• Gear Review: Earcandy SweetTooth 2 X 10 Cabinet
I love my Carr Mercury amp. I do. But two things about the amp have bothered me slightly since I bought it. One: it can a little dark sounding, okay, muddy. And two, because of its low power output (8 Watts) and open back design, it can be, well , small sounding. Eons back, I wrote to Steve Carr and asked if he thought an extension cabinet would transform the amp into the larger, warmer, brighter beast I craved. Nope, he replied. Sure, an extension cabinet might make the amp louder, but tonally, not much would change.
Not one to give up, I continued to hope that somewhere out there was the Yin to my Carr's Yang. So, several months ago, when I hauled my Mesa/Boogie MKII up to the Mesa factory in Petaluma, California, to have it modded ever so slightly (just some updates, improvements, etc.), I made it a point to ask Mike Bendinelli, Boogie's main dude for service and support -- not to mention a key player in Boogie's amp design process -- about extension speaker cabs. Specifically, I wanted to know about something called a Boogie/Thiele, which is a sealed, ported cabinet designed to deliver massive tone in a small enclosure, and, as luck would have it, Mike had a Boogie/Thiele in his workspace! So we plugged it in and WOW, I knew I had to have one.
But back home, I started researching Boogie/Thieles more and came across many a mention of a company called Earcandy. Everyone out there in Internet Land thought the Boogie/Thieles were great, but if you really wanted something special, you had to get an Earcandy. Intrigued, I sent an email to Earcandy and got back a super cool response from Tim, who founded the company and builds the cabinets. Over the next few weeks, Tim and I traded emails about tone, musical styles I like, amps I own, and we finally settled on a SweetTooth 2 X 10 cabinet loaded with Earcandy Heavy 70 speakers. For Tolex, I went with oxblood, for the grill, tweed, but one of the many cool things about Earcandy is that you can customize the hell out of every product.
When my Earcandy SweetTooth arrived, Catherine pronounced it beautiful and let me keep it in the living room, until I could take it to the studio for a session. Naturally I was dying to plug the thing in, but being in an apartment, all I dared do was set my Carr Mercury on 1/10th of Watt and strum a few chords. I sensed GLORY but could not say for sure. Well, yesterday, I finally took the cabinet into the studio, cranked my Carr up to full 8-Watt noise and...
ALL KNEEL FOR YOU ARE IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DIVINE.
Yes, the tone is truly godlike: tight, punchy lows, warm mids, sparkling highs. I can't believe I've had to wait until I'm 45 for a tone like this. Jaime, the engineer, pronounced it "better than the Stones'" as I did my best Keith imitation. The Earcandy positively transforms my Carr, which as I said, can sound a touch muddy and because of its low power and open back, a little thin. No more. Coupled with the Earcandy, my Car Mercury produces a ballsy, bright, articulated tone that is the best I have ever heard.
There is no way I can explain the science behind Earcandy cabs, so if you're interested in why building the cabinets requires some black math, click here. Suffice it to say, though, that Earcandy's cabinet design creates the sonic illusion of a MUCH larger enclosure. I went with ten inch speakers, because I wanted som brightness, but I was worried I would a to sacrifice a fat bottom. What a fool was I. The fatness of my Earcandy's bottom would make Freddie Mercury happy.
BOTTOM LINE: My Earcandy SweetTooth 2 X 10 is the best sounding, best made, best looking cabinet I have ever owned, and it's built by a guy who LOVES his job. In fact, maybe that's what I'm hearing when I crank up the Earcandy: Love.