On the face of it, the speaker in a guitar amp operates just like any other dynamic loudspeaker.The speaker cone is attached to a cylindrical coil of wire — the 'voice coil' — which sits in a narrow gap surrounded by a permanent magnet.If this seems a rather obvious point, ask yourself why the electric guitar signal sounds better through the amp's speaker than the speakers in your headphones or studio monitors, even though the latter are technically superior.As we are about to discover, while the basic operating principles might be the same, there is one crucial difference that sets guitar speakers apart from almost every other variety. Just recorded this comparison between Celestion speakers... Used a Gibson Les Paul, Friedman Smallbox and a isobox (Randall clone). We cannot deliver certain products outside mainland UK ( Details).The speakers in your headphones, hi-fi system, studio monitors or PA rig are designed to be as free as possible from distortion and tonal coloration, but in the case of a guitar speaker, these things are not just tolerated but actively encouraged.Just as the amplifier shapes, drives, compresses and colours the signal from the guitar, the speaker stamps its own indispensable personality on the sound.
"Designing guitar speakers is, in many ways, much more challenging than pro PA or hi-fi, because guitar speakers are so non-linear,” he says.When an electrical current passes through this coil, it becomes an electromagnet and, depending on the direction of the current, is attracted to or repelled by the permanent magnet.This moves the speaker cone back and forth, which in turn moves the air in front of it, creating sound waves."Hi-fi speakers are designed for linear operation mainly within what's called their 'pistonic band', the region where the speaker is moving in and out in linear fashion.Above that band, the speaker goes into 'break-up' — instead of the whole thing acting coherently like a pump or piston, little bits of the cone are all doing their own thing — but then you'd typically move that part of the signal over to, say, a mid-range driver or tweeter.