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2x10 Shootout (2nd) Update

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tombowlus, Jun 1, 2006.

  1. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    First, there was My 2x10 Shootout. Then, after picking up some more models, there was the Updated 2x10 Shootout! Now, I bring you the 3rd installment in this series, the 2x10 Shootout (2nd) Update! :)

    In this installment, four "newcomers" (Markbass 102P, Music Man HD-210, Sadowsky SA210, and Schroeder 1010) go head to head against the top three contenders from the prior shootouts (Bergantino HT210, EA NL-210, Glockenklang Duo Wedge). Here's how they look on paper:

    Bergantino HT210 (500w, 8 ohm, 36 Hz to 18 kHz, 100 db, 64 lbs, 18” x 22.75” x 18”)

    EA NL-210 (500w, 8 ohm, 45 Hz to 16 kHz, 100 db, 43 lbs, 22.5” x 17” x 15”)

    Glockenklang Duo Wedge [German model] (400w, 8 ohm, 40 Hz to 18 kHz, 100 db, 53 lbs, 15.4” x 22.8” x 18”)

    Markbass 102P
    (400w, 8 ohm, 45 Hz to 18 kHz, 101 db, 33 lbs, 23.4" x 13" x 17")

    Music Man HD-210 (350w, 8 ohm, 50 Hz to 20 kHz, 98.5 db, 64 lbs, 24" x 17.5" x 18")

    Sadowsky SA210 (400w, 8 ohm, 48 Hz to 16 kHz, 100 db, 50 lbs, 22.75" x 18" x 11.5")

    Schroeder 1010 (8 ohm, 100 db, 59 lbs, and need more stats! :meh:)

    And here is how they look on film:


    I did this shootout at the same time as the 1x12 shootout, so the test gear was the same (Skjold Custom 5, Stewart Audio TD-100, Crest CA9), as was my playing style (mostly fingerstyle, with a little slap/pop for tone testing). My previous test results for the Berg, EA and Glock all pretty much held true, and I have spent more time trying to describe the newcomers.

    The results, in alphabetical order:

    Bergantino HT210<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> &#8211; This cab was very similar to the NL-210, and I was quite surprised by that. Also a true standaout. Most of the comments for the NL-210 also apply, but it was a bit tighter in the lows (with the NL-210 being a bit more warm). The mids were a bit more solid sounding, whereas the mids from cab EA were a bit more cutting. This cab really sounds like a &#8220;bass&#8221; cab, but still remains very dynamic, punchy, full and clear at the same time, and fast, yet with a sense of weight and gravitas. It was one of the louder of the 2x10's, if not the loudest of the group.

    EA NL-210<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]--> &#8211; At the first 2x10 update, this cab actually exceeded my expectations (which were actually high to start with). It was as big, deep and full as the Acme in the lows, but with even more crisp high end (compared to the Low B-2). Midrange clarity was exceptional, with a very quick, very articulate tone and tons of attack. I was surprised, but impressed, by its similarities to the HT-210 (see above).

    Glockenklang Duo Wedge<!--[if !supportEmptyParas]-->&#8211; This extremely impressive cab sounds like a cross between the NL-210 and the HT210 (you see why these three were my top picks from before? :D). It was not quite as big sounding as either of these two, but was very close in this regard. Considering its compact size and wedge design, this is to be expected. Great articulation, clarity and precision without sounding at all harsh. Again, a standout cab among a very good group.

    Markbass 102P - Despite its diminutive size, this little cab is very full and big sounding, which seems to mostly stem from an enhanced low mid voicing. By contrast, it seems to be missing some presence in the upper midrange. The tweeter adds a respectable degree of clarity, but seems to add more string noise than most. On the lowest notes, I did notice the response falling off fairly steeply below A on the B string, but down to that point it was very strong. Once I stood the 102P on end, it sounded much better to my ears (more balanced and articulate, smoother high end), but the overall impression is still a big low end (down to a point), somewhat reticent upper mids, and a rather sharp high end. The overall package is quite respectable, IMHO, especially for such a small and light package.

    Music Man HD-210 - Looking at my notes, the first thing I wrote down was "Wow!", and that about sums it up. It was big, full, deep yet tight in the lows, with a very open high end, and balanced/articulate mids. It did not go quite as deep as the HT210, but in other respects, sounded very similar, though it perhaps had tad more presence in the upper mids, relative to the Berg. Compared to the Glock, it was not quite as "refined", but again quite similar. I wish this cab had an L-pad adapter on the tweeter, though in truth the highs sounded quite nice "set" as it was (with perhaps a tad too much string noise). This cab is rather heavy, but probably delivers the best bang for the buck, tone-wise, of any 2x10 (and perhaps any cab) I have played. Very impressive!

    Sadowsky SA210 - This compact, shallow cab is not quite as deep or full sounding as the NL-210 (few cabs are), but otherwise shared many similarities with the EA, including similar "warmth with clarity" through the mids. The tweeter is fairly aggressive and expansive, though still "connected" to the drivers, which are themselves very punchy. There is a combined sense of clarity and presence that begins in the mids and carries through to the highs. It's not a bump/hump, but just a slightly enhanced presence over this broad range. I have found this to cut through very well in a mix, but without getting boomy or obnoxious. This cab was designed to be used with the all-tube SA200, and as such, I find that with SS amps, some slight low end boosting is called for. Still, it takes to low frequency boost fairly well, and is a full sounding cab, on the whole. Relative to the Duo Wedge, it was also quite similar, though not as open sounding (which is a characteristic that Glocks seem to do so well). While this cab was designed and built by Jim Bergantino (and its outer shell is shared by the HT210S), the drivers, crossover and tweeter are different, and the SA210 has its own voice (exellent, but different from the HT210S). The drivers are very efficient, and this was one of the louder cabs of the group.

    Schroeder 1010 - I have had the pleasure of hearing a number of Schroeder cabs, and this one is perhaps my favorite. Compared to the other Schroeders I have played, it seems more tonally balanced and more clear and precise with fingerstyle playing. That said, compared to the other cabs in this roundup, it is rather boxy and a little congested sounding. There is not a whole lot of what I call "true" low end, but it stays reasonably full. The 1010 is not as low-mid heavy as some other Schroeder cabs, but instead, it's more bumped in the upper mids (especially on the A and D strings). I do like this particular tweeter better than the Selenium titanium tweeter option, and I actually preferred the sound with it cranked up some (though this caused some hiss - which is not unexpected and was not a problem). Being an 8 ohm cab, the 1010 was not any louder than average for this group (though in its upper mid "boost range" it was very loud). Note: although "new", this cab is an older configuration, and Jorg has made numerous changes to his lineup. I am not sure that a 1010 is even offered right now.

    <o></o><o></o>I've been able to review some pretty killer 2x10's, and IMHO, this is a pretty competitive group. Please read any "negative" comments as references in context to the competition - which is very, very good!

    At some point, I'll probably try to consolidate all of these reviews on my blog. And I apologize for the "guessing game" on the 2x10 Update thread. For some reason, I cannot go back and edit the first page so that you can read the real cab names (instead of Cab A, Cab B, etc.). On my blog, I have changed this so that you can read the cab names directly.

    An as usual, this shootout is IME/IMHO, and YMMV. :D

    Later, Tom.
  2. Nice! Since a number of the cabs in the shootouts are no longer made, we should try to get a group of popular and currently available cabs into this (The Epi210UL, the BergHT210S, Eden210XST and XLT, maybe a 1210L, which is the most '210 sounding' of Jorg's current cabs, etc.).

    I can provide the HT210S!

  3. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    MSRP: $799
    One Super Tweeter
    Sensitivity [1W/1m] - 105dB
    Voice Coil Diameter - 1" (25mm)
    Dispersion - 80º conical
    Diaphragm Material - Phenolic

    Two 10" Bass Drivers
    Sensitivity [1W/1m] - 98.5 dB
    Vioce Coil Diameter - 2.55" (65mm)
    Winding Material - Aluminum
    Former Material - Glass Fiber
    Magnet Diameter - 6" (155mm)
    Driver Impedance - 16 ohms

    Enclosure Specifications
    Enclosure Impedance - 8 ohms
    Crossover Frequency - 3kHz
    Frequency Response - -3dB @ 50Hz and 20kHz
    Max Power Handling - 350 Watts RMS
    Connections - (2) Speakon Jacks and (1) 1/4" Phone Jack
    Size - 24"(w) x 17.5" (h) x 18" (d)
    Weight - 64 lbs.

  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks, Vic. The information as been "assimilated." [​IMG]
  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    awesome stuff, TBowl... :cool:
  6. Vic

    Vic There's more music in the nuance than the notes. Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2002
    Central Illinois
    Staff, Bass Gear Magazine
    I've only had brief experiences with a Berg 210, which was Ken's, and I'm not sure if it's exactly the same, but agree with the comments on it here. Same for the EA NL-210's, which are now my main cabs.

    In fact, only recently did I hook them up to "serious" power like Tom's using here, albeit not as much (World 2.1).

    I have been driving them with an EBS HD350 and lately a TFB550B. Always seemed to have enough juice, but on larger stages (like the benefit we recently played... in a warehouse), I was pretty much at the end of my "useable" output (max volume where there's still at least some headroom left for peaks).

    Anyway, got a really good deal on a preamp, so of course I had to get "shoes to match the purse", so to speak, so all the sudden I find myself back into the pre/pwr type rig, where I thought I'd never be again.

    Well let me tell you, those EA's sounded different to me! Holy cow! I feel like I'm finally really hearing what they can do. They sounded great before, but now they're the KING of punch and bite with full range projection! The sound just seems to leap out of these things. I was seriously diggin' having all that reserve power.

    I'm very likely going to be picking up a CA9 and will check them out with that, so then I can really hear exactly what Tom has here, but I expect similar results.

    The point of all this is the importance of feeding cabs "appropriate" power levels if you're going to evaluate them. I now feel that, at my previous 200-300W per cab before, again, they sounded great, but I was just barely getting into their "zone".
  7. how strange... i was so close about 5 hours ago to messaging tom and asking for another new shootout thread! and here it is!!!
  8. Quadzilla

    Quadzilla Supporting Member

    I'd LOVE to see a Aggie S210 on this review. I've had a number of 2x10's and this one still surprises me on how balanced and great it sounds everytime I fire it up. Only thing that concerns me is the relatively low power rating (250W), but Aggie states that they are extremely conservative on their ratings. The mag reviews put much more wattage to it as have I with no issue. Handles a low B well too! Many got these for just $199 when Musiciansfriend was blowing them out. I bought mine well before that deal for a good bit more, but am still not disapointed with my purchase. In any case, GREAT reviews on the other cabs Tom!!!
  9. MacGroove

    MacGroove Brother of the Groove with a 'Pocket Full of Funk'

    Oct 5, 2005
    I always look forward to when you do this. You're much appreciated Tom.
  10. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL

    love the S210!!!

    tried out the AG500 thru an S210, and holy crap, has that low mid kick while sounding full, round, and very proud. barring the schroeder cab, it makes all other cabs shy and polite to a fault.

    shame the aggie guys discontinued it, cause i loved its compact size, and FAT burly kick to the midsection.
  11. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Good point, Vic. :)
  12. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I knew my Spidey senses were tingling for a reason! :D
  13. Where is Avatar in your shootout? That is a very popular cab around here. I think it would be very useful for people to see how it stacks up against the big boys.

    Also if you are willing to sell any of these cabs at a good price let me know
  14. Boomer


    Sep 17, 2003
    Hollywood, FL
    Since the Aggie S210 is no longer in production, I'd like to see a GS210 in these shootouts!
  15. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    PM sent.
  16. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    On for the read.
  17. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Im interested in hearing about the Epi and the HT210s.
  18. v-12


    Mar 3, 2005
    FL Panhandle
  19. I can add those!

    HT210S.... small (only 12" deep) but relatively heavy (55 pounds). It has that signature Berg organic high end response and a very tight, low mid oriented bottom (I assume due to its small size). The cab needs some power... it is relatively inefficient. I would describe the cab as warm and organic, and is a great medium sized gig fingerstyle cab... smooth, warm and punchy. When we directly compared it to the new Sadowsky (identical size, I believe) at Tom's house, the Sadowsky had a much more aggressive treble response (similar to the EpifaniUL line to my ear), and not as much low end (in my opinion, not enough low end to really be usable without an additional extension cab). The HT210S comes in 4 and 8ohm versions, and I would recommend the 4ohm if you plan to use it as a stand alone cab.

    Epi210UL... had one of these for a while. Very wide sounding... deep bass, somewhat shy upper mids, and that wonderful, airy crisp Epifani treble response. The cab is a very large 210 (it's a full 18" deep), but I would guess it's the lightest 210 out there (I believe about 32 pounds!)... amazingly light. While this cab sounded wonderful 'in the basement' playing alone (I actually preferred the solo sound to my other EpiUL cabs), the relatively small box combined with the rather wide voicing and deep low end resulted in this cab getting somewhat buried on the gig and in a busy mix, even at moderate volumes. I always recommend the 310UL over this cab given that the 310UL is still very light, only a little bigger and more expensive than the 210UL, and puts out more wump on the gig (i.e., the bigger box and extra speaker allow that rather wide voicing to project into the room better). The 210UL comes in 4 or 8 ohm versions and is very efficient, so I would recommend the 8ohm version even when using it as a stand alone with a reasonably powered head.

    Of course, IMO as always.
  20. Figjam


    Aug 5, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Ive heard a lot about the epi210 getting lost in the mix so im turned away from it for those reasons. The bit about the ht210s being a little quiet is weird because Tom found the HT210 to be quite loud, i wonder why the difference? I would be using it as a standalone so i dont want it to be too quiet.