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4.5 Tone Bones - Very solid performer, and has almost everything but just missing a couple of thingsFane Medusa 150 Fane Medusa 150 12″ Speaker Summary: If you’re looking for a speaker with a big bottom end, while retaining the clarity of your mids and highs, this is the speaker for you.

Pros: Huge bottom end on this little beasty. Played clean, it’s very acoustic-sounding and quite pleasing. With a sensitivity rating of 103, this speaker puts out some volume!

Cons: With the prevalence of the lows, this speaker really belongs in a 2 X 12 cab, balanced out by a more mid-rangy speaker.

Features:

Nominal Chassis Diameter 12″
Impedance 4 /8 /16 Ω
Power Rating (AES) 150 w
Sensitivity 1w – 1m 103 dB
Chassis Type Pressed Steel
Voice Coil Diameter 2” / 50.8mm
Coil Material Copper
Magnet Type Ferrite
Magnet Weight 50 oz
Usable Frequency Range 80 Hz – 6.2 kHz
Resonance FS Hz 84
RE Ohms 6.3 Ω

Price: $209 direct from Tonic Amps

Tone Bone Score: 4.5. I really dig the sound of this speaker, but as I mentioned above, it really belongs in a 2 X 12. Granted, I say that within the context of the type of music I play, which leans towards classic rock and blues.

Fane has been around awhile, providing the classic British tone of the Hiwatt and Orange amps of the 60’s and 70’s, and their speakers have helped define the sound of rock and roll, having at one time provided up to 75% of all loudspeakers in England. They’ve been around since 1958, so they know their speaker technology.

The Medusa 150 is one of their most popular models. With its ferrite magnet, it pumps out HUGE bottom end, but amazingly retains the overall clarity of sound throughout the entire EQ range.

How it sounds

Played clean, the Medusa 150 has a very acoustic-like response. This has a lot to do with the big bottom end that helps to give the clean tone a much bigger sound. Here’s an example:

I played this clip in the neck pickup of Goldie, my Saint Guitars Goldtop Messenger, which is a Duncan Custom Custom, which is usually put in the bridge position because it’s a pretty hot pickup. Despite that, I still got a real acoustic response that was VERY pleasing.

Turning up the gain on my amp, and getting lots of power tube distortion really brings out the true character of the Medusa 150. In this next clip, I’m able to cop a pretty close Neil Young:

That’s a fairly simple progression, but I chose it because it’s a good test of how clear the speaker would be in a high-gain situation playing low on the fretboard, which almost always has the potential of muddying your tone when you use speakers that aren’t well-defined. A lot of speakers wouldn’t be up to the task, and would definitely “flab” out. Not the Medusa 150.

Overall Impressions

For my style of playing, which leans toward the classic rock and blues, this is a speaker that I’d pop into a 2 X 12 with a brighter, more mid-rangy speaker, like my Jensen P12N, or if I was to use a Fane, I’d mix it with an Axiom Studio 12L or an Axiom AXA-12 Alnico. But for much heavier metal, this speaker would be ideal, especially for detuned songs.

I actually gigged with the speaker tonight. The only beef I had was that the bottom-end made the general tone a bit too close to the bass, so I was getting a little lost in the mix and had to crank up my amp a bit more, much to the chagrin of my other guitarist. 🙂 But overall, the speaker performed quite well.

For more information on how to obtain Fane speakers here in the US, go to the Tonic Amps web site.

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