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Choosing your Speaker Imprint for KEMPER Kone and KEMPER Kabinet

Speaker Imprints for KEMPER Kone™

The choice of the right speaker and cabinet makes a great difference to the tone of your selected amplifier, your rig. A lot of particular guitar speakers have been a major part of the classic and genre defining amp tones. A good example for this is the Vox AC 30 paired with the legendary Blue Bulldog speakers. But, it is your choice.
To make it easier for you to choose the right speaker imprint for your tone with the KEMPER Kabinet™ we have put together an overview over the current imprints available for the PROFILER™.

Celestion's Blue Bulldog is known to be the first speaker in the world that was designed for guitarists. In fact, it originated from a modified radio speaker. It was found in numerous British amplifiers in the early days of rock, and created a big impression, becoming most famous when it was included in the Vox AC30. You can hear it when listening to George Harrison, Brian May or, more recently, U2's The Edge.
The 12" driver uses an alnico magnet and is known for its unique, three-dimensional, chiming top-end and its sweet midrange — it cuts through the mix without being harsh.
The lower frequencies are full and controlled even though the power handling is just 15 watts. Additionally, the speaker sounds pretty aggressive when driven hard. Its sensitivity is pretty high at 100 dB. However, it is obviously not a modern speaker, but undoubtedly a classic. The proven choice for the AC30.

One of the most popular speakers for guitar amplifiers is Celestion's G12M — the so-called Green Back, which dates back to the mid 1960s. You can’t really differentiate Celestion speakers by the color of their rear panels, but we'll stick with the popular nickname for this one!

The G12M is a 12” speaker with a ceramic magnet, a rating of 25 watts (20 Watts for older models), a resonance frequency of 75 Hz and a sensitivity of 96-98 dB (depending on the model). It was part of several early 4x12" cabinets made by Marshall and, until today, its sound character is highly regarded in rock music. It is part of the Plexi sound of the '60s and '70s and is a good choice for vintage, classic and hard rock sound — artists such as AC/DC have been using it for their entire career.
The G12M is mid-focused with a warm top-end. This makes it forward and somewhat woody sounding, and sounds great when soloing. It doesn't sound harsh with clean channels and it works great with overdriven signals. It has a broad low end, but not the tightest. Also, due to its low rating, the speaker introduces additional compression when driven at high levels.

There were several issues of the G12M. Originally, the membranes were made by Pulsonic® — later ones were made by Celestion and others. The product was discontinued in 1978 but re-issued in 1989.
In short: Use a G12M when you want classic crunch sounds that nicely sit in the mix without being harsh. It is not recommended for metal or low tunings.

The original G12H introduced a heavier magnet to Celestion's G12M-design. Like many Celestion speakers, it was also available in OEM-versions that have been produced for third-party manufacturers. This specific G12H was produced in 1972 for Orange.
With 12" diameter, a ceramic magnet, a power rating of 30 watts and an efficient sensitivity of 100 dB, it was a more powerful version of the G12M. Its sound is thick, full and quite balanced, with more focus to the lower frequencies in comparison to the G12M. Its high-frequency range is open, with a good amount of attack, but also rounded enough to tame aggression and to favor lead sounds. It works fine with clean amps but really shines with British crunch and distortion.

This speaker is a 70th anniversary, modernized reissue of the G12H described above. Just like the original, the re-issue is a rock speaker with a dedicated vintage voicing. Naturally, the specs match the original G12H. Sound-wise, it sits somewhere between the G12M and the Vintage 30. Feel free to compare the newer re-issue with the original in our collection.

The G12-100 is one of Celestion's early high-power designs — a forerunner of the G12T-100, G12H-100 and G12K-100 with an individual sound signature. The 12”-driver, which uses a powerful ceramic magnet, dates to the early '80s and is often referred to as the bigger brother of the G12-65. This 100-watt version is a favorite in hard rock, and works well in 4x12” cabinets. Due to its higher power handling, the G12-100 also works fine in 1x12” and 2x12” cabinets and combos, while the sound equals the 65-watt version. This speaker delivers tight bass reproduction, a warm, pleasant midrange, rapid attack and crisp treble frequencies. It easily cuts through the mix, and is as convincing with crunchy rhythm as it is with lead sounds. When compared to the newer 100-watt models, the G12-100 sounds smoother and warmer, making this speaker a good choice for clean sounds and jazz-players, too.

The Vintage 30 was designed to meet the demands of the more distorted rock and metal sounds of the '80s. Since then, this speaker has risen to be one of the most well-known speakers, and is found in the cabinets of numerous manufacturers including Marshall, Mesa Boogie and Bogner. In fact, it is one of Celestion's most successful drivers of all time. The Vintage 30 is another 12" diameter chassis with a ceramic magnet, a power rating of 60 watts (unlike the name suggests), a resonance frequency of 75 Hz and a sensitivity of 100 dB. This speaker is loud.
The name is a little misleading, as the original idea was to revive the sound of old alnico speakers — an idea which didn't work out. Instead, this driver delivers a warm bass, punchy upfront mids and a forefront high end. The speaker has a good bite and is used extensively among rock and metal guitarists, both for rhythm and solo work.
Due to its top end, the Vintage 30 sounds more open, but also "harder” than a "Green Back”. The midrange has more aggression to it when used with distorted amplifiers, giving it a fuller, punchier sound — a sound which is actually more modern. Leads will cut through the mix, but will not serve those looking for a rounded tone. The speaker is fine for regular tunings and scooped voicings, but may lack a little definition with modern, down-tuned metal.

The original G12M had a power handling of just 20-25 watts. When combined with 100-watt amplifiers, this required the use of multiple drivers, all of which were still being driven hard. However, its pleasing tone was something guitarists just couldn’t resist. For this reason, Celestion decided to issue a version of the driver that could handle higher power input, but with the same sound signature. This 12" speaker, with a ceramic magnet, handles 65 watts, has a sensitivity of 97 dB and a resonance frequency of 75 Hz. It turned out that it didn't sound exactly like the original, but it did inherit its warm high end, its creamy mids and a forward-sounding upper midrange. The resulting sound is louder, but not as loud as a Vintage 30, for example. Compared to a "Green Back”, the low end is tighter, and the overall impression is more modern. It has a little more bite in the higher frequencies, which does make it sound a tad more modern — it is, however, still very much in the vintage category. Distorted sounds are slightly more direct and forward in the upper-mids. So, the G12M-65 is indeed a speaker that has its own voice. It sounds warm, balanced and will easily handle higher distortion. This makes it suitable for leads, but it can also handle lower tunings with acceptable definition. When used in the metal genre, this speaker sits somewhere between old-school and a modern sound, making the G12M-65 a good allrounder.

Celestions G12T-75 is a real bestseller, often found in 4x12" configurations such as Marshall's 1960. The 12" driver has a power rating of 75 watts and a good sensitivity of 97 dB. It uses a ceramic magnet and has a resonance frequency of 85 Hz.
This speaker is geared towards rock music and handles high sound-pressure and distorted sounds really well. It is tight in the lower registers and offers a smooth top-end. Since the midrange is bit laid back, it is a good choice for modern rhythm and lead work (used by Yngwie Malmsteen), but not necessarily the obvious choice for lower tunings. However, rock and metal are among its strengths. The midrange differs from the Vintage 30, and sounds more aggressive in comparison to an old "Green Back”. This is, of course, a matter of taste. In addition, manufacturers such as Bogner have combined this speaker with Vintage 30s in their 4x12” cabinets, which leads to even better results.

The P12R is a low powered 12” classic with alnico magnet, a power rating of 25 watts and a fairly low resonance frequency of 80 Hz. It was chosen for many combo amplifiers in the '50s and early '60s. This bright-sounding speaker was found in American amps from manufacturers such as Fender®, Ampeg® and Epiphone®. It cuts through the mix and breaks up when driven at higher levels. The bass reproduction is pretty loose. If real tweed sound is what you’re after, this may be the speaker to look for.

The P12Q handles 40 watts of power and is driven by an alnico magnet. Its resonance frequency is at 90 Hz. This speaker was found in legendary classic American amps, such as Fender's Tweed Deluxe, as well as in models made by Ampeg and Gibson®. Unlike the P12R, this speaker sounds really warm and balanced. It can be used for clean and overdriven tones – from Jazz to Rock. The bass is pretty loose, like with most Jensen models, but it offers a nice breakup. This driver is loved for its expressive mids and the smooth top-end, which make it a favorite for many guitarists.

Jensen's C12N with its ceramic magnet and a resonance frequency of 113 Hz is a significant part of the Blackface era. It was found in Fender Twins, Bassmans and Bandmasters, but also in other upper-class American amplifiers of the mid '60s. Sound-wise, it can be described as having a clear and bright top end, forward midrange and a loose bottom end. It provides a full and punchy tone, and has that specific bell-like chime which we often love in clean sounds. On the other hand, it will sound tasteful and barking when driven. This is the sound of American surf and early rock n' roll.

This vintage 10” alnico driven speaker, with a resonance frequency of 99 Hz, was a significant part of specific Fender amps such as the Bassman, Super Tweed and the Bandmaster. Due to its low power rating of 25 watts, it is typically used in groups of 2-4 speakers. It offers the smooth, characteristic sparkle that is part of the classic American clean tone. But it also has a raw, lively character that helped to inspire to the British crunch that followed. The midrange is upfront, while reproduction of lower frequencies is pretty loose.

This 10” Jensen speaker uses a ceramic magnet, offers a power rating of 25 watts, and has a resonance frequency of about 97 Hz. It was designed to be used with lower powered amplifiers, finding its home in Fender Princetons and other models. The speaker itself sounds pretty bright, which is a nice match to the warmer sound of the aforementioned amplifier, especially when playing clean. When driven, the speaker acquires a bit more grit and edge.

The EVM12L was introduced in the '70s, and is the heavyweight of the guitar world. Although there were different versions over the years, they all share a specific sound character that distinguishes them from typical guitar speakers. Electro Voice is mainly known for their P.A. products, and the EVM12L carried this approach over to guitarists. This real heavy 12" found home in many combo amps of the '80s, as well as in so-called Thiele cabinets. The massive ceramic magnet alone weighs 7.3 kg.

The standard version handles 200 watts while the Zakk Wylde Signature model, which he uses in 4x12 cabinets, ups this value to 300 watts (1200-watt peak) — per speaker! With a sensitivity of 100 dB, this speaker is loud and can handle lots of input.
The frequency range goes a little higher than a typical speaker, making the EVM12L more open, but also harsh if your amp happens to sound like that. Overall, this speaker is pretty neutral, offers a tight bass reproduction, plays really loud and punchy, and is very robust. It has less coloration than most speakers and doesn't sound "vintage”. Its sound is very direct, which may or may not be to your taste.
It can sound great with clean sounds, and also works well with distorted sounds and really deep tunings. It might not be to everyone’s taste, but it's undoubtedly a classic. So, while some might consider this speaker to be in a class of its own, others might find it over-the-top or too neutral.

A gem of the '60s, this English 12”-driver has a power-rating of just 20 watts (RMS). The speaker was originally designed for hi-fi and, even more so, for public address systems. It uses a Feroba II magnet, and has an exceptional low resonance frequency of 50 Hz (there was even a bass version with 35 Hz). It provides a colored, vintage flavor which is brighter and more mid-scooped than a G12M. It was found in certain cabinets made by Laney in the '70s — think early Black Sabbath.

Oxford speakers can be found in old Fender amps. This 12” driver, with a power rating of 30 watts (peak), was made in the early '60s and is a clear vintage design using alnico magnet. It was used as an alternative to Jensen speakers and can be found in Fender models such as the Deluxe and Tremolux, as well as in models using multiple speakers such as the Super Reverb or Vibrolux Reverb. They work fine for authentic Fender clean tones, but are also a matter of taste when compared to Jensen and JBL models.

Eminence is one of the biggest suppliers for guitar speakers, with a wide range of models. The Legend 125 has a power rating of 50 watts (newer models offer 75 watts). The powerful 12” driver uses a ceramic magnet and has a sensitivity of over 100 dB. However, it is definitely designed to create a vintage tone with warm low end, pronounced upper midrange and a real open top end. A great choice for vintage rock 'n roll and blues, including country and rock.

In the '60s, some guitarists were looking for louder performances to cover the big stages they performed. To do so, amp manufacturers turned their attention to the world of hi-fi. It was Fender who licensed JBL's D120 (the Fender OEM version adds the F to make the name "D120F"), and placed it into their Showman amps to give Surf-guitar hero Dick Dales the levels he needed. This 12" driver uses a massive alnico magnet, and a robust design with a large voice-coil to handle high power input. Later on, they were also used in Twin Reverbs. Sound-wise, the D120F has a well-defined bass, barking mid-frequencies that still retain some roundness, and a good amount of treble which can be perceived as too much when used with distortion. It's a great choice for an American clean sound. Unfortunately, these classics are slowly getting difficult to come by, as original re-coning is no longer available. Fortunately, digital emulation can preserve this sound.

Most speakers for guitar applications have a diameter of 12", while 10" and 15" drivers are more rare. But let's not forget the specific sound of speakers found in smaller designs, such as the Fender Champ. In this case, Fender opted for an 8" full-range speaker provided by JBL.  If you can live with the fact that going smaller means having less bass, you’ll find this alnico-driven speaker has a surprisingly good sound with a pretty clean character.

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