need.
  2. Next, make a note of the current wiring configuration. Mark the wire that is connected to the positive terminal of the existing speaker with a "+” sign and mark the wire that is connected to the negative terminal of the existing speaker with a "-” sign and make a sketch of how the wires are connected to the speaker(s). Also, take note of how the speaker(s) are oriented inside the amp, especially the location of the speaker connection terminals (e.g. where the speaker wires connect into the speaker). If this speaker is going into a single speaker amp, then this isn't critical. However, if this speaker is going into a multiple speaker cabinet, say a 2 x 12” speaker configuration, then this step is CRITICAL and you must ensure the new speakers get wired EXACTLY as the old ones (assuming the old speakers were wired correctly).
  3. If the speaker wires are connected with clips, carefully un-clip the two wires and set them aside. If the wires are soldered, you will need to use a soldering iron to remove the wires. IMPORTANT: place an old rag or similar piece of material below the terminals, to prohibit any melted solder from falling down into the speaker.
  4. Remove the mounting screws/nuts that are securing the speaker to the baffle board. Most amps use either four or eight nuts on a threaded post or screws to secure the speaker.
  5. Carefully lift out the existing speaker, ensuring that it doesn't hit against any tubes or other fragile parts inside the amps.
  6. Remove the new speaker from the box.
  7. CAREFULLY install the new speaker inside the amp, in the same orientation as the original speaker. Note, you want the speaker connection terminals to end up in the same location. IMPORTANT: use caution to ensure that nothing pokes into the speaker cone during installation, as cones are fragile and can be easily damaged. Note that the magnet is very strong, so as you are installing the speaker, the magnet may be attracted to a close metal object (like the chassis) and if you aren't prepared for it, the speaker may be "jerked” rapidly from your hand resulting in damage.
  8. Reinstall the four or eight mounting screws/nuts and finger tighten only. Then using a wrench, tighten the screws/nuts in a "star” pattern, similar to tightening the lug nuts on the wheel of a car. Make a first pass with the wrench and tighten each screw/nut 1 full turn (in a "star” pattern). Then make a final pass, tightening each screw/nut an additional half turn (again, in a star pattern). This process will seat the speaker evenly and will ensure that it isn't over tightened. NOTE: THE most common speaker installation damage that I see is due to over-tightening. You can always come back later and tighten the speaker further, but you can't undo a warped frame or damaged gasket if the speaker is over-tightened.
  9. Re-connect the speaker wires, exactly as they were connected to the original speaker(s). If soldered, re-solder the wires. Again, place a rag or similar piece of material below the terminals to prohibit melted solder from falling down into the speaker.
  10. Replace the rear panel(s).
  11. After playing the amp for a week or two, re-check the speaker mounting screws and re-tighten as needed. Usually another 1/2 turn will do it.
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Q: Have you compared the standard G12M & G12H to the G12M & G12H Heritage speakers?

A: Four local players and myself spent a Saturday testing and comparing the new Heritage speakers to their standard English and Chinese counterparts, as well as to a couple of original 1960's G12M's.

We A/B compared the Heritage speakers to the modern versions (loaded into the exact same cabinets), as well as compared the G12M Heritage's to the 1960's versions in a 1960's Marshall Bluesbreaker. Unfortunately, we did not have access to any original 1960's G12H speakers for our comparison. The overall consensus was, the Heritage speakers tended to be more aggressive sounding, were more articulate, had a bit more bright edge (high frequency response), were more driven sounding and had a granier more "vintage Marshall/Vox” kind of breakup, than the standard model G12M Greenback and G12H. On the other hand, the standard model G12M Greenback and G12H (BOTH the "Made in England” and "Made in China” versions) had a smoother sound, smoother breakup, and were less aggressive sounding.

Bottom line, if you are looking to just nail a "raw” Jimi Hendrix or 1960's Marshal sound, it doesn't get any better than the Heritage speakers. However, if you prefer a more modern sound, smoother and more "hi-fi” sounding, then the standard versions may be a better fit.

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