best guitar speaker

5 Best Guitar Speaker Options – For Top Rated Sound & Tone

Strings, pickups, pedals, cables… There’re lots of things you can change in the quest to nail that magical tone you and your guitars so badly want. But it’s your loudspeakers that have the biggest influence on your sound and riff — this is where the rubber hits the road, after all.

Therefore, a speaker upgrade can be a shrewd investment in your journey towards “perfection.” You’ll be pleased to know that this is one of the easiest mods you can undertake (no soldering involved). No need to worry about your options either — we’ve scoured the market and compiled a review of today’s best guitar speaker options to help you out.

Our Top Guitar Speaker Recommendations

Best 12 inch: Celestion Vintage 30

  • Power Rating: 60 Watts
  • Impedance: 8 or 16 Ohms (2 variants).
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Response Range: 75 Hz – 5 KHz
  • Magnet: Ceramic; weight 50 oz.
  • Dimensions: 12.2″ diameter, 5.3″ depth
  • Weight: 10.4 lbs.

We start off with what’s been arguably the most iconic guitar speaker over the last half a century. The Celestion Vintage 30, thanks to its creamy tone and plentiful sustain, has become the gigging rocker’s replacement woofer of choice.

The speaker company originally set out to develop a speaker that could deliver a vintage-style tone but still able to handle lots of power and overdrive. This was achieved by pairing a hefty 50-ounce ceramic magnet with a new voice coil and cone. The result was a speaker that could sound almost twice as loud as a typical 12-incher, with practically no compromise in clarity or responsiveness.

Put it in your guitar speaker cabinet, and the Vintage 30 will reward you with punchy lows, meaty solid-sounding mids, and creamy, harmonically-rich highs devoid of harsh overtones. And you can employ it in a 2×12-inch configuration if you want to — it’s comfortable in any kind of setup. Just beware of the weight penalty. Other than that, the Celestion Vintage 30 makes a pretty good case for itself.

Best 10 inch: Eminence Patriot Ragin Cajun

  • Effective power rating: 75 W
  • Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 100 dB
  • Response Range: 75 Hz – 5 KHz
  • Magnet: Ferrite weighing 30 oz.
  • Dimensions: 10.11″ diameter; 3.8″ mounting depth
  • Net Weight: 6.4 lbs

If you’ve been using a 12-incher and want to try something different, why not downsize by opting for Eminence’s Patriot Ragin Cajun? Leveraging its monstrous 30-ounce magnet, it delivers a solid tone with lots of clarity on both ends. The lower end, in particular, is so chunky that you might not notice any difference in your basses coming from the larger speaker.

Even if you do, there’s an easy solution in pairing two or more speakers in the same cabinet — the Ragin Cajun’s affordable price tag means you won’t risk burning a hole in your wallet doing so. And because it comes in a pressed steel chassis, it should stay put no matter what.

However, the Ragin Cajun will get the job done even in a 1×10″ configuration. It’s responsive and articulate to the point where you can hear every one of your amp’s nuances. The only catch is that it stays clean even at high volume, so you can’t count on the guitar speaker to distort on its own.

Best 8 inch: Jensen P8R8

  • Rated power: 25 W
  • Impendance: 8 Ohm
  • Sensitivity: 91.80 dB (tested at 1W/1m)
  • Response: 80 Hz – 80 KHz
  • Magnet: Alnico; 7.0 oz weight
  • Dimensions: 8″ diameter, 4.11″ depth.
  • Overall Weight: 2.65 lbs.

The Jensen P8R8 yields the kind of crisp, mellow sound you’d want as a blues or jazz player. Or when you’re practicing in a small venue, such as your bedroom. An eight-inch speaker is the perfect candidate for such instances, and they don’t come any better than the P8R8.

On one hand, an alnico slug core provides a tight, even and smooth response that most models in the range lack. This helps the speaker come alive even at low volumes. And thanks to the lowly 25W rating, you’re able to match the speaker to your amp quite easily. The wattage also helps you achieve breakup earlier than usual. That means you might not need any pedals for soft, bluesy overdrive.

But if you still prefer to use them, the guitar speaker will respond splendidly with a warm, smooth compression. Just be warned that it can sound harsh at high levels, or with intense attack from bridge pickups. If you can keep things civil, the Jensen P8R8 should be a good pick.

Best Neo Model: Celestion Neo G12 Creamback

  • Power: 60 W
  • Impedance: 8 Ohm and 16 Ohm (2 variants)
  • Sensitivity: 97 dB
  • Response range: 75 Hz – 5 KHz
  • Magnet: Neodymium; Weight unspecified.
  • Dimensions: 12.2″ diameter, 4.8″ overall depth
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs

Aha, a 12-incher that weighs less than most 8-inch speaker models? The Celestion Neo G12 Creamback might just be the top guitar speakers on the list. The specifications are almost similar to those of the Vintage 30 we saw earlier, which means you still get the classic Celestion tone.

Or do you? The Neo G12 Creamback deviates from tradition by employing a neodymium magnet. While neodymium magnets are the most potent varieties available, they have less steel in them, and this has an effect on sonic performance. Specifically, some neo-based speakers are known to be muted at high frequencies due to the lower ferrite content.

That’s not the case with the G12, fortunately. It delivers the familiar low-end punch, mid-range warmth, and crisp-refined highs that Creamback guitar speakers are revered for. That gives you the freedom to utilize it as you like; either on its own to bring out your amp’s subtleties, or in a 4-by-12″ for a meaty but intricately-detailed three-dimensional crunch. With that much flexibility, the Celestion Neo G12 Creamback seems every bit worthy of its price.

Best for Rock: Celestion Hot 100

  • Power: 100 W
  • Impedance: 8 Ohms
  • Sensitivity: 97 dB
  • Frequency Range: 80 Hz – 5 kHz
  • Magnet: Ceramic, weighs 35 oz.
  • Dimensions: 12-inch diameter, 4.9-inch mounting depth
  • Unit Weight: 7.1 lbs

A high-powered rock guitarist’s dream; that’s what Celestion have dubbed the Hot 100. And it’s hard to disagree, given the glowing feedback the speaker has earned. One particular user asserts that this is “as good as it gets for a Fender clean to a Marshall mean.”

Thanks to its ample 100W wattage, the Hot 100 voices a crunchy tone with presence everywhere. The low end is ginormous but controlled enough for the mids and highs to cut through. The top end is blunted somehow to offer enough bite for your effects (OD, distortion, or even fuzz). In that regard, you’ll be pleased that the guitar speakers accommodate pedals quite well; just as long as you feed enough power to push them through. Also note that the speaker has a tendency to sound edgy on higher frequencies if not properly tuned.

But if you’re looking for a solid weapon for your rock gigs, the Celestion Hot 100 is hard to beat. Grab it today.

Best Guitar Speakers Conclusion

Your guitar speaker plays a significant role in shaping your output sound. Acting like the final filter, it has an effect on pretty much everything you put in front of the amp. And the difference between a stock speaker and aftermarket guitar speaker can be pretty huge.

As such, a speaker upgrade should be high up on your priorities list. The good thing is that it’s not that expensive — at least not compared to buying a bunch of pedals or a new amp. And with the options we’ve just covered, you can hardly go wrong. Just be sure to choose the right one for your tonal needs.

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