If you’re a guitarist, you must be aware of the ever-lasting debate about Alnico and ceramic magnet speakers.
To check which of them gives better results with guitar, our team tested both kinds in detail.
In this post, you’ll go through an in-depth comparison and review of Alnico and ceramic speakers, their features, pros, cons, and a buying guide.
They are generally heavy in weight
Their magnet is made of an alloy of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt
They have got beautiful audio with warm sound and strong mids
They have got a clear sound at all volumes
They have a moderate volume but not very high.
They are usually quite expensive
They have a lighter weight
Their magnet is made of ceramics such as ferrite substances
They are rich in harmonics and have tight mids
The audio may distort somewhat at high volumes
They have a high volume because of their greater power-handling ability
They have an affordable cost
Now that we have seen the basic features of both speakers, let’s discuss them in detail.
Celestion G10 Gold Review
G10 Gold loudspeakers are Celestion’s version of guitar speakers of Alnico setup. The speaker is among the very few exceptionally good guitar speakers we ever had the chance to put a hand on.
The sound quality of the speakers was a lot better than other speakers we know of.
The speakers have a high sensitivity of 98 dB. Music-wise, it has great shimmer and warmth in the audio. The speaker can produce a rich range of harmonics. There was no observable distortion in the music.
The speaker has compact dimensions and relatively low weight. It is made of pressed steel with an Alnico magnet. It has a golden color. It easily fits in a 4×12 cabinet. It has 8 mounting slots to be fixed in a cabinet.
The process of fixing the speaker is relatively simple. It is also easy to set and break down. The only downside we were able to identify is that the speakers cost somewhat high. But we think that the quality justifies the cost.
Features of Celestion G10 Gold
- Speaker size: 10 inches
- Dimensions: 5x5x5 inches
- Weight: 7.85 pounds
- Power: 40 W
- Impedance: 8 ohms
- Sensitivity:98 dB
- Frequency response: 80 Hz – 6 kHz
- Magnet used: Alnico
- Number of mounting slots: 8
Benefits of Celestion G10 Gold
The product is rich in harmonics. The sound quality on all levels of bass, low, mid, and high, is warm and clear. The sound is clear without any distortion. Most prominently, it works great at all volume ranges and frequencies.
At higher frequencies, the bell-like sound is very distinct and clear. The attack is also very responsive. The speakers work well with all amplifiers.
What Do the Customers Think?
We scoured the internet to find out what people are thinking about Celestion G10 Gold. To our astonishment, the speaker is exceedingly popular among the buyers.
About 95% of the buyers were completely satisfied with the product. A very negligible amount of buyers had some concerns about it.
Most of the people praised its rich harmonics, warm sound, deep bass at all levels, and the mellowness of its audio. Most of the buyers were professional guitarists. Almost all of them found it better than their previous speakers.
Looking at our evaluation of the product and buyers’ reviews, we are very confident to say that it is a great buy for you if you’re a guitarist. It has excellent quality in every aspect.
It has a beautiful tone, warm audio, shimmer, and volume depth. The speakers are also durable and compact. Overall, it is one of the best Alnico speakers you can get.
Jensen Vintage Ceramic Speaker Review
Jensen Vintage Ceramic belongs to the classic ceramic magnet speaker class. The speakers have a moderate sensitivity best of which can be expected from ceramic magnets.
Testing its harmonics, we found the lows to be pretty tight, the mids were strong and the highs were bright.
If you’re an old-schooler and are looking for some speakers to play vintage tones, these speakers can be best for you. These speakers convey the warmth of the mids in vintage music.
Especially, if you’re looking for speakers to pair up with your pre-2000s guitar amp tone, it will be a great choice.
The model comes in four variations. 10-inch and 12-inch sizes pair up with 8 ohms and 16 ohms of impedance.
You can select the speaker as per your requirement of volume. The voice coil has a weight of 15 ounces and can respond to frequencies ranging from 60 Hz to 5kHz.
If you’re previously using Alnico speakers, you may not be satisfied with the sensitivity of the speakers. Overall, we found that it can be a great choice if you’re going to play hip-hop or old-style music. Also, it is quite affordable as per the price.
Features of Jensen Vintage Ceramic Review
- Size: 10 and 12-inch
- Impedance: 8 and 16 ohms
- Dimensions: 12x12x6 & 10x10x6
- Weight: 4.1 pounds and 3.7 pounds
- Sensitivity: 97 dB
- Power-handling: 35 W
- Frequency response: 5 Hz – 6 kHz
Benefits of CELESTION Eight 15 T5813
Jensen Ceramic speakers have rich harmonics: tight lows, strong mids, and bright highs. The sound has no distortion and plays music at its best. It works best for old or hip-hop music lovers. If you’ve got a classic guitar amp, it can be a great pair for them.
The speaker has quite high sensitivity. You can choose between different speakers as per your volume need. If you’re on a budget, ceramic magnet speakers can be a good choice for you. They have quite affordable prices.
What Do the Customers Think?
We scoured the internet to find out what people were thinking about the speaker. We found out most of the buyers were professional or habitual guitarists. About 90% of the guitarists were fully satisfied with the product. Only a few people had some indistinct complaints.
People appreciated the vintage touch in th sound greatly. Many of the buyers were looking for a speaker to pair with their old-style guitar amps. Buyers also found the speakers phenomenal as per their rich harmonics.
Keeping in mind our critical analysis of the speaker, we can say that it is a great choice if you’re looking for vintage music-playing speakers. The speaker has an affordable cost, great sound quality, and loud volume all of which make it desirable for you.
Alnico vs Ceramic Speakers - Buyers’ Guide
If you’re a music geek and are looking for appropriate speakers, we recommend you to go through this guide, otherwise, you may end up with something you’ll regret buying.
We have tried to collect all the information you’ll need to decide which speakers will be the best for you: Alnico or Ceramics and which model in particular. Also, you’ll get an insight into the tough guitar lingo.
Alnico speakers consist of magnets that are made from an alloy of Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt – from these metals, their name originates Al-Ni-Co. Originating in the 1950s, they have been known for the vintage sound they produce.
Alnico speakers are known to produce a vintage, sweet, warm, and delightful tone. They perform best at low frequencies. For these reasons, they are considered optimal for jazz, bebop, blues, and swing.
Due to their higher qualities, they are considered the top-class of speakers in the music industry.
In the 1960s, ceramic speakers were introduced to give a more affordable and cost-friendly alternative to Alnico speakers.
They consist of ceramic magnets. Ceramic magnets -also known as ferrite magnets- are composed of a mixture of earthen elements, clay, and several other powders that have been heated in a kiln.
We already know ceramic magnet speakers are affordable. They can hold a large amount of power than Alcino speakers. Ceramic speakers are great in sound if you keep in sight their sounds. They work at their best on loud volumes.
What’s the difference?
Okay. So what is the difference between the two? In a broader sense, you can say that Alnico speakers are quality-conscious whereas ceramic speakers are more on the side of cost-effectiveness.
Having said that let’s discuss the different features in detail.
Alnico magnet speakers are made of metal. Being denser, metal is heavy. On the other hand, ceramic speakers are made of earthen elements which are generally low in weight.
So, Alnico magnet speakers are heavier than ceramic speakers. For these reasons, if you’re looking for some lightweight and easily carriable speakers, Alnico magnet speakers are not your go.
The magnetic field of the Alnico speakers is weak due to the heavy metals used. Ceramic speakers, on the other hand, make a sturdy field. For these reasons, alnico speakers are quite a bit softer in sound than ceramic speakers.
Alnico speakers are always better if you’re playing polite tones like blues, jazz, and swing. They give a dull shimmer and a warm sound. Ceramic speakers are considered better for rock and country music.
They have a bright shimmer and give quite heavy mids.
Alnico magnets speakers are more fast-responsive and warmer in their sound. They have an old-school touch whereas ceramic speakers have more bold and tighter frequency response.
Alnico speakers work best at lows whereas ceramics have strong mids. They work best at high volumes.
Alnico magnets are made of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt metals. All of these are high-cost elements. This amount a great deal more than ceramic magnets. Ceramic magnets are made of quite affordable ferrites.
These make alnico speakers a great deal costly than ceramic speakers. The difference between an alnico and ceramic speakers with all other odds the same is on average about a hundred dollars.
Alnico speakers generally have a more robust and warm bass response than ceramic speakers. They have a very balanced division of frequencies over the range with no mid humps.
You can play bassy genres like funk, metal, jazz, etc. If you’re looking for strong bass and you’ve got a good budget, Alnico speakers are your best go.
You should not expect the same bass response from ceramic speakers. They have a nice and tight bass response even though they aren’t as strong as Alnico speakers.
Average ceramic speakers have a straightforward and well-rounded tone. If you’re on a tight budget, their bass is good enough for you.
There isn’t a great difference between their sensitivities. Alnico speakers have a sensitivity of around 98 dB.
Whereas, ceramic speakers have a sensitivity of 97 dB. Both are exceptional and pair the tube amplifier and power greatly. Both work great with guitars.
The volume depends on the power-handling ability and as a result magnetic field of the magnet. We know that alnico speakers are less able to hold a larger amount of power which causes lesser magnetic fields in alnico speakers.
Consequently, they have a low volume.
Ceramic speaker design, on the other hand, is optimized to hold a larger amount of power. They usually work at their best at loud volumes. For this reason, they have a louder volume than alnico speakers.
They are better to play rock and hip-hop for the same reasons. If you’re looking for loud speakers, ceramic speakers are best for you.
In their early times, the main reason for the popularity of Alnico speakers was their clear and warm sound. They hardly had any distortion on medium volumes.
Ceramic speakers are cheaper and not very great in material. They are harsher in sound and can give mild distortion at high volumes.
So, if you’re looking for high sound clarity speakers, alnico speakers will be a better choice.
Voice coil is the wire coiled in the mid of the cone of a loudspeaker. When the magnetic field is induced in it, the voice coil vibrates in the diaphragm which produces sound waves.
As the voice coil moves less, the speaker becomes less efficient. Larger size voice coils are considered better than smaller ones because they can handle more power.
Some speakers also have multiple voice coils but it doesn’t matter much in determining the voice quality. In the case of Alnico and ceramic speakers, they don’t differ much on properties other than Alnico and ceramic magnets.
How to use them?
Whether you’ve bought an alnico or ceramic speaker, you’ll have to go through the same steps to make them rock with your guitar. Here we’re going to detail some steps and prerequisites you’re going to need before using them.
After you’ve bought your speakers you’ll have to install them in speaker cabinets to make them presentable. This process of installation is pretty simple.
- Firstly, you need to buy speaker cabinets that suit the dimensions of your speakers. It’s your choice to have 4-speaker or 2-speaker cabinets.
- You’ll need to open the cabinet from the backside. Mount the speaker in the speaker hole in the cabinet and screw it up using the screws on the outer circumference of the speakers.
- Mount all the speakers you’ve in the cabinet and screw them up. Once done, the next task will be to wire them up.
- You can either use the old-school solder wiring or the new AWG wiring. If you’ve got a two-speaker cabinet, you can wound the wires in parallel. For a four-speaker cabinet, you’ll need to wound the wiring in parallel-series form.
- After that, you’ll have to solder the wires with the speaker jack. Before wrapping it up check if the phases are right or not.
- After checking the speakers, set them back up. Test if the speakers are working or not. And your speakers are ready to play.
After speakers, the most important component of a guitar system is the amplifier. The guitar input is connected to it and the output signal is sent to the speakers which produce sound.
While buying a guitar amp, you should keep the following things in sight to make the deal worth it.
Guitar amps have majorly two types: combo amps and head and cabinet guitar amps. If you’re buying a tube amp for small party halls, a combo will do best. If you’ve to deal with large auditoriums, you’ll surely need head and cabinet guitar amps.
Modeling amps play music on a wide range of frequencies. If you’re looking to play tones over a diverse range, you should look for a modeling amp. If you’re a specialist in a specific genre, you should look for something more specific.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is an Alnico Speaker?
Alnico speakers belong to the family of guitar speakers. The magnet in these speakers is made from an alloy of Aluminum, Nickel, and Cobalt (which give it its name: Al-Ni-Co).
Introduced in the 1960s, they were popular for their vintage sound and the warmth in the tones. They cost generally more than other guitar speakers. But their results are phenomenal. They are rich in harmonics and give a very clear sound.
What is a Ceramic Speaker?
Ceramic speakers are a kind of guitar speakers. They have a magnet made of ceramic elements (chiefly ferrite substances). They were introduced as a cheap alternative to alnico speakers.
They have a pretty good sound quality and tone. They work best at high volumes. They are the best guitar speakers if you’re on a tight budget.
Why are Alnico speakers so expensive?
Alnico speakers have a magnet made of Aluminium, Nickel, and Cobalt. These metals are quite rare and difficult to extract. Hence, they are pretty expensive. Use of these metals in Alnico speakers makes Alnico speakers very expensive.
You can checkout ceramic speakers if you’re looking for affordable guitar speakers.
After in-depth testing of Alnico and ceramic speakers, our team has come to the conclusion that Alnico speakers are better than ceramic speakers.
If you’re looking for rich harmonics, warm-sound, clear-audio, and soft-toned speakers they are your go.
However, if you’re looking for somewhat affordable and rockish speakers, ceramic speakers can be a great choice for you. Ceramic speakers have tight mids and work optimally at high volumes.