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Al Krow

Two of the very best 112 cabs available today?

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15 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

Cos a bass buddy had an immediate need for it, and I'm fine with the couple of cabs I still have.

You know me well enough to know that it can be a while before I put my bass gear to best use, although I aim to get there in the end :)So I don't mind waiting a few months for a replacement, either used or new. 

A true gent 👍

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Gav - it's "overall" (= articulation, power handling & ouput, portability, build quality) the single best cab I have ever owned and I would happily recommend it to anyone. It literally was just a case of helping a mate out - the cab is brilliant.

My BF SC will very adequately cover my gigging needs and one plus point of Dave taking the F112 off my hands is that my excellent Berg CN212 will be getting a lot more use now that it's not in competition with the F112 for regular / daily basement practise use :) 

Edited by Al Krow
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Posted (edited)
19 hours ago, NancyJohnson said:

@Al Krow I'm amazed how my amplification set up has changed over the years, from this huge tri-amped Trace/SWR set up, scaling back to a smallish Ashdown MAG/Line 6 POD set up, the Hartke endorsement period, racks of Tech21 and power amps.  Mental.  If I was starting out now and looking for advice from an amp perspective, I'd just say do your diligence and spend as much as you can on a decent head/enclosure or combo because it will last you years.  If the A/O had been about 30 years ago, I wouldn't have needed to throw thousands at my backline, but I guess the road travelled makes the destination a little sweeter, eh?

Head aside, the only thing I do think about changing periodically is the enclosure.  I won Alex's Barefaced Big One prototype at the SE Bass Bash a few years ago; it's a wonderful thing, but my mate @Graemeross owns a pair of Super Compacts that edge things slightly tonally, plus they look a bit tidier, so maybe one day I'll look to going that route, but for now, I'm tiptop.

Barefaced Super Compact vs BB2

Interesting you mentioned on the 'best D class thread' possibly thinking of pairing your AO900 with the BF SC, Paul, it's exactly what I have been doing for the past 6 months or so (and with a DG M900 for a year before that). It's not a bad pairing at all and the SC has outlasted several other cabs that tonally stole a march on it because it such an easy carry at 21 lbs.

But for me it definitely met its nemesis today in the shape of its big brother, the BB2, which I very nearly went for 3 years back but ended up with VK 210 MNT instead. Well I've come full circle. I had a very pleasant time with the seller, Ian (aka @Pirellithecat), who kindly bought his cab right to my door all the way from "up North" a chunk of which involved A/Bing the SC with the BB2 via an AO900 set clean and a Yammy BB1025 on the full spread of its P/J settings.

Conclusion: they are clearly sibling cabs but the BB2 is more musical sounding vs a flatter / slightly harsher tone from the SC which tops out at 4kHz. The BB2, unlike the SC, has a tweeter horn that provides welcome additional colour to the top end without being 'hissy' or unduly bright. The BB2 is a little bigger depth wise and is 7 lbs heavier than my silver grille SC, but still very portable.

The flatter / slightly harsher tone I've had from my SC has recently made me think about getting a tonally richer amp to pair it with ('cos frankly my Mesa M6 makes pretty much most cabs sound good!) I know others have "solved" the same point by pairing their BF SC with a BF Super Midget, but as a one cab solution the BB2 seems to tick a lot of boxes. I suspect the AO900 /BB2 combo will be a pairing, for live use, that I'm going to be very happy with.

BF SC vs BB2.jpg

[Aside: we were in full agreement about having the benefit of some of our best gear for home use: like me he plays far more at home than live with his band and we agreed that the nuances of great bass tone are much harder to discern in a full band mix with ear plugs in! I'm gonna continue battling the snobbery that I often hear on BC from guys that "if you don't gig it, it's pointless having it!" Tosh. We should all get to choose how we enjoy our own gear without that sort of bollox being regularly spouted. Here's a glass raised to bedroom bassists as well as their gigging counterparts].

Edited by Al Krow
horn not tweeter - even better: explains why it's not hissy!
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31 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

with.

BF SC vs BB2.jpg

[Aside: we were in full agreement about having the benefit of some of our best gear for home use: like me he plays far more at home than live with his band and we agreed that the nuances of great bass tone are much harder to discern in a full band mix with ear plugs in! I'm gonna continue battling the snobbery that I often hear on BC from guys that "if you don't gig it, it's pointless having it!" Tosh. We should all get to choose how we enjoy our own gear without that sort of bollox being regularly spouted. Here's a glass raised to bedroom bassists as well as their gigging counterparts].

I’ll take this as a playful nudge at me as I’m a big advocate of gigging my gear. I’m certainly in the camp that encourages the use of gear on the gig/in rehearsal with the band. I’d not call it snobbery to use gear live if you have the capacity to and I think a lot of folk might feel that way. Being able to say an amps EQ frequency points aren’t as useful for live is something that the most nuanced of listening to at home may not reveal but would be quite evident with the band. A drive pedal which sounds overly mid forward in isolation could be just the ticket with the band to make the bass drive a song along. A pedal or onboard EQ delivering huge satisfying low end at home or via headphones or the classic Smiley face eq curve  for example might overly dominate a live mix or cause ones tone to become lost. 

I’ve mentioned before that most of my playing is at home with head phones via my DAW. I’ve experimented with pick ups (different types and positions - a Thunderbird pick up in a P bass for example). I’ve installed a tone styler, numerous versions of the classic p pick up in a the same bass for the very point of hearing the nuance and differences inherent in each one. I’ve also had them in ‘normal’ and ‘reverse p’ positions and listened for the differences.
 

I’ve geeked out with looking at the related eq frequency charts in Logic to see where the different pick ups had their unique boosts and cuts in relation to each other. I recall noting one bass would have been a better recording bass due to it more flat response across the board compared to another bass which had a noticeable bump in around 500Hz which made it a bit more pokey live.

I’ve 4 sets of headphones/earbuds that I use to listen to music and my home noodling, each have different low end response, treble response, mid character  let’s call it nuances if you will. I’ll use different ones for different listening scenarios.


I’d agree the majority of us use our gear at home more than at gigs, I know I certainly do but I’ll not have the ‘snobbery’ card pulled out because I enjoy using my gear with my bands as much as at home. I really don’t understand how using gear with a band constitutes snobbery but your opinion is your opinion and you’re entitled to express it. I’ll not argue with that! 
 

I respect your premise that you as a player  won’t hear the nuance of certain gear on the gig especially if using earplugs. I also acknowledge that punters won’t known an in time bass line or a fluffed note from a perfectly timed/executed bass part let alone if it’s a classic p bass tone or a more strident BB pick up. They just wanna sing along to a decent singer and shake their butts.

You’ve mentioned that you’ve recently had a gear evolution to more readily nail classic fender p bass tones with a new cab which can reproduce more high end above 4k etc etc but I’m guessing you’ll be gigging this new rig wearing the same earplugs which you’ve already identified diminish the nuance you’re seeking to achieve in the first place. And it’s been often repeated that the punters couldn’t tell anyway. 
But who cares right? If one can nail that sound at home and it gives joy then that’s where the value lies in any of our gear purchases. You don’t need to run a bass into a graphic eq and note where it sits to enjoy it. Some of us do that cause we’re into those nuances and it can help when getting eq right in a gig 
 

By all means use or don’t use whichever gear you feel is appropriate to the gig/scenario/setting. Enjoy it’s subtlety when you can and trust the the audience will have a good time regardless of how close you are to the recording in terms of sounds/tones and the rest. 

 

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Posted (edited)

@krispn definitely not any form of dig at you at all, my friend (on this occasion 😁)! More of a challenge to the "orthodoxy" that's all too often heard on bass gear forums, including this one.

But don't get me wrong, I totally respect folk who gig their gear! And playing live with my bandmates is my passion. But assuming that is the only "proper" enjoyment / pleasure / fun that folk can get from their kit is IMO small minded and disparaging of the many who are not in a band.

Creativity comes in many guises!

Edited by Al Krow
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Posted (edited)

I’m a firm believer that the best way to test a cab or rig is too gig or rehearse with it. With a band playing you get certain freq masked, etc, at higher sound levels you lose certain fez’s (Fletcher Munson curve), how it works on wooden stages, concrete floor, live wooden rooms etc. So much to test in uncontrollable environments to reality get a feel of how a cab will sound for each of us.

My recent foray in to the F112 being a case in point. Amazing sounding cab on its own, but very troublesome for me when the band started playing, and those wooden stages at the clubs were a nightmare. That’s just my experience though, but based on hearing it at home I couldn’t imagine a finer cab. 

Thats not to say a side by side comparison is not helpful though. With the same signal going in to each you can get a clear idea of the differences, and this can be very usefully to evaluate a new cab vs the old one.  

I have no doubt this cab will work though. Its what you like, only better. Congrats Bas.  

Edited by dave_bass5
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Posted (edited)

@Al Krow  (Just an update, @Graemeross cabinets are BB2s, sot Super Compacts.  My error.)  Graeme runs an M900 into two BB2s.

Irrespective of the Barefaced blurb and frequency range claims, I always feel that an HF horn in the enclosure just gives me an nth of highs that add to my desired tone.  The more I think about it the more I feel I'd like to go that route.  I tried a pair of Aguilars last summer and they didn't do it for me at all.  Too flat and ponky.

Edited by NancyJohnson

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4 hours ago, Al Krow said:

Barefaced Super Compact vs BB2

etc.

I do love the DG AO900 but with the variety of basses I have the potential to push through it (active/passive, Lulls, Spectors, Hamer), I feel it needs a bit of tweaking with every bass switch.  The dUg into the effects return of the AO900 is just far simpler...there's more parity between the sources basses.

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

I do love the DG AO900 but with the variety of basses I have the potential to push through it (active/passive, Lulls, Spectors, Hamer), I feel it needs a bit of tweaking with every bass switch.  The dUg into the effects return of the AO900 is just far simpler...there's more parity between the sources basses.

But would you take more than one bass to a gig? Shouldn't take you too long to dial in the right setting for each bass pre gig, if you're only taking out one bass at a time? Although if you had @bassfan's B|Amp you could just set it all up as presets! 

15 minutes ago, NancyJohnson said:

@Al Krow  (Just an update, @Graemeross cabinets are BB2s, sot Super Compacts.  My error.)  Graeme runs an M900 into two BB2s.

Irrespective of the Barefaced blurb and frequency range claims, I always feel that an HF horn in the enclosure just gives me an nth of highs that add to my desired tone.  The more I think about it the more I feel I'd like to go that route.  I tried a pair of Aguilars last summer and they didn't do it for me at all.  Too flat and ponky.

Ah yes - a horn not a tweeter - my turn for an error in my mini review above!

Actually that's a ton better and explains why I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of hiss with the treble dialled up and the high freq set to max on the BB2.

Edited by Al Krow

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1 hour ago, Al Krow said:

But would you take more than one bass to a gig? Shouldn't take you too long to dial in the right setting for each bass pre gig, if you're only taking out one bass at a time? Although if you had @bassfan's B|Amp you could just set it all up as presets! 

Ah yes - a horn not a tweeter - my turn for an error in my mini review above!

Actually that's a ton better and explains why I was pleasantly surprised by the lack of hiss with the treble dialled up and the high freq set to max on the BB2.

Regarding the Horn in the BB2. IIR the dial on the back changes the freq that the signal gets sent to it, so it acts as a variable cross over. So the more you have the horn on the less of the signal gets sent to the main driver.

Thats from memory though so could be way off. All the correct info is on the BF website anyway. Its a clever system. 

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I think you'll find it's just a standard L-pad volume control on the tweeter, Dave.

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5 minutes ago, stevie said:

I think you'll find it's just a standard L-pad volume control on the tweeter, Dave.

Ill take your word for that, as I have no idea what a L-Pad does, but this is from a viewer i read (coulda well be the same thing as what you are talking about).

On its own, this new woofer has ‘good response’ to about 4kHz, with the 3″ dome in the middle helping out up to 10kHz. The Faital HF driver, meanwhile, can reach down as far as 2kHz, but the knob on the back shifts the crossover point. Thus, knob full off, the HF driver is only adding ‘air’ above 10kHz; turn it up, and the HF driver begins to take a deeper share of upper frequency responsibility, until finally it’s dealing with everything from 2kHz upwards.

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Posted (edited)

Bit of a shock response from the missus, just now (must be going down with a bug or something)!

I explained that the BB2 edged it over the SC for me sonically, and I thought that Monsieur P le Chat was a bit mad letting it go for such a good price only having had 6 months, particularly as he'd felt it sounded a LOT closer to what he was after when paired with my AO900 rather than his Ashdown, so actually it's his head he needs looking at? 

Mentioned I'd had my SC for 18 months 'cos it's easily the lightest decent cab out there. She asked "if that's the case, why was I thinking about selling it then?"

Hmmm...she's got a point...it is still the perfect "grab'n'go" cab.

@Merton I think you've just replaced your SC, what's taken its place and you glad you made the move?

Edited by Al Krow

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Posted (edited)
4 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Ill take your word for that, as I have no idea what a L-Pad does, but this is from a viewer i read (coulda well be the same thing as what you are talking about).

On its own, this new woofer has ‘good response’ to about 4kHz, with the 3″ dome in the middle helping out up to 10kHz. The Faital HF driver, meanwhile, can reach down as far as 2kHz, but the knob on the back shifts the crossover point. Thus, knob full off, the HF driver is only adding ‘air’ above 10kHz; turn it up, and the HF driver begins to take a deeper share of upper frequency responsibility, until finally it’s dealing with everything from 2kHz upwards.

If that's correct, Dave, that would be doubly neat as it would leave the woofer able to focus more on the mids and lows. Win win. I actually quite like the tone with HF dial set at 8/10 or so; it really is very articulate.

Not sure now why I hesitated in getting the BB2 before, perhaps based on some friendly fire which suggested that topping out at 4kHz shouldn't make much of a difference (on the SC and the ST). It noticeably does.

Edited by Al Krow

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Considering you can lift the BB2 with two fingers I’m not sure what the argument is here? You could use a Bluetooth speaker which would be lighter, and go through the PA if you are only going for lightweight lol. 

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7 minutes ago, dave_bass5 said:

Ill take your word for that, as I have no idea what a L-Pad does, but this is from a viewer i read (coulda well be the same thing as what you are talking about).

On its own, this new woofer has ‘good response’ to about 4kHz, with the 3″ dome in the middle helping out up to 10kHz. The Faital HF driver, meanwhile, can reach down as far as 2kHz, but the knob on the back shifts the crossover point. Thus, knob full off, the HF driver is only adding ‘air’ above 10kHz; turn it up, and the HF driver begins to take a deeper share of upper frequency responsibility, until finally it’s dealing with everything from 2kHz upwards.

Simply put, an L-pad is a volume control acting on (in this case) the tweeter.

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42 minutes ago, Al Krow said:

@Merton I think you've just replaced your SC, what's taken its place and you glad you made the move?

I did! Went to a Four10 which is exceptional but a fair bit bigger and heavier. Mostly though I tend to use my pair of One10s, the Four10 is a bit of my ridiculously OTT rig gathering exploits for those once a year gigs which need that amount of air moved. Sounds bloody glorious with a CTM100 :)

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Well ........ it is very true that I thought the BB2 sounded very nice using the Darkglass and the lovely Yamaha.  However,  I am shocked that,  to paraphrase, "I need my head looking at!"   😉

My ABM 600 through the BB2 using my PBass doesn't sound as good , that's for sure.  

I suspect that the BB2 is still a light weight, grab and go, kind of cabinet which would certainly displace an SC though.

Anyway, it now looks like I need to listen to some new Heads, a pair of light weight 12 inch speakers, and a new bass.

Bergantino 112's of some desciption were mentioned.   But do these fit the bill as some of the best  12 inch cabinets available today?

And that'll teach me to travel south!

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3 hours ago, stevie said:

Simply put, an L-pad is a volume control acting on (in this case) the tweeter.

It's a variable crossover not a volume control.

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8 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

My recent foray in to the F112 being a case in point. Amazing sounding cab on its own, but very troublesome for me when the band started playing, and those wooden stages at the clubs were a nightmare. That’s just my experience though, but based on hearing it at home I couldn’t imagine a finer cab. 

I have no doubt this cab will work though. .  

It's not fair to blame the cab for problems with room acoustics though.  EVery cab will have problems of one sort or another because there's no way to design for every venue.  And even within a venue, moving the cab around the stage, away and closer to the back wall, lifting it off the ground, standing it on the end or long side, using a gramma pad, equalisation etc. lots of ways to deal with acoustic problems at venues.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, dave_bass5 said:

I’m a firm believer that the best way to test a cab or rig is to gig or rehearse with it. With a band playing you get certain freq masked, etc, at higher sound levels you lose certain fez’s (Fletcher Munson curve), how it works on wooden stages, concrete floor, live wooden rooms etc. So much to test in uncontrollable environments to reality get a feel of how a cab will sound for each of us.

My recent foray in to the F112 being a case in point. Amazing sounding cab on its own, but very troublesome for me when the band started playing, and those wooden stages at the clubs were a nightmare. That’s just my experience though, but based on hearing it at home I couldn’t imagine a finer cab. 

That's not to say a side by side comparison is not helpful though. With the same signal going in to each you can get a clear idea of the differences, and this can be very usefully to evaluate a new cab vs the old one.  

I have no doubt this cab will work though. Its what you like, only better. Congrats Bas.  

Thanks Dave. 

Been reflecting on this and I think the better statement is that "the best way to test a cab or rig is to gig or rehearse with it use it in the situation you're going to be playing it. So if your main / primary / most important use is going to be live, test it in a live mix (without and with earplugs!); if your main use is at home then try it out at home".

My F112 is 99% used and pretty much daily(!) at home and as you said "on hearing it at home I couldn’t imagine a finer cab."  My SC on the other hand has been almost entirely used at rehearsals and gigs and after 18 months I've got a very good idea of how it sounds / works in that environment.

But it also makes sense that you test any bit of gear in the most demanding environment you're going to be using it in, which I totally accept may well be in live band mix, to make sure it can handle / has enough headroom for those circumstances.

I appreciate that many folk only have one cab (despite having several basses!) but the point still stands.

6 hours ago, Kiwi said:

It's not fair to blame the cab for problems with room acoustics though.  Every cab will have problems of one sort or another because there's no way to design for every venue.  And even within a venue, moving the cab around the stage, away and closer to the back wall, lifting it off the ground, standing it on the end or long side, using a gramma pad, equalisation etc. lots of ways to deal with acoustic problems at venues.

Wise.

Edited by Al Krow
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6 hours ago, chris_b said:

It's a variable crossover not a volume control.

Thanks Chris for clarifying that point. As I mentioned above - that's a really neat feature! And I'm already loving the fact that it's a horn and not a hissy piezzo tweeter!

What might also be really helpful for other readers on this thread, and for balance, is to get your considered thoughts on your three BF cabs. It would be interesting whether you agree my broad conclusions about the SC vs BB2 with your Aguilar AG700 & Sadowsky / Mike Lull basses.

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8 hours ago, Pirellithecat said:

Anyway, it now looks like I need to listen to some new Heads, a pair of light weight 12 inch speakers, and a new bass. And that'll teach me to travel south!

Always a mistake to venture south! And even more risky to the wallet if you're heading back via Mark at Bass Direct. My two most expensive basses at the time I bought them were entirely his fault 😁

8 hours ago, Pirellithecat said:

Bergantino 112's of some desciption were mentioned.   But do these fit the bill as some of the best  12 inch cabinets available today?

My recommendation of Bergs was borne out of the fact that the Berg CN212 I had (and which now adorns Dave's mantle piece) was right at the top of the cabs I have had in terms of articulation, power handling and tone. It's obviously not a 112, but I can only imagine that the quality of Berg 112 cabs will be entirely comparable. The only thing that has held me back from going down the Berg 112 route was their power handling - I would have wanted / needed to go for a pair rather than just the one and my quest has been very much for a "one stop shop" single cab solution. But you are looking to go for two 112s so they could be perfect for you. Hopefully @Dood will be along shortly to expound on the virtues of Berg 112 cabs.

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, Kiwi said:

It's not fair to blame the cab for problems with room acoustics though.  EVery cab will have problems of one sort or another because there's no way to design for every venue.  And even within a venue, moving the cab around the stage, away and closer to the back wall, lifting it off the ground, standing it on the end or long side, using a gramma pad, equalisation etc. lots of ways to deal with acoustic problems at venues.

I was pointing out different cabs work in different ways. As an example, I’ve done two gigs at a club recently. First with the F122 and then with the CN212. Same amp. The gig with the CN212 went much better. I didn’t struggle with low end as much, and the tone out front was a lot more even. I just couldn’t get the F112 to sit properly in the mix and was more or less maxing out the amp. I don’t have the luxury of moving the cab around when Im on a tight 

knowing  your gigs helps make a  better choice of gear, and that’s my point. We don’t all gig in ideal situations. 

Edited by dave_bass5
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