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Words Like “Vintage” and “Classic” Mean One Thing
Plenty of guitarists preach the value of vintage and classic speakers, and why not? They’ve certainly earned the praise. Still, to most of us, words like “vintage” and “classic” mean one thing: Expensive.
And that translation is definitely accurate. Some of the best speakers out there command a hefty price; a new Celestion Alnico Blue, for example, retails at $300. But top-notch tone doesn’t necessarily have to empty your bank account. In addition to Eminence’s relatively affordable drivers, other amplification companies have entered the fray to offer a reasonably priced solution to your tonal problems.
Among these, two American companies have risen to the top: Weber Speakers and Warehouse Guitar Speakers.
A Fresh Take on Vintage Vibes
Founded over 15 years ago by Air Force vet and sound tech Ted Weber, Weber Speakers makes faithful replicas of classic speakers, as well as some original inventions. Though Ted passed in 2009, the legacy of his work lives on. Weber speakers continue to gain prominence today for their high quality and relatively low price.
Weber’s most popular speakers are likely the Blue Dog and Silver Bell, which are replicas of the Celestion Blue and Greenback, respectively. However, this is just a glimpse of Weber’s extensive catalog, which also includes clones of vintage Jensen and CTS drivers, lightweight NeoMag speakers, and a High Power Series for keeping up with that pesky drummer.
Admittedly, Weber speakers are not cheap – the Alnico Blue Dog costs $208. (Still a $100 discount over Celestion, you’ll notice.) But the breadth of its catalog and the quality of its products are Weber’s strengths. You can order almost any speaker in ceramic or alnico, and most models are offered in 8”, 10”, 12” and 15” versions.
Customer support is also a great feature of Weber Speakers. If you’re unsure which model is right for your amp or cab, Weber has a section on its website where you can ask for a speaker recommendation based on the style, sound and volume you’re after.
Warehouse Pricing, Boutique Quality
Warehouse Guitar Speakers has only been around since 2006, but the company’s approach to loudspeaker design takes decades of rock history into consideration. WGS offers a range of British and American-voiced speakers, all of which recall the vintage drivers that defined guitar tone.
Though it considers its speakers a “premium upgrade,” the price is anything but premium. WGS’ alnico speakers are expectedly expensive, but most of its ceramic drivers run in the $40 to $70 range.
If you’re looking for unique tone at a decent price, WGS is definitely worth a look. Their G10C model is popular among fans of the Eminence Ragin’ Cajun’. Or, if you like a more British tone, the 12” British Lead is a great all-around speaker.
Of course, Weber and WGS are just two of the up-and-coming speaker companies out there. You may stumble upon other gems as you research your options. After all, research is the best part of playing guitar!
…Right? Well, maybe it’s just me.