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    Which speakers best suit the TM36?

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    bordonbert

    Posts : 749
    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 97
    Location : Southern England

    Which speakers best suit the TM36?

    Post by bordonbert on Wed Jun 24, 2015 1:07 pm

    I know this is a constant topic for discussion but what are the latest thoughts on speaker choices for this amp?

    I'm playing all classic 70s/80s rock and want original tone, no slightly later heavy American overdrive. I started off with 2 x 8ohm Vintage30s in series but I've found the sound very strident and harsh at the top end. I've now managed to get a couple of 16ohm G12M Greenbacks in parallel and the sound has smoothed out a fair bit. I haven't had a chance to try them out in anger yet but the first impressions are good. More bass available and a less peaky response in the upper middle and above. I'm hoping the loss of sensitivity will be made up for by the drop from 16ohm to 8ohm.

    I also took the chance to change out the first two Chinese 12AX7Bs for a couple of Electro Harmonix 12AX7s I had lying around from my Vox Valvetronix use, (the old original blues are all remarkable amps and the AD120VT is awesome!) I wasn't expecting any great change, I'm a poohpooher of the common "mojo component" myths, (as some of you will know from my past preachings). I have always maintained that valves may be different though, as their electrical characteristics depend more heavily on physical construction than semiconductors. There was a definite smoothing out of sound again. I'm starting to get into the really woody tones I want much more easily, and the top end is still there if I want it.

    So, anyone have other speaker tastes?
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    namklak

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    Join date : 2015-01-30
    Location : Denver, CO

    Re: Which speakers best suit the TM36?

    Post by namklak on Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:22 pm

    All JJ's to smooth out the sound. Tubes are mechanical devices and you can see physical differences in tubes. The audible results may be subtle, but they are there.
    I just put a Eminence Lil Texas in a 1x12, liked it instantly, before it even broke in. Still don't have the speaker broken in yet, so... Note the Lil Texas weighs 4 lbs, so you can see one of my priorities...
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    bordonbert

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    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 97
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Which speakers best suit the TM36?

    Post by bordonbert on Sat Jun 27, 2015 1:51 pm

    More to the saga, rehearsal today in a better area with more space and an acoustic tiled ceiling.  After the Greenback install and the 12AX7 valve changes the sound definitely started better but later in the day I seemed to run into harshness as adrenalin got the better of us and the volume/gain/power soak settings went up a little with harder driven numbers.  Now this is at odds with what I was finding at home.  There, the new speakers and that couple of tube swaps really had a mellowing effect and I lost it a bit.

    I dug around after we finished and found that, the less you use the power soak the more natural and creamy the sound is.  I know that is a difficult thing to assess as the volume changes will be really obvious when the PS is dialled out but the tone change was obvious.  I am beginning to question whether the amp is reacting badly to a non-natural speaker load with the power soak introducing pure resistors between it and the speaker.  Yes, impedance is taken care of but frequency response is handled differently. For example, as far as the amp is concerned the coil inductance is a lot further away 'behind' the soak resistors for one!  And my old favourite, damping factor, is screwed up too allowing a more peaky resonance area.  I can see that possibly changing response significantly.

    However.....  My new JJ EL84s and the JJ ECC83S phase splitter arrived while I was out.  Wow!  A 5 minute swap!!!  First impressions are VERY FAVOURABLE, you were spot on Namklak, you said it would smooth things out a lot.  I should have listened to you more closely!  I'm having to eat my words as far as 'no magic components' are concerned, the valves are definitely an exception to my rule!  Tone is now MUCH more creamy smooth and overdrive is missing that stinging quality that overlays the sound with a slight shrillness.  It could even be what is needed for some types of music but not for my classic 70s rock.

    We are gigging tomorrow night, that will be the big test.  I'll report back with news of the joy or heartbreak after the event.
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    bordonbert

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    Join date : 2015-01-28
    Age : 97
    Location : Southern England

    Re: Which speakers best suit the TM36?

    Post by bordonbert on Mon Jun 29, 2015 8:16 am

    Deep joy.

    At least I know Greenbacks are a better match than Vintage 30s for definite now. They tamed the top end shrillness a treat and filled out the lower end beautifully. And I know they made a big difference before the valve swap too, that just put the icing on the cake. Now I might even consider trying them in a single 2x12" though I suspect the difference would be in the convenience factor, plus or minus!

    Happy bunny!

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