News & Media

Employee Spotlight: Teresa Rucker

We are Eminence December 2,2012

“People are definitely a company’s greatest asset. It doesn’t make any difference whether the product is cars or cosmetics. A company is only as good as the people it keeps.”— Mary Kay Ash

The words of Mary Kay Ash certainly ring true here at Eminence Speaker. The existence of Eminence, from its founding to its future, can be accredited to the caliber of men and women who have called themselves “Eminence Speaker”. Indeed, we are Eminence! Behind the most trusted name in the audio industry lies an eclectic group of people with personal stories. Without these people, we would never be who we are.

This month’s “We Are Eminence” employee spotlight shines on Teresa Rucker. Teresa currently works in our Voice Coil Department. Eminence Speaker has been around since 1966 and for 23 of those 46 years, Teresa Rucker has been faithfully building our reputation one voice coil at a time. Her supervisor, Michelle Gambrel speaks of Teresa this way:

“Teresa is very passionate about everything she does. She is very loyal to Eminence Speaker, her friends, her church, and her family. She takes pride in her work and has a lot of knowledge about her job and the company as a whole. She tries her best and gives her all. It is a pleasure to work with her. Teresa is what Eminence Speaker is all about.”

I recently sat down with Teresa for an interview about her experience here at Eminence.

JM: How many years have you been employed here at Eminence?

TR: I’ve been here for 23 years this coming May. I worked for Ashland Oil for 17 years and then worked at Brunswick for 7 years after that. My son was 5 years old when I started here and he’s 27 now. Time flies!

JM: How did you come to be an Eminence Employee?

TR: My time at Brunswick had ended and I really needed a job. Being a single parent, the opportunity at Eminence was a Godsend. Sue Kindred was the supervisor in the Voice Coil Department at the time and she gave a good recommendation for me. I came in for the interview and they hired me on the spot. They told me we would be working a lot of overtime and we did. We were working 60 hour weeks then, sometimes in 12 hour shifts.

JM: Who trained you in your department?

TR: Most of my training came from Sue Kindred and Nancy Simpson.

JM: Have you worked in any other areas in the plant or just the Voice Coil Department?

TR: I’ve worked primarily in

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the Voice Coil Department but have done other jobs as well. I’ve operated presses in the press room, worked on the assembly line, compression driver line, Buttkicker department…..a little bit of everywhere. If you’ve been here for a while you will eventually do a little of everything.

JM: What are some changes that you have seen happen at Eminence over the years that have made things better?

TR: The production lines have been streamlined. We have a lot more people working them now than when I started but they have been streamlined quite a bit.

JM: What keeps you here as an employee rather than working somewhere else?

TR: The economy is pretty bad these days. Having the insurance plan that we do is a big deal. The benefits are a big deal. Insurance can be so expensive.

JM: What is your favorite memory of the time you have spent at Eminence so far?

TR: We used to have company picnics and parties that involved the whole family. I really liked that, especially Christmas time. Christmas is about the kids and I really enjoyed when we did things that we could bring our families with us. My son always enjoyed that. I also enjoy the meals we have within our department. The family atmosphere created good memories. It has been good getting to know the Gault family, too. Bob was a military man but a very fair man. He expected you to produce great work but genuinely cared about you. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know Rob and his mother for all these years.

JM: If you could tell the world one thing about Eminence, what would it be?

TR: I would tell them that we strive for perfection in what we do. We aren’t always perfect but we strive for that. If I wouldn’t buy it myself, I wouldn’t allow it to go past my station. We want quality to be the top priority.

JM: Any final comments for our readers or maybe even comments for the younger generation of workers coming in?

TR: For the younger generation I would say, “Work on the quality first and the quantity will come. This is a good place to work if you are willing to work. There is a job here to do if you are willing to do the job.”

JM: Thanks for your time, Teresa.

Josh Martin is Eminence’s Technology Sales Manager and has been with the company for 6 years.

Q&A with amp guru George Alessandro

October 30,2012

Eminence has had the pleasure of working with George Alessandro for many years, building custom guitar speakers to his specifications for many of his high-end amplifiers. Together we collaborated with legendary guitarist Eric Johnson on what we think is the finest alnico guitar speaker on the market, the Eric Johnson Signature EJ1250. We recently sat down with George to learn more about the man behind the tone of many of today’s premier artists.

Eminence: First, tell us a bit about Alessandro High-End Products, Working Dog, and Hound Dog Corp.  What do you do, and what sets you apart?

George: Hound Dog Corporation is the parent company that does business as Alessandro and Working Dog. The Alessandro trademark was put into place to define a new concept of true high-end products. The Working Dog mark was about quality, and cost effective products for the working musicians out there.

Eminence: How did you first get started in the industry?   How did you learn your trade?

George: I earned an associates electronics degree out of high school, worked servicing 2-way radios for a couple years, then went back to college for my BS in Biology and Chemistry (pre-med at the time). During this time I was working as a sound-man/roadie and tech. It was a hobby at the time. At 15 years old, my first guitar and amp was an Ibanez Roadstar and Peavey Bandit.  By 16 I had a vintage strat and Super Reverb, and by 18 acquired two more vintage strats, more Super Reverbs and a ’59 tweed Bassman. I grew up in the early 80′s, so hair bands were the trend. By my mid teens SRV made it big. He opened my eyes to a whole new type of music and gear and I’ve never looked back.

By the time I purchased the ’59 Tweed Bassman, I was working on electronics and tinkering with vacuum tube amps. I thought there was something wrong with the sound of the amp and took it to a bunch of the local techs. I still never thought it was right. Months passed, many repair bills later and still unsatisfied, I decided to do some research and see if I could fix it. Low and behold, it had a shorted cap that no one had found, and sounded like I thought it should, heavenly and mean. I kept reading and learning about vintage guitar amps from that time and started servicing all my own gear. This was also the time when I learned to seek out the “old timers” and pick their brains about vacuum tube gear. I worked for a “Fred Sanford” type guy, named Fred Chassie, who had more vintage studio gear and vacuum tube stuff than you could imagine (10,000 sq. ft. minimum, floor to chest with just isles to get around). My job was to unbury mountains, pack them onto pallets and move them to a smaller warehouse. My pay was to make piles of gear that I found in those mountains, and if I wasn’t greedy I got it. I pulled so much vintage studio gear, vacuum tubes, mics, and parts out of that place that I still have piles left here today. Cool gear aside, the true gift of Fred was his knowledge. As we uncovered gear, Fred would tell the story of what the gear was, where it came from and how it worked. I’m talking about the earliest generation tape machines, microphones, compressor/limiters and preamps. He knew everything about all that gear because he was there when they came out, used and serviced them, bought and sold them till the day he passed. There are no books on this stuff and his generation is now no longer with us. His knowledge was a gift I will never under appreciate. That knowledge was something that I applied to my trade everyday. Since then I’ve been compiling a similar knowledge base of Vintage Guitar amps of the 50′s and 60′s. I’ve been lucky to have played, owned and serviced just about every pinnacle amp out there. I’ve refined my trade to a specialty of vintage amps only, that is where my decades of experience lies. I’m good at it, and it is still just fun.

Eminence: What made you decide to go into business for yourself?

George: In the mid/early 90′s I was at the crossroads of my life; school or work. I was finishing my BS degree and looking into med school. By this time, I was servicing vintage amps as a side job for fun money. I had made friends with a brain doc at University of Penn in Philly. I serviced his guitar amps and he showed me around at Penn’s dept. of Neurology. We got to be good friends and had a mutual friend in Ken Fischer, another person who had an influence on me at the time. I had to make a choice of 10 more years of school/residency to get my PHD/MD or let my hobby of amp repair become a career. I had designed my own circuit that I was installing in Black Face Bassman heads to give them more gain and built a crude amp from spare parts with it. It sounded really good and a couple prototypes later, looked less crude. As Ken Fischer was the only local guy I could talk shop about intelligently, I brought him the prototype to hear. He liked it and gave me a really nice plug in Vintage Guitar Magazine. The orders flooded in and my hobby became a business. At the same time my brain doc friend was telling me about the downfalls of the medical field, (with HMOs, malpractice insurance and the internal politics in the hospitals), it was not necessarily a good fit for me. I really wanted to get into medicine for the right reasons, but if I was going to be miserable, was it worth it? Well, we know what I’m doing now and when I look back at all the people and places this path has taken me, I would have never believed it then.

As the years passed and I added more amps to the product line, I started getting into high-end audio (avoid it unless you have some disposable income available because it is addictive and can get costly). I was amazed at how Hi-Fi evolved from Macintosh in the 60′s to the gear of today. Hi-Fi today is better then yesterday, the last decade and the decade before, they never stopped evolving their products. It seems like in the Guitar business, the 50′s and 60′s was the heyday of gear. The raw materials in current high-end hi-fi are modern technology designed for enhanced audio, while guitar amps are still dinosaurs. In the late ’90′s I started tinkering with these high-end parts and it was truly a revelation. I found that if used properly, very modern and state-of-the-art hi-fi parts could be used to enhance vintage style guitar amps. This revelation led to revamping the amp line and designing from scratch new designs that utilize all the positive effects of the new parts. I found all the weak links in my rig, like the cables, guitar internal parts and speakers because the amp had so much more to offer, but was not coming through. I had to develop all the other parts of the rig to equal or exceed what the amp was capable of creating. Now the tones, oh what beautiful tones! The product line now expanded from just amps to everything except the wooden guitar itself. The concept was to offer everything from cost-effective high-end, to the very best money can buy (I can still remember being laughed at when we introduced a $2000 guitar cable in the late 90′s. Within 5 years everybody jumped into the market and there were too many cables that were very expensive but did not sound better, hence the market collapsed).

Eminence: You’ve worked with some really great artists over the years.  Who have you gotten to know and in what capacity did you work together?

George: Because I was in this upscale market (started as boutique, I evolved into high-end) and I was offering really good products, many of the A-List guitar players sought me out. I had the opportunity to build gear and do service work for all the guitar heroes I grew up listening to. Out of respect to all the musicians, I’d love to list them all, but the short list of most memorable/most respected are guys like David Gilmour, Eric Clapton, Eric Johnson, John Mayer, Joe Perry, Derek Trucks and Keith Urban. George AlessandroI still have to pinch myself to see if I dreamed all the things I’ve done, one of the most memorable being backstage at an Aerosmith concert with my wife and 6 month old daughter. Steven comes out of his dressing room and we are standing there, he stops, runs over and starts playing with my daughter. He is there making ducky noises and playing with her feet, 10 minutes later he is standing in front of 20,000 screaming fans and Joe is out there playing an art amplifier, the Bling Beagle, I built for him that we snuck in his rig for his birthday. It was a fun night and one I can remind my daughter about when she is a teenager and thinks her parents are uncool, that we actually are :-)

Eminence: How did you first meet Eric Johnson?  Has your relationship changed over the years?

George: The phrase “it is a long, strange trip” comes to mind with EJ. I remember a decade before becoming friends with Eric, sneaking backstage at a gig in Philly and standing back there with all his gear. I was in awe of all the gear, but never touched anything. I was walking around back there, got caught and escorted all the way out.

A decade later, I was introduced to him by a mutual friend and we became friends. Eric is very controlling about his gear, more than his reputation would lead you to believe. I respect that, I am the same way about the tools of my trade. There is a reason he is as good as he is, and it is not from being lazy and settling for good enough. I am very good at what I do because I put in the time and it is my gift. (Do not ask me to play guitar, not my gift). After years of testing the waters, Eric has let me do what I do and now we have a symbiotic relationship. I have definitely learned things from him because you never know everything and he definitely looks at things from a different perspective than my analytical  mind.

There is nobody like Eric, he brings something unique to the table. Whether genius or insanity he has a trained ear like no other.

Eminence: How did the idea of an Eric Johnson signature speaker design come about?

George: In general, the artists in my world feel there is nothing quite like the gear from 40-55 years ago. Eric primarily plays the old Marshall heads into old Basketweave cabs with all original speakers in them, in conjunction with a Fender for the clean tones. The problem is he plays 100′s into a single 4×12 with 44 year old speakers. It is hard to find perfect examples of these cabs and many have been reconed. We go through a lot of speakers to find ones that work perfectly and then after touring, they start acting up. This is not a good scenario with a touring artist, to have your gear failing and parts not readily available.

The signature speakers came about because of this frustration. At the time we were working on a ’58 Tweed Twin that I had just serviced and put an original set of P12N speakers into. The amp sounded angelic. Eric got it and 30 minutes later blew out one of the speakers, the other followed shortly thereafter. Got another set of vintage cone speakers and same scenario. Because I still service vintage amps, blown speakers come up often. I have had lackluster success with all the reconing companies out there, so I had to learn to do it myself. By doing it myself, I can match up the parts more accurately and fine tune them if needed. I sent Eric some of my reconed P12N speakers, they worked. Months passed and he started blowing some of the recones (by now he had a ’59 Tweed Twin along with the ’58). I already had three Alessandro speakers manufactured by Eminence for me so I suggested we try designing a new speaker for the Twins. Since Eric knew I could make an old speaker sound proper with new parts, we thought we should be able to make a new speaker with the new parts. We prototyped a few speakers and started dialing something in. The prototype was not strictly American or British and because we were starting with a clean slate, we kept making changes till we dialed it in.

Eminence: You obviously know Eric’s tone very well, having worked intimately with us to achieve the tone Eric was after.  How would you define the tone of the EJ1250?

George: After we dialed in the speakers, I started installing them into the High Power Tweed Twins. You can definitely tell where my ear was during the development of the prototypes, they sound like Leo designed the amp for these speakers. Since Fender never intended players to use the amps the way Eric does, turned up way into full distortion, the stock speakers fall far short from allowing the amp to voice properly. Eric’s setting is Y-corded into the amp with both controls on 11 7/8 (turn it up to 12 then back it down a notch). With the new speakers, the amp can now voice properly clean, dirty and flat out. I built a recreation of his amps, blueprinted from his amps and another 100% original ’59, and installed the new speakers. The combination of a strong, tight, proper recreation Twin and the new speakers, is pure tone. These are desert island amps, giving all the choices out there. This is the one amp to be stuck with for life.

We did find that like all speakers, this speaker is not for every application. Like Marshall in ’65 who stopped using Alnico speakers in closed back 4x12s, we found with 100W Marshall amps, it was not a perfect match. I have not tried every cabinet configuration, but in general this speaker voices wonderfully with American amps and lower power British amps.

Eminence: In your opinion, how important is the loudspeaker’s role in the overall tone chain?  Do you feel this is often overlooked?

George: Without the speaker, you aint got jack. A bad or mediocre speaker will kill the best rig. On the flip side, an efficient, revealing speaker will bring out all the flaws in a mediocre amp. There are speakers out there with a super rolled off top-end that guys are raving about. I can’t use them because they kill my amp’s tone. If there is something wrong with an amp, the fix is not a muted speaker. A good speaker is efficient, balanced and has an airy top-end. There are different flavors of chocolate out there for different tastes, same as speakers, but dynamic should be a component of every speaker.

The reason I struck up a working relationship with Eminence is because years ago, I felt like someone tied my hands and would not allow me to make a proper sounding amplifier. The companies I was using had quality control issues and special order from others was not an option. Eminence stepped up to the plate, prototyped what I asked, and now they are my go to speakers, and now on stage with the biggest names in the business.

Eminence: What’s the best advice you could give a young guitarist who is searching for their tone?  Do they have to spend a lot of money to sound great?

George: It really is all in the hands, and a good rig will make you sound worse if you don’t have the tone in your hands. Simplicity is best, have a good tube amp with a proper speaker, plug straight in and play. Add effects in front if needed, but do not rely on them for the tone, it should come from the heart, the hands and the rig.

Eminence: We always enjoy working with you and hope to collaborate on more projects in the future.  Aside from that, what other projects/products do you have on the horizon?

George: I’d like to see some new signature speakers with new artists (and some with the “old” ones). I’m working on possibly producing the amp that spurred this project and we have a light-weight speaker cabinet line on the horizon utilizing the Alessandro speakers.

Learn more about Alessandro products at www.alessandro-products.com

Need help identifying an old or custom OEM Eminence Speaker?

Tech Talk With Big Tony October 18,2012

One of our most frequently asked tech support questions goes something like this:  ”Hey I’ve got this old speaker and I’m pretty sure it’s an Eminence.  Can you tell me what the power rating, impedance, and other specs are?”  In this video, Eminence Speaker Tech Anthony “Big Tony” Lucas points out how to find the information on the speaker he will need in order to help you.

Using coaxial products for DIY monitors and home hi-fi applications

Tech Talk With Big Tony October 4,2012

Eminence offers coaxial woofers in 8”, 10”, and 12”, called the Beta-8CX, Beta-10CX and Beta-12CX, respectively.  These woofers have a threaded pole-piece so that a screw-on, 1” exit high frequency driver can be attached to form a coaxial set up.

The woofer has a screen type dust cap, which allows the output of the high frequency driver to pass through the center.  A small, 60 degree conical horn is attached to the top of the pole-piece beneath the dust cap.  In my experience, it seems that our coaxial products are misunderstood and do not have enough exposure.    Download our coax recommended use chartIn this article, I hope to raise awareness by sharing my own experiences and show how you can use them to create a great monitor or home hi-fi speaker.

Home Hi-Fi

Several years ago, I was finishing my basement to add more living space for my growing family.  My wife gave me permission on nearly half of the basement addition to build a “man cave”/entertainment room.  Since I work in engineering at Eminence Speaker (and my wife didn’t really think through the prospect of turning me loose on our basement ), I wanted to install an impressive, over-the-top sound system for home theater and general music purposes.  I enlisted the help of Jerry McNutt, who is one of our design engineers, a passionate sound enthusiast, and a great box builder.

We decided to use the Beta-10CX, combined with the ASD:1001 for the front, rear, and center channels.  I have a 5.1 system (Yeah, it’s been a while!).  We decided on a 1.52 cubic foot enclosure, tuned to 60Hz for the front speakers and center channel.
Coaxial products for home hi-fiWe also added about a pound of pillow stuffing from Walmart for sound absorption.  It was just left loose in the box.  I mounted the rear speakers in the ceiling and used the space between the floor joists as an enclosure.  We figured this would be sufficient, as there’s not much information sent to the rear channels, and they’re right over my head when I sit on our couch to watch a movie.  This setup sounded pretty good with our stock crossover, PXB2:3K5, but we decided to make it even better.  Jerry asked his crossover knowledgeable friend, Leo Frank, to assist.  They used a spectrum analyzer to design an optimal crossover, which included padding for the tweeter.  Eminence’s stock, board crossovers are nice for off-the-shelf products, but they are not optimized for any particular system and do not include padding for the tweeter.  With the new crossovers, my speakers sounded incredible.  Download this cabinet designThey were dynamic, articulate, and focused, which are all great advantages for the application.  The high SPL of the system was also a plus.  I only had about 30 watts per channel of power available.  I also incorporated a 4×15” subwoofer enclosure, but with hand-built, custom woofers (still Eminence, of course) in a rather odd cabinet design.  I apologize, but the full details of the sub will not be part of this article.

DYI stage monitors

A few years later, my band wanted to get away from in-ear monitors and decided we needed some really good floor monitors.  Again, our coaxials came to mind as a great possibility.  We preferred a 12” woofer for this application, so I decided to use the Beta-12CX and the ASD:1001.  I also wanted to try the same crossover that we used in my home theater project.
Coaxial products for stage monitorsCoax products for stage monitorsBeta 12CX with ASD:1001

Download this cabinet design
Jerry built a test box that was sealed and 1.21 cubic feet.  I was skeptical that a sealed enclosure would produce enough bass.  However, we tested it with a lot of different types of music, and surprisingly, it stayed very clear, tight, and punchy.

This was good news, because it kept the enclosures simple and in a smaller footprint than a ported enclosure would allow.  We also stuffed the box full of fiberglass.  This really cleaned up the mids.  You could certainly use other acoustic absorption materials.  I’m not sure exactly how much we used, and it’s basically a preference decision on how much to use.  You need to add material until you’re satisfied with how it sounds.  Jerry built 4 enclosures for me and we started using them in the band.

We were very satisfied with the sound quality and how much better we could hear ourselves.  We were actually able to lower our stage volume because we could hear so much better.  Stage volume was always a struggle before.

PXB2:2K5CXThe results were so good that Jerry built more for himself and a close friend that does a lot of sound projects.  We also started sharing the design with customers that we felt could benefit from it.  A local church camp was building a new worship center on their campus and came to us for help on the sound.  We shared the design and they built monitors for their stage.  They also hired one of our customers that designs and builds high-end line arrays to install their front of house.  As they were sound checking the install, our customer heard the monitors and asked us about them.  He was very intrigued and measured their performance with a hand-held spectrum analyzer.  He was blown away by the response curve and said they were nearly perfect without any EQ.  He eventually adopted the design and added it to his own product line.  Jerry and I convinced our sales and marketing to add the crossover to our line.  It’s now called the PXB2:2K5CX.

Eminence Adds a 10” Closed-back Midrange Driver to the American Standard Series.

April 23,2012

Eminence Speaker LLC proudly introduces a 10" closed-back midrange version of their popular Beta 10A, the Beta 10CBMRA.

Beta 10CBMRANo other line of professional audio loudspeakers offers more value with performance than the American Standard series, and the Beta 10CBMRA is no exception. With its economical stamped steel, closed-back chassis, the Beta 10CBMRA offers versatility by eliminating the need for separate sub-enclosures. A usable frequency range of 300Hz to 4kHz combined with 200 watts continuous power handling makes the Beta 10CBMRA a perfect midrange driver for high-power pro audio cabinets, or high-power/high SPL car stereo applications.

"Using carefully selected components encompassed in a sealed basket, the Beta10CBMRA integrates effortlessly in to nearly any car or pro audio system." explains Matt Marcum, Design Engineer at Eminence. "With cabinet independence along with its optimized response and performance capabilities, system incorporation couldn’t be more simplified."

See more product details here.

Eminence Speaker Seals a Great Deal

April 23,2012

Expanding on the success of their ultra-popular Alpha 6A professional audio loudspeaker, Eminence Speaker LLC proudly introduces a sealed chassis midrange version, the Alpha 6CBMRA.

Alpha 6CBMRAFrom the high-performance and high-value American Standard series, the Alpha 6CBMRA is a 100 watt, 6.5" mid/woofer with a usable frequency range of 400Hz to 5kHz. The sealed, stamped steel basket eliminates the need for separate sub-enclosures.

"Many Alpha 6A users told us numerous times their applications require a true midrange, asking repeatedly to make a closed back version." said Jerry McNutt, Design Engineer at Eminence. "We listened. We delivered!"

With its sealed basket and smooth frequency response, the Alpha 6CBMRA is perfect for pro audio enclosures or cars while keeping acoustic integration with your system simple. Based on the same great Alpha 6A heritage, the power handling, simplicity and performance of the Alpha 6CBMRA leave it second to none.

See more product details here.

Understanding Loudspeaker Power Ratings

Tech Talk With Big Tony March 15,2012

Speaker power handling must be the most misunderstood specification in our industry.  Knowing the power handling of a speaker is rather useless without considering other specs and details.  It’s like knowing the “what” without the “when” or “where.”

Eminence uses an industry standard method (EIA 426A) for establishing power ratings. A speaker is tested in free-air with a continuous noise signal with a 6dB crest factor.  This continuous average power rating (or “watts” rating) is basically a thermal limit.  Eminence does not associate a watts rating with “RMS.”  RMS pertains to voltage or current, but “RMS watts” is an erroneous term.  The music program rating is always twice the continuous rating.  It is a higher rating because music has many peaks and dips and is not as abusive as a continuous signal.  This is a good rating to select amplifier power for proper headroom in a pro audio application.  Eminence does not publish a peak rating, but we accept it as four times the continuous rating.  Peak is higher because the shorter duration of a burst of sound is less abusive than a music signal or a continuous signal.

Power testing is performed on all Eminence branded speakers offered on our website.  We also manufacture products for OEM (original equipment manufacturer) companies, which may or may not carry the “Eminence” name.  These products are custom designed to a manufacturer’s specifications and are not power tested or rated by Eminence.  It is at the discretion of our customer to test and rate their amp or cabinet, but rating the speaker may not be a concern for them.  For instance, if a certain speaker works to the satisfaction of a manufacturer in a 300 watt product, it’s insignificant if the speaker can actually handle 500 watts.  The cabinet or amp containing the speaker will get the 300 watt rating.  The more important concerns of the cabinet or amp manufacturer are how well the speaker performs mechanically and sonically.  The mechanical performance involves how well the T/S parameters of a speaker align with the enclosure.

Mechanical power handling becomes the real issue when you consider a speaker for a specific cabinet.  Keep in mind, it can never exceed the thermal power handling because the speaker would fail first.  A speaker’s mechanical power handling will vary in different cabinets and is dependent on the cabinet volume and the tuning frequency (if ported). Larger cabinets and lower tunings, for example, are both more abusive conditions and will decrease the mechanical power handling of a speaker.  Woofers (a speaker designed to produce lower frequencies) are particularly more cabinet dependent because bass frequencies are more abusive. Lower frequencies require the woofer to move more air.  In applications where low frequency reproduction is a requirement, it might actually take a 500 watt woofer to handle 300 watts of amplifier power.  This is common in bass guitar and pro audio subwoofer applications

T/S parameters will help you ensure whether or not a speaker is suitable for your cabinet and amp power. They can also help you determine the mechanical power handling of a speaker in your cabinet.  Xmax and sensitivity (or SPL) are a couple of parameters that are so often overlooked.  Xmax is especially important for pro audio and bass guitar applications.  This parameter represents the maximum linear excursion, or in simple terms, how far the speaker can travel before reaching harmful levels of distortion.  A speaker with more Xmax has greater excursion capability (or travel), which basically means it can produce lower bass at higher volumes.  Xmax is crucial to a speaker’s mechanical power handling when the application requires low frequency reproduction.

SPL represents how loud a speaker is and provides another means to compare speakers.  A speaker with a higher SPL will not require as much amp power to achieve a certain volume.  We have found that many people use the high SPL of our pro audio speakers to their benefit for applications such as bass guitar, car audio, and home hi-fi.  The demanding low frequency bandwidth of these applications may often limit a speaker’s mechanical power handling significantly, but the higher SPL can be a huge advantage in several ways.

One example is a pro audio woofer used as a car audio or home hi-fi subwoofer.  A 500 watt woofer may be reduced to a 100 watt woofer if asked to produce a signal anywhere from 20-40Hz.  However, this could be an effective approach if the woofer can produce this signal at 96dB with one watt of power.  In another example, it is often more beneficial to use a high SPL, full range type woofer over a true low frequency woofer for a bass guitar application.  The true low frequency woofer would provide better mechanical power handling in the cabinet, but could be too narrow in bandwidth, resulting in a lack of mids and highs.  It may also require more amplifier power to achieve a desirable volume.  A higher SPL, more full range type of woofer will produce better mids and highs and the overall output is higher per watt.  As previously described, it may take a 500 watt rated speaker to handle 300 watts of amplifier power.

Mechanical versus thermal power handling is not a significant topic for open or closed back, lead/rhythm guitar applications.  The standard guitar frequencies are not that abusive on a speaker, so guitar speakers are not as cabinet dependent as pro audio or bass guitar speakers.  The important factors for selecting a guitar cabinet are based more on how the size and materials affect or add to the tone.

At this point, you might be thinking why Eminence would publish such a useless rating?  Well, a thermal power rating gives you an idea of a speaker’s potential and a way to compare to other speakers.  Most of our speakers are multi-purpose and we don’t know how or where they might be used.  End users often use our speakers effectively in ways that we never thought about, and we encourage it!

Eric Johnson on the Eminence EJ1250

February 27,2012

In this video Eric Johnson discusses vintage tone, and how he, along with George Alessandro and Eminence, set out to recreate those classic sounds in this new design. Eric also demonstrates the EJ1250′s ability to deliver very balanced, harmonic tones in various playing styles.

Learn more about the EJ1250.

Eminence Adds Three Advanced High-Power Loudspeakers to the Professional Series.

January 12,2012

Impero Series

Eminence is proud to introduce three advanced high-power additions to the Professional Series: the Impero 12A, 15A, and 18A. Italian for “empire”, Impero sets the tone for this elite offering of high quality, hand-built loudspeakers.

Using high motor strength with balanced Vas and Mms, the Impero series plays extremely loud and low in compact vented designs. Advancements include a 1/2” thick by 7.5” diameter machined top plate, one piece machined T-yoke, and a 4” deep wound fiberglass voice coil. These features combined with an ultra-linear long-excursion suspension and bumped motor assembly allow the Impero series to move serious air, generate serious SPL, while handling tremendous amounts of power.

At 1,100 watts continuous / 2,200 watts program power, the 12” Impero 12A has a usable frequency range of 56 Hz to 3 kHz, making it perfect for two-way top boxes, full-range two-way boxes, bass guitar boxes, and small subwoofers.

The 15” Impero 15A is suited for two-way top boxes, full-range two-way and three-way boxes, bass guitar boxes, and small subwoofers, and is rated at 1,200 watt continuous / 2,400 watt program. With a frequency range of 46 Hz to 2 kHz, this 15” has the extension at both ends to go low and high, perfect for small vented boxes with conventional sized horns. This model is also available in a 4 ohm version, the Impero 15C.

The 18” Impero 18A is also rated at 1,200 watt continuous / 2,400 watt program power, has a frequency range of 39 Hz to 820 Hz, and is suited for full-range three-way boxes, bass guitar boxes, and small subwoofers. This model is also available in a 4 ohm version, the Impero 18C.

The Impero series has it all while being arguably the most attractive speaker we’ve designed so far.” said Jerry McNutt, Design Engineer at Eminence. “Incorporating CNC machined zinc plated motor parts, water resistant treated cones and dust caps, and sanded-edge cast aluminum baskets, it’s beauty AND the beast.”

Like all Genuine Eminence branded professional audio and musical instrument loudspeakers, the Impero 12A, 15A and 18A are built by hand in the USA, and are backed by our industry-leading 7-year warranty. See the Impero series at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA on January 19, 2012.

Eminence and Eric Johnson Team Up to Deliver 50 Watts of Pure Vintage Tone.

January 4,2012

**Meet Eric Johnson in person at the Eminence NAMM booth on Friday, January 20th at 2:00pm at the Winter NAMM Show in Anaheim, CA.**

Eminence is proud to announce the addition of a signature 12” alnico guitar speaker developed with legendary guitarist Eric Johnson, the EJ1250.

Eminence knows a thing or two about vintage tone, having made guitar speakers for the biggest amplifier brands in the industry since the late ’60s. But one guitarist
is known the world over for defining vintage tone. Working with Eric and George Alessandro, Eminence has designed the first speaker worthy of Eric’s name.

Eric Johnson Signature EJ1250Available in both 8 and 16 ohm impedances, the EJ1250 is a 50 watt, 12” guitar speaker featuring vintage alnico tone with a modern twist. With both American and British characteristics, the EJ1250 delivers punchy lows, warm throaty mids, and articulate highs.

“I’m excited that for the first time in many years there’s a new speaker that I love the sound of.” said Johnson.

“No other guitarist’s name has become synonymous with vintage tone.” said Eminence President Chris Rose. “We’re very excited to be collaborating with him, and the fact he has chosen Eminence to deliver his signature sound is testament to our own reputation for building the highest quality products on the market.”

Like all Genuine Eminence branded professional audio and musical instrument loudspeakers, the EJ1250 is built by hand in the USA, and is backed by our industry-leading 7-year warranty.

Sounds clips and Eric Johnson demo video coming soon.


Download spec sheet