Continuing Aguilar’s range of limited case and cabinet colors, this season’s Special Edition has a distinctly aquatic flavor – Poseidon Green, if you please.
The NYC-based manufacturers’ original 1x12 cabinets led the way for small, portable bass cabinets with extensive tonal capabilities, and the Neo-equipped SL range has made these small enclosures even more enticing, especially to players who didn’t need the reinforcement of larger cabinet design.
They also benefit those of us who needed to travel light with a small setup. This current revision still blazes a trail, resplendent in its leafy livery.
Constructed using 12mm plywood and finished in the usual tough and rugged vinyl covering, this cab is an easy one-handed lift. A solidly-attached rubber carry handle has been placed on the side of the cabinet, so when you’re carrying the SL112, the longer top panel sits sideways, distributing the weight dimensions a little better for the player. The cab can be positioned in one of two ways: Either way, it doesn’t command a sizeable footprint.
Metal corners have been used to offer the cabinet corners some protection, which will be particularly useful in gigging situations. A quick look at the rear panel shows a rear port for enhanced bass response, an adjustable tweeter control, a pair of ¼” jack sockets for linking cabinets and a single Speakon socket.
One concern I have with these limited color finishes is that, while they look great and are very pleasing to the eye, the lighter colors will lose their lustre over time as they become marked, particularly in playing scenarios. If they are being kept in one place and position and not being transported from show to show, this isn’t an issue – but regular gigging will see the lighter coverings taking on the rigors of the road.
Unlike other cabinets in Aguilar’s SL range, this is the only model that doesn’t come in a 4-ohm variant, so if you require a louder cabinet setup with wider dispersal, add an additional cabinet to your setup. However, rated at 250 watts at 8ohms, this SL112 is certainly loud while maintaining a strong midrange fundamental.
The additional tweeter provides a pleasing level of crispness that slappers and tappers will appreciate, while the low end is capably handled. If you feel the need to improve the bass frequency performance without adding copious amounts of low-end EQ from your bass guitar or bass amp, you can implement the age-old corner/wall trick to accentuate the reflection of the bass frequencies.
Using an Aguilar AG700 amp set flat, two passive bass guitars, and a selection of active instruments, I’m rewarded with a robust delivery and a warm, vibrant tone. With a frequency response between 37Hz and 16kHz, the cabinet conveys the throaty, woody tones of the passive instruments with ease, essentially allowing them to breathe.
With a tighter delivery compared to a 15” speaker and a rounder tone compared to a 10, this is the perfect midway point. Calling the tweeter into play provides varying degrees of clarity and articulation, as you might expect, which pick players will find beneficial.
The active instruments, by the nature of their preamp circuitry, have their own characteristics, and all of them display a degree of active punch that makes their respective tones stand out. Thankfully, the individual tonality of each bass is conveyed well: There is a definite midrange bias, but this is a plus point as I see it.
The physically small nature of the enclosure is one thing, and you can’t change physics, but the sonic display is solid, with significant bass levels and enough clarity to stand out. Lovers of five and six-string basses won’t be disappointed in any way, although pushing the cabinet to its limits leads to a natural compression, manifesting itself as you push the volume up or flood the cabinet with bass EQ.
- PRICE: $849 / £745
- MADE IN: USA
- COLOR: Poseidon Green
- POWER: 250 watts @ 8 ohms
- IMPEDENCE: 8 ohms
- SPEAKERS: 1 x 12” custom designed Neodymium driver and 1 x phenolic tweeter with integral phase plug; custom crossover with variable tweeter control
- CONNECTIONS: 1 x Speakon socket, 2 x 0.25” jack sockets
- DIMENSIONS: 385mm (H) x 488mm (W) x 462mm (D) / 15.2” (H) x 19.2” (W) x 18.2”(D)
- WEIGHT: 25 lbs
- CONTACT: Aguilar