Barefaced Bass questions to owners

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tribebass, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. tribebass


    Jul 15, 2011
    After being recommended Barefaced Bass by Bill Fitzmaurice I checked out their website, got interested and sent them a E-mail last week. Right now I am looking forward to the reply, I am thinking about ordering the Big Twin or the Super 15 in "Vintage" look.

    As I have understand it from this forum, Barefaced Bass is a one man company, correct? Alex seems like he has a lot to do so I thought that instead of writing more simple questions and taking more of his time I can ask here instead :)

    Barefaced owners - how long waiting time did you have on your orders?

    Owners with micro Amps like the Genz Benz Shuttle 9.0 and similar, do you experience that the amp moves around on top of the cabinet? My amp does not stand still on the Ampeg SVT15E, and I have read the Barefaced is supposed to be well built and very solid even with thin material compared to thicker heavier boxes like the Ampeg, but it is hard to imagine just looking at pictures.

    How durable are these cabinets? Once I hit a door handle with the Ampeg and the handle broke, and the cabinet did only get a little damage in the tolex. I am guessing you have to be a bit more careful with these light cabinets and no problem if it is that way, I will probably get some kind of cover for it.

    Also, it would be interesting to hear how common these cabs are outside the home country UK. I have never seen a Barefaced in Germany or Austria, but maybe there are a lot of owners across the EU? Anyone know how many Barefaced cabinets have been made?

    Also, if you have pictures of your cabinets please post them :)
  2. Dark Barn

    Dark Barn Supporting Member

    Aug 3, 2010
    I have one of the now discontinued Big Ones. I like it very much.

    In regards to a few of your questions: I can't remember where I got this impression but I think he might have *some* help on staff but not much.

    If I remember right I waited one month + shipping time, but then I ordered a model that was on backorder I believe at the time I ordered it. Some units he may have in stock.

    I very recently got a Shuttlemax 9.2 and haven't noticed it move around on the cab yet but I only got the amp 2 days ago so take that with a grain of salt. My heavier amp never has budged on it even at extreme volumes.

    I bought a padded cover for mine, the construction seems solid on the one hand but it is so light that it makes me worry about abuse.

    All in all I think his product is made with great care and diligence but is also trying to carve a place for itself in the market by being, among other things *extremely* light weight. Some of the measures taken to compete in that regard come at the expense of durability or the impression of durability. I want to reiterate here that I have had no experience with any failings of my cab due to durability, material-wise or construction-wise, but it is so light compared to any piece of comparable gear I have owned that it makes me want to baby it.

    Hope that helps.
  3. BassBod


    Aug 18, 2006
    Bristol, UK
    I'd echo these comments. I've owned a Barefaced Midget for a few months - great speaker, very light and that does also make it feel slightly "flimsy". Fine for traveling in the car with a padded cover, but I wouldn't throw it in a van for a months rock band touring without some form of tougher roadcase. Luckily, I'm far too old for that sort of thing......
  4. I ordered a Compact and a Super 12 earlier this month and they are about to arrive this week. Once my payment went through Alex sent them off in the days following. I live in Australia and I've been tracking them with FedEx and they arrived in Sydney today so I will have them by the end of the week. I have a Genz Benz shuttlemax 12.0 so once I play a gig or 2 I will definitely post a review to let you know!
  5. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    I had the Compact come to my place when they first came out and went on tour (so a mark 1, think they are mark 3 or 4 now). The entrance to my flat has a half flight of stairs down to the living room, I left the cab at the top of these and went to work, my flatmate sees the cab and wants a go, so the runs up the stairs, and heaves on the cab, expecting a full weight 1x15, which means he falls down the stairs backward and throws the cab down them. Might have cracked a corner protector (they were plastic at the time, and on top of the lumpy finish so didn't sit totally flat). Other than that, no damage to the cab, but a chunk out of the door frame. So tough, an without the inertia to damage themselves.
  6. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Barefaced Ltd hasn't been a one man company for a few years - but only one man (i.e. me!) has dealt with all the customer communication. However the demand is now reaching the point that I've just started delegating some of that, depending on the complexity of the queries!
  7. Mr. Foxen

    Mr. Foxen Commercial User

    Jul 24, 2009
    Bristol, UK
    Amp tinkerer at Ampstack
    Can I get a job doing that? I'm pretty good with understanding a lot of that stuff.
  8. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I also have one of the now discontinued Big Ones. I like it very much.

    Alex does seem to be busy, it usually took a day or two to respond to my emails but the replies were always helpful and professional, if somewhat brief.

    My cab was in stock, in fact I chose to buy the 'New Old Stock' model rather than the updated version with the cloth grille, mostly because I prefer the metal grille version, but also because Alex gave me a small discount on the older design. I live in the UK and my son is at medical college in Brighton (where Barefaced are), so I was able to combine a visit to see my son with the collection of my cab - so no issues with delivery, although setting up a collection date took quite a few emails (not helped by the fact that we had heavy snowfalls this winter that made many roads around Brighton impassable). Eventually, I met up with Alex and had a brief chat about power amps (because mine was playing up at the time) along with some helpful info about the power needed to drive the cab to it's optimum.

    It is incredibly lightweight for the enormous sound it produces, and is easily carried across the carpark outside our reheasal studios and on gigs. It has wheels at the back so that you can tilt it back and roll it but I don't often bother with these, partly because they're quite small so they don't deal with gravel covered carparks or rough paving (they're only really suitable for indoor floor surfaces) and in any case the cab isn't quite tall enough to roll it along without stooping down. The main reason I don't bother with the wheels though is that it's so light the wheels are superfluous.

    As for durability, the wheels at the back of the cab are matched by feet at the front to keep things level, and my feet kept falling off. I simply put bigger screws in (thicker, not longer) and they haven't fallen off since.

    I'm not overly keen on the textured paint finish from a aesthetic point of view, but I must admit it does have advantages. I was carrying my cab into a gig and didn't notice that there was a low wall on my right. I clipped the corner of the wall with the cab (hard enough to stop me in my tracks and nearly fall) and it knocked a chip out of the side of the cab - but it was with quite a force. If I need to, or if I can be bothered, I'm sure that a few minutes with some automotive filler and some black paint would make an invisible repair (not possible with tolex).

    While I'm talking about the stuff I don't like so much, I'm not too keen on the plastic strap handles and would have preferred some sprung handles or more conventional recessed grab handles - but I appreciate that they would compromise the internal cab volume or bracing pattern in some way, anyway, the plastic straps do the job even if they're not the most elegant things in the world. These issues are not major, in fact I'm being really picky

    All in all, I love it. Is it perfect? No, but then nothing is. I'd knock a few points off for aesthetics, but then cabs aren't for looking at, they're for listening to and I have NEVER heard a better sounding cab.

  9. billfitzmaurice

    billfitzmaurice Commercial User

    Sep 15, 2004
    New Hampshire
    Owner, Bill Fitzmaurice Loudspeaker Design
    Barefaced is still in the 'cottage industry' stage. What does that mean? A minimal workforce, no huge factory, no huge marketing department, and a hands-on owner/operator who's passion is creating the best product he can. That means he might not respond to emails in 24 hours. But one very well regarded major manufacturer has a reputation for never responding to emails at all, and not because the owner is out in the back shop assembling cabs.
    I just hope Alex is sensible enough to never go beyond cottage industry status. You remain creative when the gig is fun. When it's just a job, not so much.
  10. tribebass


    Jul 15, 2011
    Thanks to all of you who have posted so far, good to know there are a lot of good reviews for Barefaced Bass, and that the cabinets are well built.


    I do not mean to be suspicious, many reputable members here on the forum stay good things about Barefaced Bass, and I trust them.

    However, call me old fashioned or whatever, but for me it feels better buying from an established company with many customers, and I could not feel comfortable buying from a guy who makes a few cabinets a year in his living room (not saying that Barefaced is on that level, but you probably understand what I mean).

    Good to hear that business is good and that the products are rolling out.

    Any estimate on how many Barefaced cabinets have been sold so far? Have any made their way to Germany or Austria?
  11. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    There are quite a few hundred out there at the moment and at least one in Germany, possibly more. None in Austria if my memory serves me correctly - I think there are Barefaced cabs in 20-30 different countries worldwide.
  12. I had to wait 3 months for my cab and im in the UK

    The cab sounds great but it does feel a bit "handmade" the finish isnt great, and the attention to detail isnt great if you are used to top of the range cabs!

    On the other hand, they sound great, are tiny and weigh very little!

    If it looked even half as good as a Boogie it would be the perfect cab!
  13. Jools4001

    Jools4001 Supporting Member

    I've been there, and done that!

    Trace Elliot, Ampeg, Eden and a few more besides. When things go wrong, especially after the warranty is up, how much response do you think you'll get from an established manufacturer? Let me tell you, if my Trace experience is anything to go by...nothing, zip, nada!

    You are just a number to a big manufacturer and you can't speak to them directly either, just to their distributors and the distributors are usually just sales guys who know squat about the product.

    Fortunately, unless you abuse the crap out of them, there isn't much to go wrong with a cab. I haven't put it to the test but I wouldn't mind betting that if something did go wrong dropping a line to Alex saying "such and such has gone wrong, what do you recommend" would stand a better chance of a helpful response than one of the big boys
  14. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    I have a BF Compact here in Vancouver Canada. Since I am all about the fEARful cabs these days I am probably going to sell it to fund a 12/6 to go with my 15/6.
    Great cab though... super portable, loud and fairly even in terms of tone.
  15. greenboy


    Dec 18, 2000
    remote mountain cabin Montana
    greenboy designs: fEARful, bassic, dually, crazy88 etc
    Yeah, if I had non-mid-driver designs out they'd be so close to the barefaced designs in tuning and size and baffle placement. But then the neo prices started climbing - like things that climb really fast ; }

    Anyone who thinks the big companies are doing anything with so much whump per pound are sadly misled. Frankly the big companies are still mining the same turf they were working at back in the 80s. Not a bad thing for those who want that blend of bulk and weight, but nothing that should make one think these are not serious contenders either.
  16. jefkebass


    Dec 29, 2007
    Leuven, Belgium
    Big thumbs up from a Barefaced Compact owner in Belgium :)
    It's light, easy to carry, really loud, and quite classy with the old cloth grille. I think it took about 6 weeks to get the cab starting from the first contact with Alex.

  17. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Here's the current finish, following a good few months of obsessing over past cosmetic niggles...



    Super Twelve T with optional silver cloth grill:

  18. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    This sounds like a good idea, as IME communication hasn't been all that good.

    Makes me think twice - if communication is poor pre sale, I'm not confident that it will hold up should a problem occur.
  19. alexclaber

    alexclaber Commercial User

    Jun 19, 2001
    Brighton, UK
    Director - Barefaced Ltd
    Jorn, in an ideal world we'd be able to supply everyone immediately. Sadly that isn't the case as everything takes time to build! We don't ask for any money upfront from overseas customers and only a nominal amount from local customers. We try to work as fast as possible but everything has to be perfect and the Big Series cabs in particular are very time consuming to build. We don't send out regular updates on progress because we have literally dozens of people in the queue and right now over 50 cabs in the build process.

    We check our emails frequently and replies are prioritised based on content - on the rare occasions that an existing customer has problems we endeavour to deal with them very swiftly.
    DanH71 likes this.
  20. 4-string


    Jul 23, 2006
    This was a misunderstanding on my part more than anything else.

    My apologies to Alex.