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Al Krow

Vanderkley are better than Barefaced cabs, right?!

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1499867637' post='3334168']
If you go to bass direct I'm only 15 mins away and have a bf BT2 you're more than welcome to try. Also some berg ae210s which I might be getting rid of..
[/quote]

That sounds great, thanks! I've been planning a trip with Osiris for a little while as he is also local to Bass Direct, so we should definitely link up nearer the time. I'll pm you to set something up (probably in Sept when we're all back from various hols). If you also join us at BD we can maybe do a three person joint review of the different cabs and report back? "The definitive BCers guide" :)

Edited by Al Krow

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my thoughts. At this price level i dont think its a case of whats better, but what sounds better to your ears.
As some know ive had two BF cabs, a Retro 210 and BB2. Both very good cabs, but once the novelty wore off i found neither worked for me. I read all the tech stuff on the BF website, and was convinced i had found my last ever cab in the BB2. As it turns out i found it lacking a lot of what i was expecting, although at no point did it ever sound bad or lacking enough to do the job. It just didnt offer the tone i wanted. Since i got rid of it and got a Vanderkely 1x15 ive never had cause to complain.
As others have said, you really need to try both and not rely on specs or blurb, as you can end up with not getting the tone you want, no matter how much money you throw at it.

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1499955085' post='3334799']
As others have said, you really need to try both and not rely on specs or blurb, as you can end up with not getting the tone you want, no matter how much money you throw at it.
[/quote]

Yep - horses for courses. It took me years to realise I didn't want a cab that sounded like a big studio monitor. I wanted it to sound like a classic bass cab.

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Yup, try both in a live environment (i.e. at a gig), the only way to truly know which you prefer! Anything else is just other peoples preferences.

Si

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1499955398' post='3334803']
Yep - horses for courses. It took me years to realise I didn't want a cab that sounded like a big studio monitor. I wanted it to sound like a classic bass cab.
[/quote]

Same here. I found i wanted character, not just a clear tone.

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I totally agree with Dave. Just don't let anyone tell you what you should like. But back to the subject of robustness for just a minute.....

Surprising that people think a cabinet is sturdy just because they can sit upon it - or because it doesn't collapse in a heap when they put it in the boot of their car. Even my hi-fi speakers pass that test, and I certainly wouldn't take them out on the road. No - pro-equipment is supposed to be more rugged than that, especially equipment intended for a touring environment. Pro gear should withstand shock, vibration and temperature extremes - and still keep on working. Dropping a cabinet on concrete (especially on the corners) is normally sufficient to separate the wheat from the chaff.

Not everyone is bothered about having bombproof gear, but if ruggedness is a concern, buy a cabinet made from 18mm birch and accept that it will not be light. There are plenty available from the likes of EBS, Ashdown, Mesa Boogie, Bergantino, Aguilar, etc. If you buy a cab made out of 9mm poplar, it will be much lighter, but don't kid yourself (or others) that will also be rugged, even if you have put it in your boot 200 times. For many people the sensible solution will lie somewhere between the extremes. There is lots of choice out there and only you know what your priorities are. You have to live with it.

The Vanderkley NeoLites seem to use a combination of poplar and birch ply, the latter most likely for the baffle. That's a very sensible engineering choice for a lightweight design IMO, because the weight penalty of using birch on the baffle is relatively small and the benefits considerable. They're not the only bass cab manufacturer to do this.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1499955398' post='3334803']
Yep - horses for courses. It took me years to realise I didn't want a cab that sounded like a big studio monitor. I wanted it to sound like a classic bass cab.
[/quote]

Your prerogative. I want a big f*off studio monitor sound. Doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, or vice versa.

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1499957589' post='3334832']
Your prerogative. I want a big f*off studio monitor sound. Doesn't mean I'm right and you're wrong, or vice versa.
[/quote]

What an odd response to a completely non-judgemental comment...

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Nothing odd about it at all. I didn't consider your comment to be judgemental. I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, WoT. That is, when it comes to sound, we don't all look for the same thing - nor should we. (Maybe I should spent more time crafting my messages). :)

Edited by stevie

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[quote name='stevie' timestamp='1499957886' post='3334837']
Nothing odd about it at all. I didn't consider your comment to be judgemental. I think you misunderstood what I was trying to say, WoT. That is, when it comes to sound, we don't all look for the same thing - nor should we. (Maybe I should spent more time crafting my messages). :)
[/quote]

Quite :-)

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[quote name='wateroftyne' timestamp='1499957680' post='3334834']
What an odd response to a completely non-judgemental comment...
[/quote]Apart from the implied expletive it seems balanced to me. re-write it "You like A, I like B does not mean either is right or wrong."

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1499955085' post='3334799']
my thoughts. At this price level i dont think its a case of whats better, but what sounds better to your ears.
As some know I've had two BF cabs, a Retro 210 and BB2. Both very good cabs, but once the novelty wore off I found neither worked for me. I read all the tech stuff on the BF website, and was convinced i had found my last ever cab in the BB2. As it turns out i found it lacking a lot of what i was expecting, although at no point did it ever sound bad or lacking enough to do the job. It just didn't offer the tone i wanted. Since I got rid of it and got a Vanderkely 1x15 ive never had cause to complain.
As others have said, you really need to try both and not rely on specs or blurb, as you can end up with not getting the tone you want, no matter how much money you throw at it.
[/quote]

That's really interesting as someone who has tried out both a BB2 (one of my shortlist cabs) and a VK cab in a rehearsal and gigging situation over a period of time. Can I push you on this just a bit more please - as it will give me a bit of a steer on what to listen out for? What was it about the BF that didn't quite cut it? Was it just too transparent (dare I say "sterile") / studio monitor like for you? How does the VK differ?

I'm just wondering whether the tonal analogy of a MB combo (transparent) and Mesa combo (creamy / rich) might be a good one and help me to aurally "visualise" the point you're getting at? Fyi - I love the Mesa for home use practising, when it's just me, but the MB cuts it just fine in a band context (and frankly at 80lbs the Mesa combo is not getting a look in when it comes to being carted about! But for me it's nevertheless a keeper...)

And Stevie, I agree with you (I suspect we all do) that when it comes to tone there is no "right" answer!

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1499965276' post='3334887']
That's really interesting as someone who has tried out both a BB2 (one of my shortlist cabs) and a VK cab in a rehearsal and gigging situation over a period of time. Can I push you on this just a bit more please - as it will give me a bit of a steer on what to listen out for? What was it about the BF that didn't quite cut it? Was it just too transparent (dare I say "sterile") / studio monitor like for you? How does the VK differ?

I'm just wondering whether the tonal analogy of a MB combo (transparent) and Mesa combo (creamy / rich) might be a good one and help me to aurally "visualise" the point you're getting at? Fyi - I love the Mesa for home use practising, when it's just me, but the MB cuts it just fine in a band context (and frankly at 80lbs the Mesa combo is not getting a look in when it comes to being carted about! But for me it's nevertheless a keeper...)

And Stevie, I agree with you (I suspect we all do) that when it comes to tone there is no "right" answer!
[/quote]

At some point you're going to have trust your own ears :D

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[quote name='markstuk' timestamp='1499965467' post='3334889']
At some point you're going to have trust your own ears :D
[/quote]

Yes indeed, but I'm not going to have the luxury of trying out both cabs over a period of months in a live situation before deciding, so if one of my fellow BCers has already done so then it would be churlish not to hear what he has to say on the matter, to get a steer, before parting with the best part of £1k?

One other key point, following on from the comments above, is that it seems to me if we have tonal colour coming from the amp head, the bass and choice of PUPs (and a possible plethora of pedals) wouldn't we want our cabs to be pretty transparent, anyway? Is that a controversial statement?

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1499965276' post='3334887']


That's really interesting as someone who has tried out both a BB2 (one of my shortlist cabs) and a VK cab in a rehearsal and gigging situation over a period of time. Can I push you on this just a bit more please - as it will give me a bit of a steer on what to listen out for? What was it about the BF that didn't quite cut it? Was it just too transparent (dare I say "sterile") / studio monitor like for you? How does the VK differ?

I'm just wondering whether the tonal analogy of a MB combo (transparent) and Mesa combo (creamy / rich) might be a good one and help me to aurally "visualise" the point you're getting at? Fyi - I love the Mesa for home use practising, when it's just me, but the MB cuts it just fine in a band context (and frankly at 80lbs the Mesa combo is not getting a look in when it comes to being carted about! But for me it's nevertheless a keeper...)

And Stevie, I agree with you (I suspect we all do) that when it comes to tone there is no "right" answer!
[/quote]

It's hard to say what I didn't like about the BB2, but if i have to say something then it was the strong low end and neutral minds. Probably not the best way to describe it though. Actiually, I'd say the BB2 was like a neck pup on a Jazz, and the Vanderkley more like a P bass. I should also add that i had spent the previous 6-7 years using a Schroeder 1212L, so was used to hearing mids.

The BB2 had a very powerful low end, but i missed hearing the mids as i wanted to hear them. Yes, a bit sterile I suppose. I wanted a cab that would colour my tone in a way that i wanted it to. When i first got the BB2 i was amazed with it. Clean, loud and very light. It could have covered every gig i had, and was working fine for a while, but i just missed something. On wooden stages (even with a Gramma pad) the very low end was quite powerful, but could be overbearing if the stage wasn't up to low end. These were gigs i had done before with other rigs so i was used to the room etc. Even at rehearsals i found i was starting to use the studios old cabs more, as they too produced a tone i liked more. One thing i will say, in no way does a BB2 come anywhere near an old Peavy 410 cab, even though its advertised as matching some of the best 410's out there.

The Vanderkley was a gamble as I didn't know anyone else's with one, and brought it un tried from Bass Direct.. From the off it was just what i wanted. Not quite as deep as the BB2, but the mids were clearer and a bit more prominent at gig levels. The top end is a bit lacking if you like sparkle, the BB2 has an amazingly clear top end. The tweeter on the Vanderkley is a bit useless really, but I wasn't getting it for a piano tone. ITs ok if you slap but all i really hear is a boost in the very high end, so not quite a treble boost, more an emphasis on the click acspect of pick playing if that makes sense. It's not a problem though as the 15" driver is very clear and solid sounding.

Actually, forget all that, it was the red trim that made me change cabs lol.

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Really helpful, thanks Dave. Did the cab not respond to you boosting the mids on the amp / pre-amp? Which amp heads were you using it with?

I have to 'fess, if I am being shallow and purely going on looks (and none of us have ever had our heads turned just by looks have we? :)) the Vanderkley wins hands down; to me the BF cabs are some of the least "pretty" cabs on the market especially without the silver cloth grille; but as my BCers have told me more than once, on stage who's looking at your cab anyway? Well I did stand and stare in awe at an Aguilar 8x10 rig at a gig recently...so maybe it's just me!

[attachment=249031:Rig - Miles Mosley.jpg]

[Miles Mosley's rig at the Jazz Cafe in London]

Edited by Al Krow

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1499969450' post='3334919']
Really helpful, thanks Dave. Did the cab not respond to you boosting the mids on the amp / pre-amp? Which amp heads were you using it with?

I have to 'fess, if I am being shallow and purely going on looks (and none of us have ever had our heads turned just by looks have we? :)) the Vanderkley wins hands down; to me the BF cabs are some of the least "pretty" cabs on the market especially without the silver cloth grille; but as my BCers have told me more than once, on stage who's looking at your cab anyway? Well I did stand and stare in awe at an Aguilar 8x10 rig at a gig recently...so maybe it's just me!
[/quote]

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.

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1499968848' post='3334915']
Yes indeed, but I'm not going to have the luxury of trying out both cabs over a period of months in a live situation before deciding, so if one of my fellow BCers has already done so then it would be churlish not to hear what he has to say on the matter, to get a steer, before parting with the best part of £1k?

One other key point, following on from the comments above, is that it seems to me if we have tonal colour coming from the amp head, the bass and choice of PUPs (and a possible plethora of pedals) wouldn't we want our cabs to be pretty transparent, anyway? Is that a controversial statement?
[/quote]

Again it depends on your ears and tastes ... I prefer an uncoloured cab, other people prefer cabs with s specific tonal character... Apart from that you can't really judge cabs in isolation... Whether you go VK, TKS, BF or Berg, you're probably not going to be disappointed, but your fingers, your bass, your signal chain, your preamp and power combinations also have a huge influence.. Plus people playing your gear sound different to you playing it (usually better it appears, although they seem to think the opposite).. Buy a decent cab secondhand, then if it does not suit, move it on if you think it is the problem...

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Some very sensible advice coming through finally. Lots of good points in that last post by Markstuk.

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I got confused early on in this thread when reference was made to BF cabs. Thought you meant Bill Fitzmaurice cabs! I was just about to start raving about my Jacks!

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[quote name='Chopthebass' timestamp='1500058521' post='3335444']
I got confused early on in this thread when reference was made to BF cabs. Thought you meant Bill Fitzmaurice cabs! I was just about to start raving about my Jacks!
[/quote]

Well if Bill's cabs meet the criteria I mentioned earlier (portable - ideally < 40lbs, power handling > 800W RMS, price < £1K and finally, but of course, great sounding) and they are available in the UK then please feel free to rave about your Jacks! I've only shortlisted the VKs and Barefaced as they seem to be the two makes that seem to hit the sweet spot with what I was looking for.

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Al I think you'll end up with great cabs whoever you decide to go with.

This thread isn't about the Jacks, but FYI they are self build cabs. Anyone can buy his plans. My two Jack12's meet and exceed your criteria!

Anyway, back to the thread!

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[quote name='Chopthebass' timestamp='1500058521' post='3335444']
I got confused early on in this thread when reference was made to BF cabs. Thought you meant Bill Fitzmaurice cabs! I was just about to start raving about my Jacks!
[/quote]

I don't think it's unreasonable to throw them into the mix. From what I've heard (though the online grapevine, sadly not in person) they're pretty phenomenal. And if the price is right there's potentially the option of building them and then getting someone like Zilla Cabs to make em look pretty, with change to spare vs the equivalent Barefaced/Vanderkley? Just hypothesising as I have no idea how much Jacks cost to make!

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I've got a Vanderkley 12EXT and a barefaced compact (15") and some days I prefer the BF and others the Van. Both top quality cabs and both look fantastic but the Van is just over half the size of the BF. The only downside to the BF is it can get a bit too boomy for my liking, but I figure that's down to the 15" driver. Downside to the Van is that it can be quite coloured, which like I said on some days I like and others I don't.

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