Other Amps

Anyone using neodymium speakers?


When used with guitar, do these things really sound as harsh and 'brittle' as I've been led to believe? Or do more recent designs like the Eminence Tonkerlight offer a decent sound? The speakers I'm using at present include various Celestion G12 100, Eminence Wizard, Celestion Classic 80, and an old RCF and I'm quite satified with the sound of these — I just think it's now time to be kinder to my back, but without replacing my amps.

The bass player in the band I play in has neo speakers in the (rather expensive) EBS gear he uses. They sound good and are very light — this came as something of a surprise to me as I've always associated good clear, deep bass guitar tone with hernias and slipped discs. But just because they work with bass doesn't mean I'll necessarily like the sound of neo speakers when used with guitar. Any opinions/advice welcomed.


Hi Dave,I´ve got a 64 Bassman with two 12" Jensen Neo´s in it.I was surprised how light the cabinet was. I also have compared them with another cab with 2 x V30´s.The Jensen stay longer clean and sounding somewhat sterile to my ear. At the end I´ve mixed them (1xV30 & 1x Jensen Neo) to make the boxes somewhat lighter and on stage you can have the option to mic the speaker you prefer ;-)


I've not heard a nice neo speaker yet. Not in real life or in a demo. I haven't heard much gear though.

Most neo demos were mean and too piercing.

On the other hand, for cleans I find the ceramic vs alnico discussion absolutely useless. That does change when distortion comes in. Alnico will go bluesy somewhat more and ceramics often sound punky painfull.


Hey Dave, I have a Jensen Tornado Neo 10 in and amp along with two Weber alnico 10's (Weber "10A125", their version of a vintage Jensen P10Q) in a tweed bandmaster clone.

I love what the Neo does for this combo : it's a very loud, efficient speaker compared to the Alnicos, so it gives the amp more headroom and volume, and helps the bottom end stay cleaner and tighter. No ice-pick or painful trebles at all, but then a tweed Bandmaster is not the trebliest amp out there.

Funny thing is it's more than twice the power handling of the alnicos in there, and it's a good deal more efficient, but it weighs less! (which is nice...)

Geoff, to my ears and hands, an Alnico magnet speaker compresses a little more than a ceramic magnet speaker when hit with some volume, with clean sounds as well as when the amp starts to clip.


Walter, that compression thingy is true but I wasn't blown away by the difference at clean. When playing with more aggression, I like the alnico stuff better. :)


Thank you for the info and views, folks. I've been reading this piece on the subject from Guitar Player:


I suppose we can only use broad brush terms of reference when talking about speaker tones (apart from the obvious extremes of 'utter rubbish' or 'absolutely wonderful') and in the end its the total mix of guitar, pickups, tubes, effects, cab and speakers that gives us a sound we either like or dislike.

I guess I'll just have to jump in and try one. Should a neo speaker prove to sound a bit on the shrill side, perhaps one of those speaker diffusers might help smooth things out. Anybody tried one of those?


I'm a fussy old bugger & I have loads of 12"s kicking around from vox silverbacks, pre rola G12Ms, G12H heritage, Eminence red white & blues (crap) vintage Goodmans, & Fane, but I have to say I'm a fan of neos. I have a home made 2x12 with celestion century 80s in & it sounds great & can be carried in one hand (bonus) My blues junior has a celestion century vintage in for a good 7/8 years now & I'm totally happy with it. I know some people say they're harsh & clinical but I suspect they've never tried them, just reading nonsense on the web. They're bright, clear, increase volume & headroom & a fraction of the weight, what's not to like.


I absolutely LOVE my Jensen Neo 12 in my Princeton reverb.

Bill Kirchen uses them in his Talos amp


Tony I do emphatically believe some neo's are harsh and clinical. I HATED my celestion neos in my vox cab.. just aweful BUT... the application was wrong.

If you play clean, if you use flatwounds, if youre a travis picker,etc.. then these work. I'm told Ashley Kingman uses the neo weber california in his tksmith assembled ac30 (ive read its an ac50 which uses el34 not el84s like the ac30)

'm gonna find the source but dang Kingman's tone is kiler.


the problems with neo magnets may go beyond its "exaggerated midrange" sound aspects..the magnet itself is extremely brittle and corrosion prone and very sensitive to heat...once the magnet suffers heat fatigue it cannot be restored

the price may also be a factor as the price has been recently skyrocketing

i know a few years back, weber cut back on production on their neos for a little while till they worked out some kinks

having said that..the current rage for the pedal steel guys, (who are looking for a 15" clean loud sound without a jbl back breakingly heavy cab) is the Eminence Patriot EPS-15C 15" Neo Pedal Steel Guitar Speaker



hmm... wonder if the surf cats are hep to it too? Ive got two JBL cabs, one with a D130 and the other with a D140..


I'll repeat it for the sake of it - I like my Jensen Neo Tornado 10 a lot, nothing harsh about it once it had a couple of gigs worth of abuse, and I don't use flats, or play clean exclusively.


I've heard neos described as like a new set of strings all the time.


a new set of strings and a packet of rubbing alcohol under your nose while wearing 3D glasses on no-doze and espresso? ;-)


Where's David Seaman gone?


tavo this new eminence is being heralded as sounding jbl d130 like...but much lighter weight of course and capable of handling much higher wattage..it has an aluminum dustcap and the exact same xmax 3.3..so the folks at eminence were obviously using jbl as a guide



I absolutely LOVE my Jensen Neo 12 in my Princeton reverb.

Bill Kirchen uses them in his Talos amp

– Johnny_Atomic

I absolutely LOVE my Jensen Neo 12 in my Princeton reverb.

Bill Kirchen uses them in his Talos amp

– Johnny_Atomic

I think those Talos Basic amps are a fantastic concept with the switchable cathode modes! They are definately high on my 'If I had the money, I'd buy one in a minute' list!


Well, if the neos are fine nowadays then this opens a whole lot of new sound options. Very cool I'd say. And lighter is very welcome. My amp is supposed to be small and light: I must be a wimp, haha. :D


Hi Dave, I use a Celestion G12 Vintage on clean settings, it is fine to my ears. Responsive, no shrillness, just a very pure sound. Jump in and try one !


Good evening....for the record...I use a 65 Vox ac50....the speaker is a Weber Neo 15...Jbl cone kit with the aluminum dome....I like it....Sounds just like my old D130s.

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