Fender Supersonic 22 Anemic - Sounds thin. | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

Fender Supersonic 22 Anemic - Sounds thin.

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06/15/2012 9:40am

I Have a Fender Supersonic 22W. It is an open back combo. It has an Eminence-built Fender Lightning 12" 8ohm speaker. The clean isnt too bad though a bit bright. It is supposedly based on the /delexe Reverb platform. I play lots of 70s 80s rock and the drive channel just sounds small and weightless. It does however have reasonable note articulation even with the gain really high. I dont want just a dark heavy sounding speaker or anything that muddies the notes of a rhythm chord. I saw that a NV music store has a one-off version of the amp with Vintage 30 installed that sounds pretty good through streamed youtube type demo, but have never really heard them a/b. I fully realize that this amp  is a bit too ambitious trying to be a DR and a high gain screamer in an a 1x12 cab, but a JCM800 + 4x12 AND a black face twin are not in my immediate future, and this thing is way more portable.


06/22/2012 9:56am

Okay, so ... go out & borrow a 10 gauge double barrel shotgun ... that gives you two shots to annihilate that "Lightning 12" ... you'll be doing humanity a big favor!

Then, buy a Retro 30 & fall in love with that amp!  Post back w/ your results!

10/31/2012 11:50am

Hi! I'm wondering if an Invader 50 would be a good choice for this amp, besides the Retro 30 that you previously mentioned. Thanks a lot!

Michael McWilliams
01/21/2013 9:06am

Vaughn, what do you think about this for the Super-Sonic 22?  In another thread you said the Ret30 was a very bright speaker and that you didn't prefer it for open back cabs which is what the SS22 is.  One advantage for the Ret30 is that I would think it would have the Jensen-like bite that the Fender Eminence has.

01/21/2013 11:22am

I still think the ret should work well in the ss22 ... Yes, partly because it will have the vintage Jensen like chime that most people expect from a Fender ... And also because the supersonic line has pretty powerful tone stacks that can sculpt the big bottom and extended  top of the ret 30 into whatever you want.

the invader is a very different speaker ... It has a good bit of GB midrange urgent snarl ... But with a good bit more versatility ... I'm really starting to love that speaker.  If you do try one in the SS22 ... Please be sure to post back here with your results.

01/21/2013 11:24am

Another really great option that will warm the amp somewhat and just sound really good all around is the flagship Reaper!

Michael McWilliams
01/27/2013 11:27pm

I had posted a comment here that hasn't made it on this thread (as of yet), but I discovered an unlikely  WGS combination that I have fallen in love with.  There is a lot of support for a combo of the Reaper (I have the HP) and the Retro 30.  Originally, I used this combination and liked it, as I posted earlier, but it also had a <em>lot</em> of warmth, too much for my tastes. I must also disclose I was using the Reaper HP in cavernous Blackstar 1x12 open-back cab which I'm sure was adding to the bassy character.

 I also have a G12C that I was using in another cab, and for the heck of it, paired it with the the Retro and believe it or not, this is a NICE combination.  The bass is much tighter and there is the Fender brightness and chime that comes from the Retro and the G12, yet  the Retro gives the sound a good midrange body and a tasty snarl when turned up.  What I likely will do is replace the Special Design Eminence with the Retro in the combo cab, and pair it with the G12 in the Blackstar cabinet (to give that speaker some bottom end and calm the highs).  The Retro will sound better and better as it gets broken in.


Michael McWilliams
02/11/2013 9:05am

I now have about 15 hours on the Retro 30 with the Supersonic 22, and I can tell you I am in love with this speaker. I don't find ice-picky at all (as I feared) and it has that sweet chime and that nice fat-ness when used with my Strat with the D. Allen Johnny Hiland Blade pickups.  Thank you, Vaughn, for the suggestion in this thread!

02/11/2013 9:27am

Awesome, and also, thanks for taking the time to post back here with your results.  I knew from my experience that the SS22 & Ret 30 should make a good paring, but I'd never actually tried it!  You have now confirmed my suspicions!

Oh, and also ... yea, me and Brad did a bunch of 2x12 pairings a while back, and were surprised to find how the G12 paired with others ... some pairings we thought would ROCK, like the ET65/G12 didn't work at all ... and some we didn't think would work ... like the Retro 30/G12 worked well.

Michael McWilliams
01/25/2013 8:56am

Just posting some results:  I ended up buying the Retro 30 to put into the SS22, and it was an excellent choice.  There is still enough top end to keep the Fender signature sound, but the Retro has enough midrange focus to make it cut through, especially with the Super Sonic's overdrive.  There are NO in-your-face highs, and in fact I've goosed the treble control up a notch.  It's a great sound, especially using bridge pickups.

As a bonus, I bought an open back Blackstar speaker cab for under $200, threw out the Celestion 70/30, and slapped in a Reaper HP that I already had.  Using the Reaper and the Retro together is a great combo.  A thick, yet crystal clear sound when played clean, and lots of nasty snarl when pushed without sounding honky.  I love it.

Great recommendation, Vaughn.

03/06/2013 8:53am

Hi - im also looking for a replacement speaker for my Supersonic 22, and had more or less settled on the Retro 30, until I realised the comparisons with the V30. I've owned V30s before, and didn't like them at all. I like a nice clean Fender sound, and smooth overdrive, I find Celestions to be throaty and aggressive. I have a WGS G12C in my Blues Deluxe, and I've played the Supersonic through it, sounds great, but Id like to try something different for the SS22. So, any other "American" sounding suggestions? Or do you still reckon go with the Retro 30? Thanks in advance.

03/06/2013 1:56pm

Yea ... especially with the results posted here, I'm gonna stick with the Ret30 as my suggestion!

03/06/2013 5:15pm

Appreciate it, thanks

Michael McWilliams
03/08/2013 8:09am

Gents, please allow me to chime back in here. I own a V30 cab that came in a Carvin V3M setup (ugh) and I tried it with the 22 and I can tell you with certainty that the Ret30 and the V30 really do not sound alike.  To my ears, the v30 was dark and somewhat lifeless and broke up too easily.  The Ret30 sounds much more Fender/Jensen-ish with a sparkly top end, but also has a sweet midrange that allows for those creamy pristine Strat neck or out-of-phase pickup sounds in the vein of SRV's Rivera Paradise or Hendrix's Voodoo Chile (the slow version).

I'm very happy with the setup and Vaughn's intuitive suggestion (even though he hadn't heard the actual combo) was spot on.  The only other speaker I would consider in the 22 is the G12C/S as the SS22 is a bright amp.  Just my 3 cents worth.

03/26/2013 4:12pm

Just a little update- got the Retro30, and yes, sounds great in the SS22, but out of curiosity, I put in the G12C, and omigawd! Beautiful chiming, detailed, perfectly Fender sound. Gigged it Saturday night, and am loving it. So, Sunday afternoon, nothing to do, I decided to try the Retro30 in my Blues Deluxe, and, for the second time in a week... Omigawd! I thought I loved the Blues Deluxe before, but the Retro30 turns it into one of my favourite amps ever. There's a new texture that was never there before, a little haze around the notes that was missing. Even the drive channel sounds good, it has the qualities I want from a tweed amp. So, double thankyous to WGS.

Michael McWilliams
03/29/2013 12:21am


Interesting results with your G12 and the Blues Deluxe.  I also have that amp and I ended up pairing the Reaper HP with it, and so far, I'm liking the results. It's slightly warm so I have to goose the treble up a bit, but I play a lot of jazz, so it fits me perfectly.  I also have a V30 that I put in a tweed Fender closed back extension cab, and the combo of it and the Reaper was my version of  "Omigawd."

For my Supersonic 22/Ret 30, I am using the G12  in an open-back extension cab with a beam blocker installed.  I haven't had a chance to use this combo at stage volume on a gig, but it sounds great at low volumes. I'll post more after the next job in a few weeks.

06/03/2013 3:02pm

I acquired a SuperSonic 22 today.  I now realize that one very important consideration with this amp is: What channel are we most concerned about?  The two channels behave so differently!

Initial impressions:

"Vintage" channel is nice - it's a better clone of a "good" BF Deluxe Reverb than the actual DRRI, in fact ... and the "fat" voicing is a quite useful alternative.  Tone controls seem more powerful and musical than the DRRI, too.

"Burn" channel is "meh" at best.  The interaction between Gain 1 & Gain 2 is taking some getting used to ... reminds me of the early Boogies built from a Princeton.  So far, I'm thinking a good pedal in front of the Vintage channel sounds better.

Reverb is excellent! Among the finest ever ...

In the upcoming months, I'll let ya all know how my speaker comparisons go :-)

Michael McWilliams
06/04/2013 6:08pm

Vaughn, what pedal are you thinking of using with the SS22?  The so-called Burn  channel is definitely not thick, but for me it adds a nice crunch.

06/18/2013 9:57am

Wampler Pinnacle Deluxe.  Nice pedal that eloquently covers a LOT of ground.

BTW:  I actually really like the stock speaker in the SS22 ... but I just ran it into my "new" '64 Bassman cab with open-back and a pair of Reapers, and ... wow!  Very tasty, and plenty of volume for any situation I'd ever find myself in!  It really helps bring some complexity to the gain channel, too (I refuse to call it the "burn" channel).

When I get a chance I'll do 1x12 shootouts with the SS22.

11/22/2013 10:50am

For me the stock speaker is too early breakup and a little harsh.

Speaker shootout!!!! ;-)

11/22/2013 9:49pm

Yea, my thoughts exactly ... and ... I just filmed the shootout today!

12/08/2013 8:03am

Still think the Retro 30 is the best choice for the SS22?

12/10/2013 10:42pm

It's alive !


PLEASE!  post your comments there ... let me know YOUR thoughts :-)

12/13/2013 5:35pm

Great Job on the shootout Vaughn.  I have to say I think the ET-90 really did well.  I agree that the Reto's sounded overall more balanced but the clean from the ET was real, real nice!

12/06/2013 2:55pm

I can't wait to see this!

12/08/2013 7:55am

Vaughn, do you still think the Retro 30 is the way to go for the SS22?

06/29/2014 3:59pm

Retro30, Reaper or ReaperHP, Et65 or ET90. Wich speaker choice for higher volume and clean without loosing the classic Fender vibe? 

06/29/2014 9:21pm

Yea ... probably the Retro 30 ... especially for the "chime"!

08/08/2014 6:25am

Vaughn, the ss22 is loud enough to play outdoor too in a rock band? (thinking a Stones cover band)

08/08/2014 11:22am

I did just such an outdoor show with mine this spring ... with the only thing in the PA being vocals ... and ...

No, not really ... with gain, sure ... but the huge amount of clean headroom that I have gotten used to with my Super Reverbs and Bandmasters just wasn't there :-(

It was sooo nice to move, and I went easy-peasy no-pedals, and probably everyone there thought the tone was just fine ... but again, I sure would have liked to have a little more clean headroom on some stuff.

08/08/2014 1:57pm

with an et90 could be better?

Michael McWilliams
08/25/2014 12:03am

Hey pi.ke,

I've got an ET90 that I currently don't have in a cab.  Based upon this thread, I think I'm going to slap it in the SS22 and see how it does.  I've got a Cannabis Rex in there now that I think sounds pretty good, but I would like to hear a touch more mids.  I don't know if the ET90 can fit that bill, but I'll check it out and report back.


02/26/2015 2:42pm

so for a 2X12 cabinet with a Retro 30 and an ET-65 given that the SS22 head has an 8 ohm output should I get the speakers in 16 ohm and wire them in parallel or 4 ohm and wire them in series?

Would the 16 ohm speakers have a brighter characteristic to them as apposed to the 4 ohm speakers?

02/27/2015 10:03am

The SS22 head required an 8 ohm cabinet. I want to load a 2X12 cabinet with a Retro 30 and an ET-65. Is there a huge sound difference between the 4 ohm and 16 ohm speakers?

02/28/2015 12:31pm

Sarcoid: No, two 4-ohm in series will sound the same as two 16-ohm in Parallel.  So, in making your decision ... I'd go with whatever will offer you the best flexibility for pairing it with any other amp you may come by.

A pair of 4-ohm speakers can be wired for either 8 or 2 ohms ... the later of which some tube amps (and nearly all solid-state amps) are not terribly happy with.

A pair of 16-ohm speakers can be wired for 8 or 32 ohms ... the later of which will be incompatible with nearly ALL tube amps ... and would render all SS amps very anemic.

So ... I guess I'd go with the pair of 4's if it were me...

Pike: I guess it all depends on how much clean headroom you want/need ... the ET90 does give you a fair bit more than stock in a SS22 ... but at it's heart it's still a 2 6v6 amp!  I find it perfect for small clubs ... but like I said, outdoors it just couldn't move enough air to totally feel right.

04/05/2015 1:54pm

i know that this thread is a few years old, but i want to add something.  I own a Fender Supersonic 22, and it is one of the best amps ever made.  Not at first though.  initially, mine had some of the same problems mentioned by others, plus a reverb problem.  I did some internet research and discovered that Fender had issued a factory recall to fix problems in the ss 22.  I took my amp to Sam Ash who checked directly with Fender, and sure enough there was a recall.  So the amp went in for factory repairs.  Sam Ash fixed the reverb problem themselves.  When I got the amp back i put in all Tungsol preamp and rectifier tubes, and JJ 6V6S power tubes.  A speaker change was not needed, which was kind of a bummer, because i love WGS, and have WGS in several other combos and cabinets.



04/05/2015 1:55pm

i know that this thread is a few years old, but i want to add something.  I own a Fender Supersonic 22, and it is one of the best amps ever made.  Not at first though.  initially, mine had some of the same problems mentioned by others, plus a reverb problem.  I did some internet research and discovered that Fender had issued a factory recall to fix problems in the ss 22.  I took my amp to Sam Ash who checked directly with Fender, and sure enough there was a recall.  So the amp went in for factory repairs.  Sam Ash fixed the reverb problem themselves.  When I got the amp back i put in all Tungsol preamp and rectifier tubes, and JJ 6V6S power tubes.  A speaker change was not needed, which was kind of a bummer, because i love WGS, and have WGS in several other combos and cabinets.



Kevin M. Lombardi
08/21/2016 8:34pm

I just bought a SS22 and have been dialing it in over the weekend.  This is an amazing amp.  I read all the reviews about the quality problems but I have had no issues.  Stock, the amp has a spectacular clean channel. The burn channel was good but not quite to my liking.  I have a retro 30 in a Peavey classic 50 combo and 2 reaper 50 HP's in another cabinet.  I watched Vaughan's speaker shootout and decided to put the Retro 30 in the SS22.  I would say the clean channel is still great but it lost just a hair of that fender sparkle but the burn channel is now awesome.  Now I would say its a perfect amp and the damn thing weighs just 40 lbs.  Out of curiousity I put the Fender Lightning bolt speaker in the Classic 50.. Same results..great clean terrible drive channel.


09/07/2016 8:37pm

I've had a Supersonic 22 head that I've gigged with a lot, I've tried it through multiple speakers including the Emi Cannabis Rex that seems to get a lot of praise for the SS22 on other forums. I found the Emi to be too dull to be honest and it killed that Fender "sparkle" on the clean channel. I really like the Reaper HP with it, a regular Reaper would sound good if you like your speaker to break up early but personally I want later break up so I can get more headroom out of the clean channel. I wouldn't mind trying a G12C/S with is but I don't know how it would go with the burn channel.

Maybe since I have the head I could use a 2x12 and mix a G12C/S with another speaker. any Ideas about what I might mix with the G12C/S?

Jeff S Webb
11/15/2017 11:51am

Greetings All. I have a Goodsell GC-12 EL84/ EF86 with WGS speaker. Loving that speaker. BUT... I also have a newer Blues Junior III (with Cannabis Rex) and the 68 Custom Deluxe Reverb (Celestion V). As much as I love Fenders as the clean platform for my pedals, that BRIGHT, SPIKEY HIGH END has got to go.

I would rather err on the dark side with my choices (evidently my life motto) because I've never owned a Fender amp that was not a struggle with the high end.

I've tried to educate myself on WGS speakers and need something for both Fender amps. So far it looks like for the Blues Junior either the Retro 30 or the Reaper. And for the 68 CDR maybe the ET65, G12C/S or perhaps even the Invader 50.

SIDE NOTE: A friend just bought the 68 Custom Princeton Reverb and that is absolutely the sweetest tube amp I've ever played. It is everything you read it is and great with pedals. None of the typically spikey, overly bright high end on this one.

Jeff S Webb
11/15/2017 11:54am

Oh... I guess I forgot to state I'm looking for recommendations on speaker replacements for both Fender amps mentioned. Thanks!

02/09/2018 6:27am

Change preamp tubes. Recommend high gain selected tubes.
Check the bias of the amp, it's probably set too cold.
Both of these will make a major difference...
Once you get the preamp tubes and bias dialed in, then using a better speaker will be icing on the cake. Well sure, a good speaker is always an improvement---but tweak the amp for the best tone first.

07/30/2018 8:22pm

Why necessarily high gain tubes? High gain does not mean better tone or dynamic response. FI, the JJ ECC83MG and ECC803S have respectively ~5% and 10% less gain the the ECC83S, yet they are both a bit less compressed, smother and more dynamic, and the 803S even puts out ~20% more power. Incidentally, those are good tubes to start with. The 803S for the PI slot.

07/28/2018 2:32pm

Hey folks! This threat needs to be kept 100% SUPERSONIC 22!
That's why we "stickied" this one to the top. We can't start adding in Other models ... or it looses 100% of it's value. Just a Waring. I'll probably be deleting the non-SR22 related comments here in the next week or so. For instance, we already have Deluxe Reverb threads (probably way too many ... wish I could combine them) ... so if you want to move them to a proper thread, do it now! I don't have the ability.

Kevin Stuart
04/20/2020 2:51pm

So I now have a spare Reaper 30 watt speaker laying around after I swapped it for a black n' blue on my ac15 twin. Anyone try a reaper in the supersonic 22? Thank you. ~Kevin

04/30/2020 5:57pm

Yes, and it's VERY sweet ... brings more fat bottom end in.

Kevin Stuart
08/17/2020 5:18pm

Well I am going to add on to this thread as I had the same problem and it's fixed. I am going to also share this. If you don't like the sound of a speaker change it. I never hear a drastic enough change by long periods of use. There is a tone a speaker is designed for and that's what it does. Maybe audiophiles hear a difference over time everyone is different. Subjective I know and I also really only changed four speakers in my life.

So I was craving a SS22 for a long time as on paper the tech specs on this amp sounded perfect and I cannot judge any sound at all unless I am in the room with it so I bought it online. Everything is great but the burn channel has one of the most horrible guitar amplifier sounds my ears have listened too. What I thought was funny is I have an old mustang III and the supersonic model sounds exactly like it, awful. I have a good amount of amps so the cover went on and I'll take it out from time to time. My initial time with the amp was six weeks before I put it away.

I have a spare Reaper 30 Watt that I replaced in my AC15 twin with a B&B so I hastily opened up the SS and got rid of the crappy stock speaker and BAM! Now the burn channel sounds strong and full. I don't know why Fender thought the current stock speaker is a good fit for both channels. The clean I had no complaints at all but on the burn channel it felt as if the bass was on 0 and a flat, dead EQ. The Reaper did no foul to the clean channel this amp is extremely well rounded now when you balance the two channel volumes. I wanted to try the Retro 30 but Seeing I had the Reaper 30 I said why not and am real happy with it. I will say in stock form and after the burn channel is articulate in a way I never experienced with another amp as weak as it was. Single note stuff only I felt was OK prior to the swap but that's it.

In closing I did watch Vaughn's speaker shootout and earlier I mentioned that I cannot make out much through videos but I went back and watched it prior to sharing my thoughts, opinions etc and to my ears I still think the Reaper 30 sounds the best. I plan on getting a Retro 30 someday for my 68 CDR. Good luck with anyone going forth in choosing and don't suffer waiting for your speaker to "change" by playing it.