The Eminence 10” Ragin Cajun speaker is another original Eminence design. The voice of this speaker has an American flavor to it and is described by Eminence as being very loud, touch-sensitive with a bell-like top end. The Cajun features a 30 oz. ceramic magnet and is rated for 75 watts at 8 ohms. According to the specs the frequency response is 70Hz-5kHz with a 1.5” voice coil and its sensitivity is rated at 100dB.
On the Bench: All Eminence speakers have a solid look and feel to them and the 10” Ragin Cajun is no exception. The cone is smooth with not a rib in sight which looked a little unusual to me. But you can’t judge a speaker by the cone, can you? I was particularly interested in reviewing the Ragin Cajun because I have a 1980’s Fender Super Champ that was begging for a new speaker. The stock unit sounded a little dull and lifeless plus the bottom end sounded flabby. I figured swapping it with a much more efficient speaker would make the amp more gig-worthy as well. After all, the amp is only about 18 watts with a tiny open-back cabinet.
In the Shop: The Super Champ is small so changing a speaker requires that you drop the chassis…not literally, I mean you have to remove the chassis to do the speaker swap. I don’t mind because I like little projects and gandering inside at amp guts!! While I had the soldering iron out I decided to take a little detour and do a quick mod to the amp. I installed a ¼” jack on the back panel replacing the little plastic strain relief that the speaker wires ran through. This way for future experimentation I have a ¼” speaker jack to try different cabinets. Button the amp back up and let’s get ready to rock that Ragin Cajun!
I chose my stock early 90’s G&L ASAT for this review. My ASAT has not seen much action in a while and thought I’d give it some playing time. I set the Volume on 10, Treble on 7, Bass about 4, Reverb around 3 and the Master at about 5. I like running the Volume control wide open because the amp sounds fat that way. The first few chords on the bridge pickup really took me by surprise because I was used to the amp being quieter at these settings and duller. Now the Super Champ sounded alive and had a really nice snap to it. What I heard is what I call the “heated blackface tone”. I can only describe it by saying that it had this searing, clarity along with a much bigger bottom end. The mids were very warm and the amp took on a very sweet sound with a bit of a mean edge. It was very musical and pleasing to the ear. This to me is what the mighty little Super Champ should sound like. By turning down the ASAT’s volume control the amp sounded even sweeter and got a gorgeous, clean, classic blackface tone. It was just beautiful. It was almost like the Ragin Cajun sort of emphasized the blackface tone without over doing it. Switching to the two pickups combined the sound was even sweeter and the neck pickup alone was so nice and clear with a boldness on the lower strings that reminded me of the tone of a piano. I was totally digging it and felt that my Super Champ could hang on a gig now.
So far, so good in the Super Champ’s clean mode. It was time to try the Lead mode. I backed down the amps Volume to about 7 and set the Lead Master at about 5. Back to the bridge pickup and it was lead guitar city. The Ragin Cajun had such a great sizzle on the top end supported by a strong body in the mids and low end. The sound was fat and clear with the harmonic characteristics of the overdrive up front and center. It was a little ornery and you could not miss the fact that the Super Champ was in Lead mode and the Ragin Cajun was doing the talkin’!!
On the Gig: I decided to go out bare bones to a gig and just use the amp and a guitar wire. We don’t need no stinking pedals….! I do have the footswitch for my Super Champ but don’t really use it because it does suck some tone from the amp when you plug it into the amp. This is a well know fact among some of the Rivera designed Fender amps of this era……too bad. To get around using the footswitch I put my amp up on a case and decided to just use the pull pot on the Volume control all night. What we all do for tone…..
Needless to say the amp was more than loud enough because of the Ragin Cajun and the clarity was awesome. I could hear every nuance of the amp plus I could feel it. The Cajun absolutely has a really nice bottom end to it. In the normal clean mode the Super Champ was warm and spanky with great dynamics. It cut right through the mix with ease…..like a hot knife through butter. Chords sounded articulate and single note lines sang beautifully. In some tunes I used the Lead mode and the Ragin Cajun held the tone together perfectly. It handled as much loud, raucous overdrive as I could throw at it without even working hard.
Another bonus was the dynamics of the amp got better meaning that the amp felt much more alive. There was more touch-sensitivity which means more subtle tones to work with. My little Super Champ was very responsive to my guitar’s volume control and that increased the versatility. This was great because I did not have any pedals to work with……just the two “channels” of the amp and my ASAT’s volume and tone control. It’s cool to go to a gig bare bones like this because it makes you use what little you have to be creative. Thanks to the Ragin Cajun those subtle tones were now available.
Final Analysis: The Eminence Ragin Cajun is an excellent choice if you have a small 1×10” amp that you want to get the absolute most out of or multi 10” configuration that needs a lift. It will transform a dull, seemingly lifeless amp into an open sounding dynamo! I now really wonder what a pair or a quad of Ragin Cajun’s would sound like……probably enormous with even more of a good thing.
Loud, clear and focused with articulate highs, warm mids and a really nice bottom for a 10” speaker. If you install a Ragin Cajun in your amp you will be heard is all I can say! This little guy is not shy nor will it hang in the background.
The transformation of my Super Champ was stunning and now I am 100% happy with it at home and on a live gig. I can only imagine how good it would sound in the studio. The Ragin Cajun totally opened up the amps voice and made that little 18 watt amp completely gig worthy. The overall feel of the amp improved because the speaker is so much more dynamic than the stock unit. Blackface or silverface Fender amps will love the Eminence Rajun Cajun and all that vintage goodness will be enhanced. The Ragin Cajun is another Eminence winner in my opinion that has found a home in another one of my amps!
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