News & Media

Raging Snail Amplification

October 7,2014

Name: Raging Snail Amplification
Year Established: 2014
Location: Oregon, IL
Website: www.RagingSnailAmplification.com

How did Raging Snail Amplification get started and what got you interested in building amplifiers?

A few years back I bought my first tube amp. It sounded great and it was a higher end brand, but within three months the power transformer blew twice. I was really dissapointed since I had paid good money for it and never had abused it. I finally decided to learn how to fix and build amps myself. I took a weekend amp seminar at the Chicago School of Guitarmaking and since then I’ve been addicted to anything tube. I continued to study, modify, and design amps at home unitl Raging Snail was born.

What makes Raging Snail different from other boutique amps? Anything in particular that sets your company apart?

Raging Snail AmplificationA lot of boutique companies take old designs that sounded great and just copy or modify them, but never ask what made it sound so good. I deviate a lot from traditional topology to maximize those characteristics while correcting the problems that those amps have. I run the preamp at much higher currents and use pentodes later in the preamp. This allows me too get the the thick power tube like distortion in the preamp and still have full volume control. Our solid wood cabinets are really eye-catching, too. Wood is so beautiful, it just doesn’t feel right covering it up with paper, cloth, or paint.

What type of user controls does your amp provide for the user?

Gain and volume for both channels, a shared three band Eq, and foot-switchable channel switching.

Are there any particular tonal characteristics that you work toward when building an amp?

I’m very picky about how my distortion sounds. It needs to be super clear at max gain, and not fuzzy. I want each note to sound like it is dripping. It also needs to have the biggest, punchiest bass imaginable.

What was your first impression of Eminence?

I was given an old custom 2×12 that had unmarked Eminence speakers in them. They were the best speakers I had ever heard.

Why did you choose Eminence for your amps?

They sounded great, very affordable, and you give great customer service.

Which speakers did you go with and why?

I went with the Tonkers. Their scooped midrange, extended highs, and low resonant frequency made a perfect compliment to my amps.

How do you evaluate the speakers you choose?

I just plug them in and listen to see if they are a good match.

Where can people find out more about Raging Snail online?

You can go to www.RagingSnailAmplification.com or visit us on facebook.

Where can your amps be purchased?

You can go to Randee’s Music Center in Rockford, IL or you can order direct from us.

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Eminence Partners with Shopatron

July 28,2014

In a combined effort to provide end-users with the convenience of purchasing directly from their Eminence.com website while continuing to support their extensive distribution network of brick-and-mortar and online retailers, Eminence has partnered with Shopatron.

ShopatronA patented, cloud-based e-commerce order exchange model, Shopatron allows manufacturers and retailers to seamlessly leverage the available inventory of every storefront and distribution center that stocks Eminence products when fulfilling online orders. Today, leading multi-channel retailers, over 1,000 branded manufacturers, and 20,000 local retail stores use Shopatron to expand the delivery options for shoppers when they purchase online, including the ability to receive and return their orders in nearby retail locations.

“Shopatron offers manufacturers like us the best of both worlds,” said Gary Morrison, Eminence US Distribution Sales Manager. “We’re able to capture a sale directly from our website, and then hand that order off to one of our retail partners for immediate fulfillment. Everybody wins. This program will encourage our retailers to stock more Eminence models, making Eminence products more readily available across the USA for our consumers. Dealers can fulfill the orders we generate and increase their sales simply by having the items in stock.”

For more information about Shopatron, visit www.shopatron.com.

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Employee Spotlight: Paul Woodcox

We are Eminence July 21,2014

Ed Catmull, President of Pixar Animation and Disney Animation, is no stranger to problem solving. In his newest book “Creativity, Inc.” he describes how Pixar is able to produce such great movies. Problem solving is a huge part of that. He says, “The responsibility for finding and fixing problems should be assigned to every employee, from the most senior manager to the lowliest new hire.” Here at Eminence, we’ve got some great thinkers and problem solvers, not the least of which is Paul Woodcox. Everyone in the plant knows Paul. He has been involved in solving problems for every manufacturing and engineering department within Eminence. His supervisor, Kevin Parrish, has this to say about Paul:

“Paul’s meticulous and analytical approach to dealing with everything from normal day-to-day manufacturing issues, to major problems, makes him a great fit for the Manufacturing Engineering Department.”

I sat down with Paul recently to talk about his time here at Eminence.

JM: How long have you worked here at Eminence?

PW: I’ve been here for 12 years.

JM: Where did you work previously and how’d you wind up at Eminence?

PW: I used to work for a company called Interwood Forrest Products. We dealt in Veneer and different forms of lumber. I was a manager there until the company had to downsize, at which time they let several of us managers go. I was there for about 12 years as well. They took good care of us when they downsized, though. It was as good of an ending as you could have asked for considering the circumstances.

As far as getting hired on here, I’ve been trying to do that since I’ve been an adult. It’s been hard to get on here. When things at Interwood ended, I tried again. I was called in by Carla Jones for hire. I started working on the Round Table on the final lines and worked into the Manufacturing Technician position.

JM: You were in the military for a few years as well, right?

PW: Yes, Marine Corp. 7 years.

JM: So what type of skills does a person have to have in order to be a Manufacturing Technician?

PW: Well, I had worked as a production manager at Interwood and have been involved in manufacturing all my life except for the 7 years I was in the Marines. So, I’ve had a lot of experience with this type of work and the processes involved in manufacturing. You need to have a very scientific and analytical mindset. This job requires a high level of mechanical aptitude and mathematical capabilities. Generally, you need to be a good problem solver.

JM: So, not to make things sound easier than they are, but you guys are really problem solvers for the manufacturing side of the operation. Would that be a correct assessment?

PW: Mostly. Our job is to troubleshoot everything in the plant. We are always looking for ways to make things more efficient and improve upon our manufacturing processes and the quality of work life.

JM: What is your favorite part of your job?

PW: That’s a tough question! It’s hard to narrow it down. I love my job. It’s something different every day. You never know what the day may bring and that’s part of what makes it so enjoyable. I love the people who work here. I’ve gotten to know a lot of people here and it is like a family.

JM: I know your department has been involved with job shadowing. How is that going?

PW: Honestly, it has really opened our eyes to what it really takes to do our job. There are a lot of things that we take for granted because we’ve done this for so long. When you bring someone in that doesn’t have that experience, it really opens your eyes to what is needed for this job and how much knowledge our team really possesses.

JM: What would you say to new workers that come to Eminence?

PW: I would first advise them to be patient. Take the time to learn about what we do here in every department. Learn what all goes on here and how the manufacturing works. Take the time to learn how we produce a tremendous amount of quality while being efficient and staying competitive in our market.

JM: Paul, you know this as well as I do, a guy with your background and skill set could work just about anywhere. What keeps you here?

PW: Everything we just talked about. I love the job and the people. The people here have been a privilege to work with. They beat the other people I’ve worked with in my life, hands down.

JM: Paul, thanks for all the work you do and for talking with me this morning.

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Eminence Redesigns the Legends, Patriots and Redcoats

July 17,2014

Legend_1275--1For nearly two decades, the Legend, Patriot, and Redcoat series of guitar and bass speakers from Eminence have become some of the most recognizable and respected musical instrument loudspeakers on the market. And while the great tones will remain unchanged, Eminence has unveiled a new look to these popular designs.

Since their introduction over a decade ago, the Patriot and Redcoat models have featured grey and red powder coat painted chassis, as well as backplate labels with the American and British flag themes. Texas_Heat--1Very distinguishable from both an appearance and a tonal perspective, these highly successful models followed in the footsteps of the Legend series and helped solidify Eminence’s position in the guitar and bass speaker market. The models in these two series will now feature black electrocoat painted chassis, and along with the Legend series will feature redesigned backplate labels.

“To the end user, it’s tone and price that matter most,” said Cobi Stein, Marketing and Artist Relations Manager at Eminence. “But to an OEM amplifier and/or cabinet builder, product cosmetics can rank just as high. Governor_16--1The loudspeaker is one of the largest and most important components in their finished product, and our goal with these design updates is to offer a more refined style with a classic appearance that underscores each product’s classic tone.”

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CV-75 Guitar Speaker Demo

June 26,2014

Bassist for Razer and former Krank Product Manager Chris Catero and band mate Jordan Ziff recently contacted us to talk guitar speakers. After hearing what tonal characteristics they were looking for we decided they needed to give our CV-75 British-voiced model from our Redcoat series a try. Apparently we hit the nail on the head, because they were so taken with the tones from this speaker they decided to share their thoughts in this video. Very well done!

Be sure to check out Razer at www.razerband.com

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Employee Spotlight: Lisa Willhite

We are Eminence June 9,2014

“Never let your persistence and passion turn into stubbornness and ignorance.” – Anthony J. D’Angelo

Persistence is not letting inclement weather keep you from taking a hike through the mountains. Stubbornness is refusing to take an umbrella. There is a fine line between those two things; persistence and stubbornness. In fact, the line is so thin that it is hard for a person to self-declare that they are one or the other. We usually need others to tell us.

Lisa Willhite finds herself in a position here at Eminence where she often needs to be persistent. Stubbornness would certainly not do. But she often has to see things through and make sure that they are correct. She often has to be the communicator for various departments and people. When problems arise in production, they often call for Lisa.

Her supervisor, Tom James, has this to say of Lisa: “Lisa Willhite came to the Product Design department from the production environment. We benefit greatly from that shared knowledge: It is an essential element in designing new product. That experience, coupled with her hard-working attitude and concern for product quality, makes for a great combination.”

I sat down with Lisa to discuss her time here at Eminence.

JM: Lisa, how long have you been here at Eminence?

LW: I’ve been here for 20 years.

JM: Tell me a little about how you got to where you are now.

LW: Well, I started out working in production on the final lines. I moved around some to different departments in the first 10 years. I also worked in the Voice Coil Department, Compression Driver Department, and the Box Line. I’ve spent the last 10 years in the Lab as a Lab Technician.

JM: How did you wind up in the Lab?

LW: They posted a job bid for the position. I was wanting to do something different from what I had been doing and knew that this would be a challenge. So I signed the job bid and won the bid.

JM: What had you done prior to working here at Eminence?

LW: I worked at the old Brunswick factory for 10 years. I left there to come to Eminence because this was the place to work. I hate to say it this way but it used to be that someone had to die or retire before there was even a possibility of getting on here. When the opportunity came to better myself, I took it.

JM: What does a normal day look like for you and what are your job responsibilities as a the Senior Lab Technician?

LW: My day is usually very hectic. We have many customers that require various forms of testing for each order that we run for them. We do that testing in the Lab. We power test speakers to make sure that they meet their power ratings. We also build samples for all of our OEM customers here. Basically anything that ever goes into mass production, we have built it first in the Lab.

JM: I know that you guys often do some quality control things as well.

LW: Yes. We often get called to the production lines to “ok” or inspect certain things that might raise concern with an order. We will help out our QA department with things like this.

JM: What are some things that you’ve seen change in your time here?

LW: Our Engineering Department is more team-oriented than it has been in the past. We really work well as a team. It seems like people are being utilized better now than in the past as well. The production layout is structured better to allow for better efficiency. It has just taken some time to try things out and see what works best. We are always learning ways to do things better.

JM: You hardly hear of people staying at one job for 20 years anymore. What are some of the things that keep people like you here for 20 years?

LW: The benefits here are really, really good. I don’t think people realize how good our insurance plan is. The 4-day work week is nice too. It’s nice to have a three day weekend on most weekends. There are some great people here too; they are like family.

JM: What kind of qualities do you think people need to have to work here and what advice would you give newly hired employees?

LW: You need to be a team player. It is crucial to what we do here. You can’t be working against each other. And I would recommend that they not get comfortable in one department. Learn all that you can about our processes. Learn how things work and why we do the things we do.

JM: Thanks for your time, Lisa!

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Electric Amp

May 16,2014

Name: Electric Amp, USA
Year Established: 2004
Location: Spokane, WA and Kernersville, NC
Website: www.ElectricAmp.com

How did Electric Amp get started and what got you interested in building amplifiers?

Electric Amp, USAElectric Amp was started out of the sheer ambition to make amps and speaker cabinets that capture the spirit of the early tones created by tube amps and construct them in a way that would be stronger in design than any amp I had ever owned or worked on.

Also, to consistently make amplifiers and speaker cabs that would not change format in the way they are built or change the components used to build them. I wanted the
 Electric Amp Units of 2014 to be still built like the ones we started out with in 2004. To date we have managed to do that. It’s great from a maintenance and service aspect when talking to technicians and customers.

The interest to build tube amps was created by default to continue what I had previously started with MATAMP USA in 1997 and ended in 2005 when I ceased production with the little shop in the United Kingdom. I had specific designs ready to build and just decided to go for it.

What makes Electric Amps different from other boutique amps? Anything in particular that sets your company apart?

Probably the cult following with our GREEN Electric Amp units and the cosmetic customization. People buy our amps without ever playing one because they know the strong affiliation of the tone and volume that Electric Amp USA represents in the recording industry. The Electric Amp “EA RIPPER” Chassis definitely sets our company apart. No other company uses 14 gauge Detroit steel for it’s chassis and 12 gauge roll bars with powder coat finishes. Each amp is built one at a time and when you get your amp unit only two people have touched it and played it. The amps are made to perform. It’s like getting a factory race bike, stripped down and simple. Also, the amps are so easy to service and maintain. No weird little screws in odd spots or mystery to how it to put it up on the bench to service. Amps take a lot of abuse so it was important to build one that is capable of taking abuse from shippers and being on the road. I have been told that they are overkill, but they are just killer. . .

I think that when you pull an Electric Amp, USA unit out of it’s amp sleeve and set it on the bench, just upon sight it sets our company apart.

What type of user controls does your amp provide for the user?

Electric Amp's EA - Volume unit.Real straight forward amp front end controls. EA-USA Volume Unit has 6 knobs and is a pure expression of clean tube amplification. EA-USA Master Volume Unit has 7 knobs and is unique in the way the gain [ FUZZ KNOB ] attacks the tubes that permits it to be put at zero without turning off the circuit. The EA-USA Power Unit is a simple 3 knob amp that once you play it makes you wonder why we make amps with more knobs. Recently we released the REVOLUTION UNIT which is a 5 knob amp that recreates 1972 to 1974 in a brilliant fashion.

All of these control configurations are available in 120 watt EL34 and 180 watt KT88 amps. We also do 60 watt and 80 watt versions with GZ34 Rectifiers.

Are there any particular tonal characteristics that you work toward when building an amp?

Most definitely the tone and vibe is that of early Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
 The full big round clean bottom end tones that are super warm represent the foundation of 
all of the Electric Amp Units. The amps are very versatile from clean Henry Mancini tones to crushing face melting rock and roll.

What was your first impression of Eminence?

My first impression was in 1994 and it was the loudest show I had ever been to. So loud that the Seattle fire department shut down the show due to the volume.

Why did you choose Eminence for your amps?

I first started ordering Eminence speakers in 1997 and had a great experience with the speakers and the customer service. We used a lot of Eminence speakers in the Matamp USA speaker cabinets. Then in 2003 when I started designing cabs for Electric Amp USA I went to Eminence with my ideas and the speaker models from the early 1970′s that I was fond of and was given expert input from Eminence. When we started building cabs in 2004 it was perfect timing as Eminence was launching a whole new line of speakers. Eminence has always provided excellent service and have always treated me with a lot of respect and encouragement.

Which speakers did you go with and why?

We played a specific role in the debut of the Man O’ War and the TONKER because it was designed with the specifications I specifically was after but with higher output capacity. The Electric Amp USA 6×12 has proven to be a very popular cabinet and with the help of Eminence all of our cabs are tuned to accommodate these speakers. It was a perfect match and an All American affiliation that was a bonus. The 12″, 10″ & 15″ speakers
all have proven to be super quality and great sounding. Very rare occasion have I ever had another speaker put into our cabs. I tell the customers that request other speakers that I would rather send them an empty cab then compromise the sound and quality they will experience with our cabs loaded with Eminence. It’s the best choice.

How do you evaluate the speakers you choose?

Back in 2004 I was really up on my speaker specs and the vast tones each company had going on at the time. Since about 1994 I have tested hundreds of new and original vintage speakers. Eminence provided clear data and was willing to bring the new line tailored for my applications. Testing speakers in cabs with various guitars and bass guitars was the final method to making the clear decision. Hours of playing Santo & Johnny songs and my favorite Black Sabbath riffs help determine which speakers sounded best.

Where can people find out more about Electric Amp online?

Our main website is www.ElectricAmp.com and the color logo sites are at www.GreenAmps.com , www.BlackAmps.com , www.WhiteAmp.com and www.PurpleAmps.com . We have a new site in process www.ElectricAmpUSA.com which if time permits will be up and running this year.

Where can your amps be purchased?

All of our gear is sold direct to the customers online. I ceased all dealer and distribution relations in 2004 when Electric Amp, USA started so that each customer could get a direct relationship with their pro audio builder. We were almost out of backorder in 2010, then orders started increasing again creating back order and our extended wait time for gear. Although we still get approached by shop dealers, I still don’t see the need for Electric Amp, USA ever being in any retail environment.

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Join us for Hope Jam 2014

May 13,2014

Through the tireless efforts of our Relay for Life fundraising team, we are excited to be hosting our first ever Hope Jam concert on Saturday, May 24th at the Kentucky Renaissance Fair in Eminence, KY.  All proceeds from this event will go to support Relay for Life.

JD ShelburneHeadlining this event is JD Shelburne. JD is a country artist that hails from Taylorsville, Kentucky but now calls Nashville his home. He has recently released 2 radio singles “Farmboy” and “Grandma & Garth” nationwide this past year followed by his debut music video for “Farmboy” featuring former University of Kentucky Head Football Coach Joker Phillips on bass guitar.

  • Supporting acts include Sugarfoot Band, Silverwings and Jamie Tingle
  • This event is open to all ages
  • Tickets are $15, children under 12 are FREE!
  • Gates open at 4:30 pm
  • Food, drinks and cash bar available
  • Pets, outside food and drinks are not allowed
  • Rain or shine
  • The Kentucky Renaissance Fair is located at 955 Elm Street, Eminence, KY 40019

We would like to thank the following sponsors for helping us make this possible:

  • RGS Pro Systems
  • DC Productions
  • Best Western Shelbyville Lodge
  • Kentucky Renaissance Fair
  • Affordable Signs and Apparel
  • Eminence Speaker Relay for Life Team

We hope to see you there!

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Eminence Sounds Off to Support Relay for Life

May 1,2014

In a show of continued support for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life fundraising efforts, Eminence Speaker LLC is proud to introduce for a limited time the first ever CV-75R 12″ guitar speaker.

Help us support Relay for LifeWith its distinctive pink basket and logo stamped dust cap, this limited edition version of their popular CV-75 model from their RedCoat series is sure to offer big tone for a wonderful cause. The company has pledged $25 from the sale of each speaker toward their ongoing Relay for Life fundraising campaign. The 8 ohm CV-75R features a British cone, 1.75″ voice coil and 56 oz. magnet and is rated at 75 watts.

“The CV-75 is a speaker we’ve been working on perfecting for over 10 years, and I’m glad to see our efforts helping our Relay for Life team reach and hopefully surpass their goals.” said Anthony Lucas, Eminence tech support specialist. “This speaker emulates British tone from the ’80s: grunt and punch in the lows, warm/tailored mids, and nice, clear, open/airy highs.”

CV-75RTo see the performance parameters or hear sound clips, please reference the CV-75 from our RedCoat series. Learn more about Relay for Life at www.relayforlife.org.

Order yours today at Parts Express, or check with your favorite retailer for availability.

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Employee Spotlight: Rodney Tingle

April 29,2014

When people come to take a tour of the Eminence Speaker plant, I often hear them express in one way or another how astonished they are at all of the processes and the amount of information and work that go into producing a loudspeaker. Granted, a speaker is made up of a few basic components but these components are very specific in their design and purpose. Just to give you and idea of the nuances of each design, Eminence has produced more than 8,000 unique speaker designs since its beginning!! Not 8,000 speakers, but 8,000 unique designs! That is quite an astonishing thing if I do say so myself!

Rodney TingleBehind each of those designs are the brains and brawn that make Eminence such a unique place to be. From the engineers behind the draftsman’s desk to the men and women stamping out cold, hard steel, Eminence is built upon hard work and dedication. This month’s Employee Highlight exemplifies both of those traits; hard work and dedication. Paul “Bear” Bryant used to say, “I’m no miracle man. I guarantee nothing but hard work.” Sometimes you need a miracle, but most of the time hard work will suffice. Rodney Tingle is a hard-working and dedicated employee, to say the least. His Supervisor, Linda Gregory, has this to say about Rodney: “Rodney is very dependable. He is always at work, always does what he is asked to do, and does a great job with all he does.”

Rodney and I sat down one morning not too long ago to discuss his time here at Eminence.

JM: Rodney, how long have you been here at Eminence?

RT: I’ve been here about 2 ½ years working in production.

JM: Where did you work before coming here?

RT: I worked for Roby’s Door Service hanging garage doors. I did that for about 18 years.

JM: What brought you here?

RT: Well, with the economy being so slow, houses weren’t being built like they were before. We went from installing 7 or 8 doors a week to around 2 doors a week. Things just got slow. I applied at the Employment Plus temporary service and was referred by a friend to come work here.

JM: JM: Have you worked in production the whole time you’ve been here?

RT: Yes. I’ve worked several different jobs in production but have worked in the production department since I was hired. I’ve helped out in other departments, but my primary department has been production. I started out working on the assembly line in seated positions but I didn’t like sitting the whole time. I moved to the round table so that I could be a little more active and move around a little more.

JM: JM: Do you enjoy what you are doing?

RT: I do. I never thought I would be building speakers for a living but I do enjoy it. I always thought they were built by machine. I didn’t realize that they were built by hand.

JM: Are there any things that you come to know quickly in production?

RT: The main thing that you learn is to pay attention to your job. You can potentially mess up an entire order by not paying attention. You need to check your own work. You are responsible for your work, not someone else. There are some jobs that look easy until you try them. They aren’t always as easy as they look.

JM: Tell me a little about your working environment and your peers here.

RT: It is a good work environment. The people make it a good place to work. If you have a problem, you let someone know and it’s usually taken care of. I am the only one left in my hiring class. You can usually tell when someone is brought in whether or not they will stick around. I don’t like to train people on jobs and then have them leave. If you keep your head on straight and show some patience, you can work here.

JM: What is one of your favorite things about working here?

RT: I’d say it’s the people. We help each other out when help is needed.

JM: Rodney, thanks for taking the time to talk with me today.

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