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Red Sound Elis8 FRFR Review and MF 10 Comparision

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I got mine today. And just my luck, they're broken! :tearsofjoy: No treble, and they make a weird rapid clicking noise when idling. I swear that I can hear the audio exhibit the same tremolo effect sometimes.

Or maybe it's totally normal to boost everything from 4 kHz and up by 10-12 dB to get them to sound even close to an Atomic CLR neo MKII? ;)
 
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jjdpro

Inspired
Hi folks,

this is my review of the new Elis8 Speakers by Red Sound.
Since I'm a Axe Fx user, I started with the I and I had nearly ever unit and on Facebook and here, allwas FRFR speakers came up and everyone is on the search to what could fit best, so maybe this is intersting for everyone who hasn't find the right solution yet.
First I have to say that I'm not related or payed by any of the companies. I bought and payed of course the speakers by myself.
This review is my honest opinion, please keep in mind that sound always is subjective and I do not want to bother anyone or any other company etc.
And I waited until the honymoon was over to keep my review as neutral as possible.

oh and please, I'm german, so english is not my native language but I will do my best ;-)

Let's start first withe the backstory.
When I'm ordering my Axe Fx III I did ask Jacques from G66 which FRFR speaker solution he would reccommend to me.
I had the Axe I and II before and also the Atomic Reactor Wedges.
Jacques answered that if I could hold on, he maybe will have something that I would really like.
He told me that there are a new FRFR speaker solution is comming in, which he really likes and that they not only sound great, they are also handmade in Italy and Marco Fanton (Ciao Marco) had an impact on the developmend because he have a signature speaker too.
Jacques also said that he can send me a Elis 8 and/or Mf10 for testing.
But I first trusted in Jacques, he has never dissapoint me and the G66 Support is stellar and second, I'm a father since december and my little daughter needs all my attention.
So that was late december...

in the meantime I grabed my Axe III and visited many many friends and musicians (as long as I could because of the pandemic) and all of them doin music for over 25 years. And many of them are also Fractal users, I tested the Axe III over P.A Systems, FRFR Speakers, studio monitors etc. etc.
I'm a studio and live musician by myself for over 25 years, so I think that I have some experience when it comes to sound.

And now the speakers
I did order the stereo bundle of the Elis 8, so there is one active (right) and one passive (left) cabinet.
The active cab has a stereo amp built in and powers also the passive cab.
The cabinets are fited with a custom made 8 inch ceramic coaxial speaker by sica
The 2 way power amp has nominal180 and maximal 360 w
They are super light weight and from what I can say now, the finish seems very durable.
The left cabinet can be connected via Speakon or TRS cable
the Axe can be connected via XLR or TRS
you can use the speaker straight or tilt back

What are so special about them? in my personal opinion!
I tested many many speakers over the last years but honestly I have to say that they are stellar!!!
You would never ever expect that a 8 inch speaker can have that amount of punch and can produce that kind of huge pressure.
They have really smooth and silky highs (most speakers that I have tested are ice picky etc.) and the 8 inch produces a big but very tight bass.
This is something I complain about most 12 Inch FRFR Speakers, they produce a big sound no doubt but in comparrison or band context, they are not in the middle they are everywhere and this is when the Elis 8 comes in. They sit perfectly in the mix, they fill out the middle section of a sound/room exactly where a guitarist would put a guitar in the mix.

Second thing is, there are many many presets in the Axe III I didn' care before but now...holy moly they are all blooming up and I'm discovering the whole unit new, I play presets that I never liked. They don't need any tweeking or at least just a small tweek at the amp EQ and they sound glorious.
The stereo image is imense and I have no daubt that these are fully stage usable, even with loud drums and bass.
I imidiately tried the Deluxe Reverb, AC 30 (we have a original from the sixties in the studio) Bandmaster and Matchless 30 and I'm just speachless.
The Plexi models sound so dynamic, raw and juicy.

Honestly for everyone who is in the mood of a good FRFR speaker or has't find the right solution yet, please do yourself a favor and check them out if possible.

Meanwhile I contacted Mirko Cascio Gioia (founder and CEO of Red Sound) because I just want knwo if I had to a speaker break in period etc. or anything else for I should looking for.
Mirko anwsered diretly that I have only one thing to do because h do test ever single speaker by himself for 10 to 20 minutes, I should just plug them, crank them up and rock them hard \m/

Thanks to Jacques, G66 and Mirko for outstanding support!
And of course Marco Fanton for input and experince on them, thank you!

Cheers
SashView attachment 78916

Edit:
After testing the speakers on full volume I‘m excited that there is absolutely no noise, no hiss or hum etc.
That did impressed me even more.
Hi Miko.. Do you have any information on the Stage Cab ( https://www.redsound.it/stage-cab) Thanks

Stage CAB - Active​

 

Hhuent

Experienced
Or maybe it's totally normal to boost everything from 4-5k with 7 dB, and lower everything below 200 hz with 3 dB to get them to sound even close to an Atomic CLR neo MKII? ;)
Sounds familiar: Over the weekend I tried many of my QC presets, with strat, tele, semiacoustic, different acoustic guitars through the Elis.8. The emphasized upper mids are very obvious, the bass is very tight (or cut in the lower register), to my ears they are definitely not flat (in the sense of FRFR) sounding. Maybe this is exactly what others like and what is meant to be voiced for guitar. I had to use the EQ way more often with the Elis.8 than with the Blueamps Junior EX I compared it to side by side for many hours. Often I preferred the Elis sound for their punch and ability to cut through (but needed to dial some honky mids), then I jumped back to the Blueamps for sounding smooth and more „natural“, less EQing, but also less punch. Dammit, I have a hard time deciding between two great solutions... first world problem, I know ☺️
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
Sounds familiar: Over the weekend I tried many of my QC presets, with strat, tele, semiacoustic, different acoustic guitars through the Elis.8. The emphasized upper mids are very obvious, the bass is very tight (or cut in the lower register), to my ears they are definitely not flat (in the sense of FRFR) sounding. Maybe this is exactly what others like and what is meant to be voiced for guitar. I had to use the EQ way more often with the Elis.8 than with the Blueamps Junior EX I compared it to side by side for many hours. Often I preferred the Elis sound for their punch and ability to cut through (but needed to dial some honky mids), then I jumped back to the Blueamps for sounding smooth and more „natural“, less EQing, but also less punch. Dammit, I have a hard time deciding between two great solutions... first world problem, I know ☺️
Well, my findings were that the stated +- 3 dB 70-20 000 hZ are nowhere near what my speakers produced. So I'll believe that they're broken until I try another pair. Because if this is what they're supposed to sound like, then they're pretty awful IMHO 😂 Muddy and boomy is what I'm getting out of the ones I have here.
 

Hhuent

Experienced
Like you, edge of breakup w/ Vox and Fenders. Got the Elis.8 during the Cygnus upgrade. So I’m still in the process of getting used to it while also tweaking Cygnus amp settings while also going back through which IRs now sound best. So I’m in a bit of no man’s land at the moment. I will say that just the stock Fender presets sound really good. Sound and feel like a real amp to me. I’m not there yet with the AC30 - largely b/c I’m suffering with a certain sound I can hear in my head that I can’t quite find yet no matter which frfr I use. I will also add that I haven’t had the elis8 very long and haven’t committed very much time to what I wrote above. And I’m pretty sure I don’t have your guitar talent or your ear. No being falsely humble - just a fact - I’m a self taught hobby player who still uses tabs to learn songs I like. So many guys on here are working musicians or have been at one time. So factor that in as you have read this b
Thanks for your insights @DallasGlenn2005! I feel you, also have to tweak my fingers off to build the presets with a new cab, so you are not alone ;-)) And I also started with Fenders because I am an old Fender guy.
 

Hhuent

Experienced
Well, my findings were that the stated +- 3 dB 70-20 000 hZ are nowhere near what my speakers produced. So I'll believe that they're broken until I try another pair. Because if this is what they're supposed to sound like, then they're pretty awful IMHO 😂 Muddy and boomy is what I'm getting out of the ones I have here.
Well, there must be something wrong with yours. Mine are definitely not muddy or boomy sounding, quite the contrary actually. Just not as flat (to my ears anyways) as I expected, but this can be a good thing and the feedback from other owners is absolutely positive.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
Well, there must be something wrong with yours. Mine are definitely not muddy or boomy sounding, quite the contrary actually. Just not as flat (to my ears anyways) as I expected, but this can be a good thing and the feedback from other owners is absolutely positive.
To be fair, the boxes hade ben manhandled quite a bit (the styrofoam inside was destroyed), and that weird clicking sound is pretty ominous... I've already sent an email to G66, so I'm sure it will be taken care of.
 

Sashman

Inspired
Sounds familiar: Over the weekend I tried many of my QC presets, with strat, tele, semiacoustic, different acoustic guitars through the Elis.8. The emphasized upper mids are very obvious, the bass is very tight (or cut in the lower register), to my ears they are definitely not flat (in the sense of FRFR) sounding. Maybe this is exactly what others like and what is meant to be voiced for guitar. I had to use the EQ way more often with the Elis.8 than with the Blueamps Junior EX I compared it to side by side for many hours. Often I preferred the Elis sound for their punch and ability to cut through (but needed to dial some honky mids), then I jumped back to the Blueamps for sounding smooth and more „natural“, less EQing, but also less punch. Dammit, I have a hard time deciding between two great solutions... first world problem, I know ☺️
The Elis 8 are definitely made for louder volumes, they really shine if you use try them louder than bedroom volumes.
I love the punch that they have as well, playing them in band against a 100 Watt Orange Rockverb and a 4x12 cab is so much fun!
 

Hhuent

Experienced
Today was the last day I was able to compare the Redsound Elis.8 stereo bundle to the Blueamps stereo Junior Ex which I will send back tomorrow because it is the builders own cab. Never tried them at bedroom volume, rather at rehearsal volume, but today I drove them to the max. My neighbours will hate me forever. My ears also. I played a tele, strat, Gibson ES330 and my acoustic Santa Cruz and McIlroy through them. Also some music from the ipad. Positioned the Elis cabs a little apart from each other for stereo sound and stacked them also for a better comparison. So far my hopefully final findings:
  • both cabs are tops, sounding better than the already expensive cabs I owned before. There is no winner here, it depends on your personal preference and purpose.
  • the Elis have more punch and are slightly louder (3db or so), the bass is strong and tight, not very deep (70 hz Elis, 55 hz Blueamps). The upper mids are overemphasized which makes them punch and cut through the mix. They do not sound very FRFR to me because of the louder upper mids, the highs are not so present or refined. This voicing rewards you with a great solid amp in the room sound, no harshness or icepick tones here.
  • the Blueamps new Junior Ex (4 x 6,5” speakers inside) seems to have a frequency curve which is more flat and sounding more FRFR like. All this according to my ears, not figures and measurements, that is. The voicing presents a warm deep bass/lower mids and very present, but silky highs and way less upper mids. All in all more balanced than the Elis, but less punch, not so fat mids.
  • While I played, the notes felt more „bouncy“ with the Juniro EX and more tight with the Elis. This may have to do with the fact that the 6,5“ speakers of the Blueamps have a soft suspension in the cabinet to reach lower frequencies.
  • The Junior Ex sounded very good out of the gate with very little tweaking and nailed the Fender sound I am after without much EQ or even bypassed EQ . By contrast I needed to use the EQ with the Elis quite a bit more to gain the results I wanted, mainly because of the emphasised mids. I can’t provide a band experience here, but I guess the Elis is very suitable in a band situation, whereas the Junior Ex sounds fine playing solo and needs a bass cut in a band situation.
  • for electric guitars I would slightly prefer the Elis, for acoustics I liked the Junior Ex quite a bit more, because it sounds more balanced to me. Sure enough both are great options for electric AND acoustic guitar, I just need to tweak the Elis more for acoustics. Both would not be able to replace my AER descendant, the Rösner acoustic amp.
  • if you want to play music from the ipad or play along with the IOS drum apps, both, Elis and Junior Ex are nothing to write home about. It just does not sound good, no decent hi-fi sound here. In comparison the Junior Ex sounded a bit better because the upper mids are not so present, but the highs are, so you hear highhat and cymbals. But this scenario was never the purpose of both cabs, so never mind. Just wanted to mention it because the question turned up.
  • The Junior Ex is a stereo cab, weighs 13.5 kg and measures 40 x 40 x 24 cm. If you want to place a second cab in the room to gain a wall of sound, you would need another passive cab with the same dimensions, well, too much for my use, I prefer small gear. The Elis bundle weighs a little more than 18 kg (both cabs), and measures 40 x 52 x 29 cm (both cabs side to side). Quite a bit more than the Junior Ex. But you can position two small cabs for real stereo in the room. Which would be one reason to buy me the Elis bundle.
As it stands today - and I went back and forth which one to choose - I am leaning towards the Elis for wide stereo, gig volume and mere punch. Based on sound and looks alone I would maybe give the nod to the Junior Ex. Well, probably. Prices for the Elis bundle and the Junior Ex are about the same, the Junior being a bit less.
My two cents to the best of my knowledge, You may have different and more cents.
 
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Dave Merrill

Fractal Fanatic
Thank you, great review.

Not that anyone cares what I think, but as much as I'd love a small package, I don't feel like I can trust speakers that are EQ'd for guitar. You should be able to play well-recorded music through your monitors, and have your guitar tones sound good and fit in through that same system, like really loud studio monitors. I'm somewhat leaning towards the Electro-Voice PXM-12MP, but those are way bigger, heavier, and more expensive. So I'm ot doing anything for now.
 
I finally played my Elis.8 (I only use 1 powered) today with Cygnus and upgraded/updated presets. At the “keep my wife happy” really low volume, that’s not where they want to live - well, either do I. But not even cranking them (ac30 @2.4 drive; -12db amp level, output knob at 12pm, global output -10db) they really sound great. Especially with Cygnus, the vox sim with Strat pickups in quack position, it had a real glassiness to the edge of break up sound and chime. Tried it with several cab irs (fractal, Edo, ml, and York). Thumbs up. I do think it is voiced for guitars. I will keep my monitors just for wife volumes. But even happier with this thing with Cygnus.
 

Hhuent

Experienced
Thank you, great review.

Not that anyone cares what I think, but as much as I'd love a small package, I don't feel like I can trust speakers that are EQ'd for guitar. You should be able to play well-recorded music through your monitors, and have your guitar tones sound good and fit in through that same system, like really loud studio monitors. I'm somewhat leaning towards the Electro-Voice PXM-12MP, but those are way bigger, heavier, and more expensive. So I'm ot doing anything for now.
My take is, both won’t happen with those cabs I reviewed. Talking about the EV: That should be nearly the same as the Dynacord AXM 12 which I had years ago. A very good monitor with lots of options. I remember music sounded very good through this cab. But my guitar sound felt a little stiff sometimes. Could be I was just not experienced enough to dial in good sounds, the reviews were phenomenal. But I still think the combination of a good PA music sound and an amp in the room guitar sound in one cab is difficult to achieve - even if the EV has a lot (!) of options with the DSP and EQ memory built inside.
 
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Hhuent

Experienced
I finally played my Elis.8 (I only use 1 powered) today with Cygnus and upgraded/updated presets. At the “keep my wife happy” really low volume, that’s not where they want to live - well, either do I. But not even cranking them (ac30 @2.4 drive; -12db amp level, output knob at 12pm, global output -10db) they really sound great. Especially with Cygnus, the vox sim with Strat pickups in quack position, it had a real glassiness to the edge of break up sound and chime. Tried it with several cab irs (fractal, Edo, ml, and York). Thumbs up. I do think it is voiced for guitars. I will keep my monitors just for wife volumes. But even happier with this thing with Cygnus.
Now we‘re talking. I wonder where my wife is since I started my weekend session with the cabs. Haven‘t seen her since... what? Friday? )just kidding ;-) Great that the Elis work for you!
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
When you guys say upper mids, which frequencies do you talk about? Because I did some more comparing today of my Elis8 with my CLR, and tweaked the output EQ of the Axe to better match the Elis8 to the CLR. I had to pull down 250, 500, and 1000 hz A LOT to get rid of the boxiness. Also add some for 4, 8 and 16k to open up the treble some. I really don't like the sound of these without EQ, they're not FRFR by a long shot.

I'm asking this, because 250-1000 hz are not upper mids. They're low mids (250 hz is borderline bass/low mids), and mid mids. High mids start at around 2k, but I find that it's the ugly and muddy mids that dominate the sound. At least with my units. They might be broken as previously stated (or at least I hope they are).

I'm seriously contemplating whether I should give another pair of Elis8 a shot, or simply go with a couple of EV PXM-12MP instead. Might even sell my CLR and get 3 of them (guitar left, the rest of the band + vocals, & guitar right). Having the separate non-guitar monitor helps separate audio by which direction it's coming from, so nothing fights for the same space. I've been doing it a long time with a mono guitar monitor and a regular vocal/band monitor.
 
When you guys say upper mids, which frequencies do you talk about? Because I did some more comparing today of my Elis8 with my CLR, and tweaked the output EQ of the Axe to better match the Elis8 to the CLR. I had to pull down 250, 500, and 1000 hz A LOT to get rid of the boxiness. Also add some for 4, 8 and 16k to open up the treble some. I really don't like the sound of these without EQ, they're not FRFR by a long shot.

I'm asking this, because 250-1000 hz are not upper mids. They're low mids (250 hz is borderline bass/low mids), and mid mids. High mids start at around 2k, but I find that it's the ugly and muddy mids that dominate the sound. At least with my units. They might be broken as previously stated (or at least I hope they are).

I'm seriously contemplating whether I should give another pair of Elis8 a shot, or simply go with a couple of EV PXM-12MP instead. Might even sell my CLR and get 3 of them (guitar left, the rest of the band + vocals, & guitar right). Having the separate non-guitar monitor helps separate audio by which direction it's coming from, so nothing fights for the same space. I've been doing it a long time with a mono guitar monitor and a regular vocal/band monitor.
I am trying to learn more about EQ in general.....
Where/how are you EQ’ing? That is, are you adding an EQ block at the end of the chain? Doing it in the amp block output? Preamp?
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I am trying to learn more about EQ in general.....
Where/how are you EQ’ing? That is, are you adding an EQ block at the end of the chain? Doing it in the amp block output? Preamp?
Settings/global. There are EQs there for all the analog outputs.

This is just an example of what I came up with that to me, made the Elis8 sound more flat. It's not perfect though, since I tried to remember my best attempt from memory.

Namnlös.png
 
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Greg Ferguson

Experienced
When you guys say upper mids, which frequencies do you talk about? Because I did some more comparing today of my Elis8 with my CLR, and tweaked the output EQ of the Axe to better match the Elis8 to the CLR. I had to pull down 250, 500, and 1000 hz A LOT to get rid of the boxiness. Also add some for 4, 8 and 16k to open up the treble some. I really don't like the sound of these without EQ, they're not FRFR by a long shot.

I'm asking this, because 250-1000 hz are not upper mids. They're low mids (250 hz is borderline bass/low mids), and mid mids. High mids start at around 2k, but I find that it's the ugly and muddy mids that dominate the sound. At least with my units. They might be broken as previously stated (or at least I hope they are).

I'm seriously contemplating whether I should give another pair of Elis8 a shot, or simply go with a couple of EV PXM-12MP instead. Might even sell my CLR and get 3 of them (guitar left, the rest of the band + vocals, & guitar right). Having the separate non-guitar monitor helps separate audio by which direction it's coming from, so nothing fights for the same space. I've been doing it a long time with a mono guitar monitor and a regular vocal/band monitor.
I didn’t have to adjust anything with my ELIS.8, they sound stellar with my presets; I tend to leave the EQ in my presets where Fractal puts them so maybe that’s the difference.

I used to do electronics packaging for REALLY expensive gear. The styrofoam bracing in the boxes isn’t a good physical fit, it’s brittle, and with any sort of vibration will compress and the gaps will enlarge, and eventually the foam fails if the transport carrier didn’t treat them well. I sent photos to REDSOUND about the problem. My ELIS.8 arrived in good shape but some of the foam didn’t. If you hear any noise besides a tiny bit of white noise and your guitar signals then something got damaged. That could explain the pronounced mids too, so talk to the factory.
 

guitarnerdswe

Fractal Fanatic
I didn’t have to adjust anything with my ELIS.8, they sound stellar with my presets; I tend to leave the EQ in my presets where Fractal puts them so maybe that’s the difference.

I used to do electronics packaging for REALLY expensive gear. The styrofoam bracing in the boxes isn’t a good physical fit, it’s brittle, and with any sort of vibration will compress and the gaps will enlarge, and eventually the foam fails if the transport carrier didn’t treat them well. I sent photos to REDSOUND about the problem. My ELIS.8 arrived in good shape but some of the foam didn’t. If you hear any noise besides a tiny bit of white noise and your guitar signals then something got damaged. That could explain the pronounced mids too, so talk to the factory.
Good to know! It's just that I've never seen damaged styrofoam with any of the much heavier products I've bought. I've already sent an email to G66, waiting for further instructions.

I have to say, digging through videos demoing Red Sound products didn't encourage me. They sound super dark when compared to other brands. One has a CLR and the LG12 back to back, and the difference shown is very similar to what I hear with my CLR and the Elis8.



Even in G66s official MF10 video, the guy demoing them has added a whole lot of upper mids and treble via the global EQ on his Axe-Fx III. All this, along with finding statements on here about Red Sounds having a reputation for being dark, makes me very sceptical that another set of Elis8 will sound much different.

I don't know. I expected a FRFR monitor that just didn't go as low in the bass as other FRFRs. Which is cool for guitar, we don't need to go down to 40-50 hz anyway. But everything above that is kinda advertised as flat, using terms like FRFR and stating 70-20 000 hz +- 3dB specs. But then again, the LG12 is advertised as 60-16 000 hz +- 3 dB (which is high enough to capture all the high end of a miced up distorted guitar), but it sure doesn't sound flat to me.

Just a thought though: You guys that dig the Red Sound products, do you prefer the "amp in the room" sound to the sound of a miced up cab? Because I kinda feel like the Red Sounds are designed get that kinda tone out of a modeller: The tone of a guitar speaker aimed at your legs (makes sense too with the weird low tilt angle of the Elis8 and MF10 with stands).

I've always disliked the amp in the room sound, which might explain why I don't like these. I want the sound of a recorded guitar, but louder. I wanna hear what the audience is hearing. When I tweak on my studio monitors, I want the exact same sound where I'm standing on stage, without changing anything. I play a lot of acoustic as well, and that's important to me. Maybe I'm just not the intended clientele?
 
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Sashman

Inspired
You can’t compare the LG12 with the Elis 8 or MF10.
The LG12 were made to sound like a guitar cab.
I never changed any stock presets they sound stellar with my Elis 8 and MF10.
My Elis 8 do not sound dark quite the opposite.
When I try a preset that’s made for let’s say a CLR, I had to dial in way more Bass and I have to cut mods and highs.
That’s meant that a (just example) CLR is way darker und muddier than a Elis 8 or MF 10.
That’s what I described also in my review above.
But I’m shure there will be more videos, reviews etc. incoming from other unsers soon.

Cheers
Sash
 
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