Eminence was kind enough to send me a pair of Swamp Thangs for review purposes and they couldn’t have arrived at a better time. I was dreadfully bored with the tones from the other “Big Name” speakers that lived in my cab for the better part of two years and needed a change. They sounded fine initially but as they softened and were broken in a strange thing happened: they grew flat – and not in a transparent way. They sounded stale and lifeless. I was beginning to question what I should do to rekindle my tonal spark when Eminence provided the answer: Enter The Swamp Thang.
Speaker selection can be daunting to the uninitiated. You’ll find yourself second guessing your decision while trying to determine how the graph you’re staring at translates into audio. So why choose the Swamp Thang? I’m glad you asked.
For me, it came down to low-end frequency retention. When recording with my old speakers, my lows would get flabby and anemic. Throw in an octave fuzz and you’ve booked a one-way flight to Mud City. The Swamp Thang is praised for its “big, bold lows” so I figured I’d give it a shot. They did not disappoint. In fact – they exceeded my expectations.
I dropped the Swamp Thangs into an oversized 2×12 cab and fed them with my Hovercraft. They were perfectly fine at first, but as they softened from playing I quickly learned what the Swamp Thang is all about. It isn’t just thumping low-end. It’s huge, full-bodied tone across the entire spectrum. The mids are strong and present with plenty of cut to carve out a mix. The highs are relaxed, comfortable, and smooth with the perfect amount of delicate sparkle. Lastly, the lows are massive yet easily tuned to the specific needs of the player. Ranging from the bellowing and all-encompassing groans of Earth’s shifting tectonic plates all the way to an elastic recoil that bounces your riffing across the room and solidly into your chest.
It was about as close to love at first sight as you can get with audio. Everything I threw at my amp sounded better. Every note was bigger and every amateur recording sounded more professional. My clean tones were clear as glass with no congestion in the low-mids and had all the gentle atmosphere of a rainy Sunday morning. With just a touch of reverb and a clear neck pickup, I found myself awash in sonic nirvana. My distorted tones were a whole other ball of wax.
With a bit of overdrive from my Delta-V boost, I was treated to crisp leads and crunchy open chords that could make an arena-rock aficionado blush. It was a perfect classic rock type of tone that sits perfectly in a mix – it was great, but the real fun comes with heavy distortion. These speakers love fuzz. They eat up Tonebenders, Muffs, and Superfuzzes while begging for more as the lows sag and smother you. Hit them with a high-gain dirt box and the character changes to a tight and crushingly modern voice. From classic rock favorites to thrash and all the way to doom metal, the Eminence Swamp Thang delivers. You get all the best while sacrificing nothing.
All Eminence speakers are handmade in Eminence, KY and their exacting standards are backed by an industry leading 7-year warranty. Eminence has been an industry leader and has been providing quality speakers to big OEMs like Fender and Ampeg since the 1960s. This year marks their 50th anniversary so join in on the celebration by trying a pair for yourself. You won’t regret it.
“Devin Bartnikowski is a Sr. Staff Writer for TMRZoo.com and an accomplished guitarist. Devin is recognized for his brash, fresh and honest views and opinions of guitars, amps and signal processing equipment.”