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Unread 02-18-2011, 06:53 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

I've decided to look into some new speakers, and have been looking at V30s and Eminence Legend V12s. What differences are there, and which is best for what?
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Unread 02-18-2011, 08:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

The most obvious difference is that the V12 (my 3rd favorite speaker, BTW, behind the Mod 12 and V128) can handle twice as much power as the V30 and the Eminence speakers also tend to go for quite a bit less. Cost isn't necessarily the primary consideration, of course, but when you're outfitting a 4x12 rig, or TWO 4x12's, it's impossible to ignore. Not only does this have all the advantages that immediately spring to mind, but it also reveals what I think is a fundamental difference between the two brands overall; pronounced mid-range color and break-up vs. thicker, fuller sound.

Celestions, to my ear, tend to add a mid-range grind/break-up to the sound at just about any volume and the V30, in my experience, is no exception to this. I've heard dozens of Celestion speakers and while I might get flamed for saying this, while people and Celestion often comment on the speakers' great, tight, bottom, all I ever hear out of them is some pronounced low-mid punch, not necessarily clean, low-end punch; the difference may be subtle, but it's also profound and I don't like it. If, however, you like that addition to what your amplifier is doing, you don't play with any/many effects in your chain (I think the Celestions have trouble dealing with effects and tend to get sloppy if they're heavily used), then that's fine and it's the way to go, as the popularity of those speakers demonstrates. For me though, V30 Celestions are all about enhancing the mids and highs and adding that break-up and grind; it all makes it a bit thin for me.

The Eminence is a very different animal. Not only are you less likely to blow it up, but I find that it adds much less of it's own color to the sound across the board. The V12 does tend to add a little bit more mid-range/grind/"classic British Rock" break-up to the sound than the Mod12 or V128 does, but still not nearly as much as the Celestion does. Eminence speakers definitely have what I define as tight (crisp?), punchy low end response that I find just lacking in the Celestions, without giving up anything in the mids, although you may have to push the Eminence a bit hard to get all of it.

With an amp that's bright/strong in the mid-range like my 1987xl, the last thing I needed for the big, full sound I prefer was a mid-range biased speaker. The Celestions I tried simply drove me nuts on that score, including the V30; they were just always so thin to me and I couldn't get it to fatten up. Eminence speakers just seem, to me anyway, to have an overall thicker or smoother sound that I prefer and, in any application I've used them for, are less susceptible to having their sound quality fall apart when you really beat on them with a lot of volume and/or effects. The highs never get "brittle" like Celestions tend to do and always keep a really nice chime to them, and I'm big on that. I find myself using less extreme EQ across the board on the Eminence as well, so clearly they're more in my wheelhouse. For me, what this adds up to is letting you not only hear more of what your amp is doing vs. the speakers, but it allows you, via the EQ and volume on the amp and guitar, to have a great deal more control over what you sound like; it's also far less limiting on the amp's natural headroom and I think that is extremely important. If nothing else, this does allow my amp to shine, which is why I bought it after spending so much time comparing a bunch of them before I plunked down the money for it. It's probably also why the Eminence Legend Series speakers have been among the most popular OEM speaker lines for just about forever.

Of course, all of this is really subjective, too. At the end of the day, you really do need to listen and compare to be sure, especially with your amp if you can, but I think you will find that for a more classic "British", mid-range-break-up sound, Celestion defined it and that's what they do better than anybody. The V12 can get you that sound, too, with very little effort, but it does it without losing a certain musical quality I don't hear in the Celestions. For a thicker, fuller sound that's more representative of what your amp is doing, the Eminence Legend Series, is tough to beat. You have to decide what you like better and make your choice based on that.
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Unread 02-18-2011, 04:50 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

Great review Michael. Well done.

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Unread 02-18-2011, 08:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

Quote:
Originally Posted by Michael1987xl View Post
The most obvious difference is that the V12 (my 3rd favorite speaker, BTW, behind the Mod 12 and V128) can handle twice as much power as the V30 and the Eminence speakers also tend to go for quite a bit less. Cost isn't necessarily the primary consideration, of course, but when you're outfitting a 4x12 rig, or TWO 4x12's, it's impossible to ignore. Not only does this have all the advantages that immediately spring to mind, but it also reveals what I think is a fundamental difference between the two brands overall; pronounced mid-range color and break-up vs. thicker, fuller sound.

Celestions, to my ear, tend to add a mid-range grind/break-up to the sound at just about any volume and the V30, in my experience, is no exception to this. I've heard dozens of Celestion speakers and while I might get flamed for saying this, while people and Celestion often comment on the speakers' great, tight, bottom, all I ever hear out of them is some pronounced low-mid punch, not necessarily clean, low-end punch; the difference may be subtle, but it's also profound and I don't like it. If, however, you like that addition to what your amplifier is doing, you don't play with any/many effects in your chain (I think the Celestions have trouble dealing with effects and tend to get sloppy if they're heavily used), then that's fine and it's the way to go, as the popularity of those speakers demonstrates. For me though, V30 Celestions are all about enhancing the mids and highs and adding that break-up and grind; it all makes it a bit thin for me.

The Eminence is a very different animal. Not only are you less likely to blow it up, but I find that it adds much less of it's own color to the sound across the board. The V12 does tend to add a little bit more mid-range/grind/"classic British Rock" break-up to the sound than the Mod12 or V128 does, but still not nearly as much as the Celestion does. Eminence speakers definitely have what I define as tight (crisp?), punchy low end response that I find just lacking in the Celestions, without giving up anything in the mids, although you may have to push the Eminence a bit hard to get all of it.

With an amp that's bright/strong in the mid-range like my 1987xl, the last thing I needed for the big, full sound I prefer was a mid-range biased speaker. The Celestions I tried simply drove me nuts on that score, including the V30; they were just always so thin to me and I couldn't get it to fatten up. Eminence speakers just seem, to me anyway, to have an overall thicker or smoother sound that I prefer and, in any application I've used them for, are less susceptible to having their sound quality fall apart when you really beat on them with a lot of volume and/or effects. The highs never get "brittle" like Celestions tend to do and always keep a really nice chime to them, and I'm big on that. I find myself using less extreme EQ across the board on the Eminence as well, so clearly they're more in my wheelhouse. For me, what this adds up to is letting you not only hear more of what your amp is doing vs. the speakers, but it allows you, via the EQ and volume on the amp and guitar, to have a great deal more control over what you sound like; it's also far less limiting on the amp's natural headroom and I think that is extremely important. If nothing else, this does allow my amp to shine, which is why I bought it after spending so much time comparing a bunch of them before I plunked down the money for it. It's probably also why the Eminence Legend Series speakers have been among the most popular OEM speaker lines for just about forever.

Of course, all of this is really subjective, too. At the end of the day, you really do need to listen and compare to be sure, especially with your amp if you can, but I think you will find that for a more classic "British", mid-range-break-up sound, Celestion defined it and that's what they do better than anybody. The V12 can get you that sound, too, with very little effort, but it does it without losing a certain musical quality I don't hear in the Celestions. For a thicker, fuller sound that's more representative of what your amp is doing, the Eminence Legend Series, is tough to beat. You have to decide what you like better and make your choice based on that.
Man that was a well thought out review!!Well put!!
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Unread 02-18-2011, 08:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

Michael, I think you covered every nut and bolt in great detail...very well done man.
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Unread 02-18-2011, 09:30 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

Thanks guys. I'm here to help.
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Unread 02-19-2011, 06:14 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

Yeah, thanks for it Leaning towards the Eminence, also having an eye on greenbacks though
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Unread 11-05-2012, 02:47 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Celestion V30 vs Legend Eminence V12

I know this is an old thread, but I'm just curious. I have an oversized 2x12 Deizel cab that's loaded with Eminence speakers. At the time, I didn't know the difference (and didn't care) between certain makes of speakers. To be honest, the Eminence speakers in my Deizel cab sound like crap; very muddy and very cardboard-like, as opposed to the stock Celestions in my Marshall 4x12. I've had the same experience with Eminence speakers in Fender combos.
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