Here is something that isn’t new to me but, has been capturing my attention. I have a couple different amp head scenarios. I have a couple Kevin Nelson amp clones btw great amp guy. One is a tweed pro and the other an eh-185 with 9 pin tubes. A creation that was inspired by both Craner and myself. To add confusion to all of this I use two different speaker cabs one a traditional port hole cab made by Nocturne and loaded with a Tone-Tubby blue. MY other cab is a film projector ampro loaded with a vintage p-12ps. Not sure what that really means. I notice that when I use my 295 I need to have the ampro cab and jensen. The smaller cab keep the guitar from feeding back and the paper jensen preserves the Highs. The nocturne cab with the blue tone-tubby gets killer lows and sounds very 3D. Killer rig with my solid bodies but not the best for my hollow bodies. So all this aside I wonder when amps were designed in the 30’s and early 40’s the smaller cabinets were intentional to minimize feedback from amplified arch-tops. I don’t see to many huge amps from the late 30’s through the 40’s could be wrong. Just speculation but want to know what you think.
One thing I notice is at low volume playing the Tone Tubby loaded cab sounds thick and warm and really good, and the Jensen is a little too bright. However, Hearing Tommy live, the Tone Tubby just gets louder with that thick warm tone–not bad, but ends up being a little dark. The Jensen, while really bright at low volume, begins to thicken up and compress as it gets louder. The brightness kind of compresses down and at it really sits perfect in the mix of live playing. Almost sounding similar to how the Tone Tubby sounds at low volume.
I too haven’t seen many big amps from that era. I think it there a low volume requirement back in those days. Drummers kept the beat and piano with horns aren’t really that loud. It was all about the song and the singer had to be clearly heard. I’m playing at home mostly with a Guild CE-100 with Franz pickups thru one of 3 amps.
A fender pro jr with very small cab and 10″ stock speaker. Howls like the dickens if I get too close. Had to buy a longer cord to get across the room and away from it. A ’41 Gibson EH-185; lots less less feedback with same guitar and similar amp setting. A ZT lunchbox (solid state) with no feedback on any setting or distance and position from the amp. I’m ready to go with solid state(Quilter) with vintage speaker(s) mounted in separate cab next. Moving to North Carolina in 2 months and hope to find more guys or gals to jam with so need a rig that suits both at home and playing out without the feedback issues. Will also be rededicating toward playing more and wood shedding. Hey, this is what retirement is all about, right? Keep going with this subject!
I forget to mention that I have a ’59 Jensen P15 smooth cone speaker sitting around that I want to try with a Quilter mini amp. May take a few months due to moving but I’ll post my thoughts on that one.
Here is some news. I used to own a late 40’s early 50’s Magnatone trubadour. When I bought it, I didn’t own a speaker so I took the p12 out of my ampro speaker cabinet and put it in the magnatone. I just recently purchased it back and have been using my Kevin Nelson 185 clone with with the magnatone cab and p12. It sounds very similar to the p12 in the ampro cab. The conclusion I am having is that the smaller cab with a 12″ works well with arch top guitars. I get plenty of presence and I don’t feed back. Love your thoughts. Seems to me small speaker cabs in the development of electric guitars might have had more science to it than just arbitrary design. call me nuts but that’s what I’m thinking this week.
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