This is a question I have seen come up time and time again. “What is the best speaker for a Blues Deluxe?” The “best” anything is subjective but I am going to give you a list of the 5 best speakers I have heard in a Fender Blues Deluxe Amplifier and you can decide if it’s right for you.
What is wrong with the stock speaker?
Personally, I find the stock speaker to be way too bright and also way too bass heavy. It’s a nasty top end that is hard to tame. I persisted with my Blues Deluxe for a while and then I realised the stock speaker wasn’t for me. That said, if you like it then it is fine. All of this stuff is up to your own ear and you can take my opinion on it if you so choose or just trust your own ear and experience.
1 – The Eminence Swamp Thang
The Eminence Swamp Thang is my personal favourite speaker for the blues deluxe. It’s been a fixture in my amplifier now for a number of years. This speaker turns the Blues Deluxe from an off-the-shelf guitar amplifier to sound a lot more “boutique”. I remember testing the Eminence Swamp Thang in my Blues Deluxe against a Two-Rock Studio Pro 35 (that I purchased) and I thought the Blues Deluxe with the Swamp thang killed it on clean. The Swamp Thang retains the top end clarity Fender is known for without having cut out any of the highs. It also has a pronounced bottom end which will fatten out your overall tone.
In my opinion, this is the best speaker for retaining the Fender Sound but also adding some good stuff. Being the Swamp thang is rated at 150 watts, you get lots of clean headroom and very little speaker distortion. This means you’ll be able to stay clean a lot louder than the stock speaker.
2 – Eminence Red White & Blues
The Eminence Red White & Blues speaker is a beast. It has less top end than the Swamp thang but it also has a fatter overall sound. It still retains a Fender tone on the most part but not quite as much as the Swamp Thang. With that in mind, if you opt for a non-bright sound you will love it. It has a thick spread and tone that I can only compare with the Texas Heat but it feels a little less dark sounding to my ear. Overall the Eminence Red White & Blues speaker is perfect for this amplifier if you’re not into a super-bright type guitar tone.
3 – Eminence Texas Heat
I tried this speaker in my Blues Deluxe out of curiosity and there was a lot to like about it. Would I take a Texas Heat over the stock Fender Eminence speaker? You bet! If you like thick mids with an attenuated top end the Texas Heat will deliver the goods. Most people find the Blues Deluxe way too bright (like I did). This would also be a good choice for taming that top end. If you inherently like a bright sound maybe don’t go for this speaker it has a bit less top end to my ear than the Eminence Red White and Blues but is super-loud and fat.
4 – Celestion Creamback
Just so you don’t think I am a fan-boy of Eminence speakers the next one on the list is from Celestion. The Creamback is a really solid choice for the Blues Deluxe. While this speaker is an “English voiced” speaker it seems to work really well. The Celestion Creamback speaker can be found in boutique amplifiers like Two-Rock. It has a very articulated sound that works great with the Blues Deluxe too. My good friend gigged with a Blues Deluxe and Creamback for years and I got to hear a lot live and his tones were amazing.
5 – Lorantz Speakers
I’m sure if you live outside of Australia you probably haven’t heard of Lorantz speakers before. Lorantz makes a higher headroom Celestion Greenback clone that does one thing amazingly well. It has maybe the nicest speaker distortion I have ever heard. What this means is as you turn up the amp louder the break up you will hear is from the speaker before the power tubes. This is something a lot of players go for but there’s one small downside: The amplifier will not be as loud with a Lorantz as with a Swamp Thang. High headroom speakers are what you want if you like “loud and proud” low headroom speakers is what you go for if you want a “chuggy tone”. Check the dB rating on any speaker you’re considering. Usually, the higher the rating the less speaker break up you’ll get.
I hope this list is useful! Thanks for your time. If you have any suggestions for speakers you enjoy in this guitar amplifier please post in the comments.