Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

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Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby kominak on Mon Sep 19, 2016 9:36 pm

Local seller is offering a pair of silver alnicos from the early 70s with original pulsonic cones, which are sadly a little teared. Is it worth trying to repair the cone? The tears don't look too big:

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He's asking $170 for a pair and I'm tempted to buy/repair them... please let me know what you think.

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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby Clanger on Mon Sep 19, 2016 10:43 pm

I would!
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby BygoneTones on Tue Sep 20, 2016 11:42 am

Depends on what your expectations of them are. If you just want some speakers that will do the job, then buy them. If you want glorious tone I would probably look elsewhere.

A torn cone might affect the tone somewhat. But with speakers in rough condition like that I would be far more wary of finding coil rub or the spider supports coming off, and those are far worse problems. Just not visually obvious in photographs like a cone tear is.

However the price is worth the gamble in my opinion. date code looks like Oct 69.
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby kominak on Tue Sep 20, 2016 7:40 pm

Thanks guys for your opinions - I asked the seller for some more photos, especially the area around the spider support and asked him to try the "coil rub test". If the speakers will pass these tests I think I'll give them a try. I want to use them mainly in my studio for small SE amps and probably for some small gigs.
BTW, I was always wondering how could a pair of Celestion Blues(2x15w) withstand a cranked Vox AC30 (30W clean). I guess a man should be more careful when vintage speakers are in question?
I'm currently building a copy of Trainwreck Liverpool amp (4 x el84 amp, but close to 50W when overdriven, afaik) - I guess pairing this amp with these speakers would be asking for trouble?
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby pdf64 on Tue Sep 20, 2016 10:48 pm

kominak wrote:...BTW, I was always wondering how could a pair of Celestion Blues(2x15w) withstand a cranked Vox AC30 (30W clean). I guess a man should be more careful when vintage speakers are in question?
I'm currently building a copy of Trainwreck Liverpool amp (4 x el84 amp, but close to 50W when overdriven, afaik) - I guess pairing this amp with these speakers would be asking for trouble?

I think that 60s AC30 and similar amps, eg Liverpool, are lucky to put out 25 watts 'clean', and barely 30 watts when heavily overdriven (as they compress a lot, due to HT sag).
The later AC30s with silicon rectification and higher VHT could put out more power, but then Blues weren't fitted through the 70s until the 90s Marshall build era.

If the Liverpool is built with 60s spec AC30 iron, and a GZ34, then a pair of Blues / Silvers should be ok.

But vintage speakers may not be resilient to being pushed that hard.

I think that Silvers may have had a higher power rating than the Blues, eg 20 watts.

I'm reliably informed that modern Blues can handle 20 watts under normal continuous speaker test protocol.
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby BygoneTones on Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:14 pm

A loose spider support will not show itself in photos. You have to test for it with your finger tip, or by playing through the speaker (it will rattle at volume).

In 1969 the silver alnicos would be rated at 20w. Celestion voice coils were upgraded by 5w in late 1967.
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby kominak on Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:09 am

Thanks a lot for the information - I decided to take them, we'll see how it'll turn out :wink:
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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby kominak on Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:39 pm

So they came in 2 days ago - I couldn't wait so right away I took to cleaning them. Under the thick layer of dust I've found pulsonic cone code 102 003 on both speakers. The cone tears turned out to be bigger than I thought, but I managed to glue them together using single ply paper towel and white paper glue. Here's how my first speaker repair turned out:

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The good news is both speakers work flawlessly after the repair! They sound great to me - sweeter and somewhat "woodier" than the Celestion Gold I sold to fund this purchase(Gold was a little too harsh with some of my amps). Can't wait to hear them in a 2x12.

One of the speakers is kind of a puzzle to me. It's chassis has a different color, It's stamped 8ohm(but measures 15ohm) and the date code looks written backwards:
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Am I reading it correctly?
JB16V = 1969, September 16th
V20KB = 1969, October 20th

Not really important, since they both sound almost identical, I'm just curious...

Thanks for all the help, guys.

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Re: Celestion silver alnicos - worth the trouble?

Postby BygoneTones on Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:37 pm

They did do that occasionally on later period vox alnicos, standard greenback frame with the silver bell cover. Your interpretation of the date codes is correct. Glad to hear they survived the trip and are sounding good.
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