Dull, Lifeless Speaker
A few years ago, I was searching for a "smooth" guitar sound. I had been using budget combo amps for several years (Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III; Peavey Classic 30) and was unsatisfied with the harsh tone I was getting. I figured a big part of the problem was in the cheap speakers that most manufacturers slap into their combo amps. Eventually, I decided to buy an amp head so I could easily pair it with a speaker of my choosing. Around this time, the Creamback was gaining popularity, and several reviewers talked about how "smooth" it was. I listened to many demos of the Creamback, and agreed that it was the "smoothest" speaker I'd ever heard. I bought one and put it into a Jet City 1x12 cabinet to pair with a couple of low-wattage heads I was using (JCA 22H, Blackstar HT 20). When paired with the HT 20, my first impression was that I'd finally found the tone I needed. The sound was dark and inoffensive with no trace of the fizzy shrillness that I hated in my combo amps. However, when I captured that smooth sound in my project studio, I discovered that it couldn't stand up to other instruments in a mix. Where the harsh fuzzy combo amps had punched fiercely through the densest mixes, the Creamback/HT 20 rig politely stepped into the background. At first I thought it was the Blackstar causing the lack of cut (as an amp, it's smooth to the point of muddiness), but the Creamback yielded the same disappointing results with other amps, including the Friedman Smallbox and Kemper Profiler that I purchased much later. My current cabinet of choice is a Hughes and Kettner TM 112 loaded with a Celestion Vintage 30; and no matter what amp I use, the Vintage 30 always works for me. Moral: "smooth" guitar tones actually come across in a mix as lifeless, muddy husks with no character. Recommendation: skip the Creamback unless you have a brutally harsh amp that needs balance.