Speaker Or Impulse Response: Can You Hear The Difference?

What you really want to know is…  How accurate are our impulse responses? How faithfully do they reproduce the tone of our Celestion speakers? Can you actually hear any difference between the two?

To demonstrate the answer to this question, we’ve put together this video which splices together clips of a guitar and valve amp played through a Celestion speaker (the G12M-65 Creamback for high gain and G12H-75 Creamback for clean), with clips of the same guitar which have had Celestion IRs applied to them instead. We’ve recorded the amp directly using a speaker level DI / load box, so the only difference is the signal chain after the amp.  We measured the IRs of this exact setup, so you’re only listening to IRs V the real thing – nothing else is changing.

The video subtitles show the points where the sound track switches from speaker to impulse response and back again.

The chances are that right now you are listening through a PC or laptop speaker, or through earphones on your mobile device. This will give a decent impression, but we encourage you to listen on the highest quality speakers or headphones you have available to really see if you can hear the difference in an environment you are used to listening to guitar sounds.

We’ve compared the IRs with physical speakers in a professional sound recording studio and, frankly, we are hard put to it to detect which is which, even under optimal listening conditions. For all practical purposes, we find the IRs are indistinguishable from the “real thing”.