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Barefaced vs Audiokinesis

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jazztonebass, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. jazztonebass


    Apr 23, 2012
    If you were committed to modular- two 1x12's, would you choose a pair of TC112/H1203's or the Barefaced Big Baby II?

    Tough choice. Anyone play them side by side?
    Pbassmanca and svtb15 like this.
  2. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    I have played neither.
    I'd decide on the barefaced for two reasons:
    1. It looks a lot cooler.
    2. the first generations of barefaced cabs were built with the Kappalite speakers used in the Hathor as well, but barefaced moved on their own design, which, they claim, is better.
    DukeLeJeune likes this.
  3. RColie

    RColie Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2007
    Madison, Wisconsin
    I haven't heard any Barefaced cabs but I'll say this:

    I think that Duke is at the top of the heap when it comes to customer service, good business practices, and a true desire to provide the bass player with what he or she needs. His cabs are an excellent value by providing great sound at a reasonable price. I have extensive experience with his cabs and they perform well above their price/weight/size class.

    Based on what I've read here on TalkBass, I have no doubt that Barefaced cabs sound very good. The Big Baby II is larger and more expensive than the AudioKinesis cabs and it makes me hesitate when Barefaced claims that the BB II has no loss of loudness when compared to a good quality 212 or 410.

    As always, only IMHO and YMMV.

    emjazz, lo-freq, dralionux and 11 others like this.
  4. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    I haven't had the opportunity to play through Barefaced cabinets but I will tell you this from owning AudioKinesis products:
    You will never, EVER work with and get better personal service and customer support than you will from Duke LeJeune at AudioKinesis. Not only is he a genius audio engineer but he is also one of the nicest, most sincere and most professional people in the industry.
    Barefaced is fine equipment, no doubt. For me it would be AudioKinesis all day, every day because of Duke.
    Just my $.02.
    dawind99, emjazz, Loring and 24 others like this.
  5. Buzz E

    Buzz E Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2014
    San Francisco, CA
    I think @mmbongo can possibly help here.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    Yeah I can't get past the looks on the AK cabs. Not to mention the vertical 2x12s make anything outside of a small class D an impractical amp choice. They might sound great, but the aesthetics and form factor are total non-starters for me. Though, I'd fully admit that these products probably aren't targeted at the tube amp crowd anyhow, so...
  7. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    Thanks @Buzz E I was putting some thoughts together before I did a reply, which I'm kind of hesitant to do as the only Barefaced I have owned is the One 10. I am currently Beta testing an AudioKinesis Changeling 112T (which is essentially a Hathor 1203 with an added rear firing mid). And like Buzz said, you won't find a better, more helpful guy than Duke at Audiokinesis. You just won't.

    It's really hard to go wrong with either Barefaced or AudioKinesis, both are fantastic cabs. It's just all in what you need.

    I'll just address a couple of things...as far as the Barefaced driver..it's still a Kappalite LF, slightly modified for better mids as the stock LF does not really do mids well. You'll notice that most designs that use the LF have a dedicated mid driver. The Kappalite LF already is at the limit as to what can be done with Xmax and displacement with that frame, so the Barefaced driver is not 'better', just 'different'.

    As far as what type of cabinet to go with...do you need the sizzle of a tweeter or the crunch of a mid driver? Personally I love the sound of the dedicated mid driver in Duke's cabs, as I'm not a tweeter guy. So that will kind of determine if you go TC or Hathor/Changeling with Audiokinesis. But to me the mid driver makes it so articulate and gives the mids so much 'pop' and they really cut through, plus thanks to the design of the AudioKinesis cabs, it fills the room so dispersion is not an issue. This is enhanced even more with the Changeling and it's rear firing mid. The AK cabs also have lots of options as far as voicing just by changing the switches for the mids, and plugging/unplugging ports for the lows. Barefaced does not really have any of that.

    Construction wise, both are top notch. Barefaced however loses points big on the poor handle design/quality. There is not even a handle on the top, so you have to flip the cabinet over before you can even get to the handle, and it's a rather cheap handle. AudioKinesis has the handle on top, in a recessed cavity, so you can just grab it and go and it does not get in the way of your amp. I must say...it's also very comfy to sit in. Your buttocks just fit right down in there. ANYWAY, the handle that Duke uses is very thick leather, very high quality.

    Both cabs are super light weight with stellar performance. AudioKinesis gets my vote for a better overall design though.
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  8. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    I don't think it's really fair to ding AudioKinesis for not being 'wide enough', as the Barefaced cabs are only 6" wider. You're not going to put a 2 foot wide amp on the top side of either of them. I'll take the smaller, lighter cab that fits in the car better.

    The looks of AK cabs is subjective and I do understand your position. However, after seeing one in person that all went out the window. They look totally different in person, and the feel of them just oozes quality. The whole thing is rock solid. Nothing moves, rattles, pings, shakes, or dings. There is no big metal grill to vibrate, and no cloth grill to tear up.

    And really, next to my Mesa Subway cab...which is better looking than a Barefaced cab...does the AudioKinesis really look THAT much different?

  9. I know it's an unpopular opinion but I don't really like the aesthetics of the AudioKinesis cabs. The speaker covers look kind of cheap. I understand why they're constructed that way and not like a traditional bass cab. Just not what I'm used to I guess.
    staccatogrowl, DukeLeJeune and svtb15 like this.
  10. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    I doubt you would be disappointed with either.
  11. coreyfyfe

    coreyfyfe Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2007
    boston, ma
    6" can make a difference, but your point is valid, their vertical cabs aren't that much wider. Though the 20" would allow the feet of my 22-24" wide amps to sit evenly. 14" would not.

    I would go with the cloth option from BF, something AK does not offer. But since you asked between the two IMO the mesa is better by far with a fitted width grill rather than the individual covers.
    DukeLeJeune likes this.
  12. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    This was among the first things i put to the test when I received my barefaced Super Compact.
    I set it side by side with an Aguilar GS212 and rigged a setting that allowed me to switch instantly between cabs.
    When I approached the top end of the amp (both cabs felt like they could handle a bit more), both cabs were still on par to my ears. The only thing I could clearly discern was that the lows of the GS212 did not quite keep up with the rest of the cabs output while the SC was still delivering. Not a 100% scientific test, but good enough for me to believe their claim.

    After all I heard about Audiokinesis, I think it's safe to say that both cabs are top shelf equipment and very hard to beat in terms of size, weight and output - and the OP, having it narrowed down to those two, cannot go wrong either way.
  13. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    See I thought the same thing at first because if you’re like me you ran across similar type of grills back in the car audio days. But these are completely different. These grills did not budge or bend. They are acoustically dead.
    wave rider, DukeLeJeune and Al Kraft like this.
  14. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    I think the Audio Kinesis stuff looks kinda cool actually.. Like subs in the back of an old Trans Am, at a kegger at the park. Might two get 12s for the Demeter 400 one day..
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
    TAZ, noahw1 and DukeLeJeune like this.
  15. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles

    I am a huge fan of the leather handle that Duke uses with his Thunderchildren. I have long narrow steps and a 90-degree curve in getting up to my house. That leather handle is sturdy, and the little bit of lateral slip on each end of the handle - plus the handle seeming to be in the exact right place - makes for an easy one-hand schlepp, even with the AK TC115. Yeah, I also like the way they sound!
  16. telecopy


    Dec 6, 2009
    Thunderchildren? Thunderchilds?
    Thunderchild cabs? Yeah, I like Thunderchildren.
  17. Marial

    Marial weapons-grade plum

    Apr 8, 2011
    I own an AK TC112v3 (1x12 Thunderchild with rear firing speaker). I love it. Absolutely full range gives you back what you put into it, plenty loud, not too heavy, fairly easy one handed carry.

    I've tried the Barefaced Minny 12? Baby 12? @Jonny5bass can maybe chime in here, it was his. The Barefaced was darker (not lower) sounding, more compressed, perhaps. It was not as full-range or as open sounding. The form factor, however, was amazing.

    I think if I were gigging heavily and light weight and loudness were my first priorities, I would give the Barefaced the nod. Otherwise, AudioKinesis all the way for what I like. The added benefit of Duke's switches and port plugging make his cabs that much more versatile.

    I will admit the AudioKinesis visual aesthetic, or lack thereof, isn't my favorite thing about them, but what they sound like far outweighs what they look like. I will also echo what others have said about Duke - he is a rare gem of a human being, truly.
  18. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I will literally be playing them side by side next week as part of a recorded cab shootout.

    I currently only have the BB2 on hand, and it's definitely an impressive feat of engineering: quite excited to compare the two directly.
  19. strost

    strost Supporting Member

    Oct 2, 2008
    Blacksburg, VA
    Literally, MDBass posted WHILE I was typing this....

    Are you watching this?

    Recommendations for THE best full range cab

    You should.

    I did a lot of back and forth on the AK vs the Barefaced BBII. I think the BBII would be awesome but I went with the AK Changeling 115. I will probably never get to play a BBII so I will not know for sure if I chose the "right" one. But I can say that I am very happy with the Audiokinesis. Also, if you haven't yet figured it out, Duke rules.

    View attachment 2872300
  20. Jonny5bass

    Jonny5bass Supporting Member

    May 3, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    It was my super midget.
    DukeLeJeune and Marial like this.

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