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Vanderkley 112EXT v. Bergantino CN112

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I've been using a Berg CN112 for a couple of years now and have been very happy with it. I have a couple of outdoor gigs coming up soon and was looking to get another however they have been discontinued and rarely come up for sale used so I am considering selling the CN112 and getting a pair of Vanderkley 112EXT.

These have come out a my current preferred choice as they are light and front ported. I don't like cabs with rear ports, especially when used outdoors as I had a very bad experience with some Ashdown 4x8s many years ago and consequently have always avoided rear ported cabs.

Has anyone ever compared the EXT112 to a CN112? Also what is user experience of the 112EXT?

Alternatively what else is there that is small and light and will give a comparable sound?

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Apart from my very old Fender Bassman 100 and even older Dynacord rig my only experience is with VdK 112EXT.
I cannot compare to Berg but I can say that I'm very, very happy with my little light and powerfull 112EXT.
I only have one since I'm playing in a 3 pce band with no extreme volume requirements. Should I ever need more volume I would order another 112EXT no doubt.
It's not the cheapest cab but IMO it's certainly worth its money.

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I would go for the vanderkley, mainly because i like the larger cabinet giving the speakers room to move, and like you, i like front ported cabs

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I use 2 Vanderkley 112EXTs and I'm very impressed with them. They are very articulate but still with lots of bottom end. I use either my DB751 or my PF800 through them. They are also very light, which is a real bonus when loading in and out involves flights of stairs or a fair walk to and from the car! The fact that they have handles on both sides encourages me to use both hands to lift them (although a one-handed lift is easy). I tore my shoulder doing a one-handed lift with a heavier cab that I once owned (ouch!).
In short you wouldn't be disappointed with them.

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[quote name='petergales' timestamp='1497888135' post='3321144']
I use 2 Vanderkley 112EXTs and I'm very impressed with them. They are very articulate but still with lots of bottom end. I use either my DB751 or my PF800 through them. They are also very light, which is a real bonus when loading in and out involves flights of stairs or a fair walk to and from the car! The fact that they have handles on both sides encourages me to use both hands to lift them (although a one-handed lift is easy). I tore my shoulder doing a one-handed lift with a heavier cab that I once owned (ouch!).
In short you wouldn't be disappointed with them.
[/quote]

I'd like to try 751 with with my MNT212. I've used various micro amps with mine and i prefer it with my Glockenklang. It is only a 600w rated cab, but the man himself said it'll work well with more. It's such a big sounding cab, I think it suits a heftier amp.
I very tentatively put it up for sale, but am considering withdrawing it.

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Thanks for the responses. Seems like a pair of 112EXTs is a good idea however I've decided that it is difficult to justifying the outlay on a new pair of VK just for the occasional gig. In the end I've opted for a used Berg EX112 from another BCer. It'll be interesting to see how well the cabs work together. About 10 years ago I used an Epifani UL112 with a T-112, a similar arrangement of Neo and non-Neo and that worked really well. It's a shame that the EX112 isn't just a bit lighter.

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[quote name='[email protected]' timestamp='1497894879' post='3321187']
I'd like to try 751 with with my MNT212. I've used various micro amps with mine and i prefer it with my Glockenklang. It is only a 600w rated cab, but the man himself said it'll work well with more. It's such a big sounding cab, I think it suits a heftier amp.
I very tentatively put it up for sale, but am considering withdrawing it.
[/quote]

You're welcome to try it any time. PM me and I'll put the kettle on!

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[quote name='Old Horse Murphy' timestamp='1497896053' post='3321196']
You're more than welcome to borrow one of my CN112's Dave. I don't need it for a while, so no rush.
[/quote]

Thanks for the offer Nick but I think I'm sorted for now. I've just got a couple of outdoor gigs coming up in August that will need a bit more oomph. ;)

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Bit late, but I'm fairly sure that the CN112 and 112EXT use the same 12" driver. So they should sound very similar.

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Yes, I do believe both cabs use a variant of the faital pro 12 pr 300

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20 hours ago, ebenezer said:

Yes, I do believe both cabs use a variant of the faital pro 12 pr 300

 

On 14/07/2020 at 20:16, stevie said:

Bit late, but I'm fairly sure that the CN112 and 112EXT use the same 12" driver. So they should sound very similar.

Very true. Most of the better quality cabs use the same or similar drivers from the likes of Eminence and Faital. There are not that many high volume drive unit manufacturers in the world. The taste of the cabinet designer leads to (often minor) variations,  but the differences are rarely night and day. The same applies to amps, where so many use the same ICE or Hypex modules and what you hear are the designer's preferences in the preamp.

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Posted (edited)
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).

Edited by alexclaber

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On 07/08/2020 at 14:27, alexclaber said:

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).

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"?

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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"?

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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.

 

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Posted (edited)
21 hours ago, alexclaber said:

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.

Fair enough. I don't disbelieve you. I certainly don't have the knowledge of loudspeaker design that you do, but I do understand how manufacturing operates.

I am sure that you did your research thoroughly and put considerable effort into developing your drive units. However, my point was that the OEM driver manufacturers we referred to earlier (one of which makes your units) have R&D departments and are constantly striving to improve their own product in order to remain competitive. They will be aware of and will constantly examine competitors' product to see whether they can use or adapt any of their ideas to improve what they do. 

When company A makes an improvement to its product that gives it a competitive edge, companies B, C et al will act swiftly to develop their own equivalent. Unless something is genuinely revolutionary and protected by iron clad patents (even then, it can be difficult and often prohibitively expensive to pursue a case of plagiarism or patent infringement unless it is particularly blatant), there is nothing to prevent companies B, C et al from reverse engineering something similar.

They may even improve on the original development. For example, Honda released the first mass market hybrid car - the Insight - but Toyota improved on it and enjoyed much greater success with the Prius, which they launched a couple of years subsequently.

Whilst Toyota may not have directly copied Honda, they would certainly have examined their efforts thoroughly and used what they learned to improve/develop their own product. Everyone learns from and is inspired by others - "standing on the shoulders of giants" and all that.

When I first saw the rotating exploded diagram of one of your cabs that used to feature on your website, I immediately thought "B&W Nautilus". It reminded me of the cutaway Nautilus 801 cabinet - which employed an interlocking honeycomb construction of internal bracing to produce a rigid, acoustically inert cab that controlled internal reflections - that used to be on display in the hi-fi shop in North London that I use. This was before the days when B&W used moulded composite materials for their high end cabs and built with ply, mdf, etc.

I know you won't have directly copied a B&W design in developing your own cabs, but I'm sure you would have been aware of their work (their HQ is in sunny Worthing, just along  the south coast from you) and adapted it for your own purposes. That's a good thing. Using/building on a successful concept is an intelligent thing to do. It's the reason humanity isn't still living in burrows and hitting things with clubs.

I am not criticising your company or products (lest anyone claims I am). I have used your cabs, happily acknowledge how good they are and believe you deserve your success. However, there is rarely anything truly new under the sun.

Edited by Dan Dare

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Vanderkley cabs are the best I've ever played, easily.

Cabs are very personal choices though, it's all about how they process your fingers through your amp - you might be a Trickfish or Barefaced person, try 'em all, that's what I did anyway.

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