cxl110 vs. wizzy for doubling

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Tom Baldwin, Oct 6, 2004.

  1. OK, here we go again. I am still happy with my Pub for low to moderate volume gigs, but I am reconsidering my rig for louder scenarios and doubling - big band, variety band, larger venues. Currently I have a WW Hi power (300-450w into 8-4ohm) and a cxl-110. I like the 110 for EB, but not so much for DB. So many positive things have been said about the Wizzy, I am itching to try one. From what I can gather, the Wizzy tone will give me what I like to hear for DB - basically a frown on the eq. What about for EB in general, and in particular the low B? Is the Wizzy versatile enough? The Woods is two channel, so I can tailor the eq for Slab, but will the Wizzy deliver? I love the idea of one light cab if I can get away with it. Also I assume 450w into a cab rated to handle 250 won't be a problem, as long as I'm careful.

    Thanks for sharing.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Look into the Ampeg Portabass stuff as well. I have the 12" and had the Wizzy side by side with it and much preferred the Ampeg. The Ampeg is a really nice Slab cab, too.
  3. Nuno A.

    Nuno A. Velvet Strings Customer Service

    Jul 9, 2001
    Hey Ray, can you tell me if that portabass is 2 or 4 ohms? and what did you prefer in the portabass ?(and what you didnt like in the wizzy). i know the wizzy is a little low mid "heavy", but i really dig it, however, i can have a great deal on a portabass(although i wont be able to try it..)
    thanks a lot

  4. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The Wizzy was pretty midrangy and generally less transparent than the Ampeg. I only heard the Wizzy with DB, so keep that in mind as well. It did sound pretty good, though.

    The amps that we had were my WW and a Clarus, and also played around with the Fishman Platinum preamp with the Clarus. We had a couple of basses, one with the Realist and the FullCircle on mine.

    With the Woods I was able to recreate either sound on either setup, but the Clarus, even with the Fishman, didn't have enough EQ control to get rid of the mids that the Wizzy puts out. To my ear, the Ampeg sounded less 'box-y' -- meaning less like a speaker cabinet.

    After the experiment I'd pay a couple hundred more for the Ampeg, but would be happy with the Wizzy if I didn't know about the Portabass stuff. It was agreed that with his setup (bass + pickup + amp + preamp) that it wasn't really worth the effort and loss in resale to move out of the Wizzy into the Ampeg.
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Oops -- 200W @ 4 ohms, adjustable tweeter.
  6. That's my setup Ray is referring to. It's true, I'm not as happy with the Wizzy as I expected based on all the rave reviews. It is quite midrangy, although with the Fishman Platinum EQ I'm able to get a good sound. IMO, the Wizzy had a more open sound, and was definitely louder than the Ampeg. But my feeling is that I shouldn't have to go through so much trouble (i.e., the Fishman) to correct the EQ problem. If anyone has any other suggestions of light 4 ohm cabs that would work with the Clarus, other than the Ampeg, I would love to hear them.
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    And the portabass cabs are a little lighter: 20 lbs for a 10" PB110H and 23lbs for a 12" PB112H vs. 28 lbs for a Wizzy. Pricewise, the portabass is a little bit cheaper. The portabass cabs also come with a handle and wheels for wheeling it around. Decisions decisions...

    EDIT: Hey Ray, if I recall correctly you went for the 12" portabass cab. Did you by any chance try the 2x10 cab? Seems awfully light (32 lbs from the Ampeg site). Just curious.
  8. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The Wizzy did seem more efficient, but not a big issue if you have some power to spare.

    I would add that my perception of the Ampeg seeminging to put out less volume at the same power was due, in part, to the nature of the sound -- the 'boxiness' and 'midranginess' of the Wizzy that I mention above. Keep in mind that the differences of which I speak are more on the subtle side rather than the drastic.
  9. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Never tried it :) I heard a guy using the 12" (in a really bad room) and loved the sound, and I'm a 12" speaker guy for double bass, anyhow. Over the years I've tried 10" and 15" cabinets and never was able to get what I wanted from them. I will admit that my 15" Bag End does a good job in big, dry spaces like outdoor concerts and huge concert-hall type stages, but its weight and coaxial speaker make it generally unusable for me.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm not going to suggest that either cab is better than the other,'s important to consider the entire signal chain when making distinctions like "cab X sounds more transparent". In order to really do this, you'll need to run the bass with preamp x and pickup X into a mixing board and record the signal, then see how the amplifier reproduces that signal.

    Too often, I think people buy cabs to compensate for a particular type of signal from the pickup - for instance, if the signal from the pickup is brighter than the player likes, a "darker" (i.e. - more "colored") cab might sound better to the player because the end product sounds more like the idea of the sound of the bass that the player has in their head...all of which is fine, but then when that cabinet gets described as "transparent", it can give the impression that it puts out exactly what was put in, which is not the case. If another player with a "dark" sounding pickup were to happen to play through the same cab, they might find nothing but darkness!

    I only mention this because I've spent so much money on speaker cabinets over the years based on how they sound through my current "signal chain" (pickup, preamp, amp, etc.), only to switch any of the elements in the chain and find out that the cab doesn't sound so good with a new pickup (for instance). I'm not trying to bust anyone's chops, just trying to point out a phenomenon I learned the hard way! :)
  11. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA
    I have a Wizzy that I use for BG, DB, and EUB, powered by either a GK400RB or Eden WT400. I've also used SWR 2x10 and 1x15 cabs, a Carvin 112, and a Bergantino HT112.

    The Wizzy is my favorite cab for doubling. Others think it has too much midrange, but I've found that while it might sound a little ugly on its own, that midrange helps it cut through in loud, dense situations, helping me to hear my intonation better. I've also noticed that since it doesn't have a separate high end driver that the highs/high mids are less directional than tweeter-equipped cabs. This means that I can hear those high frequencies even in tight setups where I'm standing very close to the cab--definitely not the case for my other cabs with horns.

    I've tried the PortaBass cabs--112, 110, and 210--with BG, and I thought they sounded kinda small and cheap, plus they're not very efficient. Just MHO.
  12. This is a good point, and also why this whole business is so frustrating. Too many variables. So you're saying I should make sure I have the best option on the front end of the chain before making any decisions on the rest of it. That makes sense. Still, a general consensus seems to be that the wizzy is midrangey, which I believe will suit my DB needs. Can anyone comment in more detail on how the wizzy fares with Slab, especially WRT the low B? Sanctuary mush.
  13. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    I considered a Wizzy but was not crazy about the 12" speaker.
  14. winston

    winston Supporting Member

    May 2, 2000
    Berkeley, CA

    I've played my F-Bass BN5 5 string and Godin 4 through the Wizzy with the GK and Eden heads. I was playing with a thunderous drummer and loud guitarist with the F-Bass--> a bunch of FX including octaver, envelope filter, and distortion--> GK--> Wizzy. Rehearsing in a basement the Wizzy took the 200 watts of the GK and made a mighty racket. It could handle vigorous B string forays and FX onslaughts, though I should mention I mostly use the F-Bass in passive mode and didn't add much bass on the amp.

    The Godin sounded truly phenomenal strung with TI Jazz Flats through the Wizzy, with a detailed midrange and punchy thump. Sounds great with a pick. I think the fact that the lows, mids, and highs all come from the same speaker with no crossover makes it sound clear and coherent--you're not getting any phasing or time offset from multiple drivers. And the transmission line design helps the lows sound big but not boomy.

    EA's website calls the Wizzy the 'new Portaflex' or something. It's kind of hi-fi Old School with present but not harsh highs. It doesn't sound as pretty as the Bergantino but it'll cut through in just about any situation, and it's the most potent portable standalone cab I've found.
  15. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    Now it would really be nice if there were a Bergantino offering for us rowboat players...
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Sort of...I'm just saying be as objective as possible about the signal you have coming from the front end of the chain. Could be that once you do that, you can shape it with EQ rather than with a "non-adjustable" component like a speaker cab. My vote after all of the stuff I've bought and sold is to get as (truly) transparent a system as you can, which will allow you to upgrade the front end without changing everything else to compensate later.

    Can't comment on the Wizzy, but I can tell you that the best doubling cab I've ever used is its big brother, the CXL112. Power to spare, transparent, clean to a fault. And it handles the low B like a champ. I've heard the Wizzy does almost as well.
  17. I asked this in another thread a little while ago, but didn't really get a clear answer. Why are the Wizzy and the Portabass the only 4 ohm 1x12's out there? Are these two really the only options? Using a Bergantino or other such cab with a clarus doesn't make much sense to me, since with 8 ohms, it will only get half the power out of the amp. With so many players using 1x12's alone, it would seem that there should be more 4 ohm cabs out there (since the benefit of 8 ohms is that you can put two together).
  18. Thanks winston, and everyone for your replies. I've heard you have to be careful not to overpower the Wizzy. If I use the Woods which puts out 450w at 4ohms, just what does "being careful" entail? Do I just back off the volume if I hear it breaking up, or will one note past the threshold kill the thing?
  19. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Just listen; if you hear the speaker yelling help (anything other than completely clean-sounding, mechanical or other distortion), back off.

    IME the two major causes of death for speakers both involve the voice coil, which is a wound coil set into the magnet. The signal we send causes the coil to move within the magnet, which mechanically moves the cone. I'm no audio expert, but this is what I know:

    - overexcursion- it receives excessive signal causing it to jump out of the channel and damages the coil so it now rubs against the magnet. You'll hear mechanical clicking or rubbing sounds

    -overheating- too much continuous power or DC voltage overheats the voice coil and distorts or burns it out. You'll hear mechanical clicking or rubbing sounds-- or nothing at all.
  20. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    I own both a Wizzy and an Ampeg PB-110H (the 10" model), both used with a Clarus. The Wizzy generally seems to have tighter lows while the Portabass is a little muddier. The Wizzy can sometimes sound a little more midrangey with the Full Circle pickup, but I think that (as Chris Fitzgerald implied) this may just be part of the Full Circle's nature. I have also tried a couple of mics (K&K Golden Bullet and Audio-Technica ATM25) through both cabs and the Wizzy definitely sounded more natural to me. On the other hand, in some situations the Ampeg has sounded better. Plus the Ampeg is really light.

    On the subject of why there aren't more 4 ohm cabinets out there, I'm not really sure, but I would recommend trying out 8 ohm cabs anyway. An 8 ohm cab that is very efficient might end up being louder than a less efficient 4 ohm one. There is not a 1-to-1 correspondence between wattage and volume. In fact doubling amp power only gets you an extra 3dB, if I remember correctly, so the extra wattage you get out of a 4 ohm cab might not give you as much extra volume as you expect. I tried a Bergantino EX112 head-to-head with a PB-112H and I think the volume was about the same. I thought the Bergantino sounded much more clear, though.

    P.S. Some websites are now listing the Portabass PB-110H and PB-112H as discontinued.