Barefaced FR800 no longer available?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by juggahnaught, Jul 23, 2019.

  1. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I own a Line 6 Helix that I've been running through FOH and my Markbass CMD121P. I've been considering something like the QSC K12.2, but I have recently learned about the Barefaced FR800 and I was pretty excited about the prospect of an FRFR speaker that could handle bass well and double as a real bass cab with or without the Helix (six-string player here, so it's nice to have good lows). If I were able to get this type of setup, I'd sell the Markbass, hands down.

    Checked their site (Barefaced Bass - FR800 high resolution active loudspeaker) and apparently it's unavailable. I'd read somewhere that the power amp modules they use for this product were on their way out so there was a limited time....does anyone know about this? Is this the reason they're no longer available, and is it a temporary or a permanent thing?

    Just a request for information! I was excited about the prospect of a bass-specific FRFR solution, but it looks like it's gone. Please, please tell me it isn't! Thanks!
  2. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I'm aware of that thread - it came up in a search for this info, but yielded nothing. Three things:

    1. I'm not a club member - I don't own the equipment.
    2. That thread is a club thread - this thread has a specific question (a request for concrete information, not an open-ended opinion question like "what's the best bass for a jazz student" or "why do people play above the fifth fret"), and as such, has a specific end condition.
    3. There are 459 pages of that thread. Even with the best of intentions, that's not really something simple to search for a specific answer to a specific question. (It's a downfall of the bulletin board format.)

    So, two questions for anyone who knows - is the FR800 unavailable because it's discontinued? If it is discontinued, is it temporary or indefinite?


    Edit: This may have sounded a little more brusque than intended. Note that I did search the thread, but there were no definitive answers found (I did, however, find my questions). Additionally, club threads are cool - I'm just a little weary of the opinion threads here on TB; if it came across like I lumped them together, that's not my intent.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2019
  3. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    I would email Barefaced and ask them.
  4. The Barefaced Big Baby II is the same speaker cab as the FR800. Add your own amp to taste.
  5. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I went ahead and sent an email. Hopefully I'll hear back - if they're available, I'd definitely want to grab one.

    I'm aware that the cab is the same, but the reason the FR800 appeals is because it's an active, powered speaker - the power amp is part of the package, and I wouldn't need to carry one with me. (If I wanted to go that route, no doubt it'd be flexible, but my setup is portable and I'd like to keep it that way. I'd use rack gear otherwise, which I'd like not to do.) Additionally, it has built-in DSP settings specifically for FRFR, which would match what I'm trying to do (I am aware that other power amps have this, but again, a single solution would be the ideal).
  6. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    [Emphasis added.] Found the above ^ post, which I remembered about, by reaching the club thread, typing "FR800" in the search field, ticking the "Search this thread only" box and then ordering the results by date.
    I hope I don't read brusque either. Mine is only meant to be an encouragement to give the often-maligned forum search function a chance: IMHO/IME it does its job just fine (mostly).

    Now, if you'd already seen that post (it is essentially what you wrote in the OP, minus Claber's "it will be gone until a replacement comes up" part) and meant to ask if anyone has fresher news than that March 09 post, well, at least we've narrowed it down to the more specific question.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2019
  7. jeff7bass

    jeff7bass Inactive

    Apr 9, 2009
    Dynamite looking cab. Light too.
  8. JimmyM

    JimmyM Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Yamaha, Ampeg, Line 6, EMG
    You do not have to be a member of a club on Talkbass to post in the thread and ask specific questions about their products. But nobody will know better than Alex Claber, so you're just as well off with an email.
  9. Eli78


    May 4, 2009
  10. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    Not to be entirely snarky, but—a self-powered cabinet is not self-propelled.

    The attraction of powered cabinets is mainly scalability, not convenience, and they are harder to move, not easier. You are obviously carrying/moving the amp+the cabinet.

    Since the weight of a power unit is certainly less than 5 lbs, and that weight is comparable to most 800 watt micro heads, it seems like a wiser choice to be modular for portability. You can even bring a spare head.

    Is it easier to sell an unpowered cabinet when the next big thing comes along? Yes.

    Finally, having two crucial pieces of equipment sealed in the same box likely assures that if one part dies, the other is part is rendered useless.
    P_Robyn likes this.
  11. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I disagree with your argument about portability. When I gig, I carry three things.

    1. My bass, in my Mono gig bag. (I keep a portable stand in here, some cables, earplugs, a pen, and usually a Korg tuner/metronome.)
    2. My Line 6 Helix, in the Helix bag. (The Helix itself, more instrument and XLR cables, IEC power cables, etc.)
    3. My amp - these days, my QSC K12.2 (before, it was my Markbass CMD121P).

    It's not the weight that's the issue; it's the fact that I use public transportation (I'm lucky to live in a city in which owning a car isn't necessary) and I have to physically carry things with me. With the Mono backpack and two hands full, adding more components makes things harder, not easier. My hands are literally full.

    I've now been happy with my K12.2 setup and teardown; the powered speaker simply makes a lot of sense for me. I can run the bass into it directly if necessary, just like my combo amp, or I can run the Helix into it. If I want to run an extra monitor at the gig provided by FOH or something, or run to another source, I can run from the Helix or use the XLR passthrough on the K12.2. All of this with three components; I can walk down the street, up stairs, down escalators, take the subway, take a cab, and I can carry everything on my own without having to manage yet another component.

    (I did try carrying a third bag with me once - I had to carry a change of clothes for a wedding gig, so I used my Swiss Gear laptop backpack as an extra tote for that. It was hell and I don't plan on ever trying that again unless I can grow a third arm.)

    Finally, as for selling - powered speakers generally find use in PA rigs, not just by bass-playing musicians, so I think they actually have more resale value than a speaker cabinet as they're immediately usable - and they can easily be put to use by speakers, DJs, partygoers, event staff, some venue - there is simply a larger market. And as for the reliability of a single vs modular unit - seems to just be a matter of convenience if one plans to repair any issue.

    Each to his own, though! Not discounting the poweramp/cab approach - it's perfectly valid - but at heart I think it comes down to your individual requirements, and I'm happy with my choice.
    chadds and Jim Carr like this.
  12. Not to derail the thread but how do you find the QSCK12.2 with the Helix? I have been considering this option but am having a hard time finding out how it holds up in a band situation or live stage. Most reports are from people playing them at home solo.
  13. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    juggahnaught likes this.
  14. juggahnaught


    Feb 11, 2018
    Seattle, WA
    I'd typed out a full reply to this before, but I hesitated to post it because I wasn't sure it was accurate. I just played a gig tonight with it, though, and I think I can answer this better now.

    I've gigged with it before, and I think it'll hold its own in a loud mix. Tonight's gig was odd because I felt that I couldn't hear myself so well over a loud guitarist (two amps, extra overdrive), a loud drummer (double bass, lots of fills, and electric drum triggers), and stage monitoring. However, I think this could have been remedied by changing the speaker position, and I know that I have gain staging issues with my Helix (my patches are too quiet, essentially). This was also my first gig with this band; in our practice room, the K12.2 works really well (even with loud drums and guitar).

    I think it has the ability to hold its own in a really loud mix. (However, I don't think it has the ability to overpower said mix - you could maybe cut through it, but you couldn't stomp it into the ground, if that makes sense.) That said, at the end of the day, it is a single 12" speaker, and it'll only move so much air. So if you want to be heard - I think you'll be heard. If you want to be felt, it won't really do it on its own. It has punch and will move air, but only up to a point. For stage monitoring and stage sound, I think one method is to get it off the ground at at ear height; if it's on the ground, you'll get a bit of vibration through the stage with the K12, but it wouldn't be the same as an Ampeg 410HLF. Again, you'll hear it, not feel it.

    I was told at the end of the night that the bass sounded good in the room, but I did have some sound reinforcement through the PA.

    I think the K12.2 will work really well in cases where there's space for the bass, even at loud volumes. I think it has the ability to carry a small or medium-sized gig, but I don't think it has that room-filling low end in a medium venue. The off-axis sound won't carry a room like the off-axis sound from a larger cabinet will.

    I'm going to try continuing to use the K12 with this new band that I'm in - I think if I can get the speaker at ear-height and figure out optimum output levels from the Helix, I can make it work well with our loud stage sound - but it'll be that articulate, punchy 1x12 bass sound, not the room-filling bass of a stack that moves a ton of air. This approach has worked in other bands due to the music and due to the way that I play.

    I hope this helped! Sorry for the late reply (and I too don't want to take over this thread) but I wanted to give you a good reply.
    DrMole likes this.
  15. Thank you for the well thought out reply. I appreciate your time.
  16. chadds


    Mar 18, 2000
    I use powered speakers. The prime reason is the sound. The DSP and the cab make a seamless unit that outperforms twice the speaker area of other rigs at the time of its introduction. This clear articulate and felt performance extends to outside gigs with no backshell. In years of gigging I’ve never had one go down. I have sent the amp off for updates before the introduction of versions that would do it online.

    The ability to swap preamps is a unique advantage.

    Only once since 1965 was I left with a separate head being DOA when using a passive speaker cab. A member of the audience ran to his home and returned with a vintage blue checked tolex Ampeg Reverborocket 15-30w guitar combo. We wired it up with a guitar cord (I know!) because I only had speakons. That combo sounded quite good through my 4x10 and carried the small/medium room. I returned the used head after two techs couldn’t fix it and bought two new heads. SWR Bass 750s. Did I ever carry two to a gig? Nope. Why two? To have backup if one was in the shop. Different kind of backup. Oh well that’s how my breakdown life has gone. With the advent of these micros it makes sense to have one in your backpack.

    Loading my powered cab isn’t an issue. When 7lbs. extra is a thing I have other problems. :) Some Pro PA guys remarked that my cab looked like their hanging arrays when they saw the plate amp integrated into the cab.

    To each his own, Our Mileage Does Vary. :)

Share This Page