Peavey Black Widow Speaker In A Fender Steel King

After hearing positive reviews from others who had replaced their stock Fender Steel King speaker with a Peavey Black Widow speaker, I decided to take the plunge also. I order a 15" Peavey 1501-4 BW SB (Black Widow, Shallow Basket) speaker from Airport Music Center in Cheektowaga, NY for $139.99 plus $10.00 UPS shipping.

The old speaker came out easily! In fact every single speaker mounting screw was totally loose so you might want to check the tension on yours. The Black Widow fit in place easily and the whole job took perhaps 35 minutes.

  • The Peavey Black Widow weighs 17 pounds on my scale. The stock Fender speaker weighs 23.5 pounds.
  • DC resistance of the Black Widow is 3.5 ohms. DC resistance of the Fender speaker is 3.8 ohms
  • The amp chassis weights 41.5 pound with casters and no speaker
  • Total weight with the Black widow is 58.5 pounds. Total weight with the Fender speaker is 65 pounds

Well how about hearing it? Yeh, I know, there's a lot of variables in any sound setup, but here's where my sound is at now. The following was recorded on my Yamaha AW-2400 at 16 bits and converted to an .mp3 file at a fixed 320 kbps. The signal chain is: MSA Legend, Goodrich 120 pedal, Boss RV-5, Fender Steel King mic'd with a Shure SM57. It's a version of Merle Haggard's Silver Wings.

As far as my opinion of the sound with the stock Fender speaker, I would describe it as sparkling clear highs with thunderous lows. At times the lows seemed too boomy but that was well controlled by raising the height of the amp off the floor. The highs at times were a bit too piercing but could be somewhat controlled by adjusting the amp EQ. The Black Widow has a more even tone, top to bottom strings, a little less boom and a lot less of the screeching highs. In this amp it has a very severe mid range cut relative to the Fender speaker so I ended up boosting the mids in a band around 500 to 1000 hertz to get something similar to the mid range sound I had before with the Fender speaker. I really can't pass judgement on this speaker as used in the Steel King! The sound is totally different now and I would say the most conscise description would be that my Steel King now sounds a LOT like my old factory modded Nashville 400. The high end sparkle is gone and the mid range sound is totally different. Depending on what sound you are looking for, you might like or dislike the difference. I'm going to try this speaker for a few more weeks before I decide on leaving it in the amp!

There's a lot of pictures below. Click on them to see full sized pictures. As you can see the Black Widow speaker is much shallower than the stock Fender speaker.

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