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Posts posted by alexclaber

  1. 4 minutes ago, Undertone said:

    Do we generally feel fan cooling is "better" than heat sink cooling at the back of solid state amp heads?

    I don't think you need to think about this unless you're designing a bass amp - or looking to buy an old one that has a bad reputation for shutting down on loud gigs (there must be some but I can't think of one!)

    You need a much bigger heatsink with passive cooling vs forced air cooling. Most amps with fans will have heatsinks too, just the fan allows the heatsink to be smaller, light and cheaper.

    • Like 8

  2. 2 hours ago, stevie said:

    Why do so many people think that they can't evaluate a cab unless they use it in a band situation? It seems like a load of tosh to me. In a shop, you can concentrate on the sound and what the speaker is doing, and you can try a variety of things out to see how it responds.

    Two reasons:

    1. Masking. Once you add the rest of the band, the other instruments mask a lot of the bass guitar's mid and treble response. Not all bassists are good at understanding the difference between a tone that sounds nice on its own and a tone that works in a band.

    2. Non-linearity. Drums and electric guitars have always been prone to drowning out bass guitars. Eventually it got better for bassists as rigs got louder (but only if the bassist was willing to carry enough gear and/or spend enough money - and even then the loudest guitarists still win if they start volume war). And then everyone started trying to downsize their rigs and the problem returned.

    I have heard some horrific live sounds from bassists who are playing gear that I'm certain would sound good if they weren't asking it to do more than it can.

    • Like 2

  3. On 16/08/2020 at 17:22, alexa3020 said:

    I like the story of Barefaced, and I like that Alex is on these forums. I think Im leaning towards the big baby, I just worry that it won’t be loud enough. I’d be happy to buy another amp to get some more wattage to it.

    We have a one month trial period. If it isn't loud enough send it back. There's no better way to find out if a cab works for you - you can't crank any bass or guitar rig up loud enough in a shop to hear the truth.

    • Like 5

  4. On 10/08/2020 at 23:47, Dan Dare said:

    The possible variation in drive unit makers' product ranges may well be "massive". However, once you eliminate products that are unsuitable, for whatever reason, the number left won't be great. We're talking about higher end bass cab manufacturers here. They will select from the small number of suitable, proven units offered by the "pretty short list of OEM driver manufacturers". They'd be daft not to. It would be commercially risky to go too far out on a limb or use something untried or that that may not be up to the job. It's difficult to build a good reputation and very easy to lose it.

    Custom/special order units? How will they differ greatly from standard offerings, given that a drive unit has relatively few key components - basket/frame, cone, coil/motor, magnet and terminals - and the best materials to use to make those components are well known and established? Drive unit manufacturers are not going to deliberately offer top-line products that are not as good as they can make them (they have reputations to protect, too). Once again, we are discussing flagship drivers - Kappalites, Faital Pros, etc - used by companies such as Vanderkley, Bergantino, you and others catering for the high end of the market. So we can discount those that employ cost-cut materials and other factors that render them unfit (or less fit) for purpose.

    I appreciate that you have a living to make, but I find it difficult to believe that there is "literally nothing on the market" like the drivers you use. I'm sure they are of excellent quality and as good as you have found it possible to source, but "unique"?

    Unfortunately I think this is one of those cases where you're not going to believe what I'm saying and even if you did, I'm not sure you have a sufficiently deep understanding of loudspeaker design to understand what I'm saying. But I'll try and explain some bits. Let's assume we're keeping the frame and the magnet the same:

    1. Cone - there are thousands of cones out there, different shapes, thicknesses, materials, thickness profiles. And it's not a huge deal getting a cone made to your exact spec. And surrounds to go with them (some made with the cone, some separate). Almost as many surrounds as cones. And dustcaps to go on them. Again, a huge number of choices. What you choose to go for isn't about quality, it's about tonal and/or performance goals. Huge variation within bass guitar suitable drivers alone.

    2. Spider - material, diameter, profile, thickness. Against, more significant differences.

    3. Coil former - material type, thickness, diameter, length. All make big differences.

    4. Coil - material, wire gauge, wire shape, winding layers, winding length, winding turns. All make big differences.

    5. Motor - top plate material, top plate ID, top plate thickness; pole piece material, pole piece thickness, pole piece ID, pole piece OD; shorting rings position, shorting rings size. Again, big differences.

    We didn't just "source" our 12XN and 10CR drivers. Developing them took years, working with three different manufacturers. We did some special things which we're very proud of and according to the OEM contract they're exclusive to us. The on and off-axis frequency response curves, the distortion plots, the T/S parameters and the large signal behaviour are unique to them. You can make a unique driver by using a unique combination of catalogue parts but in both these cases we've gone beyond that and had components custom made for the drivers.

    So I stand by my point.


    • Like 1

  5. 5 hours ago, Dan Dare said:


    Most of the better quality cabs use the same or similar drivers from the likes of Eminence and Faital.

    This is not true at all. Although there is a pretty short list of OEM driver manufacturers, the variation possible within a given manufacturer's range is massive, in terms of tone, output, and anything else that affect sound or performance, especially with the pressure to keep costs down for many brands.

    Furthermore, some of the manufacturers, like Eminence, are incredibly flexible in doing relatively small production runs of drivers which have many unique and custom made parts. So when it comes to our 12XN and 10CR drivers, which are both made by Eminence, there is literally nothing on the market like them (and they are both very different to each other).

  6. 11 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

    Don't think so as the ports are front facing. I too occasionally stack my 2 SC on their side and I don't hear any difference. I definitely hear a difference when running my One10 on it's side. It sits on an angled Stagg stand and the bottom end just seems fuller and richer,  as if the port needed to be off the floor. Okay someone is going to say that I'm loosing the "coupling effect " that occurs when bass cabs are sat on the floor but the One10 appears to sound better to my ears.(which are 68 yrs old and were abused in the 70s while playing in front of loud two 2x4x12 stacks😆)

    A few points to add to this. What look like ports on the One10s (and all our 10CR models) aren't conventional ports - there's other stuff going on as they're Hybrid Resonator designs. Having the external resonator outlet (that thing that you think is a port) on the underside of the One10 results in a lower tuning frequency for that part of the resonator and a deeper tighter bass response. If you turn the cabs sideways then you raise this tuning frequency, giving fatter but less deep lows. Some people prefer this and it works better in some rooms. It isn't the default orientation because more people/basses/amps/rooms prefer the cab the other way around but it is a useful option.

    There's a lot of mythology about the coupling effect of putting a cab on the floor. Actual mechanical coupling is almost always a bad thing (despite Orange claiming it a benefit with the skids instead of feet/wheels on their cabs). Acoustic boundary reinforcement is usually a good thing but that doesn't stop when you lift the cab off the floor - it just shifts from acting on everything from the low-mids downwards when the cab is within an inch of the floor to acting on just the deepest lows when the cab is many feet off the floor.

    If your ears have had years of playing in front of loud 4x12" stacks then they're going to need all the help they can get! 😉

    • Like 5

  7. 23 hours ago, JohnDaBass said:

    Dunc, place the One10s on their side. Lowers the height but allows the base facing ports to extend the bass response out of the side of the stack. Believe me it really makes a difference. Enjoy your lovely, lovely rig.

    Turning the One10s sideways makes the lows less deep but thickens them up. Not better or worse, just different. Some rooms will suit one orientation more than the other.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 4

  8. 4 hours ago, Wiseblood said:

    How would you compare your Barefaced 4x10 to your BigTwin2?

    If you were to pick one of your cabs to play at low volume in church and also at loud volume on a stage that suck treble where cabs tend to go boomy/muddy (around 150 - 250hZ)?

    Edit: The amp is an Aguilar AG700

    The Four10 is warmer, fatter, rounder, less deep, less immediate, less clean, less precise. The Big Twin 2 sounds like a really good PA system or massive studio monitors. If you want to REALLY hear what your hands, bass and amp sound like I don't think there's anything more accurate on the market. It can also go stupidly loud!

    • Like 1

  9. 2 hours ago, Wiseblood said:

    It has definetly NOTHING to do with weight (no one mentioned weight here), but air resistance due to size. Take a big umbrella and a small one and go outside a windy day Alex, and you'll find out simple laws of physics. I know that you know more about building speakers than me, not going to argue about that. 🙂

    I was asking for an honest opinion about Vanderkleys vs Bergantinos.


    Yes. A bigger umbrella is more easily moved by the air. And therefore air is more easily moved by a larger membrane. What is it you're hearing and feeling when you play bass? It's air moving. The more resistance the air applies to a loudspeaker, the more efficiently the loudspeaker works at converting cone motion into audible sound. This is why bass horns are amazing - if you're willing to carry a bass rig the size of a large van - the horn adds air resistance, improving the radiation impedance at the speaker cone.

    You are perfectly entitled to want to buy a cab with 10" speakers rather than 12" speakers but please don't try to justify your decision by misusing physics.

  10. Yes, I can tell you that the maths isn't simple and that a 12" speaker doesn't move slower than a 10" speaker. If you're so certain that you're right about lighter things accelerating faster than heavier things, can you tell me why a two tonne Bugatti Veyron can get from 0-60mph far faster than a Citroen 2CV which weighs a third as much?

    At Barefaced we did a lot of R&D before launching our 12XN range as the best possible high accuracy solution. We could have used anything from 5" to 21" drivers but 12" worked best. Occasionally people that haven't heard them ask for a 10" version. We could make one but it wouldn't be as good (quantifiably) so as this engineer is in charge and I don't have a finance director or marketing department telling me to just make something to get some more sales, I'm not doing it!

    • Like 3
    • Thanks 2

  11. On 13/06/2020 at 11:53, ebenezer said:

    You are best with at least 500 Watts into 8 ohms....the barefaced driver is loosely based around the eminence kappalite 3012lf.... fantastic driver, but really needs to be driven.

    The 12XN is very different to the 3012LF although it does share the same aluminium basket and neo magnet. The bandwidth is wider, the dispersion is broader, and the sensitivity is far higher. Very few bassists can use 3012LF drivers without needing a midrange driver whilst many can use a 12XN and get "full-range" tone for their needs. This difference and the increased sensitivity means you need less than half as much amp power compared to a 3012LF.

    • Like 3

  12. 28 minutes ago, Huge Hands said:

    Well, thanks @alexclaber, you're on.  Shame I had to go as far as ranting on here to get a response to this saga.  

    I'll try and get a day sorted next week and bring them down to you.  

    The ranting wasn't why. If you'd done this six months ago I'd have told you to keep waiting. But if you'd emailed this week you'd have had this response. Last week I'd have probably said give us a few more weeks. Things change, manufacturing isn't easy!

    • Confused 2

  13. On 31/01/2019 at 09:28, Huge Hands said:

    I bought Retro 210 cabs serial number 9 and 10 and experienced the peeling Tolex issue to the point where they now both look like cheap, worn, poorly made Chinese toys.  On BC, last time I mentioned it, he openly suggested giving them back to him so he could strip and recover them, but ever since he has just fobbed me off saying they are too busy and can we wait til after the next rush.  This has been going on for over 3 years.  I only live 30 miles up the road, so I can take them there whenever he wants.

    We have this sorted now. Bring them down whenever you want, as long as it's during the working week.

    • Like 2

  14. Geoff, that's exactly what I got (plus frets!) With two small children at home I was a bit concerned about having something nice that might get destroyed. I ordered it on the 16th Jan (allegedly in stock) and it finally arrived last week, which was fairly unimpressive, especially with the various dubious excuses Thomann kept giving. Fair enough if they had to make it, that's what happens here at Barefaced!

    Anyway, I swapped the stock copper BEADG strings for some Ernie Ball EADCG (100-80-65-45-32) Slinkys and it sounds great. Only had it set up for a day but it works really well for my strange hybrid guitar/bass stylings. So far I've been playing some Disney classics, modern pop and '90s indie and grunge on it. I do like playing chords!

  15. Unless you downgrade to a tiny and inefficient cab it's not going to make THAT much difference. Yes, the Four10 is a loud cab but if you're too loud on the first click of the master volume then you'll still have no way to finely adjust your volume to sit appropriately in the mix.

    Could the amp be faulty? This is a weird problem to have, literally never heard of it from anyone!

  16. 17 hours ago, mcnach said:


    Interesting, thanks!

     I have never seen any other reference to a Retro 215. Could it be they planned to make it but changed their minds? Anyone has seen one of these Barefaced Unicorn cabs? Ooops, I did it again and changed the name :P 

    Got it in one! When we were working on the 12XN Gen 3 models we also looked at replacing the '69er and Super Fifteen with some improved versions (using the same drivers) which we planned to called the Retro610 and Retro215. But then we ended up developing our 10CR driver which meant the new Six10 could also do the job of the 2x15" in terms of huge output in the lows (which the previous '69er wasn't so good at).

    Since 2008 we've made the following bass cabs (grouped in rough times they were launched):

    Compact, Big One, Vintage

    Midget, Super Twelve, Big Baby, Big Twin, Super Fifteen, Dubster


    Super Midget, Super Compact, Super Twin, Big Baby 2, Big Twin 2

    Six10, Two10 (these were briefly called the Retro Six10 and Retro Two10)

    One10, Eight10, Four10

    The ones in bold are all still in production.

    • Like 1
    • Thanks 3

  17. On 1/1/2018 at 10:20, Bigwan said:

    If I recall correctly, Alex at barefaced has talked folks out of the 3x10 setup in the past...

    I think I said one thing once to one person regarding their specific situation and now it's become gospel! Where is the facepalm smiley when you need it? ;-)

    A badge that looks great both ways around would be amazing - not so easy to design one though!

  18. The only way to use an amp's "full potential" is to plug it into about twenty 8x10" sized cabs at once. Any less than that and you're restricting the output due to a lack of speaker efficiency.

    Use such a huge rig and you'll get as much output from 5W as you'll get from 500W into a more normal sized stack.

  19. Interesting stuff! I'm not really bothered about more traditional bass tones, as it isn't going to be used in a band context and I already play a 36" scale 5-string which never sounds like a 34" bass if you use the same fingering. On that bass, with 24 frets and a full cutaway there's a lot of room for chords in BEADG tuning, hence the EADGC tuning will make similar chords possible on an acoustic bass guitar with worse high fret access. 

  20. So I was thinking how it would be nice to have an acoustic bass at home. And that I'm used to playing fives nowadays but there's no chance a low B will do anything useful unplugged on something as tiny as an ABG. And I like playing chords and other upper register stuff. So what about getting a five-string ABG and tuning it high rather than low?

    Has anyone else done this? Main concern is the intonation because of the fixed bridge. Not planning to get anything expensive because if I do doubtless the children will break it... But something that's acoustically loud would be a good thing.

  21. 6 hours ago, Dan Dare said:

    As someone who doesn't like tweeters for bass, I'd say not at all important. But then, that's just my preference. Which brings me to the original question. Our tastes vary widely and what suits us may well not suit you. Good though they are, Barefaced (seemingly a universal recommendation on here - I wonder how many of those who sing their praises actually own/use them) and similar more modern flavoured cabs are relatively unlikely to satisfy your desire for "warm vintage tone". However, something like an old SVT 4x10, which will do that job well, is a pig to move around by comparison. So don't listen to us. Visit a few shops, go to a few shows and try some stuff out.

    You seem to be under the misconception that all Barefaced cabs sound the same! The whole concept behind our 10" cabs is that they have a more coloured and less accurate tone, you could say warmer and fatter sounding. They're certainly not "modern" or "hi-fi". That's why in terms of both tone and output our Two10 is a very good replacement for the SVT 410HE.

  22. One of those was my first bass amp! I sold it in 1998ish because it was far too quiet for gigging and since then has been used for jazz guitar (was still with the same owner when I last checked). It didn't cost me a lot and I sold it for less - think it's only about 20 (all valve) watts. Have any ever been sold on here or ebay or elsewhere whose prices you can find?

  23. [quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1510229469' post='3404758']Guys - thanks, I have indeed stopped "thinking" about my new cab (which has now been bought) and I do look forward to enjoying it! And if that's your genuine wish then there is no real need to cheekily "poke bears" is there? :D[/quote]

    That is indeed my wish. But now you're done, I'd rather information wasn't left on the internet in perpetuity which may misguide people, hence my interjections to add some clarity.

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