- 250 Watts
- Classic Speaker Models
- Flat FRFR Mode
- 12” Coaxial Speaker
- 1” High Frequency Driver
- 70Hz – 20kHz Frequency Response
- XLR Out with Mic Emulation
- Flip-out Kickstands
Powercab 112 – $599.99
Powercab 112 Plus – $799.99
Shortly after the Winter NAMM Show, our friends at Line 6 invited me to become part of the Powercab beta test team. For the past several months I’ve been using one Powercab 112 and 112 Plus at my home studio, in rehearsal, and on Sunday morning. If you live in the modeling universe and have been looking for a great solution to get your sound “out of the box”, I am happy to say that the Powercab lives up to the hype.
WHAT IS POWERCAB?
Although there are a number of powered cabinets on the market for amplifying your favorite amp modeler, the concept behind Powercab is markedly different. Amp modelers traditionally utilize speaker cabinet emulations called IRs (impulse responses) to load virtual speaker cabinets into your signal chain, which is perfect for piping your sound directly into your P.A. or in-ears. Like the other powered speaker systems out there, both Powercabs feature a “Flat” FRFR (full range, full response) mode for amplifying your favorite IRs. Unlike the rest, the 112 and 112 Plus feature six additional speaker modes: Vintage 30, Green Back, Cream Back, P12Q, Swamp Thang, and Blue Bell that allow you to load virtual speaker models into the Powercab itself. The end result sounds and feels like playing out of an actual guitar cabinet loaded with six of the most popular speakers on the planet!
While I believe the extra bells and whistles on the 112 Plus are worth the extra $200, the core features on the 112 and 112 Plus are identical.
Speakers Both Powercabs feature a custom-designed 12” coaxial speaker and a 1” high-frequency compression driver in closed back cabinet. The end result feels like “cabinet in the room”, but with the extended range of a P.A. speaker, which is really what the heart and soul of the Powercab experience is about.
Kickstands The fold-out kickstands on the back of the cabinet eliminate two of the biggest challenges players face when using amps on stage. Traditional cabinets tend to blast the sound straight ahead into the back of your pant legs. Whether you’re using a mic or not, what the audience hears tends to be brighter than what many players think that it is. Because both Powercabs feature mic-emulation on the XLR out when using a speaker model, I was able to dial in my tone for the stage and front of house from the platform with zero guesswork. While I found the XLR out on the Powercab to be a slightly brighter than the sound of the speakers themselves, this is an easy fix at the board.
250 Watts I can also assure you that the 250 watts of power rating is more than enough to wake the neighbors – or annoy your sound tech (kidding, sort of). Even when using them as monitors, I did receive a gentle request to dial the volume back a bit. Thanks to another clever design feature, the XLR output level in not affected by the Powercab’s Volume control, nor is the tone.
UNIQUE POWERCAB 112 PLUS FEATURES
In addition to USB connectivity to your favorite DAW (Digital Audio Workstation), the 112 Plus features 128 fully-editable presets, the ability to incorporate third-party IRs, multiple mic models for the XLR output, and a second quarter-inch / XLR combination jack input so you can use your power cab as a traditional monitor. The “front-facing” LED control panel on the top of the cabinet is backlit, making it easy to change or edit presets on the fly, even on a dark stage. The addition of a MIDI and AES/EBU/L6 Link jacks offer the kind of switching and routing options that even the most extreme gearhead will appreciate.
Over the past several months, I’ve primarily used my 112 and 112 Plus in stereo for a couple of key reasons. Hard-panning dual amp models is a great way to add depth to your sound, with the added benefit of opening up the center of the mix for vocals. The ability to hard pan a dotted eighth-note and quarter-note stereo delay on top of that is one of the coolest sounds ever, especially for worship. As I mentioned before, being able to use two Powercabs as “reference monitors” to manage my stage and front of house sound from the platform was beyond cool.
I also used the Powercab 112 one Sunday for bass. In combination with the MXR Bass Compressor and Ampeg Preamp pedals, the 112 delivered one of the coolest bass tones I’ve ever had, again using the Powercab as a reference monitor for my on-stage and FOH sound. If you toggle between guitar and bass, Powercab is a perfect solution for dialing in great tones at rehearsal and on Sunday morning.
Whether you own a Helix, Axe-Fx, HD500 or anything in between, Powercab makes getting great tone “out of the box” a reality.
HYBRID WORSHIP GUITAR RIGBOOK
The Powercabs were also featured in the Worship Guitar Hybrid RigBook feature in this issue. Here’s the video!