As any veteran guitar player will tell you, a worthwhile amplifier is essential to the functioning of a good guitar performance, whether it’s a soft folk guitar selection done on an electric guitar or an intense shred riff based on Yakety Sax intended to make the audience laugh wildly.
Of course, like all guitar equipment ranging from the guitar itself to the pick one uses, one should not simply get the cheapest equipment one can find unless one is truly desperate for equipment. While being desperate for equipment happens far too often for most musicians, when it is actually possible, it is always advisable to get decent equipment while one has the chance.
In the modern marketplace for guitar speakers, this equipment ranges from the reasonably priced to the intensely expensive professional grade equipment used by the titans of the art form. Of particular note are 8 inch guitar amps, widely used in the field for smaller, personal performances and practice sessions (of which there should be many).
But the best 8-inch guitar speakers, be they for a guitar or a bass guitar, is a matter of some dispute among guitar players. One particular model of guitar amp is the Celestion 15 watt, 8 inch guitar speaker, a worthwhile piece of equipment at a price most guitar players can afford barring the inevitable problems emerging in the modern economic climate.
Top 5 Guitar Speakers – Best Vintage Speaker Reviews:
#1 Celestion Eight 15 (8 Ohm, 15 Watt)
With the first entry on the board, the Celestion Eight 15 packs the company’s world renown tone into a tidy little 8 inch speaker. The sound output is very well rounded, with clarity between the highs and mids, both of which sit nicely atop some serious bottom end. The power output sits at 15 watts, making it perfect fodder for upgrading one of your existing practice amps.
Many of the stock speakers out there are of notably low quality, so tossing one of these Celestions into the mix is a great means of giving a cheap old speaker some new life. The price is also quite friendly at only $30. The purchase also comes with a 7 year warranty, which is always a sign of confidence from the manufacturer.
#2 Jensen Vintage C8R8 (8 Ohm)
Next up in the list of the top best sounding vintage speakers is Jensen’s vintage C8R8 model. This is a ceramic speaker with 25 watts of rated power. Much like the Celestion above, this is a fine candidate for giving your old, cruddier amps a nice new facelift. The sound output is also perfect if tweed tones happen to be your favorite.
That old school Fender vibe makes the arm hair stand up on many, so you’ll be in good company playing through this Jensen. A lot of people don’t realize you can get warm, vintage tones from smaller amps, but the parts really do make all the difference. Going with this Jensen over the Celestion is all about preference of sound, but you’ll have to note that it does cost about $10 more.
#3 Jensen Vintage C8R4 (4 Ohm)
Jensen’s C8R4 is obviously quite similar to the C8R8 described above other than it’s 4 Ohm impedance. You’ll have to pay just a few dollars more, but you’ll still be the recipient of the same impressive warm tone that sparkles just enough on the high end. The lows are consistent throughout.
If you happen to be a fan of the classic American tone, you should be more than happy here. There should be more than enough versatility in the output to please players with other style preferences however. The rated power is 25 watts again, which translates to a musical power of 50 watts. Whether you go with this or the C8R8 really depends on your personal preference above all else.
#4 Jensen Vintage P8R8 (8 Ohm)
To step up in price range a bit, Jensen’s P8R8 is a roughly $90 offering with a AlNiCo magnet. The speaker is just a bit heavier than the two models listed above, but it comes in at the same rated power of 25 watts. This is part of Jensen’s highly rated Special Design series, and can handle the full EQ spectrum fairly efficiently.
You might not want to choose this one if you like tight mids, but everything else is solid. The clean tones you can get through this speaker may be its strong suit, but it does handle the likes of overdrive, fuzz, and outright distortion with relative ease. Be sure to give this one a good 30 hours or so of playing in order to really break it in.
#5 Eminence Patriot 820H (4 Ohm)
Last on the list of the 5 best 8-inch guitar speakers is Eminence’s Patriot 820H, a $65 hemp cone speaker with 20 watts of power. The magnet is made of a lightweight ceramic that’s just under a pound itself. The full tones of this speaker would easily have you assuming there was a much larger cone in play here. The low end is punchy, making it perfect for quicker, aggressive play styles.
The balance between the highs and mids also has enough clarity to keep your sound from turning to pure mud too easily. If you have an amp that’s been cutting your head off with its razor sharp highs, this is a good choice for a replacement since it offers a much smoother sound than a lot of stock speakers of this caliber.
Things to Consider When Buying a best rated guitar speakers
- The 8-inch guitar speakers are of course the ones that suit your needs. If you are currently still learning the strings and doing what you can to understand the basics of the guitar, likely you do not need the best equipment available. If one is just starting out, it is ideal to get something uncomplicated and of medium quality just to get one’s bearings in the practice of playing the guitar. It is in this capacity that the 8-inch guitar speakers truly shine, working as a good starting point for new guitar players to get an idea of what their work sounds like.
- The sound, of course, is quite important to any guitar speaker no matter what its size. A good sounding guitar speaker needs quality, properly balanced midst and good quality highs. It will also need a good quality bottom end of sounds, to enable a fuller range of sounds to emerge and allow musicians to experiment with each use of each string and cord to get an idea of what each of them sounds like without the typical array of shaky, unreliable sounds of a low end speaker or amplifier.
- Compatibility with existing equipment is of course essential. If your amplifier is not 15 watts, it is unlikely to be able to handle a 15 watt speaker. Other factors in modifying ones equipment can range from fitting upgrades in to the actual need for such equipment.
- Finally, there is the matter of price. While most musicians would be thrilled to have an essentially unlimited budget, very few come even close. To that end, one must find a good quality speaker at a price they can afford without excessive financial draining. While getting the cheapest equipment is advisable only for newcomers who have not yet committed to the art form, the length of a warranty can help distinguish between a too cheap piece of equipment and one that’s a surprisingly worthwhile piece of gear.
- Keep it away from other devices that produce heat and keep it in a well ventilated area.
- Don’t let it get wet and don’t drop it.
- Keep all controls set to zero before turning it on and if possible, start it up on stand by.
- If possible, play at less full power when this is an option, usually during practice sessions.
- Plug it into a surge protector.
The Celestion 8-15 OHM is a solid speaker, opening to rave reviews on Amazon as a good, mid range speaker capable of fitting into a wide range of amplifiers, be they guitar or bass. While research before hand into your exact amplifier may be required to ensure that this speaker is right for you, most players find it quite worthwhile.
Handle With Care!
Of course, any of these speakers absolutely need to be well taken care of once you have purchased them. If wiring up new speakers isn’t exactly in your area of expertise, don’t feel too proud to look up some guides on how to get it done. As long as you work carefully, the process should go smoothly overall.
Also, be sure to take good care of any speakers you might be replacing. You could still use them somewhere down the line, or even sell them off in order to fund even more guitar equipment!
Make sure you go over this list of the best guitar speakers for blues carefully! You have to consider whatever your monetary budget currently dictates, as well as which of the speakers will best suit the sound you are hoping to achieve. From there, you should have all you need to make the right decision.
Between the fantastic products from Jensen, Celestion, and Eminence, you will undoubtedly be able to give any old practice amp a nice upgrade with significantly improved sound. They should pair great with a lot of empty cabs as well. In the end, you’ll have yourself an amp that will definitely get the job done for casual practice and smaller scale recording projects alike.