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LDS 2x12 neo cab review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by MikeBass, May 24, 2005.

  1. I had the chance to use Don's (LDS owner & cab builder) personal 212 neo cab.

    First off, it's not a big secret here that I really dig what Don & LDS is doing cab wise, they're building some killer stuff. But at the same time, I also tell it like it is reguarding their cabs when they don't cut it IMO.

    Anyway, the 212.
    First off, Don built it for his use and also to match the guitar player & harp players tweed Fender amps. So it's covered in the yellow-ish tweed with the same brown type grill as the old Fenders. Very retro looking.

    B&C neo drivers (same drivers as Epifani) with a Selenium (sp?) horn and propritary crossover. I don't have the spec's on the crossover yet, when I do, I edit the post to include them.

    Also, it's only 16 inches deep, so you loose a little low end extension. On paper the cab is only tuned to 50Hz, but I didn't notice it really when playing a 4 string. It was more obvious when I switched to a 5, but not what I expected considering the tuning, I thought it would really hold the B to good.
    Well the cab kept up with the low B fine, but didn't fill the room up with a ton of low end (more on this in a sec)

    I used it with a R&B/Bluesy/funk band in two different rooms. One where the cab had to fill a med size room by itself and one with a big FOH PA that like to go loud.
    Basses used where a Sadowsky RV4 & F Bass BN5 on the gig (add a F Bass BNF5 at home, my Sadowsky 5 is in the shop).
    Amp rig was an Eden WT330 (used for power section only) and Groove Tubes DITTO Box tube DI (with Telefunkin tubes) as the "front end". Also used a Yamaha NE1 set on "shallow 4" (about 2-3 db cut at aprox 1khz)
    At home I went into the Eden flat, into both cabs.

    When I first got the cab home I A/B'd it next to my Epifani 310UL.
    The 310, as a lot of you know, has a big 3D sounding low end that wraps around you and silky smooth highs.
    The LDS 212 has a much less 3D, almost flatter low end that does not just fill the room with blossoming low end. The highs were smooth, but much less subtle.
    At first I thought the LDS 212 was not gonna do it, as I'm used to the low end off the Epifani which, like I said, fills it up quite nice and really like.
    What I did notice about the LDS 212 was it had a much more mid's than the Epi. More so that I had to dial out a bit more than I normally would. Usually I run damn near flat.
    The low end actually reminded me more of my Mackie 824 studio monitors in the way the low end didn't overwelm you, but in how you could actually hear the lows.
    So, off to the gig with both cabs, (not bad since ther are both neo) in case the LDS didn't keep up in the non PA supported room, I had the Epi to switch to on the break.

    What I discovered lately was that just because a cab has these blossoming lows in the shop, is they don't always cut it on the gig. Usually getting masked or being a bit too boomy.
    The LDS 212 filled the non PA supported (room #1) with tight, well controlled low end that didn't sound boomy or blurred at all. To be fair, I never used my Epi in this room, so I don't know how it would have performed.
    Even when I switched to the 5 on a few tunes the low end stayed nice and tight and didn't get at all un-defined. I have to say that I was quite surprised and very happy how this cab performed.
    I played the room before and know that it can get a little washed out in there. Another bass player sat in on the gig, so I had a chance to walk around and see how it sounded. And it sounded good.

    In room #2 (big FOH PA and the sound guy likes it loud) I used the same rig and basses.
    This is where this box kicked some ass. I used my Epifani in this room a few time before and it always sounded good, but fought with the back wash off the PA for low end definition.
    The LDS 212 never once got in the way of either the kick or the room and I could always hear myself fine. It also held my Boss OC-2 octive pedal quite nice.
    Lows were always present and the added mids of the cab let it speak nicely, where-as the more scooped sounding Epi seemed to get swallowed up a bit due to frequency masking from the monitors and bask wash from FOH.
    It's like my Sadowsky, it sounds good by it self, but with a band it sounds even better.
    The LDS 212 sounded cool by itself, but on the gig in two different types of rooms, it was great.

    Today I ordered a LDS 212 neo a bit different from what I used (Epifani 310UL for sale! PM me ;) ).
    As much as I liked what that cab did, I asked to split the difference between the Epifani's blooming lows and the LDS's tighter controlled lows. My cab is gonna extend down to about 42Hz- 8 Hz lower the the one I used. Also making the box about 18" deep.
    And I went with the sprayed on poly coating that is very much like the stuff they spray on pick-up truck beds. Tough as hell and it won't smell like a bar the next day!
    When it's done, you can be sure a review-good or bad will be posted. I don't have a date yet for it to be done, but it shouldn't be to long.
    The nice thing about working with a custom cab builder, much like that of a luthier, is you can tailor your cab to some degree to what you like. There is always the unknown when doing it, but after 20+ years of gigging with a ton of different gear, I "think" I have it figured out.
    Some of us will spend a ton of money on a bass custom tweeked to our likeing and buy pretty much off the shelf cabs.
    Well, Don & LDS are here to start changing that. Don't settle for "Man, I wish my cab was a little more defined" or "This thing needs a bit more lows". Give LDS a call and talk to Don. Plus, his 410 neo cab (with the B&C drivers) is about $800-ish, comparred to +$1300 for another companies same cab.
    And no, this isn't like saying a Warmoth Jazz is the same as a Sadowsky or Lull Jazz (lets not get that started!). These are high end cabs in their own right.
  2. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    Mike, Great review, I can't wait to hear it! Hopefully your gigging around here this weekend. Plus I want to hear it with my 2 X 10 neo, gotta think that might be a really good combination. And Kudos' to Don at LDS he does great stuff at a reasonable price.


    Nov 24, 2001
    New York,NY
    GREAT review!

  4. Yo Mike. Sounds like an awesome cab. I just pulled the trigger on a Neo 3-8" with Selenium tweeter from Don. What a great shop!
  5. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Very nice..........thanks Mike!!! :cool:
  6. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Thank you for your honest and very useful review! I really look forward to hearing what your 18" deep 2x12 will sound like (and I'm wondering what a 20" deep ferrous-magnet LDS 2x12 might sound like! :bassist:).

    Later, Tom.
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Gotta hear about that one, too!
  8. When is the next time your gonna be up Tom??
    Let me know k??!?!
    The 212 was a great cab on the gig. Don told me if I don't like my version of it, he'll build me one like his instead. What a great guy!
  9. popinfresh


    Dec 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Aus
    Great review. I might look at getting one made for my Sunn 300T when I get it, i've been weighing up Aguilar, Schroeder and Bergantino's but LDS have always interested me.
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine

  11. Funny, we were thinking of a GTG here in Detroit as well!
    We should try and coordinate it so both places can be in on it.
    Take care,
  12. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Mos def.
  13. trainyourhuman


    Apr 12, 2000

    Great review.

    Dibs on your cab if you don't like it.

    I'm going to pick up the WT550 they got this weekend and talk to Don about some cabs. I'm thinking about a 210 and a sealed 115...
  14. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Let me know if Don is willing to experiment with sealed cabs. I asked him about making me a sealed cab, and he didn't seem too keen on the idea.

    Thanks, Tom.
  15. Dude, you missed out. The WT550 sold the other day!
    They do have a WT405 Time Traveler in. Personally, I like the Time Travelers better than the WTs.
  16. Great review, can't wait to hear about the new cab.

    GAS pains taking over again!!! :smug:
  17. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    Has LDS ever done a 2x10 neo?
  18. A truck bed liner poly coating? I haven't heard of that before. Sounds fantasticly durable: smoke, beer, cat claw and clumsy oaf resistant. I'm surprised that Peavey hasn't done something like that. I love pretty basses as much as the next guy, but when I'm thinking straight I realize that the cab comes first in the sound chain and then work backwards through the amp to the bass.
  19. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
  20. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    Some folks are doing there Billfitzmaurice-designed DIY cabs that way. ALso I think the coating that EA uses may be similar.