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Fearful cabs: Simple answers-Amps thread

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by whocaresnotme, Mar 23, 2010.


  1. whocaresnotme

    whocaresnotme

    Jun 21, 2009
    While trying to read thru as much info as I could re: Fearful style cabs my eyes started to bleed. The amount of info is overwhelming.

    Can any of you cab experts on TB give me some simple reasoning on this issue?

    To digress:
    I go way back to ancient Ampeg and Fender Bassman stuff. Most of the time one single very large and heavy 2x15 cab was the normal. Hated them!!
    The first time I heard a 4x10 cab my knees got weak it sounded so good.
    Loved them!
    My current set up is 2 2x10 LDS cabs stacked vertically. I run them with a Walter Woods 1200 watt amp. At almost any venue I get what I want.

    I suppose I just don't get what the fearful thing is all about. Don't get me wrong, please. I am not being argumentative and honestly want to know because I can afford to buy one without selling off my current cabs and want to know if I should.

    1. What does a fearful cab do that my normal set-up won't?
    2. Why do all of the configurations revolve around a 6" speaker
    3. Why is the combination of a 6 with a larger speaker sonically better?
    4. Is the 6" speaker normally a mid-range driver or is it a combo tweeter/mid.
    5. Is it really worth changing from hauling 2 2x10's @ 42lbs each to hauling a single cab @ 80-90 lbs.
    6. What is the most popular configuration?

    I am of the school that if it sounds good to me then that is good enough. Some of this may be subjective but I have faith in the TB community to give me straight info.

    Thanks for your time.
     
  2. Foz

    Foz

    Jul 26, 2008
    Jax FL USA
    fEarful cabs get loud

    They are light weight.

    They have unbelievably tight articulate low lows and continue to be articulate all the way up the scale.

    They are neutrally voiced so they respond readily to EQ tweaks - you don't have to fight the cab as much as one typically does in order to change the rig's tone balance.

    They sound pretty much the same on axis and off.

    If you already have all that to a degree that satisfies, then don't waste your time or money. If not...
     
  3. pfschim

    pfschim Just a Skeleton with a Jazz bass

    Apr 26, 2006
    SF Bay Area
    I'm no fEarFull expert but I have followed the threads with real interest. I'll take a stab until the real experts come along.

    1. What does a fearful cab do that my normal set-up won't?
    full range 2 or 3 way cab that has a great deal of clarity vs std market designs
    2. Why do all of the configurations revolve around a 6" speaker
    6" is a dedicated sealed mid driver that covers the acoustic hole that most cabs have between the low's, mids and highs.
    3. Why is the combination of a 6 with a larger speaker sonically better?
    typical cab techno geek thought is that in a 2 driver system the mid driver should be 1/2 the size of the low end driver.
    4. Is the 6" speaker normally a mid-range driver or is it a combo tweeter/mid.
    to the best of my knowledge it is a dedicated mid driver. The fEarFull designs come in 2 way (low + mid driver) and 3 way (low + mid + tweet) designs.
    5. Is it really worth changing from hauling 2 2x10's @ 42lbs each to hauling a single cab @ 80-90 lbs.
    to individually subjective a question to give a good answer
    6. What is the most popular configuration?
    seems pretty mixed between the 15/6, 12/6, w/tweet, w/o tweet versions. There are also passive crossovers and active crossovers (and variant designs), as well as 15/15/6's and 12/12/6's in the fEarFul family.

    good luck navigating this offering. :cool:
     
  4. DukeLeJeune

    DukeLeJeune rational romantic mystic cynical idealist Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 24, 2008
    Princeton, Texas
    Owner & designer, AudioKinesis; Auth. mfg, Big E (Home Audio only)
    The woofers used are fantastic for bass, going quite deep and handling enormous amounts of power, but because of the inevitable tradeoffs of speaker engineering they are also poor in the upper midrange and treble region. The minimum size cone midrange necessary to match these woofers in output capability at a suitable crossover frequency happens to be 6". Not because 6" is some magic number, but because there aren't any 5" drivers that will do it. Actually there may be 5" divers that will keep up with the 3012LF, but they are considerably more expensive than the 6" Eminence Alpha 6a. The two different 6" drivers used in the fEarfuls happen to sound quite good for their respective prices. These designs are extremely well thought-out.

    A lightweight 6" cone is smoother and more articulate than a heavy 12" or 15" cone that has nasty breakup peaks, and perhaps even more important it has much wider dispersion. This means that your tone is more uniform out in the house as well as onstage. Slightly but usefully wider dispersion is the advantage that a 6" unit has over an 8" unit, and it's easier to fit a 6" unit onto the front baffle. You've already take a major step towards uniform dispersion by going with stacked vertical 2x10s. The fEarfuls take that one step further.

    In the fEarfuls it's a midrange driver. I am not aware of any 6" coaxial mid/tweet units that can keep up with the woofers used in the fEarfuls. A separate tweeter can be added to the fEarfuls if desired.
     
  5. To my quite limited knowledge it seems like eminence came out with these great, light, sensitive and deep kappalite woofers that are on the forefront of speaker evolution. As they are probably too expensive for commercial makers, the fearful cabs were designed around them. Other bonuses that come with this is that they have the mid speakers so that these cabs have better dispertion and transperency of tone than commercial offerings, and as they are custom, it is possible to make them using a very light thin plywood+bracing design rather than the simpler and less labour intensive method of using heavier plywood with less bracing.

    In summery, by making your own cab you can get a superior cab for a relatively good price that large scale makers would not be able to economically produce. These are not meant to be cheap, rather just be top notch at a reasonable cost, since your doing your own labour.

    Disclaimer: I've only been stalking the fearful forums a few weeks and haven't actually made one, so I can't say I have a qualified opinion on any of this :)
     
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    All of the above is correct. Greenboy designed these cabs without any of the 'market pressures' that exist for commercial cabs. That means no compromises in the designs to make them look marketable or downgrading components to please accountants or shortcutting the woodwork for ease of construction over performance.
     
  7. Lukejt

    Lukejt

    May 24, 2008
    Maryland
    How well will the Fearful 15/6 run with a 400watt head (250 into 8 ohms)? My current 15" cab doesn't get too loud with this amp, it's an Ashdown MAG 115 Deep. The tone leaves a lot to be desired, but it thumps pretty darn good. I know there are better cabs out there, and I'm dying to try one with my amp, a Yorkville XS400H. I'm always blown away by my friends 8x10, so I'm thinking about getting a 410. All the the rave reviews of the Fearful cabs have me almost ready to take the plunge.

    My hesitation is caused by claims that Fearful cabs require a decent amount of power.

    What is the sensitivity of a typical Fearful 15/6?
     
  8. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    With my F1 (300w @ 8 ohms) it gets loud enough to drive people out of the 20x20 practice room, and more than enough for stage volume anywhere.

    Sensitivity is about on par with your average 3x10 (little less up top, little more down low).

    The big advantage is that not needing to boost lows at all to get a bassy sound gives you a lot more apparent headroom, and having smooth mids that do not fall off off-axis makes it fill a room more. The lack of any distortion to speak of makes it not sound as loud out of a mix - it will not seem as loud as it is by itself, just a peculiarity of the lack of distortion.
     
  9. Lukejt

    Lukejt

    May 24, 2008
    Maryland
    Cool. Anybody have any experience with the "cutters" on TB? Swift something, and another member cut wood and ship the pieces for assembly. That sounds cool to me, it would be fun to build.
     
  10. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul.

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    This is interesting, as I too have been finding my ear bent to these voices.

    I've not seen an estimate of cost of components and materials--am I missing something obvious?
     
  11. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    If you do it all yourself around 300-450 depending on driver choice, crossover, finishing choice, shipping costs (e.g. if you can get it all in one place you'll save a bunch). With a cutkit probably on the high end of that.
     
  12. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Lee, expect on spending around 50$ in wood give or take, assuming you can do your own woodwork. From there, the 3015LF can be had between 135-175$, the 18-Sound 6" runs about 120-140$ depending on who you're getting it from. The "incidentals" are going to run you probably another $100 bucks (handles, jack plate, corners, grill material, etc). The crossover will run you somewhere between 35-80$ for parts depending on what you want and where you source.

    Mine ran higher because I did a lot of stuff like custom Duratex, but you could do a good quality full build in the 500ish range.
     
    dgrizzly likes this.
  13. Lee Barker

    Lee Barker Labor of evident value satisfies the soul.

    Oct 25, 2005
    Redmond, Oregon
    owner, Barker Musical Instruments, maker of the Barker Bass, No Longer In Production.
    Thanks, BurningSkies. I see that selling my Ampeg 115 cabinet is not going to fund this in its entirety! That said, I have a headstart on item #1, being the grateful owner of a few crude hand tools and a cramped place in which to wield them. I appreciate your detailing the costs for me. The PDFs seem adequate to the task, though I'm left with one more question:

    Does anyone know of someone ever dovetailing the box together? Oh, and one more:

    Has anyone adapted the plan to an airhead to accommodate a micro amp like a Shuttle?
     
  14. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    PassinWind makes some beautiful boxes, but not sure if he dovetailed any of them.

    I don't see why it wouldn't work, other than you're using 1/2" ply, and I don't know how the dovetails and corners would finish. Use high-quality ply and the edges should look great. I wish I could do dovetailing (meaning: I wish I had the tools and patience).

    Also, I'm not sure if anyone has added an opening for a micro head, but it could be easily done. Just lengthen the sides and back and add a second top for the air-space. The speaker cabinet volume should remain the same, however.
     
  15. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    PS, I'm completely envious of your shop.
     
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Nope, I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to woodworking and I don't even own a router or a table saw. I used a Kreg jig and pocket joints with 3/4" stock to avoid having to buy all those big clamps. If I ever do any more DIY cabs I'll just use one of my local buddies for the joinery, or maybe go with composites, which I know much more about than woodworking.;)

    Thanks for the kind words BTW!
     
  17. Mo'Phat

    Mo'Phat Supporting Member

    Oct 1, 2003
    San Diego, CA, USA
    Fine, then...you're a wiz with sandpaper and clear laquer.
     
  18. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    :cool:
     
  19. I see I am not the only one having trouble navigating the fearful threads!
    I tried reading those but gave up after 10 pages of YES!YES!YES! it rules! and very little hard info. I finally found some plans that I downloaded. Keep meaning to get down to discount buliders supply to price some wood. Pretty sure Home Despot dont carry void free baltic birch!
    I am curious, and please shoot me fulla holes on this. Is it possible to sub a different (cheaper) mid driver? I am interested in doing the 12/12/6 and the total cost of driver+wood gets well into store bought cab territory, not to mention used cabs!
    Here is a poser...I assume if I keep the internal volume the same I can make the box wider and move the 6 down lower. Of course keeping the port opening the same size right? Maybe block the middle of the port a la TL606 style.


    My bands will wonder why I would look at more cabs, its mostly so I can have two different rigs and only move my head. Maybe get a 2nd head eventually?
     
  20. rpsands

    rpsands

    Jul 6, 2007
    Phoenix, AZ
    There are a few acceptable mid drivers but they sacrifice performance for cost. You can save around 50-70 bucks by getting a B&C 6pev13 or 6md38, but it won't be quite as loud up top and will require calculating your own crossover.

    I'd stick with the 6nd410 unless you are a really strong electronics/soldering guy.

    The cost gets into the store bought cab territory, but the cost is about what mid-level cheapo cabs cost. The fEarfuls built properly and using the specced parts will outperform any similar-sized boutique cabinet most of the time.

    I keep waiting for Accugroove cabs vs. fEarfuls, but it just hasn't happened :)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    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.

     
    Nov 24, 2020

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