evh rabbithole...

Racerxrated

Well-known member
JBLs on their own with a Marshall are just super bright; even darkening the EQ is questionable. But with a few GBs it’s spot on to that VH1 vibe. To me it’s the most important link to have in that tone…any Marshall I play through that cab sounds like VH1.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
GBs mixed with JBL D120Fs. If you want to try this mix, and don’t want to pay 3-500 per JBL or at least that much for a real vintage 20w GB you can grab a couple reissue GBs and find a pair of JBL123s (150 per) and put them in a cab. Instant VH1(or close enough for me).
It is amazing that almost 50 years later and still don't think there's a better combo of speakers that could be used besides maybe just a few others equally good but different like Blues/D120F's, Blues/Crescendo's or 20w GB's/Crescendo's

I had to mix my reissue 20's with my D120F's since my 2 pre-rolas 20's are 16 Ohm's. They're just the perfect complement to JBL's (GB's have all the mids, JBL everything else), but one big difference vs the real deal pre-rola ones (besides them just sounding a lot better) is that the vintage ones are the most efficient speakers I've had, while the D120F is much more efficient than the reissue 20's. This matters because that's probably why EVH had those 20's on the bottom row and JBL's on top to not ove power them, but with the reissues doesn't balance well like that, so I did the opposite

I no longer have 123's, but from what I recall they should get in the ballpark, but the mids are different than the D120F's and they don't functionally provide the thump and power of the D120F's, but for high end and sizzle are actually a bit better than the D120F's. I would agree that reissue 20's/123's are probably the best practical alternative. Those reissues, while they pale to the real deal in compassion, are imo the best sounding speakers I've tried made today

I still think other key ingredients for that sound besides those speakers are paf style pickups and a Marshall type amp
 
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braintheory

Well-known member
JBLs on their own with a Marshall are just super bright; even darkening the EQ is questionable. But with a few GBs it’s spot on to that VH1 vibe. To me it’s the most important link to have in that tone…any Marshall I play through that cab sounds like VH1.
I’ve had in my KW 412 full quads of D120F’s, K120’s, E120’s and 3 123’s. They are very bright speakers for sure, but imo still can sound killer as full quads (tried with most of my amps including my ‘89 SLO and ‘79 JMP2203) because while bright still imo plenty toneful, not harsh or brittle. I prefer mixing JBL’s with other stuff like GB’s or Blues for more complete flavor, but was plenty happy too with full quads of them

The thing is one of my pre-rola 20w GB’s is brighter than any JBL I’ve had (or any speaker I’ve had really) and my other one isn’t as bright (played in more probably), but still bright, so not sure if really they’re taming the JBL’s brightness, but more so just filling the needed midrange content. I wonder if perhaps all that reverb/delay EVH used (I absolutely hated it) was at all meant to tame brightness or round things out. I describe the 20w GB as being kinda like eating the best lemon. Very bright/sour/zingy, but also incredible flavor/tone there too underneath that sourness

My Ubercab is currently loaded with a cross of K120’s/E120’s and still sounds way darker than all my other cabs, so another important factor there too

Part of the issue too is that most guys are awful with descriptions, so when they say it’s too bright, they often aren’t actually bothered by the brightness itself, but something else that’s bothering there ears. In the case of JBL’s I think it’s really more of the hollowness that many don’t like in the JBL’s rather than its actual brightness or treble content. I had this discussion with my friend in his re-amping when we had a whole quad of D120F’s we tried. He said it was too bright, but then he realized after we discussed that really it was the hollowness he wasn’t liking not the brightness
 
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Racerxrated

Well-known member
Right now I have my Blues in that cab with the JBLs; outstanding tone and works for any style imo. Blues on bottom and still almost overpower the JBLs, which are also super efficient
 

braintheory

Well-known member
Right now I have my Blues in that cab with the JBLs; outstanding tone and works for any style imo. Blues on bottom and still almost overpower the JBLs, which are also super efficient
Yes great combo. Almost any Celestion/jbl mix tends to sound great. My favorite Blues/JBL combo was crossing the blues with my D120F’s in my KW 412. Outstanding combo. The blues came out a little more (not a ton), but still liked that tone best over JBL’s on top. Also blues on top and crescendo’s on bottom sounded killer. Mixed quite awkwardly with my reissue 20 GB’s and actually awful imo with the gold’s lol, but maybe could be another story with the real deal 20w GB’s

Would be a pain I know, but might be killer and interesting to hear those blues in your Marshall cabs
 

harddriver

Well-known member
I owned two original JBLD120F's rare 16 ohm speakers, I installed them into a Marshall 1982B cabintet with two Celestion 6402 coned Greenbacks and the JBL's installed just like Ed did and they were not pleasant to stand in front of playing.

Of course I explored almost all of the Ed lore stuff over the years and it was fun. In my educated opinion while the JBL's added a cool different texture and tone to VH-1 I do not feel they are anything magical to EVH tone.... The Greenbacks and Blackbacks contribute more to the core VH tone IMHO.

I have heard straight up 0014 Pulsonic coned Greenbacks/, newer greenback, blackbacks M25's and Blackback 12H-30 55hz pretty much encompass and all get close to nailing EVH VH-1 and VHII tones.

Of course other people will always hear things differently and you might love the JBL120 tones, there's nothing wrong with that.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I owned two original JBLD120F's rare 16 ohm speakers, I installed them into a Marshall 1982B cabintet with two Celestion 6402 coned Greenbacks and the JBL's installed just like Ed did and they were not pleasant to stand in front of playing.

Of course I explored almost all of the Ed lore stuff over the years and it was fun. In my educated opinion while the JBL's added a cool different texture and tone to VH-1 I do not feel they are anything magical to EVH tone.... The Greenbacks and Blackbacks contribute more to the core VH tone IMHO.

I have heard straight up 0014 Pulsonic coned Greenbacks/, newer greenback, blackbacks M25's and Blackback 12H-30 55hz pretty much encompass and all get close to nailing EVH VH-1 and VHII tones.

Of course other people will always hear things differently and you might love the JBL120 tones, there's nothing wrong with that.
To my ear, adding the JBLs to GBs easily produced the ‘sizzle’ I hear on the first album.
 

harddriver

Well-known member
To my ear, adding the JBLs to GBs easily produced the ‘sizzle’ I hear on the first album.
I agree they do add some harsh sizzle. I would also note that the Mighty Mite 1300/1400 pickup adds more of that ratty sizzly grind as much if not more than the JBLD120F's if you are really looking for that VH1 specific tone.

If you like VHII tone, then it's the Duncan 78 model all day long.
 

Kapo_Polenton

Well-known member
The JBL's really give that bite. Tone chasing with GB's and Superleads people probably tend to reach for that treble as the amp fills out from all the gain at high volumes. Those JBL bring them back and allow that top end to smash through.
 

braintheory

Well-known member
I owned two original JBLD120F's rare 16 ohm speakers, I installed them into a Marshall 1982B cabintet with two Celestion 6402 coned Greenbacks and the JBL's installed just like Ed did and they were not pleasant to stand in front of playing.

Of course I explored almost all of the Ed lore stuff over the years and it was fun. In my educated opinion while the JBL's added a cool different texture and tone to VH-1 I do not feel they are anything magical to EVH tone.... The Greenbacks and Blackbacks contribute more to the core VH tone IMHO.

I have heard straight up 0014 Pulsonic coned Greenbacks/, newer greenback, blackbacks M25's and Blackback 12H-30 55hz pretty much encompass and all get close to nailing EVH VH-1 and VHII tones.

Of course other people will always hear things differently and you might love the JBL120 tones, there's nothing wrong with that.
I personally never cared for EVH’s overall tone for a bunch of different reasons, but I do think the D120F’s are a crucial part of that sound. It’s not just the sizzle they give, but also a unique type of hollowness that EVH’s tone had that no celestions or any other brand of speakers I’ve tried have in the same way. It’s not necessarily a quality I like, but a distinct part of EVH’s tone. I think most guys really, even if they think they’re trying to nail EVH’s tone, are actually just trying to capture the parts they like about it without the parts they didn’t like and that is imo for the better anyway. There are imo plenty plenty of aspects of EVH’s that are both good and bad and it’s ok to acknowledge that. I personally can’t stand that overbearing plate reverb he had

About also the brightness of JBL’s, the one less played 20w pre-rola gb I’ve got (VERY different sounding from any other GB’s I’ve heard (including the 20w heritage reissue)) is even brighter than any JBL I’ve had and also imo a key part of EVH’s tone that’s not in the cards with the 25 & 30w versions. I think likely many who feel all these speakers are so bright probably just aren’t used to it (our ears imo need to adapt sometimes to different sounds) and typically dial in a darker sound by default, but with myself at least I have some setups that are really bright, some really dark and everything in between. I like any sound if it’s very high quality for what it is, but I admittedly favor brighter sounds more often. I guess I’m rambling lol, but just think sometimes others overlook great tones that can be had with very bright tonal ingredients. It’s like eating a lemon and claiming it’s a useless food ingredient since it’s not great on it own
 

crwnedblasphemy

Well-known member
If you buy a newer H30 Ann they will be made in England and while still bright, it’s far less of a harsh bright almost like they are broken in already.
I have a new/ish EVH 2x12 combo. I believe its got the G12H 30th anni in her. Not sure if they are UK ones or not. It doesn't sound bad at all. just tighter and a bit brighter than my 1st gen EVH combo with greenback 25s I owned, which had more give, a little darker, less tight. I could live with these in current speakers for sure....just that the green/clean channel is a little too much sparkle for my tastes. I adjust the EQ to compensate. I do prefer the feel of the G12m 25s in my prior combo though. it was more liquid, less sticato.
 

PurityS.L.G

Well-known member
A reason why I LOVE this forum is all the VH nuts here. Please correct me if I'm wrong but I though Ed only used the JBL's on 1984 album?

His VHII tones are my absolute favorite and it sounds like a cranked Plexi into GB's with an Alnico humpup to me. Nothing special other than his playing and feel. Every guitar hero asshole in that era had a similar sound. IMO the true secrets were the pickups and old school boosts these guys were using (EHX LPB, Rangemaster, Shaffer Vega, EP boost, etc)
 
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