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Form Factor Audio: a newcomer to the bass cab world

Discussion in 'Amps [BG]' started by Laurent, Dec 1, 2012.


  1. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    I stopped at the Bass Exchange / The Amp Shop in Southern California during the week and what grabbed my attention was not the pedal I was testing but the cabinet.

    The cabinet sounded really good, transparent, tone neutral and dynamic without being aggressive. That 210 sounded a lot bigger than your regular 210. They also had a 115 so I had to try this one as well. I have a fair amount of experience with 15" and again this cab sounded terrific.
    Very well balanced, dynamic and transparant.

    Tone wise they sat somewhere in the realm of a Bergantino, an Euphoni Audio or a TecAmp. I do know that these are big names to be used in conjunction with a new brand but they sounded that good.

    A conversation with Gary who owns the Bass Exchange confirmed that a lot of R&D and quality components had gone into making these. They indeed offer an incredibly polished tone that I could not find much to criticize.

    The cabs are covered with a kind of truck liner paint, the handles are built in and the weight felt like 45 to 50 lbs.
    Crossover has really been well done.
    Price point is $899 for the 15" and $799 for the 210.

    It's hard to evaluate new cabs without an A/B test and during a single audition but I have the feeling these cabs will make a name for themselves quickly.

    Here is the link I found on them:
    http://www.formfactoraudio.com/

    I also suspect Mr. Bowlus is about to get busy with these!
     
  2. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Filling the room with half the speakers! in comparison with what exactly is the only sensible question a loudspeaker designer would ask.
    I thought that advances in recent loudspeaker design meant that the differences in performance between brands are more likely to be in line with the variable qualifying lap times of the top teams in formula one.
    and no the red bull is not twice as fast as a Ferrari.
    Why is it that the gear manufacturers imagine that kind of buffalo bagels
    Is going to impress anyone older than 12.:bassist:
    What are the speakers they use?, they infer they manufacture the horn unit themselves. Is that just the horn or the compression driver and diaphragm if so what's the availability of parts going to be like in a couple of years?.:bassist:
     
  3. wcriley

    wcriley

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Western PA
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    In comparison to the 410 version. Both have identical sensitivity according to specs listed on the site.

    Anyone know what "calibrated birch" is?
     
  4. Bassmec

    Bassmec

    Joined:
    May 9, 2008
    Location:
    Ipswich UK
    Disclosures:
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    Twice the speaker coupling does not give you any increase in sensitivity?
    well that is a first.
    They seem to be even less governed by the laws of physics than most other bass gear manufacturers.:bassist:
     
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  6. Mehve

    Mehve

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2012
    Location:
    Kitchener, ON
    Gratuitous copy-paste, I suspect. You'll notice the 410's description is of the 115 model. There are also spelling error sprinkled around at random. Also been a while since I've seen a manufacturer go to the trouble of publishing frequency and power data, yet not cab dimensions or weight.
     
  7. Dan Knowlton

    Dan Knowlton Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2002
    Location:
    La Mesa (San Diego area), Cali
    Apparently, it is even better than the "Blatic Birch" that they use on their 1x15 cab!

    I think I'll stick with my 1x15!

    Dan K.
     
  8. christw

    christw Get low!

    Joined:
    May 11, 2008
    Location:
    Dayton OH
    Disclosures:
    Endorsing: J Worrell Bass
    Blatic Birch might be an upgrade for my pylwood 115 ;)
     
  9. MikeBass65

    MikeBass65

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Location:
    Long Beach,CA
    I suggest you listen to this speakers, I've heard that boxes in Gary’s shop (2x10” and 1x15”) it's a lot better than anything else. Much can be said about the components, but the components themselves do not make music, to tell the truth, I'm tired of things are made in China. This product is made in the USA and I talked with the sale persons at the store, they say that even t-nuts on this speaker boxes made in Japan. It was a lot of people in the store, because it was after “amp show “ even Mike Tobias was there :hyper:and all liked the sound of Form Factor . :bassist:
     
  10. Chef

    Chef Moderator Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 23, 2004
    Media:
    1
    Location:
    Columbia MO
    Disclosures:
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Super incomplete website.
    Not enough info to have any idea what's going on there.
     
  11. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    I cannot help with all the mumbo jumbo technical stuff.
    I did not look at their site very much.

    All I can add is one of the speaker used (I believe the 15) was made by Faital and that the engineering of these cabs was done by Spectr Audio.

    For the rest I just rely on my ears and what I've heard sounded great. I tend to privilege testing gear rather than reviewing internet data.
     
  12. AllFourths

    AllFourths

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2012
    I just wanted to stop by and add my ears to this discussion. Spent about an hour at the Amp Shop earlier today playing a sweet five string Sadowsky through an Eden WT-800 into the 15" and 2x10" Form Factors together. Incredible sound. Absolutely undoubtably the best low B sound I've ever heard, which the sales folks said was due to these cabinets being "tuned to 32hz". My Carvin BX1500 into my Eden D410XST handles my B strings pretty damn well, but nothing like the Form Factors. We A/Bed the 2x10 Form Factor on its own with an Aguilar 2x10 and the Form Factor sounded like a 4x10 in comparison. Then we A/Bed the Form Factor 2x10 with the Aguilar 4x10, and lemme tell you, that was disturbing. The Aguilar sounded like it was crippling under the thunder of the Sadowsky's beefy low B, while the FF handled it more than modestly. Finally we A/Bed the FF 15" with an Aguilar 15" and thankfully this time Aguilar at least made a case for itself as a beautifully colored, vintage sounding tone that I would love to run my Nash through, while reserving my five and six string beasts for the FF, which again, handled the lows much better. The 15" really just handles the low end with absolute ease, and has highs that are wonderfully musical and unobtrusive. It has none of the floppiness that comes with many 15's, it's super tight and punchy. Slapping through these things took me aback, I literally stopped after my first attack because the punch was so palpable. I rolled back the highs a bit (at this point I was running through the 15 and the 2x10) and continued, and was just floored by the intensity of the attacks. Steamrolling lows with crisp responsive highs.

    Ugh, I'll stop rambling. I'm glad I didn't have enough money at the time to buy them, because I probably would have.

    I really need to try a fEARful though, especially now that Form Factor has raised the bar for what I expect from cabinets.
     
  13. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    Ah, nice to see another Tbayer having the same experience I had.
    Maybe my ears are not completely gone!
     
  14. Molan

    Molan

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2003
    Location:
    Oxfordshire, UK
    Obviously a new company and still developing their product range and site etc.

    They sound really interesting and I'd love to try some of their stuff.

    I see they have differently voiced cabs for rock / slap / blues as well.
     
  15. Laklandlover

    Laklandlover Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2008
    Media:
    4
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA BABY
    I had an opprtunity to play these cabs before NAMM at the Amp Shop and I love them. the portability and sound were great. I was also at the Bassacre in LA and got a chance to play more on them and hear others play them. I really like them.

    26.png

    cabs.JPG

    James
     
  16. David Jayne

    David Jayne

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Location:
    Brookfield, CT
    I never knew transducers had an 'optical' range. Lol.
     
  17. rpsands

    rpsands

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2007
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    Hmm. First instinct is "Cool, another speakers-in-a-box with nothing unique to add vendor." Definitely need more of those.
     
  18. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2000
    Location:
    Groom Lake, NV
    Disclosures:
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    I got to try out most of the models of this line today at Bass San Diego (who do not currently carry them). I started out with the 115, since I hate 15s. Their cabs don't have tweeters in them, rather, they have compression drivers than can be adjusted. With the compression driver set at about 50 percent, the 15 sounded very articulate and was plenty crisp for me on top. It didn't have that boxy low-mid hump that a lot of 15s have. In short, I liked it.

    Form Factor's national sales rep Dane cranked the 112 and the 210 (separately) up very loud and played with a very aggressive attack to show that the cabs don't give up when driven hard. They didn't fart out under what many might consider abuse.

    Tone-wise the 12s were crisp with plenty of bottom. I should mention that most of the tests were done using an Epifani UL-501, which is a very clean-sounding amp. The sound of the cabs changed significantly when we plugged the Aguilar DB-751 into them - it gave a thicker, more classic/vintage tone. My personal preference was the sound from the UL-501, but I'm sure many would like the sound of the fluffier amps, too.

    The 210 was able to go very loud with no break-up. It seems like it's a little heavier in the mids than my AE210, which is my favorite of all cabs. Not quite like 12s, but leaning in that direction.

    I had to split (to my daughter's softball game) before they hooked up the TH500, but I'll ask Chris and George how that went.

    In summary, they're very good sounding cabs with apparently tons of headroom. They're not going to induce me to sell my Bergantinos, but I'll be interested in A/Bing the Form Factor 115 with Jim's new NV115. I think they should do well in the market, assuming they get over the daunting start-up hump.

    BTW, they make all models of their cabs in both ceramic and neo configuration. The drivers are Faital, as I believe someone already mentioned. Dane says they are very customer-service oriented, which I believe is a key element of any product's success.
     
  19. wcriley

    wcriley

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2010
    Location:
    Western PA
    Disclosures:
    Uncompensated endorsing user: fEARful
    Thanks for the review, Munjibunga.
    But I think you meant to write "Their cabs don't have piezo tweeters..."
     
  20. Laurent

    Laurent Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2008
    Location:
    Napa, CA
    The A/B test with Bergantinos sounds interesting. The very fact that you are suggesting this tells me that these cabs are pretty hot and that was exactly my feeling when I first heard them in December of last year.
     
  21. pickles

    pickles Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2000
    Location:
    Ventura, CA
    FFA makes me think future farmers of america. Rebrand might be a good idea IMHO.
     

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