I recently purchased a fairly rare vintage amp, a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 head. I know many of you are familiar with the combo version of this amp. Not too many people have come across this head. While I am in love with this head, it has a 2×8 ohm stereo output. Of course, it sounds amazing through two cabinets however I needed something a bit more gig friendly to play this head through. I decided my Marshall MX212 could become the platform for this exquisite amplifier.
I had two problems with this project. The Marshall MX212 is a mono cabinet. The other problem was even if I wired it for stereo the cabinet is outfitted with eighty-watt speakers. Just shy of the 90 watts per side I needed to comply withy the speaker is 1.5x the wattage of the amp rule. Though I know, the speakers could handle the wattage my fear was they would distort too quick killing the beauty of the Roland Jazz Chorus 120.
After researching multiple speakers, I found myself going back to the Eminence website Eminence Wheelhouse 150 also known as the Eminence JS-1250. There are a few features that made me decide on the Eminence Wheelhouse 150. The Eminence Wheelhouse 150 is a 150-watt speaker that would give me more than enough headroom for the 60 watts per side I need for the Roland Jazz Chorus 120. The speaker has great sensitivity and a very natural voice; it is almost transparent. Upon installation, all of my hopes of getting a great tone from these speakers became a reality.
I have owned a Roland Jazz Chorus 120 combo when playing the same amp with the Eminence Wheelhouse 150s it is a different animal. The legendary chorus of this amp was so much warmer. There was an outstanding balance of tone as I worked up and down the neck. My bass string on the guitar has a distinct round sound. There seemed to be more “pop” to the bass and mid-range notes inspiring me to get into some dark groves. The high-end does not suffer in any way. The chorus was simmering through these speakers but never shrill or overly bright. As I said, it is a very balanced sound.
I decided to swap heads and give the Eminence Wheelhouse 150s a chance to play with some tubes a bit. My Marshall JCM 2000 DSL was the perfect amp for the task. I have never heard this head sound better. I took it from a slight crunch to very high gain and the Eminence Wheelhouse 150s delivered with every setting. When playing high-gain, the sound was never muddy. There was a distinctive growl to the chords allowing me to do some classic metal palm chugging. When switching over to some shredding, you can feel the sensitivity of these speakers. There is a tightness in the response that is very natural making these very easy speakers to play through.
I placed the Marshall in classic mode the warmth of the hemp cones started to shine through. For lack of a better word, I could hear the “tubiness” of the amp. The tone was very natural with very creamy slight overdrive. These are very transparent speakers perfect for those of you swapping multiple heads on your cabs. These are also the answer for guitar players that find themselves playing a range of styles. If you are serious about your tone and truly want to hear your amp and pedals I strongly suggest giving Eminence Wheelhouse 150 a try.