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Killer guitar speaker for Axe!

smilefan

Experienced
When I first got my Axe FX I tried it with every amp & spkr I could lay hands on. At least 12 different guitar speakers of all types and wattages, PA speakers, even audiophile home stereo speakers. My initial winners were a souped-up VHT 2/90/2 into two 2x12s with Weber Californias in one, and the new EVM 12L Classics in the other. Best mix to my ears at the time.

Then I started gigging with them . Hard. Outdoor shows where no amount of volume was enough. Crazy situations where soundmen seemed to be dialing us down, and we had to compensate with stage volume, or rich folks farm-like backyards that faced giant canyons in the San Gabriel mountains. I’ve literally had the Axe output at 10, and both sides of the VHT on 10 into these poor speakers. Jet airplane volume. Combat zone. If there was an animal rights group for speakers, I’d be in jail now.

I would make allowances for speaker performance under such extreme circumstances. But with one speaker I didn’t need to. It performed without flaw, without mushiness, ghosting, bass flub, or any speaker stress at all. The EVM 12L Classic! Its also the most efficient guitar speaker I’ve encountered, I could look up the technical specs, but this says it better; with the EVM 2x12 on ‘4’, I had to turn the Weber CA side to ‘6.5’ to equalize the 2 cab volumes (the Californias are no slouch, either, very efficient themselves).

And that’s not even the best part. For a super high-powered speaker it has been amazingly musical. The bass is bigger than any other gtr speaker I know, but not in a boom-box way. Tight, controlled, yet massive and amazing punch. The highs are so extended, I don’t know what speaker to compare it to. Yet they are not piercing or fatiguing. I liken their highs to a Silverface Twin. Ultra high brilliance, seemingly reaching into dog hearing territory, but sweetly chimey. Scooped, open, uncolored mids (great for the Axe FX). Plus, they sound just as wonderful in my practice room as they do causing seismic distrubances.

The Californias are great speakers but they cracked a bit under the pressure(a bit woofy and mushy under very high volume) and couldn’t compete with the high end and low end extension of the EVMs, nor were they nearly as efficient. So if you need a military-grade speaker that can take impossible punishment without losing an ounce of clarity, control, or musicality then try the new Electro-Voice EVM 12L Classic. My ultra-clear, ultra extended 12” speaker of choice for anyone using guitar speakers with the Axe FX. They just sound better with the Axe than any other 12" gtr speaker I've heard, at any volume. YMMV.

 

senseix

Inspired
LOL, man what a great review. Good to know your experiences, i'll have to try some of those speakers in the future.
 

smilefan

Experienced
Folks might want to try some EV knock-offs, like
Eminence Delta Pro, or Weber Michigans. EVM Classics
are spendy. I should too, but now that I've bonded with
the EV's, its too late for me. The rest of you...save
youselves! (or your wallets, at least).
 

Stringtheorist

Fractal Fanatic
Awesome review. I own a couple of Mesa-Boogie 1x12 ext. cabs with similar speakers (not sure of the exact model) but I'm thinking I might like to try a pair of these Classics in my open-back 2x12 instead of the V30s. :cool:
 

smilefan

Experienced
I tried V30's when I first got my Axe and, no offense, but they
sounded like do-do next to the EV's. Very colored and alot of
work to to EQ the Axe back to a flat response. The EV's are
so flat and clean you can use the power amp/spkr/cab sims
even with tube power/guitar cabs and it sounds very right.
 

JGR

Inspired
A big +1

In just the last week or so, I loaded a pair of the EVM Black Labels into my go ol' Recto 2x12 and wow, game over. I ordered another pair and another Recto 2x12 to load them in to. I would have gotten the Classics, but AMS had a price drop on the BL's, so they were actually a few bucks cheaper. I just swapped the jack plate on my current 2x12 to a new one outfitted with two locking Neutrik jacks, and put in some heavy gage wiring. I'm currently pumping 450 watts into the 2x12 at 8 ohms - I'll be pushing 750 into the pair when I get the second cab. Neither the speakers or the cab break a sweat - they just punch you back. I've been running the cab turned on end in the vertical position and it sounds KILLER. Awesome cleans and distortion. Really lets the nuances of the Axe come through, and the bass response is unreal. The Xmax on these drivers is 3.3mm vs ~0.7mm for most guitar speakers, so it's no wonder they can pump the low end and really project. My power amp will push 850 into a 2.7 ohm load, so I think I may have to pick up a third 2x12 and run a sick 6x12 cab config!

JR
 

smilefan

Experienced
Killer! EV's do so much for the Axe. So clean you can leave all the sims 'on'
and it sounds great, plus that beautiful punch of 12" guitar speakers.
I rewired my cabs too, with Belden 12 ga. cable. You can see it clearly
in the picture above. Love your idea about installing Neutrik jacks.
Where did you get them?
 

JGR

Inspired
I got them from Parts Express. They carry the same jack plates that Mesa uses (Penn) with a variety of different cutouts. I was thinking about going with Speakons instead due to the higher current capacity, but figured it probably isn't necessary and this way, I can still use these cabs with conventional amps without the needs for adaptors.


 

joegold

Fractal Fanatic
The EVM-12L was the standard speaker in most Mesa Boogie cabinets until the early 90s when for some reason Electrovoice stopped making them.
Mesa then switched to the Celestion G90 speaker and they've stayed with them even though the new EVM-12L Classic series speakers are supposedly quite good. This is probably due to the weight factor. The 12L is very much heavier than most guitar speakers. IMO Those Celestions don't sound nearly as good.
It's still *my* favourite speaker.
I own 3 of the "Series II" models.
It's the loudest speaker on the market watt-for-watt.
It never breaks up.
It's got a perfect frequency response for all styles of guitar playing.
It's very reliable.

It's just heavy. that's the only downside.
 

smilefan

Experienced
Absolutely!

Yeah, the downside is the weight (I put mine in pine cabs, so I'm basically just humping
the weight of the speakers). The other downside is the cost. $220-240 each.
But you got it. They are SO musical. Not just for Metal. They sound great with
literally any music style, and their efficiency is just ridiculous. One of the reasons
I posted was that I've seen almost nothing on the boards about these new EV's
(the Classic and Black Label). They are one of the best speakers in all guitar-dom,
and very few know about them. They are made to order for use with the Axe.
 

DADA

Experienced
This is really realy an very good speaker. Thought to brimg this thread back to live.
Great work Smilefan.

Regards
 

zaphoid

Inspired
I had a pair of these and swapped them out about a year and a 1/2 ago for vintage 30's. I liked the reduction in weight and heck, ALLOT of people use vintage 30's, so they have to be good.. right? I struggled in that time to get good tones out of my rig, it seemed to cut into the mix well, but really lacked something. Two weeks ago I decided to put the EVM Classics back in. Gone were the piercing highs and flubby bass. Back was the smooth tight and punchy sound I was looking for, without even touching the EQ on the Ultra. I will NEVER use another speaker. If you can afford these speakers, get them, and if you can't, save up for them, they are so worth it. Ill be getting two more for my other 2 x 12.
 
Folks might want to try some EV knock-offs, like
Eminence Delta Pro, or Weber Michigans. EVM Classics
are spendy. I should too, but now that I've bonded with
the EV's, its too late for me. The rest of you...save
youselves! (or your wallets, at least).

Looked online for the Delta Labs and Webers.......no dice. I wish I hadn't sold my old Mesa 2x12 with EV's a million years ago lol. My cabs are 16 ohms so finding a 16 ohm EV knockoff is going to be difficult. I may try the EV's someday but I use an ISP powered sub that already delivers the goods so no hurry.
 

qingcong

Inspired
I would probably recommend against the Delta Pro 12A. In my experience it sounds a bit too dark for guitar use, it's a shame about the sound because it's 400W and $120 for a well made speaker.

The Deltalite 2512 is a lot more suitable for guitar. Some may find the 1.5kHz mid range area too beaming, but you can set some PEQ and it'll sound monster. The Deltalite has quite a bit more low end response than either EVM12L or Delta Pro in a sealed cab.
 
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