Review: Fane Ascension A60 and F70 Speakers

Fane’s new Ascension range of 12" speakers was developed with input from Southern California amp designer Steven Fryette, and aims to capture the punchy, bold, yet harmonically complex and responsive performance that people love in the classic late-’60s and early-’70s speakers from this under-appreciated British maker.
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Fane’s new Ascension range of 12" speakers was developed with input from Southern California amp designer Steven Fryette, and aims to capture the punchy, bold, yet harmonically complex and responsive performance that people love in the classic late-’60s and early-’70s speakers from this under-appreciated British maker. The Fane sound became legendary due to their use in certain Hiwatt guitar cabinets of the era, and Fane’s new models provide added versatility for the contemporary player.

I tested the Alnico A60 and ceramic F70 in a closed-back Fryette Fat Bottom 2x12 cabinet (wired for individual use) and an open-back solid pine 1x12, using custom JTM45-style and Komet 60 heads and a variety of guitars.

Aiming to capture a vintage-inspired, low-wattage “alnico” tone in a package that’s still robust and versatile with 60 watts of power handling, the Ascension A60 delivered on its promise big time. Its immediacy and smoothly granular detail declared it a clear sibling to the F70, and it gushed with the tactile compression and juicy richness that so many players love in a good alnico driver, yet without ever giving over to mushiness. Great for chiming, classic British tones that segue into raw rock when pushed hard, it also excelled at delivering sweetly glassy American cleans, producing tasty twang and jangle from either side of the pond. It’s pricey, for sure, but worth a close look if you’re chasing a classy high-end alnico speaker.

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The Ascension F70 delivered a superbly rich and detailed response that made me feel the pickups’ coils were hard-wired to the speaker cone. It was fast, clear, and punchy—but impressively devoid of harshness—with a silky high end, moderately aggressive midrange, and a low end that was firm without being too boomy. Great for anything on the classic-to-contemporary rock spectrum, with a smooth yet articulate delivery of high-gain tones, the F70 proved a muscular performer that deserves to be considered alongside any of today’s “boutique” ceramic-magnet guitar speakers. Bottom line: The F70 and A60 are welcome additions to the market, and both are worthy of Editors’ Pick Awards.

SPECIFICATIONS

ASCENSION A60

CONTACT faneusa.com
PRICE $319 street

MAGNET Alnico
POWER HANDLING 60 watts RMS
IMPEDANCE 8Ω as tested (16Ω also available)
SENSITIVITY 100dB
FREQUENCY RANGE 70Hz–5,000Hz
VOICE COIL DIAMETER 1.75"
WEIGHT 9.04 lbs
BUILT U.K.
KUDOS Captures the beloved character of vintage low-wattage alnicos with better balance and firmer lows.
CONCERNS None.

ASCENSION F70

PRICE $199 street

MAGNET Ceramic
POWER HANDLING 70 watts RMS
IMPEDANCE 16Ω as tested (8Ω also available)
SENSITIVITY 100dB
FREQUENCY RANGE 70Hz–5,000Hz
VOICE COIL DIAMETER 1.75"
WEIGHT 10.69 lbs
BUILT U.K.
KUDOS An excellently detailed and well-balanced response that’s musically aggressive when pushed.
CONCERNS None.

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