By Mike Vallera
on 3.26.12
Photo by Emperor

The south side of Chicago is infamous for many things, one of them being a long history steeped in industrial manufacturing, meatpacking, and various other bare-knuckle activities. This steel-clad tradition is carried on today by a small group of craftsmen in a Bridgeport warehouse, who since 2006 have been supplying some of the heaviest bands around with their hand built, custom guitar cabinets. Constructed of 13-ply birch with dovetailed joinery, all metal hardware and a hand stained exterior, these cabinets not only supply remarkable tone and low end to your rig, but with little modification could also double as a one person bomb shelter. While Emperor also specializes in bulletproof road cases and amplifier heads, their cabinets are the hallmark, unadorned and built using only domestically sourced materials. Options for stain color and grill cloths number in the dozens, along with completely customizable speaker configurations tailored for the player’s sound.

Be warned though, these beautiful monoliths are serious beasts, capable of crushingly loud volume levels and made to handle anything the road can throw at them. It’s not surprising Emperor has been a long time favorite amongst the metal underground, but with such immaculate design both internally and externally, even the most discerning musician will undoubtedly bow down to the Emperor 4×12.

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