A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

Postby AlabamaDidn'tGetAway » Sun May 10, 2015 7:16 pm

Approximate '71 SF, non drip edge, 48w Bassman head. Finally found a guy to recap and make her like new.
So while its at his shop I've made a 1-15 cab.
So now Im speaker shopping for an appropriate guitar speaker.
It wants a 4 ohm load. Without going to a 200w500w bass speaker (I already have a decent 1-15 bass cab) I've narrowed it down to one of these two Weber offerings. Weber will make a speaker of the appropriate power rating(80w) and make it 4 ohms to match the head with a single 15' cab.

Ceramic Chicago or California
(click on left under High Power Series
https://taweber.powweb.com/weber/

My instinct says get the Cali with the alum voice coil( replaces JBL D130).
I had a very similar SF 50w Bassman head with the Fender 2-15 cab with JBL alum coils at one point in my youth and I thought it sounded great.
But I was just a punk at the time.
Webers caution about the alum cone and distortion is kinda scary.
I dont use a lot of distortion & play clean 90% of the time but I do plan to push the Bassman to the edge of breakup at least every once in a while.

Since you guys know your JBLs, I'd like your thoughts please.
Should I get the alum Cali, or the Cali paper, or even warmer H dome?
Or should I go even warmer and crunchier with the Chicago?

Not going for a specific GD sound really, just big and clean with a bit of Bassman growl when cranked.
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Re: A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

Postby Smolder » Sun May 10, 2015 7:43 pm

Given your situation I'd take the impedance mismatch and put an 8 ohm d or k130 in it. The weber won't sound like a JBL in my estimation. I've not had a 15, but I've had 10 and 12 California's. They do not sound close enough to JBL's. The Chicago will be more neutral, but you could probably find an EV very affordabely if you want to go the neutral route.

All that aside, my Bassman is matched with an Altec 418 after having both the EV and the K130 (I held on to the later).
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Re: A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

Postby pula58 » Sun May 10, 2015 8:52 pm

Cali's are good speakers, but not exactly like a JBL. Nothing is.
That being said, the Cali's ain't ba. I have had the paper dome version and the screen dome version.

Contrary to the Weber website descriptions, I felt that the paper dome was warmer, and the screen dome was livelier, snappier. I used moderate overdrive (like a tube screamer, and analogman king of tone) and that kind of overdrive sounded fine with both the screen and paper dome versions.
The Cali is not as loud as a D-1230F or K120 given the same input wattage.
I have not tried the Cali's with the aluminum dome.
Note that JBL mounts the dome to the voice coil, but Weber mounts the dome to the speakers cone. Very different tonal results.

If you use an 8ohm speaker on the 4 ohm bassman output you'll get more of a mid-rangy sound (i.e. a tad less bass and a tad less treble) and slightly less volume. Theoretically it is not good for the amp, but in practice I know at least one guy (Kimock) who does it all the time specifically to get the tone that the impedance mismatch gives.

Good luck!
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Re: A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

Postby AlabamaDidn'tGetAway » Wed May 13, 2015 10:09 am

I've about decided to go with the alum dome Cali. People at the gear page and steel guitar forum say that the alum dome Cali is warmer than a JBL. I love the look of the alum dome, lol. I doubt I'll ever be able to crank this rig to breakup anyway in a real world situation. I plan to pair it with my Gretsch Electromatic 5120 with the stock "Gretschbuckers" which is a warm tone anyway. I'll be using it to play mostly 50s and 60s Rock, a lot of girl group stuff like the Shirrells, etc. The other guitarist plays a super clean delayed Strat thru a Frontman 60w. The warm and fat PAF sounding Gretschbuckers are a nice compliment to his tone.
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Re: A speaker for the 71 SF Bassman

Postby FrettyBoy » Wed May 13, 2015 10:54 am

AlabamaDidn'tGetAway wrote:I've about decided to go with the alum dome Cali. People at the gear page and steel guitar forum say that the alum dome Cali is warmer than a JBL. I love the look of the alum dome, lol. I doubt I'll ever be able to crank this rig to breakup anyway in a real world situation. I plan to pair it with my Gretsch Electromatic 5120 with the stock "Gretschbuckers" which is a warm tone anyway. I'll be using it to play mostly 50s and 60s Rock, a lot of girl group stuff like the Shirrells, etc. The other guitarist plays a super clean delayed Strat thru a Frontman 60w. The warm and fat PAF sounding Gretschbuckers are a nice compliment to his tone.


Don't be discouraged if the Cali sounds a bit one dimensional or "flat" at first. I have two alum dome Calis in my cabinet and I almost returned them as they just had no depth at first. I spoke with Weber and they suggested I hang in there and put some serious hours on the speakers before I made my ultimate determination. (They did say they would take them back if I didn't get on with them.) I did just that and i can say that I'm very happy with them now, but it did take some time. So, crank it up as much as you can and play it in!

Best of luck.
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