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Rating and Reviews: Electro-Voice EVM12L

The EVM12L Classic is a 200-watt version of the EV speaker that's been going strong since 1983. Load this workhorse woofer in your cab for big low-end punch.

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"World's Hardest-Working Woofer" submitted February 21, 2011

By a customer from msn.com
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Musical Background: Gigging musician, former live sound engineer
Music Style: Easy listening and classic rock
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Sound: I obtained an old Magtatone amp (push-pull 6BQ5 output tubes so about 18 watts RMS). The 10" peashooter Jensen 10 oz. magnet speaker that came stock with it was blown so I did some jigsawing on the baffle board and managed to make enough room to put an EVM 12L and a bullet tweeter with an almost equally massive magnet structure in there. My aim wasn't just power handling since many car subwoofers are rated as ridiculously high wattage because the coil gap and overhang simply lower the efficiency of the speakers to almost useless - not the EVM though. With that modest amp I can just about keep up with my lead player who plays through a 50 watt Marshall with a 4-12 Celestion cabinet. Watt for watt the EVM 12 is the most efficient speaker I have ever used. I speak from experience because my other amp is an Ampeg Reverbrocket (push-pull 7591s) retrofitted with a JBL K140 and the EVM-equipped Magnatone puts out very nearly the same SPL with considerably fewer watts of input. The transient response and overall tonal clarity of the EVM 12 is unsurpassed. You wouldn't think a 12" speaker with a 2 1/2" voice coil would be able to compete efficiency-wise with a JBL 15" with a 4" voice coil but in fact is does so quite favorably. Your amp is only as good as your speaker and the EVM12L makes the best sound out of the signal that's fed into it. I also recommended the EVM 12 L as the ideal speaker for my freind to put in an old wedge-shaped corner cabinet which he uses with a vintage VM 20 watt hi-fi amp which he uses as a studio recording amp. He is equally impressed as I am with the tone and output SPL of the EVM12L. The old SRO 15s were good enough for Ted Nugent to install in his stacks of Fender Dual Showman amps during the Amboy Dukes era and Arlen Vicelli (lead guitarist with with Salem Witchcraft out of Detroit) also used two Ampeg V4 cabinets loaded with 4 EVM 12L each with an Ampeg V4 head (120 watts RMS) and could shut down any Marshall stack made at the time and this setup would no doubt favorably compare to anything on the market today. Feature: Heavy as sin (but still not bad for the output it produces. Alnico magnets have simply become prohibitively expensive to manufacture so virtually all manufacturers have switched over to ferrite nowadays. The old Alnico magner SRO 12 was a couple of pounds lighter for the same voice coil but hasn't been available new for many years now. Ease of Use: Plug and play - what you hear is what your amp is putting out. Quality: I've never known one to fail except in cases where an output transistor failure has placed rail DC voltage across the coil. Value: You can buy Eminence professional grade that will put out high quality sound somewhat cheaper but in the end you tend to get the level of quality you pay for. Manufacturer Support: I've has occasion to deal with EV before for microphone replacement parts. They seemed quite helpful. Overall: No reason to ever want to ugrade since there is nothing better I could upgrade to.
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"flooded out send it to a good speaker repair shop a for 125 dollars you have the same new speaker" submitted December 1, 2011

By a customer from hotmail.com
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Musical Background: All my life my first pro gig was in 1970
Music Style: Pop, Rock Folk jazz Swing Country
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Sound: This is my favorite all time Guitar and P.A. speaker. It sounds good at low or high volumes and lasts for years. I have been using one for 35 years ten of which six nights five hours a night. Its cast frame and heavy construction and clean sound puts it shoulders above most other speakers. I use this and a “Weber Beam Blocker” for my Guitar amps. I also use these in my P.A. cabinets. I have yet to use Weber Speakers but have heard that they are a top quality product. Feature: These speakers are work horses they put out what you put into them. If you are happy with the sound of your amp and want that translated thru your speakers they are ideal. Highs are clean lows are tight, not flabby. Ease of Use: Put them in and wire then correctly, make sure if you are using more than one that they are in phase. A note4 to those who have Fender type amps is they are larger than the stock Celestion or Jensen speakers, so make sure you have enough room to mount them. I put one in the bottom of my Hot Rod Deville as I could not replace the top one because the transformer was in the way. I have original Celestion with a Beam blocker in the top and a EVM 12L in the bottom the amp sounds a bit smoother and fuller without doing all the modifications which are advertized. He top rings like a bell and the low E and F sound like a grand Piano Quality: This product is made well although the QC is diminished since Bosh acquired the company. I received the EVM 12L with both the box and speaker incorrectly labeled. I bought the 8 ohm model which was marked 16 ohm. I called Zzounds which was happy to replace the product. I put a ohm meter to the speaker and found out it was actually 8 ohms. I called EV(Bosch) and the technician was already aware of the speaker mislabeling issue. I called Zzounds back and told them although the speaker magnet assembly looked like it was dragged across sandpaper and it was mismarked I would keep the speaker. Value: This is the Best speaker of its kind I have ever used. I have older versions and newer ones. I just re-coned an older one and it sounds great. I have never blown one. It is worh the money.If you do not like it you can always get your money back by selling it Manufacturer Support: Zzounds support is great. EV support seems to have diminished. The technicians are good but it seems that it is no longer the American company which cared very much about its products. I have a dozen EV products and on occasion have called the company. I called and told them the speaker was scratched and mislabeled and it was like”ok we already know” not further help was offered. I The Wow Factor: It is a speaker not a necklace. Overall: If it were stolen I would be pissed.
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Simply The Best Speaker" submitted February 3, 2011

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Traditional Country
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Sound: The sound coming from this speaker is EXACTLY what your amp is putting out. If it's a great amp it'll sound great. If it's a crappy amp, it'll sound crappy. It's an honest speaker that wasn't made to color your sound. Good players with great amps will love this speaker. Feature: This speaker is solid, very well built and looks and sounds top shelf all the way. Ease of Use: Just choose your amp or cabinet and play.It's right at home in an open back cabinet. Very big sounding. Clean, clear with thumping lows. Quality: It's been a consistently reliable speaker. Electro Voice is simply the best. Every detail in manufacture is perfect. Value: If you want the best, this is yet. It's worth every dollar you pay for it. When you buy this speaker you know you bought the best. Manufacturer Support: Don't know about support. Haven't needed to use it. The Wow Factor: It's a nice looking speaker that looks as good as it sounds. Overall: This speaker isn't going anywhere. It's a keeper. It does exactly what I expect it to do. It's totally flawless and gets my sound out there night after night. No complaints.
16 of 17 people (94.12%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"EV guitar speakers are the best speakers on the market" submitted April 10, 2011

By a customer from gmail.com
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Musical Background: Active musician and recording engineer
Music Style: All styles
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Sound: The EVM12L speakers I purchased are the best speakers available for guitar cabinets. I have them in my studio and guitar players who use them absolutely love them. Feature: These speakers are nothing but high quality all the way around! Ease of Use: I had to mount them in cabinets and connect the speaker wires and that was all that was needed. Quality: These speakers are American made and they are nothing but high quality all the way! Value: The price on these speakers was a little higher than other speakers but you usually get what you pay for and these were worth the extra dollar. Manufacturer Support: support is number one! Overall: I will be using these speakers for amny years to come!
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"Great Speaker" submitted August 19, 2015

By Kent B
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Musical Background: 47 years
Music Style: Jazz, blues, rock any genre really.
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Overall: Nice, big and warm sounding speaker. Fender Tone Master Head Driving just 1 EV 12Lspeaker, sounds great.
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"Original EVM 12L Speaker" submitted February 9, 2012

By Paul Newman in Christiansburg, VA
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Musical Background: I have been playing for 38 years, some of it professionally. I play Guitar, Bass, Lap Steel, and Mandolin.
Music Style: Blues, Rock, Classic Rock, Country, Bluegrass and some stuff that has no category!
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Overall: If this "Classic" EVM 12L is anything like the original there is no way you can go wrong. I have an Original 1956 Fender Tweed Deluxe that I am pretty sure is rated at a whopping 12 watts. The original speaker was trashed and I tried a few other speakers before finding a EVM 12L in the early 80's. The other speakers would blow or rattle due to extensive controlled feedback I used in the style of music I played. When I put the EVM 12L in it was like my amp came alive and like one reviewer has written on the "Classic".....my 12 watt Fender was holding its own with much more powerful amps and I have never needed anything else on stage.....PERIOD! I did do a little "tweaking" on my bias and stuff in the amp but the speaker made the difference. It is the most efficient speaker for the money out there and what goes in it comes out BETTER! After almost 30 years use I am suffering a slight rattle from certain notes but most speakers would have died long ago. I am searching for a re-cone or I am going to by one of these new "Classics" and hope they are like the original! Actually I can't help but think they actually would have improved over the years since I bought mine!
8 of 9 people (88.89%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"EVM 12L guitar speaker" submitted September 29, 2014

By Thomas S in Peoria, IL
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Musical Background: Have been playing 35+ years. I have a Germino lead 55LV and play at Church
Music Style: Have played rock most of my life and play Contemporary Christian music now
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Overall: Should have bought this speaker 30 years ago, would have saved a ton of money going from speaker to speaker. Yes I still have my greenbacks, mojotone British vintage, hellatone g12H 30s and they are good speakers, but the one thing that sold me on this speaker is you can dish out anything and it takes it like a champ, no farting out, clear non mushy power chords at high volumes, great clean and overdrive, sounds just like your amp should sound, no coloring. Heads above other speakers in my opinion!!
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"Finally !" submitted June 26, 2012

By Tommy Gun in SF, CA
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Musical Background: Pro player 40 years, guitar,bass,congas
Music Style: rock, jazz, fusion,funk
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Overall: Finally found the speaker for me. I have a couple of really wonderful tube driven amps with some amazing tubes that I want to hear as much as possible. That's the sound I want to hear, not speaker breakup. Dropped one of these into a Rocktron Velocity trapazoidal cabinet and compared it to another one with the original still in it. Easily 25% greater efficiency and sensitivity, translates into more volume. This judged by balancing volume settings on a stereo amp. But way more importantly the bass is nice and tight and NO white noise sneaking in behind the note decay. Needless to say the other cabinet is getting the same treatment asap.
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"Brutal power" submitted May 12, 2015

By Greg W in Peoria, IL
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Musical Background: Professional guitarist for 51 years.
Music Style: All styles, but Rock & Funk are favorites.
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Overall: The EVM 12L is everything you've ever read about it. It is clean & uncolored. Don't even dream of trying to overdrive it with a guitar amplifier on it's own...you'll go deaf in the attempt. But, if you need mega-clean, look no further.
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"Electro-Voice EVM12L Classic Speaker" submitted March 2, 2014

By EDWARD A in ST. PETERSBURG, FL
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Musical Background: Been playing 40 years, Guitars, Use to play professionally. Now Weekend Warrior!
Music Style: ROCK and BLUES
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Overall: I replaced a BLACK SHADOW in a Mesa Mark IV Combo with the EVM12L. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! The EV12L just sounds better, PERIOD.
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"evm 12l/ mesa black shadow" submitted March 22, 2013

By michael r in kingston, NY
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Musical Background: musician 38 years
Music Style: blues, rock, ragtime, bluegrass, jazz
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Overall: i purchased this speaker on an impulse, not knowing if it would fit in my fender pro-tube reverb. but i figured what the heck, if it doesn't fit i'll just build a 1x12 and use it anyway. but it JUST FIT. i had to remove the output tubes AND the reverb pan...but it fit. one of the output tubes is about 1/8" from the magnet. i was pleasantly surprised.what an amazing speaker. i haven't even had the chance to air it out yet with a 50 watt setting as i'm still using the 12.5 watt setting and this speaker is efficent, clean and LOUD. when i crank it up with an overdrive pedal the crunch and articulation are astounding.as has already been said here, this is not a vintage celestion that breaks up easily. it reproduces what the amp and the player put into it. simply amazing.
2 of 3 people (66.67%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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"E-V EVM12L" submitted July 19, 2013

By Gary Stevens in Green Cove Springs, FL
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Musical Background: guitar and bass player. Build elecrtic guitars and basses, tube amps & speaker cabs
Music Style: Blues, jazz, motown, classical, classic rock. Occasionally play bass for a bluegrass band.
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Overall: I have been using E-V speakers since 1972, so I have some experience, here. If you are looking for speaker breakup from a small or large tube guitar amp, look elsewhere. If you want a speaker that is efficient, bullet-proof and great sounding, here it is. Randall Smith from Mesa Boogie used a similar E-V 12" (E-V SRO12L) on his early tube amp builds. Carlos Santana played one of these amps and said, "Man. This thing really boogies!", hence the Mesa Boogie name. I use the 15" E-V for bass. It is bullet-proof and great sounding. Metal players could use these speakers with great results. (No more blown speakers from low string riffs with Marshall wide open. I have used the E-V SP15 for horn loaded hi-fi speakers with great results (old Klipsch design cabs.) Efficiency is listed as 'SPL" @ 1 watt/1 meter and is expressed as XX dB. Remember an increase of 3 dB takes twice the wattage (the double power/3 dB rule), so a speaker with a 3 dB HIGHER rating will take half the power for the same volume. Enjoy your new E-V speakers. Gary Stevens GS Custom Guitars
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"EVM12-L It`s a CLASSIC and here comes another generation." submitted March 5, 2007

By a customer from sbcglobal.net
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Musical Background: Hobbyist , I loved it since i was a kid
Music Style: rock --genesis ,pink floyd,metalica --everything below
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Sound: i have own 2-EVM-12-l`S probably since they where first introduced.I`ve built my own reflex cabinets for them,tuned them almost to perfection, but they need a little more. I`ve melted the soldered connections on the crossovers a couple of times.I was driving them with a SANSUI 9090-dB-125 WRMS AND also 2- 300 watt SouthWestTech amplifiers which i built from kits [Tigersaurus`s-- DC-400,000 Hz`s] [situations] the police have been around to tell me to turn it down,i guess they don`t like Genesis or Pink Floyd to much? I`m thinking about what used to be the EVM-15B,but now with technology the way it is i`m being more open minded about how efficient i would like to be with ground and chest pounding bass,it feels good don`t ya think. Ease of Use: my equalizer is my learning curve Value: i believe i paid about 150 ea bucks,around the early 80`s?? my oldest daughter was born in 1984,the speakers where already built. The Wow Factor: it kicks ASS Overall: i`m thicking about trying to outdo the evm-12L`s.I`m going to be doing my research. i need to get better spec`s on other candidates
24 of 66 people (36.36%) found this review helpful. Did you?
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