P50E vs V30 (Detailed Analysis)

Discussion in 'Gear & Equipment' started by zimbloth, Sep 23, 2009.

  1. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Okay a lot of us VHT/Fryette users have been singing the praises of their P50E speakers for some time now. I get a lot of questions about them and how they compare to more common speakers like Celestion V30s, so I decided to post an article written by the guys at Steven Fryette Design below as well as on my website for you to read. Very informative.

    Enjoy, and I look forward to your comments/feedback. And yes I know tone is subjective, but this article is very accurate IMO :yesway:


    The P50E speaker is custom built to SFD specifications by Eminence, and is only available from Steven Fryette Design, Inc. The P50E is not an OEM version of the Eminence Redcoat or Patriot series speaker lines.

    It is difficult to discuss the sonic characteristics of the P50E or any speaker for that matter, in isolation because so much of speaker behavior depends on the environment in which it is operating - that is to say, 2X12 cab, 4X12 cab, front-mount, rear-mount, wood type, construction style, playing volume, etc, etc. Having said all that lets talk about the P50E versus the popular Celestion Vintage 30 in a Fryette 4X12 FatBottom straight cab.

    The P50E is actually a 50-watt speaker. The V30, although officially rated at 60 watts is in reality closer to 75 watts. The P50E has a smaller magnet than the V30, which insures that the speaker will break up at lower amplifier power than a V30. However, the V30 has a more compliant suspension, which together with the larger magnet causes the speaker to move more-low end. This also causes more distortion in the higher frequencies contributing to a harsh top end. The highly compliant suspension makes it difficult for the speaker to track low frequencies especially at high volume levels and this causes a “woofy” sound when playing staccato chording (‘palm muting”). It is also partly why the P50E, although lower in power handling capacity, seems to produce about as much low end as a V30, yet with better control of the low end. The smaller magnet on the P50E also contributes to a softer, more natural sounding high-end response, which is not smeared out by the sloppy suspension, as is the case with the V30. Finally, the Fryette cabinet is a front loaded type, producing a more open, well-dispersed sound. Front mounting a V30 is less desirable as the harshness on the top end, which is normally masked in a rear-mounted enclosure, is now more audible.

    Another very important consideration in the comparison has to do with the age and condition of the speakers under test. The P50E is not factory “preconditioned” as many OEM speakers might be or might claim to be. This means that depending on usage, it may take as little as a month or as long as 6 months for the speaker to “break in”. A V30 will be looser and warmer out of the box, but also is brighter and tighter than it will be 4 months from now (with regular use). The V30 will mellow out a bit over time, but the low-end control issues will be exaggerated. By the same token, the P50E, while retaining good bottom end control will sweeten up and smooth out over time.

    Comparing the FatBottom to the Deliverance cabs, the FatBottom series cabs loaded with the P50 speaker is considered modern sounding and exhibits lots of projection, low-end control and excellent tonal detail. The Deliverance cab on the other hand will sound warmer, looser and sweeter than the FatBottom cab even though they use the same speaker. The Deliverance cab is designed to make the speaker fatter and warmer sounding, as might happen in a traditional 4X12 cab design, but without the traditional boomy, sloppy rattling low end. The ability to identify and manipulate key elements of cabinet construction gives us control over those speaker parameters we wish to suppress or enhance.

    The difference between front mounted speakers and rear mounted speakers is subtle and both methods have their pros and cons. Overall we find front mounting to be preferable. Those who would disagree must realize that it is difficult to compare based on the sound of other manufacturers cabs because construction method and material type/quality play a much larger part than mounting method in determining the sound of the cab and behavior of the speaker.

    Finally, all of the above depends on the amp in response to which the speakers’ mids, top and bottom will all shift around in concert with the difference in behavior between 100 watts or 50 for example. Keep in mind that this discussion assumes all speakers in the comparison are 16 ohms, as the P50E is only available in 16 ohms. This is important since the impedance of the amplifier load will dramatically affect the behavior of the amplifier due to damping factor and frequency



    As someone who switched from a Mesa 4x12 w/ V30s which was my main cabinet for many years to a Fat Bottom 4x12 w/ P50Es, I feel this article is 100% spot on. :2c:
     
    cyril v, JJ Rodriguez, nikt and 4 others like this.
  2. The Echthros

    The Echthros Stupid, apparently

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    cool, nick. nice and informative. we know that it is different from the V30 then...but what speaker is most comparable then?
     
  3. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    I really dont know I've never tried one that sounded anything like it. Maybe other guys might know.
     
  4. sepherus

    sepherus The Crimson Comedian Contributor

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    A lot of people compare it to an Eminence Wizard. Which is odd because they are built completely differently, and are rated about 100 watts more. even Eminence people have said that it is strange but so. Personally I've never played a P50, but the Wizards are pretty awesome. So if it is true, I can see my self liking them quite a bit. I actually plan on swapping out my v30 in my 212 for a p50 some time soon just to give it a shot.
     
  5. The Echthros

    The Echthros Stupid, apparently

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    yeah...I know it's kind of an odd question. truth is really I feel if you like the sound of a piece of gear, in this case a speaker, but it. don't try and find a replica. I haven't heard one though...hence the inquiry.

    good to know. :yesway:
     
  6. zimbloth

    zimbloth Nick // Axe Palace Vendor Forum MVP

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    Yeah I have no idea about the Eminence Wizard but I doubt its the same. And yeah the P50s are pretty reasonably priced so its not a big deal.
     
  7. Andii

    Andii MAMMALHAMMER

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    I did not see this as anything but a sales pitch for the p50 cabs. This article doesn't portray the v30 accurately.

    The harshness described from the V30 is not something I've experienced and I play with my head level with the speakers. The v30s top end is really smooth. The V30 has also been consistently smoother in the top end than the 3 eminence models I've owned. (swamp thang, texas heat, governor)

    The article lists the larger magnet of the v30 as a negative. A larger magnet is more efficient which means it provides more sound per watt. I've also found larger magnets to be more responsive and tighter. There's nothing negative about a bigger magnet other than it's heavier.

    The "compliant suspension" that is mentioned in the article is the very reason I like V30s: They kick you in the chest. They have the most impressively quick and powerful excursion I've ever seen. The woofiness described in the article only happens with a very poor amp or with a poorly set up amp.

    This article reads as though V30s are utter crap. V30s are the industry standard because they are good. You might not prefer them, but there's no need to claim that they are crap and list imaginary problems.

    I might would love one of these if I tried it, but this article was poor.
     
  8. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

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    It's not like this is the first time someone has mentioned V30's being harsh :lol: I hear it ALL the time, and especially from guys running the Mesa cabs. Most people on here that have a Mesa cab prefer the C90/CL80's.

    Personally I like V30's, but my experience is limited to an Orange using them, which most people say pretty much cancels out all the negative crap about the V30.
     
  9. Andii

    Andii MAMMALHAMMER

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    Orange cabs are made of 13 ply marine grade baltic birch(a lot of adjectives for a piece of plywood) and so are Mesa cabs. They are constructed almost identically. The big difference is aesthetics and dimensions. The dimensions do play a big role in the sound, but not enough to completely change the characteristics of a speaker. (especially since the dimensions between a mesa and orange aren't very dramatic.)

    Your cab probably sounds tighter and less bassy than a mesa because of the dimensions. No doubt though that we're both experiencing the same speaker and we both like it, yet the person who wrote that article depicts the v30 as useless garbage.
     
  10. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

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    Doesn't change the fact that A LOT of people have described the V30 as harsh and unusable, mostly Mesa cab users who aren't trying to sell you anything. Also I don't own the Orange, my friend did. I'm trying to order one at a music store here though, I just have to find a price they can price match in the US :lol:
     
  11. MF_Kitten

    MF_Kitten Set up us the bomb

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    orange cabs are smaller but deeper than "typical" amps. it moves the low end resonant frequency a bit lower, so you avoid the boomyness. orange cabs sound really large and solid as a result.

    v30´s sound great for certain uses, but they´re not ideal for metal. it can be done, of course, but you end up compensating for their sound instead of working with it. of course, you don´t notice this, since it´s just twiddling the eq until it sounds good, but if a speaker sounds better from the beginning, then you´ll find a good tone alot faster. you´ll also have a larger adjustment area, since you don´t have to do extreme EQs as a default.

    with that said, i do use a v30 loaded 2X12 myself, and it´s not bad. it could be better, and i wish i could put "buy new speakers" on my priority list, but meh... i have a parametric EQ on my pod, so i can counteract the harshness of the v30s easily.
     
  12. budda

    budda Guiterrorizer Contributor

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    Ah yes, the great speaker debate.

    I remember reading a post by someone who was tracking guitars for an album - he prefers the C90 live and the V30 in the studio - go figure!

    I think I've heard a P50E loaded 212 or 212 combo next to a C90 set - I don't remember hearing any difference, nor do I remember putting my head up to each 212 in the room (4).
     
  13. maat

    maat 'stortion junkie

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    Save your breath, Andii...the guy's a salesman.

    "Yeah I have no idea about the Eminence Wizard but I doubt its the same."

    ^He makes statements like this...
     
  14. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

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    He posted an article written by someone else dude. I don't know what you have against Nick (Zimbloth) but this isn't the first time you've come in and taken a shit on him in one of his threads. He's a long standing member here and lots of people find him pretty damn helpful, and he's also pretty damn friendly if you get him on the phone.

    If you like V30's, that's fine, good for you. I like them too in the 1 cab I tried them in, doesn't mean it's not an interesting read.

    And I would doubt they're exactly the same too if they're being custom built for Steve Fryette. Vader also gets custom speakers built, and they're not the same as the regular Legends you can order.
     
  15. CentaurPorn

    CentaurPorn SS.org Regular

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    Quoted for Truth.

    Nick is just trying..(scratch that) IS being a helpful contributing member of the forum. It does not sound like a sales pitch to me. It is a comparison between speakers. Don't read too much into things.

    I find the V30's fizzy and harsh even in my Orange cab at ear level with a VHT Ultra-Lead...That's why I just sold the cab. I am not saying they sound bad..its more than usable but they could be better for sure.
     
  16. raximkoron

    raximkoron SS.org Regular

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    Wow, lotta hate being flung around :eek:

    First off, Zimbloth didn't create the article, he had just posted it, he mentioned that he didn't write it upfront; Steven Fryette was the author. Of course it's well known that he does sell Fryette products, but I didn't interpret his posting of the article as a sales and marketing pitch.

    Also, my take on the article is that Steven wasn't happy with the way the V30's sounded in HIS cabinet designs and was describing HIS experiences and decision to use a different speaker thusly. There can't be THAT much wrong with the V30 design as almost every cabinet manufacturer offers them at least as an option if not standard, but it doesn't mean that it's the only speaker design that should be allowed or accepted. Tone is all subjective... and a cruel, cruel mistress.

    [rant]
    When I used to work in sales, I had to deal with a lot of people who thought that I was always trying to sell only the highest priced items or those that gave my company the most kickbacks. That makes it very difficult to give a personal opinion or advice since they just view you as a tool to sell overpriced merchandise rather than the wealth of knowledge and experience that you bring to the table. I sold cutlery not music equipment, but it's the same no matter what market you're in.
    [/rant]

    Sure you have to weed through the marketing dialect when reading press releases or other written works from a particular company, but I do feel that I have a better idea of what the P50E speakers character is like from the article.
     
  17. sepherus

    sepherus The Crimson Comedian Contributor

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    Nick (Zimbloth) has been a huge proponent of this speaker since well before he became a dealer for VHT/Fryette. I remember a conversation we had once where we basically decided that the V30 is the industry standard for cabs because it is a good generic rock and blues speaker. Most people don't play metal, they play rock and blues. Thus why it is a standard.

    As for the Wizard, I never said they were the same, but similar. The Wizard has a prety broad and large midrange, a nice tight low end and the top starts to get a little crunch when you add some drive. No frequencies are peaky or harsh like some speakers. They cut very well with out being overbearing, unless of course the amp is. Just generally an overlooked speaker that could take over the industry if given the chance. they are constructed totally differently than the P50 but I know I've heard very similar descriptions used to describe that also. Its all in the nuances of tone.
     
  18. TMM

    TMM UUDDLRLRBAStart

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    Yeah, the cab / amp seems to make a big difference on whether or not the V30 is usable. In most cases, I've found it to be harsh and less desirable than other speakers. In the Recto 212 I had, using my DST-8080, I actually found the V30 to be really cold and lifeless with no projection, which was strange as it was such a contrast to the usual harsh top end but decent projection. Finally, in the Ibanez TN412B, both with the TN120 and my DST-8080, the V30 sounded huge, well-defined, and great for everything I put through it. Really strange.

    I'm curious to hear a P50E in something other than a VHT cab to really get an idea of what the speaker sounds like, vs the speaker + the cab.
     
  19. JJ Rodriguez

    JJ Rodriguez Contributor

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    I've read reports of it not sounding very good in rear mount cabs, which kind of makes sense if Steve Fryette designed it to work with his cabs.
     
  20. 7 Dying Trees

    7 Dying Trees Forum MVP

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    personally, i'm more interested in a comparison to claasic lead 80's and c90's/c85's... i hated v30's in the vht cab i had with the UL, and wasn't impressed with the p50's in the FB2x12 i had. have wanted to try a FB4x12, but they are just too expensive for me to buy just to try out...
     

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