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fEARful/fEARless - Guidance Needed

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by drumandbass75, May 1, 2018.


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  1. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I really liked the pair of 12” changlings I had for BGM.
    Very nice.
     
    DukeLeJeune likes this.
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Haven't tried them yet, but I'm sure they're great. Loved the 2 tweeter 112 Duke sent us for NAMM this year too. Unlike quite a few people, I still dig the Thunderchild line the most out of what Duke builds. But probably not for reggae. I still have an old DIY pair of 15/6/1s (not fEARfuls, but same ballpark) that I'd love to bust out sometime for reggae or funk gigs, if I ever had any.

    Talked to Dave Green for quite a while yesterday. He's thinking on doing a design for something with a different ten since Eminence has bailed on producing the Kappalite LF one. He's in a good place, not spending much time online suits him well.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  3. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    This should be an auto-response to any cab inquiry thread.

    I listened to the masses and built my own 15/6 having no clue what flat response was. "Everyone" seemed to think they were great. Personally, I hated the sound of it. Aside from the fun of building my own enclosure, it was a massive failed experiment on my end. Luckily I was able to sell the cab and just about break even on materials.
     
    singlemalt likes this.
  4. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I’ve built four fEarful so far. A pair of 15/6/1, and a pair of 12/6 cubes. All of them were excellent. I could combine any of them for great results, or use any of them solo.

    The DIY aspect is what really works for me. If you want to build your own cabs, these plans will get you a winner. My take is building is half the fun.

    Speaker Hardware.com has created a one stop shop for parts and supplies. ( it used to be a bit of a hunt, with multiple suppliers of parts). The Greenboy site has a forum of folks who are building these cabs. You’ll get plenty of help without having to wade through the naysayers.

    I ended up liking the 12/6 cube for what I do. I sold the 15/6/1’s and built a second cube.

    If you aren’t totally convinced, I recommend the 12/6 in either form as a starting point, but lean towards the cube. The cube stacks nicely with other cubes or the 15/6 form. Either way, the 12/6 (alpha 6 mid driver, CBG crossover)gets you into it at the lowest price point. And it’s huge bang for the buck.

    If you are sure you are going big, start with a 15/6/1. You can add a 15 sub.

    As far as the subs go, I never went that way for two reasons: they are not usable as a stand alone cab, and adding a sub (at least with the 12/6’s) generally requires the more expensive 18 sound mid driver. At that point, I’d build a matching 12/6, or matching 15/6.

    I’d rather have each cab be usable on its own. But, hey, I’m really down in the weeds on this.

    Short story, if you DIY, pick one and build it. You’ll be thrilled.

    If you aren’t DIY, there are builders for fEarless and used fEafuls. The used fEarfuls I’ve seen look like great values, since they generally sell for around the cost of components.
     
    Jim Carr and eriky4003 like this.
  5. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Personally, I think prospective builders should at least have a good listen to the sound of their bass directly DI'ed to a decent caliber PA. If that sound doesn't work well for them it would be reasonable to work through a few more thought exercises before jumping in, IMO and IME.

    And to me, home building cabs is torture. Unless there are no other viable options at all, not gonna go there again.
     
    JimChjones likes this.
  6. 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)
    I'm responding to this post because a cab that was characterized as "flat" had highs described as "torturous".

    According to my test equipment, the 18Sound midrange driver, used in the fEARful 15/6, is NOT flat. It is a fantastic driver in many ways, and it can be made "flat" by a suitable filter, but left to its own devices, it has an 8 or 9 dB peak just north of 4 kHz, which does not show up in the factory curves but which does show up in my measurements (and in my ears). The ear is most sensitive right around 4 kHz, so I think the "torturous" top end you experienced was due to that peak.

    In other words, I do not think the cab you had was effectively "flat" across the spectrum. Not that I'm trying to talk you into revisiting "flat"!! But if a cab has a subjectively "torturous" top end, imo it is probably NOT a good ambassador for "flat" cabs.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
    Jim Carr, TAZ, mbelue and 3 others like this.
  7. backin82

    backin82 Jack of a Few Trades Supporting Member

    Sep 9, 2009
    Oklahoma City, OK
    I believe it. I had the padded (non switchable) version and it was still overpowering. I tried it with a TH500, Ampeg SVT 3 Pro, Hartke 3500, and Acoustic B600H heads and Stingray 4H, MiM Jazz, and Cort A5. None of those combinations worked for me, which I thought was insane. Then I bought a HPF from fdeck (which worked great), but I was still looking at more EQ pedals and tone shaping to get close to the tone I wanted. Then I realized I could just go buy a cab that already sounded like I wanted, and sold the 15/6.

    But, like you said, maybe I just didn't have a great example on which to base my opinion.
     
    DukeLeJeune likes this.
  8. 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)
    I have worked with that 18Sound mid on several projects, and to the best of my knowledge it is the loudest 6" mid out there by a fair margin, even WITHOUT that peak!! I use it in a cab that has not gone on the market yet, but beating its top end into submission does raise the crossover parts count considerably.

    On the other hand, a 4 kHz peak arguably "cuts through the mix" well, due to the ear's heightened sensitivity in that region. Obviously the fEARful 15/6 works great for a lot of bass players.
     
    backin82 likes this.
  9. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Ohio, USA
    I've been playing roots reggae for a long time and I love my two fEARful 12/6s. I bought one from an AB and built the second mirror baffle one myself. I briefly tried a 12sub, but I much prefer the flexibility of having the two 12/6s. I sometimes fantasize about what it would be like to play through two 15/6/1s, but I don't need that kind of firepower. Plus, I'm old and don't want to carry them around...

    For the past ten years or so, I've used a Markbass LMIII, and it has usually been loud enough. I recently got a Quilter BB800 and I have my first reggae gig with it coming up in a couple of weeks.

    For me, playing through a flat cab was a revelation. Playing through the 12/6 for the first time felt like I was finally hearing what my bass actually sounded like. I only play fretlesses that I build myself (with TI flats), rarely if ever play with dirt, and love a clean, deep, articulate tone. I have had no GAS for cabs since I've gotten the fEARfuls.
     
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  10. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Seweracuse, NY
    Not all cabs are for all people. I love mine, and have since first gig. Others are really much more into traditionally voiced cabs. I mostly put up with being faced with standard 810 or 2x15 setups if I'm faced with them. All in all though, I share my rig with lots of players on shared bills and the overwhelming response has been positive. I often have 'follow up' messages from guys wanting to know more about the setup.

    Most recently I've come to enjoy my fEARfuls not only for their ability to remain clean and clear at volume but also as the band has decided to delve into some new textures and tones and expand our 'character footprint'. I'm hauling this on stage these days:

    Boardx4.


    I layer a handful of these little flashyclickboxes together and I've found it's much much easier to actually hear the details and ranges of my sounds with my Greenboy setup rather than the traditional cabs I sometimes find as backline. I find it frustrating to have spent time tailoring some very specific soundscape tones only to have them sound like squishy muck.

    ...On a side note, received a VM from Dave last night. It's been a few years since we spoke. I'll catch up with him in the next day or two.
     
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  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    A big part of Dave's original intent was designing for people who didn't already like some other production thing. "If it ain't broke" comes to mind. Or_wink.
     
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  12. Noshtero

    Noshtero Supporting Member

    Dec 2, 2007
    Chicago, IL
    It's not just for fEARless or fEARful but I highly recommend listening to the guys that are talking about modular cabs. I have a fEARless F215 that will blow the walls out but I either get that monster or nothing. I would love to break it into 2 F115s instead.
     
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  13. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Contrary to what the published specs suggest, the B&C 6MD38 is every bit as loud (measured a few samples, and also by ear), and arguably a little nicer sounding for bass instrument applications. But it's heavier too, which is maybe offset for DIY'ers by a considerably lower price tag. And it also has a big response spike in a very similar place. In both cases, I like to low pass hard at no higher than 3.2K or so. That's a tough place to cross over gracefully, took me a lot of work to do passively and I had to work through a lot of DSP permutations first to understand what needed to happen. If you like a moderate rolloff characteristic as frequency increases it makes things much easier, IMO and IME. Tradeoffs, always tradeoffs.
     
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  14. singlemalt

    singlemalt Supporting Member

    Dec 15, 2007
    White Salmon, WA
    I built the 15/6/1 out of the gate. And I loved it, no problems with eq, but yeah, it would easily get super bright. And the crossover, with its LPad resistors and switching options was a bit tricky. At least it was for my electronics DIY skill set. But I sure loved that cab.

    And that was the end of any brand name manufactured cabs I owned.

    The wood part of the project is right up my alley. Just fun shop time in the man cave. I get to play with my tools. Biscuit jointer, table saw, routers, air stapler, sanders and bar clamps. And I love Duratex.

    When I built the first 12/6 cube, I loved the sound. To my ears it was mellower and smoother than the 15/6/1. And being lighter, and small enough to fit in the trunk of a Corolla, it became the go to cab.

    So, I built another. Because the cab building bug seems to bite in May. Nice weather, it’s warm in the shop.

    Recently I discovered I could run the pair in series and push my Streamliner further into the tube power section emulation. Pretty cool.

    I wish there was a 10” or even 8” version of the fEarful. I’d love to go even smaller.
     
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  15. 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)
    Thanks for the heads-up on the B&C!

    Dips are harder to hear than peaks, so imo if perfection isn't feasible, it often makes err on the dip side.

    Given the ear's sensitivity in the 3-4 kHz ballpark, for home audio, a bit of gentle dippage in that region can make "borderline" recordings much more listenable... in other words, make the speakers zig where the ears zag (but don't overdo it).
     
  16. Passinwind

    Passinwind I am Passinwind and some of you are not. Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    A lot of geezer ears have a null around 4K or so, especially those of us who grew up listening to loud rock music. It's a classic tinnitus zone too --imagine that! As a longtime sound provider, I often found that region to be key to killing monitor feedback as well.
     
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  17. 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)
    I have noticed, at high-end audio shows, that speaker systems "voiced" by older ears which have listened to a lot of rock music tend to sound "harsh" to most people, and 4 kHz ballpark is the "harshness" zone.

    The hairs in the first turn of the chochlea are the 4 kHz ballpark receptors, and they tend to be badly damaged on people who have served in the military (especially artillery and aircraft carrier deck crews), because that region gets more than its fair share of damage from blasts.

    I have become a total ears wimp. I usually have earplugs in my pocket, and if not, I'll stick my fingers in my ears like a little kid if something is loud enough to make my ears the slightest bit uncomfortable. My hearing is probably only average in my good ear, but I intend to preserve what I've got for as long as I can.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2018
  18. jumbodbassman

    jumbodbassman Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2009
    Stuck in traffic -NY & CT
    Born Again Tubey
    i call it my marshall stack and cymbal dead zone...
     
  19. kartiste

    kartiste

    May 5, 2008
    Forgetting to put in ear plugs one time before going out for practice back when I was kart racing did it to me. A two-stroke expansion chamber a few inches behind your helmet is LOUD.
     
  20. s_wood

    s_wood Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Mar 23, 2003
    Delaware (USA)
    That’s exactly what I did with my 2 fEarful 15/6/1 cabs. Really, one of them will fight a standard 4x10 cab to a draw, and I really can’t imagine a gig that my 2 cabs together couldn’t handle, excepting (maybe) a festival-size outdoor gig. Low end for days....
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
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