It's never been as important to choose the right loudspeaker as it is today. The reason for that is that the choice is so wide. Just a few years ago, the British musician was offered an alternative of just one or two driver units as options and if he wanted a particular cabinet he was more or less forced to accept whichever drivers were fitted as standard. Today, the production of very high quality, high power driver units has developed to a fine art. In America there has been something of a race to develop the ultimate in ultra-powerful driver units and one of the market leaders is undoubtedly the Gauss driver from Cetec.
We were loaned the lead guitar 12-inch driver, model number 2841, by the U.K. arm of Cetec for evaluation.
The speaker appears to be extremely heavily built, being cased in a strong cast-aluminium frame which has eight wide legs supporting the cone. The heavy magnet is housed in an attractive finned metal housing and the centre coil is topped with a dural dome for metallic looks and improved high frequency response. We particularly like the fact that no wires could be seen loose anywhere, even behind the cone, and the speaker leads are clipped onto the speaker by spring loaded clips which automatically grip flex ends and which are situated at 180 degrees around the speaker casing. We were a little worried that springs might go after considerable usage and this would mean some difficulty in making a connection.
Cetec suggest that the useful frequency range for this speaker is around 40 c.p.s. to 5,000 c.p.s. and when used in conjunction with a crossover unit operating around 3,000 c.p.s., the speaker did certainly give a fidelity that one might expect from a purist hi-fi speaker rather than a high power instrument unit. Maximum suggested wattage on this unit is around 200 watts. We found that the speaker was happy with a loading 30 per cent up on this for a reasonable period so it would most certainly be useful in a situation where transients are uncontrollable or where peaks are expected slightly above usual ratings.
Used as a complete range speaker, the unit did exhibit a curve downwards towards the top end of the frequency range as might be expected, but we felt that the unit efficiently handled towards the 10k mark without any serious fall off. Considering this the speaker is well suited to cabinet installation without any need for HF horns for guitar work. The 'Voicing" of the unit does seem perfectly suited for guitar avoiding the top end harmonics that can cloud a guitar's sound.
We also thought that the speaker had enough going for it in the lower end to be a contender for the high quality P.A. market, an application for which other speakers from this stable are undoubtedly used.
The design on this unit — as with all high-power Gauss units — includes an edge wound voice coil and this is clearly and quickly becoming an important factor in this type of unit.
Retail Price £77.00
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