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OK, I give up. What's the TB consensus on best DB cab?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Wild Rice Chris, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris Supporting Member

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    Rice Custom Guitars, Inc
    Single cab, accurate reproduction. Not too concerned about size/weight or price at this point, mostly concerned with tone and ability to keep up with a reasonable drummer.
  2. tcl

    tcl

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    It'll be interesting to hear what other folks post but I'm guessing that there's no such animal. I regularly use an Acoustic Image Chorus Series 3 with an Eupohic Audio M-Line Wizzy 12 for a lot of my gigs. In a really intimate setting, I'll skip the M-Line but I'm still likely to bring it with me and then unplug it. I actually like the mix of the 10-inch in the AI and the 12-inch in the EA otherwise I'd buy a AI head to drive the Wizzy. A lot of it depends on the venue and the band so, I aim to come prepared.
  3. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    Crazy 88, Thunderchild 12 are great. The new Big E cabs Mike Arnopol will build are very promising and I look forward to auditioning them on a gig. They were impressive in the living room.

    I've been using an EA CXL 112 for some time and like it a lot.
  4. James Gibson

    James Gibson

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    I've tried a couple different cabs, nothing too boutique. I own two Wizzy M-Line 12 cabs, and I love them like children, along with the iAmp 800!
  5. chuck3

    chuck3

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    Acoustic Image are recommended by Upton who made my uprights, and they look and sound great from what I've seen and heard. Maybe some day for me.

    In the meantime, I am very happy with the Genz Benz line of Shuttles. It's a very flexible group of combos, heads and cabs. The cabs sound great with DB IMO.
  6. Nathan Levine

    Nathan Levine Supporting Member

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    Big E cabs??? Can you give us any more info on that new development?
  7. Wild Rice Chris

    Wild Rice Chris Supporting Member

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    Rice Custom Guitars, Inc
    Yeah, the Crazy88 and Thunderchild 12 have my attention the most.

    I've been using a pair of Wizzy10 cabs with an EA Doubler for the last 2.5 years, a single Wizzy 10 as an extension to an AI Contra for the two years before that, the AI Contra alone for the four years before that, and a GK 400RB and Hartke 4x10" for three years before that. Every step has been an improvement.

    Most of my gigs the past 6-7 years have been mic only for folk gigs or the amp just reinforcing my acoustic tone for jazz gigs. Lately, I'm playing with louder musicians in an acoustic rock setting and need something closer to a mini-PA. I've done a few stupid-loud gigs with my GK 1001RB-II and Bag End S15-D pair and been fairly happy, but I wasn't going for a traditional tone there.

    I've always been a little leery of tweeters. The only ones I've spent any amount of time with were an Ampeg Classic 410 and 210 and a Bag End S15X-D, and I don't think I ever played DB through them. I hated the tweeters in the Ampegs, I sold a few electric basses before realizing that the tone I hated was the cab (wish I had those back now!). The Bag End sounded much better, but it was too crispy up top for EB. I have great sounding EB cabs, so that is not a prime concern for me now. I also had the mid-tweeter in the AI Contra. I always felt like it needed more presence and cut in the lower trebles, and the tweeter did not bring as much as I wanted. I'm looking for clear, present, accurate highs, and I think the only way there is with a good tweeter/crossover. I find it easier to tame the highs than to add in what the cab is incapable of delivering.

    Lately, I always bring the Wizzy10 stack, as the pair is so much better than a single. It is fine when I'm using a pickup, but I'm always wanting more treble. Even more so with a mic.

    Most of the time I play a 19th century German bass with a Full Circle on it and I almost always have an fdeck HPF-Pre in line. I bow ~15-20% of the time.

    I'm not too concerned with weight, anything under 50 lbs or so is fair game.

    I'd be willing to sell off some gear to fund a great single cab. The Wizzys could go, along with a '63 Fender Bassman, a few vintage lap steels, and a guitar amp or three.

    Even better if it can double up as an acoustic guitar cab and mini-PA for mic'd flute.
  8. Eric Hochberg

    Eric Hochberg

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    All I know is that they are a new design by a couple of scientists/engineers. They killed in the living room. Mike has used them on a few gigs and thinks they are great. As soon as I take one out, I'll report.
  9. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

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    This is the comparison that interests me the most. I also wish that someone would post prices of these cabs and the various options available. The Big E cabs would likely be more than I'd need. If I had a nickel for every time I heard about a system designed by scientists/engineers.... :) As usual, the proof of this pudding will be in the hearing.
  10. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

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    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Well, Les I have been using only the Big E cabs for over a month now. Maybe about 20 gigs. Electric and upright. Every conceivable type of situation.I won't use anything else now. And I love my other cab designs.

    There are Big E's in every size. The 2 x 5 is similar in size to my Crazy 8. And similar in dynamic range. The 2 x 6 is similar in size and dynamic range to my 88. Then the bigger ones. All have tweeters.
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC Supporting Member

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    Mike-- Thanks for all of that. Maybe it's just me but it doesn't seem easy to find specs, pricing, and availability. I'd sure appreciate any guidance/help in that regard.
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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    EA VL208s - I've got two of them and the only thing that sounds better than one, is two stacked on top of each other! :)
  13. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    WCR,
    With my 5/8 size Mirecourt Bass, Thomastik Spirocores, a Walter Woods MI-400-8 or Electroacoustic Ultra, I'm presently only using one of two cabinets.

    a Audiokenisis TC-112 for most gigs, it covers the room,
    sounds great on stage and off, works with either my Mirecourt or my Lakand 55-94 and weighs 30 lbs.

    or a Euphonic Audio VL 108. it covers those duo, and trio gigs where there is no drummer, or the drummer is a percussionist.

    I own a whole slew of other cabinets, A VL 208, which at 48 lbs is very heavy compared to the TC 112 and sounds great, but as great it sounds the TC 112, sounds better, in all but a few circumstances. A LDS 2x8 Three Way that has a very nice sound, but weighs 46 lbs. A VL 110 that just sits in the basement gathering dust.

    Ric
  14. Vunz

    Vunz

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    Glockenklang Acoustic Art
  15. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Supporting Member

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  16. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    Bruce,
    Just like most builders Duke LeJune went after the BG market first, because there are greater numbers of potential buyers. What we found out, mostly thanks to Ken Jung's posting his comments over to the Double Bass threads, was that cabinet had the potential to be a great DB cabinet as well. Mike Arnopol got one a little after I did, and the rest is kind of history. My VL 208 isn't going out to gigs anymore, because the TC 112 has essentially replaced it for over a year now. It weighs almost 20 lbs less than the EA. There is a review of it on Bass Gear Magazines website.

    Ric
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Administrator

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    I have never heard a Big E or Crazy 8/88. But with every other cab I've ever used* or heard (which includes the TC 112), the single two most important aspects of how they sound were the player's actual acoustic sound and the devices (pickup, mic, preamps and preamp settings, etc.) used to get the signal to the speaker. In my experience, there is no best cab, therefore there won't be a consensus. Each front end (player + pickup/mic + preamp electronics/EQ) will lend itself to a result that will sound different with each cab, and some cabs will sound more pleasing to the player than others.

    The most accurate sound I've heard was probably from a pole mounted mini-PA style rig. But with that, the schlep is a serious drag and the closer the band gets to "stoopid loud", the more that accuracy becomes so transparent that it ceases to be "stoopid loud" (and some may consider this a benefit).

    [mini-rant]
    I'd love to hear some of these new rigs, and hope to try some of them in the future. I remember a period from years ago when I was constantly tweaking the rig and schlepping tons of different stuff to try to achieve the perfect sound. Sometimes it worked, and that was really great when it happened. But in my case, there were an equal number of times where the sound wasn't quite there and I spent too much of the gig trying to dial it in to the point where I missed a lot of music that could have been happening in order to try to tweak the sound into something that I thought would make it better; the dial turning in quest of the perfect sound took my attention away from the music, and that was a detriment to the music. At this point I have one rig with a really simple front end. The rig has a color, but it's a pleasing color and I try to use as little amp as I can to fit into the music that's happening. For me over the past few years, this has been far preferable to what came before even if on some gigs in some venues I was able to get a more accurate sound before. Now the result is more consistent and (I feel) more centered on the playing and the music. As always, YMMV and YMWCB.
    [/mini-rant]



    * EA VL208, VL108, Wizzy 10, Wizzy 12, CXL 112, Acoustic Image cabs, Falk Audio PA cabs, etc. plus a large variety of back line cabs borrowed for gigs.
  18. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Gold Supporting Member

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    I couldn't have said it better, that's why I usually list all the different elements in my signal chain.

    ... and unfortunately, what you hear on stage, even in a club isn't what the audience hears. Some cabinets can really fool you, because, they sound so good standing right next to the cabinet. Most of that quality gets to the audience, but the low bass you hear on stage dies off pretty quickly after the first few rows of a medium sized auditorium, or towards the back of the club.


    True again, I have no desire to schlep a pole mount, but I will use a chair to curb the boom.


    [mini-rant]
    ....... I spent too much of the gig trying to dial it in to the point where I missed a lot of music that could have been happening in order to try to tweak the sound into something that I thought would make it better; the dial turning in quest of the perfect sound took my attention away from the music, and that was a detriment to the music.......Now the result is more consistent and (I feel) more centered on the playing and the music. As always, YMMV and YMWCB.
    [/mini-rant]

    We've all been there, and I totally agree. I can't quite get it down to a single amp and cabinet, but I'm darned close.
    Fortunately, I've used Walter Woods amps for a very long time now. They are a constant that I can depend on, it's easier, IHMO, to only have to switch out cabinets.

    Ric
  19. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune Only immortal for a limited time Gold Supporting Member

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    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    My sonic goal in this case was a neutral-sounding cab with fairly uniform tonal balance over a reasonably wide frontal arc. In other words it's not a deliberately "voiced" cab, like many bass guitar cabs are. That approach works well for some electric bass players, and not so well for others. It's arguably more likely to work well for double bass players, where the sonic goal is often "just like my instrument, only louder".

    I do offer "acoustic friendly" versions of my Thunderchild cabs that incorporate a low-level rear-firing tweeter. This adds some high frequency energy to the reverberant field, thereby more closely approximating the way an unamplified acoustic instrument behaves. The rear-firing tweeter also helps your drummer to better hear what you're doing, or you too, if the cab is out in front a bit to stave off feedback.
  20. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member

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    Got to chime in here. Since the Big E's were mentioned I think it's safe for me to talk about them. I know that this sounds nuts, but they change very little as you move away from the cab. I'm usually glued to within 3 feet of the cab so that I can hear and feel my bass. With the Big E while it's a bit louder next to the cab, with EB I find myself walking around the stage with very little change. In a loud band that I play with the sound guy would prefer if I used in-ears and control all of the bass in the pa. On my first gig with the 2 x 8 Big E (competes with a 15) I had the Big E firing sideways toward me as more of a monitor. The sound guy kept walking back and forth from his mixer (about 30 ft. away) to my cab and said that the volume was relatively unchanged. He took me out of the pa and said that the sound (not even firing forward) was consistent with no room nodes 3/4 of the way back and sounded better than the pa.
    On DB I played a 2x6 cab and it was more convenient for my cab to be about 6 feet away. No problem. I've had audience members (and even drummers ) commenting about how they could feel the bass much better.

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