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The Duane Allman JBL / Cerwin Vega debate finally solved?

Ed A

Well-known member
Jul 16, 2001
I’ve been using JBL D120s for over 20 years now in my Allman Brothers tribute band. Great speakers and I know that Duane and Dickie used them simply because of the photographs from summer 1970 that show the back of the Marshall cabinets open as well as Duanes open back Fender Twin and the JBL D120s easily seen. And the back of the Fillmore East cover photographed I believe around March 1971 with the D120 laying in front of the roadies. Then there’s the whole Cerwin Vega ER123 thing. Some swear that’s what you’re hearing on the Fillmore. I’ve bought the ER123s in the past and while they’re a great sounding speaker in my opinion that’s not the tone I’m hearing from early Dickey and Duane… So here is an interesting comment from Jerry Wexler from Atlantic who was very close with Duane. This is the first time I’m hearing this anyway. He specifically mentions the JBLD 120s and the Marshall cabinets. But he said occasionally Duane would play through Vega PA Cabinets. So maybe that’s where the Cerwin Vega thing comes from? I still think he predominantly played the JBLs but very interesting, never heard that before!


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Well-known member
Jun 9, 2007
Nice to hear from you again Ed!
I saw a pic of him recently on Insta with a Strat playing into a god-knows-what amp.


Well-known member
Jun 27, 2003
In the early days they used whatever was on hand to get the gig done! I worked at C-V in the early 70’s and we were always shipping them speakers and if they were coming to town they would borrow stuff. Later, Chuck used a whole bunch of cabs loaded with ER-124’s for his setup. Don’t forget about the Celestion’s that were in those cabs. With the exception of Dickey who insisted on JBL’s, Duane & Berry used what was on hand or the local music shops had in their stores. Don’t put too much thought into it. It was very different times back then and you just got by on what you had or could get.


Well-known member
Nov 6, 2016
In the early days they used whatever was on hand to get the gig done!

I don't know...

In my imagination this is how they came to use the JBL's:

"Hey man, you know they got this speaker and it's real good, louder and lots of cut."

"Yeah man? How much louder"

"This much" *holds out his wingspan*

"I got an idea, let's put those in these Marshall cabs, we'll be the loudest axe slingers in town!"

"Yeah man, pass that J, will you?"

And the legend was born.
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