I’ve always been the type of person to challenge the norm. I’m also a complete techno-geek always in awe of new technologies. As such, I’m an adopter of digital modeling and have been searching for the ultimate portable amplification solution. Based on the performance of amp modelers into PA systems, many have opted to use active full range PA speaker cabinets so I thought I’d give the Behringer Eurolive B212A an audition.
The B212A features a 12 inch woofer and 1.25' aluminum-diaphragm compression driver in a ported trapezoidal plastic enclosure which allows the unit to be used as in a wedge, upright, pole mounted application. However, as a wedge, the units controls knobs and the end of the cable used to connect to the unit come dangerously close to the ground. A slight slip and I'm sure they would snap right off. At around 33 pounds in a compact enclosure with molded handles on each side, the B212A is extremely portable. Controls are sparse including a power switch, two-band eq (high and low), and level control. Ultra-low noise Mic/Line input (XLR and 1/4 in. TRS) and an XLR output round out the unit’s features.
While Behringer specs the unit at a whopping 400 watts summed, the B212A won’t blow out any windows. That being said, it is more than loud enough to hang with a four piece band featuring a live drummer in a large room and has a surprisingly wide disbursement pattern for such a compact enclosure. Even cranked, headroom was good and due to the unit’s built in optical limiter I couldn’t distort the input even with the volume of a Digitech GNX3000 cranked. However, the B212A’s tonal response isn’t as flat as I’d prefer with a rather large boost to low end frequencies. Fortunately, the eq control provides 15db of cut/boost centered at 80 hz and 12khz. At lower volumes, tones are fairly boomy requiring cutting back the bass control to clean things up considerably. Be sure to keep this little guy out of a corner as the bass frequency build up will be completely overwhelming. At higher volumes the tonal response is a little more even but still requires a slight cut to the low end and a minimal high end boost. I really would have liked an additional midrange control as so much of the guitar’s tonal response is focused in that frequency range.
If ultimate flat response is your number one concern, you might want to look elsewhere. However, with a street price of approx $230 USD this loud and compact enclosure is a good affordable and portable sound reinforcement option.
Street Price: ~$230 USD
Pros: Loud, compact and lightweight
Cons: Boomy response