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NCD - TKS S112s

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414054722' post='2585147']


I'll have a blast later today & see how I get on - I'm a big fan of the SL112 so should be interesting :)
[/quote]

Thanks Barrie :-)

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Very, very early impressions. . .

We set up an initial demo with:

F Bass BN5 in active mode (the competition bass that's up for grabs via iBass)
Fender Custom Shop '64 Jazz (a particularly nice one!)

Demeter VTBP-M800-D
Jule De-Monique
Aguilar TH500

TKS S112 (a pair, one with & one without tweeter)
TKS 1126 (also paired with & without)
TKS S212
Aguilar SL112 (pair, both tweetered but one turned right off)
Bergantino CN112 (same as the Aggies)
Aguilar DB112 (only had one of these available

I guess the first thing to say is that all of these sounded very good indeed - really nice kit & a joy to play around with!

Build quality of the TKS cabs was definitely up there with the other brands based on external appearance. All round fit & finish was excellent and the snakeskin S112's are cooler than a very cool thing indeed.

We really didn't have time to make proper notes of all the combinations but will replicate this setup properly next week (along with ATS cabs & the CN212's) and try to provide as unbiased a review as we can. We spent most time with just the 1x12's as these are pretty much our biggest sellers these days.

Sitting all three of the 2x112 stacks next to each other it was immediately apparent how much smaller & lighter the TKS were than either of the others - respective weights are:
S112 - 10KG / SL112 - 11.3KG / CN112 - 12.7KG

Obviously they are all very light but the smaller dimensions of the TKS cabs makes them a fair bit easier to shift around. The demo ones we ordered are set up to stand vertically but for comparison purposes we had them all sitting horizontally with the tweetered cab on top & set a mid-point. TKS put feet on both sides of the vertical cabs so they stack nicely like this.

I'm really not sure I could pick a 'winner' from the hour or so we had to try them all but the TKS cabs certainly gave the other brands a run for their money, and were probably the most focussed of the three and maybe sitting somewhere between the warmth of the Aguilars & the clarity of the Bergantinos. Given a hefty price differential between them it's amazing that TKS could hold their own in this company.

The Aggies seemed to have a greater spread of sound but were breaking up earliest. The Bergantinos were definitely the most obviously 'loudest' but this could be the effect of front porting in a relatively small shop environment (the other two are rear-ported). None of the three had the boxiness that used to be associated with small 12" cabs and each would work singly for smaller gigs.

Each of them seemed happy with each of the amps but we had to be a little careful with tweeter settings when paired with the Demeter which will run very clean if required. You could certainly pick out the tonal differences between each amp and bass very quickly.

One interesting test was to drop the tuning on the F Bass and throw some really low notes at each cab. The tiny TKS cabs appeared really happy with low open string passages. We mostly ran the Fender with tone open & both pickups on but biasing towards the bridge and increasing amp volume got a cracking classic J bridge pickup tone from the S112's. Winding the tone back on the Fender and cutting the tweeter right down so it was only just on gave a lovely smooth classic tone.

Didn't have much time with the S212 but it definitely had more low end and was a bit rounder than the pair of S112's and, given it's lower priced than the single cabs from Aguilar & Bergantino could appeal to a lot of people as a 'one-cab solution'.

The 1126 was very seductive, especially with Monique which really seemed to work well together - definitely need to spend more time with these!

Apologies for the very brief review but we really will try to have a better go when we have more time - if only those damned customers would leave us alone to play instead of calling to buy things. . .

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414086966' post='2585732']
Very, very early impressions. . .

We set up an initial demo with:

F Bass BN5 in active mode (the competition bass that's up for grabs via iBass)
Fender Custom Shop '64 Jazz (a particularly nice one!)

Demeter VTBP-M800-D
Jule De-Monique
Aguilar TH500

TKS S112 (a pair, one with & one without tweeter)
TKS 1126 (also paired with & without)
TKS S212
Aguilar SL112 (pair, both tweetered but one turned right off)
Bergantino CN112 (same as the Aggies)
Aguilar DB112 (only had one of these available

I guess the first thing to say is that all of these sounded very good indeed - really nice kit & a joy to play around with!

Build quality of the TKS cabs was definitely up there with the other brands based on external appearance. All round fit & finish was excellent and the snakeskin S112's are cooler than a very cool thing indeed.

We really didn't have time to make proper notes of all the combinations but will replicate this setup properly next week (along with ATS cabs & the CN212's) and try to provide as unbiased a review as we can. We spent most time with just the 1x12's as these are pretty much our biggest sellers these days.

Sitting all three of the 2x112 stacks next to each other it was immediately apparent how much smaller & lighter the TKS were than either of the others - respective weights are:
S112 - 10KG / SL112 - 11.3KG / CN112 - 12.7KG

Obviously they are all very light but the smaller dimensions of the TKS cabs makes them a fair bit easier to shift around. The demo ones we ordered are set up to stand vertically but for comparison purposes we had them all sitting horizontally with the tweetered cab on top & set a mid-point. TKS put feet on both sides of the vertical cabs so they stack nicely like this.

I'm really not sure I could pick a 'winner' from the hour or so we had to try them all but the TKS cabs certainly gave the other brands a run for their money, and were probably the most focussed of the three and maybe sitting somewhere between the warmth of the Aguilars & the clarity of the Bergantinos. Given a hefty price differential between them it's amazing that TKS could hold their own in this company.

The Aggies seemed to have a greater spread of sound but were breaking up earliest. The Bergantinos were definitely the most obviously 'loudest' but this could be the effect of front porting in a relatively small shop environment (the other two are rear-ported). None of the three had the boxiness that used to be associated with small 12" cabs and each would work singly for smaller gigs.

Each of them seemed happy with each of the amps but we had to be a little careful with tweeter settings when paired with the Demeter which will run very clean if required. You could certainly pick out the tonal differences between each amp and bass very quickly.

One interesting test was to drop the tuning on the F Bass and throw some really low notes at each cab. The tiny TKS cabs appeared really happy with low open string passages. We mostly ran the Fender with tone open & both pickups on but biasing towards the bridge and increasing amp volume got a cracking classic J bridge pickup tone from the S112's. Winding the tone back on the Fender and cutting the tweeter right down so it was only just on gave a lovely smooth classic tone.

Didn't have much time with the S212 but it definitely had more low end and was a bit rounder than the pair of S112's and, given it's lower priced than the single cabs from Aguilar & Bergantino could appeal to a lot of people as a 'one-cab solution'.

The 1126 was very seductive, especially with Monique which really seemed to work well together - definitely need to spend more time with these!

Apologies for the very brief review but we really will try to have a better go when we have more time - if only those damned customers would leave us alone to play instead of calling to buy things. . .
[/quote]

How much are the S112 cabs going for through your store Barrie? PM if needs be :-)

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[quote name='skej21' timestamp='1414089075' post='2585776']
How much are the S112 cabs going for through your store Barrie? PM if needs be :-)
[/quote]

Standard S112 will be £329, tweeter adds £75, vertical configuration is £5, grille cloth £50, custom vinyl £50.

Turnaround is expected to be around 3-4 weeks but will depend on how many orders are going through at any one time :)

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[quote name='skej21' timestamp='1414089075' post='2585776']
How much are the S112 cabs going for through your store Barrie? PM if needs be :-)
[/quote]

Same question on the S212 please.

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414090322' post='2585796']


Standard S112 will be £329, tweeter adds £75, vertical configuration is £5, grille cloth £50, custom vinyl £50.

Turnaround is expected to be around 3-4 weeks but will depend on how many orders are going through at any one time :)
[/quote]

So about £455 for an S112 with grille cloth, tweeter and any of the standard vinyl options. That's more than reasonable!

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[quote name='walbassist' timestamp='1414090366' post='2585797']
Same question on the S212 please.
[/quote]

Standard is a rather frightening £529!

Tweeter £75, grille cloth £80, custom vinyl £80

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[quote name='skej21' timestamp='1414091414' post='2585811']
So about £455 for an S112 with grille cloth, tweeter and any of the standard vinyl options. That's more than reasonable!
[/quote]

and you should see the snakeskin vinyl :rolleyes:

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414092388' post='2585828']


and you should see the snakeskin vinyl :rolleyes:
[/quote]

I really like the look of '7W' in black!!

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Thanks Barrie, that's really interesting to hear your initial findings.

I just did a small gig with one s112. They have only had maybe an hours use before the gig, but truth told, the gig wasn't loud. Here are a few rambled conclusions;
The one cab handled it no sweat. The cab looked great and standing horizontally it has a really little footprint.
The sound is really pleasing. The Little Mark amp seemed to work very well with it, I played around with EQ more than I would, just to experiment, but it responded really well. I could hear myself better than with previous cabs at this venue. The mids are so articulate and clear. We did a set of soul/motown covers this evening, and it sounded right at home. I don't know what it was, but the tone control on my Precision was a more usable tool. With my previous cabs I hardly ever had it full on as the sound was too harsh for me. But tonight, every tone I was getting was usable and musical. Whether that's down to the lack of tweeter or neo drivers, I don't know. There was still plenty of clean highs, just no shrillness or ice pick stuff. Put simply, I'm flippin' loving the TKS cabs and am looking forward to using them both tomorrow night!!

Edited by [email protected]

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414086966' post='2585732']
I'm really not sure I could pick a 'winner' from the hour or so we had to try them all but the TKS cabs certainly gave the other brands a run for their money, and were probably the most focussed of the three and maybe sitting somewhere between the warmth of the Aguilars & the clarity of the Bergantinos. Given a hefty price differential between them it's amazing that TKS could hold their own in this company.

The Aggies seemed to have a greater spread of sound but were breaking up earliest. The Bergantinos were definitely the most obviously 'loudest' but this could be the effect of front porting in a relatively small shop environment (the other two are rear-ported). None of the three had the boxiness that used to be associated with small 12" cabs and each would work singly for smaller gigs[/quote]

I know I keep saying it, but the mids on these are really special. 'Focussed' is a good word.

I don't have any experience of the Berg CN's, but compared to my HS210s and HT112ERs - that I really liked - the S112s and S212 sit in the mix far more naturally for my taste. It feels like I can get a really tactile response from from the cabs at a much lower volume than the wider-sounding Bergs. I think the videos I posted above show how subtle (and not so subtle) changes in attack really shine through, and that big, reassuring bottom end is just... 'there'.

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[quote name='[email protected]' timestamp='1414095593' post='2585907']
Thanks Barrie, that's really interesting to hear your initial findings.

I just did a small gig with one s112. They have only had maybe an hours use before the gig, but truth told, the gig wasn't loud. Here are a few rambled conclusions;
The one cab handled it no sweat. The cab looked great and standing horizontally it has a really little footprint.
The sound is really pleasing. The Little Mark amp seemed to work very well with it, I played around with EQ more than I would, just to experiment, but it responded really well. I could hear myself better than with previous cabs at this venue. The mids are so articulate and clear. We did a set of soul/motown covers this evening, and it sounded right at home. I don't know what it was, but the tone control on my Precision was a more usable tool. With my previous cabs I hardly ever had it full on as the sound was too harsh for me. But tonight, every tone I was getting was usable and musical. Whether that's down to the lack of tweeter or the ceramic drivers, I don't know. There was still plenty of clean highs, just no shrillness or ice pick stuff.[/quote]

This nails what I was trying to say in my previous post. It's a beautiful thing to hear, isn't it?

[quote name='[email protected]' timestamp='1414095593' post='2585907']
Put simply, I'm flippin' loving the TKS cabs and am looking forward to using the. Both tom morose night!!
[/quote]

You're in for a treat, my man. It's not simply twice as loud as a single cab. Something magical happens.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1414095646' post='2585909']


I know I keep saying it, but the mids on these are really special. 'Focussed' is a good word.

I don't have any experience of the Berg CN's, but compared to my HS210s and HT112ERs - that I really liked - the S112s and S212 sit in the mix far more naturally for my taste. It feels like I can get a really tactile response from from the cabs at a much lower volume than the wider-sounding Bergs. I think the videos I posted above show how subtle (and not so subtle) changes in attack really shine through, and that big, reassuring bottom end is just... 'there'.
[/quote]

That's kind of one of the points I was trying to get across above. I could hear myself far better than I have at this venue previously, even when using bigger rigs. Focused and articulate.

Edit, just seen your reply! It is a wonderful thing to hear and I've tried many cabs, EQ pedals and basses to get to this point! But am really happy and dying to try other amps through them.

Edited by [email protected]

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Seems like you`re very pleased with the TKS cabs Matt, am glad to have helped out by buying the Markbass 212 from you, as I`m incredibly pleased with it. Great cab, one of the best I`ve ever owned.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1414099780' post='2585980']
Seems like you`re very pleased with the TKS cabs Matt, am glad to have helped out by buying the Markbass 212 from you, as I`m incredibly pleased with it. Great cab, one of the best I`ve ever owned.
[/quote]

Cheers Lozz. Really glad to hear it's serving you well. It is a fantastic 212.

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[quote name='molan' timestamp='1414092334' post='2585825']
Standard is a rather frightening £529!

Tweeter £75, grille cloth £80, custom vinyl £80
[/quote]

Great prices there. I`m considering one of these to add into the armoury. Do they have a particular voicing at all, or are they fairly flat/neutral?

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Thanks for the review, Matt!

[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1414452777' post='2589536']
Great prices there. I`m considering one of these to add into the armoury. Do they have a particular voicing at all, or are they fairly flat/neutral?
[/quote]

The S212 is quite neutral, the same goes for the S112 which uses the same speaker: it doesn't have a ruler flat frequency plot, but closer to flat than many other comparable products, and with a good balance between lows and mids, no mid scoop. There's about a 3 dB increase in the high mids, compared to the lows.

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[quote name='tks.se' timestamp='1414488421' post='2589671']
a good balance between lows and mids, [b]no mid scoop[/b]. There's about a 3 dB increase in the high mids, compared to the lows.
[/quote]

Amen to that, and it's a beautiful thing.

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From our initial listening experience I'd say the S212 is a very clean & clear sounding cab but it's not sterile or harsh like some modern lightweight cabs can get. As I kinda said earlier, there's a real focus to the tone and individual notes ring very clean and true. It will start to break up if pushed hard at the lower end but not in a brittle way :)

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Sounds good, thinking about an Aguilar Tonehammer 500 with one of these - any opinions?

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1414500084' post='2589829']
Sounds good, thinking about an Aguilar Tonehammer 500 with one of these - any opinions?
[/quote]

I'll demo that config next week Lozz..... assuming the S112 cabs are still there in stock.

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[quote name='Lozz196' timestamp='1414500084' post='2589829']
Sounds good, thinking about an Aguilar Tonehammer 500 with one of these - any opinions?
[/quote]

I'm keen to hear how they pair up too. The LM3 does sound very good through the s112s though.

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Nice one JT, am hoping to get a bit of a tryout on a TH500 at the SE Bash on Sat, think it`s what I`m after, so from there it`s pairing it with a fairly neutral cab. Don`t want Aggie cabs as they`re the wrong shape for my boot, and too heavy. These TKS look really good.

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I am just getting to grips with the TH500 with my AE112's and they are a pleasant match-up, so much so
that I am in two minds about selling them... but I tend to make these decisions slowly anyway.
I am loving the change in emphasis in my playing style that this rig inspires.. so I will want the S112's
to be capable of the same or maybe speak a little better.
I know exactly what I want from the TH/TKS combo and I think I stand a dcent chance of getting it.
The TH is pretty versatile for my sound needs but I also agree about comments of the amp having a
trade mark Aguilar sound... I call that modern Ampeg...or at least it makes sense to me.
I think other units have trade mark sounds as well..Markbass, for example...but that is not to say they are
limited/hindered by that, of course.

If the TKS speaks well throughout the range..and people say they really do...then it will work for me, I'm
sure and there will be the bonus of a 10kg cab... as opposed to 14kgs, all other things considered

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1414502732' post='2589898']
I am just getting to grips with the TH500 with my AE112's and they are a pleasant match-up, so much so
that I am in two minds about selling them... but I tend to make these decisions slowly anyway.
I am loving the change in emphasis in my playing style that this rig inspires.. so I will want the S112's
to be capable of the same or maybe speak a little better.
I know exactly what I want from the TH/TKS combo and I think I stand a dcent chance of getting it.
The TH is pretty versatile for my sound needs but I also agree about comments of the amp having a
trade mark Aguilar sound... I call that modern Ampeg...or at least it makes sense to me.
I think other units have trade mark sounds as well..Markbass, for example...but that is not to say they are
limited/hindered by that, of course.

If the TKS speaks well throughout the range..and people say they really do...then it will work for me, I'm
sure and there will be the bonus of a 10kg cab... as opposed to 14kgs, all other things considered
[/quote]

From what you've said, sounds like the TKS might be well worth a look.

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