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Amp modelling is an increasingly popular solution for live and studio use. Arguably, amp modellers sound no different than a cabinet with a mic on it anyway, and that’s usually all the audience will hear – so what’s the issue? The issue is that to produce an entertaining performance, guitarists need to feel ready to give it their all. Amp modellers are commonly used direct to front of house, so there’s no sound on stage besides what you’re being sent in the monitors. This detracts from the physical feeling of an amp behind you, pushing air as you give and take with the ebb and flow of your performance.
Amp modellers fix a lot of issues with cabling, effects, and heavy amps that guitarists and bass players have struggled with, and Red Sound aims to fix the only problem with modellers – by providing a full range monitor solution.
Red Sound’s Elis.8 Active Monitor is a speaker cabinet with a super flat response and 180W RMS of power. The Elis.8 is FRFR, meaning flat response, full range, allowing you to cleanly amplify whatever tone you’ve carefully crafted in your modeller, without the colour of standard guitar and bass cabinets.
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In use, the Red Sound Elis.8 Active Monitor is easy to set up. It’s active, so requires power, and input signal is fed by stereo combo XLR/jacks for left and right signal. The Elis.8 features a master volume and power output for daisy-chaining cabinets together for true stereo use. The Elis.8 is the smallest cabinet in the Red Sound range and still packs a punch, and is available in a passive version if need be. Straight off the bat, the Elis.8 Active Monitor is loud. It can easily reach volumes that could be heard above the hardest hitting drummer in the most reverberant room and then some. The signal is clean, clear, and exactly as you’ve dialled in your modeller.
The Elis.8 doesn’t colour the tone at all, and allows you to safely tweak to your heart’s content without fear of a power amp or cabinet imparting their own tone across your sound. The cabinet itself is well-built and has an angled design (25º) for use as a wedge, but can also stand up on its own if needed or preferred (or the amount of space on stage!). I found the Elis.8 produced a clear sound, and coupled with a cabinet emulator, really gives the feeling of a cabinet behind me, without the physical weight or sheer size of a 412 cabinet, let alone the oversized ones!
Sound is produced by a single 8” ceramic woofer and a 1” tweeter with a passive analogue crossover. The Elis.8 Active can produce 180W RMS, with maximum volume clocking in at 360W, giving you plenty of headroom before distortion. The cabinet is finished in a textured, scratch-proof finish so it can withstand the rigours of the stage and the road. While the Elis.8 Active is close to 10kg, the passive version is a little less as it does away with the power amplifier inside the Active. The Elis.8 Active cabinet reproduces sound from 70Hz to 20kHz which is just about the extent of human hearing, let alone the frequencies that a guitar would fill. The inputs are balanced, and the output is left channel only and uses a Speakon connector to send the left signal to another monitor. Finally, the Elis.8 features a limiter to stop you overloading the power amp, with a red LED indicator to let you know the limiter has kicked in at high volumes.
The Red Sound Elis.8 Active Monitor is bringing a familiar feeling back to amp modelling. There’s something about the sound of your cabinet pushing air into your back as you wail, and the resonance through the floor on big chords. Amp modellers are a unique way to solve just about every issue known to players, what with less cabling, easier effects changes and less upkeep, and that’s before we’ve discussed loading amps and cabinets into and out of venues (most of which seem to have a staircase somewhere).
The Elis.8 Active Monitor is a full range, flat response cabinet, meaning it’ll just amplify the tones you’ve put together, including any cabinet emulations you’ve carefully put together. While the rest of the Red Sound range can offer more power, the Elis.8 Active is plenty loud enough for most situations, offering up 360W of power, which realistically you’ll never approach. The ceramic magnet on the 8” woofer is a staple of guitar cabinet speakers, but also provides a super clean transient response, so it won’t feel too Hi-Fi or equally muddy and slow. Red Sound aim to provide an extra solution to guitarists wanting to use modellers, and now that they’ve solved the feeling we’re missing, there’s no reason not to make the jump to digital.
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