What is small and light, but sounds huge?
When guitar players or manufacturers talk about travel-friendly gear, I am always interested! Not only because it’s a hassle to pack and transport all your stuff for a show or a trip, but also because touring in particular became more and more expensive in the past couple of years. Around 2005 a lot of bands, even if more known in the underground scene, could afford to rent a decent touring bus with enough space for all equipment and comfort to rest during the rides between locations. Now I see all of these bands touring with a family car or something similar in order to economize fuel and expenses.
Since the invention of amp modelers and especially since devices like the Axe FX, playing straight into the PA system couldn’t be any easier and never sounded and felt so good. However, a lot of players still want that “cabinet feeling” on stage, because in-ear monitoring or stage monitors work in a different way and some people cannot get used to it.
HESU Wizard W112
So how do you get a 4×12″ cabinet into a family car together with a drum set and other band stuff? Exactly, you don’t! Here’s where the HESU Wizard W112 comes in handy. HESU, a small company from Poland, has been doing 2×12″ and 4×12″ cabinets for some time now and quickly gained popularity among pro players like Ola Englund or Misha Mansoor. They even have a Custom Shop section, where you can design the front grille of a cabinet with your personal design, which can be a band logo or even movie & album covers.
The HESU Wizard W112 is a quite compact 1×12″ cabinet with only 53 x 41 x 25,5 centimeters in size and 13 kilos in weight. But its strong feature is a built-in bass reflex system, which is able to transport very low frequencies and responds ridiculously fast. The Celestion Seventy-80 loudspeaker produces a tight low-end and enhanced mids & highs and works hand in hand with the bass reflex system.
Lower tuning or extended range guitar? No problem!
At first sight, you wouldn’t imagine that a rather small cabinet like this is able to handle anything more than a standard-tuned guitar. But thanks to its construction and the fast responding speaker, the Wizard W112 can also work with lower tuned guitars and even extended range instruments like a baritone 7-string for example.
I tested the Wizard W112 with a Mesa Boogie Mark Five:25, the trusty BluGuitar AMP1 and even with my Diezel VH-4. I used guitars in regular tuning as well as an Ibanez RG tuned down to Drop B and a Jackson B7 Baritone. All instruments were represented equally good and especially the low notes had a lot of punch and clarity, which again is phenomenal for a cabinet with these dimensions.
When it came to capturing the cabinet with a mic, the choices were to use a Shure SM57 close to the speaker or a large condenser AKG with a little bit of distance to the cabinet. This method proved to be better actually, as I could capture more of the low end that is produced through the bass reflex system.
Are there any downsides?
To be honest…NO! This cabinet is light and compact, transportable and it sounds way bigger than it looks. And now think about this: The price for that cabinet is 179,- € (excluding shipping)!!! To me, this is a clear no-brainer. The only thing you cannot do with this cabinet is the mentioned customization. It is just available with black tolex and the black cloth front. But on the other hand, there are not so many people that would argue about that at this price range.
HESU made a travel-friendly cabinet with compact dimensions and low weight, that not only convinced me and a couple of my guitar playing friends in terms of sound and feel, but also costs way less than comparable models – considering the fact that HESU produces exclusively in the EU. I strongly recommend you to check it out personally!!! If you want to catch a glimpse, check the video I did with my good buddy Antonio Vitozzi from Soul Secret!
You can simply order the cabinet here!
- Compact 1×12″ guitar cabinet
- 1×12″ Celestion Seventy-80 speaker
- 16 ohms
- Power handling: 80 watts
- Bass reflex system
- Dimensions: 530 x 410 x 255 mm (W x H x D)
- Weight: 13 kg
- Made in Poland