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Al Krow

Vanderkley are better than Barefaced cabs, right?!

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='Sammybass' timestamp='1500494353' post='3338287']
Hello all - I'm hoping someone can give me some advice.

I currently run a TC Electronic BH800 into a Barefaced Super Twin. I love the amp, and at 4 ohms I get the full juice which is great as I play in quite a loud rock covers band. For some time though, I've been missing a bit of 'zing' that I think the Super Twin might be lacking. I play a Precision which punches through the mix brilliantly, but I find my Jazz gets lost in rehearsals.

What clinched it recently was when we played a small festival last weekend. I had to play through an old Trace Elliot 4x10 combo and it sounded.....AMAZING!! Really punchy and gritty (and more hi-fi at the same time) and the band (and me) totally loved it!

So my question is - what do I do? I'm sure that at a year old, I can probably sell my Super Twin for a decent amount (they're £900 delivered). So do I need to go back to a 4x10?

What I love about the Barefaced...

It's really loud
It's really light
It's not too big (fits into the back of my Mini easily)
It's 4ohms so gets the most from my amp

Can anyone give me any advice? I don't really want to go back to heavy 4x10's

Thanks, Sam
[/quote]

Hi Sam...I'm going to refer you to this thread. I'm just wondering if the answer to your Q is going to be a Vanderkley 210 LNT 4 ohms? I don't have one...yet, but I suspect from what you are saying it could be what you're looking for - kinda seems like you have similar concerns to that experienced by Dave (see #93 above)? Edited by Al Krow

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You have to remember though Al that the Big baby and Supertwin are different cabs, so it's not quite the same as the earlier post, but I still take the valid point that there are alternatives that may do the job for his ears

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Posted (edited)
I have one of the new Vanderkley 2x10's, and I also have a BF compact.

For me, it's totally horses for courses. I personally prefer the Vanderkley, but that's mostly because the sound suits what I personally like.

The VK is more 'Hifi' as some have said, and for me it's a bit more articulate, clearer, and cuts through the mix a bit more.

However, I really think it depends on the amp and bass choice as much as anything else.

I have an EICH 1000w head - it loves the VK, but just sounds a bit non-descript through the BF. The Markbass amps I have though, they love the BF but through the VK sound a bit too heavy.

Similarly, I'm a P bass guy - it's my sound, and it's the sound I like - the P sounds great through the EICH and VK cab, but I'm sure a different bass would sound better through a different combo.

And if we go down this route further - 90% of my playing is daddario chromes and fingerstyle - again, suits the EICH and VK really nicely, but if I was a picker or a slapper? I suspect a different combo would suit better.

No amp cab combo is necessarily better than another - it's about what you are after tonally that counts. Edited by Bridgehouse

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[quote name='Bridgehouse' timestamp='1501419193' post='3344535']
No amp cab combo is necessarily better than another - it's about what you are after tonally that counts.
[/quote]

[quote name='Cuzzie' timestamp='1501431011' post='3344626']
Nice reply
[/quote]

It is is a really nicely balanced reply, I agree. But it's also a sweeping generalisation and I'm gonna come off the fence and say I can't agree that its correct, as much as I would like to :) Otherwise we would all be content with a TC BG250 115 combo (or something of similar quality and price) and spend £350 and be done with it, rather than recognising that there are, for sure, gradations of quality and price and what makes for a good "starter" combo (that TC BG250 was mine) is typically not going to compete with kit that is 3 or 4 times the price? For sure which are the "best" / most loved bits of kit are going to be subjective, but I'm also sure we can all [i]objectively[/i] agree that e.g. a bottom end Warwick Rockbass made from pine (aka "carolena") is not going to be anywhere tonally as good as a German Custom Streamer Stage II? And similarly with amps and cabs, right?

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501448010' post='3344756']




It is is a really nicely balanced reply, I agree. But it's also a sweeping generalisation and I'm gonna come off the fence and say I can't agree that its correct, as much as I would like to :) Otherwise we would all be content with a TC BG250 115 combo (or something of similar quality and price) and spend £350 and be done with it, rather than recognising that there are, for sure, gradations of quality and price and what makes for a good "starter" combo (that TC BG250 was mine) is typically not going to compete with kit that is 3 or 4 times the price? For sure which are the "best" / most loved bits of kit are going to be subjective, but I'm also sure we can all [i]objectively[/i] agree that e.g. a bottom end Warwick Rockbass made from pine (aka "carolena") is not going to be anywhere tonally as good as a German Custom Streamer Stage II? And similarly with amps and cabs, right?
[/quote]

You're not actually disagreeing with me....

Sure, it might seem like a generalised answer, but actually it's not.

Us bass players are very lucky - we have a lot of kit to choose from, and manufacturers are always pushing the boundary.

On a basic level, some kit will be better than others - build quality, reliability, ability to cut through a mix and achieve a certain volume, and of course the base ability to amplify a tone well and in a pleasing way.

What I was trying to say was that once you get past a certain level of quality, gear tends to be around personal preference rather than a "top trumps" style "what is the best?" Chart.

I love precision basses - I have a 64 P with the widest neck you could imagine with a silky smooth braz rw board and a thumpy tone that _for me_ gives me the most pleasure I have ever had playing a bass.

I've played a 64 Jazz - and it was horrid - I hated it. Thin neck, honky tone and it left me cold. I listened to someone else play it and it sounded wonderful.

When I bought the EICH head, I tried the VK cab, and also tried a Bergantino - I personally didn't like the berg at all - just didn't like the tone. Others love them, and they help to capture their own preference of tone. Does that mean that the VK is better? No. For me - yes, for someone else? No.

And herein lies what I was saying. If I were to generalise, we could end up with a "top ten cabs" list by consensus and recommend people only buy the top one. I mean, why would you not?

And the fact is, I'd love to gig with an Ampeg 8x10 and a big fat valve head - but it wouldn't fit in the car, it's impractical to get up stairs, and it's huge and wouldn't fit on some of the stages I play on.

Here's an interesting thought to leave you with - I played at the YNOT festival on Friday - it was cancelled yesterday due to the weather - when I arrived I had to wade through mud and rain to get to the venue we were playing in.

I am very glad I didn't have to take my VK cab, or my BF cab - it would have been wrecked by the mud and rain. I took a partscaster bass and a tuner. That was it. The house bass amp was a carlsbro combo DI'd to the PA.

It was one of the best gigs I've played all year - the crowd were absolutely epic, and how did the bass sound? Flipping epic. It was a huge thumping sound and chugged along brilliantly.

Just goes to show huh?

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Cheers for that. [i]Once[/i] you get passed a certain level of quality, I certainly wouldn't want to disagree with what you are saying. But regarding your final bit of the story and before folk go running off to buy a Carsbro (if Calsberg made bass amps right? :)) I think you're just saying that the festival PA system was the business and the festival goers loved it (and you!) Btw, who are your band and do you have any recent footage of you playing with your EICH and VK?

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501481461' post='3344853']
Cheers for that. [i]Once[/i] you get passed a certain level of quality, I certainly wouldn't want to disagree with what you are saying. But regarding your final bit of the story and before folk go running off to buy a Carsbro (if Calsberg made bass amps right? :)) I think you're just saying that the festival PA system was the business and the festival goers loved it (and you!) Btw, who are your band and do you have any recent footage of you playing with your EICH and VK?
[/quote]

Funnily enough, we were lucky with the PA. My point was that unless you are playing a gig where you supply your own backline and it's small enough to stand alone, you're often at the mercy of what's there when you turn up, and the quality of the PA (and of course the soundman!)

As someone who gigs all sorts of places, I've developed a multi- use solution - I have a good amp and cab combo when I'm in control, and then I use a DI box/preamp if I'm at the mercy of others so I have some semblance of control!

Band is called Chris Moody & The Underground Kings - there's videos on the web if you search - some are with the VK and EICH head - however, as above, sometimes you are hearing a recorded output from the PA rather than the amp and cab!!

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501448010' post='3344756']
It is is a really nicely balanced reply, I agree. But it's also a sweeping generalisation and I'm gonna come off the fence and say I can't agree that its correct, as much as I would like to :) Otherwise we would all be content with a TC BG250 115 combo (or something of similar quality and price) and spend £350 and be done with it, rather than recognising that there are, for sure, gradations of quality and price and what makes for a good "starter" combo (that TC BG250 was mine) is typically not going to compete with kit that is 3 or 4 times the price? For sure which are the "best" / most loved bits of kit are going to be subjective, but I'm also sure we can all [i]objectively[/i] agree that e.g. a bottom end Warwick Rockbass made from pine (aka "carolena") is not going to be anywhere tonally as good as a German Custom Streamer Stage II? And similarly with amps and cabs, right?
[/quote]

Your original post was about Vanderkley and Barefaced cabs, and there's been a broad spread of opinion, all of which is personal, but there isn't a single post which would argue that they aren't amongst the very best choices around.

What you've asked, using your example above, is "Is a German Custom Streamer Stage II better than a German Custom Corvette?" And the answer, removing purely personal preferences, is still...no.

The question remains, and will remain, down to personal taste in tone and design, and therefore completely unresolvable.

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[quote name='Muzz' timestamp='1501503163' post='3345060']
What you've asked, using your example above, is "Is a German Custom Streamer Stage II better than a German Custom Corvette?" And the answer, removing purely personal preferences, is still...no.
[/quote]

Well, as the owner of a German Custom Corvette that is definitely a relief to hear (and I'll stop hankering after a Stremer Stage II with immediate effect) :)

I agree there has been a lot of positivity about both cabs and that alone has been very useful to have confirmed.

Reading through all the responses, if you pay particular attention to the BCers who have owned both, the VK has generally been the preferred choice of the two (which is of course interesting); with a little criticism forthcoming about the lack of mids from some of the BF cabs which provides a helpful steer to look out for. The BF cabs can't really be said to be "pretty" to the unbiased eye (Alex - please please note for your Gen 4 cabs) but they are wonderfully light.

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501505757' post='3345096']
[b] a little criticism forthcoming about the lack of mids from some of the BF cabs[/b] which provides a helpful steer to look out for. The BF cabs can't really be said to be "pretty" to the unbiased eye (Alex - please please note for your Gen 4 cabs) but they are wonderfully light.
[/quote]

I wanted to point out it was more a lack of mids how i prefer to hear them rather than just not there. Just so we are clear at least on my post in case war breaks out :-)

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501505757' post='3345096']
Reading through all the responses, if you pay particular attention to the BCers who have owned both[/quote]

But that is Muzz's point. Everyone else is telling you what [i]they[/i] think. Unless you know someone who exactly shares your taste and opinions then you can read a lot of reviews and you still won't know anything for definite. Dave Bass5 has a totally different take on Barefaced than I do. Nothing strange or unusual in that.

You can start as many threads as you like but in reality the differences between most cabs is small and in the midst of the noise of a band those differences will become even smaller. Buy a good cab and gig it. What ever your first choice is it will work as well as your second choice and even your third.

Get over to the Bass bash in Addlestone in September and in one place you'll hear more cabs than most bass players hear in a lifetime.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1501509451' post='3345142']


You can start as many threads as you like but in reality the differences between most cabs is small and in the midst of the noise of a band those differences will become even smaller. Buy a good cab and gig it. What ever your first choice is it will work as well as your second choice and even your third.


[/quote]


Agreed :)


With reference to the BF BB2, I now own the one that Dave bass5 was talking about. During the break at our last gig, a chap approached me, turns out he was a bass player, anyway, he said that my rig was the best he had ever heard. :)

I love the sound produced by my BB2, especially when it's driven quite hard.

The bass player in the audience loved it.

Another bass player at one of our gigs wasn't so keen on it.

It didn't work for Dave.



There you go absolute proof ...................of nothing at all :rolleyes:

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1501511024' post='3345152']
There you go absolute proof ...................of nothing at all [/quote]

+1000

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1501511024' post='3345152']
I love the sound produced by my BB2, especially when it's driven quite hard.[/quote]

I wasn't so fond of my BB2, but one thing I'll agree on. . . . my 2 SC's start to sound much better when driven harder.

I was using my Sadowsky when a guy came up and said, "The band sounds great. The bass sounds great. I'm not listening to the others, I'm just listening to that bass".

Again proof of not a lot, other than; get good gear (any gear, within reason), get the best sound you can coax out of it and you [i]will[/i] sound good. Play well and [i]that[/i] will be the difference, the thing that makes everyone sit up and take notice.

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1501505757' post='3345096']
The BF cabs can't really be said to be "pretty" to the unbiased eye (Alex - please please note for your Gen 4 cabs)
[/quote]

Another opinion.

I give up.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1501516047' post='3345188']
+1000
[/quote]

+1001

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[quote name='gary mac' timestamp='1501511024' post='3345152']
Agreed :)


With reference to the BF BB2, I now own the one that Dave bass5 was talking about. During the break at our last gig, a chap approached me, turns out he was a bass player, anyway, he said that my rig was the best he had ever heard. :)

I love the sound produced by my BB2, especially when it's driven quite hard.

The bass player in the audience loved it.

Another bass player at one of our gigs wasn't so keen on it.

It didn't work for Dave.



There you go absolute proof ...................of nothing at all :rolleyes:
[/quote]

And i think Gary gets an excellent tone with my old BB2, so even more confusing :-)

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1501518285' post='3345208']
And i think Gary gets an excellent tone with my old BB2, so even more confusing :-)
[/quote]

:lol:

Surely we're all done now, shall I just close this thread? :D

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1501517405' post='3345194']
Play well and [i]that[/i] will be the difference, the thing that makes everyone sit up and take notice.
[/quote]

Amen to that Chris! Couldn't agree more! Excellent gear makes a difference at the margin.

But it's a lot of fun and also educational to explore our "stuff", tone and sound with fellow bass players right? Otherwise we should get Gary to close down Basschat itself and not just this thread! :)

PS where / when is the bass bash in Addlestone? Edited by Al Krow

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Details in post #6

http://basschat.co.uk/topic/307602-south-east-bass-bash-2017-jubilee-high-school-addlestone-surrey-230917/

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Posted (edited)
[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1499970042' post='3334925'] No problem. Amp wise i was using a MarkBass F1 (had it for a god few years) and more recently a GK MB800. It wasn't an EQ issue as such, but i did find I couldn't adjust enough to get the character i wasnted. I felt by backing the low end off things got too thin. That's probably not what was really happening, but that's what it felt like. with the Vanderkley i had the tone i wanted i with the EQ pretty much flat. I too have to confess i thought the BB2 was a bit too small and boring to look at, like one of those cheap PA cabs in the window of Marlins. It's amazingly light, but i felt it was a bit too small to keep reaching down to adjust amp settings etc. Not a negative as such, but i like the idea of something with a bit more visual presence on stage, while still being small and light. The BB2 can easily be lifted with two fingers of one hand, its that light. The Vanderkley is definitely heavier but still carryable with one hand. I do wish i had tried one of the Vanderkley 212 cabs as well, i think that would have been even better, but I'm happy with the 1x15 and it will last me for a long time. [/quote]

Interesting, your comment about tone getting a bit thin if the bass is backed off. I experienced the same with my BB2 and GK MB800, it seemed to lack a bit of meat when bass was backed off, but was too heavy on the low end if the "bass" was left at 12 o'clock. I cured this (for me) on the BB2 with a Mesa d800. It can still be bass heavy sometimes if i'm stuck in the corner of a room, but i've found lifting it up on a chair reduces the bass tipup. Thinking about adding a supermidget for slighly less bottom. Like the Vanderkley 210LNT on paper, but it's just a bit bigger and heavier for my needs. Edited by MOSCOWBASS

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[quote name='MOSCOWBASS' timestamp='1501577556' post='3345569']


Interesting, your comment about tone getting a bit thin if the bass is backed off. I experienced the same with my BB2 and GK MB800, it seemed to lack a bit of meat when bass was backed off, but was too heavy on the low end if the "bass" was left at 12 o'clock. I cured this (for me) on the BB2 with a Mesa d800.
[/quote]

This is because the MB800 'all at 12 o'clock' setting is far from flat. There's a dip at 350hz, boost in the bass and even more boost in the treble frequencies. Add in the contour and it scoops even more mids out. With a cabinet that doesn't have a natural mid bias this can leave the tone lacking in warmth or not being organic. In a mix you won't cut through but may suffer from low end bloat. Turn the bass down to get rid of the bloat doesn't make you any more heard. Use a cabinet with boosted mids and things will start sounding clearer.

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I had my MarkBass F1 when i first got the BB2, so for me it wasn’t JUST the GK that was the problem.

I play with a pick most of the time and i do find that can sound a bit thin compared to finger style.

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I found another cabinet that didn't play ball with the MB800 too, but it's neither the fault of the cabinet or amp. It does depend on your entire signal chain too though. Playing flats through a vintage toned amp and black widow speakers will absolutely not reward you with a hifi tone. Similarly a cabinet with a flat response will only accentuate the scoop cooked in to an EQ.

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