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Old 1st August 2005, 09:17 PM   #1
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Default building a guitar amp, screamin eagle or black powder?

I currently have an 8" fender frontman amp, it has a 10 watt solidstate amp inside(its a combo amp). Anyway im unhappy with it, the sound of it, and i figured, why not try DIY?

Eminence speakers have a very good rep in the guitar world that i know of, so i figured i'd try making an amp with those. After looking through all the patriot and redcoat lines that eminence has, i came across two models that sounded like they have what i want.

To give an example of the sound i'm lookin for, ill give some songs/parts from songs.

Solo in whole lotta love(zepplin duh)
pretty much all of voodoo child (hendrix)

although I'd also like to be able to get a more refined sound from it, like shine on you crazy diamond part one.

the two models i found were the screamin eagle, and the black powder. Now before you tell me that my plan is a bit half assed, and that theres no point in pairing the nice speaker with my tiny amp, let me tell you my future plans.

I was going to do with an open backed amp, with a removeable baffle big enough for two drivers. When i come into more money, i will add a second driver, and buy a solidstate 2 channel head, maybe 60 watts a channel ish.

Im realtively new to guitar, but not to speakers, so feel free to use complex terms, and feel free to reccomend me links to read up on before i tackle building a guitar amp(really only a cab). I dont mind research!

And please keep individual driver costs BELOW 80$ us but preferably below 70$
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Old 1st August 2005, 10:22 PM   #2
ingrast is offline ingrast  Uruguay
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My son happens to use probably the same little cube (Fender Frontman Reverb), so may be a couple of things I did may help.

First, the power transformer is grossly undersized. The output chip can deliver over 20W it properly fed. I changed it once it was blown. (look for at least 50 W power rating transformer).

Second (probably as a consequence of the former) the flimsy Fender speaker short circuited. I found after some looking around a nice unit with tender paper cone, corrugated surround, ridged and, most importantly, with a whizzer cone at about U$ 10.

According to my son it now sounds far better, particularly in brightness and detail.

Rodolfo
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Old 1st August 2005, 10:27 PM   #3
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Thanks for the tip! i may have to find a way to replace that. also im not looking to upgrade the amp and keep it what it is, a teeny tiny cube, im kind of wanting to get into a bigger amp, without putting down alot of money at once.
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Old 1st August 2005, 11:59 PM   #4
poptart is offline poptart  Canada
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Hi, I'm coming form the other side, lots of DIY guitar amps but new to hi-fi. If you haven't seen them yet check out Ted Weber's speakers too at http://webervst.com

You just missed a blowout sale on his ecconomy speaker line, the "signature" series. His main speaker line are hand made to order and cover a really wide range of tones, really well liked and american made speakers.

The sounds you're describing are british style speakers, usually celestion, but with zepplin it's harder to know because there were a few odd amps like a supro used sometimes.

Hendrix played through celestion g12h30. Two new, more accurate reproductions of that speaker have just come out. (though they're not cheap) Celestion went back to the archives and came out with an improved repro they call the "herritage" series. http://professional.celestion.com/gu...etail.asp?ID=7

Around the same time a guy in the US was buying every pre-rola celestion he could get his hands on, something like $20,000 in speakers. After lots of listening parties he had Ted Weber recreate some of the favourites. These are known as "Scumbag" speakers, not much of a name but very accurate reproductions if you can afford them. http://scumbagamps.com/scumbacks/speakers.html


Some places where people talk about guitar speakers:
http://vintageamps.com/plexiboard/viewforum.php?f=12
http://thegearpage.net/board/
http://www.webervst.com/speakers/index.html?


The weber signature speakers were on for $30, but they sold out pretty fast. If you can find a cheap fullrange that works for you then I guess you can avoid paying the premium that comes with getting specialty guitar speakers, but look for a really crappy fullrange. Guitar amps rely heavily on the speaker for character. There's almost always a big bump in the 2kHz-4kHz range and then it drops like a rock so there's very little higher frequency content.
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Old 2nd August 2005, 12:03 AM   #5
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a british tone? really? i was told i like an american tone.

Anyway, im trying to stick with an eminence, because they seem well regarded for a good price. Would you mind picking out some drivers that would be a good match for my tastes?

A full list is at partsexpress.com, under speakers then guitar speakers, look at the 12s.
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Old 2nd August 2005, 03:55 AM   #6
poptart is offline poptart  Canada
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Quote:
a british tone? really? i was told i like an american tone.
Zepplin is especially hard to say because they did tons of studio stuff to the tracks. If you're thinking of the Zep II version of that song, the album was apparently recorded in many different studios on many different amps during the 1969 tour. That song also has a lot of theremin to go along with the cool solo. Page was never real loyal to one particular setup, but live he mainly played early 70s marshalls. He plugged the theremin into one as well. I have heard the cabs were loaded with G12H30 speakers, same as hendrix and a million other 70's rock bands, but that doesn't mean he used them in the studio. Further notes from the Page mythology: very light gauge strings, picking close to the bridge, lots of wah pedal + echoplex preamp + hard drinking

Hendrix definitely used G12H30 loaded cabs, they have a lower Fs than their lighter brother which I guess might have helped a strat player like him sound meatier. Those giant hands probably helped a lot too. Even though he's playing a Marshall through Celestions he manages to get a sound that's not so "british" as Led Zep.

I haven't heard any of these newer Eminence speakers, but looking at the descriptions I'd say "The Wizard" sounds close. They all have Fs 70Hz, not 55Hz like the G12H30, but they say it has lots of bass and mids with more mellow highs. (FWIW the low E string is 80Hz)

If it were me I'd get a Weber. I Look at it this way, Fender uses Eminence speakers in their regular amps. That's a nice endorsement. But when they step it up a notch, like the Fender Custom shop '57 Twin, they got Ted Weber to design the speakers. Weber speakers are hand built to your specs and they cost the same as the Eminence. His version of the G12H30 is the 1230-55. If you want the 70Hz version that's the 1230. (if you're curious the one he did for Fender is the 12A150A)

Hope that helps. There's no substitute for having a good shop nearby where you can play some of these yourself, though there are sound clips of most of these online. You can email Ted Weber with what you like and see what he recommends too, he's a helpful guy and is constantly answering questions on his speaker discussion board.

-Carl
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Old 2nd August 2005, 05:26 PM   #7
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ok so go for a low fs is what youre saying?

Looks like i was pointed in the opposite direction! thanks for the help guys!

Also ill check out weber speakers.

although any more reccomendations would be welcome!

also does the size of an open backed cab matter? is it acting like an OB? should i go closed? vented even? Im pretty new to this stuff.

also and amp that i really like the sound of was my old guitar teachers hot rod deluxe, what drivers would have similar characteristics to that amp?

Sorry for all the questions, i wanna do this right.
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