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LDS 2x8 3-way and EA VL208 comparison

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by macmrkt, Jun 27, 2005.


  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    The LDS 2x8 3-way with NEO drivers and the EA VL208 are the two best sounding cabinets I know of. In this test, both were new cabinets - the LDS came to me a month ago and is now broken in. The EA VL208 was a 'new old stock' found in a store in NY, shipped to me a two months ago.

    This test was done with my Schnitzer and DeSola DB, running a K&K BMP pickup and an AI Focus amp. Both cabinets were set up the exact same way, in a 20'x30' very solidly constructed room with good, but somewhat lively acoustics. I compared the sound from a foot away to 12 feet away from the cabinets.

    The differences are very small. However, when you 'climb the mountain', even small differences can be significant to the listener. The obvious differences are the LDS is a couple of inches larger in size, not significant, about 8 pounds lighter at 39 lbs and is easier to drive. Eventhough I have the 4 ohm version, I believe even the 8 ohm would still be easier to drive than the VL208.

    Of course the key is the sound. Here's what I heard after doing this comparison three times over several weeks. The LDS has more low bass energy, noticable on the 'E' string. The VL208 seems to get as deep, but the bass output is thinner. Could this be that this makes the VL208 more accurate as DB's really don't have much low end on their own? Yes, that may be the case. But I definately prefer the LDS version as I like to have that low end drive when I 'get down' to the lowest notes. I hear this bass power in recordings of my favorite bassists, I hear it in my head, and I think it is appropriate, as long as it 'seems' accurate, and not bloated in the least. And the LDS does that.

    The overall tone of the VL208 comes across as getting more 'string' tone and less 'body', than the LDS. This is the crux of the matter to my ears. Both cabinets are very even and very accurate sounding. But which version of accuracy is the correct one?! At this point, I prefer the LDS. At first, I thought its extra body tone was a coloration and the VL208 was more accurate. I even thought that maybe the VL208 was revealing more of the supposed thinner sound that piezo pickups are reported to have. But, no, to my ears, the LDS is more accurate. I say that, only becuase I compared the sound of both with the bass unamplified. The LDS got the balance of wood, air, and string. The VL208 was more balanced towards string.

    Final thoughts - I prefer the sound of the LDS, even though I respect how good the VL208 is. Its richer sound does not sacrifice accuracy, which is critical to DB sound, IMHO. I also should say that I came into this expecting the VL208 to be superior. That's why I had to do the test 3 different times to be sure.

    I also tried a pair of stacked LDS 1x8 3-ways to the 2x8 3-way and found them too close to call any differences.
     
  2. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Nice review--thanks for posting it.
    Do you think that a Walter Woods putting 100 watts into 8 ohms would be sufficient power for the LDS 2x8?
     
  3. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I would expect so. I drove my 8 ohm LDS 1x8 3-way with a Clarus SL, which states 150w at 8 ohms, and it was plenty in my low to middle volume DB situations. The 2x8 may even be easier to drive. Be sure to specify 4 ohm if you order one...he can build it either way. And I got mine setup as a vertical cabinet since I don't plan on stacking.
     
  4. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Do you think you could possibly post a picture of your LDS cabinet? I'd be interested to see what it looks like.
     
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Definitely! We need to see the new cab and the stack of two LDS 1x8's! :p
     
  6. I concur, pictures!!!

    That was a very help post! I'm definately considering a LDS cab.
     
  7. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I motion that a new rule be adopted. No mention of equipment without pictures. Do I hear a second?
     
  8. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I get it. OK. All right. :help: I had to mug my sister-in-law to borrow her camera. My wife always has hers 'in use'.
     
  9. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Wow that thing looks killer!

    I'm having a bigtime GAS-attack right about now. Well, when I upgrade from my Contra, I'll probably try a Clarus 1 into an LDS cab (either 1x8 or 2x8).
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I'm thinking that Don may find himself very busy... :p

    Nice review!

    Tom.
     
  11. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I sent an email to LDS yesterday requesting pricing and haven't heard back so he must be busy.
     
  12. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Any difference b/w running two 1x8's instead of the 2x8?

    Or how about the 2x8 and one 1x8?
     
  13. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I didn't mix the 1x8 and 2x8 since they are different impedences. However, the pair of 1x8's sounds practically identical to the 2x8.

    Expect to pay about $350 for the 1x8 and $500 for the 2x8, if you get the Neo drivers...which I did. There is no price list as each is built to order so you'll need to get a quote for exact pricing.
     
  14. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Both rigs look very sweet! What is the weight on these cabs...was that addressed above?
     
  15. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    How long does it take to get a cab like this from LDS?
     
  16. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    The 2x8 runs about 39lbs. The 1x8 in the 21lb range. Wait times run 3-5 weeks in my experience.
     
  17. Randy Ward

    Randy Ward Formally Known As Univac Jr. Supporting Member

    Freddels & macmrkt
    I just got an e-mail form Don with an update on the price for the neo 1x8

    The 1x8" neo is now 379.00 and will be for a while, the 324.00 price was an intro 60 day price, The freq. response is 48 to 18kz. weight is 25 lbs. in carpet form, road spray is avail. for an add. 15% upchg. and a cover is optional at add. cost. The base price of the std. 1x8" 3-way is 299.00 and has the same power handling but a ferrite magnet driver instead of the neo assembly. weight goes up 10 lbs. performance is very much the same. Hope this helps! Don Oatman---LDS

    I think macmrkt should get some kind of deal for letting us all know about these cabinets with his great reviews.
     
  18. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Do I get a deal for turning macmrkt on to LDS cabs? :p
     
  19. Randy Ward

    Randy Ward Formally Known As Univac Jr. Supporting Member

    better ask Don.
     
  20. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I agreed to help Tom carry his rig to a gig. :bag: