hi-tone cabinets: opinions??

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bon viesta, Aug 12, 2021.


  1. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    i found hiwatt, and then realized “hey, for the price of this tiny little 4x10 cabinet, i could get this nearly identical style 4x12 cabinet from hi-tone”, and here i am now. if you’ve seen my last post about cabinets and amps, you’ll know how much of a stickler i am about things looking nice. the cabinets by hi-tone have a slightly yellowish green looking tint on the grill cloths, which is unfortunately only relegated for bass cabinets because their guitar cabs have a “68 entwistle and townshend” style silver cloth option, but i’m willing to look past that. because these things are awesome looking!!! and it’s just what i want. hiwatt doesn’t even have a bass cabinet in 4x12 sizing. and if they did, i imagine it would cost about 1700 bucks… yikes. love what hiwatt does, but a little too pricey for me. does anyone own any of these hi-tone cabinets? how are they working out? i’m thinking of, after working enough to pay for the cabinet, pairing it with a marshall super bass style 100 watt tube head, because lord knows i can’t wait long enough for 2500 bucks for a hi-tone head.
     
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  2. D.M.N.

    D.M.N. (O)))) Supporting Member

    Oct 6, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
  3. abarson

    abarson

    Nov 6, 2003
    Santa Cruz
  4. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    I own a pair of the 412 guitar cabs. I believe they are the HT4121. I bought a 76 DR201 from one Hi-Tones owners, and he said he thought a pair of these cabs would handle it.


    These have a 300W RMS rating, but I can fart one of them out pretty easily with my 79 DR103 if I run bass through it. They are very efficient, so the cab is relatively loud when this occurs. If I remember correctly the problem happens at about Ab/G# on the E string.

    Tone wise these are very vintage sounding with bass, as they have the sort of bloomy sound. They are relatively full, but do not produce any real sub bass. The back of the cab has a slot (port), but I don't know if any sort of Thiele/Small tuning was accomplished.

    The Hiwatt voicing comes across as really warm for guitar, and bright and scooped with bass. These cabs are fabulous with guitar, very clear and articulate without being bright and ice pickey. I think a pair with bass would be way louder than I would ever need, but some degree of discretion would be required to avoid blowing the drivers. I would be comfortable using the cabs, but not loaning them out to other players.

    The Hi-Tone website shows a bass cab that looks just like the HT4121. Same dimensions and grill cloth. Model is HT412 and it's loaded with Eminence Beta 12s. I have never seen or heard one. Cabinets - Hi-tone Amplification (hi-tone-amps.com)

    I also own a Marshal 1960AX/BX full stack loaded with greenbacks. My Hi-Tone cabs can definitely take more power with bass, but they are still guitar cabs and it's important to respect their limits, or you should expect to :bawl:.

    If you don't know, here is how the drivers were developed (as I understand it). One of the precursors to Hi-Tone was a company called Vintage Hiwatt Restoration. These companies were highly involved in the Vintage Hiwatt Convention, which is a fairly large annual get together. I believe there was also an online forum related to the community that attended the convention.

    Hi-Tone did auditions at the convention to select the crowd's favorite purple-label Fane driver. Then they had Eminence make several attempted tone clones of the preferred driver. The crowd also selected the driver that was finally put into production. I believe this occurred over multiple years. AFAIK, the cab itself is pretty much an exact duplicate of the Hiwatt design.

    The company has since developed a clone of the Fane Crescendo as well.

    For the record Reeves also has a purple Fane clone made by Eminence that is well liked. Reeves used different reference drivers, so they are not the same. I own a Reeves 400 and it's fabulous. My impression is Hi-Tone is a more authentic copy of the Hylight era Hiwatts. Reeves are very close, but they have some modern improvements. I do not hesitate to recommend either company
     
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  5. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    The Hi-Tone 412s run about $1,100 each.

    If you really want to crank a Marshall super bass through an HT4121, I would suggest getting two.

    I have no way of knowing if a single HT412 would be better. The HT412 is loaded with Beta 12A-2, which have an Xmax of 4.4mm. My guess is this is quite a bit more Xmax than the Dr-F Purple clones. If the cabs have been tuned to the Beta, the mechanical power handling may be 600W. If the box is not tuned to the driver, the mechanical power handling can be much lower.


    You can find a spec sheet and suggested tuning for the Beta here: Eminence Beta-12A-II 12" Driver (parts-express.com) Scroll about 1/4 down the page and click the tab labeled "Manuals & Resources".

    Another thing you could consider is having a Greenboy Dually made with the exact Hiwatt cosmetics you want. The Dually is also very vintage sounding, but it produces quite a bit of sub bass and takes power like a champ. Not as efficient as the HT4121, but no worries about overdriving it with a 100W head.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
  6. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    sheeesh!!! i was just looking to put a lot of tube wattage into a big, awesome looking bass cabinet designed like a hiwatt. don’t worry, i’m not super concerned about being super loud or being able to get the most out of my tubes. i don’t even gig! lol. i use 20 tube watts right now and it’s very loud. especially when you overdrive it a bit. i imagine 5 times the power will be plenty. though, it’s hard to tell if you’re warning me about 100 tube watts being too much or too little for a hi tone cabinet. if it’s too much, then i’m confused about how hi tone sells their own 100-200 watt tube heads and gets away with it even though they’re sending cabinets to the slaughter. but either way, i’m not too concerned about power inconveniences as long as the power goes in, and i get the power out without breaking anything.
     
  7. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011

    I am trying to be specific. If I run bass through a single HT4121 I can push it beyond it's limits with my DR103. So I am saying a 100W Marshall will probably produce similar results...I.E. you need two of these cabs if you're really going to crank the head.

    But one of these cabs gets pretty darn loud before you encounter any problems. So if you don't desire to push the output tubes into distortion, one will be plenty.

    You could run a 20W head flat out with no worries. Yes it would be very loud in a house.

    If you are playing guitar, you can probably crank a DR201 (200W) with no problems.

    The 300 RMS rating is essentially the thermal rating. I.E. how much average power the voice coil can take before it burns up. The mechanical power handling I am talking about is only relevant at low frequencies, generally below 100hz, so guitar is usually not a problem.

    The excursion plot of drivers in a ported cab has sort of an S shape. It increases as the frequency drops below about 500hz. Then as the port starts to become resonant, excursion decreases. Below port resonance, excursion increases again.

    Here is the excursion plot of the Beta 12A-2 in a smallish ported cab.

    upload_2021-8-12_18-13-43.png

    The graph turns from black to grey where the drive runs out of excursion (hits Xmax of 4.4mm). This occurs at about 45hz. Port resonance (Fb) occurs at 54.15hz. Notice what happens to excursion at this frequency.

    This graph is specific to the tuning which depends on the internal volume of the cab and dimensions of the ports, and how these factors interact with the T/S parameters of the driver. I don't know how the HT412 is tuned. It may be similar to this, or not.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2021
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  8. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
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  9. bon viesta

    bon viesta

    Dec 10, 2020
    thank you for the comprehensive look!! even if this thread blew up i wouldn’t have gotten the same amount of information out of a bunch of dudes saying “tried this, sounds great” that i got here.
     
    Wasnex likes this.
  10. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
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  11. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    :thumbsup:

    Sounds like you are pushing the amp hard enough to get some grind. Out of curiosity, will the single 412 take the full power of your DR103? Also do your cabs have a screw through the middle of the rear panel into the center brace? Pretty sure they did not come from the factory with center screws.

    The reason I ask. I am not actually certain the sound I hear when my cabs are pushed hard with bass is the drivers hitting their excursion limits. It could be the rear panel vibrating against the center brace. I have an old Matamp 412 that was doing this. I went to the hardware store and bought a suitable screw and finishing washer, and problem solved ;).
     
  12. godofthunder59

    godofthunder59 Life is short, buy the bass. Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2006
    Rochester NY USA
    Endorsing Cataldo Basses, Whirlwind products, Thunderbucker pickups
    No screw through the middle. The cab is loaded with some high value CelestionsI forgot the power rating. Some of the grind comes from the Epiphone Vintage Pro Thunderbirds pickups but yes I push the amp.
     
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  13. Wasnex

    Wasnex

    Dec 25, 2011
    Okay, so I had to satisfy my curiosity about the nasty vibration the cab makes when pushed with bass. I pulled my second HT4121 out and hooked both cabs to my DR201. To get straight to the point, it turns out the nasty vibration appears to be the back panel vibrating against the center brace.


    One of the cabs makes the noise at a relatively low volume. I cranked the second cab and it doesn't currently seem to be making the noise, although I have made both cabs produce the sound previously. We are in the part of the year where humidity is high currently, which can make a difference with this stuff.

    I pulled the back panel from the worst cab and played with the panel off. The drivers did not seem to complain even if I raised the power above where the problem occurs with the panel installed. There doesn't appear to be a mark on the inside of the panel where the brace is supposed to press against it. So the brace may be slightly too short.

    The brace has sort of a foam strip that is folded over the end and stapled in place. As an experiment, I grabbed one of the shoe mits that I use to wipe down the strings on my bass, placed it over the end of the brace, and the reinstalled the back panel. The extra material between the brace and the back panel definitely allows me to turn up more.

    Not certain if the pair of cabs can take the full power if the amp. It's possible, but to be honest I would be surprised because Hiwatts put out huge, extended lows, and these are still guitar cabs that are really not designed to reproduce huge lows.

    I guess I will contact Hi-Tone to see what they suggest. I noticed they do screw the year panel into the center brace on some of their cabs, but all of the images of the HT2121 I found do not have the center screw. If it's just a matter of installing a wood screw and finish washer I can handle that, and maybe they will send me the hardware. All of the other rear panel screws are machine screws and driven into what I believe are T-nuts. The T-nuts are mounted into rails that are mounted to the side panels.

    Here is what the inside of the cab looks like if you are curious...this is a stock image.
    products-cabinets-HT4121-back-open.jpg
     
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  14. 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.

     
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