Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

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Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

Postby sitka_spruce on Sat Oct 24, 2015 4:19 am

If memory serves Vox was not happy with Celestion offering "their" speaker to Marshall and thus Celestion made the two a bit differently. I just can't recall when this happened and who got the tweaked variety... or if both were infact tweaked. Someone please sort this out for me as I'd like to think it was the Vox one that was tweaked to something like we see in the blue Bulldogs of today.

I know for a fact though that the Vox ones were brighter and the Marshall ones warmer and more akin to the ceramic Greenbacks that followed - and the current alnico Gold for that matter. This is why Weber makes blues and silvers, and the Scumnico is supposedly based on a Silver/ Marshall speaker - correct?
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Re: Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

Postby BygoneTones on Tue Oct 27, 2015 8:19 pm

The Vox blue T530 is the same speaker as the Marshall T652 apart from the cosmetics. The paint colour and the bell shaped cover. So they should sound exactly the same bar differences in the ageing process of the soft parts of the speaker. Or perhaps if you are comparing speakers from different years. The evidence is there in the Celestion log book - same apart from the cosmetics.

The T652 is not a Marshall exclusive speaker. Celestion introduced it in 1962 before the birth of Marshall, and it can be found in other amps - carlsbro for one.

The actual cone assembly did change through the years and maybe why you hear a difference in sound if you are comparing speakers from different years.

RIC cones until mid 1962
Pulsonic cones mid 62 until 1973
No welvic doping until spring 66
5 watt increase in power handling around Nov 67 (when the white former changed to brown)
another change in the doping in late 1970 (more of it).

plus they used different glues and other minor changes through the years.

Also a lot of people are using faulty speakers in my experience that dont sound right anyway but the users are unaware the speaker isnt working properly. mild coil rub or loose parts etc. very few vintage speakers are pefect thesedays if you test them thoroughly.

The T530 blue only lasted a few years before they changed to the T1088 silver around 1965. same speakers just different cosmetics and T-number.

The scumnico is not a speaker I would be interested in buying personally. Plenty of other options out there - Austin Speaker Works, Celestion's own reissues...
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Re: Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

Postby sitka_spruce on Fri Nov 20, 2015 11:09 pm

Thank you for the input, BGT!

So possibly the successive evolution of these speakers just happened to push the Bulldog into a chimier and chimier version of itself then - and make the Vox/ Marshall dispute with Celestion just a myth? Then obviously, like you said, the aging of the soft parts may be part of it as well.

Enter the question: what is the Weber Silver Bell (which I believe was the nickname of the T652 as well) trying to do, as it sort of leans more towards Greenback territory, with fuller, more laid back mids; Weber's own invention or just a different development stage of the Celestion other than the... blue variety? My believing the possible myth above to be true I assumed these two types were made to reflect the separate lineages of vintage Celestion alnico production. Now I don't know heads from tails...
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Re: Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

Postby BygoneTones on Sat Nov 21, 2015 7:06 pm

Im not sure what Vox/Marshall dispute you are talking about. Apart from in the Doyle book it says Vox didnt want Marshall using the same speakers which is why they came with different colouration and without the bell cover. Bear in mind that Marshall would not have been a big company at that point (a handful of amps made in the back of Jims shop) so I doubt it was much of an argument. Probably more of a recommendation from Celestion to use a different model. Whether that story is actually true or just nonsense, who knows? Maybe grab a copy of Jim Elyeas Vox book and see if that sheds any light. Or ask Ken Underwood (G3SDW) on here and see if he knows anything.

I can only speak about the speakers Ive owned myself, and it is usually the earliest pulsonic speakers (1962 to 1965) with no doping on the cones that have more chime in my experience. The more welvic doping that gets added usually rolls off some of that high end sparkle. The RIC cones can be darker sounding than the pulsonics too.

You would have to ask Weber about that. Im guessing if they have called them the "silver bell" then they are probably aiming to replicate the T1088 model vox alnico. Although which production year they are trying to replicate I do not know without seeing the full spec for them. eg a 1965 will sound different to a 1972 because of manufacturing differences.

Like I said Im not really a fan of those Weber/Scumback series speakers. Maybe nice speakers in their own right but dont expect them to be an exact clone of a vintage celestion. And thats me being polite about them.
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Re: Early Celestion alnicos - Vox and Marshall ones

Postby sitka_spruce on Sat Nov 21, 2015 10:31 pm

Great info right there - thanx a lot! But then didn't these speakers come in a bundle of colours in Voxes? I've heard about red, even yellow, but no personal experience or direct source reference.

I think what drove me in the direction the formulation for the cones or design of dampers differed slightly was that e.g. a Marshall 1962 w. original Silvers on recordings back in the 60s don't quite sound like one w. recent Blues. But like you said this could be a matter of gradual product development over time.

I'm no great fan of Webers myself either, I only brought these up as some point of reference of the bearing of these lineages, if you follow, where the Scumnico is supposed to have more Silver in it. But let's not linger on it.
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