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 Matt3 on Tue Jun 14, 2005 2:32 pm

Thanks for reposting this. When I saw the most recent threads got deleted with the changeover I immediately thought; "Oh noooo, one the most anticipated threads got deleted!".

Quick question (I should have mentioned this before the test): Is the location of the mic in front of each cabinet completely, totally fixed from test to test i.e. did the cabinet and mic remain fixed while someone went behind the cab and swapped speakers? It seems mic placement makes a big difference and even small adjustments can make a noticable difference. But I don't record that much so maybe it doesn't make as much of a difference as I think.
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Postby lounge on Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:00 pm

Sorry brother but you don't have a complete or fair test without some Celestion Blues. NO SPEAKER breaks up with the warmth & thickness of those nothing even comes close :cry: :!: And yes you can fire up Marshalls through them i've been doing it everyday for years.
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Postby Matt3 on Tue Jun 14, 2005 5:16 pm

Thanks SB.
It's output was so low, that I'm almost thinking it was defective.

That's exactly what I was thinking as I read your post. Then again, I have an Eminence V12 (it was touted as a Eminence V30 clone but not even close) and "double wet blanket mud" describes it pretty accurately.

I'll give 'em a good listen tonight where I can access a decent computer sound system. Of course my curiosity is killing me so I have to at least ask this: Any surprising results?


NO SPEAKER breaks up with the warmth & thickness of those nothing even comes close

lounge,
Usually people do tests like these so they can form their conclusions based on experience. You've tried every speaker in the world?

[sarcasm] D'Addario makes the best guitar string on the planet. I know this for a fact because it's pretty much the only string I've played for 30 years. [/sarcasm]
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Postby dnatronic on Tue Jun 14, 2005 6:23 pm

Thanks for ruining my day! :D

So far, I think nothing beats the Pre-Rola 20W. :!:
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Postby dnatronic on Tue Jun 14, 2005 7:06 pm

My top 3:

#1) Pre-Rola Celestion 20W
-greatest balance of low, mids, & highs with great speaker break up and compression, wile still retaining clarity. Second best mids overall. Most compressed of the three.

#2) Alien 25W #4
-this one nails the classic AC/DC crunch, best texture on the mids and low mids than any other speaker; not quite as much bass as the Scumback 25W, but best mids overall. Least compressed of the three.

#3) Scumback 25W
-great speaker break up with deep lows and highs; this one sounded like it had more bass and highs than even the Pre-Rola 30W-003 (which I used as a reference for the 25W speakers since there is no pre-rola 25W sound file); seemed to have the best characteristics of both the pre-rola 20W and the pre-rola 30W combined in one speaker. Seemed to have a notch at some point in the mids/low mids which helps the bass sound bigger at the expense of some mid texture. Second most compressed.

I could have easily switched #1, #2 and #3 around depending on what sound I was looking for (more or less compression, more or less mids, etc.). The differences could even be due to minute differences in mic placement. With a little EQ tweaking all three could sound virtually identical. All three are great speakers. :!: 8)
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Postby power lover on Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:35 pm

if you want a cone that would probably both record and sound great whilst standing in front, check out the alien 014. it's got the fat scream of a 20W and the grind and attitude of an 25W - M, all with subtle harmonic details swirling around......... if you check out the komet amps site, what you hear on those clips is maybe 50% komet amp and 50% because of the speakers, original 014's, and that is the tone i hear coming from jim's re-creation...... mine's just starting to break in........... i've got all three of his offerings (20W, #4, 014) the 014's really nice, the 20w wasn't aggressive enough for me, but i liked the compression and scream, which is why i find the 014 a great compromise and all-around top-choice that would excel for leads and rhythm

with repect to the clips, i can say i didn't like most of the clips with the LES PAUL. everything sounded better witht the strat. i can also say 55hz is not meant for guitar except in rare examples like the 014's. 75 hz is needed to cut through.
Last edited by power lover on Tue Jun 14, 2005 10:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby ¤klÿn¡§§¤ on Tue Jun 14, 2005 9:39 pm

scumbag wrote:The hardest speaker to mic/record was the Eminence Private Jack. It had the lowest output of any speaker recorded, while claiming the highest (102 db) output of any of them.
It's output was so low, that I'm almost thinking it was defective. It's individual tracks had to be raised 3-4 db to keep up with the other "M" type speakers, even though it's output db rating had it 5 db louder than the typical 97 db rating of an "M".
...


Unfortunately, there is no "industry standard rating" for SPL measurements.

Company X may rate their speakers output by their own formula, which may be completely different from company Z's.

This definitely makes a speaker comparison difficult to present accurately, because even a SLIGHT increase in perceived volume will usually make one speaker sound better than another.

Its also the reason why i take "speaker taste tests" with a large grain of salt :wink:
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Postby Matt3 on Wed Jun 15, 2005 2:09 pm

Wow, there are some huge differences in the tone of some of these speakers. And they vary from 'really bad' to 'heavenly'. It's gonna take a while to determine my favorite 3 but I will have to break it down into different 'categories'. I don't think I can compare the speakers in a clip using a Strat neck pickup vs. another with a LP bridge pickup. Or using different amps. Ideally it would be the exact same amp, same guitar, same 'neutral' settings, same riffs (a few different ones illustrating different qualities), same everything except the speaker. Most of them are the same riff and sound like the same guitar. Are all of those clips (all the ones that have that same riff in A using the LP bridge p'up) the same amp/guitar/settings/etc.?

Interesting about the G12Ms vs. G12Hs. I've almost always used G12H30 RIs when I record and I never am satisfied with what I get on tape. It never captures what I'm hearing in the room.
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Postby dnatronic on Wed Jun 15, 2005 5:24 pm

Scumbag - many big thanks for doing this speaker taste test!


I think you are right that there is a big difference in speakers when you hear them directly from your cabinet in a live situation versus when you record them or hear them mic'd through a mixing console. Larger magnet speakers tend to be better for direct listening whereas smaller magnet speakers don't quite have the punch for direct listening. This is probably mostly due to the dB difference (100 dB vs. 97 dB) and other factors such as speaker distortion and compression that color the sound in a way that doesn't sound as good in a live situation.

As a result, in general I will put smaller magnet speakers in a 4x12 which I will mic, and larger magnet speakers in a 2x12 cab which is used more for portability and direct listening.

Thanks again for putting the time and effort into this!
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Postby EasyRider on Wed Jun 15, 2005 6:33 pm

I personally stick to Celestions. I think Ralle500's Van Halen clips show that even a well broken in reissue greenback can do a lot. The problem with this test overall, for me at least, is I'm not hearing a great sounding amp really wound up, doing it's thing, really handing those speakers some "trouble!". AND, for more time on a clip by clip basis. Either way, the Scumbacks I've heard before and on this test, and the simple reality is this. It's NOT a Celestion and it does not sound like one. It has it's own thing which like boutique amps, you have to judge if you like that. Personally, I grew up on the Celestion sound. It's like guys who say the Mojave Peacemaker is the best Marshall that never got built! LOL! It's NOT a Marshall! However, in that case it IS great for certain things. This I've seen for myself. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! Whatever the case, I'm not hearing speakers on this test going to a complex overdrive tone, REALLY being pushed and then backed off of and a solid sonic snapshot of all this happening. I like lot's of bandwidth from the guitar and good complexity from the amp. So, I don't think this test shows me a lot. I walk away with the same feeling I've always had for years which is the thought that dictates "the heck with it all, I'll just grab some Celestions." That's just me. Unfortunately, this test does not show me what I really need to see. Everyone has their ideas of how to do things and a different result they are going for.
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Postby tracynorton on Wed Jun 15, 2005 8:13 pm

i dunno

generic?

I agree w/ the sharp dressed man.....
You got to ram em to really know
Even the Scumbag website clips of Celestion spkrs were not hammered....and sounded...anemic?

if the speakers aren't flappin your khakis, don't bother w/ the clips
If they're priced at or below Emminence, I'd try them, but they'd have to blown my mind
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