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Review: Accugroove El Jefe 2×12 Bass Cab

Review: Accugroove El Jefe 2x12 Cabinet

Gear Reviews

Review: Accugroove El Jefe 2×12 Bass Cab

Review: Accugroove El Jefe 2×12 Bass Cab

Accugroove El Jefe 2×12 Bass Cab Review…

Back in the early 2000s, a cabinet company emerged out of the San Francisco bay area with a line of interestingly configured and unique looking  3 and 4-way bass cabinets, which quickly caught the eyes and ears of discerning bassists. 4 string groovers, and 13 string extended range soloists alike were captivated by the Accugroove sound.  The company quickly acquired a roster of wide-ranging and impressive players, from guys like Myron Dove, Bill “The Buddha” Dickens, Derek Jones, and Keith Horne, to extended-range bass virtuosos Yves Carbonne, Jean Baudin, and Edo Castro, and a reputation for speaker cabs that allowed players to replace rigs twice their size. I myself was a big fan and early proponent of Accugroove cabinets.  After hearing them just once, I was blown away by not only their capacity for volume and low-frequency extension but also the incredible three-dimensional texture in the mid-range and a very pleasant but present treble response.  Fast forward a number of years, and Accugroove dropped off the map, around the economic collapse in 2008.   They re-emerged several years later, with new designs for bass AND guitar, and quickly caught on in the FRFR/modeling world of guitar players. Like their bass player roster, guitar players seeking a clear and transparent platform to build their tone on quickly fell in love with Accugroove cabinets. 

In recent years, their product line has expanded to include powered cabinets that boast high power ratings, proprietary DSP settings, and utilizing class D modules manufactured by Powersoft, an Italian amplification company known for their uber high-end amplifiers.  The newest offering from Accugroove is their El Jefe 2×12: little brother to the flagship El Whappo cab, and an update to their Whappo Jr. 2×12 cab.  Yes, Mark Wright is a huge fan of The Three Amigos, as any self-respecting comedy lover should be. 

Given that I have a lot of experience with almost all of the Accugroove cabinets over the earlier era, I could not wait to check out the El Jefe, which Accugroove touts as louder, deeper, and more articulate, due to being re-designed with new drivers, new crossover and rated at 900 watts. 

There are a plethora of things to love about the El jefe cabinet (see what I did there?). The cab features a 12-inch subwoofer, 12-inch mid-woofer, 6-inch mid-range driver, and two soft dome tweeters, which results in an exceptionally full-range sound, with wonderful texture and definition in the mid-range and plenty of sparkle up top.   It is indeed considerably lighter than the Whappo Junior, and to my ears, a good deal more efficient, making it a great pairing with even moderately rated heads.  With more robust power amplification sections, the El Jefe is a killer, and functionally speaking, it really challenges preconceptions of what a 2×12 is capable of. 

I brought the El Jefe out on what I consider one of my most sonically demanding gigs: Bassist for a wedding band with a notoriously sub-par PA (read: no bass in the PA), playing in large rooms not designed for music, and a repertoire full of sub-octave synth bass dance music, as well as Motown tunes and lots of slap-happy R&B.   This setting really shows me what a cab can and can’t do, and it can be fun to see if I can carry an entire venue space from the stage.  With a 1000w class D head, the El Jefe handled everything beautifully. Not only did it carry the room, but it also didn’t seem to be sweating one bit.   Where are some of my other cabinet setups (even some with more cone area) can start to show their behinds at this volume level, the El Jefe remained composed, and the low end just kept on coming.  I was grinning ear to ear with the clarity in the low-end extension, and when it came to slap on my 5 string jazz bass, it was all there in spades: Sparkling top end without harshness, big full lows, and a well-behaved midrange. I will say, the El Jefe shined in particular with my P bass and fretless, thanks no doubt to the clarity, warmth, and 3D texture of Accugroove’s signature midrange delivery.  If there is something this cab can’t do with grace and authority, I haven’t found it yet.

Add 56 pounds and given the size of the enclosure and all of the technology packed within, the El Jefe feels remarkably portable.

It also ships with caster sockets, making it even easier to schlep.   Dual combo Speakon / ¼” jacks are always nice to see, eliminating the ‘bonehead factor’ I fall into occasionally when I bring the wrong speaker cable to the gig. 

The El Jefe sells directly from Accugroove for $1,880 for the passive version.   The 1400w powered version includes a dedicated volume control, for DSP presets selectable via push button, and LEDs for status and clip indication. It sells for $2,384.   Not the cheapest setup on the block, but its nice to see that after all these years, with an ever-expanding market of bass cab makers, Accugroove still stands out from the pack in a number of ways. 

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