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Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by bigcountry, Apr 20, 2019.
Ohh! Thanks for posting that, great to know. There may be one in my future now!
Seriously? I completely agree with you, I have some 90's v30s and a UK Made new greenback, and they sound nothing alike to my ears.
V30 was never called a high wattage Greenback. V30 is a modernized high wattage Alnico Blue.
Believe it or not, back in the day, Celestion marketed the G12T-75 as a "high power Greenback" Which again...it is not.
I had seen the V30 described this way many times. Not sure by who.
I've never tried the blue, so I don't know how close they are, but that is how they are marketed for sure.
I too have seen both the video by Celestion, and a post at TGP by the Celestion guy (Rick maybe???) who said the V30 was initially designed to be a ceramic magnet, higher power handling version of the Alnico Blue. They even had a demo somewhere showing how closely they were voiced. Obviously, the V30 has a lot more bottom and tighter bottom, and the alnico is smoother sounding, but the frequency response from mids through highs was very similar.
Well, I've been through quite a few cabs/speakers (IR/simulated) in the Two Notes library, with the MT15. As one might expect, many cabinets with the same speakers sound somewhat different, probably in part because of their dimensions and specifics of their construction, and then also peculiarities of how the IR's were captured. That being said, there is a large variety of V30 loaded cabs, and for the most part I found them to fall in two categories - Mesa cabs with UK V30's, and other cabs with Chinese V30's, and the tonal difference is very pronounced. Many of the cabs with the Mesa V30's have some massive midrange honk that sometimes can't be dialed out, as the OP stated regarding his Mesa 2x12. With the Chinese V30's, totally different story, they have a frequency spike that very much emphasizes treble-y "crunch" and big bass, but very little actual midrange. The more I play with my own V30's (actual, physical speakers), which are Chinese, and now listen to these IR's, I can definitely hear how my actual speakers line up with the Chinese IR variants. I've been struggling for a while because I just haven't been able to perfectly dial in V30's with the MT15, and I'm thinking to myself "hmm, after all the things I've heard, is this really all the midrange a V30 has?" and I'm starting to think the modern Chinese ones do not in fact have much midrange at all, which explains why, at times, I've gotten dominated by the midrange from the amp of the other guitarist in my band. The Chinese versions have a ton of low and high and a fairly scooped midrange, IMO. Not as much as a G12T-75, but getting there. So I would say the Mesa cabs sound better, at least with the MT15, because at least they have some mids, but it can be very difficult to dial that big honk out. I wonder what cabs and speakers MT himself used to nail down the amp voicing, I know he's a big Mesa fan and I wouldn't be surprised if that's what he used. I won't say the Chinese V30's are necessarily bad, as they sound fantastic with my Custom 50 and obviously I've heard them sound good with other amps too, but I'm starting to question their legendary status as being able to cut through any mix and be an almost universal good match, unless we're talking a Mesa cab. There is one outlier, a Marshall Jubilee cab, which although not being as rich or honky in the mids as the Mesas, doesn't sound as brash either, but it is described as having a UK made V30 as well, perhaps different from the Mesa variant?
On the list of things that didn't do it for me, G12K100, G12T75, Lead 80, and anything Greenback.
There are a couple cabs with G12 H 75-watt Creambacks, and those sounded fair, not perfect but I would say a better match for the MT15. Broader and more adjustable midrange - it came out with higher settings on the amp, but could also be dialed out. Tighter bass. More top end bite too, sometimes difficult to get it to smooth out. A very good speaker for punchy, articulate rhythm sounds, but perhaps not the best for leads, as they can be shrill.
The next one up the ladder, which is somewhat of an oddball, are some Fryette cabs with "P50E" speakers, made by Eminence. These speakers sound, to me, most similar to the OEM Emi drivers in my PRS SE cab - broader mids like the Creambacks, very punchy and controllable bass, and moderate top end bite without being piercing, somewhere between the V30 and Creamback. I believe the P50E's can be purchased direct from Fryette, might be worth looking into as they're probably the best bang for the buck of what I've liked so far, although apparently part of their mojo is being front mounted in all the Fryette cabs that are simulated in the Two Notes library.
Another speaker that landed very high on the list was, believe it or not, the Alnico Cream. Not a cheap speaker, and despite the reputation of Alnico for being a vintage voice, it still took a heavy rock tone quite well. Still had a hint of the alnico mid grind thing going on, but it fit well, and overall a very balanced sound. It was almost like many of the other speakers I've tested were trying to be this speaker, but they fell short and ended up getting weird spikes and hollow spots in their frequency response.
It really is a lot of fun playing with all these cabinets. For those looking for good speakers for the MT15, there are a few options - of course, take with a grain of salt, because I'm just using IR's here. Personally, I would steer clear of the Chinese V30's, the mid cut just isn't there. The Mesa/UK are better, if you want that prominent mid tone to do a lot of talking. Better yet may be a V30/G12H 75 watt Creamback combination (or Emi Governor/Wizard if you want to save a few bucks), those are fairly commonly combined speakers and I think they would compliment each other nicely, each filling in where the other is a little short. Personally, I don't like to mix speakers, because if I'm playing a gig, I don't want to have blend two speaker mics, and even worse if I'm at a show where the house is running sound, I can bet they aren't gonna put more than one mic on my cab, which will result in a very skewed tone. I may try the P50E's in my cab next, and just see how it goes with the rear mounting, or perhaps a pair of Wizards.
Thanks for all the replies and insight everyone. While I liked the heck out of the MT15, it is now on the chopping block as a deal came up on the Archon 50 head I couldn’t pass up. So now I’ll be hunting a cab to pair with the Archon
Mesa vertical 2x12
My 1x12 open-back combo had a V30 in it, and was recently upgraded to a Celestion G12 Neodymium Creamback. YT has a few examples of this speaker with open-back and closed-back....
Please do, Andy. The CAB-M is on my radar screen for a potential future purchase. Video would be outstanding...
Mesa Recto 2x12: https://mesaboogie.com/cabinets--si...r-series/2x12-recto-horizontal.html?locale=en
Very directional, but good tight low end. Caveat: Mine is from the 90s - could have changed.
Sounds great with the Archon. I’ll vouch. I like the Mesa Thiele with Emi EM12 even better and it’s MUCH smaller.
If you are looking for small and brutal, then something with an EVM 12L is the ticket.
On the V30s....
The only time I have ever liked V30s was when they had A LOT of hours on them. I mean years of being flogged regularly and hard. They start to sound great after a while - I also think this is where the whole UK vs MIC thing comes from, people want to hear the place of origin in there, but I think they're just hearing speakers with varying levels of use. The best V30s I ever heard were early 2000s chinese that had been very well used. Though other models sound better on their own, if you're playing with others especially drums, bass, another guitar etc, nothing is as easy to hear as a v30, keep that in mind.
I was actually looking to replace some v30s recently, and two speakers that kept popping up were the creamback models and the g12h anniversary speaker.
Outside of celestion I have had great luck with Jensens, they're a lot cheaper and the british voiced stuff sounds pretty good. They're nowhere near as loud as celestions though.
IMO the t75 can sound a lot more like a greenback than a v30, for whatever that's worth
OP should check out the youtube channel by Johan Segeborn. You will come to see the word 'greenback' doesn't actually mean much, they all sound quite different and the reissues are like a different speaker altogether
I used to think that the concept of guitar speaker aging was garbage, but now I have become quite sensitive to it with V30. To my ears it doesn't take a ton of time, just a few loud rehearsals, but there seems to be a moment where the speaker changes substantially. I have, with multiple speakers now, noticed from one session to the next a huge change in tone that remains constant after that.
I think breaking in speakers has a significant impact on tone with "most" speakers, and sometimes is a huge hassle. Example, back when I was rocking all 5-15 watt amps, I had 3 greenbacks that were only rated for 25 watts,but I could never get the brittle character out of them and ended up selling them all. I KNOW that eventually they would have sounded great, but with lower powered amps, I couldn't seem to push them hard enough and long enough to get rid of that crispy sound. With 25 watt speakers you can't just pound them with bigger amps either, making it more of a hassle.
And the old V30 spike... I sometimes wonder if you can EVER break in a 2x12 V30 cab if you don't regularly play in a big room. I'm still convinced that my Mesa 2x12 Recto speakers aren't fully broken in and those are better than regular V30s! I actually started looking into alternatives. I liked my Private Jack better than any of the three versions of greenback I had. I liked my Governor better than the v30s I had (at that time). I now have a Warehouse ET65 that I really like, but haven't tried one of thier V30 types yet.
And I still haven't tried the ones that are probably the best... Scumbacks.
All that said, and I know I've said this before, new speaker breakin is so important IMHO, that if I sold amps and cabs, I'd break the speakers in at the factory just so someone could hear what my amps really sounded like when they demo'd them. I can't tell you how many amps I've played at stores that didn't impress me, and several I've later owned and really loved them once played on broken in speakers.
Anyone use a Mojotone cab? They make a 112 called the beefy that you can get with the EMI Legend EM12 for a very nice price...
I have 2 4x12s 2 2x12s and had a 1x12. I tried different speakers in the 1x12 and found it to be only useful playing by myself at home.
For me even a 2x12 is a big compromise. I had a gig this weekend and brought my new Mesa 2x12 which is a beast of a cab. I regretted not bringing my 4x12 for its fuller tone. I know I am the exception here but I really feel strongly about it. The 412 takes up the same room in my suv and floor space at the gig. Maybe if it were used vertically it would take up less floor space but then I would loose low end...
Just because we're talking about it... this is a clip I just tracked with the "old" version PRS SE 2x12 and the MT15. That cab has a midrange that matches the MT15 perfectly, can be bold, but also has enough top bite to keep it from being honky. And I'm sure with a little looking they can be had for dirt cheap.