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Best early Marshall 4x12 w/ 20w greenback replica?

markguitar

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Nov 27, 2001
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2,362
My GOD thats some nice furniture!:applaude


As a sidenote i'd like to add that ive not seen a particle board backpanel from the early 70s yet. But i think ive read somewhere that some checkerboard models had them, ill try and find the site again where all the specs from marshall cabs were described.

Henk, I've had a number of 1971 basketweave cabs with particle board backs and it's fairly common.
 

Henk

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Jul 9, 2009
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836
Henk, I've had a number of 1971 basketweave cabs with particle board backs and it's fairly common.

Yeah, lucky me i suppose, the cabdata link also suggests it could be either way on the 1935 in '71.
 

bern1

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Joined
Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,168
Henk, thanks for posting the cabinet info. Seems to me plywood back basket weave or clone will be the way to go on the cabinet.

As for speakers, hmm....Kerry likes 30w, Henk likes 25w, the only ones I tried were 20 and I liked them. I spent some time on the Scumback site reading over the general speaker characteristics. As some have said, it would be great to try a few different versions....failing that maybe I can just throw a hail mary and put 2x20, 1x25 and 1x30 in whatever cab I wind up with!

Anyway thanks for your thoughts. One last curveball question, how much difference does that sonically opaque pinstripe or EC repro grille cloth make? It must somehaow be a factor. Kerry, it looks like all of yours have the pinstripe.
 

Henk

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Henk, thanks for posting the cabinet info. Seems to me plywood back basket weave or clone will be the way to go on the cabinet.

As for speakers, hmm....Kerry likes 30w, Henk likes 25w, the only ones I tried were 20 and I liked them. I spent some time on the Scumback site reading over the general speaker characteristics. As some have said, it would be great to try a few different versions....failing that maybe I can just throw a hail mary and put 2x20, 1x25 and 1x30 in whatever cab I wind up with!

Anyway thanks for your thoughts. One last curveball question, how much difference does that sonically opaque pinstripe or EC repro grille cloth make? It must somehaow be a factor. Kerry, it looks like all of yours have the pinstripe.

Dude, i really think its more about the cab then the speakers, its like the whole 'old wood' discussion on guitars, even the 2045 with the really dodgy sounding 2xV30s still gives me a headroom(in my office practice room) no 4x12 '25 pre rola greenback cab can. Value wise i would think most will agree here that getting a few old Marshall cabs will give you some serious value for money.

And get some speakers aswell, youll need them anyway...... :wail
 
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E-Rock

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Dec 11, 2002
Messages
273
I recently played through a vintage Marshall cab with original 20W Greenbacks...the thing killed, smooth buttery breakup and feedback on demand.

What is the age of the cab you played thru? Pinstripe or basketweave?

Not all vintage 20w G12M Greenbacks are the same. The first 20w version released in '66 had an untreated white paper voice coil former and H1777 cone. These are extremely rare today, as the untreated PVC former could easily overheat and blow the speaker. Thus, Celestion switched to a heat-treated brown paper voice coil former sometime in '67. They also dropped the H1777 cone and switched to a Pulsonic 102 003 cone at about the same time. For reference, click here and scroll down for pics of the untreated white vs. heat-treated brown PVC formers:

http://www.merrenaudio.com/speaker_repair

These later Pulsonic-coned "20w" speakers are essentially identical to the '68-'71 25w versions, albeit with a 20w sticker on the cover. In fact, for a short time in mid-'68, Celestion even affixed small "25" stickers over the "20" text to use up their existing labels!

So, depending on the age of the cab you tried (and assuming the speakers are original to it), its entirely possible the "20w" Greenback sound you're chasing might actually be closer to the "25w" Greenback tone....
 
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pb23r

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Jan 13, 2005
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201
I have one of Jim Seavall's cabinets (and another PVC equipped cab in transit) - they are terrific. In comparison with my '60s stuff? A variation on *tasty*. Highly recommended.
 
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bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,168
What is the age of the cab you played thru? Pinstripe or basketweave?

Not all vintage 20w G12M Greenbacks are the same. The first version released in '66 had a paper voice coil and H1777 cone. These are extremely rare today, as Celestion quickly dropped the PVC construction and changed the cone. Thus, by early '68, the 20w G12M had a copper (?) voice coil and had moved to a Pulsonic 102 003 cone. These later units are essentially identical to the '68-'71 25w versions, albeit with a 20w sticker on the cover.

So, depending on the age of the cab you tried (and assuming the speakers are original to it), its entirely possible the "20w" Greenback sound you're chasing might actually be closer to the "25w" Greenback tone....

Thank you very much for this explanation. I have been literally on a crash course in Marshall cabs for the last few days. Last week I knew absolutely nothing and this week I know enough to be very dangerous. I will have to make a phone call to find out the particulars of the cabinet I played through. I will report back here.
 

bern1

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I have one of Jim Seavall's cabinets (and another PVC equipped cab in transit) - they are terrific. In comparison with my '60s stuff? A variation on *tasty*. Highly recommended.

Ok, thanks. I'm kind of leaning this way, since as I mentioned my amp is also a replica. However, the original speakers and cab are not the outrageous multiples of the replica that the original JTM45's are, yet anyway. So that gives me pause and think about pursuing that.

As I mentioned, I can settle for the close but no cigar...

Is the cabinet you have equipped with the PVC?

Crusade era Bluesbreakers and Fresh Cream is what I'm after with this quest. I've got a Swanson Bluesbreaker 2x12 cab with Scumback Alnicos for the Beano side of it.
 

pb23r

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Jan 13, 2005
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bern1 - my existing Scumback cab is the slant version and is equipped with Heritage Greenbacks. The "in transit" cab is also the slant version and is equipped with four M75-PVC 20 watt speakers. I suspect that this cabinet, with my 1970 50 watt, will yield some nice tone. I am sure that you will agree that "tone" is a function of many inputs - the most important of which is the person holding the guitar. Anyway, these things are meant to be played *loud* and some of the nuance that the YouTube tone gurus talk about gets kinda lost in the ruckus :)
 

jamisonlps

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May 30, 2005
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I've heard 'em loaded with those crappy (truly horrible) Celestion Heritage speakers and even then the cabs were able to overcome the speakers.

You ain't kiddin', I thought the Heritage G12M 20 watters were just awful, I just can't believe how Celestion would put something out like that and really think they sounded good (at all), much less vintage....AND charge more for them. What a joke!

Scumback PVC's
Weber Legacy low wattage
Eminence Private Jack

IMO, those are the three most vintage sounding low g12m speakers that are currently in production.

I'm also a huge fan of John's @ StoneAge Custom Cabs, 2x12's and 4x12's. Check em out.
 

pb23r

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Jan 13, 2005
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Certainly agree that the Celestion Heritage are easily trumped by Scumback M75 / H75 - and hopefully the PVCs too.
 

E-Rock

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Joined
Dec 11, 2002
Messages
273
Crusade era Bluesbreakers and Fresh Cream is what I'm after with this quest. I've got a Swanson Bluesbreaker 2x12 cab with Scumback Alnicos for the Beano side of it.

Fresh Cream was recorded in fall '66, so my guess is that Clapton's cabs at the time were loaded with "first-version" G12M 20w speakers (untreated white PVC formers and H1777 cones). There is some debate that his cabs may have been loaded with heavy-magnet G12H 25w speakers, but no pics have surfaced from '66 showing the "100" logos on his first 4x12 cabs. He seems to have gotten his first "100" logo stack in early '67, well after Fresh Cream.

Crusade was recorded in July of '67, but the earliest pic I've seen of Taylor with the Bluesbreakers is from the August '67 Windsor festival, where he is using his strap-handled script-logo pinstripe slant cab. Did he use this cab for the album? Hard to say for sure...when did he actually acquire the cab? He joined the band in June, but did he own the cab prior to this? That cab could only be a '66 or early '67...so it seems likely that it was loaded with "first version" G12M 20w speakers (untreated white PVC formers and H1777 cones). My best guess....
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,168
What is the age of the cab you played thru? Pinstripe or basketweave?

Not all vintage 20w G12M Greenbacks are the same. The first 20w version released in '66 had an untreated white paper voice coil former and H1777 cone. These are extremely rare today, as the untreated PVC former could easily overheat and blow the speaker. Thus, Celestion switched to a heat-treated brown paper voice coil former sometime in '67. They also dropped the H1777 cone and switched to a Pulsonic 102 003 cone at about the same time. For reference, click here and scroll down for pics of the untreated white vs. heat-treated brown PVC formers:

http://www.merrenaudio.com/speaker_repair

These later Pulsonic-coned "20w" speakers are essentially identical to the '68-'71 25w versions, albeit with a 20w sticker on the cover. In fact, for a short time in mid-'68, Celestion even affixed small "25" stickers over the "20" text to use up their existing labels!

So, depending on the age of the cab you tried (and assuming the speakers are original to it), its entirely possible the "20w" Greenback sound you're chasing might actually be closer to the "25w" Greenback tone....

Ok E-Rock, I talked to my friend with the Marshall cabinets. The cabinet I played through with the 20W greenbacks was a basketweave from 1967. He also has a couple of checkerboard cabs with the 25W speakers. I'm going up there in the next couple of weeks to check them out. I'll bring my kit Metro 45 and check the difference out! I don't know if he any 30 W. Is black back 30w? If so he may have a cab with those as well.
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,168
Fresh Cream was recorded in fall '66, so my guess is that Clapton's cabs at the time were loaded with "first-version" G12M 20w speakers (untreated white PVC formers and H1777 cones). There is some debate that his cabs may have been loaded with heavy-magnet G12H 25w speakers, but no pics have surfaced from '66 showing the "100" logos on his first 4x12 cabs. He seems to have gotten his first "100" logo stack in early '67, well after Fresh Cream.

Crusade was recorded in July of '67, but the earliest pic I've seen of Taylor with the Bluesbreakers is from the August '67 Windsor festival, where he is using his strap-handled script-logo pinstripe slant cab. Did he use this cab for the album? Hard to say for sure...when did he actually acquire the cab? He joined the band in June, but did he own the cab prior to this? That cab could only be a '66 or early '67...so it seems likely that it was loaded with "first version" G12M 20w speakers (untreated white PVC formers and H1777 cones). My best guess....

Here is Taylor at a gig in 1968.

BluesbreakersTaylor1.jpg


I wonder if this cab had the 20W speakers?

Th is all starting to make a little sense. Generally I personally like a "round" sound. I don't mind that Scumbacks sound a little "dark". My JTM doesn't have a bright cap and there is always enough treble out of the bridge pickup of a Les Paul. We'll see if I still like the 20W option when I've had a 25w experience....
 

goldtop0

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Aug 19, 2003
Messages
8,261
Here is Taylor at a gig in 1968.

BluesbreakersTaylor1.jpg


I wonder if this cab had the 20W speakers?

Th is all starting to make a little sense. Generally I personally like a "round" sound. I don't mind that Scumbacks sound a little "dark". My JTM doesn't have a bright cap and there is always enough treble out of the bridge pickup of a Les Paul. We'll see if I still like the 20W option when I've had a 25w experience....


And a G12H30 experience...............:2cool
Apparently that EC Collins pinstripe grill cloth does make a sonic difference according to all that have used it.........it's not a load of old codswallop in other words!!
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
Messages
1,168
bern1 - my existing Scumback cab is the slant version and is equipped with Heritage Greenbacks. The "in transit" cab is also the slant version and is equipped with four M75-PVC 20 watt speakers. I suspect that this cabinet, with my 1970 50 watt, will yield some nice tone. I am sure that you will agree that "tone" is a function of many inputs - the most important of which is the person holding the guitar. Anyway, these things are meant to be played *loud* and some of the nuance that the YouTube tone gurus talk about gets kinda lost in the ruckus :)

Thanks for the feedback! Please let me know when you get the PVC cab and how it compares to the M75 version that you already have. If I don't go vintage I'll probably go with one of those.
 

bern1

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Nov 23, 2004
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Jamison, thanks for the Stone Age suggestions, I checked it out. I want a slant cab, so they're out.

Here's another curveball, has anybody used a slant closed back 2x12? I'm hesitant to mess with the traditional formula....
 

E-Rock

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Dec 11, 2002
Messages
273
Ok E-Rock, I talked to my friend with the Marshall cabinets. The cabinet I played through with the 20W greenbacks was a basketweave from 1967. He also has a couple of checkerboard cabs with the 25W speakers. I'm going up there in the next couple of weeks to check them out. I'll bring my kit Metro 45 and check the difference out! I don't know if he any 30 W. Is black back 30w? If so he may have a cab with those as well.

Most collectors agree that Marshall didn't begin using basketweave until early '68...pinstripe cabs from at least February '68 are known to exist. Thus, if the basketweave is original to the cab, then it almost certainly is from '68 or later. And the only "20w" G12M Greenbacks original to '68 basketweave cabs are the "later" version with brown paper voice coil formers and Pulsonic 102 003 cones. Again, essentially identical to the "25w" G12M Greenbacks used until about '71 or so.

The only way to really know for sure is to open up the cab and look inside. Without removing the speakers, you should be able to see the cone numbers. But to determine the age of the speakers, you need to unscrew them from the baffle to see the date codes printed on the gaskets. That's really the only way to verify the date of manufacture. In fact, the green magnet covers - or even the "20 WATTS" labels - could've theoretically been swapped by somebody in the past, so only the cone numbers and date codes can be used to truly identify them.
 

shakti

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Jan 17, 2007
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Just a few points that need clarification:

As far as I know, there is no correlation between cone type and voice coil. The untreated white paper voice coil was used both with H1777 cones and 102 003 cones. These co-existed for a while in '66 before the 102 003 was used exclusively from then on. There's even some debate as to whether these cones are any different at all. I've seen 4x12s with original speakers where some had 102 003s and some had H1777s, even though the date codes were matching (April '66, IIRC).

The transition to the brown, treated paper voice coils was sometime in early to mid '68, AFAIK. You can't tell by the cone code whether it has the earlier or later type voice coil. I'm not sure if the wattage uprating from 20 to 25W coincided with the change of voice coil former material, but that would only make sense as the treated paper has a higher temperature rating, and could thus withstand more power. There was a period in early '68 with 20W labels on the speakers but with small "25" stickers applied over the 20W printing. They probably used up their old stock of labels after the speaker design had changed and the power rating upgraded. These small stickers have often fallen off, which could explain why "basketweave 20-watters sound different"...probably because they're technically not 20W at all!

The bottom line is you need to know what type of voice coil you have, as the labels on early '68 G12Ms may not be correct.

It also appears that pinstripe and basketweave cabs may have been made simultaneously for a short period in early '68. At least date codes on speakers in those transitional cabs have overlapping date codes.
 
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