Saturday, June 18, 2016

Little Amp, Smooth Power

So I've talked/ written about my little combo amp before.  It's the Epiphone Valve Jr. that I built into a combo amp.  Here's the picture of it.

Anyway, I moved the WGS speaker that I had in to my Fender Blues Jr.  So I looked around for the right speaker to replace it.  The hard part was finding a speaker that wasn't too loud.  Modern 12 inch speakers are made for such high volumes that it makes finding a low wattage one difficult. 

So I was looking at gear on when I came across something interesting.  There's a company that takes old roughed up speakers, and re-cones them as well as updating them.  The seller had a 1962 Rola, Pre-Celestion Alnico speaker for sale.  It was only 40 watts so that made it perfect for my 5 watt amp. 

So I bought it, and it arrived today.  I dropped it right in my combo amp, and cranked it up.  Since the company's name is Hemppopotamus Speakers, I suspect the cone is a hemp cone.  That means it takes a while to break in due to having such a strong cone.  I turned it up all the way, and noticed it was doing the "speaker fart" when I played the low notes.  However, after I played for about 15 minutes it stopped doing it.

I know a lot of players say that speakers need 20 hours of playing time on them before they start to break in.  I could hear just how "tight" this speaker sounded, and figure it will take at least that long.  However, the longer I played it the more it started to break in. 

I can hear how the speaker doesn't have that modern aggression to it, and it has to be cranked to really get great overdrive to come out of it.  But I can understand how musicians say that Alnico speakers have a "sweet" sound to them.  It's very smooth and early Fender-ish sound. 

He has a few more up for sale on  If it's something you may be interested in, I'd say give it a try.  His cost is much more fair than the modern Alnico speakers.  In fact, his are the only Alnico speakers that I could actually afford.  I'll see about getting some sound clips up in a future blog.  But I want to break the speaker cone in first.   

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