Metallica speakers

You to can now master the Metallica sound like a puppet.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by dafxtone » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:35 pm

@silverwulf : OK i understand the story and i agree with you. MOP was made on G12-T75. Nice to be sure now.


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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by Silverwulf » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:43 pm

dafxtone wrote:
Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:35 pm
@silverwulf : OK i understand the story and i agree with you. MOP was made on G12-T75. Nice to be sure now.

This thread was helpful, and a few of the pics you posted actually helped connect a few dots for me!

I never had doubts that MoP was 75s, but the serial timeline itself never sat well with me. I knew that different series ran on different serial number sequences, but I never once considered that A and B cabs within the same series had their own serial number line as well (I'd always just purchased B cabs). That tied it all together, and now the timeline makes perfect sense. Cheers man!
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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by dafxtone » Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:49 pm


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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by boogieordie » Sat Feb 23, 2019 1:15 am

Another example of Flemming being forgetful is that he has stated the mic placement for MoP was center cone on axis. In both RTL and MoP pics they're not! In the MoP pic, you can see the bottom corner of the mic and a reflection of the tip pointed at roughly a 30 degree angle toward the outside of the cab slightly downward. It's pointed so that the top of the mic's diameter is just clipping the bottom right edge of the dust cap, but mostly at the cone. The RTL pic shows the mic at about 45 degrees, again pointed slightly downward and again top of the mic is at the bottom corner of the dust cap with the meat of it pointed at the cone.

Flemming did state that he was in the control room while his assistant was placing the mics. It's interesting that the same mic technique was used on both albums. I verified that center cone on axis sounds like complete crap, very ice picky and muddy. The aforementioned mic placement comes much closer to the album tone giving attenuated highs and a darker tone without the mud. It helps it to sound more like the amp actually sounds live.


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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by Philhouse » Wed Feb 19, 2020 6:16 pm

boogieordie wrote:
Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:46 pm
I don't put much stock in Monty Jay. It's just not a reliable source of info. Even Flemming has trouble recalling and wasn't fully aware of what they used at the time. Flemming has said they used EQF-1's on the album when clearly the studio picture was an EQF-2. The EQF-1 is also inconsistent with his notes since it doesn't have the same peaking/ shelving options that are listed on his notes that only the EQF-2 has.

After a quick check I didn't even see the EQF on the Monty Jay site (only a Furman PEQ) and being that I own 2 EQF-2's myself these units are absolutely critical to the MoP tone receipe!

Also pictured at sweet silence with "crunch berries" and therefore easily deduced was taken during the MoP session - separate Google search & NOT pictured on Flemming's site - are two compressor/ expanders along side the 2 EQF-2's which I also own and from experience I can tell are used to tighten up the crunch at those gain levels along with adding some punch. Settings are difficult to see but you can see that one is being used in compressor mode while the second is expanding. It makes no sense that these were used in series since one unit can perform both functions simultaneously. This technique would be consistent with two separate heads with one cab each, both being fed by what appears to be an ABY box(again explaining why there's 2 of everything) that his guitar is going into with 2 cables coming out, and not one head with two cabs being miced as some people speculate based on Flemming's notes. Oh, "maybe he used stereo for cleans and mono for distortion?".. you say? Nope, the picture squashes that theory since the lead channel knob is pulled. Flemming is doing one of three things, either he completely neglected to even notice a stereo rig right in front of his face(unlikely), or he lost, forgot to, or didn't take notes on the second amp settings, etc., or he is intentionally withholding the final ingredients to the "holy grail."
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I also believe that there is much more to the story than just the Flemming's notes he put up.

The pics as shown above (are actually taken out of the MOP "'Back To The Front" book) have two Marshall B cabs with a Mark Boogie head on each (the head on the cab to James left is kinda hard to see, but it's def there). The EQ setting on the head we can clearly see is way different to the settings on most of the Sweet Silence Puppets notes.
There is also a third Marshall B cab and Mesa head just out of this shot to James left, can't see it in the pic above, but there is another pic from same shoot with James hanging his tongue out (its in the Puppets Deluxe box set book, about page 13 or a google search will find it).
So there is three seperate heads and cabs in just these pictures, and at least one head has quite different settings than the usual settings on the notes supplied, and trying out the settings in the pic on a IIC+ on their own sounds like ass TBH.
This seems to be during the recording of "Thing.." due to him using the King V, maybe one amp was set with a nice huge bass boost, and the other two set different? As you said, for Flemming to miss/ignore/omit these settings and mention of multiple heads, is it due to forgetfulness, lack of memory for that specific song, or maybe not fully disclosing all secret details in order to protect the 'holy grail' stuff? :)

My question/theory is that perhaps they were combining/blending the heads with diff EQ's to get a different tone than with just one head, ie: like James did with his VH4 and Triaxis blend (pre-AxeFX days), and also countless other artists do these days, perhaps this is where the idea started for James' tone to combine amps with diff eq's to make a unique tone for himself? I'm sure it had been done plenty of times before in studios and different artists, but maybe that's where James first used it and adopted it into his rig? during the Puppets tour we see his rack with the Marks heads and JCM800 heads. There was a theory of them slaving the Mark heads through the JCM800 during recording, but solid evidence of that is hard to find, and as we see here in this thread even Flemming's recollections are sometimes hazy. Perhaps James was using both the IIC+ and the JCM heads combined on the tour? dunno.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by Firefight » Thu Feb 20, 2020 5:14 pm

And to this day no one knows if his crunchberries head was a Coliseum or not, never has anyone ever posted a picture of the back of that amp.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by lions » Sat Mar 14, 2020 5:28 pm

Aren't the old 75's different sounding speakers to the newer ones? I definitely get closer with 65s than 75s these days.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by DudeWithNoName » Wed May 06, 2020 4:50 am

Hello fellow Metallica fans,

I stumbled across this board topic when I was researching Marshall cabinet serial numbers - indeed, the Boogie Board features better information on this than what can be found anywhere else on the web ;)

I think that I can contribute even more confusion to the topic of speakers of Metallica and MoP, but hopefully I will also be able to clear some things up and maybe you'll like my theory and thoughts on this.

A short preamble: Celestion speakers, even today, come in different versions, even if their "name" is the same. This has always been the case, even with the famous Greenbacks. Basically, there are several speakers that are called G12H or G12M. The G does not stand for "guitar", it was used to denote a "general" purpose speaker. That is why you can find "guitar" and "bass" speakers, but also PA and full-range speakers that have the same label. I use the term "guitar" and "bass" because that is what they are usually being referred to, even though there is no actual statement on this from Celestion. I think that the term actually comes from Marshall, because they put "bass" stickers on their "1982" cabinets where the "bass" version could usually be found.

The G12-65 (and its big brother G12-80 and also its smaller twins...) also came in different versions, from guitar to bass, to PA versions with smooth cones and twin-cone full range attempts. I would like to focus on two versions that were used by Marshall.

T3053/T3054/T3120 aka "lead": These are the typical G12-65 speakers of the late 70ies/early 80ies, they all feature the 1777 "lead" cone. T3053 is the 8 ohm version, T3054 is 15 ohm and T3120 is the Marshall labeled 15 ohm version. Lead refers to the higher resonance frequency of the 1777 cone. In a nutshell, this speaker has more mids than the "bass" version of the G12-65.
T3101/(and others?) aka "bass": These are also G12-65 speakers, but they feature the lower resonance 444 cone. T3101 has a Marshall label! Generally, these speakers would have been preferred to be used with bass guitars and they do not have the best reputation. I don't know where, but I have read (several times!) in different guitar boards and on blog posts, that they are unusable with guitars... but as a matter of fact Marshall also put them in guitar cabinets. I also think that they sound fantastic. They could be found in the 2x12 1936 cabinets and sometimes in the 1960B cabinets.

In my opinion there is almost no consistency on which speakers were used. As a general rule for the very early 80ies:
  • 1960A G12-65 1777 cone
  • 1960A G12-65 1777 cone
  • 1960B G12-65 1777 or 444 cone <--- this is important
  • 1982A G12-80 1777 cone
  • 1982B G12-80 444 cone
But there were also the 1935 cabinets, they are not that common (but I will come back to them later...):
  • 1935A G12-65 444 cone
  • 1935B G12-65 444 cone
Usually another G12-65 would only cause more confusion, but with the G12-65 it is different. Early T3101 versions look very different, because they feature an oversized dust cap that is distinctively larger than the dust cap the G12-65 lead speakers.


On the left you see a 1978 T3054 Celestion label G12-65, right is a 1980 Marshall label T3101, I took that picture a few weeks ago when I changed some speakers.

Why does all of this matter? Because in my opinion Hetfield probably did not use the G12-65 that everybody thinks he did. All the following is a bit speculative, but I will try to explain my reasoning.

I think that the G12-65 that Hetfield had was one with a bass/444 cone.


Try to take a look at the dust cap of the speakers in his cabinet. To me, it looks bigger than that of the lead speaker and more like that of the right one.

What is the real bummer, though? It is the fact that 300W sticker cabs with G12-65 exist! You can find 1935 cabinets from 1985 (!) with G12-65 speakers. These speakers are the T3101 bass version G12-65, but by 1985 they did not have the Marshall label anymore and instead feature a white-label that has the same bold font as the G12T-75. Take a look at this: ... 1985-68465

300W sticker, G12-65, T3101 with bass cone in a package that looks very much like your standard Marshall 1960.

Does all of this make sense? I think it does. I have many different Celestions: G12-80, with both 444 and 1777 cone, the already shown G12-65 with 1777 and 444 cones, mid 80ies G12T-75 (not vented anymore...), G12M/H Greenbacks and G12M Blackbacks. I do not have a Boogie, but I can get really close with the G12-65 and G12-80, but the closest to the MoP sound is the T3101 bass version G12-65. The G12T-75 on the other hand is not even there. They sound like AJFA and Seattle 89, not like MoP. I can easily switch between those sounds, but not by tweaking the amp. I have to change the cabinet. My theory also explains why the "normal" G12-65 does not get you there 100% and it explains the 300W note.

Let us also not forget that we are talking about the 80ies. Hetfields tone was very bassy for that time and they tried to get it tight. That is why it makes so much sense to use a bass oriented speaker in this case.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by dafxtone » Wed May 06, 2020 7:15 am

Hi dude !

Wow, brillant, congrats ! I think you really have it :)

As a big fan of the MOP, i've never found the sound of the G12T75 close to the sound of MOP. There's not the caracteristic spike in the highs, not this famous articulation into the bass (than you can found with a C90 or a CL80), not as speed as the the G12-65, not as cold.It's mainly due to the voice coil in my opinion (kapton vs glass fiber) but i suppose you already know that.

I will try to make forensic on the pic to confirm with proportion tonight.


Edit : I'm not good enought in math to calculate the ratio with perspectiv, sorry.
Last edited by dafxtone on Wed May 06, 2020 1:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by DudeWithNoName » Wed May 06, 2020 8:37 am

Thank you dafxtone! I am really looking forward to getting a better comparison and some forensics as I am not good with image editing ;)

As for the difference in tone between 65 and 75: I suppose that the G12-65 and early G12T-75 have the same cones (1777 and/or 444!), spider and magnet and therefore the difference should come down the voice coil, but I am not fully sure on this.

However, the numbers 1777 and 444 are supposed to be part numbers only, they had already been used in the very early 60ies (see ... cones.html). At that point they were different cones, so maybe there could be a difference in the cones, too, but it does not look like that would be the case, at least to me using my naked eye.

P.S. (because I don't seem to be able write a PM): I have not been a member on any other English speaking discussion board before, sorry.

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Re: Metallica speakers

Post by stephen sawall » Wed May 06, 2020 12:59 pm

Just a general history of Celestion...

"A Celestion G12 chronology might be of help in sorting things out.

WWII- Celestion makes a 12" alnico magnet public address speaker for Royal Navy warships.

1950's- A 12" with alnico magnet called the G12 is developed from the early 12" for musical instrument amps, and quickly becomes associated with Vox amps.

Early 1960's- Marshall uses the G12, but it can't be painted blue.

About 1965- Due to the high cost of alnico, a medium weight ceramic magnet version is developed. This is the first of what will be called the Greenbacks. It is rated at 20 watts and is less sensitive (loud) than the alnicos, and with a crunchier sound. The alnicos developed 100 db's at 1 meter distance with a 1 watt sine wave, while the ceramic developed 96 db's.

About 1967 -A heavy ceramic magnet version is made available. The heavy magnet version is called the G12H, and the medium weight ceramic version is called the G12M. The first run of G12H's are rated at 25 watts. It's as loud as the Alnicos.

1968- The G12M is up rated to 25 watts and 97 db's. It becomes the standard Marshall loudspeaker for the next ten years. The G12H is up rated to 30 watts and becomes the heavy duty option for Marshall amps/cabs for the next ten years. It is strongly associated with Hendrix.

1970-Celestion moves their plant from Surrey to Suffolk, and the speakers now carry the name Rola Celestion on the sticker. Previous Celestions, or pre-Rola, are believed to sound better.

1970's- The G12M25 and G12H30 are continued, often with green magnet covers on the back. Grey, orange, and black back covers are also used. The black covers are more often used on the G12H30.

1978- The G12M25 is replaced with the G12M65 (aka the 65's). The 65 is very simlar to the 25 in sound overall, but has a tighter bass, and a later breakup. At about the same time the G12H30 is replaced by the G12H80, but it doesn't sound at all like the G12H30.

Early 1980's-The beloved 65 is replaced by the hated G12M70, and then by the not much better, but better than the G12M70's, G12T75 by about 1985. The T magnet is the modern eqivilant to the M magnet. A whole range of modern G12 models proliferate, but people want Celestion to "bring back the Greenbacks".

About 1986- Marshall wants a Vintage alnico sounding speaker for their Studio-15, but a true alnico is too expensive. This becomes the Vintage 30. Due to the clamor to bring back the G12H30; it's called the Vintage 30 in a clever marketing ploy. The Vintage 30 doesn't sound like the G12H, but is actually a ceramic alternative to the old alnico G12's, although it does use the H magnet and bass cone.

About 1989-The 70's version G12M25 green back is re-issued.

About 1991- The G12 Alnico Blue is re-issued.

About 1997- A G12H30 version is finally re-issued.

About 2003- Most production is moved to China. UK production retains the Alnico Blue and the Heritage versions of the G12M and G12H speakers. The Heritage G12M's are the G12M20 from 1965, and the G12-65 versions. The G12H30 Heritage is supposed to be the pre-rola version using the 55 hrz cone."
The fact that Stephen appears from nowhere, is sentenced to death in an emotional public trial without anyone interfering at all and is then altogether forgotten as if nothing happened, is already suspicious.

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