Revsound RS112T Bass Cab
By Vic Serbe
The Company Line
David Luke plays guitar for Ricky and the Giants, a power trio based in Effingham, New Hampshire, covering classic hit tunes from greats such as the Allman Brothers, Al Green, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, The Beatles, etc. He’s been a musician all his life, and has many years of experience as a sound engineer. David also makes high quality bass cabinets. In fact, he claims to make the lightest 2x10 and 4x10 bass cabinets currently available. How did this come to be? Easy: the age-old saying, "necessity is the mother of invention."
Revsound has been around since 1983, and is also based in Effingham, New Hampshire. David attributes his skills as a craftsman, eye for detail, strong quality standards, and heck, while you’re at it, sense of humor, to his grandfathers. With that combo, you have a person who can build about anything he can visualize (and get the proper tools to build). Traveling in music circles, he found his skills applicable when it came to building his guitar cabinets, PA cabinets, racks, monitors, etc. He also built a 10kW sound system inside a school bus outfitted to double as a 24-track recording studio, which did three national tours, was on MTV, and was featured in popular publications at the time! This is where it all started. Dave has connections into Celestion (speaker manufacturer), but he was using their drivers before he actually became associated with them. He met Alex Prenn, grandson of Celestion’s founder, at a band job in 1985. Alex noted David was using Celestion speakers, but wondered why he wasn’t using a popular manufacturer’s cabinet containing them, so he asked David about it. That introduction led to a relationship with Celestion R&D that continues to this day.
David’s been building all kinds of enclosures for all kinds of applications, from guitar rigs, to monitors, to full range PA enclosures. But when it came to building bass cabinets, he felt a different approach was necessary – even though most builders will agree a bass rig has to have full-range capabilities and the ability to handle a wide dynamic range, similar to what a PA would have to deal with. Dave says the big difference is that a PA should be designed to sound “flat” (an even frequency response from low to high – no significant dips or peaks), and he feels bass cabinets should not be; they also need to take portability more into account. If you go to his website (www.revsound.net), along with his guitar and monitor cabinets, you’ll see examples of the RS410 (4x10) and RS210 (2x10) finished in tolex (with stacking corners), and an RS110 (1x10) finished in black Duratex. The RS112T (1x12) is a new model, with the “T” standing for tweeter, which is also a new feature that carries over to his existing 2x10 and 4x10 cabinets (RS210T, RS410T).
David's requirements are that the RS cabinets be affordable, portable, highly durable, especially light weight, with ample power handling and great sound. To that end, he uses Celestion neo drivers, cleats, and a combination of glue, staples and screws for joints. He also uses ½” 7-ply baltic birch, which is a particularly expensive, but also lightweight and highly durable plywood. Dave also likes to point out that his cabinets are all made on site by hand – no CNC, and no subcontracted mass construction. He warranties the cabinets for life (two years for the drivers). The tweeter is a titanium “super bullet” style driver with a “kill switch” on the back, and he uses genuine Neutrik Speakon® connectors.
Put to the Test
The RS112T falls into a category of “single-driver super cabs” that vendors are making these days. I really love this form factor, as it’s modular and easy to transport, yet also very capable, especially when you double them up and make a small stack. The shape, weight, and size of the RS112T make it really convenient for carrying. My only minor gripe is that the handles are on the “side,” relevant to the feet. This means I tend to find myself kind of swinging the cabinet up to set it down, instead of just setting it down on its feet, which is what I would do if the feet were opposite the handle (and which would be my preference). Other than that, they’re just darn easy to move around. I didn’t get a pair of the covers to check out, but I did go to Cloud 9’s website, and their products look very nice. I would always recommend using covers with cabinets like these, as they are typically carried around and put into trunks, back seats, taken on trains, etc, which tends to beat them up, over time. The fit/finish on these cabinets is excellent. I can’t find a seam anywhere, and the grill gasket is a nice touch, as is the hardwood integral handle (though again, I wish it was located in a different spot). I also like that there are dual Speakon connectors. Often times, with the smaller cabinets, you don’t get a “pass-through” connector, and while it’s not a huge issue, I do like them a lot.
I’ve heard a lot of single-driver cubes from various manufacturers, and it amazes me how different they all sound. I have not seen the technical review content yet, but will be interested to see what the measurements show. To me, it sounds like it’s particularly strong in the low mids. It’s got a great dynamic punch right there in your gut, and works great for fingerstyle ... especially when doing the burpy bridge pickup thing on a dual-pickup instrument. I wouldn’t want to shove a lot of really low lows through these cabinets, but given their size, they still impress me on what they can put out (especially when using a paired). I’m also used to these bullet-style tweeters being very harsh, but this one is not. I don’t know if the magic is in the crossover or the driver itself (or maybe both), but these cabs have a really sweet high end without sounding muffled or overly subdued, where your attack could be lost in the mix. Instead, they provide a really nice edge up high that’s easy to listen to and makes for a great slap tone. I tried the cabinet with the tweeter disabled, but definitely prefer it with the tweeter enabled. I’m not very familiar with Celestion drivers, so I can’t say if the speakers are running full range, at least when the tweeter is disabled, but I definitely feel like the tweeter “completes” the sound, and I miss it when it’s off. Some vendors even put adjustable attenuators for tweeters, but again, I feel that would be a waste of time with this cabinet. It just sounds “right” with the tweeter on.
The Bottom Line
These are high quality cabinets from a man who cares about quality and sound, as well as matters of practicality (including from a pricing standpoint). They’re very capable for their size, sound great, look great, and seem like they’re priced appropriately, with all those things in mind. If you’re looking for a 1x12 cube (or a pair of them) with a good low-mid dynamic, these should be on your short list.
- Features: 3
- Tonal Flexibility: 3
- Ease of Use: 3
- Aesthetics: 3
- Ergonomics: 3
- Tone: 3
- Value: 3
- Lows: Even, tight, rich
- Mids: Punchy, gutsy, round
- Highs: Crisp, smooth, pleasant
Tone-o-meter: Reggae-Funk, needle between Rock and Funk