The Workbench

Old Jensens and Celestions failing and here’s why (with fix)


I have reconed some speakers for myself, but I really don't DO speaker repair, in general. A harp player buddy brought me a new-to-him Maestro GA-45T with four 8" Jensen alnico and three were "blown". He said those speakers are supposedly key to the Little Walter sound.

It looks like old Jensens were glued together with hide glue that is crystalizing nowadays. I have observed this a lot. So the cones come loose from the voice coil and spider assembly. As long as nobody plays it too long like that, they sure SEEM to be salvageable. Using a toothpick and speaker adhesive, I have meticulously glued them back together with success.


Here's a Celestion silver Alnico from my '65 AC30. I thought it was blown, and that made perfect sense because the last time it was out of the house was for a very LOUD Yardbirds gig. Thankfully, the spider (the round accordion pleated thing) was just flapping in the wind. It came unglued after 55 years.


Yardbirds gig? Please do tell....


Between 2013 and 2017, I played a few gigs with the founder and drummer, Jim McCarty. It was mostly Yardbirds songs and his recent solo material. When he brought the full band to the US in 2014 for a tour of major cities, they added a stop in Peoria. I loaned Ben King my AC30STR and Top Topham (the ORIGINAL Yardbirds guitarist, before Clapton) borrowed my blondie Super Reverb. The Yardbirds had last played in Peoria in winter 1966. Jim said Jeff had become flaky and did not show up to the gig. They announced that the bass player would play guitar and the crowd booed. It was Page. Apparently he blew them away and even did the whole violin bow thing. This was the Peoria gig:


Thanks for the cool story (nobody remembers Top Topham!) and sorry for the thread derail. I did get to see them twice around 2014-ish. Young guy on a tele was amazing. Nice work on the '61 6120; Clapton had an early doublecut 6120 he used for some Yardbirds stuff.


Thank you. That 2014 tour was the same one! Yes, Ben King was an amazing young gun guitar player! His next gig was for Justin Timberlake, IIRC. I forgot about the Clapton 6120 double cut. I had reluctantly been using a 335 and a Les Paul (yuck!), but brought my 6120 to one rehearsal. I told Jim it was my favorite guitar and he said that's the one I should use on the gig, then! He liked the sound.

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