Don’t give up on your amp yet—a replacement speaker might be all it needs!

Before you retire an amp because the sound isn’t doing it for you, consider the component where so much of the magic happens: the speaker! A speaker swap can do wonders for a tired amp, so check out the five 12" ceramic drivers we’ve rounded up from a myriad of excellent options.

Raptor 100

Equally suitable for clean, crunchy, or lead tones, these speakers are said to offer vocal, rounded midrange, smooth top end, and a fat bass foundation.

JENSEN
$106

G12M-65 Creamback

If you’re looking for vintage sound, this speaker was originally developed in the mid ’60s and quickly adopted by players with aggressive blues-rock playing styles, from Hendrix to Page.

CELESTION
$145

CV-75

This 75-watt ceramic speaker taps into British-flavored tone with grunt and punch in the lows, warm and tailored mids, and clear, airy highs.

EMINENCE
$109

EVM12L Classic

These speakers incorporate a heavy-duty-cast frame for reduced low-frequency flex, provide 200 watts of power handling, and deliver classic, dark, and expressive tones.

ELECTRO-VOICE
$249

12VR16

Whether upgrading or repairing, these special-design 75-watt speakers are reported to sound much like a vintage Celestion, yet offer great value for a 12" replacement.

ELECTRO-HARMONIX
$45

It’s ok for a guitar to not sound like a guitar.

As much as we all love juicy, organic guitar tones, it can be just as inspiring to go the opposite way. Combining various modulation effects, envelope filters, oscillators, and more can result in sounds that owe more to Kraftwerk than Led Zeppelin.

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While Monolord has no shortage of the dark and heavy, guitarist and vocalist Thomas V Jäger comes at it from a perspective more common to pop songsmiths.

Photo by Chad Kelco

Melodies, hooks, clean tones, and no guitar solos. Are we sure this Elliott Smith fan fronts a doom-metal band? (We’re sure!)

Legend has it the name Monolord refers to a friend of the band with the same moniker who lost hearing in his left ear, and later said it didn’t matter if the band recorded anything in stereo, because he could not hear it anyway. It’s a funny, though slightly tragic, bit of backstory, but that handle is befitting in yet another, perhaps even more profound, way. Doom and stoner metal are arguably the torch-bearing subgenres for hard rock guitar players, and if any band seems to hold the keys to the castle at this moment, it’s Monolord.

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