Speaking to the Masses: Whatever Tone You Want, Eminence Can Deliver

We here at TheToneKing.com have been touting the tonal goodness of Eminence Speakers for quite a whileEminence is a homegrown, American company that not only offers a huge range of aftermarket speaker selections at great prices, they are also major OEM supplier to amp manufacturers who want to get their products sounding great right out of the gate.  There’s really nothing not to like.


We decided it might be fun to give you, dear reader, a bit of a taste of Eminence’s home cooking with a quick sampling of some of the cool speakers Eminence is making.  We’ve arranged our rundown through simple tone categories that every player is familiar with and, ideally, should have in their tonal repertoire.  Obviously, your amp will have a major influence on the end result, but a well thought-out speaker change is a great way to take your tone in bold, new directions.


Classic, Crunchy Hard Rock 


Most players might reflexively think “British” when it comes to the mid-heavy, wooly, dirty tone that drove many a hard rock and classic metal band, but those rebellious Yanks and their tweed-covered combos were plenty happy to splash around in that pond.  In fact, early American tweed combos had a huge influence on renowned British builders like Jim Marshall.  First emerging in the 1960s, this raucous, “here comes trouble” rumble came from cranking an amp to near-melting and letting it fly.  The Eminence Redcoat Series CV-75 brings on the battering mids emblematic of classic British crunch, and the Wizard’s emphasis on classic yesteryear grind also makes it a solid choice.  The Patriot Series Texas Heat is another great speaker with an emphasis on warm, fat frequencies that will sit nicely with a hard rock rhythm section.


Shimmering, Three-Dimensional Cleans


Both “American” and “British” tonal categories can lay convincing claims to being the king of clean.  In general, Fender “blackface” combos from the ’60s are acknowledged as casting the mold for the American clean sound: big, tight lows and shimmering, glassy highs with a palpable mid scoop.  On the British side there are many contenders for the crown (even Marshall gets some props in this department), but glances are typically cast towards the Vox AC30, the choice of scads of British Invasion luminaries, as the vanguard of anglo-clean: jangling top end, rounder lows, more mids, and generally more harmonic complexity.
If “American” is what you’re looking for, Eminence’s Signature Series TF-1250 is a strong contender.  Named for solo artist Tomo Fujita, the TF-1250 delivers all the smooth chime of a great American clean sound with outstanding touch sensitivity.  If that unmistakable Albion jangle is more your speed, you can hardly do better than Redcoat Series Red Fang, a vibe-y, American-made take on the classic speakers that drove the Vox sound into the heads of screaming ’60s teenagers around the world.


Harmonically Heavy Modern Grind
Now we’re firmly in TTK territory.  Foundation-shaking, punishing, end-of-the-world grind.  If you want to get the most out of your Diamond, Randall, or Peavey 6505, Eminence definitely has you covered.  The Patriot Series Swamp Thing and Texas heat are popular choices in the guitar-based internet for enhancing the thump and low end of high-gain rigs, especially when combined in a 4×12 cabinet.


A Tonal Kitchen Sink
Then there are those of us whose playing defies any easy categorization.  Musical chameleons who can hang with one style one day, and a totally different groove the next.  And Eminence has done something especially cool with their FDM series.  With the FDM, you can control the volume level directly at the speaker.  The benefits of this are twofold: not only can you rein in the volume when the situation demands it, but you can also access more overdrive and saturation at lower volumes or, conversely, dial out the early breakup for greater headroom.  Both the Redcoat and Patriot lines boats their own FDM models, the Reignmaker and Maverick, respectively.


The Legend line of speakers also offer fantastic tones and versatility for stunning value.  Eminence Legends can be found behind the grillcloth of many famous amp names as original equipment.  Clearly, amp builders wouldn’t forsake all of the hard work they did with a second rate speaker.   After taking apart a damaged name brand amp that I gigged with for years, I found an Eminence.  I took it out and have it in a safe place for a future project.
The Eminence website makes it incredibly easy for amp modders to investigate and compare the nuances of each model Eminence makes, and it’s really easy to spend a couple of hours using the Eminence Tone Guide to compare types, wattage ratings, and tonal characteristics.  We’ve barely scraped the surface of what Eminence is cranking out, and players are sure to find several types and models that can deliver the tonal goods they desire.  And even if you’re not in the market for a new speaker (yet), just checking out the cornucopia of options there will have you thinking about the many possibilities available.


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