Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by ironjose » Thu Jun 28, 2012 4:08 pm

i like the smoothness of the Mesa V30... it feels just right... i wonder if mixing a Celestion V30 and Mesa V30 would sound amazing... both with 8 ohms

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by 94Tremoverb » Thu Jun 28, 2012 5:49 pm

KH Guitar Freak wrote:Probably the same reason why Eric Johnson rewired his 4X12 cabs to 8 ohms...
Which is not possible, with four 16-ohm speakers. I read that quote too, and took it to mean that "running at 8 ohms" meant that he runs his amp at 8 ohms into a 16-ohm cabinet.
screamingdaisy wrote:I think you guys are getting hung up on the impedance and ignoring other details.
Not ignoring - just that the difference in impedance should be responsible for some of the difference in tone.
screamingdaisy wrote:And here’s the Marshall “Vintage” proprietary marshall-only model T3897, raw silver frame, made by celestion in England for Marshall, OEM. It never actually has Vintage "30" printed on the magnet sticker, just "Vintage". This is the first, earliest, longest-running, and original V30, initially designed and released in 1986 for use in some Marshall amps and cabs, before Mesa and Celestion ever had their own custom voicings later on in the 90's. If you're hearing a v30 tone on a recording made before 1990, it's these speakers.
Even that is not the *original* V30. The very first ones had a vented magnet like the Mesa C90. I had a Marshall Studio 15 - the first amp ever to use the V30 - with one of these in it.
They were originally designed to sound almost like an AlNiCo speaker, but using a large ceramic magnet, sort of a cross between a celestion Blue and a G12H30.
I'm not sure where this has come from - other than Celestion, who seem to state it - but it's wrong. The V30 was never designed to sound like an Alnico speaker, it was specifically designed to sound like an old G12H-30 - a "vintage 30" - hence the name. (Or why else would they call a 70-watt speaker a "Vintage 30"?) The fact that it doesn't sound like a vintage H30 is probably why they backtracked and claimed something else, but I remember seeing the original ads for it back in the 80s... which I wish I could find now! They clearly stated that it was modeled on an H30, using laser interferometry to analyse the cone movement - which shows how much faith you can put in science when it comes to subjective things like tone, sometimes :).

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by screamingdaisy » Thu Jun 28, 2012 6:18 pm

94Tremoverb wrote:I'm not sure where this has come from - other than Celestion, who seem to state it - but it's wrong. The V30 was never designed to sound like an Alnico speaker, it was specifically designed to sound like an old G12H-30 - a "vintage 30" - hence the name. (Or why else would they call a 70-watt speaker a "Vintage 30"?) The fact that it doesn't sound like a vintage H30 is probably why they backtracked and claimed something else, but I remember seeing the original ads for it back in the 80s... which I wish I could find now! They clearly stated that it was modeled on an H30, using laser interferometry to analyse the cone movement - which shows how much faith you can put in science when it comes to subjective things like tone, sometimes :).
One thing to remember is that Marhsall "Vintage" speakers were out for years before Celestion released the Vintage 30, and that back in the 80s G12H-30s weren't exactly vintage anything. Long story short, I have a hard time believing the goal was to make a speaker that sounded like a speaker they just discontinued.

Some theorize that it's called a Vintage 30 because 30cm = 12". Others because it was made out of leftover G12H-30 parts... namely the heavy magnet and bass cone. Me personally, I don't care as I don't think it's name has an impact on the way it sounds.

As for what they were trying to develop, who can say? Maybe the original Vintage speakers did sound vaguely like an old alnico to a bunch of people who were burned out on scooped G12T-75s? It's obvious they didn't nail it, but that doesn't rule out that their original goal could've been to create an alnico/ceramic cross and the Marshall Vintage was the best they could come up with.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by 94Tremoverb » Fri Jun 29, 2012 2:09 am

screamingdaisy wrote:One thing to remember is that Marhsall "Vintage" speakers were out for years before Celestion released the Vintage 30, and that back in the 80s G12H-30s weren't exactly vintage anything. Long story short, I have a hard time believing the goal was to make a speaker that sounded like a speaker they just discontinued.
I really wish I'd kept a copy of something with Celestion's original description in it!

This was just at the time that old speakers were starting to become desirable, when people were beginning to notice that the old cabs with 25s and 30s sounded much better than the new ones.
Some theorize that it's called a Vintage 30 because 30cm = 12". Others because it was made out of leftover G12H-30 parts... namely the heavy magnet and bass cone.
Wrong and wronger ;).
As for what they were trying to develop, who can say? Maybe the original Vintage speakers did sound vaguely like an old alnico to a bunch of people who were burned out on scooped G12T-75s? It's obvious they didn't nail it, but that doesn't rule out that their original goal could've been to create an alnico/ceramic cross and the Marshall Vintage was the best they could come up with.
Trust me, I was just really getting into guitar gear exactly at the time all this was going on (early enthusiasm obsessiveness ;)) and I can guarantee that it was meant to sound like a vintage G12H-30 but with higher power handling. Alnico had nothing to do with it - back then they were only considered speakers for an AC30.

The G12T-75 had only been out for a year or so at this point too - the 'modern' speakers mostly in use in Marshall cabs were the G12-65 and G12-80, and a very short run of the G12M-70 just before they switched to the 75s. These early 75s *also* have vented magnets and sound different from the current ones, by the way...

For what it's worth, I took the original V30 out of my Studio 15 and put in a genuine vintage G12H-30, because I didn't really like the V30. How things have changed! (Or rather, the speakers have genuinely improved with age as well just like the old ones did.)

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by danyeo1 » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:55 pm

On another forum someone did something similiar but with Chinese V30's versus UK vintage V30's. The verdict? I'd say 90% of anyone who posted like the Chinese one's better.

For me? I thought the Chinese one's KILLLED the UK V30's. But yes, the Mesa spec V30's also sound great and better than the regular V30's as well.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:45 pm

94Tremoverb wrote:
KH Guitar Freak wrote:Probably the same reason why Eric Johnson rewired his 4X12 cabs to 8 ohms...
Which is not possible, with four 16-ohm speakers. I read that quote too, and took it to mean that "running at 8 ohms" meant that he runs his amp at 8 ohms into a 16-ohm cabinet.

Which is probably true, unless he is using different speakers in them... :P

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:48 pm

94Tremoverb wrote:
screamingdaisy wrote:One thing to remember is that Marhsall "Vintage" speakers were out for years before Celestion released the Vintage 30, and that back in the 80s G12H-30s weren't exactly vintage anything. Long story short, I have a hard time believing the goal was to make a speaker that sounded like a speaker they just discontinued.
I really wish I'd kept a copy of something with Celestion's original description in it!

This was just at the time that old speakers were starting to become desirable, when people were beginning to notice that the old cabs with 25s and 30s sounded much better than the new ones.
Some theorize that it's called a Vintage 30 because 30cm = 12". Others because it was made out of leftover G12H-30 parts... namely the heavy magnet and bass cone.
Wrong and wronger ;).
As for what they were trying to develop, who can say? Maybe the original Vintage speakers did sound vaguely like an old alnico to a bunch of people who were burned out on scooped G12T-75s? It's obvious they didn't nail it, but that doesn't rule out that their original goal could've been to create an alnico/ceramic cross and the Marshall Vintage was the best they could come up with.
Trust me, I was just really getting into guitar gear exactly at the time all this was going on (early enthusiasm obsessiveness ;)) and I can guarantee that it was meant to sound like a vintage G12H-30 but with higher power handling. Alnico had nothing to do with it - back then they were only considered speakers for an AC30.

The G12T-75 had only been out for a year or so at this point too - the 'modern' speakers mostly in use in Marshall cabs were the G12-65 and G12-80, and a very short run of the G12M-70 just before they switched to the 75s. These early 75s *also* have vented magnets and sound different from the current ones, by the way...

For what it's worth, I took the original V30 out of my Studio 15 and put in a genuine vintage G12H-30, because I didn't really like the V30. How things have changed! (Or rather, the speakers have genuinely improved with age as well just like the old ones did.)
Not sure how accurate the current Heritage G12H30s are, but I really dig them in my Laney Lionheart 2X12 cab as stock. AFAIK, they are the 55 Hz version. To me, they sound similar to Greenbacks, with more headroom. The low end is especially tighter than the regular Greenbacks IMO. How I wish this speakers came stock on my "generic" branded cabs. Not too keen on getting a custom cab made really... :lol:
Last edited by KH Guitar Freak on Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by KH Guitar Freak » Sat Jul 21, 2012 3:51 pm

Anywho, I'm still confused between the 70W and 60W Vintage 30 references. Anyone care to explain??? :lol:

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by Jackie » Sun Jul 22, 2012 2:35 pm

KH Guitar Freak wrote:Anywho, I'm still confused between the 70W and 60W Vintage 30 references. Anyone care to explain??? :lol:
The Marshall spec V30 is 70W. Stock and Mesa - 60W.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by screamingdaisy » Sun Jul 22, 2012 5:40 pm

KH Guitar Freak wrote:Anywho, I'm still confused between the 70W and 60W Vintage 30 references. Anyone care to explain??? :lol:
When the Marshall Vintage speakers were first released in 1987 they labeled them at 70w.

Celestion and Mesa released theirs in 1991.

When I asked a Mesa rep they told me they labeled them 70w because that's what Marshall did.

When I asked a Celestion rep they told me they rated them more conservatively because they don't know how they're going to be used (open vs closed back, etc).

When I asked Mesa why they were changed their ratings a year or so ago they said it was to bring them inline with Celestion. My guess (and not to be taken as fact) is that they get a lot of phone calls asking them why their 2x12/4x12 cabs were rated at 140/280w when V30s were only 60w speakers and did it so people would stop calling.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by zakkselvagem » Mon Jul 30, 2012 9:37 am

Mine actually says "Made in UK" ... bought it from the Mesa Boogie Hollywood Store in CA ..

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by screamingdaisy » Tue Oct 09, 2012 12:05 am

Found an interesting bit of history on TGP...
Read this quote from Steve Fryette;

"The 30 in V30 has nothing to do with power handling. But making a distinction between the Mesa version and the off-the-shelf version is legit, even though it has little to do with actual power handling capacity. The rated power handling of the V30 of any version (see below) is 65W.

The Mesa version is OEM. This is the T4416 model, which is an 16 ohm speaker. It is made in England specifically for Mesa. But Mesa didn't specify it that way. From what we were told by Celestion around 1997-8, Celestion changed the model T3904 (16 ohm) V30 design in the early 90s to make it easier and cheaper to produce. Mesa didn't like it and insisted on the original version, which then became an OEM model. The 8 ohm version of the Mesa speaker is the T4335. To get an OEM model from Celestion requires a large order. This speaker was made on a separate production line from the off-the-shelf V30, which as Van Nord says is fizzy and thin sounding by comparison.

There is a third 16 ohm version only used by Marshall - T3897 - which is even brighter.

When we were using Celestion speakers, we found out about the existence of the T4416 which we had purchased from our German distributor at the time and asked Celestion about it. They had claimed that they didn't offer OEM varitions of the V30, but changed their story when we sent them a T4416 "for evaluation". Then a new rep called us, confirmed that there were in fact two separate V30 production lines and agreed to make us a special T Number OEM speaker. After a couple of months back and forth, we placed a large order and requested the special number assignment, at which time they cancelled the order and reneged on the deal. That's when we switched to Eminence. We haven't used Celestions speakers since.

It's not that V30s don't sound good with our amps. It's just that the T4416 sounds better. The T3904 is now made in China and after all these years, the P50E does what we wanted Celestion to do originally - and does it better, in fact - so we don't need Celestions help.

So, if you like V30s, there is nothing about the amp design that will be compromised using a V30. Our amps are not voiced "only" for the P50E. What is optimized for the P50E is the cabinet design. In that, the P50 will perform better in our cab than any others.

And now you know that when you say V30, you could be talking about 5 different speakers - that all sound slightly different:*

T3903 Standard 8 ohm
T3904 Standard 16 ohm
T3987 Marshall OEM 16 ohm
T4416 Mesa OEM 16 ohm
T4335 Mesa OEM 8 ohm

*When you change the impedance rating of the speaker, you also change the inductance of the coil which changes the resonant frequency among other things. So if you have 2 identical amps and 2 identical cabs - one cab loaded with 8 ohm speakers and amp set to 8 next to one loaded with 16 ohm speakers and amp set to 16, they will sound noticably different. The 16 ohm rig will usually sound brighter and deeper.

Personally I prefer the 4416, but not in a Recto 4X12. And therein lies the rabbit hole - you can't accurately compare like speakers in unlike cabs.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by RR » Tue Oct 09, 2012 2:54 pm

Thanks screamingdaisy for the quote

What's peculiar, MESA makes a big deal on their 8 ohms V30 not 16 ohms V30. [ paragraph above the yellow highlight circled below ]
Image

Where I get my speakers, the dealer claimed a bit of the opposite on parallel and series wiring the same speakers to that of Steve Fryette's quote. He claims wiring two 8 ohms in parallel sounds brighter - cleaner ala Fender where two 8 ohms wired in series 16 ohms breaks up sooner ala Marshall [ I think ].

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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by elvis » Tue Oct 09, 2012 3:15 pm

This is a really interesting topic!

I think they make a big deal out of the impedance in the article just because Mesa's standard 4x12 impedance is 8 Ohms vs. Marshall's 16. The only reason Mesa even buys 16 Ohm speakers is for 2x12 cabinets to get a total impedance of 8 Ohms.
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Re: Mesa V30 vs Celestion V30

Post by RR » Tue Oct 09, 2012 4:15 pm

Steve Fryette's quote do make a lot sense about Celestion's production decision.

Come to think of it I DO have a pair of 16 ohms Celestion MESA and 16 ohms Celeston UKs. I think I did compare them. I could not hear the difference but they do sure have the physical differences just like screamingdaisy's pictures posted. Of course I could not do an A/B comparison unless I had two identical enclosures.

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