General tech questions

Weber “California Alnico 15” speaker

1

Hello everyone, I wanted to ask your opinion on the Weber speaker, the "California Alnico 15" model !!! On the website the description points out the fact that this speaker was conceived on the specifications of the JBL D130.

Paolo.

2

It's probably among the "closest to a JBL you can get these days" speakers. Very efficient (LOUD!), full-frequency, huge amount of bass, and cazy heavy weight.

3

I don’t have a point of comparison, but this got me the sound I was looking for when building a vibroclone. I have the aluminum cap and I don’t find it overly harsh like some of the reviews I read.

4

Having had both, I agree with the comparison. Squeeeeeaky clean, loud, and can be icepick trebly as all get out. Sounded pretty good in a couple of amps, awful in others.

5

I have the ceramic version in both 10" and 12" speakers. Very efficient, clean and loud. I have cloth domes which helps to avoid the ice-pickiness.

6

I have the JBL. It originally had the aluminum dust cap which I replaced with cloth/paper. To my ears, the cloth/paper version sounds much better. The aluminum was to harsh or shrill for me.

For whatever it's worth, Chet Atkins had made the same mode to the JBL in his Standel.

7

All this information is fundamental to me. As you know I live in Italy, Sicily, here it is very difficult to find what you want, impossible to make comparisons or tests; I rely on what I read .... !!! My idea is to make me build a boutique point to point amplifier head and box by a very good craftsman, Giuseppe Orlando !!!! He lives near my house and makes excellent products. My model must have a 15 "speaker and so I'm looking for it....

8

All depends on the sound you're going for, Paolo.

I don't have the Weber, and can't speak from personal authority. But if I was going for a new JBL-inspired speaker, I wouldn't hesitate for a minute. I'd just order the Weber. Always good stuff with impeccable build. I trust the many recommendations I've heard and read from people I find reliable.

The question becomes which JBL sound do you want - aluminum or fabric dustcap? There's probably no substitute for hearing both. I do have experience with both JBL designs, and sometimes I prefer one, sometimes the other.

For the most part, though, the aluminum makes a finicky and fickle partner. It's the definition of crispy-clean, and very easy for it get too bright/brittle/harsh. I've had a pair of original 12s in my Bandmaster for decades, and I generally love it clean - except when I don't - and almost never like it crunchy.

The aluminum cap just does not like distortion. I believe it was designed not to distort, and it sounds really offended when asked to reproduce it from a pedal - or, worse, generate its own through amp overdrive. Unless you like the sound of something BREAKING (and not breaking up), you probably aren't going to like aluminum if you anticipate being the least bit dirty even sometimes.

You might think of it as a speaker with a little hi-frequency horn/tweeter or piezo built in. It provides that kind of crispiness, only in a slightly lower frequency range.

It doesn't so much simply reproduce all kinds of transient nuance (finger touch, pick angle and deflection, hi-fi overtones) as it emphasizes them, maybe a bit artificially. It's not a warm, rounded-sounding speaker. (To my ear.) That said, sometimes I love it. Using an aluminum-cap JBL announces to the world that you're ready to reveal all, in hyper detail.

With the fabric dustcover, it's a different experience. You still get all the punch and body - and plenty of high-end detail - but not the squeaky clean high edge. As a consequence, the speaker translates as warmer and more natural - and is certainly far more forgiving of overdrive and distortion. It won't mind reproducing it in a way that sounds natural from a pedal or preamp - and if by chance you're able to push the speaker itself into breaking up, it won't sound like it's breaking.

As I always say when JBLs come up, I grew up knowing that the dark gleam of a JBL aluminum dustcap behind the grillecloth of an amp represented the absolute quality of a superior breed. It was an ambition to be able to "someday" have JBLs. It was something to be proud of. I still love the look, and have that fanboy reaction when I see them - but experience has taught me that there can be too much of a good thing, and I find cloth caps to be more usable, more of the time, than the aluminum.

But you have me thinking about ordering a Weber cloth California for my Peavey Delta Blues...

9

Grazie Proteus, I would like to have both speakers, a vintage jbl for the clean and a weber to take advantage of slight distortions ....

10

I spec the Weber California 15" in my blondeshell 115 amps. I bought 2 original JBL D130s to compare this speaker to and most important was the cone. I feel Weber has done a fantastic job w the smooth curved cone of the D130, and although I have the H screen cap instead of the alum cap (because you can use overdrive and fuzz w the H screen cap, but turn up the treble and still almost nail the alum cap sound if you want) The sound and response are really great for being a reproduction plus the ceramic mag I chose allows the speaker to provide a full sonic footprint for the 6G6-B circuit I'm running in this amp at 45watts. The alnico mag obviously compresses when cranked up more true to the original but I'm happy w the cone breakup that holds the lows w the Ceramic mag more. And it allows you to use it for a wider variety of music be it surf, country, rockabilly, blues. I think it even sounds good w heavy distortionSomething I could not get away with using the JBL D130.

11

H-cap instead of paper? Weber's site kinda suggests the paper is a halfway hut between spiky and smooth. If you can get close to the alumitone from the H, that sounds perfect. Paper sounded like it might have been a bit too bright.

12

H-cap instead of paper? Weber's site kinda suggests the paper is a halfway hut between spiky and smooth. If you can get close to the alumitone from the H, that sounds perfect. Paper sounded like it might have been a bit too bright.

– Proteus

You already have a smooth, curved JBL cone.. no paper cap is going to make that speaker sound better!Its either alum dust cap or H screen. Alum there is no getting around that wizz machine if you go w distortion.fuzz.heavy overdrive but the large H screen smooths it awl out so nice plus you can dial up the presence and treble in the amp and get the character that you expect to hear from a JBL D130

13

I think I will orient myself towards a weber large H!!!

Grazie,Paolo.


Register Sign in to join the conversation