I love playing through a 2 X 12. I have an Avatar G212 Premier made of 3/4″, 13-ply baltic birch. It’s a bright cab, and has a big resonating chamber, which really gives a nice 3-D effect to my sound. I originally had it loaded with Celestion Blue and Gold speakers, and they sounded great, but I just felt the Blue didn’t have enough bottom end for my preferences. So I recently swapped the Blue out with a Jensen Jet Falcon. Yeah, that’s right. I now have one of the most expensive Celestion speakers and just about the most inexpensive Jensen speaker in my cab. And you know what? It totally works.
The one thing I like about ceramic speakers is that they have a nice, tight bottom end. The Falcon has a great bottom end that provides a real nice “oomph” to my sound. Alnico speakers – at least in my experience – are much more mid-rangy, with an emphasis on the upper-mids. The Gold has a fantastic, bright tone. It’s rich, and has a super-smooth breakup. So mixing the ballsy ceramic Falcon with the alnico Gold seemed like a good idea, as I postulated that I’d get a nice balanced sound.
I did the swap this afternoon, right before my church gig. I was a little nervous because my soldering skills are highly suspect. But I took my time, and the swap was done without incident. Then I went to test it out. The cleans were deep and lush, and the big space that the Avatar cab provides gave my tone real depth! Loved it.
Then I cranked my amp to hear the breakup. Yikes! It was pretty harsh and stiff, but I was kind of expecting that, considering I installed the Falcon right out of the box. It wasn’t too bad, but I could feel the stiffness. But I was determined to bring it to my gig, so an hour later, I loaded it up in my car and away we went.
Luckily, the songs I chose for Mass were mostly clean, so I didn’t have to drive the speaker too hard, but I played it straight for three hours (two hours of rehearsal, then an hour for service), and by the end of the service, I could really feel the Falcon loosening up. Our last song was a rocker, and I cranked my amp. I was greeted by a fantastic, ballsy tone that had a real complex tone; exactly how I envisioned it! So now I’m a believer in mixing ceramic and alnico. It’s a great combination!
So what am I going to do with the Blue? I honestly haven’t made up my mind. That’s not a cheap speaker by any stretch of the imagination. But it is only 15 watts, so I can really only use it with a lower wattage amp. That’s maybe not a bad idea. I could use it with my ’58 Fender Champ, or as an extension cab for my VHT Special 6. We’ll see…