High-Gain Britt-Voiced Speaker Shoot out! | Warehouse Guitar Speakers

High-Gain Britt-Voiced Speaker Shoot out!

High-Gain Britt-Voiced Speaker Shoot out!

Hey all you faithful tone seekers!  This week I’m back to speaker shoot-outs with accompanying videos.  This week’s shoot-outs pit some of WGS’s best Britt voices speakers against their classic Celestion counterparts.  If you do check out the videos, be sure to listen through good sounding full-range reference monitors (speakers); some of the tonal differences were fairly nuance-level.  We used a matching pair of Marshall JCM 900’s, and this was all about high-gain rock tone.  Okay, so ya ready?  Let’s get to the first round in this particular smack-down, a fresh outta the box WGS Veteran 30 vs. an actual vintage made-in-England Celestion Vintage 30. I hope you have time to see all the videos and read the entire blog!

For those of you without the time to view the video, here is the Readers Digest version of the results:  Both speakers sounded great.  The Celestion gave us just what we expected, classic Marshall/Britt crunch with a very focused mid-heavy sound. The WGS Veteran 30 had a lot of that same character, but wasn’t as narrowly focused in the midrange; it had a notable amount more bottom and top to accompany the midrange crunch, it basically was a more complex sounding speaker.  Efficiency wise, they were pretty much dead-on with one another.  Here is the video:

Next we pitted a Celestion Green-Back against a WGS Reaper.  In this case, there was a clear winner.  The Reaper ate the Green-back for lunch.  We were not expecting this much of a difference!  The Celestion sounded tiny and very narrowly focused in the midrange compared to the very complex and inspiring sound of the Reaper.  The Green Back was lifeless, the Reaper made me not want to stop playing. 

*** One IMPORTANT note:  I incorrectly refer to the Celestion Green-Back as a "Green Beret" a coupple of times, Sorry, I should have taken better care of my brain cells when I was younger ... 

NEXT NOTE (March 25th): A couple of folks, including WGS Pres. David, have mentioned that this comparison would have been more direct using a WGS Green Beret instead of the Reaper, and that's true!  The reason I went with the Reaper is because I realized at the last minute that I didn't have a Green Beret on hand!  In a couple of weeks, I'll be doing a bunch of comparisons between most of the WGS models ... answering the ever popular questions of "What is the difference between a Reaper and a Green Beret" and "how different is a Retro 30 from a Veteran 30?".  Stick with me for that - it should help answer a BUNCH of questions! Anyway, here is that video:

And for our last bout, we had in one corner of the ring a Celestion G12 Heritage edition, and the WGS Reaper 55 in the other corner.  Once again, both speakers sounded great.  Just as with the Vet30/Vint30 comparison, the Celestion had a more focused midrange-heavy sound, while the WGS speaker was more complex with more highs and especially more lows.  This race may have been too close to call; I’ll let ya all decide!  Oh, but I keep forgetting, the WGS models are all priced at about half of the Celestion models; in these times of tight budgets ... that always factors in!  Here’s the vid:

Okay, next week, it’s another speaker shoot-out using "tiny tube-amps"; it’ll be a blast!

-Vaughn-

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mlarsen04
03/23/2011 8:54am

Im thrilled to finally be able to hear what the differences are like in these speakers. However I wish you had also used the Retro 30 and the Hm75. Hope you do something to show those speakers off. Keep up the reviews Im loving them.

VAUGHN SKOW
03/23/2011 10:28am

Good idea.  This particular shoot-out was all about comparing classic Celestion Speakers to their WGS counterparts.  In the very near future, I'll so some demos comparing the various WGS models to one another - then the Retro 30 and HM75 will definitely show up!  -VS-

jerodq
03/23/2011 10:22am

Once again, thanks for these videos. I just wanted commend you on one of the technical aspects of these videos. While I don't have reference monitors, I do have some great Grado headphones. The way you panned the sound a bit to the right on one speaker, and a bit to the left on the other was an excellent decision. It really helped to keep straight which speaker you were playing through at any given time.

The only thing I did not like is that you managed to feed my growing discontent with my current speaker setup. I actually play through an open-back 1X12 with that very Celestion Greenback. I bought the Greenback because of its legacy, but I have suspected for a while now that what I have was not living up to that legacy.  This shoot-out has reinforced that suspicion.

 Thanks again for the videos. I am looking forward to the tiny tube shoot-out!

VAUGHN SKOW
03/23/2011 10:41am

My audio "rig" on these last few shoots has consisted simply of a PreSonus M80 8-channel Mic-Pre.  The M-80 is a pretty good sounding 8-ch pre, but what makes it unique is that it has a stereo buss, so that's where I'm feeding the audio to the camera from - with the little panning you mentioned!  No EQ, just the bare, naked truth!  I had thought about doing the shoot-outs in my studio and doing  full post-production session on them, but that would kinda negate the whole point of why I'm doing them.  One note, in the last set of demos, the (center panned) AKG 414 I was using for my comments caught so much of the amps that it kind of ruined the panning that you like so much, that's why I switched to the live-performance style vocal mic this time.  Oh, also, you never mentioned what your amp is, but I'll tell you this ... with the "tiny tube amps", the Celestion Green Back held its own a lot better.  Again, it's all about the proper mating! Stay tuned, I'll post those vids next week. -VS-

jerodq
03/23/2011 12:38pm

Thanks for the tech info! I do small scale audio and video production (among other media related things) so I always appreciate some good info on equipment. You are right about the mic switch. I didn’t notice the panning in the previous videos, but it really stood out on the high-gain challenge.

As for my amp, I discovered that I am a low-watt guy. After trying out about a dozen amps, I decided I liked the Vox AC15 the best. Actually, I liked the AC30 the best but I had grown tired of carting around an amp that heavy (I was getting rid of my heavy Marshall combo). But then a local shop got the Vox Night Train in, so I gave it a whirl. It had the basic tone of the AC15, but a much bigger, more open sound. I liked the Night Train, but it wasn’t quite behaving like I wanted it. I swapped out the V1 12AX7 preamp tube with 12AT7, and that tamed some of the gain and gave me a little more headroom. This helped quite a bit, and it really improved the overdrive tones. But it still sounds a bit muddy and the high notes can get a little brittle. I know my sloppy playing is part of the problem, but I don’t think the Greenback is doing me any favors either. Hopefully the next video can give me a little better idea of what speaker would really compliment my Vox.

VAUGHN SKOW
03/23/2011 2:34pm

Next Week's blog should be right up your alley!  One of the "tiny" tube amps I employed was a Vox lil' NightTrain - not quite the same as your amp, but very similar in voicing.

jdtieszen
03/25/2011 8:42pm

Thanks!  Just a question and clarification.  First of all, wondering why you didn't compare the greenback to the Green Beret?  Personally I would have found that more helpful.  Secondly, you stated that the G12H is higher power than the Reaper 55hz and is the speaker that comes in the Marshall 1960 cabs...I don't believe that is correct.  The G12T-75 is the stock speaker in the 1960 cabs, unless you are referring to the 1960 HW series, which are loaded with the Heritage G12H-30s...but those are not the typical 1960 cabs.  And the Heritage G12H-30, which I believe the Reaper 55Hz is based on is also a 30W speaker.

VAUGHN SKOW
03/25/2011 9:07pm

A couple of folks, including WGS Pres. David, have mentioned that the Celetion Green Back comparison would have been more direct using a WGS Green Beret instead of the Reaper, and that's true!  The reason I went with the Reaper is because I realized at the last minute that I didn't have Green Beret on hand!  In a couple of weeks, I'll be doing a bunch of comparisons between most of the WGS models ... answering the ever popular questions of "What is the difference between a Reaper and a Green Beret" and "how different is a Retro 30 from a Veteran 30?".  Stick with me for that - it should help answer a BUNCH of questions!

 

 Oh, and you are correct that the G12H we were comparing the Reaper 55 against is also a 30 watt speaker.  Thanks for the correction!

ioldanach
03/25/2011 11:05pm

QUOTE: ...this comparison would have been more direct using a WGS Green Beret instead of the Reaper... I realized at the last minute that I didn't have a Green Beret on hand!

 I've heard my JCM 800 through both vintage and modern Greenbacks and there is no comparison. The Green Berets (which I like best) compare with the vintage Greenbacks, and smoke the modern ones for sound and quality. The high freqs on my amp are less spikey with the Green Berets, and the bottom has better definition... plus, unlike Celestions - two 25watt Green Berets handle my 50watt tube amp. Two Greenbacks would be flappin' paper. I've blown a few.

 Cheers

VAUGHN SKOW
03/26/2011 8:38am

I've had the same experiances.  Glad the Green Berets are working for ya!

dougjspencer
03/26/2011 7:34am

Not bad at all and thanks for taking the time to show us the differences.However, I'd like to see you use the same cabinet for each speaker, and do a low, medium and high gain test for each as well.Keep up the good work!

VAUGHN SKOW
03/26/2011 8:40am

Or - maybe if I just had eight days a week!  So many good ideas, so little time!  Thanks for the comments and the encouragement!

godlives
04/01/2011 10:05pm

The Reaper 55 reminds me of a Fane. The Warehouse speakers are much more versatile and able to sound like the celestions if you want them to, a good eq can do wonders. I am enjoying these shootouts  keep them coming, I only wish i could afford to test out these speakers, I own a veteran 30 but it is too much for my set up, but at medium volume it rocks. -Kevin

VAUGHN SKOW
04/02/2011 1:01pm

I have a Fane 12 - and when I heard the Reaper 55 I thought the same thing!

stratmatt777
04/04/2011 4:37am

GREAT!  So helpful!  I cannot wait to hear the Retro 30 Veteran 30 comparison!  I just realized that all my tone problems since 2002 with harsh high mids and treble around my pick attack and when soloing up around the 12 th fret are from the only speaker I have not replaced- the Vintage 30!  

I had a G12H30 once and it was also too trebly with my strat and soldano astroverb so I am afraid of any G12H30 clone, but you say the Reaper 55 sounds like a Fane?  That's what David Gilmour uses!  Hmmm...

Not sure if I should grab an ET65 for low mids and warmness and pair it with my Greenback (which it will overpower) or go for the ET65 + Veteran 30 combo that WGS says is amazing.   My displeasure with the Vintage 30 high mids harshness (and tinnitus) has me afraid of trying anything remotely related to a Vintage 30, but I do like its middy crunch...  I don't know.  godlives (great name), do you need to sell your Veteran 30?  Is it 8 ohms?