Speaker Review

Celestion Metal Hard Rock 12″ Speaker Set

Guitar players like to tweak things.  For example, a scrappy Southern California kid with a striped guitar tweaked his gear into the history books.  Many players tweak at the source:  the guitar.  And some tweak all the way to the end:  the speaker cabinets.    That’s where the Metal Hard Rock Celestion speaker set comes in.

Celestion Metal Hard Rock 4x12
Celestion Metal Hard Rock 4×12
What’s In It?

The Metal Hard Rock set is the combination of a few pair of Celestion’s most popular 12″ speakers.  The 60 watt Vintage 30 and the 75 watt G12T-75.  By their own right, these speakers represent some of Celestion’s best known and biggest selling guitar speakers.  Players within the realms of pop and country and rock and metalcore are using either one of these speakers.

The result of some inventive marketing by a big retailer, the Metal Hard Rock set isn’t technically an official Celestion product.  Someone figured out they mix well together and offer them for sell as a set for your 2×12 or 4×12 cab.  Now, I definitely like me some Celestion speakers.  And I have (at least) a pair of each of these.  So I load them into a Marshall 1960B and I’m off to the races.

Loading The Cab

About the cab and the loading pattern.  This straight cab has a silicone bead along the interior joints to seal it up nice and tight.  And it has the fairly typical stereo/mono input jack plate.  For this, I wire them up in a X-pattern with the Vintage 30s on one channel and the G12Ts on the other.  So let’s take a peek at how these two line up.

Frequency Chart Comparison
Celestion Metal Hard Rock Speaker Comparison
Celestion Metal Hard Rock Speaker Comparison

What does that mean?  Looking at the graph is sorta like wondering if you’ll win the Power Ball jackpot.  You won’t know unless you play it.  LOL!

Here’s what we can determine.  Things are pretty well similar from 20 Hz to about 800 Hz.  Then the G12T takes a slightly deeper dive.  Then over closer to 7 kHz to 10 kHz, the Vintage 30 drops away.  This is all fairly indicative of the slight mid scoop and strong highs of the G12T, and the stronger mids of the Vintage 30.

How about where all those frequencies are matching?  Is there a spike?  Nope.  Think of how you put a full matching set of the same speaker in the same cab.  Nothing there is peaking out from having 2 or 4 of the same speakers.  Just as if your entire backline is comprised of matched speakers.  And remember that the Vintage 30 and the G12T-12 have different power ratings, sensitivity, magnet weight, resonant frequency, and so on.  That means you will still hear a difference between the two, even if they are charted virtually the same on that graph.

Differences Working Together

Still, you do want to look at those major differences.  “Oh, that’s just a couple of decibels here and there!  So what?”  Try this.  If you have one of those stereo/mono jacks and a blend of speakers, go from one speaker model to the other.  Disclaimer:  please know the capacity of your rig before randomly flipping switches.  If you don’t have that set up, just know that what matters is how the differences work together.  As in how you use a red gel and a blue gel on a light to get purple.  Any Prince fans here?

In this case, the result is befitting the Metal Hard Rock designation.

You have a bit of precise thump in the low end that’s great for hitting you in the chest with power chords and heavy riffing.  The mids work out to be relatively even.  The overall vibe is a little more aggressive, with plenty of focus and detail.  All other factors being equal, this combo is as if things are just slightly more in your face.  Tones coming from the cab have a little more dimension to them.  The character is harmonically full in ways that add a richer layer to the sound.

Is there more to this than just metal and hard rock?  Sure.  It’s in the way that you use it, as Clapton says.


Once again, this set isn’t an “official” Celestion pairing or set.  If you don’t already have these speakers, just source them out and make up your own set.  Be certain you are in tune (ha! a pun!) with whatever specs are best suited for your cabs and especially your power amp.  Or if you have an application for the Celestion Impusle Responses, you can “audition” them in your DAW or amp modeler to confirm your best choices.

For reference, this evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Audio Axe-Fx II XL+ with a Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller through a Carvin DCM200L power amp.  Real cabs used were Marshall 1960Bs.

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