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Epifani 310, EA 112CXL review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Peter Parker, Jun 2, 2002.

  1. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    A certain company is considering becoming reps for either Euphonic Audio or Epifani. Each company sent the future rep company a couple cabinets and they wanted me to test them and give my opinion. I thought I would include my thoughts here.

    From Epifani a 310 cab and a 110 cab were sent. The 110 sounded OK but probably would be more appropriate for an upright bassist that wanted a little volume enhancement rather than full blown amplification. It had the type of tone that would help lift an upright above the horns but because of it's lack of lowend would need the upright being used to have good, loud natural lows. For electric, one of these cabs just can't cut it. They produce very little lows and don't handle a B string well. I suspect if you used two of these you would still want another cab, maybe a 115 or 210, to help round out the sound. I wasn't very impressed with this cab but to be fair, I've never heard a 110 that sounded good.

    The 310 was of course much better than the 110. It had a nice smooth tone that I would describe as flat. So flat though, that it sounded a little dull, lifeless. The lows were there the mids were pleasant and the highs were warm. By itself the cab sounds pretty good. The cab sounded fairly balanced but seemed to disappear a bit when the drums kicked in.

    The EA 112 CXL was... ok. It had a very dull sound with a very harsh high end. The lows were weak and the mids were scooped. This is another cab that needs the help of another to really be useful for an electric player. I doubt most upright players would care for this cab due to it's lack of mids and cold high end. Plus, it was quite heavy for such a small cab. For the record, I've had a chance to try out the entire EA line and must say that on the whole I like their amps and cabs; just not this one. If you're looking for a single 12 I would look elsewhere.

    I was able to test all these cabs in band practice and gig situations and got a good idea how they perform. My guitarist and drummer offered their opinions. They both hated the EA 112 and the Epifani 110 complaining that they were too small sounding and just weak in general. But both agreed that the 110 sound best between the two. They were split on the Epifani 310. The drummer liked the cabs mids and said it sounded "fine" but the guitarist thought the tone to be too muffled and lacking in the lows. They both said that my usual rig of an Eden 410 XLT was much better than any of the cabs. They said the Eden just has a much more authoritive tone that was just right in the lows, mids, and highs and offered much better support. The other cabs including the 310 just didn't fill up the sound. I would have to agree with them. The Eden bested the other cabs in every way. With all the hype of the Epifani 310 and their products in general, I expected more. I really liked the 310 but in all honesty the Eden is a much better cab. If you were to try these cabs side by side in a store solo, you may prefer Epifani(I don't) because of it's "polite" tone. But as most of you know, polite doesn't get the job done in battle conditions.

    These tests were done using an Eden Navigator Preamp and Eden 1000 power amp and a Fodera 5 string in a 3 piece power trio and a 6 piece jazz band. As to which amp company the reps will go with I don't know. I believe that Epifani have the better cabinets but what with EA being full line with cabs and amps, I would suggest EA as being the easier sell. I have the opportunity to keep one of the cabs for payment of my services and will keep the 310, mostly because it's worth more than the others;)
  2. Whoa! I guess Epifani's and Euphonic Audio's sound is not for everyone. There sure are plenty of people who love them and would coose them over Eden, though.
  3. grovest


    Feb 26, 2002
    I'd like to hear from more people about the tone of the EA CXL-112. It is currently my most desired cab, but there is little on the web in the way of testimonials, etc. I hadn't read before that it is has mid-loss or cold high end. Anyone else care to comment?
  4. Just do a search. There are a great many posts about the CXL-112. Also search the DB side of the board.
  5. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA
    I've never heard the EA(only heard good things about it), but I use a Epifani and to me sounds way better than what you described. Your opinion might have been different if they sent you their 2x12.
  6. Wow, Peter, you and I have VERY different opinions of the EA 112! I use the 112 with my double bass and five string electric. I find this cab to be very deep, articulate and punchy. The highs are not harsh at all. I find the mids on this cab are very strong and definately not scooped (maybe you are just used to the mid bump in the Edens). I used to use two different rigs 1. an EA 208 and 110 (great sounding rig but required more watts than I had) and 2.an Eden 210. Both were powered by an EA iAMP 600. When I A/B'd the 112 and 210 I found the Eden sounded like it had a blanket over it. The low-end response was inferior and the highs weren't as smooth. My Eden is now a lamp table until I sell it. I have been using it(EA112) with my double bass quite a bit lately and love it. It sounds even better than my EA vl110. True the 112 won't compete with an Eden 410 but two of them will. This is best 112 I have played through ( I haven't played the Epifani or Berg) and for me is the perfect cab. I can't wait till I have a second one for salsa gigs! Chris Fitzgerald (from the DB side) has been using one as well and likes it alot. Dave Freeman at Club Bass can't keep them in stock. He has them all sold before the shipment is off the truck. It is his best selling cab. I don't find the cab that heavy either. Its way lighter than my 210. Different strokes ...
  7. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001

    My opinion could have been different but I'm not judging Epifani on just one cabinet. I only reviewed the 310 and 110. I liked the cab fine but it wasn't an ear blowing experience. I'm glad you like your cab considering you've paid good money for it. :) I like both companies and have played through Epi's 212 before. I like the 310 better solo'd but I would have to try the 212 in gig conditions before I could judge it fairly. My description of each cab is exactly how I heard them.
  8. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    I'm glad you like the 112, Bass Boy. They seem to be well made. The first thing my drummer said when I struck the first note was how the high end hurt his ears because of the harshness. I agreed with him. I could tame it with some EQ and cutting the horn down to nearly off. I really like EA though. I've played through their heads and 210 cabs and thought they sounded great. I played through their 110 combo and hated it. Usually at band practice I play through a fairly inexpensive monitor cab that has a 112. My band and I thought the monitor sounded better than the EA. But as you said, different strokes...
  9. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    Hopefully, they used more than just one tester, cause there alot of opinions on these cabs.

    also, considering you're coming from an aggressive Eden perspective, its kinda expected you wouldnt appreciate the mids on both the EA and Epi which to my ears feel steelier and sweeter, respectively.

    the mids on the Eden do literally jump out at ya, but that aggressive nature gets kinda tiring and fatigueing to me after a while on the gig. like having too much cotten candy. ;)

    also, dunno what kind of conditions you play in, but, i kinda enjoy my time onstage rather than consider it warfare. hehe... just kiddin'! :D ;)
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    i think maybe they shoulda sent you an Epi 4x10. woulda been a better comparison.
  11. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    hell, ill trade you my 410xlt for your 310;)

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    What type of music are you playing? I play mostly jazz, and I find the EA's to sound absolutely fantastic. They are clear and articulate. Maybe not as suited for rock style playing. Naturally the midrange sounds scooped....they are hi-fi cabs. Little to no coloration. Eden cabs have a heavy mid-range bump. Not as well suited for Jazz and solo. I find the EA iAMP combo to have plenty of power. Way more than I would need for almost any Jazz gig I would play(including big band). Epifani and EA are less suited for heavy music I suppose.
  13. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    As I said in the first post I play in a power trio and a jazz band, and in both situations the EA failed to perform well. When you say that the mids are scooped that suggests to me that they do color the sound as scooped mids is not natural. Everything out there colors the sound in some way. The strings being used adds their color, the pickups/electronics, the amp, speaker cabinets, chords, the player, all color the sound. Amp companies have been feeding us this "no coloring" crap for awhile but I'm not buying it. Do Eden's color the sound? Sure. Yes the mids are bumped a little but it works(I know, not for everybody). In all my years as a player and teacher I can't count how many times guys have come up to me and complimented me on my tone and then tell me how they can't get a good sound and can never hear themselves no matter how loud they turn up. I ask them to show me how they EQ and 9 times out of ten, they've got their lows and highs boosted and mids cut out. It seems to me these "hi-fi" cabinets have cut mids to achieve that squeaky clean tone that seems to disappear when the music starts. Obviously you can EQ some mids in to cut through. I personally don't care how much color a piece adds as long as it sounds good to me.
    I'm not trying to insult anyone for liking the cabs that I do not. I simply had a cool opportunity to try out several cabs and thought I would share the experience. No matter what is posted here my opinion that the EA 112 cab isn't very good will not change. Reviews are always a personal thing and I am well aware that there are plenty of people who like EA and Epifani. As I said, I like both companies and I'm keeping the Epi 310(sorry Narud:)) but it's OK not to like everything. I don't like all of Eden's line either.
  14. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Hey, you like what you like. Cool.

    I still haven't heard the new CxL line but I've heard lots of people say they sound like the older VL line. If that's true the scooped mids comments are a real mystery to me. My VL110's don't sound scooped unless I EQ them that way.
  15. Peter Parker

    Peter Parker Banned

    Jun 10, 2001
    Brad, I've played the older 210's and the newer and find that they don't sound scooped to me either, just the 112. I don't like the coaxial design. The horn is harsh. I can't commit on the 110's as I've had too limited of experience with those. I love the finish on the EA's. If I were in the market for a 210 I would seriously consider their's. Something I forgot to mention about Epifani earlier: from more than one person and I have to agree, I was told that the Epi's look cheap. I'm not sure why I get that impression, maybe it's the logo and the writing on the speaker but they do look cheap to me. They don't sound cheap, though;)
  16. I've A/B'd the vl110 and CXL 112 ( I own both) and find the 12 has more mids. Its been a long time since I played a vl210 so I can't comment on those. I also find the 112 to have more midrange than the CXL 210. The new 210 actually sounded like it had a little less midrange emphasis than the other EA cabs I've tried. I however didn't get to really crank it up so I could be wrong.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    Thanks, Randy. As there are no local EA dealers I'd have to buy one to try one... or make a roadtrip.

    My VL110 cabs have the most natural and neutral mids (and highs and lows) I've heard so far. If the CxL has more mids... I wonder where they come from?;)

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