Pros: This is a very good sounding speaker cabinet.
EPIPHONE VALVE JUNIOR 1x12 EXENSION SPEAKER CABINET
With all of the speaker cabinets out there to choose from, finding the right one for your particular musical sound, is no easy task. Sometimes having a lot of choices only serves to raise one's anxiety about making the right choice. I have always found that a great way to lessen one's anxiety is to follow a few simple rules. At the top of the list of simple rules to lessen your anxiety, is to narrow down your choices to only a few of the top choices. If you stick to good name brands, with high quality components, and a good reputation for solid craftsmanship, you will not be likely to make many serious mistakes, and your anxieties regarding making the right decisions regarding purchasing musical equipment will be lessened. With this in mind, I would like to offer my review of the Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet for your consideration.
The Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet reflects the marriage of the technology of two musical instrument companies that are legendary, Epiphone (a subsidiary of Gibson) and Eminence. The names Gibson and Epiphone are probably household names, at least in the household's of guitar players. Eminence is also quite a popular brand name, and Eminence speakers can be found in some of the world's leading speaker enclosures, such as Fender, Kustom, GK, and Ampeg, to name just a few. The Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet has a list price of $299.99, but it can be had at most musical instrument supermarkets for a discounted price of $129.99. The Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet was developed to be a cabinet for the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head, which is a great sounding tube amp head with Class A electronic circuitry that puts out a searing 5 Watts of pure power. If you are interested in reading my review of the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier Head, click on the following link and you will be there in a flash:
EPIPHONE VALVE JUNIOR TUBE AMPLIFIER HEAD
Of course the Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet would make a great speaker cabinet for any comparable amp head. Let me describe some of the specifications of the Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Speaker Cabinet, and you will begin to see why I like it so much. At the heart of this speaker cabinet is a 12-inch Eminence Lady Luck Speaker. This speaker, as well as the cabinet, are rated at 16 Ohms and can handle 70 Watts of power at that impedance.
This is a very solidly built speaker cabinet, and it is made with 11-Ply Baltic Birch Plywood. It has an open back, which serves to give it a warm sound, but it does so at a minor decrease in its forward projection of sound. The solid Baltic Birch and tight construction adds to the resonance of the cabinet. Baltic Birch is one of the most sought after woods for the manufacture of speaker cabinets. Why is Baltic Birch Plywood sought after for speaker cabinets? There are several reasons. For one, Baltic Birch has a natural resonance that accentuates the highs and low frequencies, which just so happen to also be the frequencies that are the hardest for speakers to accurately reproduce. Thus, using Baltic Birch for a speaker cabinet in part compensates for the frequencies that the typical audio speaker used in a guitar amplifier speaker cabinet is not able to reproduce as well as it does the midrange frequencies. Another very important reason why Baltic Birch is used in the construction of better speaker cabinets is that it is a wood that it is a "void free" wood. "Void" is the term that is used to describe the open spaces that sometimes come about during the manufacturing of less expensive types of plywood. These "void" spaces will tend to cause unwanted rattles when a speaker cabinet is subjected to high volume playing. Baltic Birch is a wood that comes from the Baltic region of Europe which very close to Russia. Because the weather is colder there, the trees tend to grow at a slower pace, and this makes for a type of Birch that has a thicker, tighter, and denser grain, which is virtually "void free." Thus, you can see that the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet is a cut above some lesser well made speaker cabinets. When you come to understand these subtle things, you will clearly see that there is a lot more that goes into making a quality extension speaker cabinet than just sticking a speaker in a wooden box. I learned these things when I was a teenager and was building my own speaker cabinets and guitars from scratch.
What else makes the Epiphone Valve Junior 1x12 Extension Speaker Cabinet sound so good? Why the Lady Luck 12 inch Speaker of course. Epiphone and Eminence worked together to design a speaker that was specifically designed to complement the sound of Epiphone's new amplifier line. The Eminence speaker in the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is rated at 16 ohms, and it has a handling capacity of 70 Watts RMS. The Eminence Lady Luck speaker has a frequency range of 80 Hz. on the low end, to 5000 Hz. on the High end. In some respects that is really cutting it close, as the open low E on a guitar is 82.4 Hz. As such, I would be very apprehensive about using this speaker cabinet for a Bass guitar, as the open Low E on a Bass guitar can go down as low as 41 Hz. Actually I would be apprehensive about even considering this cabinet for use with a Baritone Guitar, or even using a Drop D Tuning on a conventional guitar. On the other hand, when using this cabinet for the purposes for which it was designed, specifically as an extension cabinet for the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amplifier, with a conventionally tuned 6 string guitar, this cabinet sounds simply great. The low end is tight, the mids are fat, and the highs are sufficiently bright to satisfy most users and most playing styles.
The Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is covered in durable black Tolex on the sides and back, and it has a red colored Tolex covering on the upper part of the front of the cabinet, and the speaker grille cloth has a really attractive vintage tan appearance. White piping adorns the edges of the front of the speaker cabinet, and it really adds an attractive appearance to the overall look of the cabinet. The dimensions of the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet are 18.75 inches high, 18.25 inches wide, and 10.75 inches deep. It has one handle on the top of the cabinet, and it weighs in at 26 pounds. For a speaker cabinet that is capable of putting out this type of sound, the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet is surprisingly portable and easy to move around.
I tested out the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet using a Vox Custom Classic AC15. Wow what an amp, but I'll save my comments on the Vox amp for another review. I plugged the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet into the 16 Ohm extension speaker output at the back of the Vox Custom Classic AC15. I tested it out using both a Fender American Deluxe Stratocaster with Samarian Cobalt Pickups and a Gibson Les Paul Standard with BurstBucker Pickups. Simply put, the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet sounded great. The Fender Stratocaster and the Gibson Les Paul Standard each sounded great through this speaker cabinet. The projection was great, and the sound was powerful and packed a real punch. There was no discernable unwanted rattles or buzzing from the cabinet, as the construction of the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet was very tight and sturdy. You may recall that earlier in this review I pointed out that it was constructed of Baltic Birch, and that this is a wood that is prized for its use in guitar speaker cabinets. The bottom line is that the Epiphone Valve Junior was surprisingly good sounding. To my mind, it sounded especially good when using the Gibson Les Paul. The sound was rich, warm, and full. The Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Cabinet did not seem to have that high end sparkle that Fender Speaker Cabinets are noted for when I used the Fender Stratocaster. But of course, I was using a Vox Amp to drive the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet, and obviously that had something to do with the sound as well.
Simply put, I was very impressed, and admittedly surprisingly so, with the overall tonal qualities and sonic attributes of the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet. I look forward to seeing how the Epiphone Valve Junior Speaker Cabinet sounds when I eventually have the opportunity to check it out when it is powered by the amp that it was designed to be used with, specifically the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amp, but I will have to wait for another day to give that combination a try, as the Epiphone Valve Junior Tube Amp Head was sold out the day that I wanted to try it out with the Epiphone Valve Junior Extension Speaker Cabinet.
Well thank you for taking the time to read my review of this great piece of musical gear. But now, if you will excuse me, I must get back to my practicing.