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

Nigel

Well-known member
Racerxrated":tlzcamyf 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.

I've heard the Chiner GB's take like 100 hours to break in. The ones I got are from 2012 and they did need a pounding. Folks say one day they just smooth out, like a light-switch effect. Not sure...I like them in my FL 4x12. For now I'm just going to run Mitchel donuts on the bottom two UK V30's and be done with it. 16 ohm is rad for jamming, the cut is indisputable. Recording? Real fucking different...gimme all the righteous T4335 toanz!
 
NewWorldMan":2wwtggku said:
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.
Thank God for you writing all that out. Saves me the trouble of correcting all the errors in the previous posts :thumbsup: The only thing I would add is that in the early 2000, Mesas OEM version changed as well along with all the other V30s. So if anyone is looking for the "correct" old school V30s, it's either pre ca 2001 Mesas or 80s Celestion branded ones.
 

romanianreaper

Well-known member
stephen sawall":257yngit said:
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.

Perfect timing bro, because I was just going to ask that. So with V30s, what is the consensus on what cabs work best with those? I'd be curious if people have had good luck with a certain company. I had an Avatar 2x12 years and years ago that had a V30 and G12 if I remember correctly. Sounded really good.
 

stephen sawall

Well-known member
romanianreaper":3td1z9tc said:
stephen sawall":3td1z9tc said:
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.

Perfect timing bro, because I was just going to ask that. So with V30s, what is the consensus on what cabs work best with those? I'd be curious if people have had good luck with a certain company. I had an Avatar 2x12 years and years ago that had a V30 and G12 if I remember correctly. Sounded really good.

I usually prefer closed back cabs with all speakers. Generally I prefer and use 4x12 cabs.

My personal favorite 4x12 cabs with all speakers is the Peavey cabs from the 80's. But there is lots of good cabs out there.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
stephen sawall":2hs0x7gx said:
My personal favorite 4x12 cabs with all speakers is the Peavey cabs from the 80's. But there is lots of good cabs out there.

Must be something to them. Didn't Tom Morello play one?
 

stephen sawall

Well-known member
Nigel":1duwdhc5 said:
stephen sawall":1duwdhc5 said:
My personal favorite 4x12 cabs with all speakers is the Peavey cabs from the 80's. But there is lots of good cabs out there.

Must be something to them. Didn't Tom Morello play one?
Not sure about Tom. They just sound good to me. They are build really well. I must have owned a dozen of them over the decades. Right now I only have one and a 2x12 from the same era.
I have a Marshall and Fryette 4x12 also.
I'm thinking about picking up a oversized Mesa straight 4x12.
 

Luca79

Active member
I have restored an old Marshall and bought different V30 8 ohm, 1 UK 1 Marshall and 2 china. All the same to me :LOL: :LOL:

Compared my cab to an old Mesa slant oversized are very similar, but i prefer mine because is more more sweet and have more sag.
 

Monomyth

Well-known member
I own a lot of cabs with various years of v30s and to my ears the absolute best ones are the marshall vintage, I’ve sold off my Chinese v30s years ago because there is a major difference, I do like the Chinese greenbacks better than the English ones though, I’m also a big fan of the g12h anniversary and g12k100
 

Nigel

Well-known member
Monomyth":3jjwfile said:
I own a lot of cabs with various years of v30s and to my ears the absolute best ones are the marshall vintage, I’ve sold off my Chinese v30s years ago because there is a major difference, I do like the Chinese greenbacks better than the English ones though, I’m also a big fan of the g12h anniversary and g12k100

I’ve got some 2012 Chinese GB’s and I wonder if they’ve yet to break in. I hear it takes 100-300 hours. How old are yours, and did you get them new?
 

stephen sawall

Well-known member
Break in take 30 -100 hours depending on the speaker. You need to be playing at drumset volumes to break in.
With new or speakers that have not been used in awhile let the speaker warm up 5-10 minutes or more by letting the hum of the amp off standby with the guitar not plugged into the amp.
This hum is enough to let the coils warm up.
It does take hundreds of hours at drumset volumes to completely break-in a speaker.
 

Nigel

Well-known member
stephen sawall":93h1t2gd said:
Break in take 30 -100 hours depending on the speaker. You need to be playing at drumset volumes to break in.
With new or speakers that have not been used in awhile let the speaker warm up 5-10 minutes or more by letting the hum of the amp off standby with the guitar not plugged into the amp.
This hum is enough to let the coils warm up.
It does take hundreds of hours at drumset volumes to completely break-in a speaker.

I usually hook up a Crown 460CSL to a cab and play Deadmau5 and Meshuggah through it (very loud, high excursion) for 8 hours a day while at work. It’s amazing how much speakers change when broken in.
 

SQUAREHEAD

Well-known member
Sorry to dig this old thread up but I have a question and you guys seem to know more about this than I do…
In my area, a guy has a 2017 (Marshall) vintage cabinet for sale and he says it has T3897 Vintage G12 speakers in it?!
Does this sound right to you guys?
I thought they stopped building these in the mid 2005 era?
Just wanted to hopefully shed some light on this before I drive 1.5 hours to see and open up this cabinet only to find newer Chinese vintage 30s in it…
 
From Steve Fryette around 2012:

The 30 in V30 has nothing to do with power handling. But making a distinction between the Mesa version and the off-the-shelf version is legit, even though it has little to do with actual power handling capacity. The rated power handling of the V30 of any version (see below) is 65W.

The Mesa version is OEM. This is the T4416 model, which is an 16 ohm speaker. It is made in England specifically for Mesa. But Mesa didn't specify it that way. From what we were told by Celestion around 1997-8, Celestion changed the model T3904 (16 ohm) V30 design in the early 90s to make it easier and cheaper to produce. Mesa didn't like it and insisted on the original version, which then became an OEM model. The 8 ohm version of the Mesa speaker is the T4335. To get an OEM model from Celestion requires a large order. This speaker was made on a separate production line from the off-the-shelf V30, which as Van Nord says is fizzy and thin sounding by comparison.

There is a third 16 ohm version only used by Marshall - T3897 - which is even brighter.

When we were using Celestion speakers, we found out about the existence of the T4416 which we had purchased from our German distributor at the time and asked Celestion about it. They had claimed that they didn't offer OEM varitions of the V30, but changed their story when we sent them a T4416 "for evaluation". Then a new rep called us, confirmed that there were in fact two separate V30 production lines and agreed to make us a special T Number OEM speaker. After a couple of months back and forth, we placed a large order and requested the special number assignment, at which time they cancelled the order and reneged on the deal. That's when we switched to Eminence. We haven't used Celestions speakers since.

It's not that V30s don't sound good with our amps. It's just that the T4416 sounds better. The T3904 is now made in China and after all these years, the P50E does what we wanted Celestion to do originally - and does it better, in fact - so we don't need Celestions help.

So, if you like V30s, there is nothing about the amp design that will be compromised using a V30. Our amps are not voiced "only" for the P50E. What is optimized for the P50E is the cabinet design. In that, the P50 will perform better in our cab than any others.

And now you know that when you say V30, you could be talking about 5 different speakers - that all sound slightly different:*

T3903 Standard 8 ohm
T3904 Standard 16 ohm
T3987 Marshall OEM 16 ohm
T4416 Mesa OEM 16 ohm
T4335 Mesa OEM 8 ohm

*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 noticably different. The 16 ohm rig will usually sound brighter and deeper.

Personally I prefer the 4416, but not in a Recto 4X12. And therein lies the rabbit hole - you can't accurately compare like speakers in unlike cabs.
@SQUAREHEAD I'm hoping this answers your question. I'm inferring from Fryette that the T3987 was still in production at least as of when he wrote the above and his use of present tense when talking about it.
 

Techdeth

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.
And then the cabs make the v30s sound different themselves. It’s crazy what a cab build does
 

ClintN667

Well-known member
I really dig the Marshall vintage cabs. I had a 1936vintage and it had a quality in it that my other cab with v30s didn't. It was a decent built cab with birch instead of mdf but the tolex would peel off if you just looked at it wrong. I liked those speakers so much that I got the part number as well as a place where I could order direct from.

Having said that my KSR 2x12 had v30s and it sounds every bit as good as the Marshall 2x12. It actually seems a bit more alive if that makes since. I will say I prefer my creamback 75 redback combo 4x12 more but I definitely agree that the cab matters as much if not more than the speaker unless it's some dog shit cab
 

ClintN667

Well-known member
When I see guys rave about harley benton cabs I just roll my eyes. I feel like a snob but seriously why the fuck would you pay 3k for an amp then go the absolutely cheapest route on a cab? I was a bit guilty of this myself until I started buying better amps.

I look at buying a cab like I do furniture. Sure you can get a bed for a couple hundred but don't be surprised when the fucker collapses the first time your girl rides you like her life depended on it.
 

Racerxrated

Well-known member
Sorry to dig this old thread up but I have a question and you guys seem to know more about this than I do…
In my area, a guy has a 2017 (Marshall) vintage cabinet for sale and he says it has T3897 Vintage G12 speakers in it?!
Does this sound right to you guys?
I thought they stopped building these in the mid 2005 era?
Just wanted to hopefully shed some light on this before I drive 1.5 hours to see and open up this cabinet only to find newer Chinese vintage 30s in it…
AFAIK the Marshall Vintage 16 or 8 ohm has always been British made. All the oem Celestions are to my knowledge
 

SQUAREHEAD

Well-known member
From Steve Fryette around 2012:


@SQUAREHEAD I'm hoping this answers your question. I'm inferring from Fryette that the T3987 was still in production at least as of when he wrote the above and his use of present tense when talking about it.

Thank you, COTB👍

The one thing that contradicts ‘online’ is this…

“There is a third 16 ohm version only used by Marshall - T3897 - which is even brighter”.

BUT then on the www.bygonetones.com webpage this is how these are described, that the T3987 is in fact the brighter one?!🤔

54B5444C-51FA-4C75-A8CD-C350914B3FA1.jpeg
 
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