Unbeknownst to most folks, Eminence produces more raw speakers than any other manufacturer in the world. In fact, it churns out a remarkable 10,000 speakers a day. You may not be familiar with the Eminence name, but you have heard of Ampeg, Carvin, Fender, Hartke, Peavey, Marshall, Roland, Yamaha and Yorkville – all of these companies use Eminence-manufactured speakers as original equipment in their products. Made in the U.S., Eminence speakers deserve consideration when upgrading or replacing drivers for your instrument amp or PA system.
The Kilomax Pro-18A speaker has a cast-aluminum basket finished in a black powder-coat epoxy paint. It also features a paper cone with a cloth edge, as well as a ferrite magnet. The highly touted 4″ voice coil assembly features a Kapton coil former and a Polyamide-coated copper voice coil.
The heatsink is quite prominent in the front view of the speaker – about 4″ in diameter with the Eminence crown logo in the center, surrounded by ventilation slots. This retro look reminded me of the grille from a ’50s Chevy. The Pro-18A speakers are equipped with binding posts that have a chrome finish and knurled knobs.
The Kilomax has a power handling capability rated at 1,000 W RMS. According to Eminence, the speaker has an impedance of 8 ohms (5.7 ohms Thiele-Small), a resonance frequency of 33 Hz and a usable frequency range of 25 to 600 Hz. The response curve for the Kilomax reveals a relatively flat response over its usable range with a slight peak around 1 kHz.
The look of the Kilomax Pro-18A speakers made a great first impression. They are attractive and exude an air of fine craftsmanship. The heatsink adds a nice visual touch to any cabinet with a transparent grille. The seams in the cone were flawless and the magnet was outfitted with a handsome green vinyl logo, which was, of course, not visible after installation. The magnet was also fitted with a removable rubber jacket, a nice touch when working near the speaker with something like a screwdriver or socket.
I installed the Kilomax speakers in a pair of front-loaded subwoofer cabinets that had a comparable resonant frequency. They replaced a pair of 8-ohm, 18″ drivers that were rated at 350 W RMS each. Considering the dramatic increase in power handling these drivers gave to the cabinets, the weight increase of 6 lb. seemed a very fair trade.
Sonically, the Kilomax speakers were impressive. They were tight and focused when amplifying signals below 150 Hz. They had no problem handling anything my previously over-rated amp could throw at them, and they really delivered in the chest thumping range of 50 to 100 Hz.
Being the environmentalist that I am, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Eminence is striving to make the manufacture of speakers a bit friendlier to the environment. They use solderless connectors to eliminate lead vapors that cause problems for assembly line workers. Also, they employ a process known as electrocoating for back-plate, top-plate and core finishing. This process applies a layer of paint so accurately that it is consistent to one thousandth of an inch. This prevents excessive overspray and, consequently, the release of toxic vapors into the atmosphere.
The Eminence Kilomax Pro-18A speaker is an example of fine American craftsmanship, a trait that yields an excellent sonic result. This, coupled with the speaker’s ample power handling and great looks, makes it well worth the $458.95 list price. The Kilomax should be strongly considered whether you are replacing a damaged driver or just looking to upgrade your current speakers. It is also available in a 15″ version.
Contact: Eminence at 502-845-5622.