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Steelsound 2x12 review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by vicenzajay, Jun 6, 2005.


  1. O.K.

    Having been suitably impressed with AVATAR's B210 NEO (of which reviews abound on this site), I figured it would not cost me much to try out Steelsound's newly designed SSB212 cabinet.

    The reviews on this site were fairly mixed; however, most of them were by individuals who seemed to be talking about what they'd read rather than from personal experience. So here goes (everything is only my opinion - YMMV):

    Cost:
    139 dollars (US). This is obviously much lower than pretty much any other 2x12 out there. The shipping does cost 30 dollars for FEDEX ground; however, for a total of 169 dollars, it's a tough price point to beat.

    Construction:
    - Steelsound has pretty much switched to making everything out of birch hardwood - nice choice. This cabinet weighs right at 60 pounds - pretty light for a 2x12 from any manufacturer.
    - The face grill is now a complete grill vice their older "speaker" grill configuration. This is nicely done with some very nicely placed grill/faceplate spacers that give the grill a very solid feel.
    - Speakers are Madison Knight 12's with a frequency response down to 35 Hz. The cab is front ported; however, I prefer Avatars porting construction. The cab's impedence is 4 ohms.
    - Piezo tweeter - more about this later.
    - Carpet covering - O.K. - not, in my opinion, as high quality as some; however, it is VERY nicely (and tightly) applied. (I really wish EVERYONE would just use tolex).
    - Handles/jackplate - this is where the construction breaks down a bit - both of these are hard plastic. The handles seem very sturdy - but I would have much preferred a good metal jackplate.
    - On a very nice note, there is NO Steelsound "logo" on the grill - only a tastefull name on one of the Handle plates.
    - The dimensions are easily stackable with most cabs out there - 25x24x16

    Sound:
    - I played both a Dean Fretless 4 and a G&L L2000 through a Peavey Nitrobass with a flat EQ to see how the different preamps would sound through this cab.
    - This, obviously, is very subjective, but I'll give it a go...the sound is very big (as one would expect from a 2x12). The amp was very responsive to the entire freq. spectrum of the speakers, and the 12's were very fast while easily handling the lower frequencies.
    - O.K., normally I'm not a fan of piezo tweeters, BUT, this one is starting to change my mind. It allows the sound to have a roundness that is very "modern" with (get this) NO noise or hiss. I was actually very impressed - the only thing I would have liked to have seen was some sort of easy way to turn the tweeter off or take it offline. I want a 2x12 to do the 2x12 thing - sound BIG, ROUND, and DEEP. The 2x10 and a nice tweeter can take the other part of the tone load (IMO).

    Customer support:
    - O.K. - you need to type certain things into the subject line of your emails to get Cindy's attention, but once you do, she's good at getting back to you.
    - They did provide tracking information, but overall, shipping is much slower than Dave at AVATAR (for example).

    Overall:
    - I'm impressed. At this price point (and more IMO) this is a nice sounding, relatively lightweight 2x12 cabinet for 140 dollars.
    - The jury is still out on durability. Let me play it for 5 or 10 shows, and I'll get back on how it's holding up.
    - Kudos to Steelsound for building it with birch and really sprucing up the grill construction.
    - Need to change the jackplate to a metal, more secure one.
    - Need to add speakon connections.
    - Customer service means well, but is less responsive than it could be - probably because they're doing a ton of business right now.
    - Pretty killer cab in the end analysis - I was fairly impressed by the tone...especially the way the cab went through the frequency spectrum so nicely. Big sound all around.

    Hope this helps as it seems Steelsound gets a bit "poo-poo'd" right from the start of anyone's query.

    Cheers,
    Jay
     
  2. jiant.

    jiant.

    Jul 3, 2004
    Fort Mill, SC
    I have a Steelsound 2x10 that was my only cab for quite awhile. It sucks for bass, but sounds halfway decent when running my friend's Marshall and a guitar through it. I have heard that they are getting better with their products though.
     
  3. Justice

    Justice

    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    Wow, only 50 pounds? That half the weight of my Audiophile 2x12...no wonder my back hurts..
     
  4. ardorx

    ardorx

    Sep 23, 2004
    Sugar Land, TX
    Did the 212 go loud enough and low enough to be a stand alone cab?
     
  5. Easily
     
  6. Original post edited for weight typo.
     
  7. Justice

    Justice

    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    60 pounds? its lighter than my 2x10 Audiophile as well.

    I have been considreing buying a pair of their empty 15 sub cabs for my little PA (i already have the drivers) and I just saw rececntly that they have a newer version that looks much better...kinda they way you describe the 2x12 lookinf better then the older version.
     
  8. Justice

    Justice

    May 24, 2002
    Houston TX.
    My Audiophile 2x10 tips the scales at 65 pounds last time I checked.

    I have heard of others that were very satisfied with the budget boxes from SteelSound so going from MDF to birch ply and making them better looking won't hurt.

    I'm not looking to move away from my Audiophiles any time soon, the 2x10 + 2x12 is a killer combo.

    I may look into one of the SS cabs to put in the practice room later though.
     
  9. Smash,

    Will do as soon as I get a chance (post pics). I agree, appearance/construction makes a huge difference. They still have a way to go, but I still feel it was very little money well spent.

    Jay
     
  10. A few construction details I left out earlier:
    - Nice rubber "feet"
    - Metal corners (not as nice as thick rubber corners)

    Here's a few pictures:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. illidian

    illidian

    Jul 2, 2004
    Looks professional. Nice review.

    My only concern would be the depth of the cabinet. I would think the cabinet would have a low volume and would have problems with the low end. But you mention none of this.

    For $160, can you go wrong?
     
  12. Good points all - It is a full 16 inches deep (for comparison, Avatar's B212 is 16.5 inches deep). FWIW, my cab seems to have no volume/low end issues.

    Jay
     
  13. lbanks

    lbanks

    Jul 17, 2003
    Ennui, IN USA
  14. illidian

    illidian

    Jul 2, 2004
    Your amp is just a big monster. It makes the cab seem small.

    It looks fairly compact for a 2x12 with that speaker array as well. What are the dimensions?
     
  15. It's 25 inches high/24 inches wide/16 inches deep.

    You're right - the old nitrobass is a monster (sizewise). All my cabs are 4 ohm cabs, so I find myself gravitating to amps that can handle 2 ohm loads.

    Jay
     
  16. Robear22

    Robear22 Supporting Member

    Sep 28, 2004
    Beach Park, Ill
    I was interested in getting that cab but was uncertain because of the lack of info on it. Thank you for the review and the pics. I may try to pick one of those up. It seems that you can't go wrong for 170 bucks.
     
  17. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    How does it compare soundwise to Avatar B212? I have one and love it, it's my main gig cab. I'd like to get another 212 sometime. Just curious about this cab, cuz I know some people looking for a cheap bass rig, and I want to be able to make a couple recommendations before they make a stoopid move.
     
  18. ErnieD

    ErnieD

    Nov 25, 2004
    Atascocita,TX.
    I just got a B212 off ebay and I am looking for a B210 to go on top but was also considering a 2x12. Wonder how efficient that SS 2x12 cab is? Does SS have a 2x10 cab? Though I can only run my cabs full range with my current amps so no flexibility for me to work with, like bi-amping.
     
  19. ardorx

    ardorx

    Sep 23, 2004
    Sugar Land, TX
    It appears as if I've just ordered one.
     
  20. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA
    Did you know about this beforehand, or you been letting hackers through your firewall again? :D :D :D