Over the past year or so you may have seen the term 'FRFR' being applied to some (often awfully expensive) guitar speakers. The FRFR tag means 'Full Range Flat Response' and indicates that the speakers in question have a flat response across a wide frequency range - in other words, it will not colour or alter the sound of the increasingly popular guitar amp modelling devices on the market that it's intended to be used with.
These modelling devices often come in the form of pedals and leave the user to find an amp and speakers that will faithfully reproduce the modelled sound. Yes, you could plug them into your guitar combo, or a head and speakers but conventional guitar speakers are not designed to be uncoloured, so what you get out will not be exactly what you put into them from your modeller.
In most cases, it will mean buying an active speaker system (i.e. one with a built-in amplifier) which means you plug your guitar into the modelling pedal, the pedal into the speaker and you should get precisely the sound you want, either for your own practice session or, increasingly, for live performances, where you will also need a fair bit of volume.
FRFR speakers use specially chosen loudspeakers capable of a transparent performance and they do not come cheap. Which is why, when one of our customers contacted us to ask had we realised that our Orion 12" active with Bluetooth does a fantastic job as a modelling speaker, we could not wait to try it for ourselves!
Designed primarily for PA users, naturally enough, the BishopSound Orion 12" has been 'voiced' to sound great for reproducing music of all types, therefore, it is, in essence, a pretty flat response speaker. It also has some advantageous extra features such as Bluetooth, which enables you to link directly to your smartphone, tablet or laptop to play backing tracks. It also comes with a separate USB 3 socket with its own volume control, so you could use a memory device for backing tracks too.
We jumped at the chance to let guitarists try the Orion in its newfound role and their response was very enthusiastic. Here is a genuinely 400-Watt RMS active speaker in a sturdy moulded enclosure complete with wheels and handle for ease of transportation, at an amazing price for an FRFR active speaker! The Orion even offers twin channel performance, meaning you can use the Mic channel as a mono modeller input via a jack plug, the Line channel then giving you stereo inputs (with a mono output obviously) using either a 2x mono jack to 2x phono adaptor or a 2x mono jack to stereo minijack adaptor!
Equally, you could run vocals through the Mic channel, put your backing track via USB MP3 or Bluetooth, and your stereo modeller (or acoustic guitar with stereo FX) in the Line channel with an adaptor. Talk about versatile!
Strong, lightweight, easily usable on its side at monitor angles or upright if you prefer, easily loud enough for gigging, the Orion even features 5 band EQ so you can adjust the tone to exactly what you want. We have even come up with a suggested EQ setting which we're recommending as a starting point for guitarists to try.
But the most amazing thing about the Orion 12" is the price! Compare it with some of the dedicated FRFR speakers on the market and, when we're all having to watch the pennies, the Orion represents stunning value! If you're one of the growing numbers of guitarists exploring amp modelling via pedals (such as the Line 6 HX Series), check out the Orion 12" - we're sure you'll be impressed!
Here is a direct link to the Orion 12" Active Speaker https://bishopsound.com/collections/orion-speakers