Thursday, June 29, 2006

AccuGroove El Whappo

The Mighty AccuGroove El Whappo

This is my current favourite "standalone" cabinet. The El Whappo specifications are as follows:

- 1 - 15" sub woofer with die-cast aluminum frame and Kapton coils
- 1 - 12" mid woofer with die-cast aluminum frame and Kapton coils
- 1 - 6" mid range with Kapton coils
- 2 - critically damped catenary soft dome textile tweeters with ferrofluid cooled voice coil and high energy dual neodymium magnet
- seperate 350 watt heavy duty attenuators for midrange and tweeters
- 2 speakon jacks & 2 sealed 1/4" jacks
- weight 88 lbs
- maintenance free self-resetting tweeter & midrange protection circuit
- recessed caster sockets for pop in casters
- power rating 800 watts @ 4 ohms
- frequency response & SPL: 35Hz-18KHz @ 102db SPL (29Hz @ -6db).
- dimensions 32-1/2"H x 24-3/4"W x 18-1/4"D

In very general terms the AccuGroove El Whappo sounds similar to the Acme cabinets that I love, although a little more pronounced in the mids and therefore not as accurate as the Acmes. While both provide a clean and even response from Low B through to the highest note on the fretboard and have excellent low-end response, there are some obvious sonic differences that make for an easy comparison. The El Whappo extends down to the nether regions where many other cabinets fear to go, and it does so in a seemingly effortless fashion. Top end response is true but a bit more subdued on the AccuGroove cabinets. It's interesting to note that this cabinet appears to retain it's excellent sonic balance even well off-axis. One can play at much lower levels than usual but blend better and still REALLY CUT through the mix.

While I expected to miss the punchiness of the tens, it is not noticeably lacking. Another very obvious difference is the wonderful slap tone the El Whappo produces, with just the right amount of bite to it. This cabinet DOES have the clarity of a giant studio monitor.

Additional points worthy of mention: 1/. Few cabinets project as well as the El Whappo and the sound remains true well out from the stage. 2/. Note fundamentals are well-balanced. 3/. this cabinet responds extremely well to equalization. These attributes combined provide just the right formula! I'm still amazed by how snappy, precise and well-balanced this cabinet is.

While I haven't yet had a chance to test this out, the self-resetting protection on the tweeters and midrange are a truly nice feature with no more automotive bulbs to replace as with many other cabinets. The cabinets-within-a-cabinet feature is a sensible design point. All in all, this is a very well thought out and brilliantly executed bass cabinet.

Note that the sound provided by the El Whappo is well-suited to my personal tastes. Those seeking a tighter and more controlled bottom end would probably prefer the Whappo Jr.