Demo: fEARful 15/6 vs Genz Benz UB 212T

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by HolmeBass, Nov 16, 2012.


  1. HolmeBass

    HolmeBass

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    A while ago this thread challenged the TB community for some fEARful comparison clips: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f15/fearful-sound-clips-889345/

    SO I have done just that. It was difficult to do this well, especially with my recording gear, but I think the results are worth posting with caveats and full disclosure of methodology. I can hear why I prefer my 15/6 in this comparison. I can also hear why I was pretty darn happy with the GB 212 until I got my fEARful - it is an excellent bass cabinet. So, the nitty-gritty. :bassist:

    Sound Cloud recording with explanation of comparison

    For the first two comparisons, the funk riff that starts clean and ends with envelope filter, and the rock riff, the Genz cab is first and the 15/6 is second. For the last two comparisons, the wobbly riff and the fuzz riff, the 15/6 is first and the GB cab is second. Please excuse my sloppy playing!

    My Opinion
    Both of these are fine bass cabinets, the Genz Benz is probably my favorite commercial cabinet of those that I have owned. I feel the fEARful is really something special though. The better the speakers you listen to this on, and the louder you listen, the more distinctions you will hear. Still, the recording process was inexact, especially trying to get volumes equal, and my recorder is not of very high quality to begin with, all of which I think masks some of the differences between these two cabinets.

    Gory Details
    I did not re-eq the amp, a Genz Benz ShutleMax 9.2, or the bass, a 4-string Czech-made SSD, between takes. I had the tweeter knob on the GB 212 at about 9:30. The fEARful has no tweeter.

    For the funk riff I used the FET chn with bright engaged, and a Proton. For the rock riff I used the tube chn with a bit of grit. The wobble was done with the FET chn, bright engaged, and a Red Ripper and SA BEF with the HH attachment. The fuzz was also through the FET chn, bright engaged, with a ss/bs TAFM. I attempted to match the volume between the 4-ohm Genz cab and the 8 ohm 15/6 with the master volume on the amp, and it appeared close on the recorder's meter. I did not adjust the recording levels on the recorder. Later playback showed the Genz to have been louder, so I adjusted the volume of the recordings in Audacity.

    I recorded onto an old Fostex VF80ex, which records at 44.1 kHz sample rate, 16 bits. I recorded with an unmatched pair of AKG C 3000 B condenser microphones placed about 5' from the two bass cabinets. Mics set in an "X" pattern. Realize this is not really "hi-fi" recording in any sense of the word.
  2. thudfromafar

    thudfromafar Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chicago
    Very nice. I'm listening thru a relatively hi-fi setup, and I can definitely hear the difference. The genz aint a bad cab, but the fEarful sounds better (IMO) even in these little comparisons. Objectively speaking, there is definitely more clarity, a more full range sound, and a little more bottom end also.
  3. BFunk

    BFunk Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2001
    Location:
    Rhode Island , USA
    +1

    With the heavily effected sections at the end, I found I like the voicing of the GB 212 better. I believe you could get the 15/6 to nail that sound with proper eq. However, I don't think you could eq the 212 to sound like the 15/6. (At lease not readily.)
  4. cableguy

    cableguy

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Location:
    North Bend, WA
    I have played my fEARful 12/6 &12/sub side by side with the GB 212 at a past TB GTG. Using the 700TB-II head without any eq changes between the cabs. Both sounded great, but I though the fEARful had a little better dispersion and low-end. That said if I had to play a commercial cab the GB would be at the top of my list.
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  6. Hobobob

    Hobobob Don't feed the troll, folks. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Location:
    Camarillo, CA
    A very audible difference. What struck me most was the increased hi-mid content of the fEARful. That would definitely lend more clarity to your tone in a mix, but I think it might disappoint someone who craves the classic 4x10 w/ tweeter sound. But hey, why would that guy be looking at a fEARful in the first place?
  7. SBsoundguy

    SBsoundguy

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    Both great sounding cabs. I prefer the fEARful in every aspect except the second comparison.
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Relax... Nothing Is Under Control. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    Interesting. The 15/6 sounds 'un-blanketed' in comparison. Its also noteworthy that the 15/6 is a real chameleon of a cab and can do anything from deep dub to face melting rock given adequate eq. It certainly is not a 'one trick pony.'
  9. HolmeBass

    HolmeBass

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    Thanks for listening and commenting! I hope some non-fEARful users come by and check it out.
  10. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    What was your cost for the two - was one significantly cheaper?
  11. willsellout

    willsellout

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Woodinville, WA
    the fEARfuls are impressive. I love the tone of the one I heard. I wound up going with the GB Neo 212. I'd love to build a 15/6 though.
  12. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Great comparison. I actually greatly preferred the tone of the 212t. What mid do you have in your fEarful?
  13. scottfeldstein

    scottfeldstein Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Location:
    West Bend, Wisconsin
    That's my take also: A houseboat that's a good house and a good boat--and a flying car as well.
  14. HolmeBass

    HolmeBass

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2007
    Location:
    Charlottesville, VA
    I paid $850 new for the GB in the summer of 2010, but they were giving me a break b/c it was the floor model. List is around $1k, but I think you can get some deals on them.

    I bought the fEARful from TB'er MSUSousaphone for $800.

    I didn't build it, but MSU said it was a stock Greenboy spec build, so I think it is the 18sound mid, but probably with the X-over with reduced mids? I am not certain though. For me it works very well.

    The one thing that my comparison doesn't catch is just how much deeper the fEARful goes, especially on the rock tune, the bottom is much more solid and present when the bass and amp are not necessarily EQed for a lot of bass, if that makes any sense.
  15. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    Wow - I expected a significant cost advantage for the GB. But I guess not. In that case the fEARful wins hands down IMO.
  16. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Comparing new to used prices.
  17. Road Bull

    Road Bull Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Location:
    Seattle, WA.
    Very nice post! Thanks for putting these comparison clips together for TB. Both sound nice, but I think the 15/6 sounds sweet. I especially like the how the 15/6 handled the TAFM. It seemed to really open it up. I have not read / heard a lot about running effects into the fEARful cabs. This is a nice taste.
  18. SBsoundguy

    SBsoundguy

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Los Angeles
    You can buy a flat pack with prebuilt crossover and prebuilt switchable mid from Speaker Hardware for $743+shipping.
  19. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    That's a clown comment Bro'

    My comparison was on the price of used to used as described by the OP.

    But FWIW the no significant difference price comparison is true for new/new per the OP's report of the price for a new GB and of course one could build a fEARful 15/6 for less even if you opt for the easy to assemble flatpack approach.

    http://www.speakerhardware.com/fearful-156-flat-pack-deluxe-kit.php
  20. Foz

    Foz

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2008
    Location:
    Jax FL USA
    No need for the switchable mid unless you plan to get a 15/sub later [good plan if you make use of the dB IMO].

    Also - are you adding a horn to make a 15/6+1?

    I'm getting $699.83 delivered to my door in FL for a 15/6 deluxe flatpack with assembled xover, a strap handle and dual Speakons. But you still need grill and finish so add a few $ to the budget.

    http://www.reliablehardware.com/customspeakergrill.aspx

    http://www.speakerhardware.com/products.php?cat=28
  21. wcriley

    wcriley

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Western PA
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Thank you for the time and effort you put into this, HolmeBass.

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