Finding a good guitar tone comes down to many things. You will need a good guitar, a good amp and a good set of guitar pedals if that is what you like to use. If not, the first two items should do the trick. This sounds about right? You can go one step further.
What most guitar players tend to forget is that the speakers in their amps or guitar cabs are important as well. These are what give your tone that specific color. If there is one brand of speaker manufacturers out there who has gained a lot of trust from the community over the years, it is Celestion. Today we are going to look at one of their entry level speakers – the Celestion Ten 30 – and talk about how it can improve your tone. Lets see why Billy Gibbons and so many other legends trust Celestion with their tone.
Celestion Ten 30 Review
The story of Celestion is a long one and includes a whole lot of chapters. They started out at the very beginning of the 20th century and have almost a hundred years of speaker manufacturing behind them. When you show up with that kind of experience and knowledge, the market is bound to react one way or another. Being a British brand, Celestion’s journey to the legendary levels of popularity began when Marshall started using their speakers in their cabs.
Here’s the thing, though. Celestions don’t come in every guitar amp. In fact, you rarely find them these days if you take Marshall and Vox out of the equation. So how do you access that awesome sound without owning these brands of amps? Simple, just get yourself a set of Celestion speakers. Since most of their Greenbacks and similar 12 inch units tend to be quite expensive, we have decided to show you something that is much more attainable for most guitar players. Celestion Ten 30 is a great speaker that won’t break your bank account.
Design and Features
When it comes to design, there is nothing too outstanding about Ten 30. Celestion has used their standard steel harness which has been proven to be a good choice in the past. One benefit of taking that route is the fact that the diameter of the harness as well as the position of the holes matches most standard cabinets. The only thing to consider is that this is a 10″ unit so it won’t fit into a cab designed for 12″ drivers without some modification. With that said, the build quality of the harness is great. This is the type of setup that reduces, or should we say eliminates any movement or wiggling once mounted. What that translates to is low vibration and low noise during use.
The magnet itself is a standard Celestion ceramic unit. This particular model is a 8 Ohm version, although a 16 Ohm is also available. Naturally, you would get the one that matches your amp. When it comes to the frequency range Ten 30 covers, you are looking at 85-5000Hz range. As you can probably tell it digs into the lows quite well.
With all that said, lets talk about how this thing sounds. After all, that is what matters the most in the end. In an effort to be as unbiased as possible, lets just say that it sounds like a true Celestion. That doesn’t mean that there are no flaws to this particular design. One of the things Celestion speakers are known for is their warmth. We won’t say that Ten 30 lacks that warmth completely but it is also nowhere near as warm as a vintage Greenback. On the other hand, you would expect as much considering the sheer price differential between these two speakers. The overall sonic profile tends to be biased towards mids and trebles. That much is proven simply by looking at the frequency response charts.
The real question is what kind of real world consequences does all of this have? Before we go any further lets just put this out there. If your amp is a budget one, putting one or two of these in there will give you a proper boost in performance. That is just a fact of the matter. Pushing such a setup with a good overdrive pedal will yield a very recognizable tone. Even though this is an entry level Celestion, it still has the combined heritage of many generations of Greenbacks and other legendary speakers behind it. What we are trying to say is that in the midst of that overdrive tone, you will easily recognize that true Celestion grit which many of us have learned to appreciate.
In case you are leaning more towards a clean sound, this speaker will still offer a great performance. Despite its inherent lack of warmth, Celestion Ten 30 is easily warmer than most factory speakers being installed in modern amps. In a way, a set of Celestion Ten 30s is a great way of familiarizing yourself with the brand and learning just what kind of tone is possible should you decide to go for one of the more expensive models in their offer. In that context, Ten 30 is a really great choice.
At the end of the day the whole deal behind Celestion Ten 30 is pretty cut and dry. There is no arguing that it is a budget speaker. However, it is also a full blooded Celestion. If you are looking to upgrade your tone and you’re all out of ideas, getting this bad boy could be the solution you were looking for. The performance it offers is more than acceptable considering its price. As a matter of fact it is one of the best bang for the buck deals you will find in the 10″ class at the moment. Fortunately for us Celestion is not the type of brand to pump up the price of their products solely based on their brand name.