Review of Redstone Audio RS-12 Speaker cabinet
Amps are like guitars, every one sounds different. And every amp sounds different with every guitar. Perhaps that explains why I have so many of each. When Dave of Redstone Audio, a new jazz guitar-centric speaker cabinet manufacturer (www.redstoneaudio.com
) asked me to audition one of their products, I couldn’t resist. After all, another color in my musical palette is always welcome.
I play jazz guitar; sometimes modern, sometimes old fashioned. I perform Django style jazz on both archtops and Django style guitars with my band Hot Club Pacific (www.hotclubpacific.com
). Hot Club Pacific has performed at major International festivals. My main amp is an Acoustic Image Clarus head paired with a Raezer’s edge stealth 12 ER. The RS-12 was going to face some serious competition.
After unpacking the new cabinet, the first thing that struck me was its good looks. Kind of like a vintage Polytone. Visually, I like it better than the Raezer’s Edge. And it’s lighter (27 lbs. vs. 33 lbs. for the Stealth 12). For us Boomer musicians, lighter is better.
Plugged in, I found that my humbucker equipped archtops sounded brighter and more focused than the Stealth 12. My floating pickup archtop sounded more “acoustic” and my **** (which use piezo pickups) sounded warmer (not what I like for these guitars). The RS-12 is very much for archtops with a magnetic pickup.
I took the RS-12 to Djangofest Northwest where Hot Club Pacific performed two shows. The sound in the large venue was excellent. I used my vintage ES-175 and had the sound engineers, mike the RS-12 with a Shure SM-57. Crisp tone (excellent for the “Django” sound and no feedback issues. And did I mention it was easy to carry being 6 Lbs. lighter than my Stealth 12? I had a lot of guys come up to during the festival to tell me that I sounded great. While I believe that tone is largely in the fingers, I have to give the RS-12 credit for my excellent tone.
Last week I played a modern jazz gig using my L-5 paired with rhe RS-12. This gig had me playing a medium sized restaurant with no PA. The drummer was aggressive. I had to turn up. No feedback issues (with my Stealth 12, I would have had to avoid many notes on the sixth string) and a crisp tone. Kudos to the RS-12 once again.
Last night I used the RS-12 on a gig where I played electric bass. I don’t think the dual cone Eminence speaker in the RS-12 could handle an electric bass at high volume, but for a quiet straight-ahead gig in a small room it worked fine. And sounded good. And did I mention that it was easy to carry?
Bottom line, I heartily endorse the Redstone Audio RS-12 for archtop guitars with a magnetic pickup. They look good, sound great, are incredibly feedback resistant and are easy to carry (I may have mentioned that). And they are priced reasonably. What more could you want?