15" Speakers

Anyone know of any all valve guitar combos that use 15" speakers?

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Lee, it's not strictly a guitar amp, but the WEM Dominator Bass MkI is identical to the Dom III but for speaker choice. Weirdly, my guitarist has the Bass MkI (15" Celestion-Rola G15M) and I have the Dom III (various 12", Charlie Watkins used the G12M, Goodmans and Audiom. Mine has the unnamed Italian - possibly Altoparlante - 12" with a horseshoe magnet). There's also the Power Musette MkII which usually had a twin-cone but sometimes didn't.

I'd highly recommend any of these amps for guitar or bass use. I like the 12" combo, although the low B on the 5-string challenges it a bit and the 'treble boost' is no use to me. Guitarist plugs in that channel and I go in the normal. It's 3xECC83 on the pre and 2xEL84 on the power. SS rectumfryer. Hate to sound like a corksniffer, but mine has Mullards and his has Sovteks. The improvement with the Mulls is dramatic and (unlike EL34s) they can still be bought for semi-sensible money.

HC reviews compare it to an AC15 but this is rot, IMO. It's not even close to class A - much more like "mini-Marshall". If your walls are very thin, the Clubman and Westminster are single EL84 (about 7W) but only the Dom Bass MkI (14W) has the 15".

Erm, there's also this Mesa-Boogie - http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43374&item=7308690686&rd=1. Deep pockets, ouchy shipping, ghastly import taxes :shock:

Oh yeah, forgot the Bird Golden Eagle 4/25. My chum Tim Fletcher has a site on Selmer, WEM, Bird, you name it British amps. I think the 4/25 refers to the number of EL34s and the expected wattage. A 15" speaker was fitted because, with a whole 25W to blow the village hall roof off, the bassman could plug into one channel while the guitarist hogged the rev and trem.

Here's a decent one on the Fleeb:

Thanks for that Bass, ive played through a Wem dominator and found it excellent quality, didnt have long on it, i was buying a guitar in the Chelsea post code and was parked on a single yellow outside, he cranked up the amp and it was very nice, i dont think it had the 15" speaker, the case was quite small, maybe it was even a 7 watter? they look very cool as well, the 15" question came about because of our Bassman Gary, he played a les paulthrough a fender Vibroverb/lux/king, and he said it was one of the best amp tones he had heard (for 6 string) and he wondered if it was the 15" speaker that made all the difference, so he has been a holy tone hunt looking around for a combo to test out. I'll let him know about those Wem's, BTW have you ever heard of a 'Crown' amp?? made in Britain its a small single EL84 5,6,7 watts? but has a printed circuit board, so must be early mid 70's? well it used to have a printed circuit board, i bought a tag board out of Maplins, and some upgraded caps and resistors, roughly sketched out a circuit diagram and reassembled it on the tag board, im going to put a single celestion greenback g12m on it and then watch the whole thing blow up!!
oh and BTW that Bird amp you have seen on ebay, do you think it holds the record for the most amount of screws you can fit on the back of a practice amp? i bet when the 'Bird' factory shut down it took the local screw factory with it.

Lee, presumably this was prior to the London congestion charge :) ? If it was a Dom, then it was at least the 2xEL84, that Charlie never measured but calculated from the maths was 14W. Mo Foster wrote a book "14 Watts" about the WEM story. If you haven't already, go here:
for Steve Russell and Tim Fletcher's excellent sites on Selmer, WEM, Bird, Dallas etc etc. It manages to combine kagoul-like attention to model detail with lively text and fabulous pics. For the curious and committed alike.

Later, the Dom was fitted with 4xEL84s and quoted at 30W. I saw one on FleebUK rocket past £255 for no reason I can think of. It's at its best as a circa 15W combo for recording or light rehearsal. I'd imagine the single 84 Clubman might be pushed a bit hard once the full drum kit turns up.

Strangely, the overall dimensions of the 12" Dom III and the 15" Bass MkI are exactly the same. I could convert mine simply by putting in the the G15 and a new baffle board. I can't say for sure that the 15" makes such a difference because (as I mentioned) the valve brands are so different in out two amps. The Sovs are glassy, the Mulls growl and are more 3D. I would say that the 15" is a better "both instruments plugged in" amp, especially with 5-strings and actives. Incidentally, I have just today found out I 'won' a pair of Mullard EL84s, good tester readings, working in an amp and with excellent getter flashing for £10.50 the pair :D That doesn't happen with EL34s.

The Fender is a totally different amp, though. I'd like one, but they fetch a bomb. I was after the Musicmaster Bass amp (12" Jensen) but they go for £170-£220 and my WEM was (after much patience) £87. Nowadays, only a year later, the WEM is rarely under £150 so both are worth checking out if possible. Another good poss is the Traynor YBA2 combo (search for 'velvet black traynor' - another great site). Early ones had the 6V6, later ones the EL84. Again, rarely going for less than £150 on Fleeb now - all these informative websites act against the bargain-hunter.

The Crown only rings tiny bells and may be a better snap-up. BTW, the WEM has the pre-tubes mounted on the board. I wouldn't call it a PCB, more of a wafer with grooves for solder to run in. It sounds good (a well-designed PCB is preferable to bad spaghetti, IMO) but can result in microphonics as the combo vibes hit the pre-tubes. Another reason why I avoid Sovs et al on this amp; they whistle and 'boing' after only limited use.

I never noticed the Bird back panel. I think they only lasted for a few years in the mid-60s. Tim's site will tell you more.

thanks for that bass, i'll pass on that info to Gary, no the congestion charge wasnt around when i previewed the LP but his flat needed clearing out a bit, looked like he'd a hard session of Tiwas going on in there, i was expectiong the unexpected, felt like the Pink panther Cluseau and Kato caper.
But then after the air raid sirens called the all clear, and the smoke cleared, he pulled out a brown case which contained a jewel in a sea of 'Hondo 2's', a golden nugget amongst a cocophony of dirty brown 'Colombus's' what emerged from that case will go down in folk law as being called simply 'the one' , the tobbaco sunburst releflected the sunlight onto the celing in a kind of holy halo, and then i heard the voice, it seemed to come from the Les Paul itself and it said 'take hold of me my son, place your hands on my gregory peck, and rattle and hum a few chords, for i know you have sought the tone of plums, so sit and play a while, for you have a last found the 'Holy Grail' , so that was it, i had to buy it after that didnt i??

Cor, blimey, luv a duck, guv. Consulting my Cockney:English - English:Cockney dictionary, I think you're saying you found a nice Jap's Eye (Tokai).

Anyhoo, the more I think of it, Lee, the more I think your Gary should put a Fleeb "email me when a _____ comes up" search on the Traynor YBA2. I've overcome my laziness, here's the URL for the info:

The only trouble is, this Canuck combo doesn't feature very often this side of the pond. When it does, it's the EL84 version. The early 6V6 job presses all the buttons. 15" spkr, very Vibro-like (a ton of web-info on mods) and the original speaker can be junked for a Jensen. Likely to be ca £180 and, as you know, the EL84 version can't just have the toobs swapped out for 6V6s. Patience, grasshopper.

Yes master, ive just put it on fleeb fav list, along with gaynor (you never see those come up, but im also playing the waiting game) i was after a maestro trem for my SG, you can't get them from Gibson anymore and allparts have a very poor imitation up for grabs, its as naff as a pink XR3i ragtop in the Lakeside carpark, i waited over a year and one came up in Spain, a buy it now for 200 euro's, i hesitated, tried to do a deal and it was nicked from under my nose, never again, it's amazing the price of those things, if Gibson put them up for sale in the accesories dept' they would fly out the door, but then maybe sales of the fabled Angus Young SG would go through the floor? so yes i will wait, finger poised over the buy it now, along with 50 others, i just hope it comes up while America sleeps.. :)

Slightly off-topic, but putting VERY specifics in Fleeb is a good idea. I search wider stuff and can often end up bidding for a 'bargain' I don't really need. I've got a horrible feeling I could've had a nice Stingray by now, if I hadn't bought a heap of semi-useful gunk.

Here you go, Lee:
It's the EL84, rather than 6V6, version but otherwise ticks all boxes. You do know Camden, don't you :wink:

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