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Do older Mesa v30s sound different than new?

Discussion in 'Backline' started by tk7261, May 24, 2014.

  1. tk7261

    tk7261 Member

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    So I heard someone say that it seemed that the speakers in older Mesa Oversized cabs sound darker, and the speakers in the newer Oversized cabs seemed brighter. I havent been able to find any further info about this, but I am very curious. They make them different in the 90s or something?
     
  2. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    The new ones are made in China,the older ones are made in England.Around 1997 they started making the components in China and then shipping them back to England for assembly.A couple of years later they mover production to China.
     
  3. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    You're thinking of stock V30's - Mesa uses their own special version.

    AFAIK they haven't changed though, tk.
     
  4. tk7261

    tk7261 Member

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    Hm, thanks for the replies. It's odd cause me and another engineer where talking. I have a 2007 straight front oversized and he has an older slant. For some reason with similar settings his sounds much darker. It's also something I've found when comparing my tones to some older recording who I know used mesa oversized, and for some reason my cab sounds consistently brighter ( and no it's not the settings or mic position). I wonder if there is a difference when they started making em in china. Have they always used the same voiced v30s in the standard/oversized cabs. You think when they moved production to china it changed at all?
     
  5. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    Actually Jeff is right,The Mesa V30s are still assembled in England,but I think the components are shipped from China.
     
  6. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    Mesa has always used the Made in England speakers - it could very simply be the fact that your cab is newer than theres and thus has less break-in time on the speakers?
     
  7. tk7261

    tk7261 Member

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    Hm idk you would think that 7 years is enough to break in a speaker.
     
  8. bryan_kilco

    bryan_kilco Member

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    But considering how much older his cab is compared to yours.....yours is broken in...his is even more broken in....

    Just throwing out possibilities.

    All speakers sound different, too.
     
  9. abaga129

    abaga129 The Apprentice

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    Another idea that I want to throw out there. Wood also ages, so perhaps that has something to do with it? I've heard that it has a drastic effect on acoustic guitars, but that's a little different.
     
  10. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    I believe more in a long slow aging over the years than that "break in" thing. Try to find just one irrefutable scientific proof that the speaker break in period exists on the web. It's a fucking myth.

    Now, all I can say is my mesa OS from the 2000's sound indeed darker than the Chinese V30 I have in my 4x12 Harley Benton and my 2x12 Randall.
     
  11. JeffTD

    JeffTD Senhor Testiculo

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    There's definitely an initial break-in period, arguing that would be stupid.

    Your Mesa OS from the 2000s is not only older but it uses entirely different speakers than the HB or Randall.
     
  12. ~BURNY~

    ~BURNY~ Member

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    Then call me stupid.;) Never heard a single clip that showed any audible difference. If you know some I'll be happy to listen to them.
    I will probably buy a couple of Celestion V-type soon so It will be a great opportunity to do some testing.

    Yes, that what I meant. Sorry it wasn't very clear. I wasn't implying it was because of the (relatively small) age of the Mesa. When I say "long slow aging" I'm thinking a couple of decades or more.
     
  13. kev

    kev Im guybrush threepwood

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    Some guy did a shootout of a brand new chinese v30 and a brand new UK v30 and they sounded exactly the same. Concluded it was all in the age of the speaker in the end. Never tried it myself though.
     
  14. newamerikangospel

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    I'm far from an expert, but older paper speakers develop a (I don't know what to call it, a fur?) from age/paper cone outer layers, which could change the high end. The suspension and adhesives drying also should have a small effect, but I think most of the time when a manufacturer seats a speaker in its cab, it's already several months old and has already dried. Maybe the cab itself has dried, the glue/caulk cracked or separated and it's loosing some of the pressure from the cabs internal space, causing it to resonate more, making the cab itself produce more low end. Or maybe the magical seals around the ghost have weakened, allowing their taint to reach more fully into the mortal realms.
     
  15. Rex Rocker

    Rex Rocker Call me Hugo!

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    The difference between Mesa V30's and current Chinese V30's isn't just a UK vs. China thing. Mesa don't use the same V30's as other manufacturers who do get British V30's do.

    http://www.rig-talk.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=90377

    :)
     
  16. Slicklickz

    Slicklickz Member

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    Well that answers most questions.For those too lazy to click the link:

    "That's a good question, since there seem to be at least three distinct voicings of this speaker that I keep coming across. After years of mic'ing different cabs and cranking different cabs and mixing different speakers with different amps, looking for the right tones, liking some of them and not liking others, on occasion, I've pulled this together just from general observations:

    The Mesa-only proprietary V30 seems to have its own thing going. Warmer and smoother right out of the gate, with its mids shifted lower and its highs more rolled off than the others, it sounds more broken in almost right away, to my ear, no matter what cab you stick it in. It carries its own celestion model codes. Here is a Mesa-only, custom-voiced proprietary V30, English made, post 2002, taken out of tall Recto cab. Model T4335 with extra copper on voice coil, seems like slightly different suspension and adhesives, straight 444 cone, etc.

    Then there's the old mid-90’s England-made (same as current chinese made) celestion-only voiced V30, painted tan-gold frame, model T3904, cone is stamped XXX 444…..mids and treble sit differently from the Mesa and Marshall versions, to my ear, and I guess celestion couldn't be using either of the proprietary mesa or marshall voiced V30 sounds, for its own raw frame speakers available to the general public. Other amp manufacturers that are NOT mesa or marshall typically have this version of the V30 in their cabs, such as Engl, Randall, etc. Still reasonably warm but can be chesty and fizzy with some amps, and really benefits from heavy break-in to smooth out the fatiguing mid spike it throws off with some amps. Seems to have some extra 700hz too.

    And then there’s the Marshall “Vintage” proprietary marshall-only model T3897, raw silver frame, made by celestion in England for Marshall, OEM. It never actually has Vintage "30" printed on the magnet sticker, just "Vintage". This is the first, earliest, longest-running, and original V30, initially designed for Marshall specifically, by Ian White, and released in 1986/87 for use in some Marshall amps and cabs (Silver Jubilee), before Mesa and Celestion ever had their own custom voicings later on in the 90's in an attempt to get around Marshall's OEM status on the Vintages. If you're hearing a v30 tone on a recording made before 1990, it's these speakers. They were originally designed to sound almost like an AlNiCo speaker, but using a large ceramic magnet, sort of a cross between a celestion Blue and a G12H30.

    The Marshall Vintage speaker seems the brightest, most crunchy, most metallic and most cutting of the bunch, with the upper mids and treble sitting differently (shifted higher up, overall) than either of the later mesa-only or celestion-only variants, to my ear. Less chesty mid-mids, and harder sounding upper mids, than the others. Good for metal. Treble can be quite piercing depending how you dial it with some amps, at high volumes. The cones are always just stamped 444. You'll find these in some of the old Marshall silver jubilee cabs from 1987-1988 particularly, and thereafter in the current- production Marshall 1960AV/BV cabs.

    All V30s out there are NOT created equal. All V30s are not designed the same. All V30’s are not made in China, even today, not that it matters, per se. All V30s are not made from the same parts and materials. All three versions above, for example, sound noticeably different to me. Some work better than others with certain amps. They all generally have a V30-type sound and clearly all live in the same tonal family, but the mic and the human ear and the band mix do not experience them all the same way, IMHO. They each require different amp settings with the same amp. YMMV. I am also advised by Celestion directly that ALL verisons of the V30, no matter when or where or for whom made, are about 65 watts in actuality. So the discretionary 70w or 60w ratings of various manufacturers as printed on their cabs over the years have no real bearing on sound, quality, build, etc. That has never changed. If your 1998 Mesa recto cab has 280w printed on the speaker jack plate, and your 2011 Mesa recto cab has 240w printed on the speaker jack plate, rest assured it is still the same English-made T4335 V30 inside, unchanged since about 1991, with the same tone and power handling. If the older one sounds better, it's just more broken in and the adhesives, magnets and paper cones are aging nicely.

    Yes a Marshall 1960BV cab will sound different from a Randall XL4x12B will sound different from a Mesa Stiletto cab. No, it's not just the cabinet design, the speakers themselves are all different models inside each of them, so pick you favorite based on your amp and the overall tone you hear for the speaker model in question which you prefer, rather than "brand hype."

    Hopefully this post will dispel at least some of the many internet myths and misinformation of the mysterious V30 and its different models and voicings, which no one ever seems to have any actual factual info about, and no one seems very comfortable discussing. If you've ever hated or loved a V30 with an amp, someone else may not be having the same experience because the particular V30 they alternately hate or love may actually have a slightly different voicing and be a different T code model altogether, notwitstanding how a really good break-in over the years can affect all of the above.

    Cheers!"
    That explains why my Marshall Silver Jubilee cab sounds different.The only question I have left is what components are made in China and which(if any) components are made in England?
     
  17. tk7261

    tk7261 Member

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    wow great info. Lerning a lot. Seems to settle most of the questions.
     

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