Scumbag Speaker Fest clips (Scumbacks, Celestions, Alien)

That elusive piece of the overall equation, so many options and so little time to test them all — Celestion, Fane, Eminence, Jensen, JbL, Utah, Ceramic, Alnico, 1x12, 2x12, 4x12, 2x10, 4x10, 1x15, 2x15, 4x15, 1x18 and I'm sure there are even more!

Postby 502_6speed on Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:05 am

Which recording was the 20 watt Clestions. Great job recording and taking the time to share.

Thanks, Jody
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Postby ECC83S on Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:20 am

I'm blown away. The Private Jack #9 was my favorite! It had a smooth, thick break-up, with barely any high-mid/Vintage30 spike at all. The high end was smooth, but still gritty. IMO, it sounded the most "Pre-Rola"/Green-like of all the speakers, thanks to the in-your-face low-mid range and recessed high-mids. I don't know if it was the mic placement, or the 22 hour break-in, but it sounded like the best vintage AlNiCo Blue I've ever heard! Are you sure that wasn't the Red Fang? ;) I'll be glad to take it off your hands. :D

Considering the Scumback SA12-LHDC #4 was a clone and slightly gritty, it still sounded thicker in the low-mids, than the Pre-Rola G12H 75 & 55 (11 and 6). Great break-up too!

The Pre-Rola G12H 75 #11 took third. Very smooth and warm. Super break-up.

I should add, the Scumbacks sounded warmer/smoother than the Heritage series. And the Heritage models still sounded great with low gain.

Did anyone else like the Private Jack? :oops:

I would've liked the amp settings and mic placement to be the same on all speakers, to get a level playing field. Other than that, MANY thanks for the great tones, time and effort!

Now I'm waiting for the big AlNiCo shootout! :mrgreen:
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Postby power lover on Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:09 am

i resepect those who critique this test and desire not to be a schmuck who is taken in by every new boutiquer claiming they make a PAF or a Greenback. but this test is a good way to hear differences in speakers. the amp was lame for sure. if that's a plexi in action, somehting's wrong. but i'll bet the Weber designed scumback's are great speakers. i had ted re-cone two for me to pre-rola specs a couple years ago and they are sweet versions of the greenback tone. same goes for the alien's. i have had re-issue greenbacks that sounded like mosquitos in heat, and also had one which was ten years old that was much better, but still not what you will get with a ted weber or alien. i say if you know what sound you like and need some speakers, you can't go wrong by buying one of these new offerings. this test let's you decide if you like 55hz vs. 75 hz, H's vs.M's and that's enough to have made it worthwhile for those who need that kind of clarification to get them on the right path and achieving their tone-goals.
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Postby EasyRider on Thu Jun 16, 2005 5:14 am

The point of this test is simple. Sell speakers! A great sales job separates the "target audience" from their dollars and it's usually done with a significant "wow factor." Not the "yea whatever effect" otherwise know as apathy, this test produced for me. It's lackluster at best. There's no excitement, just uneventful "snapshots" of sounds that are far too short and don't generate excitement. There should really be some "impact" behind these things in a test. Imagine trying to show the merits of a 200 mph sports car in a school zone! That's what this is like to me. Would you buy a gaggle of Marshalls that you had only heard on "2?" Think about it. If you wanted a 100 watt Plexi and Ralle500 had 50 identical to his own to sell, I am confident that myself and others would speak for those 50 in a flash based on his clips! The excitement makes it impossible to resist for many! He also showed that if you have a great amp, simple resissue 25 watt Celestions (junk by the standards of many), can dish out some goodness. Scumbag speakers and the rest of the "clones" are not the Celestion sound I know after years of doing this. It's something else. The test is just a way of seeming like the worlds greatest expert and helper while the simple fact is............it's nothing more than selling speakers. That's all. To me, if I'm serious about a Marshall based rock tone, I want CELESTIONS and NOT something LIKE them. It's like guys buying a Pecemaker saying it's "like a Marshall." It's NOT. It is it's own thing and great for that indeed in the case of that amp. If you want a Marshall tone.......buy a Marshall. If you want the blatant classic rock Marshall tone, do what you must to find good Celestions and leave it at that. You'll sleep better knowing that you got yourself the real deal. At any rate, I would have made the differences loud, proud and exciting. The listener should be so engaged that not only does he want to listen over and over, but plunk down his dollars too. That did not happen here for me.
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Postby hans-jürgen on Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:18 pm

Scumbag, how long do you plan to host the files? I'm mainly interested in the Les Paul clips and haven't downloaded all of them yet... And thanks for your efforts, room miking or not. ;)
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Postby Swarty on Thu Jun 16, 2005 1:43 pm

I liked 7, 12, 13. As I suspected 12 & 13 were the same speaker with a Strat and Les Paul respectively, this speaker would be numero uno IMO.
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Postby power lover on Thu Jun 16, 2005 3:38 pm

sd-man, you don't know what a speaker sounds like until you hear it in person. listen to the clips, there are pre-rola celestions there. how can you praise old celestions on one hand and dismiss clones on the other when even the 'true' celestions didn't shine on these clips. imho you're limiting yourself and your speaker choices. i've heard them in person, they sound like old greenbacks but with more punch, life, and treble. much like an old celestion would have sounded like when clapton and hendrix first popped them in their cab. ralle's clips rock because of his load setup, amp, and right hand. put 90% of the speakers from this test in his cab and it will still rock, probably more so. this is so obvious to me it's hardly worth debating. it's more a question of which variety of celestion to choose, not whether they sound like a celestion.
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Postby hans-jürgen on Thu Jun 16, 2005 4:11 pm

scumbag wrote:Now might be a good time to check my bandwidth, I guess. Download them as soon as you can, just in case, OK? Thanks!

OK, I just got all of the Les Paul/Marshall files (so no blind test for me anymore... ;) ) which I'm most interested in. To summarize my questions about the changes done during the tests:
* the amp tone controls were set individually for each speaker (but not the mixing console)?
* the mic placement as well?
* the tone and volume knobs on the Les Pauls were fully open, i.e. to 10 on each sample?
* what about ohm values, were these all 16 or 8 ohm speakers or did they vary, and was the Marshall output transformer set accordingly then or not?

It seems that alot of people were pretty interested in these files. That's roughly 400 different people downloading the test files per day. I've gotten about 3-4 people who say the tests didn't do it for them in that time. 4 out of 1600, I can live with that.

My interest is to compare them with my own Celestions (2 G12H30 pre-Rola from 1969, 2 G12M25 from ~1971, 2 G12H30 from ~1976/77), so thanks again!
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Postby bmf5150 on Thu Jun 16, 2005 6:29 pm

Hey scumbag..cool test,you just helped alot of people out..i talked to jim from alien speakers and he told me to thank you for including his speakers.give him a call im sure he would let you make clips of his new 014 speaker.in my opinion his speakers sounded a little more middy than than the other speakers.your clones sounded a little warmer or darker than the the original.Is that an accurate assessment in the room playing through them?
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Postby EasyRider on Thu Jun 16, 2005 7:54 pm

Ok, so if I'm wrong in being critical of this test, why not do another test, properly where the following take place:

1. A great amp is used. If that was an old Marshall, something is wrong

2. The clips REALLY show a range of clean to scream scenarios on the
volume knob of the guitar so you can see the how the speaker
"changes color" under different conditions of overdrive.

3. Make the clips LOOOONGER.

4. Make the clips exciting to a greater or lesser extent by having
"familiar" material played.

I have plenty of thoughts about it, but these are just a couple of points that I thought fell short on this test.

If another test were done like this, I'll bet people would compare the two and much prefer the newer version.
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