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Comparing F112 + BB2

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by CharlieC, Sep 29, 2016.

  1. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY

    { Pictured above: Greenboy Fearless F112 + Barefaced Big Baby II }

    Getting these two cabinets side-by-side for a throwdown had long-been a wish of mine and one that was finally granted.

    Continuing GAS is solely to blame for this, and for the record, I am not endorsed, affiliated, nor compensated by the makers of these cabinets, nor do I sell magazines nor advertisement space.

    Perhaps like yourself, I once had hoped to hear either in person, let alone have the good fortune to now own both.

    As a TalkBass member, it is highly likely you know something of these top-shelf cabinets, their specs, their designers, and their legions of passionate fans.

    Most any search attempting to compare these two will often result in the popular, "Different flavors of good" comments and rightly so! Both of these designs deliver performances that are above and beyond those of typical bass cabinets (and even PA cabinets.) The thought and passion behind their creation has forever raised the bar and these cabinets are testament to this. Both of these boxes are for those players who simply want the best and can tell the difference.

    Separately and elsewhere on TalkBass I previously posted my experiences with each of these fine cabinets, from purchase to performance, and I invite you to have a read-through if you missed them the first time around.

    Rather than restate and then compare the features and benefits of each cabinet in this thread, as an owner of both, I simply would like to share my findings on the recurring question I once had, "Which one sounds better?" This is the comparison that held the most weight for me and the one I will cover here.

    Despite the ultimate subjectivity of this, I hope we can at least agree on the criteria for good sound as it pertains to sound reproduction (and not bass tone.)

    I believe my methods and equipment towards this comparison were fair, yet hardly scientific. In a carpeted room with a low-ceiling used as my studio space, I set both speakers on the floor in standard vertical orientation, away from surrounding walls, reflections, and possible obstructions. While standing 6 feet in front, I operated a foot-switch that allowed me real-time A/B comparison of the two cabinets. Both speakers were fed using identical power amplifiers which received a single audio source at any given time. Test signals were the live outputs of some popular bass preamps (and basses) in addition to high-resolution music files from a digital audio player. Both cabinets were configured as full-on studio monitors, without any attenuation or padding. Tests were performed at sound levels from rehearsal-loud to near-obnoxious.

    I respectfully report here that in all audio comparisons the Fearless F112 emerged as the better sounding cabinet to my ears.

    Under the exact same power amp output, the F112 consistently sounded a bit louder and hit with better LF extension, depth and authority. With music files in particular the F112 was also better (IMHO) at reproducing middle and high frequencies, with superior sonic detail, transparency and intelligibility. Program material seemed to transcend the enclosure.

    The key to me being able to make this determination was through use of a foot-switch which allowed for real-time comparisons. Never did I need to pause, go around to re-patch speaker cables, and then re-evaluate. I was able to hear and feel differences immediately. To remove the tactile element and distraction of live bass play, my use of audio files and full-range source music made differences even more apparent when A/B'ing the two cabinets. To eliminate possible equipment errors, I later swapped cables to the respective cabinets and re-tested to the exact same results.

    Please understand that by no means was the BB2 ever disappointing. Only under real-time comparison was a difference apparent. I am quite certain that for most live applications these differences would not come to light as was the case under my comparative microscope. On their own, each sounds fantastic.

    As proud owner and advocate of both, I was honestly hoping for little if any sonic difference between the two, but direct comparison spoiled that for me.

    In the dozens of other ways one could compare these two cabinets (e.g. size, weight, maximum SPL), I believe it would result in a back-and-forth tennis match and I regrettably leave that event for those interested.

  2. Great review! You are fortunate to have the opportunity to have those cabs in one room.
    CharlieC likes this.
  3. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY

    There's a great line in "Dawn Of The Dead (1978)" that I love, "The only one who could miss with that gun is the sucker with the bread to buy it!" ;)
  4. Peter Weil

    Peter Weil Seeker of The New Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2000
    Edinburgh, Scotland
    I've been waiting for someone to do that comparison for a long time. I really appreciate that. Thanks Charlie.
    puff father and CharlieC like this.
  5. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Thanks for a thorough review, nicely done.

    I am a Barefaced guy myself, but I have never played through an F112 so your review was quite interesting to me. One thing I thought was interesting is that you liked the LF response of the F112 better, and found it to be a little louder. It's hard for me to imagine better LF response than a BB2, some people say it's too much. So, the F112 must be impressive. It probably sounds a bit louder at a given amp setting due to being a little more low-mid focused than the BB2 which therefore tends to present as "louder"-- IMO. However, since amps have volume controls, personally I think that particular component is irrelevant; both can go crazy loud so, the volume knob equalizes this.

    Interesting too that you thought the F112 was more impressive with program files since the BB2 is known for accurate reproduction, and is essentially what the Barefaced FR800 PA speaker is (minus the built-in D class amp). So, again, the F112 must be a helluva cab.

    Suffice to say, they are both excellent cabs. The rest is personal preference and personal tastes. I like the Barefaced with no plans to change, but your review certainly makes me want to try an F112 sometime.

    When you're ready to sell off the BB2 at a bargain price, well, just let me know. :)

    Again, thanks for sharing, and well done.
    puff father and CharlieC like this.
  6. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY

    We sure can do plenty more of these comparisons with a GoFundMe page! :D
    Peter Weil likes this.
  7. Plutonium244

    Plutonium244 Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2015
    Now, can you please do a F112 vs Barefaced Super Midget comparison? Thanks in advance! :)

    Just kidding. But, I do kinda wonder how they'd compare. If you found the F112 to be tighter in the low bass, maybe a SM would be more comparable since it'll be a little less low-heavy compared to the BB2 (although I like that about a BB2-- its massive, PA-support-like bottom); and the SM is in a smaller box than the BB2, so maybe more comparable in erms of enclosure to an F112. I can't say that for sure... just thinking aloud here.

    Anyone compared an F112 with a Super Midget?
    CharlieC likes this.
  8. BassOnTheSide

    BassOnTheSide Guest

    Nov 14, 2011
    Nice comparison. Thanks for posting. Coincidentally, I am about to do a similar shootout with these cabinets' bigger siblings. I have a Big Twin II, and have an F115 on the way. These cabs are not quite as directly comparable (115 vs 212) but I'm curious (as you were) about the tonal differences.
    rufus.K, dinoadventures and CharlieC like this.
  9. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
    Thanks and don't hold your breath on that one, LOL!

    The BB2 has other superpowers that complement one's cabinet stable!
    puff father and Plutonium244 like this.
  10. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
    That shootout should be a PayPerView event!

    Please keep us posted as to your findings.

    MTN.bass72 likes this.
  11. BassOnTheSide

    BassOnTheSide Guest

    Nov 14, 2011
    I will. In fact, we're having a GTG here in Dallas on 11/5 and I'm planning to bring both cabs, so it will be fun to get everyone else's opinion too.
  12. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
    This is one of 2 devices I employed as a foot-switcher in this effort and it is an invaluable tool to have around.

    Pbassmanca, azfatboy and puff father like this.
  13. I think you misinterpreted what Charlie wrote.

    Better LF extentsion
    Depth and authority.

    This doesnt really surprise me, as the Barefaced cabs moved away from the 3012LF. From what I gather the new driver has increased mid sensitivity, there is no free lunch, and increased sensitivity usually means less LF performance.
    Peter Weil and CharlieC like this.
  14. whirledpeas

    whirledpeas Supporting Member

    Feb 18, 2010
    Sittin' Here in Limbo
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Charlie!
    CharlieC likes this.
  15. CharlieC


    Aug 20, 2010
    New York, NY
    Although I recently acquired the BB2, I made every effort to break the driver in sufficiently before testing.

    I really pummeled the poor thing trying and part of the break-in was high-volume playback of Sabbath's Paranoid album! :thumbsup:
    Raulplaysbass likes this.
  16. Dave Hill

    Dave Hill Supporting Member

    Jan 9, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    Great comparison.
    My F212 is going nowhere.
    puff father, CL400Peavey and CharlieC like this.
  17. Bassheart365

    Bassheart365 Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2014
    Northern California
    "A good bassist determines the direction of any band." - Ron Carter
    Well done and thank you. I am a HUGE Greenboy convert and own two F112s.
    CharlieC and puff father like this.
  18. puff father

    puff father Supporting Member

    Jan 20, 2006
    Endicott, NY
    Thanks for the review. Now I don't have to sell my two F112s and buy Barefaced cabs!

    Actually, I can't imagine better sounding cabs than what I have right now. My first F112 replaced my AE410. I really only use two if I'm playing outdoors so far.
    arrowsun and CharlieC like this.
  19. Stu_Bass


    Nov 24, 2006
    Screen Shot 2016-09-29 at 11.58.00 AM.png I'm curious as to whether anyone has a similar list of specs on the F112?
  20. The woofer used in the F112 is the 3012LF. You can look up all the TS specs.
    CharlieC likes this.

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