Brian Harding

Posts by this author:

How To Spot Fake Vintage Marshall Gear

How To Spot Fake Vintage Marshall Gear

The vintage gear market can be a daunting place, with seemingly lots of dis-honest sellers out there looking to rip people off.

In this blog post I will be going over a few basic pointers for identifying fake vintage Marshall gear, and hopefully this will prevent a few people from getting stung.

The Hotspot For Fake Marshall Gear

The most collectable Marshall gear is obviously the vintage stuff. Anything from day 1 (supposedly 1962) to the end of the basketweave period (mid 1971), are the most likely items to be faked or ‘lashed-up’.

In particular, be very wary of anything from the pinstripe period; circa 1965 to early 1968. Amps such as the 18w combos and bluesbreaker combos are an absolute favourite for fraud due to the high sale prices they can bring.

Genuine vs Reproduction parts

The best way to identify fake gear is to look very closely at the various parts.

Warning – the rest of this blog post is going to get very nerdy, so leave now if this is likely to bore you!

Grey pinstripe grill material

There are a couple of known reproduction pinstripe grill materials around, but they can be difficult to differentiate without seeing them very close up. This is one of the reasons why some online dealers only take blurry or distant photos of their gear!

The closest reproduction is the Eric Collins material. It is 99% the same as the original material but there are minor differences in the print pattern:

Notice the square tread pattern on the original material.

A more obvious reproduction material exists, apparently manufactured in China. It can be found on a lot of the older fakes made in the 1990’s:

Reproduction pinstripe grill material

Reproduction pinstripe grill material

I have never seen this stuff in person, but apparently it feels quite rough – almost like sandpaper. The visual difference is fairly obvious in my opinion, with no print pattern showing inside the grey sections.

Brown pinstripe grill material

You may have seen the brown pinstripe material shown in Michael Doyle’s History of Marshall book. Although the material itself is genuine and not a reproduction, it is unlikely to have ever actually been used by Marshall. Never say never of course, but all the examples I have ever seen have been fakes.

Unfortunately there are several books out there containing mis-leading reference information & photos like this. Contributions made by fraudsters posing as experts.

This was a clever strategy for selling their lash-ups during pre-internet times, when books were the main reference material available.

I should add – I’m not blaming the authors of those books at all, just some of their information sources.

Apparently, a single full roll of brown pinstripe, still in its original brown wrapping, was purchased at an auction in Surrey. The packaging still had the Marshall factory address attached, but looked like it had been returned. It was purchased by a relatively well known (and honest) Marshall dealer. He proceeded to sell it in cut lengths, with the overwhelming majority of it going to a notoriously dis-honest dealer. – Thanks to John M for this info.

Tolex Colour

From mid 1965 to late 1967 – most of the pinstripe period – Marshall were using a really nice looking tolex known as ‘green on black’ levant. You may also see it referred to as ‘blue on black’, ‘green wash’ or ‘blue wash’ – it’s appearance can vary a little.

From late 1967 onwards Marshall started using the more plain looking “black levant” instead – which is actually a very dark green and not true black. As typically found on basketweave cabs and the early 70’s metal panel amps etc.

Green on black vs black tolex

Green on black levant (mid 65 to late 67) vs “black” levant (late 67 to mid 1970’s)

Im sure a lot of people will dispute this, but personally I have never found black levant on any Marshall gear made between mid 1965 to mid 1967 – always the green on black. I’ve owned plenty of 4×12’s and various PA cabs of different shapes and sizes from that period. Never say never with Marshall, but if you do find any black levant, it is definitely against the norm in my opinion and worthy of further investigation!

I think the main reason people debate this is because the green on black levant can be difficult to differentiate from the black levant, especially in photos. The ageing process does seem to fade the green colour on some gear, and a lot of people would actually paint the tolex black or put black boot polish on it.

The best way to identify the tolex is to look on the insides of the cabinet where it has not been exposed to the elements, and where previous owners have not bothered to paint. The tolex can appear black externally but still be the original green on black internally:

Black levant is by far the most easily available tolex of the two, and therefore the most likely to be used on any fakes. Green on black has not been available for decades. There is a similar looking ‘bronco’ tolex available from some retailers but when you see it in person it is nothing like the old Marshall tolex, it is way too green.

Notice the Doyle book (1993 edition – page 125) states that the black levant was used from 1965 to 1974, and the green on black was only ‘used sporadically from 1966’. This has not been my experience at all. Possibly more false information given by dodgy dealers to fuel the sale of lash-ups.

Genuine vs Reproduction Gold 6″ Script Logos

Music Ground logo (top) vs original Marshall logo (bottom)

Music Ground logo (top) vs original Marshall logo (bottom)

The 6″ gold script logo was used by Marshall from around late 1965 to early 1970.

Genuine logos are stiff and fragile (possibly bakelite?), they will easily break if mis-handled. The gold paint is silver underneath when it becomes tarnished.

The reproduction logos have pointed fixing pins on the back, they are a lot more flexible and just not as good quality as the originals.

Notice the small defect on the back of the ‘s’ of the reproduction logo.

Watch out for over the top artificial ageing on the repro logos. Excessive sanding is not realistic in my opinion. Due to the fragile nature of the genuine logos they tend to break into pieces if they get abused. Expect a minor amount of age related paint wear, but not sand blasted!

Metal Handles

Marshall used two types of metal handles: The first version used from mid 1967 to mid 1968 came with slimmer edges down the sides. These handles are very rare to find as spares and were exclusive to Marshall cabs to my knowledge.

The second version used from mid 1968 to late 1971 had wider edges at the sides. These handles are much more common to find as spares, and were used by several other brands besides Marshall. For example, Orange used them well into the late 70’s.

slim handles vs wide handles

slim handles vs wide handles

The transition between the two types of handles was a good 6 months or so into the basketweave period, around mid 1968. So it is highly unlikely you will ever see a genuine pinstripe cab with the wider handles. The pinstripe grill material was phased out very early in 68. Do not let dealers give you the “transitional overlap” and “whatever parts were available” excuse on this one!

Also pay attention to the bolt used in the back of the handles:

Non Marshall brands (Laney, Orange etc) used a large pale grey cross head bolt on one side and large square nut on the other. Marshall handles always came with a smaller black hex bolt.

Examples of fake Marshall gear

Fake pinstripe 4×12’s with metal handles

Most of the fake pinstripe cabs I have seen for sale are later period cabs – basketweave period usually, with a replacement grill cloth. These can be identified very easily by the type of metal handles.

As mentioned earlier, the pinstripe grill material was phased out very early in 1968, and the wider style metal handles only appear around mid 1968 – well into basketweave period. So you are very unlikely to find a pinstripe cab with those later wider handles:

Fake 67 Pinstripe B Cab

Fake 67 Pinstripe B Cab

This cab very likely also has a fake grill material, although the photos are too blurry to see it properly. The speakers inside have fake “18th June 1967” date stamps printed on the frame instead of the front gasket, and the white Marshall labels are fakes too.

Fake pinstripe 4×12’s with strap handles

All Marshall 4×12’s came with leather strap handles until around mid 1967.

Fake pinstripe strap handle cab

Fake pinstripe strap handle cab

This cab was for sale on UK ebay a few years ago. The speakers are very obvious fakes with the fake ’12BM’ (12th Feb 1967) date stamp printed on a chassis type that was only used from 1969 onwards.

Notice the black levant in near mint condition, and the gold piping appears to be too thin for Marshall. Also the like new chrome handle end pieces, yet with completely shredded leather parts.

The pinstripe material is difficult to authenticate without seeing a good quality close up photo. Although lets face it, the odds of it being genuine are very slim.

Fake pinstripe combos

As I mentioned earlier, these combos are an absolute favourite for fakery due to their high collector value. Please be very careful when buying them.

Fake bluesbreaker combo

Fake 18w pinstripe combo

This amp was on ebay a while ago. Notice the inconsistent road wear – black levant tolex in near perfect condition for a 50yr old amp, yet apparently the grill got trashed and needed sewing up in several places.

Looking inside, if you know your Celestion speakers you will recognise that these are ‘G12S’ model speakers by the size of the magnet and the little red sticker in the center, likely model T1417. Yet they are stamped as T1221 from Jan 1967!

I suspect in this case the speakers would have had plastic G12M covers on the backs to hide the magnet size, but they have probably gone missing over the years. Common practise was to fit a white Marshall label on the back too.

General tips for avoiding fakes

Modern day lash-ups

The fakes I have outlined on this page were likely made pre-internet, when all most people had for reference was the minimal, and sometimes deliberately misleading, information and photographs given in books. Although those older fakes are still being traded on the used market, do not expect to see such obvious fakes in a dealers inventory today.

The internet has made both buyers and fraudsters much more knowledgable about what’s right and what’s wrong on vintage gear.

Thesedays fraudulent dealers are using genuine vintage parts and genuine vintage speakers for their lash-ups. Repro parts and fake speaker date codes are way too obvious to get away with now.

For example they might strip down a pair of PA cabinets and then use the tolex, grill material, speakers, piping etc to make a bluesbreaker cabinet.

This means we need to inspect vintage gear much more closely than in the past, down to the nerdiest of tiny details such as the type of staples, type of glue, or how the tolex has been cut. If in doubt get an expert opinion. But more importantly…

Always research the seller

Never buy from a dealer with a bad reputation for selling fakes. A leopard can’t change it’s spots. Without mentioning any names, the worst offenders from the glory days of the 80’s and 90’s are still very much in business and still trading online using all the big trading websites, namely ebay and reverb.

An easy way to wriggle out of a bad reputation is to change business names and use other aliases, so always focus your research on the person running the business, not the business name.

Get Provenance (as best you can)

Used gear can change hands many times, so it is always worth digging as deep as you can to reveal its full history. Obviously if you discover it was originally bought from ‘fakes r us’ then it is best avoided!

A common tactic for boosting the value of an item is to claim it was owned by a high profile celebrity. A £500 amp can become a £100,000 amp if it was once owned by John Lennon! Demand rock solid provenance or pass on it.

Any idiot can write or type a ‘letter of authentication’ and forge a signature. Please do not be hoodwinked by such an easily made document. Even photos of the celebrity holding the instrument can be doctored very easily thesedays with photoshop.

Hendrix with his famous Hello Kitty strat - now worth over £500,000 - comes with letter of authenticity

Hendrix with his famous Hello Kitty strat – now worth over £500,000 – comes with letter of authenticity

Anyway, hopefully this blog post hasn’t put you off buying vintage gear completely, but please do be very vigilant out there. Research the item, but more importantly always research the guy selling it. Stick to the reputable dealers.

Note: I will not approve any defamatory comments made below that name specific businesses or individuals.

Follow:

’20 Watters’ Explained

’20 Watters’ Explained

Overview

When Celestion first introduced the greenback range in the mid 1960’s, the G12M was rated at 20w and the G12H was rated at 25w.

20w G12M and 25w G12H

20w G12M and 25w G12H

In late 1967 Celestion upgraded the voice coils across all speaker models, to allow for roughly 5w more power handling. This gave us the familiar 25w G12M and 30w G12H – and we can assume the alnicos also increased from 15w to 20w.

25w G12M and 30w G12H

25w G12M and 30w G12H

Difference in voice coils

The “5w less” speakers had a white coloured voice coil former. These speakers are known to struggle with their rated power handling.

The “5w more” speakers had a brown coloured voice coil former, made from a more heat resistant material.

white coil vs brown coil

white coil vs brown coil

There are subtle sonic differences between the two types of voice coil, and the white coil speakers are the most sought after by collectors and discerning tone hunters!

Transition dates

The transition from the white former to the brown former did not happen all at once. It was a gradual transition over several months.

Whilst repairing speakers I have seen the brown formers as early as June 1967, and I have seen the white formers as late as Jan 1968. However, most speakers do seem to have the brown former by Nov 1967, and a white former as late as Jan 68 is pretty rare – I have only seen one example.

Label transition

Even more confusing, the labels did not change “with” the voice coils. Celestion only altered the labels several months later – around April 1968. So there was a long transition period when the speakers had the ‘5w more’ brown voice coil, but they still carried the older ‘5w less’ labels.

The labels only changed several months after the voice coils.

The labels only changed several months after the voice coils.

So when buying speakers just be careful of this. Dealers will always ask a premium if they have the ‘5w less’ label on them, but if they have the brown voice coil former they are really no different to the later, and less valuable, pre-rola’s except for the slightly different cork gasket.

To be 100% sure of a white voice coil, the speaker needs to have been made before June 1967. Early greenbacks from that period are particularly rare due to lower production numbers, and that is one of the reasons why they are more valuable to collectors.

Identification

G12M

Sonic differences aside, there are no visual clues on the G12M speakers to determine what type of voice coil it has, except perhaps the manufacture date. The only way to look is by removing the dust cap, or by lifting up the spider support. This is definitely not advisable unless the speaker needs repairing.

G12H

On G12H speakers look for doping on the reverse side of the cone. This is usually a good indication the speaker has the white voice coil former. A G12H without the reverse side doping is most likely a brown former speaker – a 30 watter.

25w G12H speaker with doping on the reverse side of the cone

25w G12H speaker with doping on the reverse side of the cone

Sonic differences

The first greenback speakers made between mid 1965 and mid 1967, with the white coil formers are the best sounding greenbacks Celestion have ever made in my opinion. They sound clearer, have better note definition, feel more responsive, and have that ‘woody’ tone in spades.

Rare 'white former' greenbacks circa 1966 - dig deep!

Rare ‘white former’ greenbacks circa 1966

If you are a ‘plug straight in’ kind of guy, then you will probably love the white former period greenbacks too. Just be careful with them. The key to getting the best tone from them is to give them plenty of power. It can be a fine line between ‘optimum tone’ and blowing the speaker!

18KM = 18th Oct 1967 - with the white coil former

18KM = 18th Oct 1967 – with the white coil former

The brown coil speakers will give a warmer and thicker sound at lower volume levels and do not need to be pushed as hard to sound at their best. However, they lose some of the magic of the earlier speakers in my opinion. If you use a lot of distortion or other effects then you will probably prefer these later speakers.

Ultimately, the type of greenback you prefer will come down to personal taste, your playing style, and the other elements of your rig. Use your ears and keep experimenting!

Follow:

Vintage Celestion Alnico G12 Models

Vintage Celestion Alnico G12 Models

Overview

Alnico’s are easily the most collectable vintage speakers, and can be found in ‘holy grail’ amplifiers and speaker cabinets from the early to mid 60’s: Marshall, Selmer, Vox etc. So expect to pay high prices for mint examples with their original cones, T530 (Vox blue) and T652 (Marshall) models in particular are very sought after by collectors.

Generally speaking, the alnico magnet speakers are less aggressive sounding in comparison to the ceramic magnet speakers (aka “greenbacks”). They are very responsive speakers with detailed treble, and are famous for their clean ‘chime’ or ‘jangle’ and smoother overdriven tones. Think early 60’s guitar bands like ‘The Who’, ‘The Beatles’, and ‘The Shadows’.

Speaker Models

Shown below are some of the most commonly found 12″ alnico models from the 1960’s & 1970’s.

B024 (8 Ohm) & B025 (15 Ohm)

The B025 & B024 first appeared in the late 1940’s. They are not strictly speaking guitar speakers and were originally designed for use in audio equipment. However, they were used in some 1950’s guitar amplifiers.

They were originally advertised as 12 watt speakers, and are known to have struggled with a cranked Vox AC15 amplifier. So those early speakers should definitely be treated with care! By the early to mid 1960’s I suspect they were probably upgraded to 15 watts in line with other speaker models.

Production seems to end around 1965.

Transitional Features:

1950’s speakers tend to have a Rola label and ‘RIC’ stamped cone, 1960’s speakers usually have a Celestion label. The pulsonic ‘H1777’ cones appear around mid 1962 onwards.

Further Reading:

1950’s Celestion Alnico Speakers

T530 (8 Ohm) & T727 (15 Ohm) – Vox Alnico Blue

The legendary ‘vox blue’ speakers. Highly sought after by vox collectors and tone seekers, considered by many as the ‘holy grail’ for guitar speaker tone. Famous users include Brian May (Queen), The Edge (U2), and The Beatles.

Transitional Features:

The T530 first appears around Jan 1960 with the ‘RIC’ cone. Then from around mid 1962 onwards they can be found with pulsonic cones usually stamped with a H1777 or 003 code. The pulsonic cone speakers are the most sought after.

Production stopped around 1964, at which time they were superceded by the silver alnico model T1088.

The alnico blue was re-issued sometime around 1994 and is still in production today.

T1088 (8 Ohm) & T1096 (15 Ohm) – ‘Vox Alnico Silver’

Also known as the ‘Vox silver’ or ‘Vox bulldog’. These are basically the same as the T530 vox blue but with a ‘poly grey’ colouration. Introduced in 1964.

Transitional Features:

In line with most other Celestion guitar speaker models, welvic doping was added to the cone edge from around spring 1966 onwards, and the voice coil upgraded by 5 watts in late 1967.

Further Reading:

“Vox Amplifiers: The JMI era” – Jim Elyea
http://www.voxac100.org.uk/celestion_silvers.htm

T652 (15 Ohm) & T650 (8 Ohm)

Sometimes printed T0652 or T0650

Although not exclusive to Marshall, this speaker was standard in all of the first Marshall speaker cabinets and combos made until around late 1965. As such they are very sought after by Marshall collectors, particularly if they still have the original Marshall labels on the back.

From late 1965 Marshall started using the T1221 greenback speaker instead, although T652’s have been found sporadically into late 66.

Cosmetic differences aside, the T652/T650 is basically the same speaker as the vox blue.

The rare silverdale road Marshall label & a Pulsonic H1777 stamped cone

The reissue T0652 is also rare and only appears in special edition Marshall releases, such as the JTM45/100 40th anniversary stack and the 50th anniversary bluesbreaker combo.

Famous users include Pete Townsend (The Who) and Eric Clapton.

Transitional Features:

In line with most other Celestion guitar speaker models, a thin band of welvic doping was added to the cone edge from around spring 1966 onwards.

Further reading:
The History of Marshall – Michael Doyle.
The History of Marshall, The First 50 Years – Michael Doyle.

T731 (15 Ohm)

T731 / T0731

Sometimes printed T0731

Introduced around Sept 1963, these were the stock speaker in Selmer Zodiac combos until late 1965, when they seem to have been superceded by the T1134 G12H.

Has the ‘hammered/oyster’ paint finish to the metal chassis & magnet, and is a smarter looking speaker than the T652 in my opinion.

Transitional Features:

The cone appears to be the same as the T652 and is stamped H1777 or 003, however from about mid 1965 the T731 came with a heavy band of welvic doping on both sides of the cone, similar to most G12H speakers of the period.

Speakers used by Selmer often have a ‘received by’ date stamp on them. These can be anywhere between a few days to several months after the Celestion manufacture date code, and this gives us some insight into the amount of shelf life they had.

The Selmer 'received by ' stamp.

Further reading:
http://www.vintagehofner.co.uk/gallery/gallery3/selm.html

Follow:

Common Speaker Problems & How To Check For Them

Common Speaker Problems & How To Check For Them

Guitarists often go to great lengths and expense in their quest for the ultimate guitar tone. Yet speakers all too often get overlooked. So long as they make a noise they are good right?

Actually, there are many potential problems a speaker can have, and all will have a negative impact on your tone. If you are using 40 to 50 year old vintage speakers then it is very likely they may not be performing upto standard anymore.

Here is my simple 5 step process to assess the condition of your speakers:

1. Check all glued areas
2. Assess cone condition
3. Check for coil rub
4. Perform a ‘sweep test’
5. Assess tonal quality

To perfom all 5 tests should only take a couple of minutes per speaker and they are all super easy to do.

Step 1) Check all glued areas

There are 3 important glued areas on a speaker; the spider support, the dust cap, and the outer edge of the cone. For a speaker to function properly, all of these areas need to be 100% fully glued down.

Spider Support

To check the glue at the spider support, lightly brush your finger tip against the edge in an upwards motion to check it is still holding. Work all the way around the edge, bit by bit.

It is always tempting to do this in a ‘half arsed’ way, so time yourself. To check it properly should take a full 60 seconds per speaker at a minimum. Be as thorough as you can.

Use your ears as well as your eyes. Very small areas of failed glue may not be visibly obvious, but if the glue is not holding you will hear it as your finger brushes against it, as in the video above.

Failing glue at the spider support is probably the most common fault to find on old greenback speakers. Therefore it is very important to check, and is always the first thing I look for.

Also watch out for sloppy amateur repairs. A bad repair done with super strong modern glue is often irreversible and the speaker could be ruined if the voice coil has not been re-aligned properly.

Cone edge and gasket

Check the cone has not been torn off, or become unglued, at the outer edge. This happens more often than you might think. It is usually caused by someone pulling a stuck speaker from a cab with brute force. The gasket stays stuck but the cone rips away.

Brush the edge of your thumb against the gasket in an upwards motion to make sure it is still holding all the way around.

When removing speakers from cabs, always make sure they are completely free from the baffle before trying to lift them out. Use something thin like a feeler gauge to work underneath the gasket and free it.

Dustcap

Gaps in the dustcap glue are fairly common and will cause the speaker to buzz. This is not usually a serious problem unless dirt has gotten inside the speaker. To repair a dustcap like this neatly, it is best to remove the whole thing and reglue it back on.

Step 2) Assess the condition of the cone

The condition of the cone is important because it will have a direct impact on the quality of the tone it produces.

The best sounding cones are usually the ones that are still near mint – firm to the touch and blue/grey in colour. Cones in poor condition that have gone very brown and soft, had severe repairs, or flood damaged, will usually sound the worst – if they are even fit for purpose at all. However, I do think it is important to let your ears have the deciding vote, some speakers can surprise you!

Cone condition matters!

Cone condition matters!

Also watch out for small tears forming at the outer cone edge, and along the rear of the cone. This is usually the sign of a well used speaker:

Step 3) Check for ‘coil rub’

There are many reasons why a speaker can have coil rub. From a bit of dust in the coil gap to more serious problems such as a damaged voice coil or a shifted magnet.

To check for coil rub you need complete silence, so find a quiet room and switch off any background noise. Then put the speaker on its back, preferably on something soft like a folded blanket then you don’t scratch the plastic cover when rotating it.

The resting position of the cone is roughly the halfway point of its full movement. So it is important to test both the inward movement, and the outward movement.

Check inward cone movement:

Press lightly down on the edge of the cone and then let go. Repeat this about 6 times so that you “pump” the cone in and out, slightly off its normal axis. Do not press hard, just use a light pressure.

It should be a completely silent movement. Any scraping or clicking sounds are bad!

You need to do this all around the front edge of the speaker cone. So turn the speaker an inch or two and repeat. Ideally, imagine the front of the cone cut into 8 sections like a pie, and perform the test in each section. Use the screw holes to guide you. The more thorough you can be, the better.

Check outward cone movement:

Do the same thing again for the outward movement. This is a bit more awkward because the chassis legs will be in the way, so you will only be able to do it at 4 locations.

Place your finger tips under the chassis about mid-way up the cone, and press upwards using light finger pressure. Then turn the speaker and repeat until you have done it on all 4 sides.

Again, this should be a silent movement.

Step 4) ‘sweep’ testing

Testing with an audio generator is by far the best way to assess your speakers.

What gear will you need?

If you do not own a sine wave audio generator, do not panic, there are various free apps around thesedays such as www.synalski.com tone generator that you can use instead.

However, the one thing you will definitely need is a suitable amplifier. Something small, around 15 to 20w, that will not kill a greenback speaker. Ideally transistor (or ‘solid state’) then impedance matching is not an issue, and it will also need a ‘line in’ or ‘aux in’ so that you can connect your audio generator.

The amp I’ve been using for the last few years is an orange micro terror and it has been perfect. Cheap and cheerful, and takes up very little space.

My audio generator is a ‘Tenma 72-455A’, but any audio generator should do the trick. The good ones can be expensive to buy new, and maybe overkill unless you do a lot of speaker testing, but if you keep an eye on ebay they do turn up on there cheaply every now and again.

One thing to keep in mind when buying an audio generator is whether it has a good frequency display or not. Some cheaper models do not have one, or only give a vague reading. If you want to match the notes on your guitar to the sound on your audio generator (see ‘testing for cone cry’ below), then you will need to know what frequency you are at.

How to do it

Connect up your testing rig to your speaker and power on. With the frequency dial on the lowest setting (10Hz on mine) turn the volume up nice and high. Most speaker problems do not reveal themselves at low volume, so give it plenty of power.

At 10Hz the cone will start bobbing up and down through it’s full movement. You will learn a lot about your speaker just by running it at 10Hz like this. You should only be able to hear a slight purring noise of the cone moving through the air. Any rubbing, scraping, rattling, or clicking noises are bad!

Next, slowly turn the dial up through to 100Hz and listen out for rattling, buzzing and distorted overtones. A speaker without any issues, and that is nicely broken in, should sound nice and smooth as you move up through the frequencies.

A low frequency sweep test like this will weed out 99% of speaker faults in my experience. However, if you want to check for cone cry you might want to sweep test the whole frequency range of the speaker.

Personally I prefer to check for cone cry with guitar and amp (see next step below), because anything above 100Hz on an audio generator can be very painful on the ears unless it is done at low volume.

About “Cone Cry”

Cone cry can be described as an additional ghost note or an unwanted harmonic. Usually heard whilst bending notes on the guitar.

Pretty much all vintage speakers will have a small amount of cone cry somewhere when tested with an audio generator. Unless the issue is particularly bad it is not something I would worry too much about.

However, if you do find any very troublesome frequencies or severe cone cry, then it is always worth trying to replicate that frequency with your guitar just to see how noticable the issue is ‘in the real world’.

To do that you will need a reference chart like this one to match the note on your guitar to the frequency displayed on your audio generator:

Step 5) Assess Tonal Quality

Lastly, the fun part. With the single speaker still lying on its back, connect your guitar and amp (obviously do not exceed the power rating of the speaker), power up and have a jam!

Get loud! As I mentioned earlier, most speaker problems will not reveal themselves at low volume, and in my opinion speakers only show their true tonal characteristics when they are made to work hard. Find the sweet spot. My rule of thumb is that if you cannot visibly see the cone moving up and down whilst you are playing then you are probably not playing loud enough. Get it really pumping!

When jamming try to utilise the whole fretboard. Play some power chords and palm muted ‘chugs’ to check the lower frequencies. Check the mid frequencies with some double string bends around the 8th to 12th fret, and check for cone cry in the higher frequencies with some single string bends high up on the fretboard.

Just generally have a bit of fun and listen to what your ears are telling you. Some speakers will disappoint you and some speakers may surprise you. That is all part of the fun of vintage gear. Keep experimenting until you find the gems.

Follow:

Vintage Celestion Speaker Cones

Vintage Celestion Speaker Cones

Tone Is In The Cone

Over the years Celestion have used various cones from different suppliers, all slightly different in tone.

Celestion have never really given any information out about their suppliers. Therefore a lot of the details about them that you might read elsewhere, often just turn out to be nonsense that has been repeated and passed down the grapevine over the years.

The information I have written on this page is based on my own experience dealing in vintage speakers. It may conflict with information you have picked up elsewhere, but is accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Quick links

About Recones
Pulsonic
‘Large Rib’ Pulsonic
RIC
98700
Kurt Mueller
‘Large Rib’ Kurt Mueller

Some Common Mis-conceptions Debunked!

The Kurt Mueller Myth

If your speaker has a ‘1777’ or ‘444’ stamp, it does not automatically mean it is a Kurt Mueller cone. These are actually Celestion part numbers and can be found on several different cone types.

1777 stamped Pulsonic cone - not a Kurt Mueller!

1777 stamped Pulsonic cone – not a Kurt Mueller.

Blank cones and handwritten markings

If your speaker has a hand written code, or is completely unstamped, this does not automatically mean it has been reconed. If it looks original and sounds original – it is probably original.

The ‘RIC’ cones from the mid 1970’s are particularly common to find with either a yellow chalk marking, or no marking at all.

RIC cone with handwritten 1777 code - not a recone and not a Kurt Mueller.

RIC cone with handwritten 1777 code – not a recone and not a Kurt Mueller.

About Recones

Old recones are usually fairly easy to spot because they will look a lot different to the original Celestion cones. Watch out for odd looking cones, over-sized or incorrect dust caps, unusual looking lead wire glue (the two black marks near the dust cap), and spider supports that overlap the frame rim or just look too new.

When reconing a speaker, the original gasket surrounds would often be re-used, especially if they have a date stamp on them. So an original gasket does not automatically mean the cone is original too. The white manilla gaskets are particularly easy to remove and re-fit.

Most speaker repair places will leave a sticker on the frame of the speaker somewhere and that is often the first visual clue.

Re-coned speaker with original gasket

Re-coned speaker with original gasket re-fitted

A common recone to find on older speakers is the Waldom recone kit, which usually has the cone stamp WF***.

Recones are not the end of the world and can still sound good if they are not coil rubbing. However, any collector value goes right out the window once the original cone is gone. So never pay top dollar prices for a reconed vintage speaker.

Celestion factory recones

Celestion would sometimes print a new date stamp when reconing a speaker. This is usually accompanied by an additional ‘RW’ stamp, and can often be found on the old alnico’s from the 60’s. Obviously if it is a very old recone from when Celestion were still using pulsonic cones then this should not affect value too much and will still be a desirable speaker to most people.

Early 60's Vox blue speaker, reconed & restamped - 13th July 1970

Early 60’s Vox blue speaker, reconed & restamped – 13th July 1970

Cone Types

Shown below are some of the most commonly found cones from the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Pulsonic Cones

The pulsonic cones first appear around mid 1962, most notably on the T530 “vox blue“. They are easily the most sought after cones by guitarists because they have a superior quality to their tone that cannot be found in any other speaker cone. Their slightly softer and more ‘fluid’ sound is particularly popular with blues and classic rock guitarists.

An early H1777 Pulsonic cone

An early H1777 Pulsonic cone

These cones are highly collectable due to their association with all the legendary guitar players of the period such as Jimi Hendrix and The Beatles, and their use in the old 60’s Marshall and Vox amplifiers.

A late 60's 003 stamped Pulsonic cone

A late 60’s 003 stamped Pulsonic cone

Legend has it that the Pulsonic factory burnt down in late 1973 and with it went the magic formula for making those sweet sounding cones. Even today nobody has successfully managed to replicate them, though several boutique brands have tried, as well as Celestion themselves with their Heritage greenback range.

There are various cone stamps to be found on pulsonic cones, largely depending on when they were made. Some stamps are less familiar than others, including the ‘1777’ stamp which people often incorrectly assume must be a Kurt Mueller.

A while ago I found an unusual T652 speaker with both the H1777 and 003 stamp on the cone. I decided to include it here as my evidence for the non-believers. Same cone, two different stamps:

An unusual cone with both pulsonic cone stamps.

Pulsonic cone stamps through the years

75Hz Pulsonic Stamps55Hz Pulsonic Stamps
H1777 or **/H1777mid 1962 to 1966SP444 or **/SP4441966 to 1967
003 or **/003mid 1966014 or **/014mid 1966
**/102/003mid 1962 to 1967**/102/0141966 to 1967
** 102 003mid 1962 to Apr 1971** 102 0141966 to Apr 1971
102/3 or 102 3Apr 1971 to Apr 1973102/14 or 102 14Apr 1971 to Apr 1973
3Feb 1973 to Apr 19744Apr 1973 to Apr 1975
1777Feb 1973 to Apr 1974102/30Apr 1971 to Apr 1973
1777 (large rib)Aug 1974 to Apr 19755Apr 1973 to Apr 1974
0444 (large rib)Aug 1974 to Apr 1975
'**' = a variable two digit number said to represent the week of the year the cone was made
Note - dates shown are for very rough guidance only - expect transitional overlaps.

‘Large Rib’ Pulsonic Cones

These cones are basically the same as the earlier pulsonic cones but have noticably larger ‘ribs’ (proper name is ‘corrugators’). They can usually be found on ‘creamback’ speakers made between mid 1974 to mid 1975.

The typical cone stamps are ‘1777’ for a 75Hz cone and ‘0444’ (notice the leading zero) for a 55Hz cone.

Transitional Pulsonic cone

‘Large Rib’ Pulsonic cone

Their sound is very similar to the previously mentioned pulsonics, but you might notice they are marginally brighter at lower volume levels. The beauty of these cones is that because they were produced a little more recently they tend to turn up in better condition than the older pre-rola speakers and are usually a lot cheaper to buy!

Most people dismiss these cones as Kurt Muellers because of the cone stamps. A classic example of how a lot of guitarists use their eyes when evaluating gear, rather than their ears!

‘RIC’ stamped cones

Most commonly seen on greyback and creamback speakers from around August 1973 to mid 1975, and on most ‘G12’ alnico speakers made before mid 1962. These cones were probably made in house at Celestion’s Thames Ditton factory.

RIC cone

RIC cone

They are usually fairly easy to identify by their blue/grey appearance, and they do not usually have a ‘shadow’ around the dustcap like a pulsonic or mueller cone.

Their sound is quite distinctive, and they are generally under-rated by most people. Often described as ‘dark’ sounding which may be unfair. They are very nice sounding cones in my opinion, with a smooth sound that can tame a harsh sounding amplifier, and they can be superb for lead work, although do lack some of the sparkle found in other cones and can be a bit ‘boxy’ for rhythm playing. Try mixing with a pulsonic for the best of both worlds.

Other stamp variants include ‘NIB’, ‘POB’ and ‘JIL’, which I am confident are cones from the same factory but made to different specifications. The NIB cone was standard on the 10″ speaker model 7442 used by Marshall all the way through from late 1960’s to mid 1970’s, and is a very highly regarded speaker amongst Marshall collectors.

Stamp variations:

It is common to find the RIC cones without any stamps or other markings, particularly around early 1974. So be careful not to dismiss them as recones. I have definitely owned more without stamps than with.

Another variation is a handwritten 1777, 1444 or 444 in yellow chalk. Again, these are not recones, and are fairly common for late 73/ early 74.

98700 cones

These are very rare cones and were only used for a short period. They can usually be found on creamback speakers with May or June 1974 date stamps (EG or FG).

The rare 98700 cone

The rare 98700 cone

Very little is known about them, but I can tell you they are some of the nicest cones you can find and are well worth looking out for. Please do not dismiss them as recones. The tone is slightly less mid focused than the pulsonics, so a bit flatter sounding, but still a very nice smooth & fluid tone, not harsh or gritty.

Kurt Mueller Cones

These are the most common cone to find on the late 70’s and 80’s speakers; the ‘blackbacks’, G12-65’s and G12-80’s etc. They first appear early 1975 and were used well into the 1980’s.

Their tone is a bit more aggressive than the pulsonic cones and may be more suited to your style if you play heavy rock. They are a good sonic match to the master volume Marshall amps of the period.

Kurt Mueller cone

Kurt Mueller cone

Usually stamped 1777 (75hz cone) or 444 (55hz cone), depending on the speaker model.

They tend to be pale grey in appearance wth a slight shadow around the dust cap. Although colouration does seem to vary and can appear darker or more blue in some cases – this can happen if a different dye has been used for the paper pulp.

Stamp variations:

The first Mueller cones from early 1975 are usually unstamped, or may only have a small single digit number written on them in marker or chalk, with a brown colouration to the doping.

Through mid 1975 some Muellers have their codes handwritten in black marker.

The white 1777 and 444 stamps only seem to appear on Mueller cones towards the end of 1975. Earlier 1777 stamps are unlikely to be Muellers, and are probably Pulsonic or large rib Pulsonic.

Some late 70’s and 80’s cones are stamped in black ink, and can often be difficult to see.

‘Large Rib’ Kurt Mueller Cones

These cones are a variation of Kurt Mueller (in my opinion – could be wrong) and can be found sporadically on blackback speakers and G12-65’s made in the late 1970’s. They basically sound near enough the same as the previously mentioned Kurt Mueller cones. However at low volume they are a little bit clearer and brighter sounding to my ears, which I do prefer.

Large rib Kurt Mueller cone

Large rib Kurt Mueller cone

​The most notable difference is the larger ribs on the cone and the lack of any cone stamp. The back of the cones are usually darker (more black in appearance) than the usual Kurt Mueller cones.

Follow:

‘Pre-Rola’ Greenbacks Explained

‘Pre-Rola’ Greenbacks Explained

Pre-Rola Celestions are generally considered to be the best sounding guitar speakers ever made. They are very collectable due to their association with 1960’s amplifiers (notably Marshall), and the guitar icons that used them back in the day, such as Jimi Hendrix and Eric Clapton.

However, there is a lot of confusion about what the term pre-Rola actually means, and how we define a speaker as being a pre-Rola.

A common mis-conception debunked

Pre-Rola does not refer to a time when Celestion were “not Rola”.

Way back in 1947 ‘Celestion Ltd’ merged with ‘British Rola Ltd’ and they were called ‘Rola Celestion Ltd’ from then onwards. This was long before any greenback speakers or Celestion branded guitar speakers were ever made.

Celestion ad, circa 1951

Celestion ad, circa 1951

See here for the full history of Celestion.

So what is a pre-Rola?

A pre-Rola speaker is any Celestion greenback made between Jan 1966 and April 1971. During this period, the greenback labels did not have the word ‘Rola’ written on them, and so guitarists called them ‘pre-Rola’.

Pre-rola label (left) vs rola label (right)

pre-Rola label (left) vs Rola Ipswich label (right)

The Ipswich address is important to remember on the 1970’s Rola labels, for reasons I will get to a bit further down the page.

Transition Dates

The Rola Ipswich labels first appeared in April 1971, so any speakers made after April 1971 are not classed as pre-Rola.

Both the Rola Ipswich and pre-Rola labels can be found on speakers with the ‘DD’ date code for April 71.

After April 1971

Celestion did not change the labels across all speaker models at the same time – it was a gradual transition. Speaker models produced in lower numbers, such as the 8 Ohm models, transitioned much later, some as late as 1975.

1975 creamback with pre-rola label

1975 creamback with pre-Rola label

Most collectors will not class a speaker made after April 71 as being a true pre-Rola even if it has the pre-Rola label on it.

Celestion were producing speakers at both the Thames Ditton factory and the Ipswich factory from late 1968 to late 1975, so there was no need to stop using the Thames Ditton labels at that time. Maybe the 8 ohm speakers were still being made at Thames Ditton? who knows.

See here for full history of the Celestion factories.

Before 1966

Earlier Rola labels can be differentiated by the Thames Ditton address:

Rola Thames Ditton label

Rola Thames Ditton label

These gold and red labels are actually very rare and were only used for a short period circa 1964 to 1965, they are the first ever greenbacks – before they were green. Very collectable!

Why do pre-Rolas sound better than other greenbacks?

During the whole pre-Rola period Celestion were using cones made by a company called Pulsonic. These are generally considered to be the best sounding guitar speaker cones ever made.

Pulsonic 003 cone

Pulsonic 003 cone

Unfortunately the factory is thought to have burnt down at the end of 1973 and with it went the formula for making those amazing sounding cones. Nobody has replicated them successfully since, though several boutique brands have attempted it, including Celestion themselves.

The good news is that you do not have to pay pre-Rola collector prices to get the Pulsonic sound. Pulsonic cones were actually used by Celestion from mid 1962 to late 1973 – well into Rola Ipswich label period. You might also find the ‘transitional’ pulsonic cones on some creamback speakers made from mid 1974 to mid 1975. These later speakers are less collectable and usually a little cheaper to buy, but will sound just as good.

See here for more info about Celestion cones.

Where to hear them

I recommend listening to any live recordings made between 1966 and 1971 by Jimi Hendrix, Cream (Eric Clapton), Deep Purple (Ritchie Blackmore), Free (Paul Kossoff), and Led Zeppelin (Jimmy Page). This should give you a good grounding in the Celestion pre-Rola sound.

Clones and Reissues

Buying vintage pre-Rola greenbacks can be difficult. Their rarity is part of their appeal to collectors, and when you do finally find a good set without any issues (be very careful buying 40 to 50 year old speakers thesedays), they can be very expensive to buy.

There are several speaker brands that now manufacture their own pre-Rola ‘clones’. All attempting to recreate the old 60’s British sound. Brands worth investigating are Austin Speaker Works (ASW), Tayden, Eminence, Warehouse Guitar Speakers (WGS), and the Weber Legacy series.

ASW Crossroads - One of the best vintage greenback clones available today.

ASW Crossroads – One of the best vintage greenback clones available today.

Whilst these brands might sound appealing, people often forget that Celestion themselves are still making great speakers. They might not advertise themselves as loudly as some other brands, but I can guarantee you they have some very serious and expensive technology for researching and designing their speakers. As I always say, if you want the Celestion sound, stick with Celestion!

Celestion's Heritage 1967 G12M Reissue

Celestion’s Heritage 1967 G12M Reissue

In my opinion the reissues and clones will get you about 80% there, but the genuine vintage speakers still sound superior. The main problem modern speaker manufacturers face is that the old materials, tools and glues are no longer available, and it is those little details combined that created the magic in those old cones.

For a good tonal comparison with some modern day greenbacks I can highly recommend this video by George Metropoulos. Although there are many similar videos on youtube thesedays I still think this recording captures their sound the most accurately and professionally:

Follow:

How To Spot Fake Celestion Pre-rola Greenbacks

How To Spot Fake Celestion Pre-rola Greenbacks

Unfortunately there is a lot of fake vintage gear floating around on the used market, most of which can be traced back to one notorious dealer in UK.

In this blog post I will be going over a few basic pointers for identifying fake Celestion speakers, and hopefully this will prevent a few people from getting stung.

Why Bother Faking Speakers?

You are unlikely to see fake pre-rolas for sale on their own. Speakers are parts, and they would be doctored to suit the fake Marshall amplifier or speaker cabinet they were destined for.

For example, a non-valuable speaker model – lets say a T1614 from 1972, might be ‘turned into’ a far more valuable T1221 from 1966, then fitted into a fake Marshall bluesbreaker amp. So, spotting fake speakers inside a vintage Marshall is an important warning sign.

Fake pre-rola

Fake pre-rola with date stamp ’25ML’ – Xmas Day 1966!

The main hotspot for fake Marshall gear is the pinstripe period: mid 1965 to early 1968, and therefore this is the period of Celestion speakers we need to be most vigilant about.

The rest of this blog post will focus on the small details we can use to identify fake speakers. Fairly tedious and nerdy sorry (leave now if this freaks you out) but is the only way I can do it.

Fake Ink Stamps

Location

All genuine Celestion speakers made betwen 1952 and March 1968 had their date stamps printed on the front gasket of the speaker. Fake date stamps will usually be printed on the chassis leg instead.

So any greenback speakers with date codes earlier than March 68 stamped on the chassis leg are likely to be fake.

Genuine vs Fake - 1967

Genuine (left) vs Fake (right) – June 1967

Chassis Leg Stamps

From April 1968 onwards, Celestion date codes were stamped on the metal chassis instead. However, any fake date stamps printed on the chassis are still very easy to differentiate, based on the following characteristics:

  • Horizontal Print vs Vertical Print – Celestion stamped their date codes horizontally on the frame from April 68 to Dec 68, then vertically from the beginning of 1969 onwards. Fake stamps are usually printed vertically.
  • Black Ink vs Grey Ink – Celestion only started using black ink on the frames from about mid 69 onwards, before this it was a pale grey. Fake date codes are usually in black ink.
  • Circular stamp – The circular quality control stamp will always be present on a genuine speaker. It will be missing on about 90% of fake speakers.
Genuine vs Fake - 1968

Genuine vs Fake – August 1968

Inspection letter

From the beginning of 1969 to late 1976 Celestion included an additional ‘inspection letter’ with the date code. For example you might find the date code ‘GB17 Y’  with the ‘Y’ being the inspection letter.

Some fake speaker date codes include the inspection letter way too early, such as with a 1967 or 1968 date code. Somebody recently showed me a 1968 date code with the model code ‘T1281 Z’ next to it. Pretty wierd looking, and I would love to add the photo here but the owner would not give me his consent to use it.

Wrong Chassis & Solder Terminals

Celestion used two main types of chassis; the ‘one tab’ and the ‘four tab’.

The four tab chassis was only used from July 1969 onwards. It has a ‘tab’ on all four sides, and a small cutout at the sides of the solder terminal:

The '4 tab' chassis with solder terminal cutouts

The ‘4 tab’ chassis

The earlier one tab chassis does not have the extra tabs or the solder terminal cutouts:

The '1 tab' chassis with no solder terminal cutouts

The ‘1 tab’ chassis

Watch out for fake speakers that have the four tab chassis, but with a pre-July 69 date code:

Fake 1967 date code on a post July 1969 chassis

Fake “12th Feb 1967” date code on a post July 1969 chassis

The ‘Marshall T1217’

Watch out for the T1217 model speaker with a white Marshall label on the back. Marshall have never used the T1217 to my knowledge.

Fake 'Marshall T1217'

Fake ‘Marshall T1217’

Full quad of fake T1217 speakers

Full quad of fake T1217 speakers

The fake white labels are fairly difficult to differentiate from the genuine ones, but usually the fake ones show very little signs of ageing. The genuine ones can sometimes go a bit yellow and transparent over the years.

Genuine Marshall white labels

Genuine Marshall white labels

Fake and Repro Labels

Notice the impedance shown on the labels:

The 15 Ohm pre-rola labels were standard from 1966 onwards and were phased out from Aug 1968 onwards. These are the 20 watt G12M and 25w G12H labels:

Genuine 15 Ohm label

Genuine 15 Ohm label

The 16 Ohm pre-rola labels first appear in Aug 1968 and were phased out from April 1971 onwards. These are the 25w G12M and 30w G12H labels:

Genuine 16 Ohm label

Genuine 16 Ohm label

Fake labels will often have the wrong impedance on them:

Fake 15 Ohm label

Fake 15 Ohm label (25W G12M should be 16 Ohm)

The heritage series labels are easy to identify by their glossy finish. There are also some very obvious repro labels around with a wierd looking sloping font. Notice both of these label types also have the “incorrect” 15 Ohm impedance:

Heritage series label vs Reproduction label

Heritage series label vs Reproduction label

Fake Cone Stamps

Watch out for any peculiar looking cone stamps. Often accompanied by a white smudge – probably an attempt at removing the original cone stamp.

Genuine Pulsonic cone stamp

Genuine Pulsonic cone stamp

Fake pulsonic cone stamp

Fake pulsonic cone stamp

Original cone stamp rubbed away

Original cone stamp rubbed away

Dont Get Stung

So, hopefully you have picked up a few pointers here. The main thing to look at is the date stamp and the type of chassis – they really stick out like a sore thumb once you know what to look for.

When buying vintage gear always make sure you do your homework on the item, but more importantly – always research the guy selling it!

Note – I cannot approve any defamatory comments made below that name a particular business or individual.

Follow:

Celestion T-Numbers Reference List

Celestion T-Numbers Reference List

All Celestion speakers have a model number denoting their specification, usually beginning with the letter T.

The reference list below has been compiled from various sources, but does not contain every Celestion speaker ever made. I have tried to keep it focused on 12″ guitar speaker models.

Share your T-numbers!

If you know of any T-numbers that are missing from the list, or see anything that needs altering, then please email me, or add a comment at the bottom of the page, and I will update the list accordingly when time permits. Guitar speakers only please.

Big thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, with special thanks to the members of The Marshall Amp Forum!

Please remember that Celestion speakers evolved through the years, so certain details such as cone stamps and other part numbers, may be different depending on when the speaker was made.

The list is now searchable and sortable. Click a heading to sort by that column, or use the search box to find your speaker model. Enjoy!

ModelTypeMagnetOhmsBrief Description
133544 or P44Alnico3 OhmP44 - 1.5" coil, 10,000 gauss magnet, 10 watts, smooth cone audio/hifi speaker
177274 or P74Alnico15 Ohm12,000 gauss, 12 watts, ribbed cone audio/hifi speaker
177244 or P44Alnico15 OhmP44 - as 1335 but 15 Ohm
CT3757 or 3757G12   Alnico8 Ohmprecursor to T530, designed for vox guitar amplifiers
B024G12Alnico8 Ohmsprayed silver with no cover, RIC1 cone
B025G12Alnico15 Ohmas B024 but 15 Ohm
T530 or T0530G12Alnico8 OhmAs CT3757 sprayed blue with H1668 cover
T565 or T0565G12Alnico?Westrex made - as T530 with RIC2 cone
T590 or T0590G12Alnico?As T530 fitted with H6025 transformer
T635 or T0635G12Alnico?As T530 but silver hammer finish & celestion label (instead of vox)
T637 or T0637G12Alnico?Mr.Britain G.E.C - ???
T641 or T0641G12Alnico?As T530 sprayed "Selmer" gold
T650 or T0650G12Alnico8 OhmAs T530 without cover, sprayed silver
T652 or T0652G12Alnico15 OhmAs T650 but 15 Ohm
T658 or T0658G12Alnico16 OhmAs T530 sprayed silver hammer
T680 or T0658G12Alnico15 OhmAs T530 sprayed gold
T701 or T0701G12Alnico?As T652 resonance 40-50 celestion cone
T702 or T0702G12Alnico?As T701 but with top polls unpainted. no dope.
T703 or T0703G12Alnico?10 watt jennings as T530 but with G44 magnet assy
T721 or T0721G12Alnico8 OhmJennings (as T530 cone assy) G44 type loudspeaker with H1261 magnet
T727 or T0727G12Alnico15 OhmAs T530 but 15 Ohms
T731 or T0731G12Alnico15 OhmAs T658 but without cover, sprayed oyster hammer including magnet assy
T1007G12Alnico?As T530 sprayed oyster hammer
T1009G12Alnico15 OhmType G44 gap as T530, magnet as H1261
T1044G12Alnico8 OhmCone assy for T530
T1045G12Alnico15 OhmCone assy for T565
T1066G12Alnico4 OhmFitted with jennings cone assy, coil 63 turns, 33swg wire, sprayed silver
T1067G12Alnico15 Ohm12,000 gauss
T1070G12Alnico15 Ohmspecial housing SP85, special cone, foam edge, T530 cover, sprayed oyster
T1087G12Alnico?As T530, sprayed glossy black
T1088G12Alnico8 OhmAs T530, sprayed poly grey
T1089G12Alnico?As T530, sprayed dark grey
T1090G12Alnico?As T530, sprayed dark grey hammer
T1096G12Alnico15 OhmAs T1088 but 15 Ohms, jennings.
T1398G12Alnico15 OhmAs T1096, sprayed golden sand, celestion label
T1461G12Alnico8 Ohm14,000 gauss magnet assy, hawley cone, 41/833/001 (1" neck)
T1656G12Alnico8 OhmSA4322 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp, vox label
T1819G12Alnico8 OhmAs T1656 but 8 Ohms (T1088 type)
T1855G12Alnico8 OhmSA3422 coil, 650 cone
T1856G12Alnico8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP800 cone, SP773 tweeter
T1870G12Alnico15 OhmSP789 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp (as T1088 type)
T2056G12 L/SAlnico8 Ohmas T.1088 but without cover (Alcomax ring magnet)
T4427G12Alnico8 OhmBlue Bulldog 15w (reissue)
T4436G12Alnico16 OhmBlue Bulldog 15w (reissue)
T5471G12Alnico8 OhmGold Alnico Bulldog 50w
T5472G12Alnico16 OhmGold Alnico Bulldog 50w
T800-899G12CCeramicvariousG12C series loudspeakers
T1059G12CCeramic8 Ohm1" voice coil
T1060G12CCeramic8 OhmAs T1059 except rubber treated with 749/003 cone
T1073  G12LCeramic?fitted heavy cone, foam edge, ceramic magnet, 4.760 dia single layer coil
T1082G12LCeramic?fitted heavy cone, foam edge, standard coil & cap
T1134G12Ceramic10-12 Ohm50oz magnet, sprayed welvic down to first corrugators. Beryllium braid CX2012.
T1161G12Ceramic15 OhmH1777 cone (as T1134 but 15 Ohm)
T1164G12CCeramic8 OhmCeramic magnet,  13,000 gauss, darwin type 7956A 5"x5" 16 plates
T1174G12CCeramic15 OhmGuitar, ceramic magnet
T1175G12CCeramic15 OhmGuitar, SF 127 (light) magnet. Unsprayed.
T1206G12CCeramic?Medium loudspeaker fitted with studio 2012 cone assy
T1213?Ceramic8 OhmFor export to Vox/America
T1214?Ceramic15 OhmAs T1213 but 15 Ohm
T1217G12HCeramic15 OhmAs T1134 but with new type pressure housing. New 'H' range. (75Hz cone)
T1220G12MCeramic8 OhmCeramic magnet, plastic cover, golden sand, re-introduced in the 80's as "greenback"
T1220-67G12MCeramic8 OhmHeritage series G12M - 20 watt
T1221G12MCeramic15 OhmAs T1220 but 15 Ohm
T1221-67G12MCeramic16 OhmHeritage series G12M - 20 watt
T1225G12HCeramic15 Ohm?As T1217 but sprayed Jennings colour
T1234G12HCeramic8 OhmAs T1217 (75Hz) but 8 Ohm, Also - 8 Ohm Heritage G12H - 55Hz.
T1239G12MCeramic15 OhmSP444 cone, no rubber paint (doping) on surround. 60-70 c/s
T1252G12LCeramic12 Ohmlightweight. jennings 402 x 5" ceramic magnet. 9lbs poly grey, vox label
T1253G12MCeramic15 Ohmfitted CX1512 bass cone assy
T1254G12HCeramic15 Ohmfitted CX1521 bass cone assy, muller suspension, poly grey, vox label
T1257G12MCeramic15 Ohmfitted H1771 cone, muller linen surround
T1259G12HCeramic15 Ohmfitted with CX1512 bass cone
T1260G12MCeramic15 OhmH1777 cone, sprayed poly grey
T1268G12MCeramic8 Ohmjennings, fitted special plastic covers, poly grey housing and cover
T1269G12MCeramic8 Ohmjennings, fitted special plastic covers, poly grey housing and cover
T1277G12MCeramic15 Ohmstandard edge finish 65-70cs. Marshall name plate.
T1278G12HCeramic15 Ohmstandard edge finish 65-70c/s
T1279G12HCeramic8 Ohmjennings colour and vox name plate
T1281G12HCeramic15 Ohmwelvic edge, 50-60c/s, Marshall name plate. - Also Heritage G12H (55Hz - 16 Ohm).
T1304G12MCeramic8 Ohmsprayed poly grey (jennings)
T1313G12LCeramic12 Ohmstandard colour. DC voice coil. celestion label
T1319G12LCeramic8 Ohmjennings, poly grey, vox label
T1333G12MCeramic4 Ohmstandard colours, H1777 cone, fit cover, double wound 15-ohm coil
T1339G12SCeramic15 Ohmstandard colour, no label, CX1512 magnet, standard SP282 front plate
T1341G12HCeramic5-6 Ohm34 SWG copper, SP444 cone, edge not treated, one winding standard former
T1354G12SCeramic15 Ohmfitted rubber top surround. trimmed H1777 cone, standard coil
T1355G12SCeramic15 Ohmrubber surround and coil (Kurt Mueller) no cover. cone 277/G with surround SH276/1
T1358G12LCeramic8 Ohmfitted muller cone and rubber surround. fitted cover.
T1359G12LCeramic15 Ohmas T1358 but 15 Ohm
T1363G12HCeramic15 OhmStandard G12M cone assy (for organ) standard colour. Also Heritage G12H - 75hz
T1364G12HCeramic8 Ohmas T1363 but 8 Ohm - Also Heritage G12H - 75hz
T1365G12SCeramic15 Ohmstandard cone assy as G12M. spray jennings colour. no cover. CX1512 magnet assy
T1367G12SCeramic4 Ohmfitted rubber edge. CX1512 magnet assy. muller edge and cone, pressed housing
T1370G12SCeramic15 Ohmbass unit. CX1512 magnet. muller rubber edge and cone, pressed housing
T1380G12MCeramic?as T1220 fitted R/C cone. 80c/s approx fitted to avoid mid frequency cone breakup
T1384G12LCeramic15 Ohmstandard colours. golden sand and green cover.
T1385G12LCeramic8 Ohmas T1384 but 8 Ohm
T1386G12LCeramic4 Ohmas T1384 but 4 Ohm, VC2 layer doublewound 38.5 SWG
T1397G12LCeramic3-4 Ohmrubber edge, muller cone assy, standard colour, pressed chassis, no cover
T1407G12HCeramic6 Ohmsample
T1413G12HCeramic4 OhmMK2 coil. no cover. standard.
T1414G12HCeramic15 OhmMK2 coil. no cover. standard. (marked 16 Ohm)
T1415G12SCeramic4 OhmMK2 coil. no cover. standard.
T1416G12SCeramic8 OhmMK2 coil. no cover. standard.
T1417G12SCeramic15 OhmMK2 coil. no cover. standard. (marked 16 Ohm)
T1419G12SCeramic10 Ohmsprayed black, 10 Ohms, DC coil 12 Ohms. No cover.
T1421G12LCeramic8 Ohmstandard guitar cone assy. no cover. sprayed golden sand.
T1422G12SCeramic8 Ohmstandard guitar cone assy. no cover. sprayed golden sand.
T1423G12MCeramic8 Ohmstandard guitar cone assy. no cover. sprayed golden sand.
T1426G12SCeramic8 Ohmchassis sprayed black, SP444 cone
T1427G12HCeramic8 Ohmgolden sand, no cover, standard guitar cone assy
T1439G12MCeramic15 Ohmstandard colour, no cover, SP444 cone, 55-65 c/s, standard edge spray
T1440G12SCeramic15 Ohmstandard colour, SP444 cone, 55-65 c/s, welvic edge spray
T1446G12SCeramic8 Ohmfitted muller cone, rubber edge assy, SPA 650 magnet assy, CX1512, pressed housing
T1449G12SCeramic15 Ohmas T1440, fitted cover, edge finish changed to welvic
T1451G12SCeramic15 Ohmas T1417 with G12M sized cover
T1452G12MCeramic15 Ohmfitted G12H, jennings colours, cone assy & coil as T1225
T1453G12MCeramic8 Ohmfitted G12H, jennings colours, standard cover, cone assy & coil as T1279
T1454G12SCeramic8 Ohmcone assy as T1088, jennings colour chassis, standard cover
T1460G12HCeramic8 Ohmfitted SP444 cone, standard edge treatment
T1482G12HCeramic15 Ohm50 watt, nomex coil former, standard colours
T1488G12SCeramic8 Ohmstandard colours, fit cover
T1507G12SCeramic4 Ohm12,000 gauss magent (ceramic)
T1508G12SCeramic8 Ohm12,000 gauss magent (ceramic)
T1509G12SCeramic4 Ohm14,000 gauss magent (ceramic)
T1510G12SCeramic8 Ohm14,000 gauss magent (ceramic)
T1511G12MCeramic15 Ohmstandard colours, fitted SP444 cone, welvic
T1517G12SCeramic15 OhmH1777 cone, welvic edge, G12M covers
T1520G12HCeramic10 OhmSP444 cone, welvic, tweeter SP773
T1521G12HCeramic12 Ohmtweeter SP773
T1523G12SCeramic12 OhmSmooth - twin cone (tweeter SP773?), welvic doping.
T1531G12MCeramic8 Ohmtweeter SP773
T1532G12MCeramic15 Ohmtweeter SP773
T1533G12MCeramic15 Ohmtweeter SP733
T1534G12HCeramic15 OhmSP444 cone, welvic edge, standard colours
T1548G12LCeramic8 OhmH1777 cone, standard suspension
T1550G12MCeramic8 OhmSP444 cone, standard edge finish and standard suspension
T1551G12LCeramic4 Ohmstandard colours, muller cone and rubber edge, fit cover
T1552G12SCeramic4 Ohmmuller cone and rubber edge, no cover
T1553G12MCeramic4 Ohmmuller cone and rubber edge, fit cover
T1556G12SCeramic15 Ohmfit cone SP129, susp SP651, no cover
T1580G12MCeramic8 OhmSP444 cone, welvic edge as G12H, standard colours plus cover
T1586G12MCeramic8 Ohmrenumbered T1220
T1594G12HCeramic15 Ohmtwin cone, H1777 cone, welvic edge, 50 watts.
T1613G12MCeramic4 OhmSP582 voice coil with H1777 cone
T1614G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3422 voice coil, H1777 cone, SP417 suspension, spray cone edge - use with T1586
T1625G12HCeramic4 Ohmlead guitar, SP825 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 suspension
T1626G12HCeramic4 Ohm
T1632G12LCeramic8 Ohmstandard colour, H1777 cone, SP4127 suspension, fit cover
T1644G12HCeramic4 OhmSP650 cone, SP773 tweeter, muller rubber edge
T1645G12HCeramic8 OhmSP650 cone, SP773 tweeter, muller rubber edge
T1646G12HCeramic15 OhmSP650 cone, SP773 tweeter, muller rubber edge
T1647G12HCeramic4 OhmH1777 cone and SP773 tweeter
T1648G12HCeramic8 OhmH1777 cone and SP773 tweeter
T1649G12HCeramic15 OhmH1777 cone and SP773 tweeter
T1657G12SCeramic12 OhmSP789 coil, SP650 cone, SP651 suspension
T1673G12MCeramic8 OhmH1777 cone with tweeter
T1692G12LCeramic4 Ohm582 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp, fit cover
T1695G12HCeramic8 OhmSP800 cone, SP773 tweeter, (as T1521 but 8 Ohms)
T1722G12HCeramic12 OhmSP44 cone, fitted SP1210 rear label
T1727G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP650 cone, SP651 suspension, rubber edge
T1759G12HCeramic15 OhmSP800 cone, SP651 susp
T1760G12HCeramic8 OhmAs T1759 but 8 Ohms
T1761G12MCeramic15 OhmSP444 cone, SP773 tweeter
T1766G12LCeramic15 OhmSP444 cone, fit cover
T1773G12SCeramic8 OhmSP129 Hawley cone, SP651 susp, fit cover
T1779G12SCeramic?SP129 Hawley cone, SP651 susp
T1786G12MCeramic15 OhmSA4323 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp
T1787G12HCeramic15 OhmSA4323 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp ('H' version of T1786)
T1793G12MCeramic8 OhmSP444 cone, welvic edge as G12H
T1796G12HCeramic?chassis with mag assy and covers
T1798G12SCeramic15 OhmSP789 coil, SP800 cone, SP651 susp, As T1523 but 15 Ohms, fitted G12M cones
T1799G12SCeramic12 OhmSP444 cone, welvic as G12H, SP789 coil
T1825G12HCeramic?
T1861G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone
T1862G12HCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp
T1868G12SCeramic15 OhmSP789 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp
T1869G12MCeramic15 OhmSP789 coil, H1777 cone, SP417 susp
T1871G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP651 susp, res 50 max to match Jensen 1 1/2" coil
T1872G12MCeramic8 OhmAs T1871 but with ali dust dome
T1873G12HCeramic15 Ohm3423 coil, H1777 cone, 417 susp, no cover
T1885G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, pulsonic 102/030 cone, SP651 susp. Marshall
T1886G12HCeramic15 OhmSP789 coil, pulsonic 102/030 cone, SP651 susp. Marshall
T1901G12MCeramic8 OhmSA3423 coil, 102/030 cone, SP651 susp, SP773 tweeter
T1902G12HCeramic15 OhmSA3423 coil, 102/030 cone, SP651 susp, SP773 tweeter
T1903G12HCeramic15 OhmSA3423 coil, 102/030 cone, SP651 susp,
T1922G12LCeramic15 Ohm3423 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp, fit cover
T1923G12LCeramic15 Ohm3423 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp, SP773 tweeter, fit cover
T1925G12MCeramic15 Ohm3423 coil, SP444 cone, SP651 susp, SP773 tweeter
T1929G12HCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP615 susp
T1954G12HCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp, SP773 tweeter
T1966G12LCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp,
T1967G12LCeramic8 OhmSA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP417 susp, SP773 tweeter
T1969G12HCeramic12 Ohmtwin cone, trimmed 102 003, cambric surround. watkins.
T1970G12HCeramic12 Ohmtrimmed 102 003, cambric surround. watkins.
T1971G12MCeramic12 Ohmtwin cone, trimmed 102 003, cambric surround.
T1975G12HCeramic8 Ohmvoice coil SA3422, cone SA1030, fitted twin cone GP773
T1976G12HCeramic15 Ohmvoice coil SA3423, cone H1777, susp 651, with ali dust dome
T1977G12MCeramic15 Ohmvoice coil SA3423, SP444 cone with ali dust dome
T1981G12MCeramic15 Ohmvoice coil SA3423, cone 1321, trimmed 103/003, SP651, cambric surround
T1988G12HCeramic6 Ohmvoice coil SA3940, cone SA1042, cambric edge, SP1284 twin cone. Watkins.
T1990G12HCeramic8 Ohmvoice coil SA3422, cone SP444 twin cone
T2114G12MCeramic8 Ohmlead cone, ali dust cap
T2115G12HCeramic8 Ohmlead cone, ali dust cap
T2168G12MCeramic16 OhmAs T1221 but without plastic cover
T2236G12/50Ceramic15 Ohm50w, H magnet, yellow frame, 75c/s
T2238G12/50Ceramic8 Ohm50w, H magnet, yellow frame, cone stamp - 1973, ali dust cap, 75c/s
T2239G12/50Ceramic15 Ohm50w, H magnet, yellow frame, cone stamp - 1975, ali dust cap, 75c/s
T2241G12/50Ceramic8 Ohm50w, H magnet, yellow frame, 40 c/s
T2245G12/50Ceramic15 Ohm50w, H magnet, yellow frame, 40 c/s, twin cone
T2324G12/50Ceramic8 Ohm2" coil - Red frame with silverdust cap - Marshall Powercell?
T2328G12HCeramic8 OhmSmooth twin cone - 40Hz resonance
T2570G12/75Ceramic8 OhmWhite coloured dust cap
T2571G12/75Ceramic8 Ohm
T2633G12MCeramic16 Ohmcone stamp 444, with bass spider, 25 Watts,  55c/s, ali dust cap
T2684G12/50MCeramic8 Ohm50w, cone stamp - 1975
T2839G12-65Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 444
T2840G12-65Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 1777, ali dustcap
T2868G12-65Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 1777
T2871G12-80Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 444
T2876G12-80Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Marshall label
T2880G12-80Ceramic16 Ohmsmooth cone??? - Celestion label
T2866G12-65Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 444. White dust cap (not alu)
T2963G12-30Ceramic8 Ohm
T2964G12-30Ceramic16 Ohm
T2975G12-125Ceramic8 Ohm125W - cloth edge - 2643 cone - found in Marshall 2150 combo.
T2976G12-50Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 2712 (as T2968 but 8 Ohm)
T2968G12-50Ceramic15 Ohmlater renamed the G12S-50 - sensitivity 98dB (1W at 1m), 50W, frequency 80-5000Hz.
T3032G12-50Ceramic8 Ohm
T3053G12-65Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 1777, 85 c/s (as T3054 but 8 Ohm) - Also Heritage G12-65
T3054G12-65Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 1777, 85 c/s. Also Heritage G12-65
T3055G12-80Ceramic8 Ohm80w, cone stamp - 1777
T3056G12-80Ceramic15 Ohmas T3055 but 15 Ohm
T3057G12-100Ceramic8 Ohm
T3058G12-100Ceramic15 Ohm
T3059G12-100Ceramic8 Ohm4 ridge spider
T3062G12-65Ceramic8 Ohmtwin cone
T3063G12-65Ceramic16 Ohmtwin cone - 3609 stamp
T3101G12-65Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 444
T3103G12-80Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Celestion label
T3120G12-65Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 1777, marshall label
T3136?Ceramic?cone stamp - 2712
T3231G12-80Ceramic8 OhmSmooth cone - 3609
T3227G12-65Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 1777
T3249G12-80Ceramic16 OhmLarge dust cap, 1105 cone, 4 ridge spider - Marshall designated
T3263G12-80Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Celestion label
T3317G12-30Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3319G12-30Ceramic15 Ohm
T3325G12-30Ceramic15 OhmLight magnet, ribbed 2302 cone with tweeter 2715
T3351G12-80Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Celestion label
T3517G12S-50Ceramic4 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3562G12L-35Ceramic16 Ohm4335 cone
T3565G12L-35Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 4335
T3566G12S-50Ceramic4 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3567G12S-50Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3568G12S-50Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3570G12S-50Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 2802
T3576G12M-70Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3577G12M-70Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 2712
T3582G12M-70Ceramic8 Ohmdual cone
T3585G12K-100Ceramic8 Ohm
T3586G12K-85Ceramic15 Ohm
T3588G12K-85Ceramic8 Ohm
T3593G12H-100Ceramic4 Ohm
T3594G12H-100Ceramic8 Ohm6402 cone
T3595G12H-100Ceramic16 Ohm
T3598G12H-100Ceramic16 Ohm3609 cone
T3601G12H-100Ceramic16 Ohm
T3604G12C-125Ceramic15 Ohm
T3612G12-80Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 1777
T3754G12H-100Ceramic16 Ohm
T3760G12T-75Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 1777
T3771S12-150Ceramic8 OhmSidewinder (lead), cast chassis, paper edge
T3772S12-150Ceramic16 OhmSidewinder (lead) , cast chassis, paper edge
T3781G12T-75Ceramic8 Ohm
T3833G12C-30Ceramic8 Ohm
T3865S12-150Ceramic8 OhmSidewinder (bass), 150w, cast chassis, cloth edge
T3866S12-150Ceramic16 OhmSidewinder (bass), 150w, cast chassis, cloth edge
T3896G12VCeramic8 OhmVintage 30, Marshall label, 70w, 444 cone
T3897G12VCeramic16 OhmVintage 30, Marshall label, 70w, 444 cone
T3903Vintage 30Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 444 (standard specification)
T3904Vintage 30Ceramic15 Ohmcone stamp - 444 (standard specification)
T3947G12T-75Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 444
T3969G12-80Ceramic8 OhmClassic Lead - 80w - cone stamp - 1777
T3978G12-80Ceramic16 OhmClassic Lead - cone stamp - 1777
T3979G12M-70Ceramic16 Ohm
T3987Vintage 30Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Marshall OEM (known to be a little brighter than the standard V30)
T3989G12-80Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 1777 - Mesa label
T4159G12-100Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 6559
T4272V12-60Ceramic8 Ohm
T4335Vintage 30Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Old original spec - now Mesa OEM
T4354G12TCeramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 7293
T4361S12-150Ceramic8 OhmSidewinder (lead), 150w, pressed steel chassis, paper edge
T4362S12-150Ceramic8 OhmSidewinder (lead), 150w, pressed steel chassis, paper edge
T4416Vintage 30Ceramic16 Ohmcone stamp - 444 - Old original spec - now Mesa OEM
T4437G12MCeramic8 OhmGreenback designed for Vox
T4438G12MCeramic5.3 OhmG12M Greenback
T4469G12T-85Ceramic8 OhmRiviera, 1777 cone
T4532G12L-25Ceramic?"70th anniversary" - 6402 cone
T4533G12HCeramic8 Ohm"70th anniversary" G12H
T4534G12HCeramic16 Ohm"70th anniversary" G12H
T4612G12 HeritageCeramic16 OhmMarshall. 8553 cone.
T4774V12-80Ceramic8 Ohmcone stamp - 8553
T5113G12H-80Ceramic8 Ohm"Marshall Wolverine" Model WH-80-8
T5117G12T-100Ceramic4 Ohm"Hot 100" (as T5155)
T5155G12T-100Ceramic4 Ohm"Hot 100"
T5156G12T-100Ceramic8 Ohm"Hot 100"
T5157G12T-100Ceramic16 Ohm"Hot 100"
T5173G12 seventy 80Ceramic8 Ohm
T5226G12/100-AVTCeramic8 Ohm
T5291G12H-90Ceramic8 OhmLine 6, 9855 cone
T5321G12 Vintage MFCeramic16 OhmCustom designed for use in Marshall MF series cabs. G12-CV60.
T5338G12P-80Ceramic16 Ohm"Seventy 80"
T5347G12 CenturyCeramic8 Ohm60w - G12 Century Vintage
T5348G12 CenturyCeramic16 Ohm60w - G12 Century Vintage
T5465BG12CCeramic Marshall label - Super 100JH cabinet.
T5473G12N-65Ceramic8 Ohm
T5475G12CCeramic16 OhmMarshall label, 53H1777, Vintage Modern Cabinet.
T5489RELIC 30Ceramic16 OhmC38-444 cone
T5492G12P-80Ceramic16 Ohm"Seventy 80"
T5601G12H-100Ceramic16 Ohm1777 cone
T5603G12 70/80Ceramic16 Ohm"Seventy 80"
T5605G12 70/80Ceramic8 Ohm"Seventy 80"
T5606Rocket 50Ceramic8 Ohm"Rocket 50"
T5610Rocket 50Ceramic16 Ohm"Rocket 50"
T5658G12 EVHCeramic8 Ohm20w
T5670G12 EVHCeramic16 Ohm20w
T5731G12V-30Ceramic16 Ohm Dave Mustaine model
T5797G12 50GLCeramic8 Ohm50w "Lynchback"
T5864G12M-65Ceramic8 Ohm65 watt Creamback
T5871G12M-65Ceramic16 Ohm65 watt Creamback
T5890G12H-75Ceramic8 Ohm75 watt Creamback
T5891G12H-75Ceramic16 Ohm75 watt Creamback
T5901G12 V-typeCeramic8 Ohm70 watt
T5906G12 V-typeCeramic16 Ohm70 watt
T5924G12-35XCCeramic8 Ohm35 watt - "Pulsonic"

Follow:

Vintage Celestion Greenback Models

Vintage Celestion Greenback Models

Quick links to models mentioned on this page:

G12HG12MG12S
T1134T1221T1417
T1217T1220T1416
T1234T1511T1440
T1279T1871T1449
T1281T1977T1517
T1460T2114
T1534T2168
T1862
T1886
T1976
T2115

Alnico models are now here.

The T-number reference list is now here.

Greenback Speakers – An Overview

Ceramic speakers (aka ‘greenbacks’) first appear around late 1964 to early 1965. They have a slightly more aggressive tone compared to the alnico magnet speakers. Amp manufacturers switched to ceramic speakers, mainly because they were cheaper than alnicos, but they also proved to be a perfect match for the edgy, over-driven guitar sound that was emerging at the time, think Cream era Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix.

Magnet Sizes

The ceramic magnets used on Celestion guitar speakers came in four main sizes. The larger magnets have a higher power handling because they can absorb more heat.

  • G12H – Heavy magnet (50oz) – rated 30w or 25w depending when made*
  • G12M – Medium magnet (35oz) – 5 watts less power handling than G12H
  • G12S – Small magnet (28oz) – 5 watts less power handling than G12M
  • G12L – Light magnet (20oz) – 5 watts less power handling than G12S

Generally speaking, the bigger the magnet, the louder and bigger the sound will be. The G12H and G12M speakers are the most popular models.

*Power handling increased by 5 watts around late 1967 due to a change in the design of the voice coils.

Speaker Models

Shown below are some of the most commonly found Celestion greenback models from the 1960’s & 1970’s.

Note – the speakers evolved through the years, so any small details shown such as the cone stamps, labels, and magnet covers, may be different depending on when the speaker was made.

T1134 (15 Ohm)

The T1134 model was probably the first ‘G12H’ speaker Celestion ever made.

According to the Celestion log book, it was first introduced in Nov 1964 and has an impedance of 10-12 Ohms. However, all the ones I have seen have been 15 Ohm.

They were mainly used by Selmer, probably as a successor to the T731 alnico, and they were then very quickly superceded by the T1217. So T1134 may have only had a production run of about 12 months or so. As such they are quite a rare speaker model.

They usually have pulsonic cones stamped H1777 or 003 with the welvic doping on both sides of the cone. Rated 25 watt, with the hammered/oyster paint finish to the chassis.

Notice the unusual solder terminals. The lead wires come through a pair of rubber grommets below and then upto the metal solder points above, very few Celestion guitar speakers were made like this. The change in chassis design is probably the only noticable difference between T1217 and T1134. The log book entry for T1217 does confirm this: “as T1134 but with new type pressure housing”.

T1221 (15 Ohm) & T1220 (8 Ohm)

T1221 is Celestion’s most legendary speaker – the classic G12M speaker with the 75Hz cone. Known simply as “the greenback” ever since its reissue in the 80’s.

The T1221 was the stock speaker in Marshall lead guitar 4×12 cabinets (1960 model cabs) from the mid 1960’s up until the late 1970’s and was also used by many other brands at the time. As such it is an absolute classic speaker and can be heard on countless albums. Famously used by Angus Young and an important ingredient in Van Halen’s “brown sound”.

The date of entry into the Celestion log book is 6th May 1966 (see Michael Doyle – ‘History of Marshall’ book – p137), however they were definitely made earlier than this. Marshall were using them in 4×12 cabs by late 1965, and I once owned one dated March 1965.

After a few years of non-production in the 1980’s (what were they thinking?) Celestion re-issued this speaker in the late 1980’s and they are still making them today. Now available as 20w heritage reissue (also re-labelled as EVH), or the standard 25w model.

A popular speaker with classic rock and blues guitarists. The tone is often described as ‘woody’. This is a tighter sounding speaker than the G12H and compresses nicely when pushed hard enough, with a warm and ‘juicy’ sounding mid-range, and a little more character to the tone than the G12H.

Other variants include the T2168, which is the same as the T1221 but without the plastic magnet cover.

Early Features:

The T1221 went through a lot of changes through the years. The first speakers were rated 20w and had no doping at all on the cones, really great sounding speakers and it is very rare to find those first ones nowadays.

Over time Celestion made small changes to the specification, probably to make the speaker more durable. This included; more doping on the cone edge, and increased power handling. As a result the speaker had more warmth and loudness, but at the cost of other desirable traits such as responsiveness and clarity (in my opinion).

T1217 (15 Ohm) & T1234 (8 Ohm)

T1217 is easily the most common G12H model from the 70’s. It was the stock speaker with many UK brands in the 1970’s, such as Orange and Carlsbro, with Marshall being the notable exception.

Very nice sounding speakers – louder than the G12M and more ‘boomy’, but less compressed and more fluid. Strong in the upper mid range.

Note – if you do find a set of T1217 in an old Marshall cab, there is a good chance they are non original, or worse – fakes, especially if they have white Marshall labels on the back.

Similar speakers are the T1862; as T1234 but no plastic cover, and T1279; as T1234 but with the VOX/JMI colouration and label

Early features:

T1217 was entered into the Celestion log book on 6th May 1966, however I have owned several examples earlier than this, and I know they date back to at least Feb 66 (see photo below). Originally they looked very similar to the T1134 with just the gold Rola Thames Ditton labels on the back, but with the standard solder terminals. The familiar green covers appear very soon after this around March / April 66.

A very early T1217 speaker made Feb 1966

A very early T1217 speaker made 10th Feb 1966

The first T1217’s were rated 25 watts and had welvic doping on both sides of the cone. The doping on the back of the cone was phased out around late 67, roughly the same time the voice coils were upgraded by 5 watts.

T1281 & T1534 (16 Ohm) & T1460 (8 Ohm)

I am including T1281 and T1534 together here because they are basically the same speaker. According to ‘dr.decibel’ at Celestion.com, the T1281 is the Marshall labelled version, and T1534 is the standard Celestion label version. These are the G12H speakers with 55Hz cones.

The T1281 first appears around October 1966, and was an exclusive model to Marshall. They were used in the 100 logo 4×12 cabs (model 1982). It is regarded by many as “the Hendrix speaker” because he can clearly be seen using these cabs in old footage.

Loud and bassy, with the thick sounding lower mids. Also used by countless other pioneering guitarists back in the 60’s such as Jimmy Page and Ritchie Blackmore. The T1281 is probably the most sought after greenback model of them all!

Early Features:

The original T1281 was a 25w speaker with the white voice coil fomer and the pulsonic cone usually stamped ‘SP444’. Like most G12H of the period it also came with the welvic doping on both sides of the cone.

Quite a different sounding speaker to the more commonly seen 30w version made late 67 onwards. They are tighter sounding and less boomy. It is this 25w version that Jimi Hendrix was likely to be using in his iconic tall pinstripe Marshall stacks, most notably during his legendary Monterey performance in June 1967.

Very rare speakers to find in usable condition thesedays. Surprisingly, Celestion have never reissued this classic 25w G12H used by Hendrix. Come on guys!

T1511 (16 Ohm)

T1511 is the 55hz version of the G12M speaker. It was the stock speaker in Marshall bass cabs (model 1935) from around mid 1967 until the very late 1970’s. They were not exclusive to Marshall as I had originally thought, but are pretty rare to find in anything other than Marshall.

Notice the wide band of doping on the front edge of the cone compared with the T1221.

Note – Pre-rola speakers always have 75hz printed on the labels, and this applies to all 55hz speaker models, not just the T1511. Always look for the white ‘102 014’ stamp on the cone and this verifies that it is the 55Hz cone. Only the later ‘Rola Ipswich’ labels have 55hz printed on them.

T1511 was designed for bass but is a popular speaker with guitar players due to the different tonal characteristics compared with the T1221. It has less mid-range, and more of a scooped tone.

This is another classic speaker crying out to be reissued.

T1417 (16 Ohm) & T1416 (8 Ohm)

T1417 is the most commonly found ‘G12S’ model. It was used in various PA cabs and 1×12 combos in the 1970’s, and is apparently dr.decibel’s favourite speaker.

The G12S range are very mis-understood and under-valued speakers in my opinion. They are excellent speakers.

The T1417 is basically the same speaker as the T1221 G12M apart from the 7oz smaller magnet. It has a little less bass, and a little less volume, with a slightly warmer mid range. Ideal for playing at home or smaller venues.

‘Pre-rola’ period speakers can be identified by the small red sticker in the center of the magnet (see first photo).

T1517 is a similar speaker often found in Selmer gear and usually has a G12M sized plastic magnet cover.

T1976 (16 Ohm)

T1976 is a G12H model often found in old Laney supergroup, Laney klipp, and Dan Armstrong cabinets. It has a 75Hz cone but has a silver dust cap and a four ridge spider support.

The four ridge spider is made from a softer material than the 6 ridge spider found on most other guitar speakers. It allows for more cone movement and this results in a louder speaker, with a looser feel.

Later speakers have a slightly different dustcap with a small black circular mesh in the center.

T1977 (16 Ohm)

Quite a rare speaker model. G12M magnet with the low resonance 444 cone and silver cap. 50Hz bass resonance on the label.

T1886 (16 Ohm)

Quite a scarce G12H model with 55Hz cone and four ridge spider. Usually found in Marshall ‘Artiste’ combo amplifiers from the early 70’s. By the late 70’s they found their way into certain 4×12, and 2×12 Marshall cabs, usually Artiste or bass cabs.

T1886 sounds looser with more fluidity compared to the T1281, perhaps better suited to bass than guitar.

These have a different cone stamp to most other Celestion models. Expect a ‘102/30’ stamp or just a single ‘5’ on pulsonic cone speakers, and ‘5011’ or ‘1105’ on blackback period speakers.

T1871 (8 Ohm)

The T1871 is an 8 Ohm G12M speaker with 55Hz cone, similar to a T1511, but has the softer four ridge spider. Resulting in a more ‘open’ tone and a little more volume. Very nice sounding speakers.

Apparently made as early as 1971, but definitely much more common during blackback era (late 70’s). Probably a speaker designed for Vox, as they seem to turn up in late 70’s AC30’s quite a lot.

The Celestion log book entry suggests they were aiming for the Jensen sound: “SA3422 coil, SP444 cone, SP651 susp, res 50 max to match Jensen 1 1/2″ coil

T1440 (16 Ohm)

T1440 are probably my favourite Celestion speaker model, partly due to their rarity, but mainly because they just sound so awesome! These are a G12S model with 55Hz cone, and have just a thin band of doping at the cone edge.

They are punchy sounding speakers, with tight bass and clear highs, without the warmth and strong mids of the T1417. Try a pair of these with a 20w or 18w amp and crank that sucker!

‘Pre-rola’ period speakers usually come with a G12M magnet cover and the label ammended with a little red ‘S’ sticker. Another example of Celestion being short of labels during the 60’s.

A similar model is the T1449 which is basically the same speaker as far as I can tell. The Celestion log book entry for T1449 mentions a change in the doping, but having owned both models I could not see or hear a difference between them.

T2115 (8 Ohm)

An 8 ohm G12H model with silver dust cap and 75Hz cone. Often found in front loading ‘Maine’ cabinets and combos. Most commonly found as blackbacks from the late 70’s, and as such the cone is typically the ‘1777’ stamped Kurt Mueller.

T2114 is a similar speaker with an M sized magnet.

Follow:

The History Of Celestion

The History Of Celestion

Early Beginnings

In 1924 Cyril French set up a small business to manufacture loudspeakers, helping Eric Mackintosh improve his invention – one of the earliest cone loudspeakers.

French and two of his brothers, Leonard and Edgar, created ‘The Electrical Manufacturing and Plating Company’ at 29 High Street, Hampton Wick.

Amidst great excitement, French and Mackintosh perfected the loudspeaker design, and patents were issued for their ‘free-vibrating edge’, and ‘clamped edge’ designs.

The Celestion loud speaker was launched early in 1925 and was favourably reviewed by ‘Popular Wireless’ as “a high-class instrument capable of high-class perfomances”.

In 1927 – The Celestion Radio Co and Celestion Ltd were formed; The company’s motto, and for many years to follow, was “The Very Soul of Music”.

Through the late 1920’s Celestion enjoyed a burgeoning trade, and in 1929 moved to larger scale premises at 145 London Road, Kingston-upon-Thames.

The 1930’s

Celestion was moving in both the mechanical and electrical spheres of the home entertainment industry, offering luxurious gramophone models. They even issued a separate catalogue for ships, which included gramophones, band repeater equipment and reproducers.

French and Eric Mackintosh both left Celestion in the early 1930’s. The reason for this is not clear, but there is evidence to suggest that Cyril French was a hard taskmaster.

In 1935 the worldwide recession hit Celestion badly, and the first ‘boom’ era came to an abrupt end. Cyril French resigned from the board of Celestion Ltd and returned to the old site at Hampton Wick to operate as sole wholesale and retail distributor of Celestion products in Great Britain

The market for speakers shifted from the large separate units to small speakers fitted inside the radios themselves.

The British Rola Company, an offshoot of the Rola Company of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, had been making very similar products at Minerva Road, Park Royal, London NW10 since 1934.

The 1940s

During World War 2 (Sept 1939 to Sept 1945), both Celestion and British Rola were restricted to the manufacture of one type of loudspeaker, the utility “W” type. British Rola made theirs at Ferry Works, Summer Road, Thames Ditton, while Celestion made theirs at the Kingston factory.

The British Rola factory at Thames Ditton was virtually self-sufficient, producing cones, suspensions, voice coils and transformers ‘in-house’.

The Thames Ditton factory

The Thames Ditton factory

After the war, the hard winter and fuel crisis of 1947 caused havoc and production was incredibly slow at both companies.

British Rola acquired Celestion Ltd in April 1947, and together they covered practically the entire export loudspeaker business.

During July 1948, Celestion ceased production at Kingston-upon-Thames, and production machinery and personnel moved to Thames Ditton as a consolidation of the two companies. The company title became Rola Celestion Ltd, and ‘Celestion’ was adopted and registered as the trade mark for the company’s product.

As the market for television grew, so did the need for speakers and the Thames Ditton production lines were fully engaged meeting the manufacturers’ deadlines.

In 1949 another change in fortune came about when Rola Celestion was acquired by Truvox, a company based in Wembley and well known for its Public Address loudspeakers and systems.

The new Company was now owned and chaired by Mr.D.D.Prenn and the Head Office situated at Mount Street, London. Technical Director Arthur Young was resident at Thames Ditton. This brought the Public Address loudspeaker systems into the Celestion range, where they were further developed.

The 1950s

During this time a number of diverse alternate production lines were tried, including a pre-Christmas production of toy ducks! A more logical diversion was that of a moving coil microphone. Loudspeaker production at this time was about 30,000 to 35,000 units per week.

This era gave birth to the stereophonic long playing record and as the taste for high fidelity increased, so did the demand for even better sound and stereo.

The 1960s

The burgeoning market for live, amplified music gave rise to the enormous success of the G12, which eventually achieved fame as the guitar loudspeaker used in the Vox AC30 used by the Beatles and many of their contemporaries.

With their ears continually to the ground and their eyes on the market, the Thames Ditton design and engineering staff produced in 1964 what was to be the first of many notable Celestion hi-fi loudspeaker designs.

Utilising the name of its birthplace, the Ditton 10 was launched at a critical time when it satisfied overnight a demand that hitherto had been frustrated. Offering the best possible audio quality from its bookshelf size, it was highly commended for its bass response, a quality that the pundits had always maintained could only be achieved with a large and heavy enclosure.

The Ditton 15 made its appearance during 1966, and was eagerly sought after by the now stereo conscious public. It became the biggest selling bookshelf loudspeaker of its time.

In 1968, as the demand for Ditton loudspeakers mounted, production became a problem at the Thames Ditton factory and it was decided that a new location at Foxhall Road, Ipswich was required as an expansion of the present site.

New buildings were constructed, existing ones modified and the nucleus of a work force recruited using ex-Thames Ditton supervisory staff to train the new employees. Production began in Ipswich in late December 1968.

The Ipswich factory

The Ipswich factory

First into manufacture at the new Ditton Works, Ipswich, so named to perpetuate the original site, were the 12″ Power loudspeakers of the G12 type. In the early days supply and distribution raised many problems as a vehicle was despatched early each morning from Ipswich to make the 90 mile run through London to Thames Ditton, carrying the previous day’s production. It then loaded and returned by the same route, carrying back essential components for the next day’s production, enabling the supervisor, charge hand and twelve ladies to meet their schedule.

As the weeks passed the interior of the Ipswich works began to house more and more sophisticated production machinery and more staff were engaged to operate the lines, which were now able to relieve the problems at Thames Ditton in the supply of domestic speakers to the manufacturers.

The 1970s

In 1970 Rola Celestion was brought together with a publicly-quoted clothing company and the holding company created was named Celestion Industries plc.

Due to increasing demand for high fidelity stereo cabinet systems, further expansion took place with the acquisition of a modern assembly plant on the Hadleigh Road Trading Estate on the other side of Ipswich.

Ditton Works now concentrated on the manufacture in all aspects of hi-fi component units, Power Range loudspeakers and units in the Public Address sector.

1974 – With the surge of interest in hi-fi from the general public, staffing levels reached a peak in January 1974 with a total of 907 employees at the two sites in Ipswich and at Thames Ditton, some of these working night shifts. Distribution was now wholly carried out from Ipswich by a new fleet of company vehicles. The Thames Ditton factory was gradually run down, eventually closing altogether in 1975.

1977 – On 20th January 1977 Chairman Mr.D.D.Prenn announced the creation of overseas subsidiaries in France (September 1976), West Germany (October 1976) and U.S.A. (February 1977).

1979 – The increasingly international nature of the company’s business led in 1979 to the adoption of the name Celestion International as a corporate identity for the parent company and all major overseas subsidiaries.

The 1980s

In 1980, Celestion’s continued investment in technology bore fruit behind the scenes of loudspeaker design. An instrument was developed that uses laser light to scan a diaphragm and produce moving ‘microscope’ pictures on a computer screen. This system taught Celestion’s designers hitherto unknown subtleties of loudspeaker design, many of which remain trade secrets to this day.

The Hadleigh Road site had been closed down in the early 1980s and resources concentrated at Foxhall Road.

In 1984 – the Sidewinder range of guitar speakers were unveiled. These were endowed with a special edgewound aluminium voice coil – a process developed to maximise the ratio of motor strength to mass which resulted in very high efficiency designs.

The 1990s

In 1992 Celestion International Ltd. was sold, as a separate entity from the clothing division, to Kinergetics Holdings (UK) Ltd., a holding company whose majority shareholder is Gold Peak of Hong Kong.

The 2000s

2003 – the Celestion and KEF manufacturing operations are united under the banner of KH Manufacturing Ltd. while Celestion International Limited continues the tradition begun by Cyril French and Eric Mackintosh over 70 years ago – the research, development, sales and marketing of loudspeakers of the highest quality.

Adapted from a Celestion website article published Dec 2003.

Follow:

Back To Front Celestion Date Codes

Back To Front Celestion Date Codes

Celestion occasionally printed their date codes with the month and year back to front by mistake. A simple typo but it can be very misleading.

Year by year Celestion made small changes to their speakers, so an easy way to verify the date code is just to look at the visible features of the speaker. The most obvious ones being:

  • The colour of the magnet cover
  • The cone stamp
  • The location and general appearance of the date stamp
  • The label

If you can familiarise yourself with the transition periods for these details you will find it a lot easier to date your speakers accurately. My blog post ‘How To Date Celestion Greenbacks‘ has all the information you need, and I’ll be referring to it throughout this post.

Here are a few examples:

Creambacks

Celestion were mainly only using the cream coloured magnet covers from spring 1974 to mid 1975. So this is a really easy way to date your speakers.

Example 1

The date code ‘GM4’ on this speaker might appear to be July 1967 or July 1979. However, the general appearance of the speaker tells us it is a mid 1970’s speaker, and therefore we know the date code is back to front and should be ‘MG4’ – 4th Dec 1974.

Some of the visible features that indicate this are:

  • The cream magnet cover – found spring 1974 to mid 1975
  • The 0444 cone stamp – found late 1974 to mid 1975
  • The inspection letter (‘X’ on this speaker) – found 1969 to 1976

…and there are a few more smaller details that I won’t bore you with.

We can also consider the features of the other contenders. A speaker from July 1967 would be a 20w pre-rola greenback with the date code printed on the front gasket. A speaker from July 1979 would be a ‘blackback’ with no inspection character in the date code and a 444 stamped Kurt Mueller cone. All very different looking speakers.

This stuff might sound complicated but it really isn’t, once you become a bit more familiar with the little changes Celestion made through the years.

Pre-Rola Greenbacks

Thankfully, most pre-rola speakers do not have back to front date stamps, however watch out for them around late 69. This does seem to be a bit of a hotspot for them.

Example

The date code ‘BK’ here represents Oct 1969. Not Feb 1965 or Feb 1977.

We know the speaker is from 1969 just by the general appearance of it. Here are a few of the main indicators:

  • Green magnet cover – typical from 1966 to 1973
  • The 25w 16 Ohm G12M pre-rola label – typical from late 1968 to spring 1971
  • The 102 003 pulsonic cone stamp – typical from 1968 to spring 1971
  • The added inspection letter – typical from 1969 to 1976

Feb 1965 is before the T1221 was even being made to my knowledge.

Feb 1977 would be a very different looking speaker – a ‘blackback’ with a Rola Ipswich label, and a ‘1777’ stamped Kurt Mueller cone.

1972 vs 1973

Speakers made in 1972 with date codes seemingly from 1973 are fairly common. Granted it is not the end of the world if you are only out by one year, but lets have a closer look:

Example

This speaker was made June 1972, not May 1973, and should be printed ‘FE’, not ‘EF’. How do we know that?

  • 102 3 cone stamp – typical from April 1971 to around Feb 1973
  • The day of the month omitted from the date code – typical from Dec 71 through to Sept 72
  • Smooth paint finish to the chassis – typical until Oct 1972

For direct comparison here is a typical greenback speaker from mid 1973. Spot the difference.

  • ‘3’ cone stamp – typical from Feb 1973 to Aug 1973
  • Day of the month included in the date stamp
  • ‘Hammered’ paint finish to the chassis – typical from Oct 1972 onwards

As I said earlier, this stuff might sound complicated but it really isn’t. You will pick it up fairly quickly just with a bit of experience. Also check out ‘How To Date Celestion Greenbacks‘ to learn about the most obvious features.

Follow:

1950’s Celestion Alnico Speakers

1950’s Celestion Alnico Speakers

Very little seems to be known about the alnico G12 speakers from the 1940’s and 1950’s. Examples do turn up online from time to time, and I’ll share some of the ones I have seen here.

Every speaker is a piece of the jigsaw, so if you have any really old Celestion or Rola G12 speakers, especially B024 or B025 model, that you would like to contibute to this page then please email me, and I will update it and share the info.

*Big thanks to everyone who has donated information and photos so far*

Pre-1956 Date Codes

We already know from existing date code charts that the year code for 1956 is the letter A. I think it is safe to assume that Celestion were using the same A to M cycle before 1956. So working right back to the letter A would give us the table shown below.

MonthYear
A = JanA = 1944
B = FebB = 1945
C = MarC = 1946
D = AprD = 1947
E = MayE = 1948
F = JunF = 1949
G= JulG = 1950
H= AugH = 1951
I/J = SepI/J = 1952
K = OctK = 1953
L = NovL = 1954
M = DecM = 1955

For example “09EF” would be 9th May 1949.

The date codes were printed on the outer rim of the metal chassis, at least until Feb 1951 (H year code), then on the front gasket from at least April 1952 onwards (I/J year code).

The months codes went from A to M, skipping the I. Any instances of the letter I are typos and should be a letter J.

Jan 1965 speaker with the letter 'I' typo

Jan 1964 speaker with the letter ‘I’ typo

Speaker Models

The ‘P44’

The Celestion P44 (model number 1335) is a 10w alnico speaker with 3 Ohm impedance and 1.5″ voice coil. Although these speakers are similar in appearance to guitar speakers I would not recommend using them for guitar, they were built for use in radiograms and other audio equipment.

The Celestion brochure for the P44 describes it as “a lightweight, relatively inexpensive speaker possessing the full bodied bass response normally associated with more costly 12″ speakers, together with a particularly clean and smooth upper register. This model can advantageously replace a 10″ speaker in most radiogram applications”

The 27LH date stamp on this P44 may indicate 27th Nov 1951. It was sold on UK ebay recently with another speaker dated 19MF, which could take production of these speakers back to December 1949.

Notice the ‘POB’ cone stamp, which was probably a cone made in house at the Thames Ditton factory – similar to the ‘RIC’ stamped cones. The date stamp and circular inspection stamp are printed on the rim of the metal chassis.

Here we have a later P44 in excellent condition. The ’27DK’ date stamp on this speaker translates as 27th April 1965. Notice the cone is now a pulsonic with 9/830/00 stamp. The date stamp and circular inspection stamp are printed on the front gasket instead of on the metal rim.

The ‘P74’

The celestion P74, model number 1772. Supposedly a higher powered version of the P44, and probably rated at 12 watts. The ribbed cone and larger magnet probably make these a better choice for guitar players than the P44.

The MG date code printed on the outer rim could be translated as Dec 1950.

Model ‘1478’

Here is a very early G12 speaker model 1478, possibly a P74, still carrying the old motto “The Very Soul of Music”. Notice both the model number and date stamp are printed on the outer rim of the chassis. The cone stamp is barely readable.

The 25DF date stamp could indicate it was made on 25th April 1949.



The evolution of the Alnico G12 – model B024 / B025

B025 is a 15 Ohm speaker, and B024 is an 8 Ohm speaker. They are 12 watt speakers originally designed for audio, so are not strictly speaking guitar speakers, but they were used in some early guitar amplifiers.

Shown below are a few examples that have turned up in recent years.

1950

This B025 model speaker turned up on UK ebay a while ago. Notice the model number (B025), date code (30CG), and circular quality control stamp are all stamped on the rim of the metal chassis. The magnet has four small nuts at the top, not the large slot head screws found on later speakers. The 30CG date stamp could translate as 30th March 1950.

1951

A slightly later speaker. The date stamp 26BH could indicate 26th Feb 1951. Notice the Rola label, and the additional C in the cone stamp. ‘RCIC’, instead of ‘RIC’.

The date stamp is still printed on the rim of the metal chassis.

1952

Date stamp now on the front gasket. The HJ date code could indicate August 1952. RIC cone stamp.

1954

04LL could be translated as 4th November 1954. Date stamp on the front gasket of the speaker, notice the circular quality control stamp is still on the rim of the frame. Rola label.

1955

A very similar speaker to the previous one with Rola label. The date stamp 13GM could be translated as 13th July 1955. This speaker also has a RIC1 cone.

1959

01DD translates as 1st April 1959. Notice the magnet now has the large slot head bolts in the back. Unfortunately we dont know if this speaker had a Rola label or a Celestion label. The circular inspection stamp still on the rim of the speaker.

1962

Here we have a B025 from 11th April 1962, now with the Celestion logo on the label instead of Rola. Both the date stamp and the circular quality control stamp are on the front gasket. Large slot head bolts in the back of the magnet.

1963

A similar B024 speaker dated Jan 1963. Celestion now using pulsonic cones. The owner of this speaker has since been in touch with me and confirmed it has the H1777 stamp.

1965

A model B025 dated July 1965, also with the pulsonic H1777 stamped cone. The most recent B025 speaker I have seen and possibly one of the last ones to be made.

Follow:

How To Date Vintage Celestion Greenbacks

How To Date Vintage Celestion Greenbacks

Production Dates

If you are trying to date an old greenback we can immediately narrow the possibilities down to between 1965 to 1980 because this is the only time they were being made (1964 and 1981 are possible, but very unlikely). No more of this 1956 nonsense please! The first reissue greenbacks came out in the late 1980’s – I will not be mentioning those here.

Shown below are some of the most obvious features through the years, and should help you to date your speakers more accurately.

Note – any dates mentioned are mostly based on the T1221 model and should be used as rough guidance only, transitional overlaps should be expected.

Magnet Covers

The colour of the magnet cover gives us an approximate date range for when the speaker was made.

  1. No cover (with Rola Thames Ditton label) = mid 64 to early 66
  2. Green = Jan 66 to Aug 73
  3. Grey = Aug 73 to Apr 74
  4. Cream = Apr 74 to Apr 75
  5. Black = Apr 75 to 80

Date Code Location & Appearance

Through the years Celestion moved the location of the date stamp and altered its appearance:

  1. Printed on the front gasket = 52 to Mar 68
  2. Printed horizontally on the frame leg = Apr 68 to Dec 68
  3. Printed vertically on the frame leg = Jan 69 onwards
  4. Additional inspection letter included = Jan 69 to Sep 73, & Sep 74 to Sep 76.
  5. Day of the month missing = Dec 71 to Sep 72

Labels

  1. Rola Thames Ditton labels = mid 64 to early 66
  2. “Pre-rola” 15 Ohm labels = Jan 66 to Apr 68
  3. “Pre-rola” 15 Ohm labels with “5w more” sticker = Apr 68 to Aug 68
  4. “Pre-rola” 16 Ohm labels = Aug 68 to Apr 71
  5. “Transitional” Rola Ipswich labels (no speaker symbol) = Apr 71 to Dec 71
  6. Rola Ipswich labels = Jan 72 to 80

Chassis types

  1. The ‘1 tab’ chassis (no solder terminal cutouts) = pre July 1969 (inclusive)
  2. The ‘4 tab’ chassis (with solder terminal cutouts) = post July 1969 (inclusive)

Paint finish

    1. Smooth paint = standard on most greenback models from 1964 to Sep 72
    2. Hammered paint = standard on most greenback models from Oct 72 onwards, but can be found on some earlier models such as T1134.

Cone stamps

75Hz stamps55Hz stamps
'H1777' or '**/H1777'mid 1962 to 1966'SP444' or '**/SP444'1966 to 1967
'003' or '**/003'mid 1966'014' or '**/014'mid 1966
'**/102/003'mid 1962 to 1967'**/102/014'1966 to 1967
'** 102 003'mid 1962 to Apr 1971'** 102 014'1966 to mid 1971
'102/3' or '102 3'Apr 1971 to Apr 1973'102/14' or '102 14'Apr 1971 to mid 1973
3Apr 1973 to Apr 1974'102/30' or '102 30'Apr 1971 to mid 1973
1777Apr 1973 onwards4Apr 1973 to Apr 1974
RIC***Aug 1973 to Apr 19755Apr 1973 to Apr 1974
98700May 1974 to Jun 19740444Aug 1974 to Apr 1975
444Late 1975 onwards
RIC***Aug 1973 to Apr 1975
1105 or 50111976 to 1980
'**' = a variable two digit number said to represent the week of the year the cone was made
'***' = a variable three digit code with unknown meaning

Follow:

Celestion Date Codes

Celestion Date Codes
MONTH

1944 - 1955
[DDMY]
1956 - 1968
[DDMY]
1969 - 1991
[MYDD]
1991 - 2014
[DDMY]
2015 - 2020
[MYDD]
A - JanA - 1944A - 1956B - 1969A - 1991A - 2015ah
B - FebB - 1945B - 1957C - 1970B - 1992B - 2016ah
C - MarC - 1946C - 1958D - 1971C - 1993C - 2017ah
D - AprD - 1947D - 1959E - 1972D - 1994aD - 2018ah
E - MayE - 1948E - 1960F - 1973E - 1995aE - 2019ah
F - JunF - 1949F - 1961G - 1974F - 1996aF - 2020ah
G - JulG - 1950G - 1962H - 1975G - 1997a
H - AugH - 1951H - 1963I/J - 1976H - 1998a
I/J - SepI/J - 1952I/J - 1964K - 1977I/J - 1999a
K - OctK - 1953K - 1965L - 1978K - 2000a
L - NovL - 1954L - 1966M - 1979L - 2001a
M - DecM - 1955M - 1967N - 1980M - 2002a
A - 1968*P - 1981N - 2003a
Stamp locations:Q - 1982P - 2004a
Green = chassis rimR - 1983Q - 2005ah
Yellow = front gasketS - 1984R - 2006ah
Blue = chassis legT - 1985S - 2007ah
Purple = magnet stickerU - 1986T - 2008ah
V - 1987U - 2009ah
Speaker models:W - 1988V - 2010ah
a = Modern alnico modelsX - 1989W - 2011ah
h = Heritage modelsY - 1990X - 2012ah
Z - 1991Y - 2013ah
*Transition from front gasket to chassis = April 1968Z - 2014ah

How To Date Your Speaker

Step 1 – Check The Stamp Location

The location of the date stamp tells us the most likely date range the speaker was made:

  • On the chassis rim = 1944 to 1951
  • On the front gasket = 1952 to March 1968 (& modern alnicos 1994 to present)
  • On the chassis leg = April 1968 to 1999 (& heritage series 2005 to present)
  • On a magnet sticker = 2000 to present

Note: On rare occasions you may find some chassis leg period date stamps printed on the chassis rim instead. Unfortunately Celestion were never completely consistent with their date stamping.

Step 2 – Decipher The Date Code

All Celestion date codes contain a pair of letters representing the month and year the speaker was made. In most cases the first letter represents the month, and the second letter represents the year.

To date your speaker, simply find the pair of letters in your date code and use the chart at the top of the page to decipher them. Use the stamp location colour codes to guide you.

Note: Be careful of date stamps printed in reverse (year then month). These are generally rare but are fairly common on mid 1970’s creambacks.

A number directly next to the pair of letters, if present, is the day of the month. So ‘GB17’ on the photo above = 17th July 1969 (ignore the ‘Y’).

It’s that simple!

More example date stamps are shown further down the page.

What About The Stamp Format?

You might have read on older websites to use the stamp format to date your speakers.

Although the stamp formats can be useful for verification, I do not recommend using them as the main basis for dating your speakers. The truth is, a lot of date stamps do not correspond with those formats and this confuses a lot of people.

'LB' on the metal frame = Nov 1969

Both of these speakers were made Nov 1969.

However, if you are ‘old school’ and still want to use the stamp formats I have included them in the year column headers on the chart.

Other Markings

An extra single letter is apparently just an ‘inspection letter’ and can be ignored. However, for dating purposes – they are only usually present on speakers made between 1969 to 1976. From 1986 onwards a two digit number is used instead.

The code beginning with the letter ‘T’ is the model number of the speaker. For example ‘T1281’ represents a 55Hz 16 Ohm G12H.

The small circular stamp with ‘insp’ text or a letter ‘P’ inside it, is a quality control stamp. This is an important stamp to look for to authenticate old ‘pre-rola’ speakers.

Example date codes through the years

1944 to 1951

01MG = 1st December 1950

01MG = 1st December 1950

Date stamps are usually printed on the outer rim of the chassis and consist of 4 digits only.

Note: You might read elsewhere that the month codes changed in 1963. This is incorrect – they always went from A to M, skipping the letter ‘I’.  If you do ever find a letter ‘I’ in a Celestion date code it is just a typo and should be a letter ‘J’.

1952 to Spring 1966

06CK = 6th March 1965

06CK = 6th March 1965

Date stamps are usually stamped on the front gasket of the speaker. Notice the large font size and white manilla paper gasket. A leading zero is used for single digit numbers.

The font size is reduced from around mid 1965 onwards.

Spring 1966 to March 1968

07ML = 7th December 1966

07ML = 7th December 1966

The gasket material is made from cork with a thin paper overlay and is made up of 4 separate pieces. Date stamp is still on the front gasket but with a smaller font size.

Fake date stamps

Fake: 29HM = 29th August 1967

Fake: 29HM = 29th August 1967

Any greenback speakers with pre-April 1968 date stamps printed on the chassis leg are likely to be fakes. Genuine stamps would be on the front gasket (as in the previous photo above) until April 1968.

April 1968 to December 1968

26JA = 26th September 1968

26JA = 26th September 1968

Date stamps are printed horizontally on the frame. The faint ink can sometimes make them difficult to read. Occasionally they might be printed on the outer rim.

Note: The typical stamp format for 1968 is DDMY, not MYDD as stated on other websites.

1969 to 1985

DC1 = 1st April 1970. Inspection letter X.

DC1 = 1st April 1970. Inspection letter X.

Date stamps are printed vertically on the frame, and leading zeros are usually omitted from the day of the month.

From Jan 69 to Aug 73, and from Sep 74 to Sep 76, an additional inspection letter is usually included. These can be ignored for dating purposes.

Dec 1971 to Sep 1972

JE = Sept 1972. Inspection letter V

JE = Sept 1972. Inspection letter V

From Dec 71 to Sep 72 the day of the month was omitted.

1986

HU26 = 26th August 1986. Inspection number 20.

HU26 = 26th August 1986. Inspection number 20.

From 1986 onwards a two digit inspection number is usually included. These can be ignored for dating purposes.

1987 to 1991

MV1 = 1st December 1987. (T)3576 = G12M-70. Inspection Number 19.

MV1 = 1st December 1987. (T)3576 = G12M-70. Inspection Number 19.

From around 1987 onwards the date stamp, speaker model, and inspection number are joined together in one continuous line. The letter ‘T’ prefix is sometimes omitted from the speaker model.

Standard models – 1991 to 2000, and all ‘Heritage’ models

17KF = 17th October 1996. T3760 = G12T-75. Inspection Number 22.

17KF = 17th October 1996. T3760 = G12T-75. Inspection Number 22.

Date stamps are printed on the leg of the chassis.

Alnico models – 1994 to present day

20BY = 20th February 2013. T4427 = Alnico Blue reissue.

20BY = 20th February 2013. T4427 = Alnico Blue reissue.

Date stamps are printed on the front gasket and may include the model number and inspection number.

Standard production models – 2000 to present

27FN = 27th June 2003

27FN = 27th June 2003

Date stamps are printed on a magnet sticker and go back to the simple 4 digit system.

Follow: