At LegendaryTones.com, when we’ve taken on amplifier upgrade projects in the past, often we have recommended replacing stock factory speakers in the process with new models. This is especially true with Fender reissue amplifiers, as often the reissue models include speakers that do not sound or respond anything like the originals – regardless of the brand name they are badged with.
For years, the team at Weber (www.tedweber.com) have provided speaker upgrades that deliver excellent sonic results. And with a range of custom options, we’ve recommended them highly for our amplifier upgrades to get the most out of these amps. The team at Weber have always been enormously helpful in speaker selection and years ago I even enjoyed many delightful and educational conversations with Ted Weber himself.
However, with all this set aside, sometimes a vintage amplifier comes along and presents a new question. Do I use new speakers or rebuild the existing ones? In this case, that vintage amp is a pre-CBS 1964 Fender Super Reverb, the first year of production and a rare find.
The four 10-inch Jensen C10-R speakers that were originally equipped in the Super Reverb are a fantastic sonic fit for the amp, but unfortunately the speakers in this particular amp are 50 years old. To say they are worn out is an understatement. The amp has been road worn with gigs and shows it. The paper material on the cones are torn, the cone movement on 3 out of the 4 speakers nearly frozen, and the magnets even damaged on some.
Still, when preserving or restoring a vintage amplifier, being able to retain as many of the parts as possible is important to many. I’m likely not alone when I say that there is something cool about being able to use something that has such a history. And indeed, for the future in case of the need or desire to sell, a vintage amplifier like this one will hold its value better with a speaker rebuild than with replaced new speakers.
With that in mind, we’ve again reached out to the team at Weber – this time to take on the speaker rebuilding process. With nearly 20 years of experience hand-building speakers, and rebuilds featuring the same excellent materials and tooling as used in their own speaker designs, I have confidence that these speakers will come back sounding great.
Stay tuned as we’ll report the results in part 2!