When exactly did Celestion change V30's for the worse?

Nigel

Well-known member
I've got two from March '93 and one has the machined VC, the other the die-cast VC.

Neither sound as good as my '06 Mesa, which has the machined VC.

I've got a '97 V30 that has a machined VC, but it doesn't sound as good either.

All have been well broken in.

What year/month is the literal demarcation for sub-standard manufacture? 90? 91? 92?

Just wanting to know sine I've gotta sell these three and replace them.

Also, do @ 2012 Greenbacks (China/50) sound as good or better than mid 90's greenbacks?

Thanks guys!
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
Nigel":3udixce5 said:
I've got two from March '93 and one has the machined VC, the other the die-cast VC.

Neither sound as good as my '06 Mesa, which has the machined VC.

I've got a '97 V30 that has a machined VC, but it doesn't sound as good either.

All have been well broken in.

What year/month is the literal demarcation for sub-standard manufacture? 90? 91? 92?

Just wanting to know sine I've gotta sell these three and replace them.

Also, do @ 2012 Greenbacks (China/50) sound as good or better than mid 90's greenbacks?

Thanks guys!

We had this discussion years ago either here or on Harmony Central about the speakers changing. Someone who remembers will chime in I'm sure but I do remember people feeling like the quality was not up to par to speakers in the past. I want to say mid 90s but I'm probably way off.
 

PBGas

Well-known member
I like V30s, no issue with them. I mixed one with an H30 and they sound great together. Years back I had a couple of older well used UK models which sounded amazing in a Bogner 212CB. Should NOT have sold that cab.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
I don’t want to rehash the whole discussion as a simple search will bring up the threads detailing the T numbers, Mesa/Marshall UK and China info.

What I want to know is when the change happened that Randall Smith rejected and led to the Mesa OEM continuing the original v30 formula.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
The original V30 is the Marshall Vintage, from 1986. Not sure when Mesa started putting their own version in. 2001-2 the production moved to China. I’ve heard they really have it down now; or did before Covid hit. Now everything is coming from Britain from what I’ve read. You mentioned the GBs sounding better than the 90s versions? First I’ve heard that. Last Chinese GBs I tried had an abrasive top end; the 90s versions didn’t have that and sounded damn close to my 74 Marshall cab which rules.
One thing about my experience with V30s...use a quality cab with them(Bogner, Mesa, Diezel) and they kill. UK or Chinese, didn’t matter to my ears.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
There is an absolute extra dimension and smoothness to the Mesa spec that is superior to the UK 90’s v30s I have. I’m aware of the Marshall vintage from 86. Again, anyone know when Celestion made the change in the early 90’s?

Apparently Mesa V30’s aren’t what they used to be as well. Observe:

https://forum.fractalaudio.com/threads/ ... rs.146589/

An IR producer has a clip of 3 different Mesa v30’s and the oldest one sounds right. Maybe the newer ones weren’t broken in? IDK...

I’ve built out a bitchin’ stained birch cab with the 2012 greenbacks and ‘93 V30’s like Dave does. It’s great...but that ‘06 Mesa alone is just better.

Weird too that V30’s made two weeks apart in ‘93 would have different VC’s...
 

SpiderWars

Well-known member
Sounds like you've done your research and I can't narrow it down from early 90's either although I do remember reading a post from an amp builder (maybe Fryette?) that gave lots of info/history including T# etc. The only good sounding Mesa V30s I've tried were 8ohm and all the Celestion versions were 16ohm, Marshall are always 16ohm. I just wanted to mention that a 16ohm speaker and an 8ohm speaker have a different VC and will sound different. Some moreso than others. I don't know if that accounts for all the difference but in this case I don't think you can fairly compare 16ohm V30s with 8ohm V30s.
 

stephen sawall

Well-known member
This is all the versions I have found so far of the Vintage 30....

T3896 8 ohm Original Marshall Labeled

T3897 16 ohm Marshall labeled

T3903 8 ohm Celestion Labeled

T3904 16 ohm Celestion Labeled

T4335 8 ohm Mesa Labeled

T4416 16 ohm Mesa Labeled

T5321 16 ohm Marshall Mode Four

T5794A G12-60 S.E. 8 ohm
Special Edition

T5489 16 ohm
Relic 30

T5401B Vintage 30 8 ohm
Bad Cat version

T5731B G12- Vintage 30 16 ohm
Dave Mustaine V30

T5225 16 ohm 1777 cone
Hughes and Kettner

T5273 8 ohm 1777 cone
Hughes and Kettner

T3904A Vintage 30 16 ohm
25th Anniversary

These are all slightly different sounding Vintage 30.

"When you change the impedance rating of the speaker, you also change the inductance of the coil which changes the resonant frequency among other things. So if you have 2 identical amps and 2 identical cabs - one cab loaded with 8 ohm speakers and amp set to 8 next to one loaded with 16 ohm speakers and amp set to 16, they will sound noticeably different. The 16 ohm rig will usually sound brighter and deeper."

T3896 G12V 8 Ohm Vintage 30, Marshall label, 70w, 444 cone

T3897 G12V 16 Ohm Vintage 30, Marshall label, 70w, 444 cone

T3903 Vintage 30 8 Ohm cone stamp – 444 (standard specification)

T3904 Vintage 30 15 Ohm cone stamp – 444 (standard specification)

T4335 Vintage 30 8 Ohm cone stamp – 444 – Old original spec – now Mesa OEM

T4416 Vintage 30 16 Ohm cone stamp – 444 – Old original spec – now Mesa OEM

T5321 G12 Vintage MF 16 Ohm Custom designed for use in Marshall MF series cabs. G12-CV60.

"What I was referring to was the construction of the speaker itself. Taking a 16 ohm vintage 30 for example, if you simply decrease the speaker voice coil turns to make it an 8 ohm speaker, the chances that it would sound the same in all other respects are slim. By playing with other factors such as wire gauge and doping, they can me made to sound similar, but not identical.

So, it's important to know that when you are comparing cabs. Comparing two identical cabs operated by identical amplifiers, but one cab loaded with 8 ohm V30s and the amp set to 8 ohms vs one cab loaded with 16 ohm V30s and the amp set to 16 ohms, you are going to hear a pronounced difference in sound and performance. The differences will be partly the difference in electrical characteristics of the speakers and partly the resulting change in reactance of the amplifier.

Even so, I think you'll find that two 8 ohm speakers wired in series for a 16 ohm load will produce a deeper wider sound."

Both quotes are Steven Fryette.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
Yes. My Zinky 16 ohm 2x12 is a little extra when compared to my 16 ohm 4x12.

High gain is where the tone difference is biggest.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
I think, like guitars, all speakers even of the same design can sound just a little different from one another. I had a Fender Tonemaster cab that sounded great, that is until I played a Rivera and Mesa, Bogner...those cabs blew away the Fender. The Fender had British V30s too..while the other cabs had Chinese. That's when I knew cab construction mattered most.
 

NewWorldMan

Well-known member
Without going too far down the rabbit hole here...

As noted above, the earliest version (the Marshall G12 Vintage) was conceived for Marshall, specifically for use in the Studio 15 combos. The earliest ones I’ve seen were actually vented models with ‘85 date codes (the T3896/T3897). Marshall then started using them in special edition Jubilee cabs and the first 1960 AV/BV cabs starting in ‘87. The earliest Marshall 1960BV cabs had standard JCM 800 front tags with 1960 AV/BV serial plates with their own serial number scheme before the “Marshall Vintage” front tags were made.

As Marshall was using their proprietary model in the ‘80s, Celestion put out their own standalone version in ‘86-ish as well (T3903/T3904). Both were available into the early ‘90s when production changed. I’ve tried to pin down exactly when the change happened, but the closest I’ve gotten is in the ‘91 - ‘93 range. Mesa used the Celestion V30 as well, and weren’t happy that they changed the production on them. Upon request, they coopted the original T3903/T3904 as their own proprietary model (T4335/T4416). So, the Celestion V30s starting the early ‘90s were made somewhat differently, and the original V30 became Mesa’s proprietary model.

Marshall also changed the production of their G12 Vintage around this time, though Celestion will deny it :LOL: :LOL: So going into the early ‘90s, you have the oldest Marshall G12 Vintage which are a little darker and woodier, Celestion’s original models, Marshall’s brighter and more upper mid heavy model that came about, and Mesa’s models which should be the same as the oldest Celestion versions.

If you hear any V30 on an album prior to ‘90 - ‘91, it’s either the original Marshall model or the original Celestion model, and if you have a Mesa T4336/T4416, it should in theory be the exact same as the Celestion V30 you would have found in the ‘80s. Where did those changes happen? No one really knows, and Celestion will deny quite a bit, but the odds from what I’ve seen are sometime in the ‘91 - ‘93 range.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
I’m thinking pre-93. Both that I have don’t record nearly as well as my Mesa. It’s no contest. Maybe Jim can enlighten us. He is the Sherlock Holmes of this subject!

Or Dave?
 

stephen sawall

Well-known member
Racerxrated":3p3t94ew said:
I think, like guitars, all speakers even of the same design can sound just a little different from one another. I had a Fender Tonemaster cab that sounded great, that is until I played a Rivera and Mesa, Bogner...those cabs blew away the Fender. The Fender had British V30s too..while the other cabs had Chinese. That's when I knew cab construction mattered most.

Absolutely true....if you pull four identical speakers from a 4x12 cab each one sounds slightly different. No two speakers sound exactly the same.

The cab is just as important to the sound as the speaker.

No two individual cabs regardless of what speaker sound identical. Even if they look identical.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
stephen sawall":teye01th said:
Racerxrated":teye01th said:
I think, like guitars, all speakers even of the same design can sound just a little different from one another. I had a Fender Tonemaster cab that sounded great, that is until I played a Rivera and Mesa, Bogner...those cabs blew away the Fender. The Fender had British V30s too..while the other cabs had Chinese. That's when I knew cab construction mattered most.

Absolutely true....if you pull four identical speakers from a 4x12 cab each one sounds slightly different. No two speakers sound exactly the same.

The cab is just as important to the sound as the speaker.

No two individual cabs regardless of what speaker sound identical. Even if they look identical.

The good word. Same is true of amplifiers. No two are the same. This was the reason Soldano used NASA spec tolerances in his components. Ironic he never got the real sauce until he worked on Eddie’s Marshall and then made the Hotrod 50.
 

bubucci

Active member
I had old armored version Mesa OS 4x12 and speakers was labeled as ‘92 T4335. I don’t like Mesa OS cabs so I put them in VHT fatbottom.
I make short video for myself for comparing, nothing scientific, but there are differences more than subtle.
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
Racerxrated":8xttnhap said:
The original V30 is the Marshall Vintage, from 1986. Not sure when Mesa started putting their own version in. 2001-2 the production moved to China. I’ve heard they really have it down now; or did before Covid hit. Now everything is coming from Britain from what I’ve read. You mentioned the GBs sounding better than the 90s versions? First I’ve heard that. Last Chinese GBs I tried had an abrasive top end; the 90s versions didn’t have that and sounded damn close to my 74 Marshall cab which rules.
One thing about my experience with V30s...use a quality cab with them(Bogner, Mesa, Diezel) and they kill. UK or Chinese, didn’t matter to my ears.

This is encouraging!! Don't get me wrong, I'm sure China does a good job making some things but I like the idea of getting a nice British speaker that is as good as it used to be.
 
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