The 4 Best Celestion Speakers for Metal – Reviews 2024

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Photo by Andrey Shipilov / CC BY

Celestion speakers and metal guitarists’ amps go hand in hand like love and marriage. They’re one of the most popular speaker brands across genres, found by default in high-end amps from companies like Marshall and Vox.

But what is it that makes Celestion speakers so special—and which one is the right one for your style? We’ll review our favorite Celestion speakers below to help you find the answers to these questions.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best Celestion speakers for metal on the market:

Celestion Vintage 30 Speaker

If you’re looking for a classic metal tone, the Celestion Vintage 30s are a good way to go. They’re the speaker you’ll find installed in popular amps like the Vox 30. They’re one of the best-selling guitar speakers in the world for a reason. These speakers are well-balanced and versatile across genres, along with sounding great in a variety of cabinets and configurations.

The Celestion Vintage 30 (see full specs) uses a ceramic magnet for a high output across the frequency range. The low end is rounded and warm, with a singing mid-range and sparking highs. This is also a very articulate speaker, excellent at capturing musical details, no matter which frets you’re playing on.

The Celestion Vintage 30 was instantly popular with metal guitarists when it came out in the mid ’80s. Because of this, a lot of people associate it with hair metal and other ’80s styles. It’s certainly not limited to these genres, however. It’s a solid choice for any metal guitar set-up.

Celestion Vintage 30 Tone Samples

Celestion G12M Greenback Speaker

If you want a sound that’s even more vintage than the Vintage 30s, check out the Celestion G12M Greenback. It’s based on the design of the original G12M speakers released in the ’60s. The same things that make it popular with blues and rock guitarists also make it perfect for metal. Namely, it has a focused mid-range with a lot of high-end crunch when the tone breaks up.

One complaint against the Celestion Greenback is the way it drops off in the extreme high end of the register. For some metal guitarists, though, this can actually be a good thing. It makes your overall tone darker and keeps your upper range from sounding thin or abrasive. The Greenback also compresses your sound at higher volume levels, which enhances that low-end warmth it’s known for.

Getting a great metal sound from a Celestion G12M Greenback can take some fiddling with the settings on your amp. Once you find that sweet spot, though, you’ll love the depth it adds to your tone. These are among the best Celestion speakers for metal around.

Celestion Greenback G12M 16 Ohms VS 08 Ohms

Celestion G12T-75 Speaker

Commonly seen in Marshall amps, the Celestion G12T-75 is another classic ceramic-magnet speaker. Where the first two were very versatile speakers, this is one that focuses more on the hard rock and metal genres.

The best word to describe the high end of the Celestion G12T-75 is “biting.” It’s not over-brash or out of balance—just enough for the ideal screaming metal solo. The low-end is full and solid, too. Our only quibble with this speaker is that it tends to have more of a scooped mid-range. You’ll have to tweak your settings carefully to stay present in the mix without blowing the audience away on your solos.

The G12T-75 is the most persnickety of the Celestion speakers. You’ll want to spend some quality time with it to get your ideal sound. Once you find it, though, this speaker gives you the best pure metal sound of any on this list.

Celestion G12T-75 Doesn't Suck (Vintage Marshall JCM800 Cab)

Celestion G12M-65 Creamback Speaker

Finally, we’ll wrap things up with the Celestion G12M-65 Creamback. Of the models above, it’s most similar to the Greenback, and comes from the same general G12M series. The G12M-65 is comparatively a bit fatter in the low end and tighter in the mid-range.

If you’re looking for a metal speaker that has a smooth response top to bottom, the Celestion Creamback (see full specs) is your top choice. It has the most musical response of the four speakers showcased here, too. They stay articulate and clear even with the gain cranked, with no flabbiness or scooping in the mid-range.

The Creamback is a powerful speaker, too. If you’ve been playing on factory speakers, you’ll be shocked by how much louder your amp sounds once you put a Creamback in it. While they’re generally a bit pricier than the other speakers, they can also turn any amp into a beast—a worthwhile investment for any guitarist and among the best Celestion speakers for metal for sure.

CELESTION CREAMBACK G12M 65 Demo in AVATAR G212 Signature Cabinet

Celestion Metal Speakers – Fitting it In

There are two measurements you want to look at when you’re deciding on replacement speakers for your amp or cabinet. First, you want to make sure it’s the correct diameter. A 12” cabinet is designed to use 12” speakers. Even if you can fit a 10” speaker, it won’t give you the best sound. You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle by double-checking the speaker is the correct size before you buy it.

The second measurement you want to look at is the speaker’s ohm rating. For guitar equipment, this will normally be either 8 or 16 ohms. Again, you want to make sure this number matches exactly between your speaker and your amp head. If they don’t, you could damage one or both components.

Another spec you should pay attention to is the power handling. Expressed in watts, this can be roughly interpreted as how much power the speaker or amp can produce. These numbers don’t have to match exactly. However, you can blow out your speakers if your amp is sending them more power than they can take.

A good rule of thumb is to make sure the speaker’s power handling is equal to or greater than the amp’s watt rating. For example, if you have a 50-watt head, you can safely install a 50-watt speaker or a 65-watt speaker, but not a 30-watt speaker.

The Best Celestion Speakers for Metal: The Bottom Line

If you’re currently using a generic, factory speaker in your amp, any Celestion speaker is likely to be an improvement. You can expect a certain level of sound quality from Celestion. That’s the reason so many pros and manufacturers use them in their amps.

Remember that the speaker is just one part of your overall sound. Your amp, cabinets, and guitar will all add their own color to the mix. Some speakers sound better in certain set-ups than others, and that’s not something you’ll necessarily know until you give it a try. If you’re on the fence about which speaker to get, listen to a few installed in amps of various types and sizes. This will help you narrow in on which specific sonic qualities are being provided by the speaker.

Hopefully this review has opened your eyes to all the excellent metal speakers in Celestion’s catalog. Best of luck finding the right one for your sound!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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