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First Impression / Review My New Avatar B410 NEO

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by 60bass, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Here’s my review and first impressions on the new Avatar B410 NEO cabinet.


    I chose Avatar based on the positive comments from owners here on TB and the fact that it’s a great price for a NEO 410 cabinet. Check Avatar’s website for specs but they use Eminence Deltalite NEO 10’s with longer than standard cone excursion made to their specs and the cabinet is designed for that speaker by engineer’s at Eminence.

    Let me start by saying that buying from Dave at Avatar was a totally easy and positive experience from placing my order to receiving the cabinet. I used the “two part” email option explained by Dave on the site. This is where you send two emails breaking your credit card number into two emails for security purposes.

    I chose Purple tolex with Wheat grille and Gold piping. I emailed my order on 04/08/2009 and received his reply on 04/09/2009 saying that my colors were ready to go and that the cabinet would be assembled and shipped on Tuesday 04/14/2009. I also gave Dave another color combo in case the colors I preferred were out of stock. I emailed Dave back on the afternoon of the 14th asking if the cab shipped and what the tracking number was. Had an email back right away with the number and FedEx was stating a delivery date of Friday the 17th.

    FedEx got it to me in Arizona from Avatar in three days. That’s very good service. Avatar packed the cab in a real heavy thick cardboard box with heavy cardboard used for the protection of the cabinet inside. Almost like a double box. The cab was wrapped in a large plastic bag, which I assume keeps the cab from getting marred up from the cardboard. They also tape over the front port to keep stuff out during shipping. I’ve seen cabs from big name manufactures that aren’t boxed up as good as the Avatar cab.

    My first impression after unpacking was now light it is and it was a little smaller than I expected (see notes at end of review). I easily lifted it out of the box even with my 57 year old tired back. What a joy compared to my beastie Ampeg HLF. The second thing I noticed is that the cabinet looks real good. It has a retro yet modern look to it. Fit and finish are perfect on this cabinet. Handles straight, back input panel straight, corners snug, tolex is flawless and better than my Ampeg 410HLF cab. Grille cloth is nice and tight and held on with 8 screws and washers like what Fender used on their amps. I noticed that the screws and washers are silver in color which IMO doesn’t look good against the Wheat grille with Gold piping. Gold or Brass colored would look much nicer. That’s a minor issue and easily corrected by me for about two bucks and a trip to Lowes. The Avatar logo is plastic and seems like it’s going to be the first thing to fall off with any kind on regular gigging. The rear panel is pretty spartan. You get 1 speak-on, two 1/4 inch and a tweeter volume control. A sticker with the OHMS and Avatar's web address. It does the job no more no less.

    So, how does it sound. I had a chance to play it for about an hour tonight. Here’s the setup I used with the cab:

    2008 Fender American Standard P bass (Maple neck) 4 string, stock factory strings, factory PU.

    2008 GK 1001RB-II set as follows: Passive input, volume at 12:00, voicing filter switch set for 5 string, contour at 10:00, presence at 2:00, treble at 1:00, high mid at 10:30, low mid at 12:30, bass at 12:00, no boost, and master at 2:00.

    Cab sitting on a carpeted floor with tweeter set at about 1/3 rd.

    It has a very articulate tone that’s almost hi-fi like. The mids are strong as you would expect from a NEO cabinet. Upper mids are punchy and clear. Highs are snappy and I didn’t heed to turn up the tweeter any more to get a nice snap or pick attack. I did crank the tweeter up all the way and found it to be just a tad harsh for my tastes. I don’t use much tweeter anyway so it's no big deal. Lower mids are strong with a full body without being overbearing. The lows are what I was concerned about as NEO’s just don’t seem to get the bottom like standard speakers, but to my surprise this little cab has a good bottom end. I found the lows to be fairly well defined and when pushed hard they take on an almost compressed type of tone. The cabinet’s design I’m sure has a lot to do with keeping the low end from being boomy and over extending the cones. The longer excursion cones won’t hurt either. The speakers are still new and tight so I expect the bottom to keep getting stronger as the speakers loosen up some more. Other users have mentioned that the bottom increases after about 20 or 30 hours of playing time.

    I can tell you that the Avatar cabinet will never have the bottom end that my Ampeg 410HLF has but not too many other cabs can get close either. The HLF is a big booming beast. The HLF can sound boomy at times but the Avatar stays tight sounding. I did notice that I had to run the master volume on the GK a little higher with the Avatar than with my HLF. IMO, the Avatar seems to like more power before it opens up fully. They rate it at 1000 watts but in “real world” use I feel a 1000 watts is on the high side.

    Overall a pretty impressive cabinet. At $577.00 shipped I feel it’s a good deal. If you get the standard cab at $487.00 shipped it’s a great deal. I didn’t go for the standard because number 1, I hate rat furr! Number 2, I needed grille cloth. My 3 year old Daughter would be cramming crayons or pencils through the wire mesh grille on the standard cab and trashing those nice NEO’s

    Here’s a link of the pictures I took of the cabinet. Enjoy. Use the grid view to see my comments on the pictures.


    Added on 04/20/2009

    Note: I initially thought the cab seemed small but have since noticed that it's actually slightly bigger than an Ampeg SVT-410HE and slightly smaller than a Genz Uber 410 cab. That puts it in line size wise with other 410 cabs. I think the fact that it's purple and has no wheels just makes it look smaller than it is.

    Keep Low
    Mike_1978 and Ballin'bass like this.
  2. warwick.hoy


    Aug 20, 2006
    Spokane, WA.
    Beta Tester: Source Audio.
    Great looking cab and nice review. I do find my B410 NEO to exude gobs of low end...although I cannot compare it to the HLF cabs.

    New cloth grills look great. I wish Dave was offering that option 2 years ago when I got my B410 NEO
  3. Destructobot


    Jul 22, 2008
    It's going to sound COMPLETELY different after about 20-30 hours of break in on those speakers. Expect to get lots more low end and probably a 3-4 db bump in efficiency.
    Mike_1978 likes this.
  4. +10
  5. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    60 bass,
    Nice cab!
    Great looks!
    We've went full circle.
    I remember way back when....where everyone was wanting tuff-rug because the tolex wouldn't stand-up and metal grills instead of cloth to protect the speakers during road use.
  6. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    That's what everybody says about the B410. I can't wait to get a few hours on it. It moves some decent air. You can see the grille cloth jumping out when you push it hard :)

    Getting it up a few inches off the carpeted floor here at home would help too.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  7. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    What's that old saying .. "everything old is new again". It fits, more and more companies are moving back to tolex and grille cloth.

    Maybe they actually took a good whiff of how a rat furr cab smells after a couple of years of club use. PU :eek:

    The tolex on the newer cabs is fairly good, but it will never be a good as the old Fender cabs. Even a Fender from the 60's still has decent tolex. Nice and thick, lasts forever.

    Metal grilles are a good thing if they have small holes so nothing can get through to the speakers.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  8. definetly. I really liked the way mine sounded when i got it off TB pretty much brand new.

    I realized just how new when about a month of gigging later the cab came ALIVE! looks like i got a hell of a deal!
  9. r379


    Jul 28, 2004
    Dallas, Texas
    OK, so how did the sound change after a month of playing? I'm considering an Avatar Neo 410 (or maybe a Neo 212) cab for my next purchase so I'm curious.

  10. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Is your impression of the cab in line with the BassPlayer review? Here's the link: http://www.avatarspeakers.com/pictures/magazinearticle.jpg I'm trying to decide between the B410 Neo and the B212 Neo. Dave said at the time that was written they had already put the new speakers in the 410, but still had the old speakers in the 212 so I'm not sure what to think.
  11. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC

    That's a tough one as I've haven't played through the B212 NEO. My guess is that it should have more bottom with the new Eminence 12's that Dave had made to his specs. Plus Eminence did the cab design and porting for Dave so the cab is optimized for their speaker.

    I think a 410 is the best cabinet for just about any style of music. I would never have said that 20 years ago, but now both my cabs are 410's. Times change and so do perceptions on cabinets.

    That being said, I am going to add a B212NEO or two of the 210's when funds permit. Just to have the best of both worlds.

    I played the B410 for another 2 hours today and it does seem to punching a little more low end. The thing about the speakers having to break in holds true for just about any cabinet. I've got about a year of use on my Ampeg 410HLF now and it's way more punchy then when I first bought it.

    I love the HLF but it's probably going to go up for sale. After seeing how light the Avatar is and how good it sounds, I just can't justify moving that 90 lb beast around. Even IF my back was still good enough to let me do it.

    Keep Low :bassist:
    Mike_1978 likes this.
  12. Ryan Mohr

    Ryan Mohr

    Oct 23, 2007
    Thanks, I was thinking the 212 should be fatter/deeper based on logic, but you just never know with how different manufacturers tune their cabinets. From doing a little searching around, it seems as though the 212 has more of a mid emphasis. Here's some input: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showpost.php?p=7264440&postcount=968
  13. blowinblue

    blowinblue Blue in name only. Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2006
    SoCal USA
    I feel your pain, old man. Nice cab, btw. :D

    M. M.
  14. Jim C

    Jim C Is that what you meant to play or is this jazz? Supporting Member

    Nov 29, 2008
    Bethesda, MD
    Great looking cab; congrats.
    57 years old with a 3 year old... dayum, sounds like your back is the only tired thing!
    (I can say that being a 51 year old youngster)
  15. Great review, nice looking cab.

    I sold all my Avatars but I can see myself getting them again in the future, just for smaller or home practice use.
  16. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC

    Just wondered why you sold your Avatar's? Were they the NEO models? You mention possibly using them for smaller or home, did you feel that they weren't up to snuff for the larger pro gigs?

    Keep Low :bassist:
  17. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    My little one is a real corker :) but at least I can still pick her up. She always wants to play Daddy's bass, so that's a good thing :D My Brother is always trying to get her to play his drums. I'm OK with that because at least it's still in the rhythm section.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  18. 60bass

    60bass Supporting Member

    Apr 24, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Everytime I say this somebody jumps up and tells me I'm full of it, but I'll say it again anyway.

    IMO all things being equal the more "cone" area you have, the more air you push and you should get deeper tone. This is a very basic assumption on my part as the cab design and speaker design play a HUGE part in the overall tone and volume of any size speaker.

    The 410 has 40" ( 4 x 10") and the 212 has 24" (2 x 12"). Looking at it this way, a 410 should move more air. However, the B410 and B212 share the same size cabinet. With two 12 speakers in the same sized cab, you might have more free space to let the speakers unload so that might mean an increase in percieved "volume".

    I think 12's in general have a bit more midrange grind than 10's. Just think, almost every cabinet made for guitar uses 12's. There's a reason for that, a 12 is the perfect size to cover the all important midrange of the 6 string guitar.

    If it was me and I was unsure, I'd email Dave at Avatar and ask his opinion. I'd also check the Eminence site for specs, or email them and ask if they can tell you the specs on the speakers they make for Avatar.

    Hope this helps.

    Keep Low :bassist:
  19. thudfromafar


    Dec 12, 2007
    not saying i know how to calculate it, but isn't surface area different? as in, you don't just add the speaker diameters.
  20. I don't believe they were the neo models. I know for sure the 2x10 wasn't, it was an older model that I bought used, I don't believe they had Neo speakers then. The 2x12 I bought brand new, but we don't get them with options from Avatar, we have to buy them through Steamco music, who are the Canadian distributor. That makes them a bit more expensive, and with less options.

    I replaced the 2x10 / 2x12 stack with an Ampeg 610HLF. I felt like it gave me more volume, and delivered a low E with more authority than the Avatars. It was also easier to move in my particular situation, as it only takes a single trip from the van and I have other strong young bandmates to help move it. With the wheels I can move it and my amp on one trip on level ground.

    To me the 610HLF is a 'Pro' cabinet while the Avatars were excellent for budget, but not quite there.

    I would like to have a 2x10 or a pair or 1x12 for home use, as the 610HLF is just too large for small acoustic jams or home practice. My Avatar 2x10 with a tube amp sounded great at home and delivered a nice, warm, deep tone.

    My $0.02.

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