What Are The Best 12-Inch Guitar Speakers?

Home » Speakers » What Are The Best 12-Inch Guitar Speakers?

One of the biggest factors that contribute to the signal chain is the amplifier. But with the mass production of guitar amplifiers nowadays, how will you be able to differentiate your tone from the guitarist next door? The answer, of course, is by modification. And one of the sure-fire components that you can alter to upgrade your sound is your amplifier’s speakers. But what are the pointers to consider when choosing your speakers?

Tonality: What type of tone are you planning to achieve? Are you looking for that SRV sound, or are you into heavy metal?

Power: How loud are you willing to go? Are you planning to use the speakers for studio recording, or are you planning on taking your cabinet to the next Woodstock?

Budget: With all the countless possibilities out there, of course, this is one of the deciding factors that we have to look into. That high-priced speaker may not necessarily be the missing piece you need to complete your signal chain.

So read on and learn all the options before you go hacking into your amplifier. Here are our top bids on the best 12-inch guitar speakers in the market today.

Recommended 12-Inch Guitar Speakers

Image12-Inch Guitar SpeakersPower ratingNominal impedanceMagnet TypeFrequency range
Celestion Vintage 30...
Most popular

at Amazon
60 W8 ohmsCeramic70 Hz - 5000 Hz
Eminence Patriot...at Amazon150 W8 ohmsFerrite70 Hz - 5000 Hz (-3dB)
CELESTION Blue...at Amazon15W RMS8 ohmsAlnico75 - 5000 Hz
Eminence Red Coat...at Amazon75 W16 ohmsFerrite70 Hz - 5000 Hz

Eminence Patriot Swamp Thang

Power rating: 150 W
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Magnet Type:  Ferrite
Frequency range: 70 Hz – 4 kHz

What’s good:  This speaker has fantastic distortion; it thrives in the low end and has a lovely, clear upper end. Because of the power, it can take, it has lots of headroom.

Not so good: Rock and metal don’t sound so good through this speaker. Also, it is challenging to mic this guitar speaker. Lastly, if you add too much gain to the Swamp Thang speaker, it will produce a buzzing sound.

Your cab will become an all-out powerhouse with the Eminence Swamp Thang guitar speaker. It was created with heavier players in mind and has a deep, meaty tone with plenty of endurance.

For any budget, the Eminence Swamp Thang provides excellent sound. It has a 150 Watt output, an 8-ohm impedance, and a frequency response of 70 to 5000 Hz, giving your amp enough power to shine.

The low end is quite potent. You can adjust the bass on your amp to manage it, but the Swamp Thang really excels if you have a 7-string guitar, utilize a “D” tuning, or perform in the open “G.” Without being forceful, the highs have bell-like tones. It will effectively tame loud amps.

Although not nearly as large as the old Electrovoice or JBLs, it boasts a sizable magnet. As a result, it is extremely effective and noisy at times. Even driving a 40-watt amp to its very limit won’t cause speaker distortion. The speaker won’t be distorted, only the amp’s tubes. If you try this, you best be playing in a big hall because otherwise, your ears will be ringing for weeks.

The only drawback of this 12-inch guitar speaker is that it will increase the weight of your amp by around 5 lbs.

Celestion G12M Greenback

Power rating: 25 W
Nominal impedance: 8Ω or 16Ω
Magnet Type: Ceramic
Frequency range: 75-5000Hz

What’s good: The best features of this 12-inch guitar speaker include moderated high end, a broad mid-range impact, and a regulated bass end. Its loud and punchy personality would perfectly complement many cabinet models.

Not so good: This guitar speaker compresses more quickly at times because of the lower power. The low wattage is sometimes unusable if the amp’s power is too high.

One of the best-rounded speakers available from Celestion is the Greenback. Cleans come through clearly, almost in three dimensions. Massive open chords permeate the space. The sonic footprint of dirty tones is expansive, with authority in the lows and rich detail in the highs. Power chords are sharp, riffs keep going, and lead work is faithfully reproduced. Squeals and harmonics have a beautifully crisp focus that stays clear of the icepick zone.

The G12M Greenback has changed throughout the years, yet it still has its fundamental, desired tone. The breakup is warm and fuzzy in the manner of vintage 1960s rock, and the speaker has a nice sound and a wide dynamic range. Excellent speaker for my needs, and we would recommend it to anyone who wants range and has a low Wattage amp. Take note of the Ohm rating, btw. This speaker has 25 watts of power and is available in 8 and 16-ohm versions.

The voice of the contemporary Greenback has a broader mid-range attack and a restricted top end. These give chords extra kick and attitude and offer scorching leads without any extra “fizz.”

Before redesigning everything, you should start with these Celestion speakers if you want to immediately improve your setup. You can’t go wrong with them.

Celestion Vintage 30 Guitar Speaker, 8 Ohm

Power rating: 60 W
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Magnet Type: Ceramic
Frequency range: 75 – 5000Hz

What’s good: Patterned after the original Celestion Blue

Not so good: A bit heavy (10.4lbs)

Celestion Vintage 30 derives its ancestry from the original Celestion Blue. This speaker is rated at 60 watts RMS at 8 ohms, and has a frequency range of 70 Hz-5 kHz.

The speaker size is 12 inch, but is remarkably double-its-size loud!

Even though its magnet type is ceramic, the design of the vintage 30 is quite close to its Alnico counterparts hence the full punchy lows, solid sounding mid, and over-the-top creamy highs without the harsh overtones.

The only downside is that it is quite heavy (10.4 lbs).

A definitely good replacement speaker if you are looking for that vintage-sounding Marshall sound in your cabinets.

Celestion Blue Guitar Speaker, 8 Ohm

Power rating: 15 W
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Magnet Type: Alnico
Frequency range: 75 – 5000Hz

What’s good: Big headroom / more punch

Not so good: A bit on the heavy side (10.8 lbs)

The Celestion Blue will give you a feel for that British sound – more punch on your overdriven tone, and a large headroom that will definitely make you “stand out” even when playing in a huge pub.

This woofer utilizes Alnico for its magnet and is rated at 15 watts / 8 ohms, with a frequency response of 75 – 5000 Hz. With its warm low-end tones, strong mid and sparkling highs, it is no wonder that this immediately found favor with top guitar virtuosos like Brian May.

Due to its damping, this speaker provides just the right compression, and even on very loud volumes, you can hear the clear definition of your tone.

Safe to say, the Celestion Blue is one of the speakers out there that gives you more value for your money.

Eminence Texas Heat 12″ Guitar Speaker, 150 Watts at 8 Ohms

Power rating: 150 W
Nominal impedance: 8 ohms
Magnet Type: Ferrite
Frequency range: 70 Hz – 5000 Hz (-3dB)

What’s good: Made in the USA

Not so good: Lacks a bit on the low end

The Texas Heat from Eminence is true to its name – chicken picking hot! With 150 watts of power, you are sure to be heard at just about any club you might play in.

You will get a nice chubby tone with a little top-end bite and a hint of British flavor.

Plus the fact that these woofers are still made in the USA means they are built to last Great for blues and country music.

Eminence Redcoat Guitar The Governor 16

Power rating: 75 W
Nominal impedance: 16 ohms
Magnet Type: Ferrite
Frequency range: 70 Hz – 5000 Hz

What’s good: Thick rich tones

Not so good: Tends to sound a little edgy on the high frequency if not properly tuned

The Governor 16 from Eminence is a manifestation of the Brit-rock sound. With ratings of 75 Watts RMS at 16 ohms, these woofers are perfect whether you are planning to build a 1X12, 2X12, or 4X12 cabinet.

This woofer’s frequency response is at 70 Hz-5 kHz and is guaranteed to produce tight lows, cut through mid and sparkling highs. The great thing about this woofer is, with proper tuning, you can get a real focused tone that is sure to bring life to your solos.

Whether as a backup replacement speaker or as a part of your main cabinet, the Governor is sure to deliver and exceed your expectations.

Fender 12″ Standard Replacement Speaker

What’s good: Reproduces the sound of the original mounted speakers

Not so good: Tends to sound a bit “shiny” (the original Fender Sound)

The Fender 12-inch standard replacement speaker is true to its core. It is produced to replace and not enhance the existing woofers on Fender amplifiers. Its rating is 100 watts RMS AT 8 ohms.

So if you are looking to replace the busted speakers on your Twin Reverb or Princeton and want to retain the original sound these woofers are perfect for you.

Celestion Hot 100 guitar speaker, 8 ohm

What’s good: Flat response; true reproduction of tone

Not so good: Needs proper equalization for you to hear your desired tone

Celestion continuously innovates the way speakers should sound. The Hot 100 is the “Jack of all trades” in this regard.

Its rating is 100 watts RMS at 95 dB which means that these babies are loud! Whether you are mounting these on classic tweed amplifiers or into much modern modeling amplifiers, they are sure to reproduce the intended sound faithfully.

With its frequency response of 80-5000 Hz, you are assured that all your dynamics will be heard and that your sound will cut through the crowd wherever you are.

Jensen C12K8 Replacement Speaker

What’s good: Vintage blues sounds

Not so good: Tends to coat everything in mids

If you are into that vintage Fender tone, then the C12N from Jensen is for you. With a power of 100-watt RMS at 8 ohms, these woofers are sure to sing those jazz and blues lines like no other speakers at their price range can.

The only downside is that they are not that versatile. So if you are into metal or heavy rock, then these might not be the speakers for you. A very good replacement speaker for classic Fender or other vintage amplifiers.

EMINENCE EJ1250 12-Inch Signature Guitar Speakers

What’s good: Versatile speaker, built to Eric Johnson’s exact specifications

Not so good: Price

Eric Johnson – guitar virtuoso, songwriter, a perfectionist. These are a few of the words that summarize one of the world’s greatest guitar genii that ever lived. He is known for his guitar-like tone on the Fender Stratocaster and has won numerous Grammys for his songs.

He is well known for his perfectionist tendencies, from his studio recordings to the way he winds and tunes his guitar strings. He made it clear that music is not just art, but an exact science.

The EJ1250 was the brainchild of Johnson’s collaboration with George Alessandro and Eminence. The speaker is exact to Eric Johnson’s specifications; rated at 50 watts RMS at 8 ohms, this 12-inch wonder sings to the frequency range of 80 Hz – 5.1 kHz, and has a sensitivity of 100.9 dB which is perfect for overdriven guitar tones without the untamed highs and low overtones.

Any guitarist who knows Eric Johnson will agree that this speaker is perfection at its best – the marriage between Fender, Mesa Boogie, and Marshall. Even though at a price tag that high, we all know that anything that has EJ’s stamp on it is worth it!