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Another Aguilar GS-112 vs. EA CXL-112L review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Mcrelly, Aug 23, 2003.

  1. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I auditioned the the Aguilar GS-112 today at www.planetbass.com. Its out of his home which is fine. Tony, very nice young man (23) very professional and knowledgable (read customer comments on his site). anyway I auditioned the gs-112 with my EA CXL-112, brought my amp (SWR bass 350/RBI) and guitar (G&L SB-1 pbass 1985). I also played through EA and Aguilar with an Aguilar DB-750 head.

    I noticed right off the bat that the CXL-112L next to the GS-112 sounded thinner and more midrangy? The mids of the Aguilar were darker, but I don't like much mids. The bottom of the aguilar was heavy, heavier than the EA. Closer to the fundamentals?? REMEMBER I bought the CXL-112 without hearing it, I bought it on the sound I heard from the VL-208 and CXL-110L which I borrowed and owned repectively.

    I really wanted to hear the Aguilar to determine if I'd get another CXL-112 or mix it with the Aguilar or return the EA all together. The sensitivity of the Aguilar was 1dB lower than the EA, but that was enough to allow the EA to be heard better than the Aguilar.

    I listened to one GS-112 by itself and it seemed much heavier, maybe not as heavy as the Eden I mentioned in my "CXL-112L great for Slab AND Upright Bass???" thread http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=97465 anyway I found myself liking the sound of the aguilar cab VERY MUCH at least in a solo home usage situation (this guy sells and auditions out of his finished basement). I went back and forth and really couldn't get over how irritating I found the CXL-112 EA sound. Peaple say EA is "hi-fi" or "flat response" maybe so, but I guess I don't like that. I like heavy when I want it and not too bright of midrange or treble.

    Still after all is said and done I was not terribly impressed with my CXL-112L's performance tonight at church. we played louder than at practice. the cab seemed to keep up quite well with overall volume, but some of the lower notes were not as thick as I had hoped and I immediately thought "I wish I had the Aguilar here!" I can't say for sure if the Aguilar's mids will satisfy me, but I'll find out!

    I'm buying one GS-112 Sunday! and I will give it a good workout next thurday's during practice side by side with the CXL-112.

    A side note: I was not terribly impressed with the Aguilar DB-750 head at least with my bass. we played through both cabs and Tony played a new Modulus through them also. the amp sounded better with the modulus than my G&L SB-1 Pbass.

    ...more later when I practice with the GS-112 on august 28th!! stay tuned.
  2. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Aguilar GS-112 owners, Electric Bass players please give me your feedback on midrange and "cut through" abilities of the GS-112. And let me know what you don't like also

  3. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I sold mine 'cause it didn't cut through. Sweet sound by itself but not a "cut through" kinda cab. Midrange is scooped. Try it with a band before you buy it, you'll see.
  4. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    well that was my problem I couldn't try it with the band before I bought because I didn't have a dealer that carried the cab. I borrowed a VL208for two weeks, but didn't think of using it with the band because it was not loud enough to use on its own.

    I don't know if its scooped, thats the weird part the midrange seems loud. maybe it scoops when turned up, maybe its my amp/guitar I DON'T KNOW I don't think I can use it though.

    AMJBASS Supporting Member

    Jan 8, 2002
    Ontario, Canada
    SWR amplifiers generally have a scooped sound. I don't think they pair that well with Euphonic Audio. I have never found a situation where my CXL210 has lacked in any area. I have played Jazz, Blues, and Rock without any problems. However I have been using it with an Eden WT500. If you are looking for a less hi-fi sound, and more of a smooth tone, the GS112 probably would sound better to you. Have you tried boosting the low mids(250hz) when playing through the CXL112? That may help.
  6. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    like you, dont understand the whole mid scooped thing. maybe the tweeter was up too much. *shrug*

    btw, i love the naturally dark voice of GS112 for fingerstyle, cause on any other amp/cab, i usually find myself rolling off all the highs from 5 kHz on up, for a rounder fingerstyle tone.

    but for trying to cut thru with the GS112, try bumping up the upper mids, and decreasing (heresy!! :p ) the lower lows a bit. if you've got a parametric, usually a dip in the 200 Hz or 400 Hz alleviates the muffled, blanketed sound. i love a good smack in the 125 Hz to give the bass drum some added punch.

    and dont be afraid to EQ with your ears, and not your eyes. just cause your EQ settings look all outta wack doesnt mean it dont sound good. also, remember to stand at least a good 5 ft away and in front of the cab to get the best idea of the sound. if you're standing right in front with the sound hitting your knees, you're hearing it "off axis" which might not be a good representation of what your bandmates or your audience hears.
  7. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    DFW, Texas
    I would think the CxL-112 and GS112 would complement each other very well played together, that is if you want two cabs.

    It might take some tweaking to get the tone you're after, but I bet it's there to be found.
  8. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    I don't have that much flexibility with my swr or rbi. I figure I must find a cab that works good with what I got for now. gs-112 sounded nicer, BY IT SELF, but I'm gonna audition it with the church band next weekend to see how it cuts through or not.
  9. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    well I played two more services today with the CXL-112L and thought "its not as bad as I thought. maybe." I think if the volumes were matched between the cxl-112L and the GS-112 they would make a great pair, but I have a mono amp and I think I would need individual volume control, at least at the power amp, to balance the best of both.
  10. rok51

    rok51 Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2002
    Crawfordville, FL
    I have two pair of the GS112s. One I leave in the studio with my SVT III Pro. The other pair I use with my F-1X/PLX1602 setup for stage. As the F-1X doesn't have the capability of boosting mids (you can approximate this by cutting the bass), there have been situations where I wanted a little more 'oomph' in the middle (the Ampeg doesn't have this problem). I had an extra space in my rack, so I added a Behringer PEQ 2200 5 band parametric eq. It takes care of any midrange deficiency and is very quiet, to boot. The GS112s are 'scooped' in the mids, but no moreso than my previous 410TXs were. I love the sound of the little Aggies and am very happy I made the switch.

  11. azbass


    Mar 23, 2002
    Tucson, AZ
    As mentioned earlier, maybe your SWR amp is "mismatched" with the CxL-112L. And, as has been said many times, many ways before: what you put into the cabinet is what you get out of it. You know I own one, so I am biased. Can't get any depth from the cabinet? Don't blame it. I discovered, by chance, how to get a deeper tone with it, and that was to turn down the Lo-Mid control of my iAMP350. There are also recommended settings on this head to get an "old style tube sound," and it's fabulously deep with those settings, but I found it to be a bit much for the cabinet at above "living room" volume.... Translation: it takes some time to get the sound you want out of these things, and you CAN get real depth out of it. I find it, with the iAMP, to be *very* smooth, clear, and clean. But we all have our tastes.
  12. I love my Aggies. I play in a three piece with guitar/vocals, drums, and bass/samples and they cut through great! From metal to country, to jazz, to funk. I love the low mid characteristics. And cutting through is never a problem for me. Maybe because I run an ADA MP2 tube guitar preamp in my rack, though. ;) Loads of mid control.
  13. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, when I got my original two CXL-110L's it was kind of on a whim. Albeit a $970 whim. I wasn't planning on spending over $2000 (new EA cabs and EA head) to improve my sound all at once. I like my SWR/RBI rack and am hesitant to go SS with probably the iamp800, but now I'm kinda looking at the situation $$$. two aggies = $740, two cxl-112L = $1260, GS-112+CXL-112 = $1010

    If I can make do, not dodo :D with two aggies I'd like to go that route. eventually I'd like a more flexible/powerful head like iamp 800, but can't do it right now.
  14. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I think that you are picking cabs from two different ends of the spectrum (Aggie versus newer EA cabs), and it sounds like tonally, your personal preferences might lie somewhere in the middle. With that in mind, you might want to try out another brand, such as Epifani. The T-112 has gobs of low end, but also has good articulation throughout its tonal range. I tend to like upper mids, myself (which is one area where the T-112 is somewhat scooped), so I opted for a T-110UL in addition to a T-112. However, if you don't like mids too much, but you want something that cuts a bit better than the GS-112, you might want to try a pair of Epifani T-112's.

    Of course, you could always pick up a pair of VL-208's... ;)

  15. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I have a pair of GS112's as well as a GS212. The 112's are a little darker than the 212. But, If you are a slapper or fingerstyle funk player I think that this would be good. I have never had a problem being heard or cutting through with my 112's. Like someone mentioned earlier, a good parametric will solve that problem. I use a Demeter HBP-1 with a QSC PLX-1602. I have never had a problem getting the sound I want.

    If you are worried about the 112's being too dark, try a GS212. This cab is tuned a little different and is more shallow than the GS112. The 212 has slightly less bottom end which lets your mids come out a little more.

    All in all, Aggie cabs are the best bang for your buck when it comes to 112 cabs IMO.
  16. Mcrelly,
    You have 4 (or more) threads all dealing with pretty much the same topic (or variations there of), so I guess I'll just post here and be done with it.

    Your disatisfaction (narrow mids) with the CxL112 has been blamed on weak mids in SWR amps. The SWR amps I'm familiar with (baby blue, studio 220, 400s) don't have a weak or scooped midrange, they are relatively flat. That being said, they don't sound as fat in the mids as the old school all tube amps and they don't have the mid hump associated with the Eden sound.

    OTOH, The series I and II Goliath cabinets do have a noticeable mid range scoop. This is not pertinent since you have been using the SWR Bass Monitors which produce most of their sound from the midrange, with a 3db+ roll off at 60hz and below.

    From comments in your threads (and the fact you're using a P type bass with a Tech 21 RBI), I guess you 're looking for that old school mid range honk with a little more booty than your bass monitors are giving you.

    As folks have said, with a flexible eq section, you can probably do that with the CxL. You've commented that you haven't been able to find a setting with you current setup that gives you the sound. My only suggestion would be to turn down the bass freqs a little bit, then tweak the mids. With only 200 watts at 8 ohms, 40-80hz will eat up most of your power for that cab, leaving the mids starved for ummph. Of course a more powerful amp with a better eq is another answer.

    As far as other cabs go, I don't think a single GS112 will cut in a loud band situation (again, with only 200 watts). Maybe a pair would suit you. I really think you're going to need a pair of speakers to take advantage of the 4 ohm power of your amp, or go with a 4 ohm cab (an Eden XLT 2X10 would probably do quite nicely for what you are looking for).

    Good luck!
  17. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN

    As Joe Fleming (Joe_Atlanta) mentioned, there are a few threads talking about GS 112's... I actually was using One of them for a good portion of the Summer on small gigs and both weekly Practices... Got the second one the other day and had one practice last night with it and it was awesome!!!

    I really love the finger tone, punchy low-mids, growl and that hip dark bark. Very fresh and sound equally amazing on both of my main gig basses and still maintain their individuality :

    Warrior 5 String with very active pup's (18v pre & barts):


    ...And the 'ever-mellow' Fender JazzBass Plus 4 string with Labella Flats:


    The pairing of the new GS 112 really rounded out the punch and allowed me to take that great tone that I like to my bigger bar gigs... Plus the weight and portability is amazing...

    On a side note, I started my Small Cab conquest when I saw a used EA VL110 in GC (ATL) end of last summer, used it for 4 weeks. Got rid of it on ebay, cause the freq-response wasn't what I needed and I couldn't get thick tone from it... not loud enough. Then I picked up a BagEnd S-12d, OK tone at moderate volumes, it had a small size and easy to get my sound out of it... It only could take 200watts, no tweeter, Poor freq-response... That lead me to the GS 112, bought it from a fellow TB'er only a few month used... Down to 42hz, 300watts, 42 pounds, lots of deep dark lows: Love it! Got another one and I'm good to Go!
  18. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    "I noticed right off the bat that the CXL-112L next to the GS-112 sounded thinner and more midrangy? The mids of the Aguilar were darker, but I don't like much mids. The bottom of the aguilar was heavy, heavier than the EA. Closer to the fundamentals?? The sensitivity of the Aguilar was 1dB lower than the EA, but that was enough to allow the EA to be heard better than the Aguilar. "

    Welcome to the wonderful world of human hearing :D A/Bing speakers can really shake you up. I can't tell you how many cabinets I thought sounded perfect UNTIL an opportunity to A/B with another cabinet showed me differently :meh:

    Yep, side by side I'll bet the Aguilar sounds a lot fatter. It's probably not more fundamentals you're hearing though, it's more likely a bump in the upper bass/lower mids which is what most people hear as "fat". After all once you reach the open A string you're at 55 Hz...unless you only play roots on the lowest 4 frets of the E string most of your fundamentals are going to be above where either cabinet starts to roll off.

    Turns out that when people hear truly flat response it sounds weird. If the mids are more prominent the speaker will cut better AND sound louder. The 1 dB (on PAPER) sensitivity difference is probably not even coming into play here.

    Sounds like you like a darker tone overall (P-bass, SansAmp, etc.) so the Ag probably is going to be the better speaker for you.
  19. Mcrelly


    Jun 16, 2003
    Minnesota, USA
    Well, I sold my CXL-112L to a person on Ebay. I hope they like it. I'm still interested in hearing the iamp800 with my Aggies.
  20. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Me too... Are they back ordered still? I might try one out, once I can find one.

    Let me know if you get the chance to before me... or Tom Bowlus.
    daltontomlinson likes this.

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