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Your favorite speakers?


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  • Your favorite speakers?

    So, many years ago I always just played whatever stock speaker came in my amp/cabinet, not really thinking that changing it out would make a significant difference. I had grown up playing crappy solid state amps with a closed back where the speaker wasn't even really accessible and others where it was hard wired so it wasn't much on my radar due to a lack of desire to take apart my amps/hack the external wires. This was also well before i started rewiring my own guitars and making pedals, etc. However, it really took a move to using heads over combos and a friend who was really into speaker swapping to make me realize jsut how huge a difference having decent speakers makes. 


    So, I played through a bunch of different speakers and got a feel for which ones I liked and didnt like. The first set that struck me as sounding really neat and different were a set of alnico eminence speakers from the 70s that have this thick aluminum dust cap (a lot of the thin aluminum dustcaps used later on, i've discovered, sound really ice picky and shrill). So, I kept trying out various kinds of speakers and not caring for a lot of them until I tried out a couple different types of made in England Celestions. So, now I am using a pair of G12H65s for higher wattage amps and thicker sounds and just got a pair of G12H75 greenbacks to compliment them as a somewhat brighter alternative. (The 75 stands for 75hz bass response rather than 65 watts as the 65 does in the previous speaker). HOLY CRAP! Perfect for my needs. I still also use those old alnico speakers for certain sounds too in a couple of extension cabinets. 


    I had assumed that the made in England stuff would be a bunch of bunko and on par with the made in china v30s and greenbacks. Well...nope. This turns out to be one case where spending some extra cash seems to actually be worth it. You can't do a lot to upgrade a speaker itself without entirely gutting it (unlike a guitar or amp) so, choose wisely friends.


    So, what are your speakers of choice? Why do you like them?


  • #2

    I am not super picky about guitar speakers.

    But I can confirm your impressions.

    I have a Fender amp that came with an EVM 12-L-F (Fender spec'd in some way)

    The speaker was defective and had to be returned.

     In the interim I bought a celestion G12-65. This was about 1983. That speaker is still in the amp and sounds divine. At the time it was not expensive, and I didn't think much about it except it was available.

    I really expected to shred it.

    The replacement EVM is in a separate cab. Speakers that last 30 years are good.

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    • Phil O'Keefe
      Phil O'Keefe commented
      Editing a comment

      jimash wrote:

      I am not super picky about guitar speakers.

      But I can confirm your impressions.

      I have a Fender amp that came with an EVM 12-L-F (Fender spec'd in some way)


      My Princeton Reverb II has the factory-option EVM 12 F. My understanding is that they are just like any other Electro-Voice EVM, except they are Fender branded. They are unbelievably efficient (~103dB @ 1W / 1m, and thus very LOUD) speakers. I really like those a lot for certain things. I also really like Celestion Blue (AlNiCo) speakers. I have a Weber Blue Dog AlNiCo in my AC15 that I really like a lot too. It's very similar to the Blue. Old Fender-Jensens from the 60s have always been a favorite of mine too. For some things, Greenbacks (Celestions) are hard to beat as well.


  • #3

    I think it depends on the amp and style of music you're playing and what you're looking for from your amp. 

    I've got a 1x12 Ashdown combo that uses a Celestion Vintage 30 that sounds great, in that amp. I also have an Ampeg VH-140c 2x12 with a Celestion G12K-85 paired with a Seventy 80.

    The V30 equipped Ashdown is terrific for that stereotypical bluesy rock sound and the Ampeg is a timber cutting beast of a thing, in part because of the speakers--the G12K is scooped out and bassy, and the Seventy 80 is bright and punchy, which is a good combo with that particular amp.

    Those other two speakers would probably sound like grilled **************************** in the Ashdown, and I tried various combinations of the three in the Ampeg and didn't like the V30 in tandem with either of the others.

    So yeah, it depends.

    I'd like to put a JBL E120-8 next to that G12K-85 in the Ampeg. I'm sure that'd be a terrific sound.



    • Phil O'Keefe
      Phil O'Keefe commented
      Editing a comment

      VTEC_Dreams wrote:

      I think it depends on the amp and style of music you're playing and what you're looking for from your amp. 


      Quoted for Truth.


  • #4
    Anything Alnico.
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    • V
      V commented
      Editing a comment

      Oh, I dunno. I've played plenty of poopy alnico speakers.

  • #5
    Celestion Blues and Golds are my favorites. But a Weber Blue Dog paired with a Silver Bell is also a thing of great beauty.


    • #6

      Aren't transducers wonderful things?



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      • riff ie
        riff ie commented
        Editing a comment

        w/ solid state i've found classic 80's to be the equation, 4-2-1x12, as the tend to lend themselves' to any processed signal, in a 4x12 tube config, I've tried many but my fav would be an x pattern of EV12l's and vintage 30's, in 2x12 the G-12-H, paired fovrorably for me, in 1x12 "too many to remember" currently enjoying the mesa C-90... Anybody out there know where the mesa/boogie celestions are made England/China???

    • #7
      Yeah my friend does use a quad of electrovoice speakers. However he has like a 300 watt Meteoro head


      • #8
        It's a little amp-dependent, because some combinations work better together than others.

        For Fendery 6V6 based amps and small single-ended amps I really like the Eminence Redfang - it has many of the nice raspy breakup tones of the blue, but with a softer top end. It sounds REALLY good with overdrive pedals - and makes you realise that all those different pedals you've been trying were probably OK - you just needed the right speaker. The Emi Ragin Cajun also works well, though is less pleasant.

        For Marshall type amps, either a Celestion G12H if I want a big, tight bass, or the 20W version of the G12M for something warmer and with more mids.

        I've had quite a few speakers, but these are my faves.
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        • Cirrus
          Cirrus commented
          Editing a comment

          I like having a few choices. For high gain, V30s do it for me. BUT they need to be in the right cab, and I need to be able to push them a bit. So I prefer a slightly oversized 2x12 there. They sound a bit raw/ shouty on their own but great with the band. I like to push lots of bass at them to get them moving, since they're naturally quite tight and shy on the bottom end.


          For anything less than high gain, I love Blues. At the moment I've got one gold and a G12H30 in my vox cab, and I've wired it up so I can bypass the G12H30 and push the Gold with the full 30 watts. When you push the Gold it sounds just like a pushed blue, just a tiny bit louder. Lovely! Compression, chime and grind.


          What you don't get with any of the speakers I like is punchyouinthechest bass, fast and accurate response, or clarity. I like speakers that compress and bark because that comes across on a recording/ full mix much better than trouser flapping bottom end will.

      • #9


        • mmolteratx
          mmolteratx commented
          Editing a comment

          I really like EVMs and the new Celestion Creambacks. Currently have a 412 and a 212 loaded with Creambacks, and a 412 loaded with V30s/K100s. Gonna buy another pair of EVMs to swap into the 212 for variety, and probably dump the V30/K100 cab. Doesn't sound all that great for anything but modern metal, and the EVMs blow them away for that, plus they do every other genre stupidly well. Love those speakers.

      • #10
        I have been playing around with a new cab and some old alnico speakers made by Quam. Really nice sounds to be had. I'm not really sure of the wattage rating though. Maybe like 30 watts?


        • #11


          The JBL K120 is my fav... have two of them in my main rig. Larry Rodgers and I went thru 7 speakers and the JBL just had "IT".

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          • 100 dollar cars
            100 dollar cars commented
            Editing a comment

            i'm going to be building a cab for my vox ac4tv. whats a good 12in speaker that would compliment a 4 watt amp?