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Seismic Audio "LUKE Contemporary" 2x12 speaker cabinet 
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Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:29 pm
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Location: Houston, TX
Price paid: (USED) $200 loaded with Celestion G12-T75s. (Note: as of the time of this review, this cab is $199 new and unloaded from Seismic Audio.)

Features: Guitar speaker cabinet with two 12" speakers. Seismic Audio makes three styles of guitar cab under their LUKE range, and makes a 1x12 and a 2x12 in each. They are exact copies of the Avatar guitar cabs with the same style names:
  • "Traditional," which is a generic-looking box
  • "Vintage," which has a Marshall Bluesbreaker-like top front panel
  • "Contemporary," which has an inch or so of overbuild around the front, like you would expect to see on a Marshall, Mesa, or other major brand cabinet.

Mine is the Contemporary, but as far as I can tell the differences are largely cosmetic, so you can probably take this as a review of their 2x12 offerings in general. Features worth mentioning:
  • Black tolex, black nylon grill cloth, white piping, but it's available in a couple other cosmetic options as well.
  • Front loaded. Speaker baffle is angled slightly upwards, which I like in a 2x12, but keep that in mind if you are thinking of standing it on its side to make it vertical.
  • Closed back, non ported. (NOTE: Mine is open backed because some crazy dumbass sawed the back panel in half.)
  • Grill cloth is mounted on a removable grill that's attached to the speaker baffle with velcro. It stays on securely, yet pulls off easily with the two attached pull tabs, (e.g. for close studio miking.) This is a genius feature and I wish other companies would do it.
  • Rear jack plate with dual 1/4" jacks. Mine is currently wired for 8 ohms mono, but since these are usually sold unloaded, they give you dual jacks so that you can wire it for mono, stereo, or parallel.
  • Rubber feet, no casters

Sound: Since this is a review of a cabinet that is usually sold unloaded, I will do my best to review the sonic properties of the cab, not the speakers that happen to be in it. One nice thing is that I have tons of experience with the Marshall 1936, which is a 2x12 with the same speakers, so I can make some comparisons based on that.

The first thing to know about this cab is that it is EEEEEEEENORMOUS for a 2x12 cab, and that size definitely factors into the sound. (The Avatar cab of which this is a copy is similarly oversized.) As soon as I bought this cabinet, I felt as though it was pretty large compared to 2x12 cabs I've owned before, but I didn't realize just how big until I started shopping for slip covers for it, and found out that covers for Mesa/Marshall/Bogner/etc. are all way too small for it. I mean, this thing is 21.5" H x 31" W x 15.25" D. By comparison, a Marshall 1936 is 23.5" H x 29" W x 12" D and a Mesa Recto 2x12 is only 17.5" H x 30" W x 14.25" D - both over 20% smaller in volume.

Because of that, this cabinet has a huge low end that at its best is warm and room-filling, and at worst can run away from you a little bit. Those qualities are exacerbated by the cab's 1/2" ply construction (thinner than Marshall, Mesa, Whitebox, etc.), and in the case of my particular model by its aftermarket sawn-off back panel. The first time I plugged into this cab, I almost immediately dialed the bass down from where it had been set before (i.e. when running through my Mesa Recto 4x12). However, it took only a few minutes of tinkering to find a spot where my amp makes both cabs sound great at the same time.

Loaded with Celestion T-75s and powered by my Mesa/Boogie Mark III, this speaker cabinet is pure rock. Clean and semi-clean sounds are massive sounding and very three-dimensional. As you add gain, it roars on anything from Social Distortion to pre-Master of Puppets Metallica. It has great projection and adds a certain Marshally nastiness to my sound that is quite welcome, probably due in part to the speakers. If I needed super tight palm mutes, I would at the very least put a new closed back panel on it, and might consider another cab entirely, but for my current purposes it sounds great. Paired with my Mesa 4x12, it makes a killer wall of sound.

Feel, fit and finish: Build quality is surprisingly good for such an inexpensive cabinet. Everything except for the back panel is hardwood ply, including the speaker baffle. The bracing is clean-looking and the cab feels sturdy. Tolex is well-applied, and the corners are black steel. The little rubber feet look decent if small, but it's irrelevant to me because I installed casters as soon as I decided to keep it. Like the Avatar cab of which it is a clone, its edges and corners are pretty square - not nearly as rounded as a Marshall or Mesa cab. I suspect this saves time time as well as allowing them to get away with thinner ply.

Service & Reliability: No problems with it so far. I fully plan to gig with it. Since I bought it used, I don't imagine I'll be contacting their customer service.

Overall: I've been delighted with this speaker cab so far. In terms of build quality, it's definitely not on par with my Mesa cabinet, but it's completely gig-worthy, sounds great, and doesn't look embarrassing. The new retail price of these cabs is ridiculously low for what you get, and on the used market, I got this one for a price that was essentially "free speakers with purchase of cab." Good stuff.

PHOTO GALLERY:

Here it is! Casters and emblem both installed by me, at a total cost of about $22.
Image

With the grill removed (in three seconds, with no tools):
Image

Here's the inside, showing the ply, the speakers, and the horribly butchered back panel.
Image

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"If there was only a way that I couldn't even any less than I already can't then I'd gladly not, but I think I've entered some quantum paradox, dark matter levels of can't evening where the total absolute value of not evenness exceeds all ability to explain the can'ting." - MR RUBATO

GOODNIGHT GALLOWS
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Mesa/Boogie Mark III


Tue Jul 26, 2016 7:49 am
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that looks awesome. great price too!

thanks for the write up.


Tue Jul 26, 2016 8:06 am
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sleewell wrote:
that looks awesome. great price too!

thanks for the write up.


Thanks man! The guy selling this one was actually selling another as well, but that one was orange with cream grill and I would have felt like a dork playing a faux Orange cab. :notme: :facepalm:

_________________
"If there was only a way that I couldn't even any less than I already can't then I'd gladly not, but I think I've entered some quantum paradox, dark matter levels of can't evening where the total absolute value of not evenness exceeds all ability to explain the can'ting." - MR RUBATO

GOODNIGHT GALLOWS
Gibson Les Paul Custom
Mesa/Boogie Mark III


Tue Jul 26, 2016 12:18 pm
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Posts: 489
Location: Danbury, CT
I picked one of these up a year ago, great value as long as you have a couple of decent speakers to put in it. When they were running their Black Friday specials I was tempted to pick up a matching 1x12 to go with my 2x12.

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Amps: 5150 (w/bias mod), 5150 II, EVH 5150 III 50 watt, FJA PV XXX, Framus Dragon, FJA PV Penta, Marshall 9100, PV Ultra 120, GK 2100 SEL, Ultra Plus 1x12 Combo
Cabs: Mesa Recto 4x12, 3 Marshall 1960B, Marshall 1966B, Avatar 2x15, Mesa Recto 1x12, misc 2x12's.


Thu Dec 15, 2016 10:19 am
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