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alnico speakers vs. ceramic-magnet speakers

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  • alnico speakers vs. ceramic-magnet speakers

    i just browsed thru some jensen speakers samples on their website and to me the alnicos sounded better in almost every case; they didn't sound as crispy or thin, but more "full" and "resonant".

    so which are the common pro and against arguments for both of these speakers?

    also, which alnico speakers would you recommend (if not counting the celestion blues, cuz i already know most of you guys love 'em -- i know how to use the search function...).

  • #2
    The biggest difference I noticed was when I replaced the speaker in my old champ with a weber alinco. There came a point when driving the amp hard that speaker didn't get any louder. I would compress, but not get louder.

    I didn't like it a first because of that. They sounded fine though. I can't say whether alnico are warmer in tone than a ceramic.

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    • #3
      alnicos go way into compression much earlier-- which is great for some sounds-- usually to my ear-- you get a great amount of harmonic content, but the top rolls off a little earlier, and sometimes they lose out on the bottom end. sometimes- just what the doctor ordered-- sometimes, unless it's a BIG magnet, you pay the price of good definition. i'd love a 50 oz alnico speaker with a light cone... but i dunno if that exists! maybe the celestion gold-- but that's a lil rich for my blood-- especially when some ceramics sound as good as they do for 1/3 the price!

      weber's got some great speaks, and i've heard little but rave reviews of his products AND service-- i asked him a question, and he was kind enough to email right back-- give him a holler!

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      • #4
        alnicos go way into compression much earlier-- which is great for some sounds-- usually to my ear-- you get a great amount of harmonic content, but the top rolls off a little earlier, and sometimes they lose out on the bottom end. sometimes- just what the doctor ordered-- sometimes, unless it's a BIG magnet, you pay the price of good definition. i'd love a 50 oz alnico speaker with a light cone... but i dunno if that exists! maybe the celestion gold-- but that's a lil rich for my blood-- especially when some ceramics sound as good as they do for 1/3 the price!

        weber's got some great speaks, and i've heard little but rave reviews of his products AND service-- i asked him a question, and he was kind enough to email right back-- give him a holler!



        ok.

        i think that compression thing sounds pretty good, cuz i'd like to have fair amount of headroom and then get the distortion in a non-linear dynamic fashion.

        yeah, i also noticed the same thing from the samples i listened to on the net; alnicos seem to have a richer harmonic content. they also didn't seem to color the sound quite as much as in some lessay celestion greenback or vintage speakers. of course coloring isn't "bad", cuz it all comes down to personal preferance in the end.

        i also checked out some fane alnicos and i thought they sounded really good. any comments on them?

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        • #5
          they also didn't seem to color the sound quite as much as in some lessay celestion greenback or vintage speakers. of course coloring isn't "bad", cuz it all comes down to personal preferance in the end.


          That has nothing to do with the magnet, but how the speaker was voiced.

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          • #6
            Personally I've found ceramics better for clean and alnicos better for driven tones...but that's a huge over-generalization.
            "I don't want to be immortalized through my work. I want to be immortalized by not dying." Woody Allen

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            • #7
              That has nothing to do with the magnet, but how the speaker was voiced.


              what do you mean?

              are you talking about mic placement?

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              • #8
                what do you mean?

                are you talking about mic placement?


                No.

                The speaker's own voice.

                Speakers aren't all made the same, they are designed and parts selected to craft their tonal range. Depending on what cone and motor is used, a speaker be dark, bright, tight, loose, scooped mids, roll highs off early, etc. Guitar speakers are crafted specifically for the narrow band of the spectrum used by electric guitars, and then the art is EQ'ing the speaker with that band to try and compliment the magnetic pickups natural tendencies. Guitar speakers are designed for guitar applications, but because tone is subjective, there are hundreds of tonal options available. Also, this means guitar speakers suck for PA, stereo and bass applications, speakers for those usually have a much broader range and a flatter EQ.

                Greenbacks are warm speakers, and play a hefty part in getting that old, big Marshall crunch. You can put an AlNiCo magnet on a Greenback and it'll still sound like a Greenback, it's just that it's bass won't be as tight and punchy and it probably won't be as loud.

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                • #9
                  No.

                  The speaker's own voice.

                  Speakers aren't all made the same, they are designed and parts selected to craft their tonal range. Depending on what cone and motor is used, a speaker be dark, bright, tight, loose, scooped mids, roll highs off early, etc. Guitar speakers are crafted specifically for the narrow band of the spectrum used by electric guitars, and then the art is EQ'ing the speaker with that band to try and compliment the magnetic pickups natural tendencies. Guitar speakers are designed for guitar applications, but because tone is subjective, there are hundreds of tonal options available. Also, this means guitar speakers suck for PA, stereo and bass applications, speakers for those usually have a much broader range and a flatter EQ.

                  Greenbacks are warm speakers, and play a hefty part in getting that old, big Marshall crunch. You can put an AlNiCo magnet on a Greenback and it'll still sound like a Greenback, it's just that it's bass won't be as tight and punchy and it probably won't be as loud.


                  Good post

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                  • #10
                    No.

                    The speaker's own voice.

                    Speakers aren't all made the same, they are designed and parts selected to craft their tonal range. Depending on what cone and motor is used, a speaker be dark, bright, tight, loose, scooped mids, roll highs off early, etc. Guitar speakers are crafted specifically for the narrow band of the spectrum used by electric guitars, and then the art is EQ'ing the speaker with that band to try and compliment the magnetic pickups natural tendencies. Guitar speakers are designed for guitar applications, but because tone is subjective, there are hundreds of tonal options available. Also, this means guitar speakers suck for PA, stereo and bass applications, speakers for those usually have a much broader range and a flatter EQ.

                    Greenbacks are warm speakers, and play a hefty part in getting that old, big Marshall crunch. You can put an AlNiCo magnet on a Greenback and it'll still sound like a Greenback, it's just that it's bass won't be as tight and punchy and it probably won't be as loud.


                    i see.

                    so how exactly DOES the magnets affect the sound of the speaker?

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                    • #11
                      After using a Neo magnet this is my pick of speakers. I like their smooth warm sound. No ice-pick at all

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                      • #12
                        i see.

                        so how exactly DOES the magnets affect the sound of the speaker?


                        It's not the magnet so much that affects the sound as it is the voice coil. That yellow~ish accordian shaped burlap texture "thing". the magnet affects how the voice coil moves the cone.
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                        • #13
                          so, is it really about magnets in terms of compression?

                          i mean is it the alnico magnet that causes the saturated compression when pushed to the limit or is it the voice coil?

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                          • #14
                            ok.

                            i think that compression thing sounds pretty good, cuz i'd like to have fair amount of headroom and then get the distortion in a non-linear dynamic fashion.

                            yeah, i also noticed the same thing from the samples i listened to on the net; alnicos seem to have a richer harmonic content. they also didn't seem to color the sound quite as much as in some lessay celestion greenback or vintage speakers. of course coloring isn't "bad", cuz it all comes down to personal preferance in the end.

                            i also checked out some fane alnicos and i thought they sounded really good. any comments on them?


                            The Fanes are sweet, and they do get very, very loud to tell the truth. I'm still playing around trying to find the sweet spot with them, but the nice thing is that most all the spots sound great anyways.

                            They are warm and round, but also can unleash some just explosive upper mid response when wound up. They don't get overly harsh, even with brighter settings, but on the other hand don't try to pump to much lows through them in an open back or they get a little wooly, unless that's what you're after.

                            Pick squeals come out great with these babies and a bit of dirt. Also, coming directly from having V30's in my combo I've got to say these can handle more volume and still sound stellar, the distortion has a finer grain to it, and the lows are a little raunchier, good for some, not for others. And yeah, once you get them going there is a compression that makes chords and riffs literally seem to jump out of the speakers, and not get subdued by the lows or high end smear that some speakers get. They've got a big bark that much is for sure.

                            They do some wicked metal grind that much is for sure, even in my open back combo, and for blues/rock/hard rock they're a no brainer IMO. In my closed back cab they have one of the evilest metallic grinds I've heard in a long time. Pairing one with an EV12L in my 2x12 is .

                            The cleans sound very warm at lower volumes, or as I bring it up I find the best mix with the volume on the guitar rolled back a little for cleans, and a nice pushed clean to mild breakup with the guitar volume up.

                            Truth be told I haven't played a humbucker equiped guitar through them, so I can't really speak much to that. All my playing has been through my Amer. Std. Strat, and a homemade guitar with some 1950's single coils the tech who fixed my KMD head had.
                            Originally Posted by LoopQuantumIt would never work. You're in outerspace, and breathing is a bitch.Originally Posted by BrendanOThere is something very wrong with a situation when I'd rather sleep with the naked cowboy.Vice President o' teh boosted midz clubGreat deals with; ENdtime, OverDriven, outforblood

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                            • #15
                              It's not the magnet so much that affects the sound as it is the voice coil. That yellow~ish accordian shaped burlap texture "thing". the magnet affects how the voice coil moves the cone.



                              - Adam

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