In this Celestion G12M Greenback review, I’ll reveal why this guitar speaker is a legendary choice for guitarists seeking vintage-inspired British sound. I’ll also delve into the technical specifications, highlight the pros and cons, discuss key features and benefits, and explore the remarkable tone and performance of the speaker that helped forge the sound of Rock and Roll!
You can use the table of contents below to take you to the area that interests you. Click on the little box to open it and then click on the section of the article you want to read, or you can read from start to finish if you want the full Greenback experience!
Otherwise, you can just read on to get the full story!
The Celestion 12GM Greenback is an excellent choice for classic British tone with an enhanced midrange and a bit of high-frequency roll-off. This 12-inch speaker has a power-handling capacity of 25 Watts and comes in 8 and 16 Ohm impedance models. It’s essential to match the speaker power and impedance to that of your guitar amplifier!
Keep On Reading (Below) To Learn More
What Is The Celestion G12M Greenback?
The Celestion G12M Greenback is a 12″ guitar speaker with a power handling of 25 Watts. This speaker is available with an impedance of 8 Ohms or 16 Ohms. It has a classic British sound that has stood the test of time and captures the essence of the golden era of rock and blues.
It has proven to be durable and reliable, ensuring it can withstand the rigors of both studio and live performances.
Greenback G12M Vs. G12M Heritage
Yup, there are two of them!
The Greenback G12M and G12M Heritage are variations of the original speaker, but they have some differences in their construction and tonal characteristics.
The Greenback G12M is a newer version of the original speaker produced in the 1960s. It features a 25W power rating, a 75Hz-5kHz frequency range, and a ceramic magnet. It incorporates modern manufacturing techniques while retaining the essential tonal characteristics of the original. Although it’s manufactured in China, some say it’s now made back in the UK.
The G12M Heritage is a “reissue” version designed to replicate the vintage sound of the original Greenback more accurately. It also has a 25W power rating, a 75Hz-5kHz frequency range, and a ceramic magnet. However, I’ll warn you that this version is more difficult to find and comes with a higher price tag.
The G12M and G12M Heritage offer a classic British rock tone with the typical midrange focus. However, there are some subtle differences between them.
The G12M retains the warmth of the original design but offers a slightly enhanced upper midrange and top end. This provides a touch more definition and clarity while still maintaining the classic Greenback character.
The Greenback G12M Heritage (reissue) aims to precisely replicate the warm, smooth midrange and slightly rolled-off high end of the actual vintage Marshall amps and cabinets. However, it delivers a more vintage character than the currently available G12M Greenback, with a truer creamy breakup and a distinctive growl when pushed.
My Personal Preference
Choosing between the Greenback G12M and G12M Heritage ultimately comes down to personal preference and the specific sound you’re aiming to achieve. Both speakers have their own unique qualities. It’s worth checking them both out to hear which one works best with your playing style and desired tone.
I definitely prefer the sound of the Heritage model, but they both give you that coveted British tone. If you can find one and you don’t mind shelling out the extra bucks, I highly recommend you check one out for yourself!
If you already tried or own one, let me know what you think in the comment section!
Celestion G12M Greenback – Cheat Sheet
⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️ ☆ [9.4] Out Of 10
Street Price $165
The G12M Greenback is a 25 Watt speaker that is available in an 8 or 16 Ohm impedance. It’s ideal for creating vintage 60s Rock, Metal, and Blues sounds.
If you want to go directly to the G12M specs, then click here.
✅ VIntage British Tone
✅ Articulate Midrange
✅ Dynamic Response
❌ Power Handling Limitation
❌ Non-Aggressive Tone
❌ High Frequency Roll-off
[9.5] Out Of 10
[9.8] Out Of 10
[9.8] Out Of 10
[8.6] Out Of 10
Celestion Company Profile
Celestion has been around since 1924 and has been at the forefront of the industry since its establishment. It is a revered name in the world of guitar speakers, especially among British players.
The company first began as a radio speaker manufacturer. It worked its way into the music industry, forming collaborations with iconic artists such as Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, and Slash to create signature speaker models that capture these legendary musicians’ unique tonal characteristics and playing styles.
Celestion has consistently been a part of the Rock, Blues, and Metal sound, from the introduction of the groundbreaking Celestion Blue speaker in the 1950s to the ongoing development of advanced magnet materials and cone technologies. The company continues to push the boundaries of what is possible in guitar tone.
Their website offers a range of informative articles, speaker comparisons, and audio samples, empowering guitarists to make informed decisions about their gear choices. In addition, Celestion’s commitment to customer support ensures that players receive the assistance they need to optimize their tone.
Who Is The Celestion G12M Speaker For?
The Celestion G12M Greenback speaker is a great choice for guitarists who want a classic Rock, Metal, and Blues tone. It will give you a warm, balanced, and dynamic sound with a focused, accentuated midrange and a touch-sensitive response.
This speaker has a balance of punchy lows, detailed mids, and smooth highs that cut through the mix.
It is an ideal choice for musicians who want to recreate the sounds of iconic guitarists from the past, like Jimi Hendrix, and capture the vintage character that has become synonymous with rock music.
Celestion G12M Specifications
Here are the most useful specs for the Celestion Greenback speaker. Note that the G12M and G12M Heritage (reissue) models share the same specification details in this table.
|Models||G12M and G12M Heritage|
|Power Handling||25 Watts|
|Impedance||8 Ohms or 16 Ohms|
|Frequency Range||75 Hz – 5 kHz|
|Voice Coil Diameter||1.75″|
What’s In The Box?
- One Celestion G12M Greenback speaker
- User Guide: “Loading Speakers Into Your Guitar Cabinet”
Features And Benefits
Check out these great G12M features!
Authentic Vintage Tone
The Celestion G12 Greenback pays homage to the classic British sound of the ’60s and ’70s. It’s the holy grail of speakers for that unmistakable UK tone.
You’ll never forget your first Celestion! Mine was an old Vox AC-30, and nothing sounded like it! That amp brought every guitar I ever plugged into it to life!
Celestion has a longstanding reputation for crafting exceptional speakers. Even the vintage guitar amplifiers from the early 60s that are loaded with Celestion speakers still sound great!
Ideal For Recording and Live Performance
The G12M Greenback has a balanced frequency response and well-defined midrange, making it an excellent choice for studio-quality recordings or delivering a captivating live performance.
The G12 Greenback comes in 8 and 16 Ohm impedance, which makes it entirely usable in any speaker cabinet wiring configuration.
What I Like About It
Here are some of the good things that stand out about the Celestion Greenback.
The Celestion G12M Greenback delivers a classic British tone that is rich, warm, and full of character. It captures the essence of the golden era of rock and blues, adding a touch of nostalgia to your playing.
I’ve used this speaker with many British and American amps. It adds a bit of that famous “Marshall Growl” to anything played with a bit of overdrive or distortion. Think Eric Clapton Cream era tone!
This speaker excels across a wide range of musical genres. Whether you prefer clean, crisp tones or want the aggressive sound of high-gain distortion, the G12M Greenback can handle it all with ease.
You can also mix the Greenback with other speakers in your cabinet to get more of a complex sound, but be careful to take the speaker impedance and power handling capabilities into account!
The midrange response of the G12M Greenback is exceptional, providing a smooth and focused tone that cuts through the mix. In addition, it offers excellent clarity and detail, making it a fantastic choice for both rhythm and lead guitar work.
It’s got that unmistakable “midrange sound” that some players spend a lifetime chasing!
The speaker’s responsiveness to your playing nuances is extraordinary. It translates every pick attack and subtle finger movement into expressive tones, allowing you to really connect with your instrument.
It’s an ideal choice for players who demand both power and precision.
Balanced Frequency Range
With a frequency range spanning from 75 Hz to 5 kHz, the G12M Greenback strikes a perfect balance between punchy lows, detailed mids, and smooth highs. This well-rounded tonal spectrum will give your audience a captivating sonic experience!
The G12M Greenback offers a sweet and harmonically-rich top end in the higher frequencies. It perfectly balances smoothness and sparkle, enhancing the overall tonal complexity without ever becoming harsh or shrill. This allows for a wide range of tonal possibilities, from chiming cleans to searing leads, all while retaining a musical and pleasing character.
The bass response is tight and well-controlled, ensuring that your tone remains crisp, even at higher volumes. So whether you’re playing intricate fingerpicking or laying down thunderous riffs, the G12M Greenback provides a solid foundation for your sound.
What You Might Not Like About It
To be fair, as much as I like this speaker, there are some things you should consider before you buy.
Power Handling Limitation
The G12 Greenback has a power handling capacity of 25 Watts. Therefore, more than one speaker may be required for guitarists who prefer higher-wattage amplifiers. To avoid potential damage, it’s essential to ensure that your amplifier’s power output matches the speaker’s capabilities.
For example, using the G12M with a 50 Watt amp works best with four speakers in a 4×12 cabinet configuration. For a 100 Watt amp, I recommend using two 4×12 cabinets to prevent speaker damage.
Limited Extended Frequency Range
Compared to some modern speakers, the G12 Greenback’s 75 Hz to 5 kHz frequency range may be perceived as slightly narrow. This can result in a less pronounced low-end extension and a slightly rolled-off high-end bite. While this characteristic contributes to the vintage-inspired tone, players seeking a wider frequency response may find it limiting.
Less Pronounced High-Frequency Detail
The G12 Greenback’s emphasis on a warm and smooth tonal character can result in a subdued high-frequency detail compared to speakers designed for crisp, cutting tones. This may not be ideal for players who like a sharp, colder, trebly sound.
Other Things To Consider
Here are some of the other things that might factor into your decision to purchase the Celestion G12M Greenback.
What Sets The G12M Apart From Its Competitors?
This speaker’s ability to reproduce vintage-inspired tones and deliver a warm, expressive sound puts it in a class all by itself. Nothing else sounds like a Greenback, and that tone shines through in any amplifier design.
What Makes This Version Different From The Original Vintage Design?
The G12M Heritage (reissue) Greenback model is built to the same specifications as the original design. Very few guitar players would be able to tell the difference between this speaker and an original vintage speaker.
However, the G12M Greenback has a slightly enhanced upper midrange and top end. This provides a touch more definition and clarity while still maintaining the classic Greenback character.
Comparable Products To Consider
When considering comparable speakers to the Celestion G12M, there are several options that offer similar characteristics and tonal qualities. Here is a list of speakers that you may find worth exploring:
Known for its warm and aggressive tone, the G12H-30 offers a thicker low end, enhanced power handling, and a tighter response compared to the G12M.
Eminence Cannabis Rex
This speaker combines classic American warmth with a British-style breakup. It provides a smooth midrange, balanced lows, and a touch of sparkle in the highs.
The Weber 12F150 offers a clear and balanced tone and provides a smooth breakup, detailed midrange, and a well-defined low end suitable for vintage-style tones.
Key Decision Making Factors
Before purchasing the Celestion G12M Greenback speaker, several key decision-making factors must be considered.
Evaluate the speaker for:
- Tonal Preference
- Musical Genre
- Playing Style
- Power Handling Capability
- Amplifier Compatibility
- Cabinet Configuration
The best way to do this is to familiarize yourself with the speaker’s technical specifications and try the speaker with an amplifier similar to a design you like. In addition, there are many YouTube videos that will give you a good idea of the speaker’s tonal characteristics.
Reviews from guitarists of all skill levels and musical backgrounds are mainly positive and reflect the speaker’s reputation as a highly regarded and iconic speaker choice that is true to its authentic vintage character.
It consistently gets high marks for tonal excellence, versatility, dynamic response, and reliability & durability. On Amazon, it has gotten a 4.8/5.0-star review from 248 people, and it’s an “Amazon’s Choice” item.
Beware Of Speaker Ratings!
The most important thing to know about installing or changing speakers is that the new speaker must be rated to work properly with the amplifier. So, you need to match the new speaker’s impedance and power handling capability to what you originally had.
So, if your cabinet has more than one speaker, depending on the way they are wired (in series, parallel, or series-parallel), the total impedance and power handling must match your amplifier’s ratings.
Therefore, you can’t swap out a single 12-inch speaker rated at 8 ohms for another rated at 16 ohms unless your amp is designed to run at both impedances. Always match or exceed the old speaker’s power handling capability to avoid damaging it.
If you’re not sure, it’s always best to ask someone who knows!
Is The Celestion G12M Speaker Legit?
I wouldn’t be caught dead without a Greenback-loaded 4×12 cabinet; that’s how much I like the sound of this speaker! It’s got that cool retro vibe with the tone that takes me back to the sounds of the guitar gods that roamed the earth back in the 60s and 70s! Think Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore, and the list goes on and on!
Celestion is a renowned brand in the guitar speaker industry, known for producing high-quality speakers that have been widely used by professional musicians, recording studios, and guitarists of all levels for many decades.
The G12M has undoubtedly earned its “tried and true” durability and reliability over the years.
However, purchasing the speaker from an authorized dealer or reputable source is essential, so you can be confident that it is in new or undamaged used condition. If you buy a used speaker, be sure to try it with an amplifier that has an equivalent power output and that there is a reasonable return policy.
So, if you’re interested in grabbing a Celestion G12M Greenback for yourself, click the buttons below to check availability, user reviews, and current pricing. They tend to go out of stock quickly, but I highly recommend them!
Are You Qualified To Make Amp Modifications?
It’s great to work on your amplifiers, especially if you have a lot of them, but you should always be aware of your limitations.
Adjusting or modifying the electronics of a guitar amplifier can put you at risk for electrocution, which can seriously injure you or result in death, especially when working with tube amps!
Vacuum tubes run on 500 to 650 Volts or higher! So even if you unplug the amplifier, the electrolytic capacitors can still store a dangerously high voltage for an extended period of time.
When you doubt your ability to adjust, repair, or modify your amplifier, it’s always best to bring it to a certified repair center. You can damage your amplifier, which might never work or sound right again!
Modifying your amplifier can void its manufacturer’s warranty, even something as simple as speaker replacement! Certain modifications are irreversible, so you may be stuck with them, even if you desperately want to restore the amplifier to its original condition!
I learned that the hard way over the years until I did a three-year apprenticeship in a guitar and amplifier repair shop. Now I have my own home workshop with the proper training and equipment to re-bias, repair, and modify all my amplifiers safely.
Remember: “When In Doubt, Send It Out!”
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions I get asked about the Celestion G12M Greenback Speaker.
If your question does not appear here, please put it in the comments, and I will get right back to you with an answer.
What Is The Power Handling Of The Celestion G12M Greenback Speaker?
The Celestion G12M Greenback has a power handling capacity of 25 Watts RMS.
Can I Use The G12M Greenback Speaker With Different Amplifier Types?
Yes, the G12M Greenback is compatible with a wide range of amplifier types, including tube, solid-state, and modeling amplifiers.
Is The G12M Greenback Suitable For Both Clean And Distorted Tones?
Yes, the G12M Greenback excels in delivering both clean and distorted tones, making it versatile for various playing styles and genres.
Is The G12M Greenback Speaker Compatible With Effects Pedals?
Yes, the G12M Greenback takes pedals and effects exceptionally well, allowing you to shape your tone and explore different sonic possibilities.
Is the G12M Greenback Speaker Suitable For Lower-Wattage Amplifiers?
Yes, the G12M Greenback’s power handling of 25 Watts makes it an ideal choice for lower-wattage amplifiers.
What Are Celestion Greenbacks Good For?
Celestion Greenbacks work well with any guitar amplifier. They were originally designed to be used in low-wattage amps, but they can be used in combination to work with 100 to 200 Watt amplifiers.
I hope you found this Celestion G12M Greenback review helpful. At this point, you should be in a position to decide if this speaker is right for you.
The G12M Greenback delivers a tone that captures the British sound of classic rock and blues. Its balanced frequency response, articulate midrange, dynamic response, and seamless integration make it a must-have for outstanding guitar tone.
This 25 Watt 12-inch speaker is available in an 8 Ohm or 16 Ohm impedance. You should always use the proper impedance to avoid damage to the speaker and your amplifier.
Installing or replacing speakers is a relatively straightforward matter, but if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, take your amplifier to a certified repair center.
There is a Heritage (reissue) version of the G12M Greenback speaker that more accurately creates the sound of the original speaker design with a thicker midrange and a more rolled-off high end, but it can be difficult to find and costs more. To me, the Heritage speaker sounds better, although the standard production model sounds great, too.
In my opinion, everyone that loves the vintage British Rock and Metal sound should have a 4×12 cabinet loaded with Greenback speakers!
Here’s a great video from Joe Perkins that compares the G12M Greenback to the Heritage version. You can really hear the difference, so check it out!
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Related Article ➡ How To Make Your Guitar Amp Sound Louder: Unleash The Beast!
Tell Me What You Think
Please leave a comment below if you enjoyed this Celestion 12GM Greenback review, have any questions about this product, or want to leave your own review. I will be happy to help you.
- What’s your favorite British-sounding guitar speaker? Why
- Have you played through Greenbacks? What do you think?
- Would you pay the extra cash for the Heritage (reissue) Greenbacks?
- What else is on your mind?