If you’re curious about Celestion Blue vs Greenback guitar speakers and which is better, this is the post for you!
Celestion Guitar Cabinet Speakers
When we talk about amps, we all mostly focus on the amp circuitry, the tubes, and some other features. However, none of that would work without proper speakers, right? And it seems that many players tend to overlook their importance.
For a very long time, Celestion has been making some of the best guitar amp speakers on the market. The company, of course, originally focused on general-purpose speakers. Eventually, they became known in the guitar industry.
A lot of amp manufacturers use Celestion speakers in finalized products. This includes Fender, Marshall, Vox, Orange, Mesa Boogie, and Hughes & Kettner, just to name a few. But the list goes on. In short, Celestion is a company that’s been shaping guitar tones around the world with their speakers.
Celestion Blue Vs Greenback
But their line of products is pretty vast. The most famous speakers are easily their so-called Greenback ones. However, they’re far from being the only speakers in the company’s guitar line.
For instance, we also have the so-called Blue speakers. And, in recent years, it seems that guitar players are comparing them more. This is especially the case for those who like to modify amps, or even make their own amps.
So let’s focus on this and see how these two options compare.
Greenbacks are easily the most common speaker with most amps. There are, of course, different sizes. We have the G10, which is a 10-inch variant. And there’s the G12M which is a 12-inch variant. But the basic features are pretty similar.
Most importantly, both of these are with ceramic magnets. This gives them their very well-known voicing. The 10-inch variant is designed to handle frequencies from 95 to 5500 Hz. Meanwhile, the 12-inch variant handles anything between 75 and 5000 Hz.
Although the 12-inch Greenback is a bit boomier, they both keep a very similar character. The distribution of frequencies over the spectrum is pretty similar. It’s mostly flat from 100 to 1000 Hz. Then there’s a small drop going up to 2000 Hz. After that, we have a boost between 2 and 5 kHz.
The G12M variant also has a slightly different bump in the 2 to 5 kHz area. But then again, they both have a very similar character. Another thing to point out is that G12M takes up to 25 watts of nominal power. Meanwhile, the G10 takes up to 30 watts.
The Celestion Blue isn’t as common as Greenbacks. However, there’s one important trait that makes it different compared to most guitar amp speakers. Celestion Blue comes with an Alnico magnet.
What may seem like a minor feature can impact the tone a lot. But first, we should also go over the fact that it takes less nominal power. Blue is a 10-inch speaker that works with up to 15 watts of power.
The features seem similar at first. For instance, its frequency range is from 75 to 5000 Hz. And it also comes with a seemingly similar frequency curve over the spectrum. However, it’s slightly smoother as it reaches its highest frequencies. Additionally, it’s not that even within the 100 to 1500 Hz range.
The biggest difference, however, is that it breaks up more easily. No, this doesn’t mean that it will fall apart. Celestion Blue distorts. So an amplifier with it has less headroom. On the other hand, this isn’t some kind of a hard-hitting distortion. It just smooths out the tone and makes it feel warmer.
While not that common, these speakers have their use. They add a different flavor to the amp’s main character. In particular, they work really well with vintage-style amps. In my experience, they worked wonders with British-style amps. But they can also add an interesting twist to Fenders by removing some of their well-known headroom.
How Do They Compare
If you were to put them head-on, you’d notice a lot of differences. If you look at the features on paper, it wouldn’t seem that any notable traits set them apart. However, you’d be surprised how different they act in action.
The most obvious difference is that Celestion Blue takes less power. This is why I’d only recommend it for lower-output amps. As you reach the speaker’s limit, you notice more distortion. If this is what you’re aiming for, then Celestion Blue is a better way to go.
However, if you want a safe bet and a simple solution, Greenbacks are much easier to work with. After all, they’re somewhat of a golden standard. They just work the best for most settings.
Achieving that smooth, saturated, and distorted tone can be achieved in different ways. You simply get a tube amp with less headroom and add an overdrive in front of it.
That doesn’t mean that you should completely overlook Celestion Blue. They have their use but are very specific. You’d really have to be into vintage stuff and aim for such a tone. In my experience, there aren’t that many guitarists with such preferences out there. Sure, that vintage-style response can reinvent your amp’s tone. But are you really looking for that?
In the end, it’s a bit of a difficult comparison. I may be a bit biased on this since I prefer Greenbacks. And they have worked for me in pretty much any setting.