I asked a good friend and customer David Bostijn to write a bit explaining his thoughts on speakers with Satellites. He has an amazing amount of experience about this. So here is what he wrote:
Hey Friends, Adam asked me to write down my experiences with speaker combinations and satellite amps.
One thing I absolutely love in Adam's amps is it's clarity and punch. I've tried several other high-end amp builders but none give me that same sensation.
I ended up selling them all which gave me some extra cash to start collecting satellites :)
My first Satellite was an atom. I used it with a standard marshall 4x12 with G12T75 speakers. Sounded pretty good, but I felt like something was missing.
Detail, overtones... I sold that cab pretty quick and ended up buying a 4x12 with G12M25 greenbacks. That was a huge improvement. Really can't go wrong with
greenbacks. they give you that old-school 70's rock vibe which satellites absolutely love. no matter which model you own. But... I started to dig into celestion's catalog and started wondering about mixing speakers.
Oh right, before that I bought a vintage 1971 checkerboard marshall cab with the 'legendary' G12H30 greenbacks. Don't be fooled with vintage people. there's a lot of talk on the net about vintage speakers being so much better than new ones. I honestly did not like the flabby sound. It lacked power. Vintage speakers are way overrated in my book. I have a 1973 orange cab with G12H30's that sounds really good. but is it worth all the cash? I'll let everyone decide for themselves. But coming from someone that played old and new. hmmm....there's nothing wrong with the new celestions. they need a little time to 'break-in'. but after that...
So...sold my vintage marshall cab and bought a Cuda! never looked back :)
Right now I play Adam's amps through his 1x12's and a 2x12. I absolutely love mixing different speakers to hear subtle differences. Right now I have these speakers to mess around with: a G12H30 70th anniversary, a V30, a G12M25 greenback, an Alnico Blue, an Alnico Gold and a G12H75 Creamback.
Coming from my experience you can't really go wrong with any of these. But keep in mind that speakers preferably have to share the same 'DB'. all above speakers are rated at 100DB which basically makes them equal as far as loudness and power is concerned. Except for the greenback which is rated at 98DB. If you're mixing a greenback with f.i. a V30 the V30 will overpower the greenback. (100DB > 98DB). you CAN mix up speakers that don't have matching DB's, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that, but keep in mind that one will overpower the other.
Also it's important that you check the power rating. don't play a single Alnico Blue with a Barracuda! 15Watts vs 45Watts, not a good idea.
But enough of the stuff that you probably already know. What works best?
I've tried all combinations and there's several killer combo's.
This one doesn't sound as 'dirty' as let's say a neutron or an atom. Class A/B vs Class A. It pretty much gets you into old-school marshall territory pretty fast.
I have been playing this one a lot lately.
1. It sounds killer combined with an alnico gold and a G12H30. that's pretty much my favourite combination. The gold adds chime and overtones and all kinds of harmonies while the G12H30 keeps everything tight and adds ceramic power. WINNER!
2. On it's own I don't really care for a V30, to direct, to strict, doesn't really add harmonic overtones...but somehow when added with a G12H30 or a G12H75 creamback it makes a powerhouse. Really, really good combination as well!!
3. If you're a greenback fan you have to check out the creambacks!! they share the same identity but they're so much more versatile. higher power handling, more highs, more mids, more of everything. Very very good speaker and mixes well with everything. Barracuda combined with creambacks=killer!
Neutron and Atom...
these amps have so much beautiful grind and Class A dirt that you need something to keep them in check sometimes :)
My go to speaker combination for these two right now is an alnico Blue and a G12H75 creamback. combine these two and it's golden! Gives you power, harmony, clarity and definition. My atom sounds so good, everytime I turn that orange light on and strum a chord it puts a smile on my face :).
but there's a lot of possibilities in great sounds with these amps. 18W Neutron and 36W Atom gives you a lot of options to try several mixes. give it a go!
Being rated at 12W it gives you the option to try everything you want. in our band our singer/guitarist plays this one all the time. We make different mixes every rehearsal haha. to my ears, it loves alnico chime. Alnico all the way!! I think of the elmer as a perfect mix of an 18W Marshall and a Vox AC15.
2W, and satellite's very own bedroom amp. don't let it fool you in it's size. it's perfect for late night playing or recording sessions. You can pretty much combine it with every 10" or 12" speaker you want. I haven't found a go to speaker yet. it sounds good with everything.
Please feel free to chip in if you have other satellite models. I am wondering about the white amp combined with a celestion for instance.
I know Adam loves Celestion speakers as well. I can not comment on other brands as I don't have the experience, but feel free to add to this piece!!
so, to sum it up:
1. Vintage speakers are overrated
2. Mixing alnico and ceramic speakers is a really good idea!!!
3. GO BUY A SATELLITE!
4. I STILL NEED A WHITE AMP!