Give your rig new life and personality with a speaker makeover.

If you’re after a sound refresh, don’t give up on your amp right away. Swapping in a replacement speaker(s) might be exactly what you need to achieve the sound in your head. Here are just 10 of the numerous medium-power 12" alnico options out there

P12Q

This 40-watt speaker was designed to offer a warm, mid-focused bite with clear and bright highs, and remain well balanced when presented with overdrive.

JENSEN
$155

Gold

Intended to recreate the sonic signature of a well-played-in original speaker, the 50-watt Gold is reported to offer a rounded low-end, bell-like highs, and a laid-back attack.

CELESTION
$289

Alnico Red

Favored by several notable players, this 50-watt speaker was designed to provide ample headroom, solid bottom end, and silky rolled-off highs.

TONE TUBBY
$269

EJ-1240

Designed with help from guitarist Eric Johnson, these 40-watt speakers boast a reformulated paper cone and optimized basket design to aid in delivering vintage-sounding alnico tone.

EMINENCE
$269

12A125S

These wallet-friendly, 30-watt replacement speakers are designed to deliver warm tone that’s not too bass-y, a mellow top end, and a less immediate attack than other speakers.

WEBER
$113

BlackHawk Alnico

Designed to offer pristine top end, tight mids, and ample warmth and bottom end, this 50-watt speaker is geared to be a solid option for upgrading a Vox AC30.

WGS
$239

Scumnico

Featuring a specially treated 75 Hz cone and 40-ounce magnet, this 30-watt speaker was designed to recreate the ’60s British tone of the Vox Silver Alnico.

SCUMBACK
$239

Ascension A60

Built to reveal the subtle nuances of a finely crafted tube amp by enhancing its signature voice, this 60-watt speaker boasts a shimmering top end and clear, distinct low end.

FANE ACOUSTICS
$295

A50

This 50-watt speaker features a quality Nomex voice-coil former and full-size 34-ounce magnet for vintage tone and bell-like chime.

AVATAR
$179

Black Beauty

Reported to deliver an untypically warm quality mostly associated with a ceramic magnet, this 30-watt speaker still provides shimmering highs for clean voicings that handle breakup well.

MOJOTONE
$219

A compact pedal format preamp designed to offer classic, natural bass tone with increased tonal control and extended headroom.

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In their corner, from left to right: Wilco’s Pat Sansone (guitars, keys, and more), drummer Glenn Kotche, Jeff Tweedy, bassist John Stirratt, guitarist Nels Cline, and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen.

Photo by Annabel Merhen

How Jeff Tweedy, Nels Cline, and Pat Sansone parlayed a songwriting hot streak, collective arrangements, live ensemble recording, and twangy tradition into the band’s new “American music album about America.”

Every artist who’s enjoyed some level of fame has had to deal with the parasocial effect—where audiences feel an overly intimate connection to an artist just from listening to their music. It can lead some listeners to believe they even have a personal relationship with the artist. I asked Jeff Tweedy what it feels like to be on the receiving end of that.

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Luthier Maegen Wells recalls the moment she fell in love with the archtop and how it changed her world.

The archtop guitar is one of the greatest loves of my life, and over time it’s become clear that our tale is perhaps an unlikely one. I showed up late to the archtop party, and it took a while to realize our pairing was atypical. I had no idea that I had fallen head-over-heels in love with everything about what’s commonly perceived as a “jazz guitar.” No clue whatsoever. And, to be honest, I kind of miss those days. But one can only hear the question, “Why do you want to build jazz guitars if you don’t play jazz?” so many times before starting to wonder what the hell everyone’s talking about.

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