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Al Krow

Two of the very best 112 cabs available today?

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Posted (edited)

I've been thinking about a possible upgrade of my BF SC recently and seem to have narrowed down my shortlist to the Fearless 112 and Barefaced BB2 (and very possibly also the TKS 1126).

@jrixn1 mentioned some excellent comparisons done across the pond, and this thread in particular caught my eye, which I'm sharing in case it's of interest to others:

https://www.talkbass.com/threads/comparing-f112-bb2.1245612/

If any BC'ers have also had the good fortune to have owned both, then please of course also feel free to add your thoughts to this thread.

f112bb.

And I'll have to admit, although it's a very shallow point, I can't get away from just how good that Fearless cab looks in black with that particular option grille! :) 

Edited by Al Krow
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The F112 goes lower than the BB2, but it is really so low you may not need it. Both can very happily cover a 5 string, low end stomp fx, etc.

(By the way, 'proper low end' for me does not mean significant reproduction of the fundamental of B at 30 Hz; it means proper reproduction of the first harmonic at 60Hz and going upwards. I owned an Acme B2 and B1 way back when and both could reproduce 30Hz fundamental. Sounded fantastic but were hugely ridiculously inefficient and once I realised I didn't need the fundamental - heck, I was high-passing it out in many scenarios - I sold them and got louder solutions. My experience now is that I perceive a cab as big in the low end now when it reproduces a fair bit of 50Hz signal and upwards. Not many do that, though...).

The F112 is a good bit heavier, even in okoume plywood. But a very good form factor, tilt backable, etc. 

The high end out of both is very good, although I like the BB2 high end a little better than the F112. Just barely.

Both cover the mids evenly and have excellent dispersion.

I concluded the F112 needs huge power to get the absolute best out of it. 500W into the cab and it will barely break a sweat. It's very loud with 500W, but edged out for loudness by some other cabs I have tried - BB2 included. The BB2, as I said before, is lighter on the low end, but since it's a single 12" in a correctly sized box it will take EQ for the low end very well, and is louder than the F112 with the same power applied. 

The F112 looks 100% better than the BB2. It's unfair to Alex, but I have always disliked that paint finish. The Barefaced tolexed cabs look a million times better than the 12" series, in my opinion, and I think Alex would sell even more if he tolexed the 12" cabs.  

These are both very much FRFR type solutions, also; if you are used to baked-in voicing in cabs you will get a huge shock. Then you need to be able to carry solutions to colouring your sound if you wish it; some people get away with very little, and others go for Zoom/Helix/exotic preamps/etc. An adjustable high pass filter for the low end does make a difference in some scenarios with the F112, less for the BB2 as it's not quite so huge there.

Given these are FRFR type solutions....then the next question is....lol...should you just buy a powered FRFR PA cab? Lol. See other threads for discussion....

Just my thoughts of an afternoon.

 

Pete

(Background. I sold everything a while back because of young kids and being busy, but am looking at 12s again myself.)

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Posted (edited)

I've just heard from a Swedish bassist that the guy making TKS cabs has stopped production due to ill health. Is this old news? If the TKS 1126 is no longer being made, that's a real shame. 

@funkle  you mentioned needing bags of power to get the most out of the Fearless and an adjustable HPF for some scenarios. It seems to me that Mesa's WD-800 could be a match made in heaven for the F112...

 

Edited by Al Krow

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I've just heard from a Swedish bassist that the guy making TKS cabs has stopped production due to ill health. Is this old news? 

If the TKS 1126 is no longer being made, that's a real shame. 

 

I've recently discovered this too. a huge shame as he makes (made) really fantastic cabs, and with a level of finish and customisability that puts the likes of Barefaced to shame aesthetically.

I'll throw the Baer ML112 into the mix, although they're very rarely seen this side of the pond. I will say that they're a bit less "FRFR" than the BB2 etc as they are deliberately voiced to be slightly mid-forward for live use. Still a very serious contender in the "super 12" cabinet category.

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

I've just heard from a Swedish bassist that the guy making TKS cabs has stopped production due to ill health. Is this old news? If the TKS 1126 is no longer being made, that's a real shame. 

@funkle  you mentioned needing bags of power to get the most out of the Fearless and an adjustable HPF for some scenarios. It seems to me that Mesa's WD-800 could be a match made in heaven for the F112...

 

Hmm. When I said bags of power for an F112....the Tecamp Puma 900 (500W into 8 ohms) I had with that setup gave everything it could to the F112 and the F112 could take it all and laugh. The woofer is an absolute monster in that cab.

I mean...you’re going to need a proper PA amp to make the F112 cry. I wouldn’t doubt that you could throw 800W into a single F112 and it would keep giving. I’m not sure about 1000W RMS, but maybe if you were careful....the woofer (Eminence 3012LF) I think is rated at 450W RMS. That seemed conservative to me. 

The BB2 has a modified Eminence 3012LF (I think). But since it’s not trying to make so much in the way of lows, it’s significantly louder than the F112 with less power. 500W into a BB2 is slamming. 

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4 minutes ago, funkle said:

Hmm. When I said bags of power for an F112....the Tecamp Puma 900 (500W into 8 ohms) I had with that setup gave everything it could to the F112 and the F112 could take it all and laugh. The woofer is an absolute monster in that cab.

I mean...you’re going to need a proper PA amp to make the F112 cry. I wouldn’t doubt that you could throw 800W into a single F112 and it would keep giving. I’m not sure about 1000W RMS, but maybe if you were careful....the woofer (Eminence 3012LF) I think is rated at 450W RMS. That seemed conservative to me. 

The BB2 has a modified Eminence 3012LF (I think). But since it’s not trying to make so much in the way of lows, it’s significantly louder than the F112 with less power. 500W into a BB2 is slamming. 

Yup, all truth here. The TKS 1126 definitely falls into the same category as the F112 in terms of drinking watts and asking for more. Such a beast. 

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Posted (edited)

Isn't someone selling a F112 in the for sale section? Buy first - ask questions later!

HERE: 

 

Edited by LukeFRC
found it!

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1 hour ago, LukeFRC said:

Isn't someone selling a F112 in the for sale section? Buy first - ask questions later!

Indeed there is - which I'll have to 'fess got me thinking about F112's seriously for the first time as this FS ad coincided with me thinking about upgrading my BF SC.

But now I've seen just how handsome the F112 looks in black with a black grille (as pictured in the OP), I'd personally find it hard to go for another finish, so I'm resigned to stumping up the extra 15% for a new one.

But even then, a new F112 would still be a nearly £100 saving on the BF BB2 (which is an eye watering £894 with silver cloth & cover). They're both beaten on value terms by the VK 112MNT, which is further £85 cheaper.

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Yep. You pays your money and you takes your choices...

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1 hour ago, funkle said:

Yep. You pays your money and you takes your choices...

Yup, I think I might just have... 😄 

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For tone, 2 good cabs will always beat even the best single cab solution. Adding a Super Midget to your Super Compact will put your tone and potential volume way beyond what any single cab can achieve. An SC and SM will be louder and more flexible, with 3 potential rigs at hand.

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35 minutes ago, chris_b said:

For tone, 2 good cabs will always beat even the best single cab solution. Adding a Super Midget to your Super Compact will put your tone and potential volume way beyond what any single cab can achieve. An SC and SM will be louder and more flexible, with 3 potential rigs at hand.

I agree.  My BB2 and Super Midget combined, is as much volume as I'll ever need (actually, more volume than I'll ever need) - and tone to die for.

Frank.

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Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, chris_b said:

For tone, 2 good cabs will always beat even the best single cab solution. Adding a Super Midget to your Super Compact will put your tone and potential volume way beyond what any single cab can achieve. An SC and SM will be louder and more flexible, with 3 potential rigs at hand.

Surely it does depend on matching the cabs very carefully to make sure they are complimentary?

It seems that the SC and SM work well together, from your experience. But from the advice I've seen on other threads ('daisy chaining two cabs') this is very much not always the case, and you would, more often than not, be worse off with two different cabs than two of the same. 

You then have the cost / convenience of 2 cabs vs a better 112 or a 212.

Edited by Al Krow

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3 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Surely it does depend on matching the cabs very carefully to make sure they are complimentary?

It seems that the SC and SM work well together, from your experience. But from the advice I've seen on other threads ('daisy chaining two cabs') this is very much not always the case, and you would, more often than not, be worse off with two different cabs than two of the same. 

You then have the cost / convenience of 2 cabs vs a better 112 or a 212.

You don't have to believe my experience, although you have referred to it elsewhere, but if you have done your homework, ie read the information on the Barefaced website, you'll know that Alex recommends that the SC and SM compliment each other when used together. As usual he is correct.

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Posted (edited)
32 minutes ago, chris_b said:

You don't have to believe my experience, although you have referred to it elsewhere, but if you have done your homework, ie read the information on the Barefaced website, you'll know that Alex recommends that the SC and SM compliment each other when used together. As usual he is correct.

I personally prefer to take the views expressed by trusted and experienced fellow BCers (yours included!) to corroborate the sometimes inflated claims made by manufacturers about their products. But maybe that's just me. 

Edited by Al Krow

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2 hours ago, Al Krow said:

I personally prefer to take the views expressed by trusted and experienced fellow BCers (yours included!) to corroborate the sometimes inflated claims made by manufacturers about their products. But maybe that's just me. 

I think there are companies that I wouldn't trust (the ones with marketing departments) and companies that I would trust. I've watched Alex from the early BC days, before he made the Big One, and to my knowledge he hasn't made an "inflated" claim, ever!! In the early days BF was a magnet for, "How can this be true" and "I don't believe it" comments. We don't see many of those anymore!

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db Embee 112 should be available to demo in the bass gallery too as another option.

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Before the Super range the regular Compact and Midget were a very good pairing.

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2 hours ago, Lozz196 said:

Before the Super range the regular Compact and Midget were a very good pairing.

They were, and one was a 15" cab and the other was a 12" cab. So different sized drivers will work together if they are designed to.

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I was also looking at those, read every thread there is out there... unfortunately I haven't tried either, only a Super Twin (or whatever the tweeterless BF 212 is called). Between those two, based on what I've read, I think I'd go for the Fearless if my top priority was the sound and for the BF if it was weight. But I'd like to add another suggestion, the Audiokinesis Thunderchild, which is what I went with. Should give you less low lows, but they are enough for me - and it helps avoid boominess. It's also more compact compared to the two you're looking at, with the weight a little above the BF. Might cost a little more when you factor in shipping and import taxes, but personally I didn't regret it. I have a TC212 and recently ordered a TC112UFT too. Duke, the owner, is also probably the nicest guy I've dealt with in the industry.

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Posted (edited)

That's a really neat summary of the Fearless vs BF BB2, which seems to chime with what other folk have been saying ie the Fearless just edges it on sound / looks (albeit subjective) / design (ability to use as wedge) / price new and the BB2 on weight / portability. 

Out of interest, what would be the shipped cost of the AK112UFT, and what is its power handling? 

The BB2 IS, IMO, still the easiest to get hold of used of all three, which then for me becomes the best value option. I guess that's simply because it's the best known and best selling of the high end 112 cabs we've been discussing on this thread. 

Edited by Al Krow

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31 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

That's a really neat summary of the Fearless vs BF BB2, which seems to chime with what other folk have been saying ie the Fearless just edges it on sound / looks (albeit subjective) / design (ability to use as wedge) / price new and the BB2 on weight / portability. 

Out of interest, what would be the shipped cost of the AK112UFT, and what is its power handling? 

The BB2 IS, IMO, still the easiest to get hold of used of all three, which then for me becomes the best value option. I guess that's simply because it's the best known and best selling of the high end 112 cabs we've been discussing on this thread. 

It did go a little over $1000 IIRC, including shipping to Greece. The UFT is Duke's latest design, with a second tweeter facing upwards (best tweeter I've heard btw), you could get his standard TC112 for less (not to mention find it used on TB, they come up from time to time). Worth sending an email to Duke IMO, he's pretty busy so you might need to wait a few days or remind him, but he replies - and he replies incredibly honestly, to the extent that he might even recommend another manufacturer's cab if he thinks it will meet your needs better than his designs, no kidding. It's like talking to a friend and that's priceless in my book...

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Forgot to answer about power handing, it's rated at 500W but all three cabs you're looking at are supposed to use the Eminence 3012LF or similar, so they should be similar in power handling practically, mostly a matter of what each brand feels it's safe to recommend.

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Quilter’s 1x12 are also using the 3012 and look interesting. 

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