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New Celestions

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  • New Celestions

    Picked up a pair of these 15" celestions for My PA cabs.

    http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=299-418

    I thought about it for a few weeks and then decided for $99 a pair with free shipping it was too good to pass up so I bought a pair before they were sold out. I'm getting ready to install them tonight.

    They are actually well made Trace Elliot speakers made for Celestion. I currently have some Carvin 15's in there now, and I think they are a lower wattage. I put the original Yamaha 15's in my cerwin Vega Top cabs. I haven't decided whether I'll put the Carvins in the Cerwins or just put in the old Traynor 2 X 15" bass cab I got in storage. I'm thinking about playing out again and the Traynor is allot easier to haul than my Sunn folded cabs or my EV that has an 18" and 2X10's.

    Guess I'll just have to try it and see which bass head sounds best. I'm hoping my 66 Blackface Bassman might be a good match. If not I have two others, a Sunn and a Crate.

    I'm thinking about downsizing my PA rig too. If these Celestions sound good, I may give my bottom cabs to a buddy. They have 18"s and horns in them and they just take up allot of space. He plays mostly acoustic now and has need of a PA. I'll probably throw in an old Peavey PA head I got laying around so he has something to power them. I got so much excess gear I've collected over time. I can sell off the rest, but Ebaying the big stuff just isn't practical. Music stores are a rip-off for used gear. Maybe I can sell some in a garage sale or flea market. I should be able to get a grand for all the older mixers, amps, and speakers I have hanging.

    I can put that money into some additional recording gear. I don't need it but another decent tube mic preamp or even a small combo amp I can sling in the back of my Mustang would be cool. There again my Alverez Acoustic guitar is pretty ragged out. It was a pawn shop special and even after refretting and electrifying it, its not much fun to play, no less record with. I used to have a Martin Classical guitar I really liked. It didn't have a boat neck like many do and I'd like a classical with built in piezio for recording. Or maybe a Hoffner Bass. They have killer midrange tones for recording bass you just can't get from a solid body.

     


  • #2

    As a follow up, I tried these speakers out and have some results. I first tried them out in my Yamaha PA cab replacing the Carvin/Eminence 400W speakers. I swapped only one out so I could compare it to my other cab side by side. It didn't sound bad, But the Carvin sounded better. When playing back normal music The speaker lacked some sub sonics and over emphasized the guitar frequencies, For voice it had more mids than I cared for.

    I next pulled it out and tried it in my Cerwin Vega cab which have the original Yamaha 15's on it. The Cerwin Vegas aren't actually PA cabs. They are huge HiFi cabs I've used on top of the Yamahas, and have 18" bins on the bottom. The whole setup is overkill, But I love a "big" sounding system That will match the 4X12" guitar cabs I use.

    Again I noticed an even more prominent guitar frequency range coming from the speaker, and some missing upper frequencies the Yamaha speakers produce.

    In both cases, the speakers weren't bad. If I didn't have something better in use I could definitely work with them, they just didn't make an improvement over what I was already using.

    My next step was to stick them in the Traynor YT-15 cab I had in storage. I wired them in series for 16 ohms which is what the cab was originally designed for. I then tried my bass head and Precision on it and found the cab had excellent bass tones. I currently have those 15" grills over the speakers and noticed them buzzing a bit when the cab was cranked. I never had the original cloth speaker grill which is what it needs. My buddy found the cab being thrown out at the curb and gave it to me.

    I guess my next step will be to buy some speaker cloth and build a frame that locks in with velcro. Easy job. I just need to pick up a couple of yards of speaker cloth.

    I first tried the 200w Crate head. The head gets buy but its nothing to rave about. I then tried my Vintage Sunn Concert lead head on it with first bass then guitars. The bass sounded better and surely didn't lack for punch. I'd likely need to use a compressor with it to emulate a tube sound. Using guitar was the real kicker. Most 15's sound awful on guitar. They lack the mids and overtones a guitar generates an when cranked, they don't break up well. There are exceptions of course, the speaker has to have a lighter weight cone and be designed for guitar/PA use. I found Jensons, Utahs, Altecs and JBL's to be some of the better 15's for guitar.

    To my amazement these Celestions sounded great for Rhythm guitar. They weren't too woofey, and had just enough mids to do the job well. They don't produce the high twangy tele type tones a smaller speaker does, but for clean warm rhythms and jazz tones, they sound great.

    My next step is to wire the cab for 4 ohms and try my Vintage Blackface Bassman head on it. I think it will be a great match for both bass and guitar. I'll then put it in my studio to record Bass and Rhythum tracks miced up.

    I just did a little reading up on the Traynor cab and found they were originally sold with Celestion Speakers. The cabs are a built solid and are a bit shallower then most 2X15" bass cabs. This reduces some lows and boosts the mids a bit. With the Celections and their added midrange response, they flatten out the normal bass peaks many bass cabs produce and make for a flat guitar response.

    I'm glad this worked out and I'll be getting some regular use from the speakers. I have enough stuff in my storage room already that doesn't get used and really need to sell it off. Then I can buy some more "stuff" to try out. I really should buy small stuff so it doesn't take up much space, but these 15's were one of those items I couldn't pass up at that price.

    They would make great speakers for a DIY PA, Hi Fi, or Surround Sub project, and even for guitar and bass they sound great. A $50 Speaker, $25 piece of plywood, some screws and glue and you have a great weekend project.

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