Celestion Lynchback: The Ultimate Modern/Classic Speaker?

September 27, 2011 | By | Reply More

Lynch_George_strat_glovesDid you hear about the new Celestion Lynchback speaker? By now maybe you have, but I hadn’t until I stopped in at the Celestion room at last summer’s NY/NJ Amp Show (btw, the Los Angeles Amp Show is this weekend – go!).

Right away I was intrigued. Why:

> George Lynch is one of my favorite guit-slingers and has good ears.

> George likes a mix of mostly vintage tone and gear with a bit of a modern edge – and is constantly seeking some new tone nugget.

> The guy from Celestion I was talking to – Rick Skillman, Celestion’s North American OEM sales manager – said the Lynchback was like a Greenback tone-wise but can handle more power so it has a bit of a tighter bottom end and some more highs.

Got some wood: Want to try!

So I set out to track down some deets on what’s known as the G12-50GL.

In George’s Words

George’s only comments about these speakers seem to be in this vid, transcribed and edited here:

I’ve been using old vintage cabs – I’m a big fan of basketweaves, checkerboards, ’60s and ’70s [Marshall 4×12] cabinets [with vintage Celestions]. They have a lot more life and expression, saturation…touch. It’s not harsh, it’s subtle. It’s dynamics.

Here's the Lynchback....

Here's the Lynchback....

Those are all sort of subjective words. All I know is when I use old speakers with the right cabinets, [they] respond the way I want….

Finding a new speaker that did that was very challenging. So we [he and Celestion] set out to design something with the right paper, the right glue, the right magnet, the right magnet material, the right weight, the right frame and the right voice coil [to] achieve that.

We started out with roughly the Greenback, and we tried to add to that without subtracting anything. The Greenback is the gold standard for rock speakers, and we thought a higher-powered version of that would make a lot of sense.

We wanted the low end to be a little bit tighter…. You have that higher wattage-handling capability so the low end gets less mushy and a little clearer, so it lets all those things in the signal chain do what they’re going to do.

Everything is in the 10%. You can have a speaker or anything else that’s 90% , but if you don’t have that last 10% that’s everything. We got there.


Big statements, eh? Here’s more:

Official Tonal Description

From Celestion: “The G12-50GL Lynchback incorporates the kind of detail and harmonic complexity found in vintage models of the late 1960s, combined with increased headroom, and the attitude, aggression and mid-band character of some of the more modern Celestion speakers.

“The result is an ideal balance between a detailed vintage warmth that makes your lead sound sing, and an upfront attitude that delivers punchier rhythm tones capable of cutting through the mix.”

My Experience

I played them a bit, though not much at volume, at the Amp Show. They sounded good, though I can’t say more than that yet because I haven’t put them through their paces…but I might, soon….

Second Time

This is only the second time Celestion has produced a signature speaker, the first being for Edward Van Halen.

Why pick George? Rick told us WoodyToners, “George is the player’s player. His skillset is massive, he’s written and played on some of rock’s coolest songs, and he has a super-strong work ethic. All of this coupled with the fact that was up for working with Celestion on a cool design made the decision to proceed pretty easy.

John Paice, Celestion’s marketing honcho, added: “This was an interesting project for us because from the outset George had a quite a specific tone in mind, and we were confident that we could achieve that for him.

“We also realized that that the end result would be a speaker that’s tonally unique, [which would be] something that’s very different from anything else in our range. And third, we think he’s an awesome player.”

Second Time II

Lynch fans might recall that the first signature speaker George developed was with Eminence, the Super V (150w!), which was supposed to be like the old Fane speakers he loves. (The Super V is no longer on the Eminence site, but you can see the old webpage here.) The Lynchback apparently incorporates the increased power handling, tighter bass, and more clarity in the upper mids and top of the Fanes, with the mids and warmth of Greenbacks.

The signature Randall Lynch Box cabs had shipped with Super Vs but now will ship with Lynchbacks.


> Right now Lynchbacks are only available in 8 ohms, but next year will be available in 16 ohms.

> I’m not a “cone snob,” but for sure certain speakers (with certain cones) will sound better to your ears. But: Lynchbacks use 1777 cones, which various sources say are brighter and “more aggressive” cones. These are used in many Celestions (including many Greenbacks), and are also the cones in the Celestions (Blackbacks) some alleged were used by EVH on Van Halen I….


Category: Celestion speakers, George Lynch, Marshall

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