The great thing about Neo (Neodymium) magnet speakers is that they don’t weigh much. In fact, they are much lighter than their ferrite magnet cousins.
The subject of this piece – the Neo Creamback – is roughly half the weight of its G12M-65 Creamback brother.
So, what has that got to do with speaker responses?
Well, the reality is that even with everything else being the same, guitar speakers with different types of magnet assemblies sound different. Let’s go back a step and look at the effect on tone you might expect from different magnet sizes of the same type.
Take a look at the G12M-65 Creamback and the G12H-75 Creamback or, if you like, the G12M Greenback and the G12H Anniversary.
All have ferrite magnets, but the M and H indicate weight – Medium (35oz) and Heavy (50oz).
As you might expect, the H magnet produces a stronger magnetic field. Broadly speaking, the effect on the tone is that the speaker cone assembly responds quicker to the input signal giving more impact and perceived tightness and ‘speed’. As the cone assembly moves back to its resting place though, the stronger field damps its movement faster, meaning the acoustic output from it stops faster, the perceived effect on tone being that the bass is not as ‘fat’ as the M equivalent.
Obviously, there is a great deal of other things happening as well, but this illustrates a typical effect.
As a broad brush comparison, here’s how the different magnet types affect tone.
Ferrite (iron-based ceramic) speakers usually display punch and a clear vocal quality combined with an underlying crunchy/grainy nature.
Alnico is an older magnetic material (in loudspeaker terms), requiring a different shape in order to achieve the desired electromagnetic force required to move on the cone assembly. Alnico based drivers often display an ability to compress in a pleasing way and have a certain soft detail about them. The combination of this with a fine bell like quality and spaciousness around the tone makes them something of a benchmark for guitar speaker perfection.
Neodymium is a more powerful magnet material than iron based ceramics (greater flux density) so Neo-based drivers, have less steel in their magnet assembly which is why they are so much lighter in weight. The quantity of steel also has an effect on the higher frequencies of the speaker’s output, causing them to be muted a little. When the amount of steel is reduced, this effect is much smaller so on Neo speakers for example it can cause a ‘peakiness’ and high-frequency prominence which can be fantastic, but isn’t always to everyone’s taste.
Celestion Neo Creamback DSR & IR Tone
So, back to the Celestion Neo Creamback. Our engineers spent a great deal of time designing a speaker that we would be happy wearing a Creamback can and where we could make sure that the unwanted additional high frequency was tamed while still preserving all of the desirable qualities of the neo magnet. We have used some special new techniques to create what has become a very fine speaker in its own right.
The result is a speaker that combines the punch of a ferrite speaker with the shimmering tone of the best Alnico ones along with additional clarity and note separation.
Forget any discussions about weight, which of course don’t apply to speaker responses anyway – The Neo Creamback is all about tone.
About Celestion Dynamic Speaker Responses
The Celestion Neo Creamback Dynamic Speaker Response library, available exclusively for use with our ground-breaking SpeakerMix Pro plugin, enables you to achieve stunningly realistic guitar tones in your DAW with ease.
Dynamic Speaker Responses (DSRs) running in Celestion SpeakerMix Pro react to the dynamics of the signal hitting the speaker to create the most authentic micro-dynamic sound of the real speakers for the next generation in digital tone, with all the life and three-dimensional feel of the real thing.