What do you need to know when choosing a guitar loudspeaker?
Replacing a stock speaker with another can instantly change the sound of an amp more than any other single change, and it can be the simplest, fastest, and potentially cheapest way of converting a mediocre combo into a boisterous tone machine. Guitar speakers differ not only in size and power, but also in resonance character, cone and magnet design, efficiency, sensitivity, etc.
A guitar speaker is a loudspeaker designed for use in a guitar amplifier. The magnets are usually made of Alnico, ceramic or, to reduce the weight of more expensive models, neodymium. Guitar speakers are designed differently than hi-fi speakers. While hi-fi speakers are designed to provide as little coloration as possible to the signal source, guitar loudspeakers are often designed to add some type of tonal coloration to the sound. Notable guitar speaker manufacturers include Celestion, JBL, Vox, Peavey, Eminence, Jensen, and Electro-Voice. Each brand and model of speaker has a different sound and behavior that greatly affects tone.
Speaker and magnet sizes
You can find 6, 8, 10, 12, and 15-inch speakers. Small amplifiers up to 10 watts, for example, usually have 6, 8 and 10-inch speakers. Small to medium sized amplifiers with more than 10 watts usually have 12-inch speakers, but there are some exceptions. The standard speaker for amps over 15 watts is 12 inches, which provides more bass and sound than 10-inch speakers. Always check the dimensions of the speaker you are going to buy and make sure that your cabinet is big enough for it. The magnet size may be deeper or wider. So even if you replace a 12-inch speaker with the same size, you may have space issues if the magnet is larger and deeper. There are special designations for weight: H or K for heavy, M or T for medium, L for light weight.
Guitar speaker power
If you want to avoid breaking the speakers or you just don’t want them to overdrive, it is good practice to use a speaker that can handle 35% or more of the power watts than the rated output of the amplifier. However, there are people who seek and like the saturation of the speaker, especially for more vintage styles, and use speakers that support the same power rating as the amplifier gives.
Guitar speaker impedance
It is essential that you make sure that the impedance of the speaker is equal to the impedance indicated at the amplifier output. Normally, amplifiers have several outputs with different levels of impedance 4, 8 or 16 ohms, but there are also equipment that does not have this option, so you should consider it. If your amplifier only has one output, make sure the speaker you install has the same impedance. In tube amps, using different impedances can cause the amplifier’s output transformer or speaker to break down, so never use different ohms. Transistorized or solid-state amplifiers support impedance mismatch. This means that for these equipments, using different impedances does not pose a risk of breakage, but it does affect the real power, which may result in a lower real power when using a speaker of a different impedance. When using tube amplifiers you should never use different impedances between amplifier and speaker, never turn on a guitar amp without the speaker connected to the equipment, Never unplug a speaker while the amp is on as removing the load from the amp speaker will damage the amp head.
Types of guitar speakers
Each speaker has its own unique character. Some work best for clean sounds while others work best for saturated or dirty audio. There are also speakers directly associated with certain guitarists. Finally, there is a large group of audio speakers between those of American and British tone. American type loudspeakers usually have scooped audio, that is, good treble, well defined, few mids and somewhat marked bass. Thus, they are speakers with more open audio and ideal for clean tones. On the other hand, for dirty and distorted audios, they usually do not perform well, since they sound “out of focus” and tend to get a little harsh or high. British-type speakers have a defined character in the mids, without the extended frequencies or “open sound” of the American style. Thus, they are speakers with more focused, medium audio, ideal for saturated and distorted tones. On the other hand, for clean audios they are not so dynamic and open, which is why they usually do not perform as well.
Buy guitar loudspeakers in our stores
You should consider what you are looking for, what you need, what kind of amplifier you have, and of course you should try everything yourself. Try to test as many speakers as possible to find the right one. You can buy guitar loudspeakers in our stores. It is also possible to place an order in the online shop. Thanks to the wide assortment, everyone will find a suitable product for themselves. You can always count on professional advice and assistance. We care about the quality of service and do everything we can to make sure you are satisfied with your purchase.