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finally tried a GK Neo cabinet

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by xcental34x, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. xcental34x


    Feb 28, 2003
    Memphrica, TN
    I played through my first GK Neo cabinet today, and I have to say, I wasn't impressed as I thought I would be. It was a 2x12 powered by an 800RB. After hearing so many great reviews and rants, I was just expecting better. The tone was just kinda of brittle and bland to me. It sounded good, but just not as good as I was hoping for with all the hype I've seen.

  2. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    Maybe it sounds better on the bandstand than in the store...

    Maybe they sound better after they're broken in...

    Maybe it's just not for you...which is cool and certainly the reason that there are so many choices.

    If trying out the cabinet made you appreciate the gear that you already have that much more, that's a great thing!!!
  3. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    Everyone's ear is certainly different... Perhaps a trial with a bit more juice though? When I tried it, it was with the GBE-600 and it was opened up most of the way. It stayed clean clean clean, too... ;)

    I've never played a GK Neo. I thought this was in regards to Genz Benz (GB) Neo cabs. I should not be allowed to post while under the influence of pain medications. :help: :rollno:
  4. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    I just picked up a NEO 112 and tried it during a small rehearsel and then on a gig sitting on top my Bergantini HT210.
    I agree the tone has a brittle quality to it. I attribute this entirely to the neo speaker. The 12 in this cute little cabinet has lots of upper midrange articulation, its not warm unless you eq it that way. It's just a predominance of these freqs that the speaker has. I got a nice low little "push" when I hit my B string. The lower freqs ARE THERE. This cabinet does not suck at all. Matter of fact, with my MTD Grendel it sounded much better than with my 535 which can sound very brittle on its own.

    This is the first Neo equipped cabinet I ever tried. I'm going to use the word "softer" to describe the difference in the way lower freqs are handled by the Neo compared to my standard ceramic speaker equipped Bergs which just simply slam and are warm and fat and full and creamy. (someone stop me) And HEAVY. Yes my Bergs are really heavy compraed to the Neo. If I had a 2-12 Neo I'd Eq that sucker hopefully to get the FAT back in. Now I think I understand why Jim Bergantino will not use these speakers. Its just a different animal these neo speakers.
    I don't really have a complaint about the sound of this cabinet, I think its very possible to get something out of it thats satisfactory. I have not had enough time with it yet. Its a different animal. So don't take this as a negative review at all. (I have an Eminence Delta 12LF I might throw in there just as a comparison.)

    These are just initial impressions.
    I wanted a small lightweight cabinet that was full range and sounded good. I got it with the Neo 112. The Neo112 on top of my Berg HT210 which is a little scooped anyway, this combination kills.

    The Neo is quick and clear in the upper mids and highs, its articulation in this range is really nice which is why on top of the Berg it combines really well. (I say this because The Bergs sitting on the floor are too low for me to hear always and this little sucker is a great little personal monitor for me.) Did I mention its light? You don't have to pick it up "correctly" using your legs to lift, you can definitly "one handle" this lil sucker around.
  5. Tonenazi, I liked your incite on the Neo speakers. I have an Avatar Neo 2x10, and I quite frankly have to agree with you. That description fits my speaker as well quite nicely.

    I'm wondering, I use a Peavey Mark VIII with a soon to be active bass (I'm getting the preamp soon). Do you think that having an active bass'll wake it up and make it warmer? What do you think a tube pre would do for the setup?

    Sorry to hijack the thread! Knowledgable people need to be jumped on! Thanks.
  6. Thanks for the incite. I'm actually looking at the GK 2 x 12 neo, two of them actually, but it will be a while before I can afford them. How do you think these would compare to the avatar 2 x 12. I would personally like how light the Neo speakers are, but avatar doesn't make a Neo 2 x 12 unforunately. I know Dr.Bass does, but for the price, I might as well go for the GK.
  7. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    I play a passive P-bass through a NEO212 and 1001RB-II and can attest that the cab has alot of upper mids. To me upper mids are the antithesis of warmth. I can get a fairly warm sound out of my rig using the following settings:

    treble: 10 o'clock
    upper mids: 9 o'clock
    lower mids: 12 o'clock
    bass: 11 o'clock

    contour: 12 o'clock
    presence: 12 o'clock

    You've got to cut those high mids. Don't forget about room acoustics either. In my room my bass sounds like ****, very brittle and glassy, but then again my amp is in a corner by some big windows. When I take my rig over to my friend's practice space that has padded walls I actually raise raise the treble to 11 or 12 o'clock and it still sounds warmer. Hope this helped. Don't give up on your new cab yet :hyper: .
  8. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    So when you play through britlle sounding speakers with traditional ferrite magnets, what do you attribute it to?
  9. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Lady in Red, I think the warmer and muddier the bass is the better the Neo is going to sound. Its just upper midrange crazy. No matter what pre-amp your going to use, whatever setting sounds good in another cabinet, its going to sound brighter and "tinnier" through the NEO.

    My Neo 112 actually has a little scoop going on around 200 hz-guessing that is producing an apparent "absence" of warmth. These adjectives we toss around really are interesting.
    warmth: 60-120hz?
    Punch: 125-200hz?
    thwack:? 800-1000hz?
    sizzle?: 5KHZ?
    airey: 8KHZ?

    Too much info at 1000-3000kHZ and it's "brittle"

    Anyway, I did another practice today with the just the NEO. More comments.
    I boosted the lows and cranked it up. I was impressed how this little bee-otch held together. I was able to get this sucker pretty loud with my GK1001RB. Its a comprimise-with less weight you get less low end.
    Just have to compensate by cranking knobs.I pulled back on the upper mids and treble control and it sounded GOOD.
    Don't think I can mix cabinets and get a real cohesive sound though. Too much disparity between the Neo and my Bergs. (The GK1001RB and the Bergantino products KILL together)

    I have one complaint about the GK build quality. This cabinet is covered in a tolex material. Obviously during the assembly process the cabinet wasen't totally cleaned off as the are little lumps of fine "what-not" that got trapped on the surface when the covering was glued on. This results in little high spots that are small and only an issue with "picky me" who feels that spending $400 on a brand new cabinet out of a box means it should be pro built. The seams where the tolex was cut to meet the other edges are sloppily cut. Its like someone was a little careless with the razor knife. Its really sloppy. And the tolex isn't holding down in some spots on the seams and its already starting to lift a little. I know in a month this covering is going to need to be reglued on the seams as its going to start "rolling" .

    I was so looking forward to not having a cabinet with carpeting on it too.
    Oh well. Maybe Aguilar or Eden next time? Maybe a Berg HT112?
  10. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    Simply the freq response curve of that particular ferrite speaker.

    My conclusions about the neo equipped speakers is that they lack for whatever reason, low end or low mid presence, or a predominance of the upper freqs over the low. But your point is well taken, just depends on how a speaker is designed over all I suppose. Just my ears.
  11. Squidfinger

    Squidfinger I wish I could sing like Rick Danko.

    Jan 7, 2004
    Shreveport LA
    Hey Tonenazi, my NEO212 is immaculate. Maybe you just got a bad apple?
  12. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    yep, could be. So the seams where your tolex comes together isn't a sloppy cut with liberal swathes of razor knife tracks?
  13. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I'm not sure I agree with much being said here. My epi
    110UL's are very warm articulate boxes. Not the least bit
    harsh. The Epi 310UL is the last box I would ever call harsh
    in the upper mids. The Euphonic Audio NL210 is also not
    "neo harsh" Perhaps its more, you get what you pay for.
    Getting the right amp to match the box is also very important.
    Where are you Tombowlus?
  14. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Right behind you, B String!

    I also have to caution anyone who would brush all neo cabs with the same broad brush. I have not heard the GK neo cabs, but I will take at face value the above comments that they are on the "brittle" side. But I join B String in noting that the UL series cabs from Epifani are in no way "harsh", though I do feel that the 10" UL cabs have a tad more upper midrange presence and articulation - which I view as a good thing. Those T-110UL's are a beautifully smooth little cab. I also heard a T-112UL, and from the little that I heard of it, it sounded very close to identical to my ferrous-loaded T-112's - which is to say, it had boatloads of low end! My Whappo, Jr. has a neo 12" driver, and to my ears it sounds identical to the previous Whappo, Jr. - which is smooth, phat, thick, full and has plenty of low end. The same goes for my Tri 210L, which has two neo 10's.

    As for EA, B String is also dead on with regard to the NL-210. It is the most full sounding 2x10 ever offered by EA, IMHO, and is in no way harsh. In fact, it's quite smooth and slightly warm sounding. And it has plenty of low end. The Wizzy is another amazing example of light weight and full tone in a compact package.

    There are lots of reasons why some manufacturers don't use neo drivers. And I am sure that there are design and engineering compromises to be made by those companies that do use them. But again, you cannot over-generalize, here. Properly designed, a neo-equipped cab can sound just as good as a properly designed ferrous-equipped cab. Of course, the converse is also true.

    That said, I do want to support Tonenazi in regard that all other factors being equal, as near as I can tell from the cabs that I have heard, neo-equipped drivers do seem to have slightly more upper mids and slightly less low mids than ferrous-equipped cabs. But, this seems to be a fairly fine distinction, and as I mention above, several cab manufacturers have found ways to use light weight neo drivers and still achieve the tonal goals they were after.
  15. vanselus


    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    You think the NL-210 sounds full? Just wait until you hear the NM-410. HOLY MAMA-KABOBS!

    I'll just say this - it's enough to make me stop using the deep switch.
  16. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    I don't seem to be hearing anything back from the guys
    making the broad statements about the "harsh and brittle"
    neo speaker sound. hhmmmm
  17. I own and endorse Gallien-Krueger gear. I have two GK rigs, one being a 1001RB-II with a Neo212. Lots of words come to mind to describe the tone, but brittle isnt one of them. I get compliments on the tone very often, and think the GK Neo is a very warm sounding cab, that can be bright, but hasnt been brittle.

    I just did some recording at Arcadia Studios in Atlanta. The enigineer there, Sammy Knox, has worked with many heavy hitters including Jaco, Oteil Burbridge, and even Marcus Miller. We put a mic in front of my Neo 212 and he was VERY pleased and even seemed a bit surprised. He had many compliments about the rig, cab, and overall tone from my gear. Hes a straight shooter and wont hesitate to tell you if you sound like crap. He had nothing but good things to say about that GK rig. Being a tradtionalist, I was amazed that he even loved my Bongo 5.

    I do not think that there is anything wrong with the GK Neo cabs, except that I cant own one of each. Hint-Hint, Daniel Elliott.
  18. Doug Parent

    Doug Parent Gold Supporting Member

    May 31, 2004
    San Diego, Ca.
    Dealer Nordstrand Pickups.
    One of the reasons I really like this site is there is no scarcity of seasoned pros who have something intelligent to say, and a ton of expierience to draw from. I'd like to retract my blatant "generality" about Neos being characteristicly brittle or harsh sounding, and be more specific. The speaker I tested was that way, so my impression was that must how all the other Neo's tend to sound. Obviously that statement went a little "wide". Sounds like Nick Epifani had eminence dial in a different response for the neos he orders for his products. (his cabs always sounded great to me)
    I'm glad to hear that because I think neos have some real positive things to offer. I hear the R&D on neo's has been a long time coming.

    I pulled the neo 12 out of the GK cabinet and installed a 500 watt ferrite eminence Delta 12LF which I'll try at rehearsal tommorrow. Only comment I have at the moment is that the cabinet is not horrificaly heavier than with the neo. (that neo has the dinkiest magnet structure I ever saw, I also noticed the suspension seems a little looser than on the 12LF. Should be an interesting comparison.)

    I would have responded sooner to post my "eating crow" retraction but I was busy all day doing other things. you guys have a good one.
  19. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles

    You are a gentleman and an open minded musician.
  20. Petebass


    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    The Epifani neo's aren't by Eminence. I believe they are using special OEM speakers designed by B&C to Epifani's requirements. B&C make some great speakers.

    I'm in the process of trying to track down someone in Australia who can sell me a Beyma 112nd/W. Why? Because it's one of the few drivers out there, Neo or otherwise, that can actually take it's full wattage rating (in this case 700w) without the speaker exceeding the limits of the suspension.

    The Delta 12LF, is abismal in this aspect. It's a 600w speaker than hits X-max at something like 80watts at 60Hz. This is of course dependant on box design so these figures aren't gospel. But you get the idea.

    Also, I'm not a fan of generic speaker transplants. Be careful here. 12's ain't 12's. Put the wrong speaker in the wrong sized cab, and even a brilliant speaker will sound and perform like garbage. The speaker's Thielle Small Parameters determine the speakers ideal enclosure size, so there's no fudging it.

    Assuming the Delta 12LF is happy in the size of your enclosure, you'll have to re-tune the porting to get the speaker working to it's full potential. The ports that let the air escape from the cab are not random. They're designed to be a certain length and diameter and are therefore tuned to a certain frequency. It's a very important part of the design of a vented cab and has a huge effect on how the cab will respond in the bottom end, both in sound and speaker cone excursion.

    The chances of finding a speaker that likes the same cab size and porting as your existing cab are virtually nil. Generally speaking, any speaker replacement will require the cab to be retuned.

    Wouldn't you be better off using the original speaker and using EQ to cut some mids?