Speaker Voicing Question: Brit vs. American.


Greetings to all,

I hope the New Year finds everyone happy and healthy.

I'd like to generate a little discussion on speaker voicing, and more specifically the "American Sound" versus the "British Sound". This is prompted by a couple of recent threads regarding the "best" speaker for a Carr Rambler. Having recently purchased a Rambler they caught my eye.

The basic gist of one post was that the stock Eminence Wizard speaker had "British" voicing and the author felt that an Eminence "Lil Texas" he installed in his Rambler sounded better due to the "American" voicing.

Now I'm happy with the Wizard in my Rambler, but like all good gear junkies the post got me wondering about possible tone improvements, etc. I did some research and found that the response curves between the two speakers are pretty darn close to one another. I listened to some audio samples that Eminence put together to try to hear the difference and didn't really hear anything. I'm wondering if the sound differences are really that pronounced?


Good question.

To me American speakers are overall less aggressive (i.e. not so much in-your-face), and tend to have more of a "smiley" face eq-curve feel. I'm not saying that all American voiced speakers have big bass and treble and scooped mids, but they tend to have a more "delicate (?)" midrange.

When I thinkk of British speakers, on the other hand, I think of a tone that's very much in-your-face aggressive, with prominent mids (generally upper-mids) and highs. Bass response is much less prominent in the mix. I tend to compare British-speakers to Celestion Blues (very trebly, or chimey) or Vintage 30s (extremely prominent mids, the tube-screamer of speakers - mid hump).

This is my read on the 2 anyways. The times of been exposed to "British" speakers, I've never been that sold. Of course, I love Fender amps, and have grown-up around "Americam" voiced speakers, so that's the tone I naturally gravitate towards.

Regarding the Eminence line, here's a link to Gearwire.com, which features Tomo Fujita playing a bunch of the Patriots, Redcoats, and Legends at NAMM. To me, this is a much better production of sound comparison than the Eminence website tones.



Senior Member
I agree with Jhuse to a certain degree. Putting it simply there is no one American or British tone. The main difference, taking most brands of the respective countries of origin in mind the British speakers have a chime to them, an upper midrange ring or a "wrooong"-thing. This can be more (think e.g. Alnico Blue, V30...) or less (think e.g. H-Greenback, most Fane speakers...). American speakers are usually broader and more... well "delicate", but also more transparent and woody sounding.

Where most British speakers have some variation of the Kurt Mueller type cone, American speakers can come with a multitude of different cones that breakup in just as many ways.

Funny thing is British amps generally are EQ'ed quite middy, have middy output valves and middy speakers. American amps are EQ'ed rather broad sounding, have broad output valves and broad speakers.

One could perhaps group e.g. English Fane and American Cervin-Vega in something of a no-man's land or even invading the other's territory.


Big categories with exceptions, but overall I agree with the above.

I've used Wizards lots for about three years, but my ears were getting fatigued by the high end sizzle. Emi recommends closed back cabs for them, and it makes sense, as it would tame some of that high end. I think they're a great speaker, but following my ears I went to RWB's, which are typically referred to as American voiced. Not only are they kinder to my aging ears, they got me away from the sort of pumped up hi-fi treble, I was stuck on. The cleans through the Wizard are crystally, and the RWB lacks that, which sounds more natural to me, more like a straight up, fairly flat response guitar amp speaker. I hear the speaker less and the guitar and amp more. Plus the RWB overdrives like butter.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom