Speakers are extremely important when we are talking about tone. They give the amp its “voice” and so, in order to get the right sound, you will need to use the right speaker. So, what should I get to achieve the tone I want? Well, now that’s a tricky question.
This article will be a (maybe not so) small post about the history of Celestion, as well as a brief description of each model they produced over the years. Of course, this won’t cover every one of them. I’ll simply feature the ones that I think are the most popular and most widely used models.
Let’s start, shall we?
Early years and the G12 AlNiCo
Celestion started as a manufacturer of speakers for general use (radio, TV, etc.) back in the 1920s. In 1947, it was bought by British Rola and, one year later, production moved to Thames Ditton.
It wasn’t until the 1950s that Celestion developed their first guitar dedicated speaker: the G12 AlNiCo T530 (a.k.a. “Blue”), basically a modified version of the CT3757 radio speaker. These first speakers went through quite a few changes (also appearing in different colours like silver, chrome and red – also with different codes) during the early years, but they remained with a low (in today’s standards) 15w (20w in latter versions) power handling and with both 8ohms and 15ohms options. It was used in Vox and early Marshall amps. With the 100db sensitivity, it was a very “loud” speaker. It was also bright, lively and had a more restrained bottom end. It’s probably more suited for Blues with clean or lightly crunchy tones.
Let’s start with a simple little thing. Most of you probably already know, but it’s worth to clarify this to the “newbies”, alright? (just joking! ;P)
The old Celestions from the late 60s and early 70s had a green plastic back cover and this is why they were nicknamed “Greenbacks” (no sh*t, Sherlock!), but “Greenback” does not refer to any specific model. It’s simply a “generic” name that was given to the speakers of this period, similar to how “Plexi” is a name to all the pre-1969 Marshalls. In other words, both the G12M and G12H can be called “Greenbacks”. Not only that, but also their many variations, such as the 55hz “bass” cones and etc. But I will explain everything in details shortly. The bottom line is: be careful when using the name “Greenback”. (more…)