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I am an idiot!

11/25/1998 9:54 AM
fet I am an idiot!
I bought a new Polytone Mini-Brute II (110 watt, SS, 12" speaker) for clean guitar applications - it sounded great. For the heck of it, I plugged my bass into my new amp - this sounded great, too. I turned the volume to 5 and "popped" a few times, causing the speaker to visibly jump.  
Now, I hear a slight rasping distortion at the end of a low guitar note through this amp. Questions:  
1) Did I blow the speaker? (see title of this post)  
2) What's a good strong clean-sounding new replacement speaker under $100?  
Thanks for your advice - and I'll be more careful from now on.
11/25/1998 10:11 AM

My thought is that while the speaker is not "blown", it sure is damaged.  
My Deluxe Reverb had a speaker that was slightly raspy in the low end as well. I replaced it with a Weber VST P12N.  
Get a P12N and you'll be comping on you favorite jazz box in no time.  
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11/25/1998 1:35 PM
Michael Sullivan

First off, "fet", you're not an idiot. We've all done something that we're sure would garner us a place in the Idiot's Hall of Fame. We just don't tell anyone about it.  
Yeah, verily, you can definitiely hurt a guitar speaker by playing bass through it. You might not cause the voice coil to melt, but you can sure cause some over-extension of the spider and surrounds. Some of the old Celestions used to warp the voice coil if you played flat-out all the time. With a Marshall, you're running at or over the square-wave threshhold, and the speaker is trying to stay at minimum or maximum excursion for a portion of the wave, rather than moving back and forth. Then the insulation on the coil itself would get abraded away from rubbing against the inside of the magnet. This caused a short circuit on the speaker side of the output transformer, and then you got what I used to call "Marshall pyrotechnics." Smoke out the top vents, blown fuses, dirty soot inside the cabinet, and all manner of strange phenomena.  
Back to "fet"'s question about a replacement speaker: I hear ya, Mook, about the Jensen-clone Weber speakers, but I'm not sure if he's got them voiced for a real clean sound. Most of us who lust after Jensens are looking for them to break up -- you know, get bluesy. What "fet" ought to consider is getting his original Polytone speaker, which is probably a high-end Eminence, re-coned. It'll cost him a HELL of a lot less than buying an entire speaker. The best repair shop in Austin will charge you between $45 and $75 to re-cone a 12" speaker. I can't be leive that it's more expensive somewhere else -- these support shops seem to like taking their musician customers to the cleaners. I think it's part of the "dues" you have to pay when you live in the self-proclaimed "Live Music Capitol of the World."
11/25/1998 2:53 PM
Charlie Escher

I second the recone option, as the stock speaker is voiced quite nicely for a Polytone. Beware of replacement speaks with large magnet structures, they won't fit in many Polytones. The speakers in those things are notorious for disliking abuse, don't ask me how I know this .
11/29/1998 1:24 AM

A P12N would be a poor choice for this type of solid state amp. It is a great sounding tube amp speaker, though.
11/25/1998 3:07 PM
fet Thanks and comments
Thanks, you guys, for your helpful comments re my accidental speaker-cide: this is a great bulletin board.  
It seems that after 35-plus years of guitar playing, my sonic preference is tending toward the "dead clean" end of things - even when I'm playing rock or blues. "Keyboard amps" and "direct-into-the-board" playing sound better than ever as I approach age 50.  
I guess what I like is the "nowhere-to-hide" aspect of a dead-clean tone; your technique (or lack of it) is totally exposed... any thoughts re clean-tone amps, playing?
11/25/1998 5:14 PM
Benjamin Fargen

Fet my man......I think it's time for you to Build yourself a twin reverb clone with two JBL 12's....I'm sure that it could produce enogh clean tone for you and it would still be a nice warm tube tone!!!!  
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