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LDS Neo 3x8.... first impressions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KJung, Jul 13, 2005.


  1. I picked up my LDS Neo 3x8 a couple of hours ago and have been playing through it in my practice space for about an hour, using a Walter Woods Ultra and a Sadowsky NYC Vintage 5 (Alder/RW). It is obviously not broken in yet, and I haven't had it in a 'real' playing situation, but here are first impressions, since quite a few people seem to be interested in these cabs at the moment.

    I believe this is the first 3x8 Neo that Don has built. It has 3 Neo B&C 8" Speakers (I believe I have the name correct) mounted in a 'triangle' orientation (there is a picture of a similar cab on the LDS website), and is 5.3ohms. It has a front port and I opted for the Selenium tweeter to assure sizzle if I need it. Don says the cab weighs in around 45 pounds or so.... it actually feels lighter than that. I would think that eventually Don would be able to get that weight down a little bit more, playing around with different woods and bracing, etc. Of course, his Neo 2x8", which will probably be a very popular cab with upright players, is significantly smaller and lighter. The balance of the cab, handle placement, etc. is great... you can carry it one handed or two handed (you can tell I'm getting old... I spend more time on the weight and 'carryability' than the sound :D )

    Fit and Finish.... very, very good. I opted for the spray-on coating, and it's just great (similar to the newer EA stuff). Setting it next to my carpet covered cabs (which I keep very clean), it just looks cleaner, higher quality, better (IMO). It has two side mounted handles and a bottom mounted spring handle for use as a 'tilt back' mechanism. Don mounts his tweeter control on the side of the cabinet. It is flush mounted... and what a great idea... no reaching around on the gig if you decide you need a little more or less high end. The blue baffle board looks very nice, and the metal grill is bomb proof. There are two 1/4 inputs. I did not specifically request a 'speakon' type input, since I assumed this would be the standard connection by now on all 'higher-end' cabs. I will probably ask Don to put one in... there's plenty of room on the plate. I would recommend that Don makes this a standard feature on all his cabs.

    Sound.... I purchased this cab to be used in a small group jazz setting. I play quite a few trio gigs with either piano and drums or guitar and sax/trumpet. In those settings, there is usually very little room on stage and I strive for a very articulate, warm mid-heavy sound... not a lot of low end boom that would get in the way and muddy up the mix. However, I wanted to be able to dial in enough sparkle on the high end to slap when playing 'smooth jazz tunes' when they are occasionally called on these types of gigs. I do not play upright, so it's very important for my rig to help me get a woody somewhat organic sound from my fretted electric bass.

    So far, it seems that this cab delivers. Not surprisingly, given the 8" speakers, it is very, very punchy... lots of mid and upper mids (Don said the Neo 8"s have a stronger mid profile than some of the other 8"s that he uses... he often includes a 6" mid in these types of cabs when using traditional or long throw 8's). The low end is surprisingly full... and I don't notice a significant roll-off until I get down to the D on my B string (I think that's about 37hz, give or take... I'm sure you could make the cab a little larger in depth if those low fundamentals were key to your sound). However, the open B is still very usable in the context that I am planning to employ this cab. It seems a little power hungry, but that could be part of the lack of break-in... and it is a small box to be putting out all that sound.

    The best thing about this cab is working with Don on the design. He has the capability of making anything you want... want a little more low end... 'OK... it would need to be this much deeper'... like a sizzly high end....'I'd recommend this particular Selenium tweeter', etc., etc. Just wonderful. The cab was delivered within a reasonable window of promised delivery, and the price was very, very competitive.

    All in all, it is what I envisioned when I ordered it! Of course, the test is how it performs on the gig, so I will update this thread after I have some miles on it.
     
  2. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the update..kewl!
    Custom order cabs are a nice thing.
     
  3. I was going to PM you with my impressions, since we talked about this cab a while back... but now I don't have to. I'll let you know if I have it on a gig in St. Louis... maybe we can meet halfway and you can check it out.
     
  4. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    It is nice to hear from another satisfied LDS cab user! Don certainly has some mojo going on! He really does make some great cabs, and I highly value his willingness (and ability) to work with a player to design a cab that fits their needs. Truly a "custom" builder. I have some ideas that I am working on with him, and I will definitely report back when they pan out. ;)

    But Ken, you know the rule! It ain't "real" until we see the pics!!! :p
     
  5. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    Thanks for the offer, and if I can I will. life seems real busy right now;)



     
  6. Here it is.... the extreme blue of the baffle board is primarily due to the flash and my questionable photo skills... it's much more subtle than the picture shows it to be.... but at least you can clearly see the layout, porting, tweeter, etc.
     
  7. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Nice! Thanks for sharing the photo.

    Tom.
     
  8. Tom... thanks for showing me how to do this (and also VICS). I resized and I think I have it now.
     
  9. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    i was down at lds when ken picked this up, and let me add that i was very impressed with the cab...it has a very tight, focused sound to it and looks like it will be extremely versatile.

    the spray on coating looks great, its not that extra bumpy tolex type coating that you usually see...its smooth and looks like alot of care went into building the cab.

    ken is right about the blue, when it was in the store i didn't even realize that the board had blue carpet on it...
     
  10. CrUiSeR

    CrUiSeR

    Jul 13, 2005
    NEWbie here ;)
    How does one go about obtaining
    an LDS cab?
     
  11. illidian

    illidian

    Jul 2, 2004
    You give Don an e-mail or a call.

    Their website is http://www.lowdownsound.com IIRC. There is a page called, "Custom Cabinets." That page contains pictures of numerous cabinets that Don has built in the past, and an e-mail link if you're interested.
     
  12. burk48237

    burk48237 Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2004
    Oak Park, MI
    They are available from Low Down Sound in Detroit (Ferndale) MI. Phone Number (248) 546-4773. I've got a 2 X 10 Neo that Rocks, Moves as much air as my 4X10 Eden (a very good cab). The best thing about Don's stuff is the prices, he's a notch above avatar, but very good components. His crossovers are custom, He uses B & C drivers ( I believe Epifani uses the same), Selenium tweeters. And he'll build a box to suit. He's doing some incredible small "lightweight" stuff but he also builds a 2X15/2X6 that is a Rock and Roll beast. He also offers eminence drivers if thats your preference. I'm about to trade the 4X10 in for a neo 2X12 myself.


    www.lowdownsound.com
     
  13. CrUiSeR

    CrUiSeR

    Jul 13, 2005
    :meh:
    I've actually called LDS; the guy that answered
    the phone said that Don wasn't there and that
    Don would be the best person to talk to.
    So I asked when he might be there and called
    back during that time; still unable to talk to the
    owner. No problem. The sales guy then says
    to email him. Ok, still no problem; so I sent email.
    Two and a half weeks later and still no reply.
    :(
    Is that normal for LDS :confused:
     
  14. vision

    vision It's all about the groove! Supporting Member

    Feb 25, 2005
    Ann Arbor, MI
    no, that doesn't sound normal at all for them...although don is kinda in and out. you should just try calling back, he's very nice to deal with.
     
  15. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Nice. I can almost hear it. That thing looks sweet!

    I see what you drove it with, but I was wondering what the cabinet is rated. I need a new cabinet, then I'll get a new head later. (the Eden 4x10 is too heavy for what I do now) I don't want to push it too much with what I have now. Seriously thinking about the 2x8 to pull double duty; looks like you think the 3x8 has enough low end response for the B. ...thinking the 2x8 should be comparable.


    Thanks
     
  16. rpatter

    rpatter Supporting Member

    Sep 18, 2004
    Round Rock, TX
    No, it's not normal, but Don has been buried with orders lately. He should be freed up in another week or two. You might try emailing and leaving your phone number so he can call you once he gets caught up.

    Ralf
     
  17. CrUiSeR

    CrUiSeR

    Jul 13, 2005
    @rpatter
    Pm'ed ya, I think; not 100% sure it was sent!
     
  18. The B&C Neo 8's are rated at 150 watts rms... so my 3x8 is 450 watts at 5.3 ohms... so the 600 watt Focus should put about 500 watts or so into the cab... which is just about perfect. Don't know if any 2x8 cab can replace the Eden 4x10!

    The B string response is good on the 3x8, but again, I like a B string that is more punchy than 'low'... that 3x8 has a hard time reproducing the B fundamental, but that's not a bad thing for me, especially in a more mellow jazz setting where I want the B string to be very clear and not rumble. That being said, you are not going to be able do a moderately loud
    pop gig with a 5 string with 2x8 or 3x8. Don's larger cab 4x8 would get you there, but now you are at the same size or larger as a 3x10 cab, for example.
     
  19. jmain

    jmain Oo, Uhn't uh, Yes! Supporting Member

    Apr 23, 2005
    Alexandria, VA
    Gotcha. The 2x8 would work as a good monitor with more punch if I'm running through the house on louder gigs. So I might look at the LDS 2x8 for low volume BG/DB gigs and DB gigs. I like a little rumble for rock/r&b/funk gigs on BG, so a separate 2x10 might be the way to go. (I can appreciate the weight/portability issue. Too many years of heavy cabinets.) I could stack the two cabinets if playing a loud gig; which doesn't happen very often lately.

    Has anyone played through one of the LDS 2x10 cabinets? Test drive or otherwise?