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JTUK

CN112 v SL112 v S112

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Today myself and Policesquad paid a visit to BassGear with the expressed purpose
to check out a lightweight 12" cab. I knew and had demoed the SL and CN range
but was keen to see the TKS cabs in the flesh.

So, these were the 3 cabs I wanted to try in context with a TH500 head.
I took my own bass which is a Sei Jazz5 as we agreed we needed to start from a
known reference. Policesquad also brought along a P Bass re-issue and a Spector
which I will hope he will chip in with his thoughts and determine which bass models they were.

I wasn't fussed about over EQ'ing with the bass or amp and Vic from BassGear
suggested we go with the TH500 with EQ set at all 12. Whether this meant flat
wasn't really the point, we wanted to keep things a bit simple so we could compare the cabs.
I am sure we could have fine-tuned the sound to be 'better' by playing around with onboard
and amp EQ but we never felt the EQ set-up was lacking. It was all variations of
good upwards to my ears.

First up was a single Berg CN112.
As you'd expect, this was good right out of the box... the horn was at 12 and it spoke very clearly
I probably would describe the sound as a tad harsh but remember we weren't kind with the amp EQ.
Great looking cab, nice weight and exemplary Berg build. Probably the prettiest cab and looked
the quality cab it is.

Next, Aguilar SL112.
Another great looking cab altho in a more understated way. Very light. Horn was again at 12.
This had a better clearer voice than the Berg which maybe just matched the amp
just a bit better. Mids were pronounced - as they were in all 3 cabs as you'd expect-
and I thought the cab was just a better more pleasing sound.
Not unsurprising since it is from the same company as the test amp.

TKS S112 Nice cab, smaller than the others and we tried it with the tweeterless version until
Molan gave us the tweetered cab. Also very light and Vic said it sits between the SL112 and CN112
in terms of sound. This it did indeed do but what was a surprise was it had a very pleasing and articulate
voice in the hi mids. This cab spoke very well as far as I was concerned and you can say it was focused
and defined..and it is, but you can also say that about the other two cabs...so this had something else.
I can only describe as a very pleasing voice which you would imagine would do very well live.
So either this cab matches supremely well with the 'flat' TH and that is just great pot luck with all the components I used in the signal chain or there has been a lot tuning and tweaking that gives this cab
a pure defined, focused range across the board. I can't imagine anyone making this cab boom but then you'd also have to work hard to do that with the CN and SL cabs.

So..I could go on about this little demo/test but happy to hear other thoughts from people who have tried
any of these.

Other combo's/variables we threw into the mix was adding a second S112, putting it up against
the TKS 1126 and also all the above with a Ampeg PF500 which more than held its own.

Oh..and I can report all the cabs have great handles... but the winner in that regard was the TKS 1126.

I will add a conclusion ( my thoughts and choice ) to this test at some point and also add a few more thoughts but bare in mind we ran the amp the same for all 3 cabs... and were not EQ kind or considerate to any....in that we didn't change anything. If it wasn't adjustable on the bass to taste, it didn't get adjusted. I don't think we had time anyway.

I almost defy anyone to get a poor sound out of these 3 cabs and if you do, I don't think you can
go looking at the cabs. You need to start closer to home, IMV :lol:

My style would be fingerstyle funk and slap and PS went for the grindey hard pick attack style.

Yep... I should have videoed it.

Edited by JTUK

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Apart from meeting the guys and having a good old natter my favourite moment of the day was a little test on the pair of TKS cabs with the Sei, through the Ampeg at some serious volume with, I think, some bass boost on the board pre-amp.

Policesquad and I realised the roof tiles were beginning to move and scattering little flecks of dust down on us - the cabs seemed to be handling things much better than our ceiling :)

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:lol: :lol: I never have cause to kick that much in but good to know the S112 cabs didn't bat an eyelid handling it.
The East pre is very powerful at +15db .... that is a lot of ommph.

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[quote name='JTUK' timestamp='1415310660' post='2599184']
:lol: :lol: I never have cause to kick that much in but good to know the S112 cabs didn't bat an eyelid handling it.
The East pre is very powerful at +15db .... that is a lot of ommph.
[/quote]

I must admit I was surprised that they handled the low end volume so well given the, relatively, lower power rating compared to something like the Bergs (although it's the same as the Aguilars).

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This was a very interesting day out for me. The last time I did any testing similar to this was when I was making my own range of valve guitar amps, alongside Martin Kidd (Cornford and Victory fame) so it was great to go to a shop that had knowledge, gear and plenty of time.

Going with JTUK was great, our styles are so far apart that we covered virtually all styles of playing and came up with the same decisions.

The Berg was very nice. As said we didn't EQ anything we just let the cabs speak for themselves. The Berg had an articulate voice but with a pronounced upper mid bark. This is no bad thing just a comment.
The Aguilar (to me) was slightly scooped. Almost hi-fi like. Clear snap from the horn with a smoother mid range.
The TKS S112 without the tweater was smooth, round and clear. With the tweater it sparkled.

That was with the TH500 and JTUKs Sei Bass.

So being the heavyhanded pick using rockster that I am I got my Bravewood 'Sting Replica' P bass equipped with Seymour Duncan custom shop Stack for single coil' which is a pokey little beast, my Spector Euro4LX and my Ampeg PF-500.

At this point I had discounted the Bergantino as it was too upper middy for my taste and went with the Aguilar cab. It did sound excellent. The Ampeg is set fairly flat but with the ultra low switched in. Again with the horn the Aguilar had that slightly scooped thing with a sparkly top end.

The TKS S112 was super smooth. It sounded like me playing. What I wanted to hear. Warm and showing the slight grind I love from the ampeg.

We also tried the 1126 . Again slightly scooped and sparkly. Very nice but slightly bigger footprint to what we were looking at. (small 1x12 in case you've forgotten).

Then plugged the S112 with tweater in as well. You just got MORE. MORE SMOOTH. just MOOR. with a slight sparkle.

Then I plugged in the Spector. Whammo!! I don't use the Spector much but b*gger me, what a sound. Alive and super clear with that grind coming through. Probably one of the nicest sounds I've heard. Very electric, grindy but so smooth and almost vocal.

I would like to try the small 1x15 TKS too. But I was so impressed by the TKS. Much cheaper than the other 2 cabinets but in no way a lesser cab. Fit and finish were as good as I've seen.

I would have a pair of the S112, probably both with tweaters but I would keep one turned off and one half on, in white, with a red front insert and a brown grill cloth.

It was great to Meet Molan and Vic. In case anyone goes in there, try the custom shop 50s Pbass with flats. Acoustically it's on fire and even strung with flats you can slap on it and it sounds/feels great. I didn't plug it in because I knew if I did, I would have been taking it home with me

Edited by police squad

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[quote name='Leslie77s' timestamp='1415304550' post='2599109']
Thank you very much is all I can say. FINALLY 100% decided. It's 2xS112 and a TH500 for me in the new year. That is that.
[/quote]

A VERY good choice. In fact I'm going to try JTUKs out on a gig. I love my Ampeg but I do worry about the reliabillty. This one I've had for 2 1/2 years and it's probably done upwards of 120 gigs and it's been fine. (the first one went pop on about the 5th gig)

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The more I read about these TKS cabs the more it looks like I`ll have to get myself one. As I`ve a Barefaced Super 12T on the way, it will probably be a 112 so that I`ve got a smaller rig available for when needed.

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You'll love the S12T Lozz - it's a massive sounding cab. Kinda sorry I sold mine, but my rig's getting smaller and smaller - I've gone for a Big Baby II now. Oh, and the handles are great... :lol:

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Great to hear that the cabinets get so much appreciation! It's very flattering that the S112 compares very well to cabinets around twice the price. The low price isn't because it's a low quality item, just that all the work that goes in to making it is charged at a very moderate level, even though it's made in Sweden, one of the more (or most?) expensive countries in Europe. The ceramic magnet speaker helps a bit over a neodymium one as well.

[quote name='molan' timestamp='1415361055' post='2599570']
I must admit I was surprised that they handled the low end volume so well given the, relatively, lower power rating compared to something like the Bergs (although it's the same as the Aguilars).
[/quote]

Even though the S112 is the cabinet in the product range that has the worst low end performance, it's still pretty good ;-) The power rating doesn't have a direct effect on how hard you can push a cabinet in the lows, it depends on the displacement/excursion capability. A 250W cabinet could deliver more clean lows at higher volume than a 600W cabinet, depending on the speakers and cabinet construction. Here's a quote from another reply:

[i]The power rating doesn't say anything about how loud the cabinet will go (how loud/deep you can play without the speaker distorting). The power rating is an indication of how resistant the speaker is to heat failure, and to bass players, that isn't really an important issue. The average power for a bass signal is lower than for example the PA signal which contains sound of the full band, and it's mainly the average power that creates the heat the RMS rating refers to.

What's much more interesting for bass players is how far the speaker cone can travel without distorting, and how much air is moved (displacement). This (combined with cabinet sensitivity and amplifier power) is what really decides how low/loud you can play. You could have two different 600W speakers, both able to take the same amount of average power without failing, but one having large displacement, and the other one a much smaller displacement. The small displacement speaker would start sounding bad when turning up the volume, while the high displacement speaker would continue to deliver at higher volumes, even though they both are rated 600W.[/i]

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Thanks for the reviews - TKS seem to be the new benchmark for 12" cabs :)[size=4] [/size]

I would like to know how the 1126 compares to the S112, particularly in it's deep bass performance.
I'm considering a pair for my dub reggae band and I don't need any treble or upper mids.

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1415366555' post='2599643']
You'll love the S12T Lozz - it's a massive sounding cab. Kinda sorry I sold mine, but my rig's getting smaller and smaller - I've gone for a Big Baby II now. Oh, and the handles are great... :lol:
[/quote]

I hope so Muzz, I`ve also got an Aguilar Tonehammer 500 sorted as well - used that paring at the SE Bass Bash last Sat and was great.

And don`t mention the handles, I did once but I think i got away with it...............................

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[quote name='redstriper' timestamp='1415370178' post='2599701']
Thanks for the reviews - TKS seem to be the new benchmark for 12" cabs :)

I would like to know how the 1126 compares to the S112, particularly in it's deep bass performance.
I'm considering a pair for my dub reggae band and I don't need any treble or upper mids.
[/quote]

I've spent a bit of time with both.... this is all in IMO / IME:

The 1126 feels like a compact one-cab solution. It's a bit bigger than the S112, and will certainly go louder than a single S112.

It's 'wider' sounding than the S112 - inherently bigger lows and more highs. That's not to say it's mid-scooped, mind.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1415371365' post='2599710']
I've spent a bit of time with both.... this is all in IMO / IME:
[/quote]

Thanks, I would love to try the 1126, it sounds ideal for my needs and 2 should cover me for all venues.
They are considerably more expensive than the S112, but I need clean, deep bass at volume.

It's a shame Bassgear is so far away, maybe Tommy will find someone further north to also stock some demos -
Eg. [url="http://greatbritishbasslounge.com/"]http://greatbritishbasslounge.com/[/url] (hint hint) ;)

.

Edited by redstriper

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[quote name='redstriper' timestamp='1415371917' post='2599717']
Thanks, I would love to try the 1126, it sounds ideal for my needs and 2 should cover me for all venues.
They are considerably more expensive than the S112, but I need clean, deep bass at volume.

It's a shame Bassgear is so far away, maybe Tommy will find someone further north to also stock some demos -
Eg. [url="http://greatbritishbasslounge.com/"]http://greatbritishbasslounge.com/[/url] (hint hint) ;)

.
[/quote]

Yep - I'm pretty sure two would give you all the clean bass you need!

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The 1126 goes lower than the S112, but needs more power to be equally loud. When they are equally loud, the deeper low end of the 1126 is much more apparent than when comparing at the exact same volume setting on the amplifier.

The 1126 will also go louder if you have enough amplifier power. With limited amplifier power, the S112 will be the louder cabinet because of the higher sensitivity ("volume per watt"), but if you have say a 1000W amplifier, the 1126 pair will keep on delivering after the S112 pair starts breaking up (which is already quite loud!) So, which one will be louder depends on the amplifier being used.

The 1126 is the better choice if the goal is clean, deep lows at high volumes, especially when paired to a powerful amplifier. There's a price jump due to more expensive components in the 1126.

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Thanks Tommy.
I need to compare the 1126 with the S112 - the former being more than double the price of the latter.
I like the idea of the smaller, lighter and cheaper S112, but I'm concerned it may not be suitable for my reggae needs.
Tone is so subjective and I may not need the extra depth of the 1126.
I don't add any bass EQ on my amp ([size=4]Markbass LM11) with my current 15" Flite cabs.[/size]
[size=4]Steve.[/size]

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Ok, I'll chip in with regards to the 1126 and S112. We tried the 1126 as it would have been rude not to
but I repeat, we did not give any cab any help whatsoever with EQ from the amp so in some ways
not the fairest of tests, but that was what we did, rightly or wrongly. I also don't want to promote one above the
other, only pass on our observations as they came to us.
The 1126 is a bigger cab and voiced differently to the S112. It had a mid range speaker( 6" ) and a horn
and a top handle, not a strap. This seemed very sensible ( I prefer handles to straps myself ) but the weight
was perfectlly acceptable and balanced. This is the best way to carry this cab and I thought the egonomics of all this
was well thought thru. This ethic also spread thru to other little touches which whilst not rocket science, shows
that the cab maker knows what he is doing and what he wants.
The 1126 was a bigger cab and bigger sound and whilst it had the seperation you'd expect from a 3-way, the S112 had this uncanny
clear hi-mid type clarity which was odd to me as at a decent volume this chassis is having to cover a lot of tonal ground.
The trade-off was it wasn't as deep as the 1126... and I guess the box was the limiter on this, but I never felt I wanted any more lows.
I don't want the sound to try and go deep and come up with mud.. I ran a pwerful signal off a 5 string and it handled it all.
We even thru in the ceiling shaking +15db just to see, so whilst it wasn't so much there inherrently, you could dial it in
and it would take it. I have my reservations about who could gig this S112 as a single cab, but I'd apply that to the SL112 as well.
Maybe less so with the CN112 but then I wouldn't expect that myself anyway..or rather, I woukld always have it in mind to run two.
Having said that Martin Policesquad said he was demo'ing a single S112 at around gig levels anyway and the nice clean breakup of the chassis, to my ears, is something he really liked. As he says..our sound goals are quite different but his P-Bass sounded great with a single cab and the low boost in on his amp, so I guess many will have no qualms about taking one to small gigs with a rock band. I wouldn't and couldn't as it wouldn't cover me...but then I don't put anything like the signal into the cab with my lighter playing style.
Since me playting with a single isn't something I'd do, the question of whether it could or couldn't is moot anyway.
I would also agree that many wouldn't need the horn added as the cab speaks very well for that not to be required.
Martin tried it with his Spector active and it was way too bright, but it is fun to try these things.

The 1126 is a better one cab solution, IMO... as it went deeper and filtered out the higher register through its other higher freq speakers/horns and it would likely do it louder as the S112 would break up in a musical way, It depends if you want this from the S112,
I wouldn't....so using 2 would negate this, IMO. I would also say, my style didn't get that break up in the first place whereas Martin was
positively going for it...
I did like the 1126 a lot and loved the vintage styling but I have those basses covered in my current cabs so we went back to the 112 cabs.

I could happily own all 3 cabs in our little demo... my decision is whether to sell my Berg AE112's for them.
So, on this criteria, I think the Bergs were the prettiest/most stylish and best overall quality, followed by the understated SL112's and then
the S112's..but maybe the 'low' marking for the TKS was because the snakeskin really didn't work for me... sorry, Barrie :lol:

If you were going for only sound, then I could make them all work, and the SL were smooth and therefore nudges ahead in the ranking
altho the TKS did have this upper clarity which I keep coming back to... I wouldn't pay the CN new price for a B rig over my AE112's as the TH500 has given those cabs a reprieve.

Finally, the S112's were around £200 cheaper even with full custom options ( IIRC ) and that makes them the winner for me.
But because I can be such a finnicky buyer, I still haven't put in my order with Phil at Bassgear..???

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Also, what I would say is that currently the shop has CN112's, SL112's and S112's in stock.
They have some very interesting ATS 10" cabs which I really wish we had the time to try,
plus they had the 1126 x 2 and some GK112's which Barrie could ID.
They also have a few 212's as well, iirc
And that is without getting into the basses.... and they have them all.
Lull, Sadowsky's, Fodera's, Ritters.... etc etc etc etc.

[b]Give Phil a call and check out what they have in stock [/b]for your visit as it is very rare, IME to have all this
sexy kit in the same place at the same time.

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[quote name='redstriper' timestamp='1415370178' post='2599701']
Thanks for the reviews - TKS seem to be the new benchmark for 12" cabs :)

I would like to know how the 1126 compares to the S112, particularly in it's deep bass performance.
I'm considering a pair for my dub reggae band and I don't need any treble or upper mids.
[/quote]

Just my 2p... I would talk this through with TKS as I don't think the S112's would have enough
low end for a dub reggae band. I don't pretend to know what the tone goals would really be but
at a guess I'd think the S112's wouldn't be it.

I think they are great little cabs but you have to be reasonable or realistic with your expectations.
I don't think the CN112 or SL112 would be it either tbh... and the engineering of the 1126 would probably
have too much higher end that may not be used..? ...but I'd be thinking these are your start-off type of cabs
or even something with 15's...??

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Thanks JTUK.

I have been in contact with Tommy at TKS and he agrees with your analysis that the 1126 would be best suited to my requirements.
He suggested that I don't need the 6" driver, which would save something on the price.
I only keep coming back to the S112 because it is so much cheaper, lighter and smaller.
[size=4]And it gets such good reviews on here [/size] :)

I currently use a pair of small lightweight 15s and they are fine really.
I have tried lots of 12" cabs including Berg and Aguilar and I haven't liked any of them as much as my 15s.
It was trying an ACME low B 12" cab that started me thinking of changing, it sounded so deep and smooth.
But the ACME isn't available in the UK, it's heavier and very expensive with import duty etc.

Edited by redstriper

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