By Sarah Broughton. Guitar Electric. Published at Friday, August 31st, 2018 - 06:49:48 AM.
How do you know what cable is right for you? The simple way is to go to your local guitar store and try them out. Everyone has a different taste so what sounds good to me may not be the best for you, so you can't really by on someone else's opinion. Find a similar guitar and amp to yours in the store or take your own gear with you to try the cables out. This way you can work out what option is best for you. The great thing is that you can spend around $25 or $30 and this can make a huge difference to your guitar tone.
Electric Guitar Tone: Speakers. There are basically three types of vintage speakers: Jensen speakers, JBL and Electrovoice drivers, and Celestion speakers. Jensen Speakers, alnico Jensen speakers came standard in Fender tweed amplifiers in the 50's, including the famous Tweed Bassman, which had four (4) Jensen P10R speakers (Jensen labeled alnico speakers with a "P" and ceramic speakers with a "C"; the "10" refers to the speaker size (10") and "R" means the speaker is low powered, while "N" would refer to a higher powered speaker). Ceramic Jensen speakers are sometimes associated with the later Fender tolex years, but the alnico speakers were included in those amps too. If you have ever heard anyone talk of an "American" sounding speaker, it's probably the tone of Fender (i.e. the tone of Jensen speakers in an amp powered by 6l6 or 6v6 tubes) that they are referring to. Jensens are generally bright sounding speakers (they have smaller voice coils and resonance frequencies around 100 Hz), and they have a very clear tone with great sensitivity. As a result, they work especially well with single coil pickups, like those found in a Fender Stratocaster. The original Jensen speakers were made in the United States, but the current re-issues that Fender is putting in its vintage reissue amplifiers now are made in Italy. Excellent Jensen clones are also made by Weber and Eminence. The Webers are called the "Vintage Series" and the Eminence speakers include the 10" alnico Legend 102, as well as the higher powered "Patriot Series" speakers. To my ear, the Italian reissues sound good at low volume, but the Webers sound better at full volume, and they handle overdrive better as well.
The only true small bottle 5881 currently in production is the Tung Sol 5881 reissue that is also made by Sovtek. Like the Sovtek 5881WXT, the Tung Sol has lower output than most 6l6's. But when it comes to tone, there is no comparison. The tone of the Tung Sol is head and shoulders above the 5881WXT. The problem is, unlike the Sovtek, the Tung Sol apparently cannot handle the high voltage of most modern tube amps. As a result, most people looking to upgrade the standard Sovtek 5881WXT will do better with a 6l6 tall bottle or one of the new clear tops. In addition to the Tung Sol, Sovtek also has a premium tall bottle 6l6 called the Sovtek 5881WXT+ (not the 5881WXT, the 588WXT"+", which is a very different animal) and the Electro-Harmonix 6l6EH (near as I can tell, the WXT+ and the 6l6EH are the same). Both the 5881WXT+ and the 6l6EH have longer plates, more volume and a much nicer tone - with more harmonic complexity - than the Sovtek 5881WXT.
The tone capacitor also plays an important role in the response of the tone knob. There are several different types of capacitors commonly used for electric guitars. Both the material used in the cap and its capacitance value will affect the tone and response of the control. The most commonly found capacitor values are .047uf and .022uf, for single coils and Humbuckers, respectively. The larger the capacitance value, the more treble will bleed off and the darker the tone control will be. The lower .022uf value tends to be great for blues and rock as there are many subtle shades available as the tone control is swept. The .047uf is great for jazz, achieving darker tones as well as being great for taming bright single coils.
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