Bass cabs, the big shootout!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by baxter_x, Oct 17, 2021.

  1. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Hi everyone,

    The drummer of my band works for a backline rental company. I ususally have great time trying a lot of stuffs there. Two weeks ago I had some time to give a try to a several cabs and thought it would be nice to give you a little feedback. Pretty much like I did with the amps I tried a several years ago (in my signature).

    I used my two Sadowsky basses, and an Ampeg SVT 7 Pro. You'll see above the amp like something missing. It's actually my Axe FX II XL that stayed at home.
    The pictures are a bit blurry, sorry for this.

    Here's the list of cabs I tried:
    - GENZ-BENZ NEOX-212T (mine)
    - Ampeg PN-410HLF
    - Aguilar db 412
    - MarkBass 108HR
    - Fender Bassman NEO 810 (mine, not shown in the picture)

    Two 12' speakers, a tweeter (with control knob), 4 ports, 600 watts, 50lb
    I have mainly played 10' cabs in my life , soit's my first 12'.
    Damn, That thing is just amazing! Very lightweight, compact, great tone. It goes deep, very punchy. Its projection is also amazing. It is loud as hell and heavy on the ears. Live it cuts through the mix and sounds good whether you stand in front or next to it. The first time I tried it, I wasn't expecting that so I didn't use any hearing protections. When I woke up the next morning, my ears were still ringing. It has a strong presence in the mids, so I tend to lower them on my amp a bit as it a bit to much for my tastes. I trid it against a Hartke Hydrive 410. Both sounded great, but you could feel the 410 was producing a bit more pressure. Which was expectable as it has more moving surface.
    It's my go to cabs for rehearsals, jams, little to mid venues.

    The only little thing I would say about it is its tweeter. Not as refined as my SWR goliath III or my Fender 810. It's a bit less defined and refined. But still very usable.
    I'd like to try other 212 like the Mesa or the Barefaced.

    Ampeg PN-410HLF:
    410, 850W RMS, Tweeter, ports on the bottom, 64lb.
    This cab was a bit of a suprise as it's tone was not at all what I was expecting from an Ampeg cab. Great construction, great finish, not the lightest but still easy to carry.
    It's tone reminded me of my SWR Goliath III, but the highs were way more present. Almost too aggresive and too present. I felt like I was playing my Goliath with the tweeter fully opened. I should mention the tweeter on the Ampeg was only set at 20%, like on my GIII.
    I had some pleasure trying it, but didn't feel like I would love it or even buy on.

    Aguilar db 412:
    412, 1200W, tweeter with control, ported, 149lb.
    Well, that one was simply the one I enjoyed the most playing among all. The first notes are still ringing in my head. Definition, projection, tone, low end, massive, dynamic.... From finger style to slap, or pick. It was pure joy. It reminded me the Aguilar DB 810 or my Fender NEO 810.
    Even the guitar player of my ban who was with me told me it was sounding amazing.
    A bit heavy though. That was its only negative point.

    I have my eyes on a Mesa 412. It's lighter and not too expensive....

    MarkBass 108HR:
    Well........ There was a problem there. Maybe it's me, or the cab was faulty. But to be honest, that was one of the worst cab I have ever tried. Simply no guts.
    No definition, the projection of a 410 at best. I was like playing an 810 with a huge blanquet on it. I tried it many different ways, but couldn't simple bring it to life!
    I'd like to know if those who played it fetlt the same or not. Any feedback will be appreciated.

    The only good thing about it is its weight, I could lift it alone wihout much effort, ant its compact form factor. That's it.

    Fender Bassman NEO 810 (not shown in the pics):
    810, 1000W RMS, tweeter with control, ported, 120lb
    My cab since I sold my two SWR Goliath III. I own it since last February (2021).
    It's simply a fantastic cab. Surprisingly light, handles at the bottom, very easy to move it around alone.
    Its tone is close (not to say the same) as the Aguilar DB 810 IMO. However, the Aguilar is the heaviest 810 I have ever tried. Even heavier than the Ampeg 810.
    The cab can handle a lot of power without breaking a sweat. It's presence onstage is fantastic and cuts throught without any effort. You don't need to push him hard, he simply naturally sit in the mix like a king. It goes very low, great presence, very clean and defined in the highs. Among the best 810 I have ever played I think.

    Among all the cabs, to me, the bests were the Fender 810, the Genz Benz and the Aguilar.
    Feedbacks will be very appreciated.



    Attached Files:

  2. Drummerboy2


    Aug 31, 2016
    I'm curious how you would rate the Hartke Hydrive 410 against all of the others. I know you mentioned it against the Genz Benz but what about the rest. Was the Hartke Hydrive 410 the latest version?

    I have used Hartke ever since I started to play a little bass and have always loved how they sound in LIVE situations as well at home. I always wanted a Fender Bassman 50 the one that tilts back but loved what I heard in the Hartkes. Even the Hydrives I have now are better sounding than the XL Hartkes to me and the Hartkes seem to play well with any head one might use with them.
    BaltoNealio likes this.
  3. agedhorse

    agedhorse Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 12, 2006
    Davis, CA (USA)
    Development Engineer-Mesa Boogie, Development Engineer-Genzler (pedals), Product Support-Genz Benz
    I think that if you were to compare 2 of the NeoX 212's to the rest, you might find that the "fight" would be a little more "fair" in regards to direct comparison. Your amp would need to be 2 ohm capable however.
    Murch, BlueTalon, bombpop14 and 6 others like this.
  4. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I agree with you, those Hydrive are very very good 410. Way better than the XL. I like them a lot but don't use them except when they are available at the rehearsal space.
    Drummerboy2 likes this.
  5. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I see what you mean, but the point was to compare a bunch of cabs. It's obvious the single 212 can't really compete with a 412 or a 810.
    And as you mentioned, I would have needed a 2ohms amp, which the svt 7 pro is not. Also, I would need another GB 212 which is impossible to find!
    However, as soon as I find one for sale, I jump on it.
    agedhorse likes this.
  6. Drummerboy2


    Aug 31, 2016
    I heard a Genz Benz at the Namm show back in 2011 and they were nice sounding but didn't do enough for me to go out and buy one. And when I got home I fire up my system (Hartke HA3500, 410XL, and 115XL) using my Fender Jazz and Carvin Icon5 sound better to me but wished I could have done a side by side then. So it taught me it's better to stand in place sometimes than go out and buy something that is maybe a sideways step/different but not better.

    With the Hydrives 210 and 112 I have now, the two nice heads I have are the Carvin BX1500 and Mesa D800+. Both sound nice through the Hartkes and you can hear their differences and strengths. I have been running my Hartkes with the horns turned off and it's still nice and clear/detailed with out being bright/harsh with a tad of warmth, specially with the Mesa D800+. So I have just enough warmth for my ears with the Mesa and my Ray4/Jazz basses no need yet to buy any to go out and buy another warmer amp or pedal even though I was looking awhile back for one, no need for one now after messing with the settings on the amp and basses.

    One thing I did notice and this is not a knock on the Mesa D800+, The Carvin after playing around with the settings a little, I got the sound very close to the Mesa sound and with more adjusting may even get it nailed to match it in sound. But like I said in the another post, I need to play more with the Mesa D800+ to see what it can really do in my rig. It was just something I noticed though specially with my RAY4 with the Aguilar pickup upgrade. I'm really digging that bass the more I play it. :)
  7. lug

    lug Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2005
    League City, Tx
    This. I use one or two TC RS2X12's The difference between using one or two is quite significant. Coupling is real! :D
  8. That Aguilar appears to be a GS 412. Sadly, discontinued. Mine doesn't see much use these days but when I was using it regularly many commented that it was the best live bass rig they had ever heard. I really wish Aguilar had kept some of the GS cabs in production, they were very special.
    JohnnyChatter, thisSNsucks and SJan3 like this.
  9. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Hard to believe the MarkBass cabinet was functioning properly based upon over 50 customer reviews giving the cab 5 stars.
    But, I wasn't there..
    baxter_x likes this.
  10. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    Agree. I still have my GS112s. At one time they were the "Cadillac" of 1x12s and I think very responsible for the ongoing popularity of the 1x12" cabinet.
    kentiki and JMarkD like this.
  11. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Damn, my band. Thanks for the clarification. I whish I could edit my post.
  12. LHbassist

    LHbassist Supporting Member

    Apr 4, 2003
    Reno, Nevada
    I have heard a number of Markbass amps and cabs. I don't really care for them in general. Two particular combos DID sound great- The Jeff Berlin, and the CMD121. At a grand and over, they'd better.
    The also expensive 210 combo I played through sounded awful. So, it's kind of subjective.. The need for 8x10 cabs? Really? I know of no place other than backline companies and in house venue provided stage gear that I see them at all. And you'll likely be asked to turn down onstage anyway.I haven't used my Cerwin-Vega B-36 mf, or my Sunn 215 SH in almost 20 years now. For me, modular is the way to go... one of two Class 'D' amps I use regularly- and 1-12, 2-10, and 1-15 cabs in varying combinations. That said, I DID ENJOY your review!
    BaltoNealio likes this.
  13. mark roberts

    mark roberts Supporting Member

    Nov 13, 2004
    Lawrence, KS
    The Aguilar 4x12 is the best sounding cab for it’s size, weight, IMHO. I had an opportunity to try an SVT Vintage reissue head through the Aguilar, the Ampeg Vintage reissue 8x10 and the standard Ampeg 8x10. To my ears and feel…the Aguilar really sounded monstrous. I never thought there would be a cab that size and weight that would challenge the Ampeg 8x10 Vintage reissue (which I preferred over the darker sounding regular Ampeg 8x10).

    To each, their own assessment.
    baxter_x likes this.
  14. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    Not my experience at all. I still use my 810, even of mid venues. And no one asks me to turn down. To me nothing replaces the presence of an 810 even on mid venues. That doesn't mean I can't play anything else though.
    6thplanet and D.A.R.K. like this.
  15. baxter_x


    Nov 27, 2013
    I was absolutly blown by the cab. Exactly the kind of tone I enjoy. Have you ever tried the Mesa 412? I'm tempted to get one.
  16. arbiterusa


    Sep 24, 2015
    I completely believe the OP on this one, simply because the only time I have heard Markbass cabs sound good is with Markbass heads. A Mark cab with Mark head is a combination that is REALLY hard to beat.
    baxter_x likes this.
  17. Yes, they certainly shifted me away from tens. I still use mine to this day. Usually just one with a Tonehammer head. Two of them can handle just about anything. Almost twenty years old and still sounding great dreaded carpet covering and all!
    SJan3 likes this.
  18. Plain Old Barry

    Plain Old Barry Supporting Member

    Mar 1, 2018
    What kind of music do you play? What is your idea of an ideal bass guitar sound? Do you play with fingers, slap, or a pick, or a combo of styles? Do you use any effects?

    This is all good info to include in a comparison. There are no wrong answers as "good" sound is so objective.

    SJan3 likes this.
  19. Please do not take offense but IMHO five cabs should be called the little shoot out.
  20. SJan3

    SJan3 Supporting Member

    Dec 8, 2010
    My Aguilar amp sounded great thru my MarkBass cabs. Just sayin..
    Clark W likes this.
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