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Champ clone - squeeze in an 8" or pony up for a 10"/12" cab?

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  • Champ clone - squeeze in an 8" or pony up for a 10"/12" cab?

    Hey dudes, recently got back into playing guitar more regularly and I've got this little champ clone combo that I've had for year, which sounds kind of ok, but the little 6" speaker it came with really lets it down. From measuing the cab I think it would be possible to squeeze an 8" speaker in there, however, I'm not sure if there's much point in doing that instead of just buying an extension cab with either a 10" or 12" speaker. It's basically just for bedroom use, and even with the 6" speaker the amp is way to loud (lucky it has an attenuator) to crank up, so volume is not the issue. Buying an 8" speaker would be the most cost effective option as I can make the necessary mods to the existing cab myself, but my concern is that it won't really improve the sound that much. On the other hand, I'd be looking for a CHEAP cab, so that might not sound that great either.

    I guess the questions I'm hoping y'all can answer for my are;
    1. How different sounding are 8" speakers vs 6"?
    2. Am I better off with a better quality 8" over a cheaper, lower quality 10" or 12"?

    Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Quick note, I'm in Australia so gear is stupid expensive here and shipping from the US is mad expensive.

    Cheers!
    How do you like your mids? Scooped, boosted, or haunting?

  • #2
    All else being equal, which it rarely is, an 8'' speaker will give more volume and low end than a 6''. It will probably handle more power. A good speaker is preferable to a cheap one, yes. If cost is a factor, I'd recommend replacing the existing speaker.
    Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
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    • #3
      Really a difficult question to answer as I don't hear what you hear but....... I have a '52 Champ 600 that I placed an 8" Jupiter speaker into and it sounds quite good........ For what it is. I think we often expect big amp performance from these little amps and that's unrealistic.

      A&H GL2800 console, BagEnd Crystals over D-18's, 12"and 15" BagEnd and EAW wedges powered and processed by QSC, Klark, BSS, Symetrix, Valley, Sabine, Peavey and BagEnd INFRA.

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      • #4
        Upgrading the speaker is a good way to improve a combo amp. Going to an 8" from a 6", as noted, will typically get you a fuller sound and more projection, but going to a 10" will open up a small amp remarkably, taking the handcuffs off, if you will. But taking this another step, a cheap 10" cab may not get you what you want, whereas a good quality 8", if it fits, for bedroom use, is probably a far better idea.
        "We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties due to reality fluctuations. The elves are working tirelessly to patch the correct version of reality. Activities here have been temporarily disabled since the fundamentals of mathematics, physics and reason may be incomprehensible during this indeterminate period of instability. Normal service will be restored once we are certain as to what 'normal' is."

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        • #5
          i don't like small speakers, like 6" or 8", they lack in the definition of low end and when cranked they sound farty,
          and i do love my celestion vintage 30 12" speaker, but it is loud as hell, even with my 6W setting on my deluxe/champ clone

          it all depends what your budget is,
          buying a no-name 1x12 extension cab, with a not so nice speaker in it may you want to swap the speaker right afterwards. on the other hand, there not so much different 8" speakers options out there with "better" qualities than your 6" might to select of, so the improvement might only be minimal

          i would say go big, but thats me, and i play electric in the bedroom unplugged only(sleeping kids) and the amp only in band setting

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          • #6
            Many small amps don't sound much better with larger speakers of equal quality. It will in fact become much stiffer sounding and compress much less, mainly because 8's are designed for higher wattages and dont saturate at the lower volumes smaller speakers do.

            I had a squire Champ with an 8" which I added a speaker jack and I could plug it into other cabs and all it did was increase the bass. The amp is voiced for a particular sized speaker. A 6" will be fed a scooped sound to make it sound bigger then it actually is. A larger speaker in a larger cab will sound too scooped. In the same size cab it will sound weird.

            If you go to a larger speaker go up in quality so there is in fact an improvement in sound and not a down grade because of the amps voicing.

            The problem you'll have is when it comes to finding decent 8" speakers is the choice is slim pickin's. Even on EBay most of what you find is used speakers from similar combos. The best I've come across were some Peavey 8" Blue Marvel full range 8's. I bought a pair at Parts Express about a year ago and they're response is wide and fairly flat so they didn't have the scooped mud tones typical 8's have. Compared to the low end Celestin's (Park Speakers) used in my 15W Marshalls the sound quality is much better.

            A Jensen Ceramic or alnico might do well too. I'd avoid the less expensive Jensen Mod Speakers. I bought a 10" as a replacement for a Peavey Combo and they lack top and bottom end. Peavey combo's are exceptionally bright and it was apparent the speaker lacked frequency response. Eminence makes some decent 8's too which are an upgrade from most stock speakers. It would be a toss up for quality between the Jensen and Eminence. Don't go cheap and buy some PA or Hi Fi speaker. Make sure its designed for a guitar amp.

            You can also look up the specs on them and check the frequency response chart and SPL levels. The higher the SPL the louder the speaker will be for a given wattage. The Chart can help you choose a frequency contour that improves the sound. If you're using the same cab the speaker wont have a great bass response. Having enough air in the cab to produce a decent back wave.

            Air adds resistance like a shock absorber to the cone movement and works with the speaker resonance to create the proper bass tones. An over sized speaker will sound less compressed and overly dynamic and you may have notes that sound dead while others are too lively. You can easily misdiagnose the sound as a guitar setup issue so beware. Don't compound the problem by screwing with the instrument to make it sound better through an improperly matched speaker/cab size.
            Last edited by WRGKMC; 07-27-2017, 08:10 AM.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WRGKMC View Post
              . . . If you're using the same cab the speaker wont have a great bass response. Having enough air in the cab to produce a decent back wave.

              Air adds resistance like a shock absorber to the cone movement and works with the speaker resonance to create the proper bass tones. An over sized speaker will sound less compressed and overly dynamic and you may have notes that sound dead while others are too lively. You can easily misdiagnose the sound as a guitar setup issue so beware. Don't compound the problem by screwing with the instrument to make it sound better through an improperly matched speaker/cab size.
              If the amp is indeed a Champ clone, as the OP says, it will have an open back so cab volume won't really be an issue because the whole room will be the cab and there won't be any ''air resistance.''
              Official HCAG “Theory-Challenged Hack”
              Member of the IBANEZ ACOUSTIC ASSASSINS
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              Member of the Schecter Society
              Person-2-Person on the Web

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              • #8
                I don't like 8" speakers. Not sure why, just haven't found one that sounds good to me.

                OTOH I have a small champ-ish clone with a 6" alnico that sounds great. I believe a part of the 'big' tone it produces has to do with the fact there is a fair bit of air around the speaker - i.e., by not squeezing a large speaker into a small enclosure the speaker has room to breathe. You might find sound quality drops off after putting an 8 where the 6 used to be; there's some science to matching speakers with enclosures that shouldn't be overlooked.

                12s are very popular as most peeps consider them "warm" but that's just the inefficiency of the speaker adding some natural compression.

                I love the sound of a good 10" - nice and punchy. 2 10s is even better. Add a compressor pedal if you want it to sound like a 12.
                --------------------------------
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                • #9
                  I'm not a big fan of 6" or 8" speakers. Get a decent 10" and ANY Champ will sound a lot better.

                  You don't have to spend big bucks either. When I restored and blackfaced a '71 Princeton Amp I found in a local pawn shop a few years ago, I planned on getting a Weber for it, but I put in a inexpensive "reissue" (sic) Jensen speaker into it as a "temporary" measure since I could get it cheap and fast... and it's been in there ever since. I really haven't felt an urgent need to replace it.

                  You can get those speakers for under $50.
                  **********

                  "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                  - George Carlin

                  "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                  - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                  "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                  - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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                  • #10
                    I'm with Phil ^^ (except the 6" AlNiCo in my 3 watt Takt sounds fabulous)

                    When I upgraded my 5 watter (it came with a 4 ohm 15W OEM Celestian Tube 10) I went for a 2 x 10 setup.

                    I put a 20 watt Weber AlNiCo Silver 10 (https://www.tedweber.com/slvr10a) in the main amp cab and an Eminence Lil Buddy 10" 50-watter in the extension. Both are 8 ohm so the load on the amp is the same.

                    The Lil Buddy has more of a 12" tone to it - bit louder, bassier and 'warmer' than the Weber. Both are nice in their own way and complement each other really well.

                    Eminence was 1/2 the price of the Weber but twice the weight and quite a bit bigger with those honking ceramic magnets!
                    Last edited by Verne Andru; 08-10-2017, 07:02 PM.
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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Verne Andru View Post
                      Eminence was 1/2 the price of the Weber but twice the weight and quite a bit bigger with those honking ceramic magnets!
                      I've got an EV speaker in one of my amps, and it could make any 1x12" combo "heavy" - like all high-powered speakers, the thing weighs a ton!
                      **********

                      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."

                      - George Carlin

                      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."

                      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."

                      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                      Comment

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