EA is O.K.! CXL-112L + CXL-110L reviews

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mcrelly, Aug 20, 2003.

  1. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I forgot to say this before I PLAY ONLY SLAB BASS non-upright.

    Well, I just got my CXL-112L from EA. As some of you remember me whining about the CXL-110L (I had two) I was complaining of a "flutter" sound that I thought was too loud and EA assured me was normal for a cab that small. I only heard the flutter playing solo and being close to the cab (few feet) I COULD NOT hear the flutter when playing with the band, but I returned them anyway.

    I've played with SWR Bass Monitor 12s for a couple of years as my main speakers. I play a Carvin combo (600w, 15+2 8's)(NOT MINE!) at church. I played various combos (see bio) over the years. In april I tried a friends EA VL-208 for a few weeks and heard, at my house, a VL-210. I liked the sound of both. can't remember all the strong points, but remember a general VERY positive reaction to the 208. Big sound for its size, but thought maybe it was lacking in the E-A notes on the E string. However, I was sold on the EA sound vs. my SWR.

    CXL-110L REVIEW:
    I Got two CXL-110L's ran them with my SWR 350 head with an RBI. Generally liked the sound of the two 10's. The 110's were heavier in the bottom than the 208 (duh!) but I heard the "flutter" noise from day one. about 90dBc on the E string striking a G or A I could hear a "flutter" sound on top of the note sound. OTHER TB'ERS SAID THEY DID NOT EXPERIENCE THIS WITH THEIR 110S! Some others DID with other models??? anyway the speakers sounded good with the band which tends to play around 100dbc on stage at church in a 60x30 room. usually I actually had to turn the BASS down from 12 o'clock to about 10 because the 110s would overpower the stage, in my opinion. The tone of the lows and mids or the 110s are more easily heard on stage than the Carvin and ESPECIALLY the SWR. The swr reproduction of the notes and waves is "blurrier"? less accurate? muddy? and the pluck of my fingers not easily heard on the SWR. The midrange of the EA is clearer. general tone more "hi-fi" I guess that refers to the accuracy and sounds more like a good home speaker/sub sound. I thought the overal volume for the 110L was barely enough for my current needs, another reason for giving them up. another complaint might be only one 1/4" and one speakon on the cab, but I guess thats o.k. because I have two cables anyway and two outs on my amp. Cabinet covering material on the 110L was rougher, bigger bumps than the 112L, bigger than ampeg bumps. almost sharp/abrasive, maybe they have changed this?

    CXL-110L Conclusion: In general a VERY nice heavy sounding 110 for use with quieter bands, jazz, Uprightbass maybe? maybe a little too easy to make them fart with too much bass knob. I always played with two. volume and bass knob freaks stay away. if you like clean warm tone for softer music try the CXL-110L.

    CXL-112L review to follow...
  2. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, after returning the CXL-110Ls it took about 6 weeks to get the CXL-112L. I only got one because I wasn't sure if I'd have the same problems I had with the 110L. I'm a pessimist (sp?) I plugged it in to the same set up I had with the CXL-110L. I've only played along with a few CDs so far. I have to play at church this thursday and I'll add a "band" performance review for the CXL-112L. at first I noticed the CXL-112L had a bright midrange at higher volumes so I experimented with my settings on my amp/RBI/guitar. I suppose this will help cut through on stage (EDIT: it doesn't, for me). I found myself setting the blend on the RBI towards 3 o'clock (smoother less dry twang from guitar). LOWS ARE HUGE! I thought people were exagerating, but wow! I may not need a second CXL-112L. (edit: the sound guy says my bass was good even near the back of the room, not true with two CXL-110's, EDIT 2: I was thinking of rewriting, but I won't. I'll say the "lows" are tight, not as deep as GS-112 or Eden d210xst.)

    After the initial "crank it up!" impulse I tried playing more like I do with the band. When I'm on stage I will "mix" my volume the way I would like to hear it right where I'm standing. sometimes that means its not really loud a few feet away, but the only person who seems to want it louder is the drummer WHO IS RIGHT NEXT TO ME!? anyway I played softer volume along with CD. The clearer tone of the CXL-112L allowed a lower volume, BUT STILL BE HEARD! (edit: at home) in the "mix". I will keep an eye/ear on this on stage. (edit: still had trouble on stage with mid not cutting through like i'd hoped, lows were great for a 112)

    Minor complaints: again one 1/4 + speakon. only "high" adjustment on cab so I could not "fix" the mids I thought might be too loud, but we'll see. (edit: mids were there, but maybe the wrong frequencies for my taste?)

    New Compliments: Like the finer grain finish on the rubberized coating. its smaller than the classic ampeg combo grain. almost like they used a sand-mold to put the grain on it. I like lifting with two hands. loud lows without muddiness!! (edit: hearing CXL-112L side by side with Aguilar GS-112 I can see why upright bass player would like the CXL-112L because lows are strong, but not Boomy and midrange is more even with the lows. translation: when you turn up the volume to present URB note articulation bass may not overwhelm sound or acoustic pickups)

    Thats it for now I'll update this after thursday practice and after weekend performance. I'm so happy I don't HAVE TO play through the carvin!!! I finally have a rig and guitar worth the hauling around!(edit: I hurt my back hauling the new cab around, but I HATE THE CARVIN so much I risked totally throwing out my back to play with something decent!!!)
  3. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well I used my CXL-112L for the first time at practice. A couple interesting points first. I got together with FIshbulb and tried my cab with the yamaha cp2000 and an RBI. ALso tried a 14ga speakon cable instead of my 18ga 1/4" The speakon and higher gauge cable did sound quicker on transients and maybe a little deeper? I could not really put my finger on what I didn't like, but the RBI running through the cp2000 didn't sound good to me. sounded muffled or something, maybe just needed to play with the tone more? anyway I liked the sound of my guitar running into a SWR 350 head > through RBI in loop > SWR power section > CXL-112L I'm not sure, seemed to have more "bite"? growl? of course not as much power, but nicer sound in my opinion. sorry fishbulb!

    So I took everything to practice: G&L SB-1, SWR 350, RBI and CXL-112L the cab was short (19") (on the floor) right behind me. The CXL-112L revealed distortion much more easily than my swr bass monitor 12's. so, I ran my RBI and SWR gains loud, but clean (lower than normal). I had my RBI blend at about 1:30. BAss was actually 9 o'clock (1/2 in the negative on the RBI. SWR was set flat except aural enhancer was either 1 o'clock (max twang) or 5 o'clock (most bottom and mids)

    I was playing with electronic drums, acoustic/electric, 5 vocals and keyboard. we didn't play very loud, but I was playing with my sound adjustments alot. The midrange that I thought would be helpful does not cover as wide of a range of the audio spectrum as I'd hoped. so I was fussing alot with the midrange. Maybe if I had a second CXL-112L closer to ear height might do the trick Lows were really good especially with the 6" raised wooden stage. Bass was great even with the knob at 9 o'clock. I WAS TEMPTED TO RUN WITH THE BASS KNOB ALL THE WAY OFF!

    I'm gonna compare the CXL-112L with Aguilar gs-112 on saturday. sunday I'll probably report on a sunday performance sound up date
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, I played my CXL-112L for my first church service, first time with this cab. we played louder than at practice. the cab seemed to keep up quite well with overall volume, but some of the lower notes were not as thick as I had hoped and I immediately thought "I wish I had the Aguilar here!" (read about my review of GS-112, at below link) I can't say for sure if the Aguilar's mids will satisfy me, but I'll find out! midrange was still an issue for me. even though in the review I thought the CXL-112L had too bright of midrange it did not seem to cut through or fit in with other instruments no matter what I did with tone controls. the bass was pretty thick despite sounding thin next to the Aguilar (during the audition earlier today), but never quite got the articulation or attack of my notes to make them selves stand out.

    I'll keep trying until next thursday when I'll be doing the same reviews (PROBABLY ALOT SHORTER) with the Aguilar GS-112.


    Here is my review on GS-112: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=97621
  5. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I've only got two more services to play tomorrow. I don't expect to find much different unless I stumble on the magic midrange setting, but I DON'T want anyone to think I'm totally down on this amp. Did I use that lingo right? I DON'T want anyone to think that I think the cab stinks or is terrible. IT IS NOT!

    Pros (reasons why someone might like the cab): Nicely designed cab. Strong lows, not super low, but they are suprising in the right positions in a room. Might be well suited for URB because the bass is loud, but not boomy. Midrange is also strong, but at different frequency than I had hoped. might be good again for reveiling articulation of notes on URB or fretless? 44Lbs (I weighed mine) is light for the lows that it puts out. seems to handle a moderate amount of power well. two handles!

    Cons (reason why I didn't like the cab): minor point, lows were not lower like the Aguilar GS-112 and Eden 210XST (which was lower than GS-112). with my bass and band situation I could not get a good midrange out of the cab to "cut through" in my opinion. I always seem to be walking a fine line between just enough midrange and annoying midrange when I look for a midrange response in cabs. STEEP PRICE paid $630 for one CXL-112L, the Aguilar GS-112 is $380! I'm in no way cheap, if I liked the tone of the CXL-112L over the Gs-112 or eden I'd stick with the $630, but after hearing those two I feel I paid too much and DON'T HAVE THE SOUND I'd like.

    NUTSHELL: Great cab, just not for me!
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    I think this says it all. If you played DB, you'd realize what all of the hype about EA cabs are about, because what you heard before you plugged in is what you hear AFTER plugging in, only after it's louder. I don't have a problem with the CXL112's mids at all, but I use my VL208 for straight-ahead DB gigs because it also doesn't color the bottom at all, and I feel that every 12" speaker I've ever played adds a disproportionate amount of bottom as the volume increases. The only time I ever auditioned an Aguilar, I only played for about a minute before deciding that it didn't sound a thing like my bass sounded before I plugged it in. Different strokes. Good luck on your search.
  7. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Slab mids can be finiky(sp?). You better have some sweet sounding mids comming from your bass and preamp when using an EA CXL112 as this cab will accentuate the mids. With my bass and amp setup I get a much fatter and at the same time tighter sound with my BG than I did with the aggie GS112. The key to acceptable mids for me is using old nickle wound strings as newer and especially steel wound strings have an unavoidable harsh metallic twang unless I seriously scoop the mids or use gear that does it for me (like the GS112). I like to hear woody (not metallic) midrage growl and a punchy, articulate but not harsh attack in my sound so scooped mids aren't for me. With my setup I can boost the mids within reason and it doesn't sound harsh. If your looking for low end rumble that operates more underneath a dense mix you might not like the EA.
  8. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, I got my GS-112 today and .... I WISH I GOT TWO it sounded so nice! The midrange still needs some tweaking, but its closer to what I need than the EA CXL-112L that I have AND WILL BE SELLING! the bottom of the GS-112 is pretty deep and smooth a friend played his 5 string through it as was very impressed. He's owned EA, EDEN he says it sounds close to edens sound.

    I'm not gonna bother comparing the EA anymore to my aguilar HANDS DOWN for me I like aguilar tone better! if I can afford it I just might get THREE!!!