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Barefaced T'Vintage Review.

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[color="#FF0000"][size=3][b]This review has now been updated here. [/b][/size]
[/color]
[url="http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=70650&view=findpost&p=914557"]http://basschat.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=...st&p=914557[/url]


Hey guys!

Thought I would give you a review on the T'vintage. Cost £825 shipped.

Now I am not an expert at cabs, indeed I try to avoid buying them at all costs. This is my first truly expensive cab. My grammar is poor, and many of my opinions might rub some people the wrong way. I may have gotten some things wrong that can be answered for. So please rip into me if i have stated something fundamentally wrong. Also apologies for my poor structuring and rambling.

[b]NOTE: I have tested this cab with 3 different amp heads of varying brands, wattages and 4 different rooms of varying size and amount of people inside them and 3 different basses to draw my conclusions. [/b]

[url="http://img402.imageshack.us/i/dscf2412k.jpg/"][/url]


[url="http://img204.imageshack.us/i/dscf2415z.jpg/"][/url]
[b]
Pros. [/b]

[i]*VERY lightweight for a 2x15.
*Pumps out a ridiculous amount of volume.
*Looks the biz from the stage.
[/i]
The cabinet produces a heck of allot of volume, it's not muddy or flabby at incredibly high volumes. It managed to take a minute or so noodling at full volume on the SVT 5 PRO.

The tweeter really adds SO much to the range of the cab. I couldn't imagine being without it. There is allot of Midrange and it can cut through twin guitars no problem. I have had complaints from neighbours.

Because of its ultra lightweight, it is a keeper as it is incredibly convenient as my back has all sorts of problems.

[b]Cons.
[/b]
[i]*Construction issues.
*Lack of Low end.
*Deadlines broken repeatedly.[/i]

Unfortunately this will be the meat and potatoes of the review. It's much easier to complain about something then praising!

I first asked Alex about a Barefaced Vintage just after the SE bass bash.

I was interested in getting a Wilhelm scream/Brian Robinson tone. But also with a good slap tone. He recommended the Vintage would have more than enough high end to handle what I wanted. I insisted on a tweeter being installed as I wasn't so sure. This cost an additional £75. I am glad I did go for the tweeter as I can't get that tone without having the tweeter on full. Minor point.

Anyway Alex mentioned that he had a few Vintages in stock already he could install a tweeter into one of them and ship out within a week. (Paid for the cab on the 13th of October.)

After many excuses which included not having enough grill cloth, being overloaded with orders and having the main workshop guy off sick. I received the cab on the 18th of November. First problem was encountered. The first time I tried to use the side handles, they ripped off in my hands, I wasn't even putting very much pressure on them. I was not very pleased considering I had spent this much money on a cab, haven't even plugged it in yet and the seemingly cheap handles ripped off. I plugged the cab in and everything else was fine, though I felt that the tweeter had a bit too much hiss.

I emailed Alex about it. It seemed to be that the Screws weren't man enough for the job. He said it was probably that he probably missed the bracket inside the screw and that why it was ripped out so easily and that he would send me a £50 refund and some teen nuts to secure the screw in again. At this point I was not very happy, paying £825 for a cab only for me to actually have to do work on it! How hard is it to test a cabs handles after installation? I would have been surprised if anything else was tested. Anyway, I welcomed the £50 refund as money is incredibly tight at the moment, and I was happy to keep the truth concealed as it was probably a once off.

Anyway. After preparing myself for the fact I had to work on my new cab I opened it up just to see what the exact problem was. The only way in was through taking off the speakers. The speaker grill was held on by some very flimsy stick on Velcro. When I pulled the grill off, most of the cab side of Velcro did too. Ultimately the Velcro side was too effective for the stickiness on the back of the Velcro to hold. (When I put the grill back on I had to rip the Velcro apart from each other and stick the cab side Velcro back on the cab.)

I unscrewed the speaker and took a look inside. Little did I know that the tee nuts that held the speaker onto the cab were only lightly screwed in and they had all fallen out into the cab. Anyway, I looked into the cab and saw that the handle was screw did in fact get drilled into the bracket. Which reaffirmed my position that the screw was not man enough for the job. I emailed Alex stating that the bracket wood must have stripped away. I spent 4 hours dickering around with the cab trying to reinstall the tee nuts into the speaker area so I can install the speaker again. They kept falling out every time I applied screw pressure. It is hard to reinstall the tee nuts as much of the wood had already been eaten away from the first installation (Which appeared to my non expert eye) a terrible job in the first place!

At this point, I had decided to send the cab back as this was obviously beyond me and frankly I shouldn't have to repair my brand new cab due to installation errors and non testing in the first place. So I contacted Alex who said it was no problem.

Anyway, I had to pester Alex three times to try and get my promised refund back, as without it, I wouldn't be able to send the cab back (no mention of a further refund to send the cab back due to manufacturer error. I am pretty sure the sale of goods act states something to that effect)

Eventually I got the £50 which was refunded for the reason that I had troubles with the cab (Note, not money to send the cab back)

I spent 3 hours repacking the cab as I had already broken down the original box (my fault) I used something like 2 rolls of parcel tape and managed to send the cab back for a cool £50. (25/11/09) He said he would send out the replacement immediately...

The day after I sent the cab back, Alex E-mails me saying that he just remembered why the first cabs handles failed. He took the original cab to bassday to show it off, but didn't install the big screws needed for the handles and just installed smaller ones so it looked completed. After bringing it back from bassday he forgot to install the new screws and just sent it out.

I was bloody furious at this, I told him many times I thought it was the fact the screw was not man enough for the job and that he never missed the bracket, and somehow that didn't jog his memory that he didn't install the correct screws in the first place? So I had just spent the £50 which was not refunded to me because I had to send the cab back (But with money in apology for the problem in the first place) only to just have been told that I never needed to send it back in the first place as it was just a simple matter of installing larger screws. (Which even I could do)

...After more missed deadlines I finally received the replacement on 09/12/09, Whilst I promised to not make public the issues with the cab in exchange for the £50 refund, considering I had to spend that money to get the cab back to Alex I feel that I had to say something)

So not only had Alex not performed some simple testing, sent me a cab that was never finished and never offered to refund the postage cost. (And I hate pressing the issue)

The new cab was absolutely fine. With no problems.

To the other negatives.

There is a lack of fundamental low end with the Vintage which I was a bit disappointed at. But considering the depth and lightness of the cab, I was not surprised. Maybe this is a voicing issue but not sure. The cab Feels flimsy and seems badly constructed, sort of more of a bedroom project then a professional project when viewed up close. The replacement cab still has the same Velcro/grill issue as the original cab and the grill in fact fell out of the cab when I was wheeling it out of the car from last night's practice.

[b]My conclusions.
[/b]

[i]The cab[/i]

The cab is stupendously lightweight, and has a huge amount of volume and a decent quality of sound.
The cab feels flimsy, has construction issues and appears that the most of the cost of the construction was spent on the speakers and little else, lacks a little bit of bottom and the tweeter is the hissiest I have come across. Due to the construction flimsiness/quality I think the asking price of £825 shipped for a T'Vintage is not worth the money. Whilst lightweight, I think the 2x15 concept for barefaced is flawed, the cab is still and awkward size to cart about, the handle placement is a little low to grab and the wheels don't seem to be able to take much abuse.

[i]Barefaced/Alex[/i]

I think Alex is generally a nice bloke, he has problems just like the rest of us and he never intended for all of these problems to occur, he responded to emails promptly and had a willingness to get things sorted, however I think the fact that some of his cabs have construction issues (And I know I am not the only person who believes this) means that they need to have a better build quality, such as better handles, screwed in grill and better wheels. Yes it adds weight but will make it a better quality cab overall. Alex on more than one occasion mentioned he needed to give up his day job to concentrate on Barefaced and I can only agree! I am sure the problems that I experienced was a rare occurrence. Also i think Alex should consider how badly a person can feel when something they have paid for goes so wrong and realise when people may have felt a little cheated.

I also feel that Barefaced is overhyped by some of the fellow bass playing community, the fact they are so lightweight being the primary motivator. It echoes memories of a few years ago when people on bass world were going nuts over Ashdown gear, now a few years later the majority of people slate them. I fear that unless construction issues are addressed and less emphasis put on lightness then the cabs popularity could be just a passing fad. c

I am also told by another forumite that Alex intends to just put larger screws in my original Vintage and send it back out again at the same price which to me is a no no. (Though this may now change since i posted the review)

[i]Myself[/i]

* I like the Vintage, its loud and light with a good solid punch. I don't think the cab is worth the money when you look at the parts used to make it. There are many manufacturers out there that make cabs for the same price which sound just as good, whilst they aren't light, they have more low end and are more solid.

* The Big one would have been more suited to my needs as it has a little more low end then the Vintage.

* If you want an ultra lightweight cab which is handy for carting around to practices that is very loud, get a barefaced.

* However if you want a workhorse that can take the stresses of regular gigging, go for a mass manufacturer, Warwick, Ampeg, mark bass, GK etc.

I will be keeping the vintage for its convenience but will probably invest in a more solid cab for regular gigging.

I havent contacted Alex about the replacement cab since i recieved it as i wanted to post this review first. I am not after the further £50 refund that i should have received on principle and this is not the reason why i posted this review.



I have tried to be as honest as i can in this review. I have had the cab for a while now so this is not a review written in anger. I hope everyone can make an informed decision as to whether they want a Barefaced or not :) The problem i have given myself is that i have probably devalued the cab by this review which could make it difficult to sell on if i decide to sell up at a later date.

Robert Quick.


[b]NOTE, I have posted this in amps and cabs to get peoples reactions and opinions, when that dies down i will move this to the basschatter review forums. [/b]

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I guess that something's got to give in a situation where someone has limited time and high R&D. I have had custom 1-offs by competent, well-regarded professionals that has not cut it in the real world, and whilst annoying, I tend to have sympathy for these people who are juggling too many commitments.

I guess that what I'm trying to say is that if Barefaced are the high-quality products that a lot of BCers claim them to be, then this was a simple anomaly that Alex can learn from. This review would not, however, stop me from buying Barefaced.

Dan

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Mmmm, that's put me off getting a Barefaced.
I need a cab that can take the rigours of gigging and being left in a trailer the rest of the time. Would rather put up with the bit extra weight !

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My 2p, as I have seen said cab in action in Rob's capable hands.

It is really, really, and I mean really light. I literally watched Rob lift the cab above his head last night. ABOVE HIS HEAD!

As I heard it in action while at rehearsal, I can attest that is pumped out a reasonable volume with the Ampeg driving it at full whack (not quite as ball shatteringly loud as my old GK Neo 212 and 112 rig, but could be the voicing - to my ears it had a very scooped tone even with the mids on the amp whacked up, but then again, Rob's Pedulla does have the dreaded "mids? what do you mean, mids?" Bart pickups :) )

It was (as the name suggests) a very vintage tone, so I can see why Rob had the tweeter added (which was, I can also attest, a bit hissy? Not sure if that is something that could be related to the tweeter itself or signal path however).

I have to agree with Rob, I wouldn't fancy gigging it for any length of time in the sort of venues I've been known to gig in as it didn't feel particularly robust (I wouldn't trust it to withstand a hefty knock from a cymbal stand in the hands of a drunken support band drummer), but that I guess is the trade off for the franky staggering light weight. I can see it suiting some bassists for sure - if you're playing motown with an old school tube amp you'll love it, and I guess that's what it's aimed at.

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[quote name='largo' post='684287' date='Dec 14 2009, 06:33 PM']....Mmmm, that's put me off getting a Barefaced....[/quote]
Isn't the northern Compact heading up to Scotland soon? Get on the list and have a look for yourself.

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I'm sorry to hear you've had all these problems.

However, had I been in this position, I'd have sent the whole thing to Alex beforehand to let him know I was about to post it.

Just sayin'.

I hope you get yourself sorted.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' post='684307' date='Dec 14 2009, 06:51 PM']I'm sorry to hear you've had all these problems.

However, had I been in this position, I'd have sent the whole thing to Alex beforehand to let him know I was about to post it.

Just sayin'.

I hope you get yourself sorted.[/quote]

I have let him know about the thread.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' post='684307' date='Dec 14 2009, 06:51 PM']I'm sorry to hear you've had all these problems.

However, had I been in this position, I'd have sent the whole thing to Alex beforehand to let him know I was about to post it.

Just sayin'.

I hope you get yourself sorted.[/quote]

I don't see what the difference is between Barefaced and another manufacturer.... If it had been a review of say an ampeg or Markbass..... should we have to send the review to them before posting???

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[quote name='crez5150' post='684311' date='Dec 14 2009, 06:55 PM']I don't see what the difference is between Barefaced and another manufacturer.... If it had been a review of say an ampeg or Markbass..... should we have to send the review to them before posting???[/quote]

In all honesty? Yes. I've done it before with Genz Benz. I just find it a more constructive and civil way to do things.

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[quote name='wateroftyne' post='684321' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:02 PM']In all honesty? Yes. I've done it before with Genz Benz. I just find it a more constructive and civil way to do things.[/quote]

Well I think you'd be in a minority on this forum

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[quote name='wateroftyne' post='684321' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:02 PM']In all honesty? Yes. I've done it before with Genz Benz. I just find it a more constructive and civil way to do things.[/quote]

Whilst saying you will post a thread about poor service/goods on BC is actually now a substantial threat to any company, there is no rule saying you have to contact the company first - and this is no exception. It sounds like several opportunities arose for the situation to be rectified, and I guess Alex would have expected something to have been said on BC when the customer felt unfairly treated.

Good review and quite measured, given the frustration this has caused. Hopefully things will be put right (behind the scenes) and we can all learn from it.

After my last public BC complaint, Roland have even put people who can read in their warehouses, so it does work.

ped

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[quote name='ped' post='684326' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:06 PM']After my last public BC complaint, Roland have even put people who can read in their warehouses, so it does work.

ped[/quote]
:) :rolleyes: :lol:

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[quote name='chris_b' post='684293' date='Dec 14 2009, 06:40 PM']Isn't the northern Compact heading up to Scotland soon? Get on the list and have a look for yourself.[/quote]

:) Yep I'm the one it's heading to...

Edited by largo

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Bugger man :wacko:

I am a little unsure as to the fundamental note thing? Can you compare it to a tone that you think you should be able to get that you cant? Does that makes sense? hehe.

It definately took a few weeks for my speakers to bed in properly. Those lows seemed to get lower and tighter. I hope they bed nicely on yours too!

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[quote name='MythSte' post='684361' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:37 PM']Bugger man :wacko:

I am a little unsure as to the fundamental note thing? Can you compare it to a tone that you think you should be able to get that you cant? Does that makes sense? hehe.

It definately took a few weeks for my speakers to bed in properly. Those lows seemed to get lower and tighter. I hope they bed nicely on yours too![/quote]

Its sorta similar to if you used a all valve amp and a Low B string. The lower the note, the more power it needs and the quieter it gets, thats kind of what i get with the cab. This is comparing it against a Marshall 1x18 (Which frankly was pretty awful) and a Peavey 4x10. Those two cabs when playing the low B made my bowels quiver, but not the barefaced. However Alex does point out that the Big one is better for this sort of thing, Which i also pointed out in my review. The Vintage is named the Vintage for a reason, for that reason, it wasent a major point I made in the review.

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Hmm...! Yeah i've never tred my vintage with a 5 string. In fact, ive never played anything other than a fender through it... :)

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Sounds about right based on what I heard in the short time I was there. Definately had more of an old school sound, more blooming bass than tight thud in the chest, for want of better adjectives.

Edited by Wil

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[quote name='Wil' post='684373' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:46 PM']Sounds about right. Definately had more of an old school sound, more blooming bass than tight thud in the chest, for want of better adjectives.[/quote]

I really want to try a (relatively) low powered all tube head with it, Get the beautiful melting bass tone. Mmmm....

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Hi Rob,

If I were you, based on what you've said then I wouldn't keep the cab. Send it back, I'll give you a refund for all your costs so all that'll you'll have wasted is your time, and then buy another cab. If you're not going to use the cab for gigging because you think it's fragile then there's no point owning it.

I've noted the points about the velcro - on previous cabs I used velcro from top to bottom but that made the grill nigh on impossible to remove, so in future I'll use about twice as much as on your cab. The tweeter doesn't hiss, that's your bass/pedals/amp - tweeters don't create hiss, they just reproduce whatever's in the signal chain - this tweeter is very transparent and goes very high so you will hear all the hiss from your equipment. The tee-nuts/bolts clamp the speakers in very securely but it is an art removing the speaker without causing them to pop out - unfortunately you removed the speaker without telling me so I didn't have a chance to advise you on the best method!

There have been no other problems with handles on Barefaced cabs - but this was entirely self-inflicted by me putting the handles on quickly for the Brighton Bass Day demo and forgetting that was a temporary fix. Certainly something that won't happen again! As I said before, I'm sorry it caused such pain.

Regarding the apparent lack of lows, either the speakers haven't loosened up yet (how many hours has it been used at high SPL for?) or you're doing something seriously wrong with your EQ. It has much bigger lows than the vast majority of bass cabs but the speakers do take some time to run in.

The last thing I want is a semi-satisfied owner, so I suggest finding something to replace it and then let me know when you want it collected, obviously at your convenience. If you'd like a refund before you send it back so you can buy whatever else you choose, then that's fine by me as long as I get the cab back relatively soon afterwards!

Alex

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[quote name='alexclaber' post='684381' date='Dec 14 2009, 07:54 PM']Hi Rob,

If I were you, based on what you've said then I wouldn't keep the cab. Send it back, I'll give you a refund for all your costs so all that'll you'll have wasted is your time, and then buy another cab. If you're not going to use the cab for gigging because you think it's fragile then there's no point owning it.[/quote]

As you know, i already know about the return policy, i havent made a decision yet, I guess i am mostly semi satisfied due to the experience as opposed to the actual cab itself. I do not gig very regularily so my perceieved flimsyness is not so much an issue with me. However it is my opinion which i feel other people should know if they plan to regularily gig with it.


[quote]I've noted the points about the velcro - on previous cabs I used velcro from top to bottom but that made the grill nigh on impossible to remove, so in future I'll use about twice as much as on your cab. The tweeter doesn't hiss, that's your bass/pedals/amp - tweeters don't create hiss, they just reproduce whatever's in the signal chain - this tweeter is very transparent and goes very high so you will hear all the hiss from your equipment. The tee-nuts/bolts clamp the speakers in very securely but it is an art removing the speaker without causing them to pop out - unfortunately you removed the speaker without telling me so I didn't have a chance to advise you on the best method![/quote]

Whilst this is true, some of the tee nuts werent securely screwed as a number of them only partially covered the wood (IE a small section of the tee nut isent secured into wood). I realised when i was unscrewing them that something was dropping out, when i started undoing them more gently, the tee nuts were still dropping out.

[quote]There have been no other problems with handles on Barefaced cabs - but this was entirely self-inflicted by me putting the handles on quickly for the Brighton Bass Day demo and forgetting that was a temporary fix. Certainly something that won't happen again! As I said before, I'm sorry it caused such pain.[/quote]

I understand that this was probably one off, Though i still question how good the handles really are. Maybe a handle that uses more then one screw per end would feel more solid?

[quote]Regarding the apparent lack of lows, either the speakers haven't loosened up yet (how many hours has it been used at high SPL for?) or you're doing something seriously wrong with your EQ. It has much bigger lows than the vast majority of bass cabs but the speakers do take some time to run in.[/quote]

I havent ranted it that much admittedly. Somehow i was under the impression that you ran in the speakers during testing before sending them out.

[quote]The last thing I want is a semi-satisfied owner, so I suggest finding something to replace it and then let me know when you want it collected, obviously at your convenience. If you'd like a refund before you send it back so you can buy whatever else you choose, then that's fine by me as long as I get the cab back relatively soon afterwards!

Alex[/quote]

I'll make a decision at somepoint soon. Thanks for getting back to me, i was already aware i can return it because of the return policy.


What is your position based on the partial refunds? Should people pay for the return of a cab that is not fit for purpose? Or is shipping refunded? On this assumption, if i returned this cab, wouldnt i get shipping refunded twice as well as the full price of the cab?

Cheers!

Rob.

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[quote name='EBS_freak' post='684410' date='Dec 14 2009, 08:11 PM']Do you still want that spirit level for installing the tweeter?[/quote]

That was funny the first time :)

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