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Al Krow

Vanderkley are better than Barefaced cabs, right?!

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Take my opinion on cabs with a pinch of salt! Last time I was a gigging bassist I lived in London, playing on multiple band nights or rehearsal studios through whatever random backline was provided, rarely using my own gear. Also I haven't ever played through what you might consider a boutique cab before. What I do know is that my current sealed Ampeg cabs do the business for me, but I was after a bit more thump, clarity and power handling, which the Retro nails. I went in expecting to buy a Super Twin, but the sound of it was not for me.

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I genuinely don't get the lack of mids thing, there are plenty on offer with the 12" cabs!

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Of course trying a cab out in a shop is hardly the best test, especially when both mentioned cabs were at either end of said shop! It could well have been room resonance making the SC too boomy.

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[quote name='Cuzzie' timestamp='1506248920' post='3377264']
[url="https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.talkbass.com/threads/barefaced-super-twin-vs-glockenklang-double.1270147/%3famp=1487848988"]https://www.google.c...famp=1487848988[/url]

Different view point saying no lack of mids......plus some other opinions.

Ask a hundred bass players, get a hundred answers....!
[/quote]

Just to add that I would disagree with the lack of mids on BF Compact (gen 2) or BIg Baby 2 (Gen 3), both of which I owned and also Super Midget (Gen 3) which I had the pleasure to try. I do prefer the Two10, but it's got nothing to do with a 'scooped' sound on the others. To me the others sound big and full and pretty 'flat' in that I don't feel there's particular frequencies they obviously lack or enhance.
The Two10 just has a 'sweeter' top end for my liking (I hate describing sounds, whatever I say just doesn't sound accurate enough), and the bottom end is 'tighter' in a way I really like. I just find the bass sound I like [1] a lot more easily with the Two10.

[1] Using MarkBass LM3 or Mesa D800+, and Stingray usually. I love a punchy low-mids rich sound that is fat but with very good definition and without excess bottom end (in fact, the adjustable HPF control on the D800+ has become my new best friend).

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[quote name='Merton' timestamp='1506255853' post='3377329']
I genuinely don't get the lack of mids thing, there are plenty on offer with the 12" cabs!
[/quote]

Indeed.

The BB2 in particular will just give you LOTS of whatever you put in. There's an enormous amount of low end on tap, right up to shrill treble if that's what you're going for... the BB2 most definitely does not lack mids. My experience with the BB2 was that I had to play with the low end control on my preamp to avoid it getting too 'big'. Maybe if you get an overly bassy sound it masks the mids for some? But that would not be the BB2 lacking mids, it would be having too much low bass on the signal fed to the speakers.

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To clarify my ‘mids’ comment. Yes’m the BB2 has them, but the low end over powered them too much.

As for what you put in you get out, well the BB2 must be very special as ive not used any other cabs that needed so much low end attenuation.
In fact at least 2 cheaper 410’s i used at our rehearsal studio produced louder, fuller, clearer and punchier tones that the BB2. Which surprised me considering what it’s says on the website.

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This is the peril of the internet! Without knowing how someone plays and how they describe tone you can totally end up misunderstanding each other. I'm not quite sure how to explain things without offending anyone, but I'll try! ;-)

So if you measure the BB2 it has near flat response, even as you go off-axis. There are no humps in the lows and they roll off smoothly and don't go super low and then drop more steeply (like some cabs based around more subwoofer type drivers). It also has very fast transient response, through the whole frequency spectrum. If you put a tight punchy sound into it you will get one of the tightest punchiest sounds out that you've ever heard. If you put a sound with aggressive mids in, you'll get that out. And so on.

However, it is VERY clean. It will not thicken up your sound (this is often caused by humps in the lows that slow the transients and/or by distortion in the lows adding more in the mid-bass. It will not add thump (similar to thickening) to your sound. It will not add punch to your sound (this is often caused by compression and/or distortion adding more midrange harmonics).

With most bassists I manage to read between the lines of what they say about gear to work out what they need. With maybe one in a hundred I don't get it right initially. After reading on here how dave_bass5 couldn't get his sound happening with our cabs I read more about how he talked about his playing. I get it now - and each additional post about it confirms what he needs and why he needs that - but it's not typical.

Just to be clear, our 12XN models are as flat through the mids (no dips or peaks) as cabs get. Our 10CR cabs have a bit of a dip in the mids - but they're also less clean sounding. Occasionally someone will do lots and lots of research online trying to work out which is the best Barefaced cab for them - sometimes they get it right, sometimes they get it wrong. Regardless, I always ask the questions and tell them which is the best fit. I can't recall a time that someone was right on that front and I was wrong - it must have happened but it's not frequent (thankfully!)

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[quote name='dave_bass5' timestamp='1506265705' post='3377435']
As for what you put in you get out, well the BB2 must be very special as ive not used any other cabs that needed so much low end attenuation.
[/quote] Having to use less low EQ isn't a negative quality, it's a positive quality, as it increases the amp's headroom and reduces driver excursion.

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I tried to persuade Marc Vanderkley to modify his cabs to give us another lightweight 210 competitor to Alex's BF products, by limiting the width of the cabs to the 10" speakers without the tweeters to the side. No joy, but probably a more than fair rebuff on his part:

[i]Hi Al,[/i]

[i]Thank you for your message.[/i]

[i]My cabinets are designed in the way that they are, to get the best results from the drivers. [/i][i]The 210MNT is a very powerful but lightweight cabinet and the 210LNT is even more powerful and a very good stand alone cab. [/i][i]I don’t think it is necessary to add another 210, the 210’s I have are already best sellers. [/i][i]Also your idea will not only sacrifice the high end but also the lows because of the smaller internal volume.[/i]

[i]Kind regards,[/i]

[i]Marc Vanderkley[/i]

Edited by Al Krow

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[quote name='MoonBassAlpha' timestamp='1506796280' post='3381222']
That's you told then! :)
[/quote]

Lol - it certainly did!

So that leaves Alex with the only truly lightweight 2x10 cabs:

Barefaced 28 lbs (silver cloth), 500W and £589 delivered

Vanderkley 37 lbs 600W AES (= 400W RMS?) and £800+ delivered

Summary: Barefaced, same power handling, 25% cheaper, 25% lighter. British designed and made.

I think I know where I'm going to be heading :)

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1506865431' post='3381586']


Lol - it certainly did!

So that leaves Alex with the only truly lightweight 2x10 cabs:

Barefaced 28 lbs (silver cloth), 500W and £589 delivered

Vanderkley 37 lbs 600W AES (= 400W RMS?) and £800+ delivered

Summary: Barefaced, same power handling, 25% cheaper, 25% lighter. British designed and made.

I think I know where I'm going to be heading :)
[/quote]

True, but the sound of each will make your mind up for you. 5kg more or less isn't a nightmare were you to not dig on one of the cabs. Frankly, once you get to this kind of level that's all there is. How it sounds. Neither of those are brutal heavy and will probably sound great in slightly different ways. The agony of choice.

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Our Two10 is a very different animal to those cabs - I wouldn't expect players liking one to be much a fan of the other (if we're talking about being really particular about tone as opposed to being like "yes! this is loud, light and sounds like a proper bass cab that's bigger than it is.")

If you want a high accuracy full-range ported 2x10" with tweeter type cab from Barefaced then that's what the Big Baby 2 is.

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[quote name='Wolverinebass' timestamp='1506872416' post='3381661']
True, but the sound of each will make your mind up for you. 5kg more or less isn't a nightmare were you to not dig on one of the cabs. Frankly, once you get to this kind of level that's all there is. How it sounds. Neither of those are brutal heavy and will probably sound great in slightly different ways. The agony of choice.
[/quote]

I'm kinda interested that you've opted for the Markbass Traveller cabs instead of either the BF or Vanderkley. Penny for your thoughts?

[quote name='alexclaber' timestamp='1506873958' post='3381683']
Our Two10 is a very different animal to those cabs - I wouldn't expect players liking one to be much a fan of the other (if we're talking about being really particular about tone as opposed to being like "yes! this is loud, light and sounds like a proper bass cab that's bigger than it is.") If you want a high accuracy full-range ported 2x10" with tweeter type cab from Barefaced then that's what the Big Baby 2 is.
[/quote]

Ok I'm being dim here Alex - I thought the BB2 was 1x12 rather than a 2x10, and that your only 2x10 in the range is well er...your 2x10?

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I think the point he was making is that speaker size is not as important as the voicing of the cab, and if you are looking at the flat full range type of 2x10 from other manufacturers, you would get a more apples-to-apples comparison by looking at the BB2 than the Two10.

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Al

I think Alex is saying if you want that type of sound described then the BB2 with its 12” speaker provides that sonically.

If you want a coloured sound that the BF 2x10 produces then get a 2x10 or a modular One10 or any combination etc.

I think it’s a situation of, forget speaker cone size, just take the sound and air it pushes on its merit and that is the right one for you, from a starting position of what “type” of sound you like.

That’s my interpretation, happy to be wrong....

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Alex, I'd love to see a frequency response plot of say a Two10 vs a Compact, do you have any that you can share?

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1506877091' post='3381717']
Alex, I'd love to see a frequency response plot of say a Two10 vs a Compact, do you have any that you can share?
[/quote]

+1 from me.

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[quote name='dannybuoy' timestamp='1506885642' post='3381817']
Current generation Super Compact I suppose. But hey, why not post them all!
[/quote]

+1 plus SM and BB2 while you're at it please!

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[quote name='Al Krow' timestamp='1506875325' post='3381693']


I'm kinda interested that you've opted for the Markbass Traveller cabs instead of either the BF or Vanderkley. Penny for your thoughts?
[/quote]

It's quite simple really. I bought the 2x10 first in 2007. I waited until 2008 when the 1x15 was made stackable and got one then. At the time, Markbass made virtually the lightest stuff about. Alex wasn't really doing barefaced then and I'm not sure if Vanderkley even had a UK distributor.

Now, I played the big twin 2 that Alex brought to the 2013 south east bass bash and it's devastating. I could walk round in almost a full 180 degree arc at about 15 feet and the sound barely changed. The Markbass cabs you get 45 degrees off axis and the top end has started to go. The piezo tweeter is also a problem if like me you used tons of distortion on the treble of 12 or 8 string basses. It's taken me a long time to find the right balance that gives me the chime without the overt harshness.

I've heard Vanderkleys, but I've never played one.

So, you ask, why do I keep the markbass cabs? Simple. I've learned how to make them work for me. I would like cabs with better dispersion and a bit more output, but as I'm not gigging presently there is no rush. Plus I'd have to flog these first.

I recently played Merton's barefaced 1x10 which was evil. Really nice. Very loud too. Different tonally from the markbass in the mids, but you'd expect it to sound different.

Ultimately, I've chosen not to switch up because I'd have to reprogramme my entire rig to get a similar or better sound. Plus, I'm one of those idiots that doesn't like the barefaced finish. Stupid I know, but it's just how I feel about them visually. Sound wise is very different.

I certainly wouldn't say any one cab manufacturer is the best in any way. All of them have their plus and minus points dependent upon your own preferred sound or playing style. We all like what we like though thankfully not all of us agree!

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[quote name='Wolverinebass' timestamp='1506887099' post='3381836']
....So, you ask, why do I keep the markbass cabs? Simple. I've learned how to make them work for me. I would like cabs with better dispersion and a bit more output, but as I'm not gigging presently there is no rush. Plus I'd have to flog these first. Plus, I'm one of those idiots that doesn't like the barefaced finish. Stupid I know, but it's just how I feel about them visually. Sound wise is very different. I certainly wouldn't say any one cab manufacturer is the best in any way. All of them have their plus and minus points dependent upon your own preferred sound or playing style. We all like what we like though thankfully not all of us agree!
[/quote]

Hey cheers for coming back to me on that. I think what you're saying isn't that Markbass cabs are particularly good, but they're "good enough" and that you can make them work for you. That all makes good sense. Good enough is well, good enough. And the rest is down to how we play our basses!

You mention the Barefaced finish / appearance and that, for me, is probably the [i]single[/i] biggest factor that makes folk hesitate about getting BF gear. I get that we are going to have different views on this. But IMHO there are some things that we can all agree on as being [i]objectively[/i] well designed, for example very few people would say that an iPhone is anything but a great looking piece of kit, yes?

It's clear from [url="http://basschat.co.uk/topic/312508-new-darkglass-products/"]Cuzzie's thread[/url] that DG have pissed a lot of folk off with their outlandish pricing for a bunch of overweight cabs that they are not even making themselves, but a number of my fellow BCers have commented on how good those DG cabs [i]look[/i].

So here's the thing. If BF cracked this one aspect of design and maybe road tested some great new designs for their Gen 4 cabs so they had something that looked (objectively) great as well as sounded great, I just kinda feel they would clean up even more so than they are doing now.

Just a thought. I'll shut up and get back in my box now...

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I got to try some Vanderklay cabs, both with the Aurora (?) top and, Mesa D-800, as well as the Darkglass top. I must say they really impressed me. Very nice kit. I didn't get to try them in a band setting, which I know is important, but still, very impressive. Otherwise I normally play on a pair of TKS W2126.

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