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Comparison: BareFaced Super Midget vs. AudioKinesis Hathor 1203

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tallboybass, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    After initial testing at home, they are capable of similar max outputs, with the Hathor pumping out more real lows by a small margin. The SM seemed to roll off sooner giving it a tighter sound. For low mids to mid-mids I would give the nod to the SM but once you're up into the high mids, the switch on the AK makes it the King. You're not stuck with that sound though since that signature upper mid grind is optional (but imminently usable in a mix). The tweeters on both cabs seamlessly extend the highs if that's what you want.

    They both weigh about the same (23-24 lbs.) but the SM definitely feels like less, mostly due to it being only 11" deep, much easier to walk with.

    Can't wait to get them to a gig to see how they fit in a mix!

    Feel free to ask any questions, describing sound with words is obviously not my forte but I'll give it my best shot.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
  2. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Useful comparison, thanks. I just received a Hathor 1203 and am loving it. It's only marginally larger than my Genzler 10-2 array-with the well placed (and thoughtfully recessed) leather top handle, light weight and vertical orientation, IME it has the best form factor of any 112 I have owned, and sounds great....extremely versatile with the 3 ports and mid/high toggles...very pleased so far but haven't tested it with a band/drummer yet.
    Pbassmanca, tombowlus and wave rider like this.
  3. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    How would you guys compare the H1203 to a Fearless 112?
  4. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    I have owned a fEarful 12/6 and played/heard a fEarless 12/6/1 when local TBer Smallmouth Bass brought one over for a GTG earlier this year. The fEarless is considerably bigger, heavier and more $$, with (IMHO) a nicer, pro finish (my one complaint about the 1203 is the somewhat home made look). The fEarless sounded more monitor-like. The 1203 is very flavored by design and so far I love it (caveat-still in honeymoon phase and have not run it with full band yet-will not be doing that until Oct 5). The fEarless is a clean box and the Hathor can get grindy with the mid toggle up. I like the fact that the Hathor can have several different sounds-plenty of lows with 1 or more of the ports unplugged but very tight lows if all are sealed.....highs muted at 3500 Hz with the upper toggle flipped down...but plenty of highs for me when it's up...........grindy mids vs flatter mids depending on the other toggle.....and the form factor and weight are, frankly, absolute perfection! My initial impression is that it's the optimal 1 hand carry cab. Smallmouth Bass will be over (hopefully in Oct) for another GTG and we'll do a head to head.
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    Pbassmanca and wave rider like this.
  5. jlepre

    jlepre Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2007
    Cedar Knolls, NJ
    Thanks for that. I can see the design differences, and finishes. They sound like different animals all together. I wonder how the dispersion is on the H1203? That's one thing I love about my F112. If projects very well and can be heard from any point on stage of in a small to medium sized room.
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  6. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Speaking of BF vs. AK comparisons, here's a recent one between the Super Midget and the Thunderchild 112:
    Pbassmanca likes this.
  7. jnewmark

    jnewmark Just wanna play the groove. Supporting Member

    Aug 31, 2006
    Stax 1966
    Third St. Cigar Records staff musician.
    Nice. Would like to read some discussion of tonal qualities by mixing and matching the port plugs and switches on the Hathor. Can they be manipulated to achieve certain " styles " of bass , like, finger funk, rock styles, Blues, etc. ? Be as subjective as you want !
  8. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Surely they can, but at this point I certainly lack sufficient experience with this cab to comment further, and am an amateur hack now playing only rarely with a full band-TBer Nostatic has posted a lot about the Hathor; he and Duke are likely among the best resources.
    Al Kraft, wave rider and jnewmark like this.
  9. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Yes, re: the Hathor I'd say, for Motownish, vintage sound - both switches down. For the most hifi setting - mids down, highs up. For grindy rock (Geddy Lee-ishness) - mid switch up.

    The ports (mine has 3) just adjust the lows, I run with 1 or 2 ports plugged usually. If you were playing reggae, you'd probably want to uncork it completely. All the way to playing quiet jazz where you wouldn't want to be booming all over the place, you'd want to put all the plugs in.

    Hope that helps.
  10. bobcruz


    Mar 10, 2004
    Thanks for the great information. Looks are important to me, unfortunately, since my rig is visible in church. If the Hathor looked as good as the Barefaced (with silver cloth grill) I'd own at least one if not two.
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  11. steubig


    Jul 17, 2001
    locustland, ca
    lomo likes this.
  12. Lowendtech

    Lowendtech Happily trending in my own peculiar direction. Supporting Member

    Sub'd for interest in the Hathor and BF. Good info so far.
  13. @lomo would love to hear your thoughts on the Genz 10-2 vs the Hathor!
    revroy likes this.
  14. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Had the Hathor and a SC and SM at one point. The SM and the Hathor are pretty comparable. I'd have a hard time picking one over the other by any significant reason. I do think the Hathor has more of a voice, and it is quite nice, so I'd probably tend toward that cab if I had to pick one just based on tone. However, The SM isn't much smaller, but certainly presents like it is when when hauling it.

    To the OP point on low-end: could you EQ the SM to keep up with the Hathor, or did you find a point where the Hathor could go but the SM couldn't, or were you simply saying that for a given eq position (like all knobs at noon) the Hathor put out more deep lows?
    Pbassmanca, tallboybass and jnewmark like this.
  15. lomo

    lomo passionate hack Supporting Member

    Apr 15, 2006
    Hathor 1203 vs Genzler 10-2 array.......like pomegranates and cashews.......the 10-2 is super clear....I'd use terms like hifi and modern....very sweet top end with the paper cone array and no true tweet. Very light at 21 lbs and a few cc smaller than the Hathor....much nicer finish, not much cheaper....I prefer it for use with my ABG ........it gets loud enough to keep up with a restrained drummer (how's that for the oxymoron of the day)......as in a living room jam....maybe jazz with brushing drummer, congas, whatever....the 1203 goes noticeably lower, gets far louder (should be no problem with the rock drummers I play with), has it's own voices, can get grindy if desired. The 10-2 could never be my only cab, but the 1203 could easily do anything I'd need to, with the caveat being I prefer the cleaner, upper end articulation of the 10-2 for my ABG a little bit.
    revroy and cultrvultr like this.
  16. MarkA

    MarkA In the doghouse. Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2008
    I haven't played any of the Barefaced cabs, so can offer no first-hand experience with them. I have a Hathor 1203 (older, one-port version). For me, plugging the port makes a significant difference, in feel even more than sound. Plugged: tighter, quicker and more percussive in finger funk, even when you dial the bass up a bit to compensate for the earlier roll-off in the lows. Handy for boomy stages. Dispersion is quite good (though the "Changeling" variation of the Hathor, with its rear-firing mid, should be even better). Port open: more open in the lows, as you'd expect, but also more open, relaxed, and, maybe, 3D-feeling overall.
    wave rider and dmrogers like this.
  17. tallboybass

    tallboybass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tulsa, Oklahoma
    Great question, Monster, it felt like the Hathor had enough of a lead in lows that the SM would give out before it got caught up, BUT, that might have been my power running out (500 watts @ 8 ohms from a GK MBF800). Most people don't play that loud either (at least with 1-12").

    Both speakers together sounded GREAT, btw. They compliment each other quite well tonally, and get Really Loud!
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
    wave rider likes this.
  18. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2010
    The great thing about TalkBass is that many of the guys who make these great products are members who post here, and even if you're not going to buy their amp or cab, they will give you lots of suggestions and point you in the right direction. :thumbsup:
  19. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008

    My suspicion is that the SM uses a more robust driver than the Hathor, and it can take more watts, but the smaller box means you've got to push more to get the same volume and lows. I know Alex says the SC and SM should be equally "loud" but the bigger SC sure seemed louder to me. Perhaps I was going easy on the SM and afraid to push it as hard as it could go, but I selected the SC as my one-cab solution over the SM and Hathor. I've since moved up to the BB2, and it's a pretty beastly cab, using the same driver as the SM, though with considerable additional oomph from the cab design.

    Agreed that the SM and Hathor have some synergy. I might've gone that way (having one of each) if I wasn't focused on a one-cab solution.
    tallboybass likes this.
  20. nostatic


    Jun 18, 2004
    Lompoc, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I'm profoundly lazy - I always play it with the port open and both switches "up" (full range and some mid grind). Last night was a jazz hit that ventured into some loud pockets - guitar, sax, flute, drums, bass. Just a single H1203. Never fails to carry the night. Looking forward to the Changeling-T to compare/contrast though I think it will be subtle.

    Haven't gigged any BF cabs, but Monsterthompson brought his SC over iirc and we had a bit of a cabpalooza. Then I checked out his BB2 and 2-10. For an all around cab I preferred my H1203, but the 2-10 had a pretty killer funk/rock vibe going on.

    From last night, D800 into H1203 (warning - gratuitous noodling). First time for this lineup (which is not atypical for nostatic)

    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017
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    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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