Celestion Celebrates their 100th Anniversary with the Debut of the Celestion 100, a Special G12 Alnico Guitar Speaker, at NAMM 2024

Anaheim, CA (January 24, 2024) — At the 2024 NAMM Show, Celestion, the premier manufacturer of guitar and bass loudspeakers and pro audio drivers for sound reinforcement applications, kicks off the celebration of their 100th anniversary with the introduction of an artisanal, 12-inch speaker, the Celestion100. Paying tribute to Les Ward — Celestion’s chief engineer until 1979 — the Celestion 100 channels the legacy and tone of the Celestion’s G12 speakers from the late 1950s and early 1960s including the Alnico Blue, the first speaker ever purpose-built for the electric guitar.

By the late 1950s, it was clear that the popularity of rock and roll music was an unstoppable juggernaut. Since its central instrument was the electric guitar, and guitar players were crying out for more powerful amplifiers, Mr. Ward sought a design that could withstand the increased heat and vibration the guitar imposed upon a speaker in those newer, beefier amps. A strengthened version of the original G12, which began life as a general-purpose speaker meant for radios, was the fruit of his efforts. Further refinement produced the T530, also called the “Alnico Blue” because of its blue basket frame.

The Alnico Blue worked so well that it was installed in Vox AC15 and AC30 amplifiers (a favorite of The Beatles) which powered the British Beat invasion of the early 1960s. Its close sibling, the silver-framed T652 was adopted by Marshall, the amplifier brand most universally associated with heavy metal and British rock, soon afterwards becoming the original Celestion driver for legendary Marshall amps such as the 1962, aka the “Bluesbreaker.”

The G12 has long been the gift that keeps on giving; Celestion’s current product family includes many variations with frequency responses and power handling capacities tailored to different musical applications and genres. The new Celestion 100 sits at the head of this table, inspired by the unique tones of those early alnico speakers, not just the T530 and T652, and some of the earlier models too, including the much rarer B024 and CT3757. To achieve this, Celestion has formulated an all-new cone, benchmarking it against perfectly preserved vintage cones as development progressed. Edge treatment is thin and light, carefully measured to enhance the cone’s resiliency during excursion, while bringing out the best of the cone’s performance.

In the new Celestion 100, the voice coil is likewise based on Les Ward’s original T530 design but has been carefully re-created with more heat-resistant materials to match the vintage tonality, while offering a power rating of 30 watts, and peak sound pressure level of 100dB. The cone’s dust dome, bolt-on magnet assembly and rear-label have been painstakingly designed to ensure a period-correct appearance.

Players and listeners can expect a blooming low end and bell-like treble coupled with a sweet, shimmering midrange presence. When driven into distortion, the Celestion 100 compresses gradually and musically, softening the notes’ attack in the tradition of great Celestion alnico speakers. It all adds up to tone and aesthetics that are as credibly vintage as any speaker can achieve, but with performance that is perfectly at home in a modern live performance or music production context.

Each Celestion 100 speaker is individually tested and inspected. An identity label puts the finishing touch on the ownership experience, providing a unique serial number as well as a traditional Celestion T-number: T100 for 8-ohm versions of the speaker and T101 for 16 ohms. Musicians who acquire the Celestion 100 anniversary guitar speaker will have the pleasure of owning a true retro-styled, vintage classic based on the first loudspeakers created specifically for the electric guitar.

See and hear the Celestion 100 at booth 6302 in the main hall of the Anaheim Convention Center, January 25-28, 2024, in Anaheim, California.

About Celestion

With worldwide headquarters in Ipswich, England, Celestion design, develop and manufacture high-quality professional audio loudspeakers and compression drivers for sound reinforcement, premium guitar and bass guitar loudspeakers. These world-renowned speakers are used onstage and in clubs, theatres and other venues the world over. 2024 marks Celestion’s 100th year, please join us in the celebration. celestion.com