The 10 Best Guitar Amp Speakers (2024)

If you’re looking for the perfect guitar sound, you need to match your instrument with the right amp. An amplifier is only as good as the speaker it is connected to, so making the right choice is paramount. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of the 10 best guitar amp speakers on the market right now.

My top pick is the Celestion Vintage 30. This is one of the best-selling guitar amp speakers in the world that delivers that classic Celestion tone with a warm low end.

My budget pick is the Eminence Patriot 820H. This affordable 20-watt speaker delivers a rich warm full-bodied tone, with fat punchy lows and smooth defined highs.

For this article on the 10 best guitar amp speakers, I took into consideration the clarity, volume, distortion, and overall sound quality of each speaker. Additionally, I considered factors like durability, size, and weight when evaluating the speakers.

The right guitar amp speaker can make ALL the difference. With the right speaker, you’ll get clear and crisp notes, with much-needed warmth and depth. Remember, it’s not just about amplifying the sound, but about sculpting the sound and creating a rich and dynamic experience for both the performer and the audience.

The Best Guitar Amp Speakers (2024) – At a Glance

Now let’s move on to the full list:

1. Celestion Vintage 30

Top Pick - One of the best-selling guitar amp speakers in the world
Premium-grade, 16-ohm guitar amp speaker with a warm low-end, and very detailed top-end sound.
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The Celestion Vintage 30 is a world-renowned guitar amp speaker that is capable of handling up to 60 watts of power. This 16-ohm guitar speaker delivers that classic Celestion tone which is sought-after by many guitarists and considering the overall value and quality, it comes at a reasonable price point.

Pros

  • Clear tonal quality
  • Can support a lot of power
  • Strong upper-midrange peak
  • Excellent for recording purposes
  • 12” speaker with a Ceramic magnet

Cons

  • Might be too dark for some
  • Not very suitable for more mellow genres

In terms of sound detail, this speaker is very well-rounded with a very warm low-end, full mid-range, and detailed top-end. Not only that but it can handle the power, with a 100dB sensitivity, you can crank up the distortion and gain and still get clear audio.

The Vintage 30 offers two options for guitarists – a 16-ohm and an 8-ohm speaker. Both capture tonal definitions to great success. Overall, if you’re looking for that vintage tone, the Celestion Vintage 30 guitar amp speaker is definitely a top consideration!

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Power Handling: 60W
  • Frequency Range: 70Hz-5kHz

2. Eminence Patriot 820H

Budget Pick - Powerful, affordable, and compact 8-inch guitar amp speaker
A black guitar amplifier speaker that has passive speaker amplification with 20 watts of power.
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The Eminence Patriot 820H Speaker has a rich, warm, and full sound that I really like. It has a fantastic fat tone that can be pushed without causing distortion. With strong low frequencies, clear high frequencies, and warm mid frequencies, this 8-inch passive speaker is great for music lovers who want a powerful sound that suits any genre.

Pros

  • Killer fat tone and warm, smooth sound
  • Handles high volume without distorting
  • Improved bass response for small speakers
  • Good replacement for vintage practice amps
  • Made in USA quality
  • Fits well in a variety of amplifier models

Cons

  • Limited power and impedance options
  • Might require some modification to fit in certain amps
  • Moderate overdrive can lead to fuzziness

The speaker has a unique 4-ohm hemp cone, which is eco-friendly and provides a balance between deep lows and controlled highs. The hemp cone is durable and creates a smooth sound that enhances the listening experience.

Introduced in 2013, the Eminence Patriot 820H still ranks competitively among musical instruments. It’s a great choice for musicians who want a good quality speaker without breaking the bank.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 8″
  • Impedance: 4 ohms
  • Power Handling: 20W Continuous, 40W Program
  • Frequency Range: 80Hz-4.6kHz

3. Celestion G12M Greenback

Superior tone for modern, high-gain amps
A 12
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The Celestion G12M Greenback has amazing break-up and middle-range strength. This 25-watt, 12-inch speaker with a ceramic magnet has a powerful lead sound and well-controlled high frequencies for strong but clear chords without annoying fuzziness.

Pros

  • Excellent mid-range crunch and break-up
  • Great for blues and classic rock
  • Works well with vintage rock amps
  • Compliments other speakers well
  • Smooth high end, not too harsh

Cons

  • Not as loud as other speakers (e.g. Vintage 30)
  • May not fit all amps due to a deeper magnet

Initially designed for hard rock and blues styles, this speaker can easily adjust to your setup with its active amplification technology. It works great alone in low-wattage amps or combined with others in powerful rock amps and is perfect for modern high-gain amplifiers.

The well-known G12M Greenback version is known for its attractive tone, offering a broader mid-range presence and well-balanced bass. I enjoy its warm and full sound, which works well for different music styles.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 25W
  • Frequency Range: 75Hz-5kHz

4. Eminence Patriot Swamp Thang

150 watts of output power for high-volume performance
A 12
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The Eminence Patriot Swamp Thang has a strong 150W power output. It produces a low-end, fat, American-style sound and makes it suitable for louder genres. It will have enough power to put you through any gig you might have with enough delicacy to catch every nuance of your guitar playing.

Pros

  • Significant improvement in sound quality
  • Handles high wattage well
  • Durable and long-lasting
  • Provides a thick, full tone with good sustain
  • Made in the USA

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • May require break-in time for optimal performance

The 12-inch size of this speaker is also noteworthy. Its large size leads to better sound projection and higher audio quality. Regardless of the genre or environment, this speaker will fill the space and will give you enough mid and high tones to clearly cut through the noise of the rest of the band.

A major advantage of this speaker is its excellent low-end response. With amazing bass frequencies and clear sound, this speaker offers a full, rich, and enjoyable audio experience. This is especially important for solo acts and professional studio recordings, ensuring each note is heard with great depth and detail.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 150W
  • Frequency Range: 70Hz-5kHz

5. Jensen P12Q

Compact and lightweight speaker with Alnico magnet for premium performance
A speaker with a maximum output power of 40 watts that produces a warm, mid-focused bite with clear bright highs and distinctive overdrive.
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The Jensen P12Q has an Alnico magnet known for creating warm, smooth sounds. I appreciate its suitability for blues and classic rock tones, along with enhancing guitar tones for diverse music styles. Plus, the speaker is fairly lightweight, making it easy to carry and put in an amp cab.

Pros

  • Compatible with various amps
  • Great for blues and old-school rock tones
  • Clear bright highs and warm mid-focused bite
  • Good balance when used with overdrive distortion
  • Alnico magnet for improved sound quality

Cons

  • Requires a significant break-in time
  • Not suitable for all types of guitar music
  • A tad pricey

With a 40-watt power rating, the P12Q offers strong performance and adaptability, fitting for small to medium-sized venues and practice sessions. Its 60-5k Hz frequency response accommodates various guitar tones, and its balanced overdrive distortion results in a rich, mid-focused sound with clear highs.

This Jensen speaker also adds style to your amp setup with its unique green color, setting you apart from the usual black speakers. It fits easily in standard amplifier cabinets, allowing smooth integration into your existing guitar system.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 40W
  • Frequency Range: 60Hz-5kHz

6. Celestion Blue

High-end speaker with high sensitivity for powerful sound
A 12-inch electric guitar speaker with warm and mellow tones and an Alnico magnet that produces great sound quality and a brilliant chime.
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The Celestion Blue Speaker is perfect for Vox and Marshall amps. It has a warm low sound, smooth middle range, and bright treble that guitar lovers will enjoy. Its design allows for different tones and power levels, making it a great addition to your music gear.

Pros

  • Clear improvement in sound quality
  • Classic chime and tonal range
  • Brings out Vox tone in amplifiers
  • Surprisingly loud for 15 watts
  • Warm lows, mellow upper mids, brilliant top end
  • Alnico magnet material

Cons

  • Heavier speaker
  • Limited to 15 watts power rating
  • Pricey

The Celestion Blue comes in two different options – 8 or 16-ohm impedance options. The speaker can handle up to 120 watts of power, so you get a full and high-quality audio experience.

The Blue Speaker is part of Celestion’s Alnico series, which includes top-rated guitar speakers known for excellent sound. Other models in the series are Ruby, Gold, Cream, and 10″ Gold. Naturally, with this level of quality, it is understandable why the price point is steeper than most competitors on this list.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Power Handling: 15W
  • Frequency Range: 75Hz-5kHz

7. Eminence GA-SC64 Allesandro Signature

Premium quality guitar speaker with vintage sound
A 12-inch black speaker with 40 watts of power that delivers vintage-like sounds.
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Created by amp expert George Alessandro, this 12-inch retro-style speaker provides well-balanced audio with a lively character. I appreciate its improved tone and even sound across different music genres.

Pros

  • Improved tone and sound quality for various amps
  • Balanced tone with warm, rich, and sparkling highs
  • Eliminates harsh treble and fizzy overdrive
  • Handles pedals well and is good for different music styles
  • Easy to install and use
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • May require a break-in for optimal performance
  • Not ideal for all amplifier types
  • Slightly bulky speaker

This speaker outperforms its predecessors with better sound balance, increased dynamism, and a wider range of tones. It offers tight, punchy sounds combined with a warm richness and bright high notes.

Featuring a stylish black appearance, the 12-inch Eminence speaker has a 40-watt power capacity. The passive amplification system allows the speaker to produce excellent sound performance. Highly ranked among musical instruments and guitar amp speakers, this 40-watt Eminence speaker is known for its outstanding sound quality and durability.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 40W
  • Frequency Range: 80Hz-5.3kHz

8. Electro-Voice EVM12L

Road-ready reliability for gigging
A heavy-duty guitar speaker with a classic sound, known for its huge tone and great low-end, and can handle extreme volumes.
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The Electro-Voice EVM12L stands out for its wide tonal range, which I think has a clear and natural sound. It’s great for guitar players interested in deep bass and bright highs. This versatile speaker works well for all music styles and allows fantastic lead performances and classic tones.

Pros

  • Clear and natural sound quality
  • High-performance heavy-duty design
  • Road-ready reliability
  • Reduced low-frequency flex
  • High maximum output power (200 watts)

Cons

  • Heavy speaker
  • High-end might be rough initially (may improve when broken in)
  • Pricey

Speakers need to be durable, especially for musicians who perform frequently. The EVM12L is built strong to last on the road, with a solid frame that prevents low-frequency distortion and ensures a clear sound during live shows. This speaker combines excellent audio with long-lasting toughness.

If you’re seeking a top guitar speaker, the EVM12L is a great choice. Its solid frame helps reduce distortion and creates a clear base for guitarists. This design enhances clarity, so musicians can concentrate on performing with a versatile speaker.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 200W
  • Frequency Range: 80Hz-7kHz

9. Eminence LEGENDGB128

Lightweight yet Durable Construction
A guitar speaker with a maximum output power of 50 watts that provides a strong definition and crunch.
View Price at Amazon

The Eminence LEGENDGB128 is all about fullness and smooth sounds, capable of producing up to 50 watts of power. It focuses on strong mid-range tones and clear high notes, creating a perfect mix of clarity and bite. I appreciate its excellent all-around British style, sound quality, and versatility.

Pros

  • Versatile and suitable for various music styles
  • Delivers clear, smooth, and musical sound
  • Improved sound and tone in multiple amps
  • Tames harsh high frequencies in some amps
  • Great value for the price

Cons

  • Needs a break-in period for optimal sound

Made in the USA, this speaker is designed for quality and long-lasting use. Note that its small size does not affect its performance. Enhance your guitar setup with this powerful, compact, and highly-praised accessory, great for shows.

Not only is this speaker known for exceptional audio quality, but the high market standing shows its worth to musicians and music lovers alike. However, it’s unfortunate that the speaker needs to be broken in to achieve the best sound (like most). 

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 8 ohms
  • Power Handling: 50W
  • Frequency Range: 80Hz-5.1kHz

10. Celestion G12H-150 Redback

Get high-powered guitar tones with ease
A 12
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The Celestion G12H-150 Redback has a 150-watt power capacity, making it suitable for those who need compatibility with high-wattage amps. With an increasing demand for high-power solutions, guitarists can rely on clear and undistorted sound from this strong 12-inch speaker.

Pros

  • High power handling with 150 watts
  • Tight, well-controlled low end
  • Detailed midrange and more relaxed treble
  • Suitable for 100-watt heads and smaller cabinets
  • Durable with supersized 2″ voice coil

Cons

  • Needs to be cranked to sound its best
  • May sound boomy in some cabinets
  • Heavy speaker

Known for their great engineering, Celestion created this durable Redback Speaker with excellent quality and a lasting build. Its 2-inch voice coil guarantees impressive power management and tone, while its heavy G12 magnet contributes to its solid construction and powerful sound.

One thing I appreciate about this Redback Speaker is how it offers clear low-end sound at high-stage volumes. It works well with various amplifiers and can be easily connected in small cabinets or low-power setups using spade connectors. When used with effect pedals, the speaker produces clean and pleasing tones.

Specs

  • Speaker Size: 12″
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Power Handling: 150W
  • Frequency Range: 70Hz-5kHz

Key Features and Specs to Look For in a Guitar Amp Speaker

The ideal guitar amp speaker is always down to preference but there are a few things you need to consider such as the speaker size, wattage, sound quality, and durability, among other things for the right choice.

Speaker size and wattage

When it comes to selecting the perfect guitar amp speaker, size and wattage play a crucial role in shaping your sound. Generally, larger speakers deliver more powerful and richer tones, while smaller ones offer a tighter, more focused sound.

For instance, the Eminence Patriot 820H speaker provides warm, full-bodied tones with its 20-watt power rating, while the Celestion G12M Greenback boasts 25 watts of forward, punchy attitude for modern high-gain amps. It’s important to choose a speaker with a wattage that matches your amplifier’s output, as a mismatch can lead to poor performance or even damage to your gear.

Tonal characteristics

When choosing a guitar amp speaker, it’s crucial to pay attention to its tonal characteristics. Each speaker is designed to produce a unique sound that reflects its construction and materials. For instance, the Eminence Patriot 820H with its hemp cone creates warm, full-bodied tones, while the Celestion G12M Greenback offers a beautiful break-up and mid-range crunch, perfect for high-gain amps.

Build quality and materials

When selecting the perfect guitar amp speaker, it’s important to consider build quality and materials as these factors directly impact the overall sound and durability of the speaker.

Premium speakers, such as the Eminence Patriot 820H, are known for their robust construction and high-quality components like hemp cones, which provide rich and full-bodied tones. Similarly, the iconic Celestion G12M Greenback owes its beautiful break-up and mid-range crunch to the superb craftsmanship that ensures a well-controlled low-end and forward punch. 

Compatibility with an existing amplifier

When considering the compatibility of an amp speaker with your existing amplifier, it’s essential to choose a speaker that matches the power rating and impedance requirements of your amp. It’s also crucial to ensure that the speaker’s size fits into your existing cabinet or enclosure.

For example, the Eminence Patriot 820H Guitar Speaker is an excellent choice for amplifiers and cabinets requiring a 4-ohm impedance, while the Celestion G12M Greenback Guitar Speaker works well with modern, high-gain amps. Always double-check the specifications of the amp speaker against your amplifier to guarantee compatibility.

Budget and value for money

When it comes to choosing a guitar amp speaker, consider your budget and the value you’ll be getting for your money. High-quality speakers often come with a higher price tag, but they can provide excellent sound quality and durability, making them a worthwhile investment.

For example, the Eminence Patriot 820H and Celestion G12M Greenback Guitar Speaker both offer great tone and performance at different price points, so it’s essential to weigh your personal sound preferences and financial constraints when making your decision.

Buyers Guide

Guitar amp speakers are vital components of a guitarist’s sound, and choosing the right one can make a significant impact on your playing experience. With so many options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which speaker suits your needs best.

Understanding Types of Guitar Amp Speakers

In the world of guitar speakers, there are two primary categories: vintage and modern speakers. Vintage speakers are modeled after the classic sounds of guitar legends from the past, while modern speakers often incorporate new technologies and materials to create more robust and diverse tonal options.

Examples of vintage-inspired speakers include the Celestion Blue Guitar Speaker, while more contemporary options include the Eminence Patriot Swamp Thang 12″ Guitar Speaker. It is crucial to understand the differences between these speaker types to make an informed decision about your desired sound and tone.

Understanding Speaker Impedance and Ohms

Impedance, measured in ohms, affects the performance of your amp speakers. Ensuring that your speaker and amplifier have matching impedance levels, such as pairing a 4-ohm speaker like the Eminence Patriot 820H with a compatible amplifier, will optimize your system’s performance.

Different Speaker Magnets and Their Effects on Tone

The type of speaker magnet used, such as alnico (Jensen P12Q8), ceramic (Celestion G12M Greenback), or neodymium (Celestion Blue), influences the tone and sound of your guitar amp speakers. Ceramic magnets are known for their aggressive, powerful tones, while alnico magnets provide a warmer and smoother sound. Neodymium magnets offer a balance between the two, with lightweight and robust properties.

Speaker Break-in and Maintenance

Speaker break-in refers to the process of “wearing in” a new speaker to achieve its optimal sound quality. It’s essential to treat your speakers with care and adhere to the recommended maintenance practices to maintain longevity and performance quality.

Common Mistakes and What Not to Do

Avoid common mistakes like neglecting speaker compatibility and exhausting EQ options. Matching the speakers and amp specifications is crucial for achieving optimal sound quality. Additionally, experimenting with your amplifier’s EQ settings can help achieve desired tonal modifications before seeking a new speaker.

FAQs

1. What size amp speaker should I choose?

It depends on the wattage of your amp and your needs. A 10-12 inch speaker is usually sufficient for home practice, whereas a larger 15-18 inch speaker may be needed for live performances and larger venues.

2. How many watts should my amp speaker be?

It depends on your amplifier’s wattage and what you’ll be using it for. In general, you want to match the amp’s wattage to the speaker’s wattage, but a speaker that can handle slightly higher wattage can be helpful for high-volume playing.

3. Should I choose a solid-state or tube amp speaker?

It’s a matter of personal preference and the sound you’re looking for. Solid-state speakers tend to be more durable and reliable, while tube speakers provide a warmer, more vintage sound.

4. What is the speaker’s frequency response range?

The frequency response range tells you the range of frequencies the speaker can handle. A broader frequency range means that the speaker can produce more nuanced tones and better handle a wider range of music genres.

5. What is the speaker’s sensitivity rating?

The sensitivity rating tells you how loud the speaker can get with a given amount of power. A higher sensitivity rating means the speaker can produce more volume with less power, which is helpful for smaller venues and home practice.

Conclusion

It’s amazing to see how far technology and innovation have come in the realm of music. But, with all the options and possibilities, it can be hard to know what’s best for you and your playing style. A good guitar amp speaker can make all the difference in the world so make sure you choose wisely.

My top recommended amp speaker is the Celestion Vintage 30, which is one of the best-selling guitar amp speakers in the world and delivers that classic Celestion tone with a warm low-end.

My second recommended amp speaker is the Eminence Patriot 820H, which is an affordable 20-watt speaker that delivers a rich warm full-bodied tone, with fat punchy lows and smooth defined highs.

Featured image by: Oldangelmidnight from Northampton, MA / CC BY-SA

Brian Clark

Brian Clark

I’ve been a writer with Musician Wave for six years, turning my 17-year journey as a multi-instrumentalist and music producer into insightful news, tutorials, reviews, and features.

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