Archon 25 Combo suggestions | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

Archon 25 Combo suggestions

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11/09/2017 1:27pm

Hello All,

Have a PRS Archon 25 Combo that I love, but the Celestion G12T-75 has GOT TO GO. Its Thin and Fizzy on the high gain channel and it makes the amp sound super cheap which I know its capable of better. Suggestions on replacement? Want more mids, Tight bass, and a Smoother Top end without so much Fizz.

Would be nice to have a Supro Tremoverb Character for Clean and a Dumble ODS character for gain.

Currently thinking:
Vet 30
Retro 30
and I have been in contact with Two Rock looking to purchase a WGS TR 12-65b Would love opinions on that one.


Thanks Guys.

11/10/2017 4:57pm

I hear ya ... the G12T-75's are some stiff nasty sounding speakers ... hard to believe PRS skimped sooo bad on speaker choice ... but then again, PRS pickups usually leave a lot to be desired too. Anyway ...

"Want more mids, Tight bass, and a Smoother Top end without so much Fizz."

"Mids" is too generic a term ... are you talking more lower-mid organic warmth (like 200-400Hz) ... more upper-midrange bite (2-4K) ... or more straight-up midrange honk (like 800Hz - 2K)?

11/10/2017 7:59pm

I would just say more so than the 75’s. Im not too fond of the 1k nasal spike but would say just an overall mid hump. That’s kind said of why I mentioned dumble overdrive and supro cleans because I love whatever is happening with those mid ranges. If that makes since.

Yeah amp is perfect except for speaker, I agree about PRS pickups too. Is seems like they would be a perfect company for a lot of things but always epic fail on one very specific component.

Hugh Smith
11/15/2017 7:36pm

I am very interested in your speaker recommendation as well. I just purchased an Archon 25 watt combo and would like to get rid of some of the midrange honk and tighten th bass up a bit. Any suggestions would be much appreciated.

11/16/2017 7:50am

So a quick update. I tried out a Celestion G12K-100 and the results were interesting. It fixed the Top end of my problem litterally ZERO fizzyness. However I think the emphasis with that speaker was in the low mids which made the amp sound really honky since I feel like the focus of the Amp itself is on the lower mids. just kinda sounded super round and not in a good way. So Im thinking that something that is Vintage 30 voiced will work well since thats whats in the full size PRS cabs. I ordered a Panama AV30 Simply because it was cheap ($40) on sale on So will see how a vintage 30 voice sounds. Im thinking that the Retro 30 is probably the way to go since the Amp is already on the Darker side. Ill let you know what the results are.

Hugh Smith
11/16/2017 7:38pm

Thanks for the update. I had an Archon 50 combo that I installed a V30 in. It was an improvement over the G12T75, but still had a bit too mid honk for me. For that reason I started looking at WGS speakers as an option. I play a Les Paul, Custom 22, and a Singlecut. My issue is that I like my cleans to have some sparkle on the top and nice tight low end. On the lead channel I don’t want scooped mids, but no honk since the guitars I use already have a lot of mids. I think you may be right about the Retro 30. Any other suggestions? Thanks in advance.

11/16/2017 9:24pm

The WGS ET90 is almost the exact same speaker as the Two Rock WGS TR 12-65b ... and yes, for what y'all are looking for, I would say that would be an excellent choice.

Hugh Smith
11/18/2017 6:45am

Thanks for the input and response. How will the ET90 react to low end when installed in a semi-open back cab? The Archon combo is not a closed back combo. I was wondering if the speaker might get a little loose in the low end. Thanks!

Hugh Smith
11/18/2017 6:50am

I have additional question. Is possible to get frequency response charts for your speakers?

11/18/2017 1:34pm

The ET90 will stay tight in semi-open.
As for freq charts, I don't think they have published one in quite a while ... and honestly those things can be terribly misleading, because freq response varies so much based on volume, cabinet details, and, especially in the case of tube amps, the impedance coupling/reflected impedance of a given tube output stage to the speaker.

11/19/2017 8:51am

Another update. The Panama AV30 sounded pretty good but wouldn’t fit in the mounting holes of the amp so it’s going back. However I learned a lot about the amp in going from the T75 to the K100 to the vintage 30 voicing.

So I’m going to change my theory a little bit in what will be best suited. So the more that I try with the Archon the more I’m learning about the frequencies where the amp lives. The main peak frequencies lie in the central mids and the low Mids. Therefore it needs a speaker with a high mid spike to balance it out and give it the articulation and the cut that it needs. All the clips I keep seeing on YouTube where the amp sounds good it is paired with Mesa V30’s for that same reason.

I went to a local shop where they have suhr and two rock cabs so got to hear a bit of WGS speakers. So I tried the two rock wgs and the vet 30. The vet 30 sounded really good with a suhr badger 35 no fizz or harsh frequencies and to my surprise not overly middy. The two rock which is based off of the ET90 according to Vaughn, is a little more low mid and middle mid focused where the archon lives. So I would disagree in choosing an ET variant as it will just pile on more honk range and make it kind of flubby. You def need an upper mid focus with the Archon. So I’d say vet 30 or retro 30 and think of it more in terms of brightness. Retro is higher peak than vintage 30 and vet 30 has lower peak so I think that you will avoid the bad frequencies you don’t like by going with either of those. So if you want bright go with retro if you want darker go with vet 30. I’m also thinking that an invader 50 might be good as well. That’s what I’m leaning towards actually since I’m looking for a sweeter top end but still wtb that upper mid hump that the Archon needs.

Hope my long winded research report helps. Ha ha

11/20/2017 11:46pm

Yea ... absolutely helps! Post back with your results, too.

11/21/2017 11:01am

Hey Guys, So turns out that I had an old G12T-75 from another amp laying around that I thought was complete Junk until I realized that the tone of these has changed in the last 20 years. Turns out my old one is a Made in England T-75 giving much better mids than the new ones. already sounds soooooo much better. But Im still looking for something different.

This Vid gives an example of how different the old ones are from the new ones. Supposedly the old T-75s sound more like Greenbacks or G12-65's. So my analysis that a ET65 or ET90 wouldnt be a good choice is not neccessarily accurate. Apparently Anything will be better than the speaker thats in there its just based off of your prefference. I just ordered my Veteran 30 to smooth out the Highs so I will let yall know what comes of that. Was really impressed by how it responded with the Badger 35 that I played.

BTW my comment on the ET90 being Flubby might not be accurate as I tried out that speaker on a Two Rock TS1 Dumble clone so kind of a flubby amp anyways. So disregard that statment. Sorry Vaughn for trying to do your job for you :(

Also if it helps with other recomendations, I compared the Gain chanel of the Archon to other preamps using my Line 6 Helix. The one that kept coming up as very similar was the Soldano SLO-100. Only difference was the Archon had a Tighter bass response. So hopefully thats a helpful note for other recomendations. Anything that will sound good with a Soldano will probably sound good with an Archon.

Hugh Smith
11/23/2017 8:48am

Great information. Thanks for posting. I am leaning towards the Vet 30 right now, but have not ruled out the Retro 30. I will be interested in your results when you get the Vet 30 installed. Are you running your Archon with the 5881 tubes? I changed mine out to EL34’s to get a little more crunch out of the amp. It sounds better with the stock speaker to my ears. Still a little too much mid honk for me, but more manageable. Thanks for all the input and information. Hoping to order a speaker sometime this weekend.

05/16/2018 5:16am

I don't think the Archos 25 is designed to handle EL34 types. The OT impedance load would be very high and there may not be enough PSU current. I'd think that would make them sound compressed, dull and fizzy. I'd stick with 6L6/5881 types.

05/16/2018 5:18am

I deleted my post due to some incorrect assumptions about tube types.

11/25/2017 11:52pm

You might then want a brighter speaker like the ET65 or ET90 for that Dumblesk voicing. From what I hear in various demos, the Retro 30 sounds somewhat like a Fane -- nice sound for sure.

11/30/2017 1:26pm

Hey Guys, Veteran 30 is installed but also sliced my main fretting finger same day putting up christmas lights.....
So needless to say its going to be a few days before i can really tell you what it sounds like. Ill keep you updated.

05/16/2018 5:27am

The SPL graphs I captured from the WGS Mesa Recto clips show the HM75 is just like the ET65 above ~3kHz with a more rounded 3.3kHz and stronger 2.4kHz peaks for less piercing quality with more Steely clarity. It also has less mid-bass for a more-scooped sound -- like a Vet30 with a slightly deeper punch. I could see it complimenting the 5881 tube sound nicely for a bright, but velvety high end with a nice Steely quality and less low mid fluff with strong deep bass giving it a Soldano-like low end with a less-piercing/brittle high end. Part of the midranginess of the amp is probably the 5881 tubes, which compress more and have a sweeter upper-mid quality than a GLGGC when pushed. The Vet 30 has less high end than a V30 or the HM75, but doesn't have the wide felt dust cap for that velvety Dumble/G12-65 high end.

The amp PSU might actually supply enough current for JJ or Shuguang KT66 tubes for bigger lows and an overall more-open sound than 5881's -- less power tube compression should make it more Dumblesk depending on the OT. The OT might be more "crisp" than in a Dumble'. A medium or long plate JJ 12ax7 in the PI position mayserve to sweeten the upper-mid crunch enough to counter that, or a Classictone OT and/or choke might produce better results if they aren't installed as stock. A PI tube change is of course much easier and cheaper if it does it for you.

That's how I'd proceed for a Dumbley sound, but it's hard to say how it would really end up until you know the PSU capabilities and then try all those things in consort In either case, the Vet 30 won't really be right for a Dumbley sound, but it may work well enough with the Midrange and Treble up and the amp section not driven too hard. The Presence knob opens up the high-end amp dynamics, so I'd probably keep it up pretty high with the Bright switches on and adjust the Mid and Treble accordingly. The Midrange knob really drives the amp section, so I'd keep it up pretty high if you want some amp dynamics when the Master Volume is up. The longer plate PI tubes will reduce harsh hash and increase power tube/OT dynamics at the same Master volume settings. I'd at least try both a medium and a long plate JJ 12ax7 from Eurotubes just to here how it changes the sound when the amp is pushed. Might be even more midrangey with the 5881, but more balanced and sweeter upper-mids with the JJ or Shuguang KT66.

12/20/2017 11:22am

Still waiting for someone to try an ET65 or ET90 ... and report back gushing about how EXCELLENT it is ;-)

Hugh Smith
12/31/2017 4:16pm

Hey guys. I switched out the stock G12T-75 for a Hellatone 30 that I had in another cabinet. It is a Celestion G12H-30 speaker. It sounded a lot better than the T-75. More of what I’m looking for tone wise except for the early breakup being only 30 Watts. This is making me lean toward something more like the G12H-75 Creamback. Which WGS speaker would be closest to this speaker? Would it be the ET-65, ET-90, or something else? Thanks!

Hugh Smith
12/31/2017 4:17pm

BTW, I also switched out the EL-34’s for 6L6GC’s.

05/17/2018 6:34am

75Hz G12H cones can sound brittle with tube distortion depending on several factors. It sounds like you want an ET65 or ET90. No single brand has the best solution for everyone, and I wouldn't suggest this if it didn't seem like a better solution for you, but a Weber' Silver Bell' might be just what you want. It's like a G12H-75W Anni -- smoother than the Heritage or WGS Reaper, but you can choose the magnet, cone material and doping,. I'd choose either the 30, 50 or 75W for an open-back cab. Paper cone with Pre-Rola doping should be good, but a light-doped Hemp cone might be nice for a smoother high end with the 6L6's. Hemp is more self-damping than paper, so it doesn't have significant cone breakup, and sounds more-organic/less-metallic. The 50W versions have just slightly less high end extension than the 30W or 75W (due to the lightweight voice coil in the 75W), and the 75W has the strongest bass. Hemp may have stronger bass than paper, so the 30W Hemp might be the most balanced. Light doping should be enough, but Weber might recommend more. The 75W light-doped Hemp cone might be like a G12H-75W CB with a less spikey high end. That might be awesome, but more bass than you might want. Better on stage than in a small room. The AlNiCo 75W version might be just right -- possibly with a sweeter glassy high end that usually comes with AlNiCo. The 50W AlNiCo clips do sound nice.

05/17/2018 6:36am

30W 6L6GC might be too much power for the OT. The stock Tung Sol 5881 are 23W tubes. I'd stick with 5881 tubes. Considering the lack of low bass and detail from the amp though, I'd swap some of the preamp tubes for some medium and long plate 12AX7 to add detail, and bass punch. The stock JJ tubes are good, but they might be all short plate ECC83S. Try an 803S in the V5 PI slot and an 83MG in V2 or V3, and in V4. The stock Tung Sol 5881 are a bit brittle sounding. You could try the JJ 5881 for a sweeter high end with a G12H type speaker. The Tung Sol might be just fine with an ET65 or Hemp cone Silver Bell. I'd buy any JJ tubes from Eurotubes, along with some of their Tube Damper Rings for the power tubes and the 803S to protect from microphonics. Only ~$5 each.

Hugh Smith
01/28/2018 8:37pm

Hey guys. Thanks for taking the time to provide all the input and information. I’ve got a ET-90 on order. I play humbuckers 95% of the time and went with the ET-90 to hopefully provide a little more headroom on the clean channel before it starts to break up. Hopefully I will be able to provide some feedback soon on how it performs with my Archon 25 and 6L6GC’s. Does anyone have a feel for the typical break-in period for this speaker? Thanks again.

01/29/2018 12:02am

Cool Hugh. The strong presence range of the ET90 makes the tube choices that much more relevant. Again, I hope the amp takes 30W tubes without any issues. The OT might get a little crunchy and hot up loud. Just curious which 6L6GC you went for? The JJ are nice and clear, but may be a little hard sounding with the ET90. The Tube Store 'Preferred Series' 6L6GC is modeled after the Phillips/Sylvania STR-387, and possibly a bit closer in tone than the TAD STR. The old STR-387 was the tube of choice for the classic Dumbly sound. The PS may be worth a try if you don't mind paying a little more. It is from the Shuguang factory, but Chinese tubes are often very good. They are claimed as special spec, but who knows. The "low noise" filament is good for a combo amp to minimize rattle, and a sweet high end will be important with the ET90. Rattle prevention alone might be worth the price. Either way, I'd try the JJ preamp tubes I recommended. They should be an improvement regardless of the power tubes and speaker.

Hugh Smith
01/31/2018 9:14pm

I went with a matched set of The Tube Store 6L6GC “Preferred Series”. Got the speaker installed tonight and gave a test run. I like the tone of the ET-90 a lot better than the G12-T75 and the G12H-30. Much smoother sounding to my ears. However, the low end is now a little on the loose end. Especially when palm muting. I tweaked around some with the tone controls and volume. There seems to be a spot at low to medium volumes that the amp doesn’t like. Once you start to really add some volume it tightens up a bit. The
issue with that is that it is too loud for the places we play. We mic everything so we don’t have a loud stage volume. Do you know an anticipated break-in period and if this is typical for this speaker? I may try putting the 5881s back in and see how that changes the low end. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. Have a good one.

02/01/2018 6:41am

I think the break in period for the ET type speakers is only a matter of a few rehearsals. It should warm, deepen and open up a bit. The 5881's should give the amp a tighter, but more compressed bass than the PF 6L6GC. 5881 also seem to have more mid cut -- probably the effect of more compression.

Seriously though Huge, several users say that the long plate JJ ECC803S in the PI slot gives their amps a deeper/tighter punch and more detailed high end, and without the mushiness of the long plate Sovtek 12AX7LPS. It should be particularly good for the 5881's. JJ's are cheap enough that you might as well try at least one ECC83MG in another slot as well. Again, those two tubes should be an improvement with any speaker over short plate tubes.

02/01/2018 8:40am

...Also keep in mind that an open-back cab is more sensitive to room placement. FI, If placed close to a wall or corner, there will be more cancelation around the wavelength equal to the distance from the rear of the speaker and the wall. That could easily make it sound hollow. Experiment with moving it further from the rear wall, or even right up close to it. You might be able to place the rear wave cancelation right where the speaker's natural ~1.4kHz dip is with a 8~10" distance from the speaker to the wall. That should be the most natural and least honky sounding.

Hugh Smith
02/01/2018 11:37am

Thanks for all the suggestions. I may give the JJ tubes a try and see if that helps. I am going to install the 5881s this evening. I will also try with amp placement in the room as mentioned. Will give an update later tonight. Thanks again.

02/01/2018 1:28pm

Sounds good. Moving away from walls or corners generally decreases bass, depending on the listening position with regards to room modes-- more than 20dB notches are possible. You might prefer the 6L6GC in bigger spaces. Good to have the option. Also, half power switches normally put the power tubes in triode mode. That lowers the high cut freq with the same resistance load, while causing harder clipping. Less high end can mask the harder clipping effect. My old Peavey Heritage sounded softer and less-lively/more-"processed" in half power mode. Reminded me of the old Tom Scholtz Rockman units, but did sit nicely in an 80's style mix.

Hugh Smith
02/04/2018 7:44pm

Sorry for the delay in posting. So I got the 5881s installed, but have an issue with one of the bias jacks. Anyway, the 5881s helped some with the loose/flubby bass. I have really had to retweak the mids ands and bass considerably on both channels to try and reign it in. Looking back through this thread I believe that jcknowles89_46923 was correct in his assessment of the low/central frequencies that the Archon resides in. I believe that the Veteran or Retro 30 would be a better choice for the Archon with an upper mid focus. I think that the amp would be more balanced with not so much low mid and low end focus. These are just my thoughts. It is definitely an improved upgrade from the G12-T75. I am hoping that with a little more tweaking and possible tube swapping I can get it where I want it.
Narcoleptigon_47048, what are your thoughts on putting a 5751 in the V1 position to try and increase the headroom on the amp? Just something I was thinking about along with ECC803S and ECC83MG suggestions.

02/05/2018 12:10am

Not sure of the tube signal path of the Archon. A 5751 in V1 may reduce the bass emphasis via less drive into the next tube. The JJ is supposed to be very good. JJ also has a special 12AX7 with lower gain in one triode intended to reduce gain on lead channels. Won't really make a difference other than knob sensitivity if there is a gain knob b4 the next stage.

The Vet or Retro do have a more in-yo-face midrange you may be looking for. The Vet may be too lower-middy. I'd go Retro if the ET90 is ultimately too laid back for you, but I really don't want to speculate further on that.

Hugh Smith
05/15/2018 8:18pm

Well I finally got my amp back. I ordered a set of JJ 5881’s, ECC803S in V5, and a 5751 in V1. I must say that it is a lot more controllable now. The bass is tighter and the gain is scaled back to where it is more usable. It almost has more of a vintage feel to it if that makes sense. Thank for the recommendations Narcoleptigon_47048. I think I will order a couple of ECC83MG’s to try in V2 & V3. I am a lot happier with the amp. I do think I will replace the ET90 with a Retro 30 at some point. That should be the final tweak. Thanks again.

05/27/2018 6:03pm

Glad those tubes helped. The ECC83MG are also very well-reviewed. They might smooth out the high end with the ET90 very nicely -- certainly couldn't hurt. You might even prefer the original 5881's with them in there. Be interesting to compare anyway. My impression is the JJ 5881 are tighter/more articulate than the more resonant stock (Chinese/Russian?) 6L6/5881. Probably a pretty subtle difference if they aren't actually also the JJ 5881.

Here's my take on speaker options if you need to replace the ET90. The Reaper HP is the closest WGS to a G12H-75 Creamback--probably with a smother high end you might prefer. Great speaker if you like that clarinet/flute-like upper-mid resonance character and the presence detail. It might be a bit less middy than the ET90 with about the same level of high end. The Retro 30 should have roughly the same high end level, but even more middy than the ET90. Again, something with less high end would allow higher Presence settings for a more dynamic amp section sparkle without being as bright. The Invader 50 is like a G12M-65 Creamback with a bit less high end and less middy than any of the above options. Not a good jazz speaker IMHO, but you might like it a lot in this amp. I'd probably go with the Reaper HP and just turn the Treble down so I can increase the Presence. I prefer the more organic Reaper HP resonance character to the the more aggressive "stingy" Retro 30 sound.

Passive guitar amp tone stacks boost ~2kHz+ a lot when set flat anyway. Bass is also boosted and midrange scooped (less on Marshalls) with the knobs set flat. The high end doesn't really flatten out until the Treble is down to ~1, so no need to have it up much if the Presence is up. Also get yourself a low capacitance cable (as used b4 the mid-60's coil cables came out) to sweeten and extend the high end of your pickups. Something with a ~200pF total value works quite well with lots of setups.

05/27/2018 7:13pm last power tube option you might consider for a less mid-centric sound is the Tung Sol 7581a. It's basically a tighter/sweeter/cleaner 6L6GC with deeper bass without the boom, and more sparkle the JJ 5881. It essentially just has more headroom and doesn't compress, but breaks up very smoothly. It should give the amp a fuller, but firmer and more open sound than the 5881. You may however prefer the more edgy and compressed 5881 sound.

They are more rugged and robust tubes than most other Tung Sol with thick glass, better internal rigidity with added heat dissipation "wings" for a 35W/500V rating. The performance specs for a class AB1 P/P tube pair amp design (which I assume the Archon 25W is) are identical to the Tung Sol 5881, resulting in a 26.5W output. It guess it just handles more power and doesn't compress. They just need to be biased higher than 5881 to achieve the same bias %, but that should be easy enough. The JJ 5881 should last many years in that amp design (being driven much lower than the rated power). The 7581a are ~$60 a pair, but may well be the last power tube pair you ever need. Check out the reviews here. One guy actually uses them in his Archon: