Thursday, April 3, 2014

Aguilar GS 112 Bass Speaker Cabinet Review


I recently re-vamped my main bass amplification system, and decided to use a pair of Aguilar GS 112 speaker cabinets with my Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2, and it is turned out to be a match made in heaven.

Aguilar Amplifiers was founded in New York City by Alex Aguilar and Dave Boonshoft in 1995. Dave was a studio musician on bass, of course) and Alex was an electronics guru that designed Roger Sadowsky’s now legendary bass pre-amplifier. They started by building pre-amplifiers, then moved on to amplifiers and speaker cabinets. Alex sold his share of the company to Boonshoft in 2004, and Dave continues to run the show. The company’s products are very well-regarded and are a staple of many gigging bassists’ arsenals.

The GS 112 is available either with a tweeter or without (I have one of each), and they are a neat piece of work. The cabinet is made of carpeted 7-ply Philippine mahogany and is loaded up with a single 12-inch speaker that has a cast frame and a 56-ounce magnet (3 ½ pounds!). The GS is not terribly coming in around 42 pounds, and the single spring-loaded handle on the side is sufficient for a beefy boy like me to haul it around with. The whole thing measures 19 x 14 x 18 inches, and there are plastic interlocking protectors on each corner.

The speaker is rated for 300W (@ 8 ohms), and the phenolic tweeter has an integrated phase plug. Round back there is a Neutrik Speakon connector as well as two ¼-inch jacks. On models with a tweeter there is an adjustment knob to set the level.

I first tried out the Aguilar GS 112 cabinets with my Genz Benz Shuttle 9.2, and came away very impressed. They do a surprisingly good job on the lows (frequency response spec is 42Hz to 16kHz), and the overall tone was clean but still very thick and punchy. In this case when I say “clean” I do not mean sterile, but instead that there was very good note definition.

As I said earlier, these cabinets are rated for 300W, and thought they are not as efficient as some (95dB) they are still very very loud. Putting two of them together is enough for any gig I will ever do, and if I ever needed more power the signal would need to go through the PA anyway. Have the tweeter on only one speaker worked well, and I placed that speaker on top so I could hear the highs better.

The second combination I tried was with both speakers on the floor and my old Ampeg V4B sitting on top. I dialed the tweeter all the way back, and an acquaintance of mine put the set-up through its paces with his upright as well as his old P bass. He is an old-school blues and rock guy, and the results were monstrous, with a very organic sound and tone galore. It was pretty perfect, which is all anyone could hope for.

As far as other details, they are easy to lug around and set up, and there is only two things that I do not care for with them. I wish that there were two Speakon connectors on the back so that they can be hooked up in series. There are two ¼-inch jacks, and I do not know why they could not go the extra mile and do the same with the Neutrik parts. Also, I am not a fan of carpeted cabinets as the covering pills up and collects all kinds of fuzz and junk as time goes on. That’s it!

So, these cabinets are at the top of my list, and I would wholeheartedly recommend them to anyone that is looking for a new 1x12 speaker.

The Aguilar GS 112 is not cheap, with a list price of $799 and a street price of $599, but it is an incredible speaker and is good value for the money. Plus, it comes with a 3-year limited warranty if you buy it new. Check one (or two) out if you get the chance!


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