Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

LDS's New 1x8 3 way Speaker Cabinet - Initial Impressions

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by macmrkt, Mar 16, 2005.


  1. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    I received my LDS 1x8 3way cabinet today. It's fitted with the NEO neodymium drivers. The cabinet is 14" cubed, 8 ohms and about 25lbs or so. It can be seen in the new products section of the www.lowdownsound.com site. I like the smallest cabinets possible and this sure fits the bill. And speaking of the bill, it's only $324 plus shipping.

    I ran the cabinet out of the box, without breaking it in, using my Arnold Schintzer & De Sola carver 7/8's DB, Bass Master Pro pickup, Clarus SL head and Monster 1000 cables. The reference cabinet was an Acme B1. I did the demo in our studio with a piano based jazz trio. The room is about 12' x 30' with a lot of wood. We've been working there over two years and really know the room's sound. I had the tweeter turned down on the LDS - I may adjust this when the drivers break in. The Acme was run with the mid and tweeter controls at full.

    Results? This is the best cabinet I've yet played through (and I've tried a lot). It revealed tones and subtlety in my bass that I knew were there, but never heard projected. Compared to the wonderful Acme B1, it was like a blanket was removed from the Acme. The clarity was astonishing. It's like someone turned an imaginery "detail" knob all the way up. Yet it wasn't bright or shrill. My bass sang as never before. (I wonder if this is what you EA VL108/208 fans are hearing?)

    Everyone heard the improvement right away and in a big way. I told no one that the cabinet was switched and no one noticed, until I pointed it out. These are experienced players, and they all said the were able to really hear me for the first time and to play their parts better now that they could hear the nuances in my playing. This of course, made all of us play better. Ironically, if anything, I was playing with less overall volume than before, but expressing a whole lot more.

    The tone balance is similar to the Acme, but dryer and clearer. It's accuracy allows for more of the basses 'wood', sustain and growl to come through. You might interpret it as being less full than the Acme, but I'd say that it is more accurate, and therefore better for DB.

    Any negatives? None really. The Acme may produce a bit more push on the 'E' string up to first position, but I'm not really sure yet. It may be a toss up once it settles in.

    I'm putting in my orders for another one to try it as a tandem, and for the 2x8 2way. But I think a single 1x8 3way may cover me most of the time. My Acme B1's, both the 4 and 8 ohm pairs, are now on eBay.
     
  2. Thanks for the review. This is great news, especially since I just ordered one! Don's out of town until middle of next week, so I probably won't have mine for another 3. :( Feel free to post more observations as you break it in and use it in other situations.
     
  3. Randy Ward

    Randy Ward Formally Known As Univac Jr. Supporting Member

    what is it rated at? how much power can it handle?
     
  4. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    LDS lists the cabinet at a 250watt power handling (but as I'm sure you know, those figures are arbitrary. You can do damage overdriving a low power amp into clipping more easily than you can over pushing a high power amp...use good power and trust your ears). I can only speak about DB, but this LDS 1x8 3way seems to be CLOSE to the capability of any 1x10 I've tried.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Yup, that pretty much sums it up. Lessee, where's my checkbook?
     
  6. Sounds like a nice cab - congratulations! …however, 30'x12' isn't really all that big, although with all that wood, it sounds as if it might be a good room - I was wondering how was the sound with no amplification at all?

    Just curious…

    - Wil
     
  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
    As mentioned earlier in another thread, I was not able to audition any of Don's 3-way 1x8 models, but from hearing many of his other designs, I can back up what macmrkt is saying. I suspected that you would love this cab, and I am glad that you are not disappointed! :)

    Now, to add your ACME's to my watch list on ebay... :p
     
  8. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    While the room does help carry the acoustic sound of the bass, the drummer and amplified piano player are too much for the bass alone.

    I 'believe' that this sound with the LDS is the closest to my "bass's own sound + me". I say that trusting my ears on faith a bit because I hear my bass from the side and rear as I play it. If someone else plays it for me to hear at a distance, that's not "my" sound. So I 'believe' that the LDS got me closer to the real deal. The notes lost woolyness, gained sustain and a cut-through clarity.

    I do still feel there's a bit of low string fullness that's not as strong as previous, but the cabinet is still new and I'm not pushing it at all so it breaks-in. However, I'll easily take a tad less low end push for all the gains (and I wonder if that low end push was real or added by the previous cabinets.)

    I think its interesting to remember that the LDS beat the Acme B-1s, which beat the PJB Briefcase, which beat the AI Contra and EX's, which beat the Edens and EA CXL's...again for my low to low-medium volume acoustic jazz work.

    Now if a guy in Ohio would just loan me some of his 8" cabs, I'd finish this process! :bag:
     
  9. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    :p
     
  10. Don told me about a custom job he did with one of these with a space to put an AI head, like the old "flip-top". There's supposed to be a picture soon on the website. If this catches on, maybe AI will consider a front-firing version of the Contra/Coda with an 8" woofer.
     
  11. macmrkt

    macmrkt Banned

    Dec 4, 2002
    Interesting. I know a lot of people like the current AI speakers. I did until I tried others and realized its shortcomings. It seems with Rick's skills, he'd eventually get around to evolving his speakers. I look forward to it.

    By the way, I did get that guy in Ohio to swap his Tri208 Accugroove for some of my Acme's. It has a rich, even sound, but it doesn't cut through the 'mix' in our small room as good as the LDS 1x8 does. I'm sure in a big room, the results would be different and I look forward to trying it out in other situations. Also, the LDS sounds a bit bright and thin when I play alone, compared to the much bigger Tri208, but adding the band evens the tone out. To date, the LDS is my reference for DB. Considering its size and price, it's going to be hard to beat.
     
  12. Has anyone compared LDS's 1x8's to, say, an EA CXL-112? I'm considering the EA, but those LDS custom cabs look positively inticing. I double on electric too, so this is quite the ordeal for cab/amp shopping.

    I've heard that 12's are good for both DB and BG, and I know everyone raves about 8's for DB...would a 2x8 with mid-range & tweeter work for BG? Or should have them build a 1x12 with mid-range and tweeter?
     
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    This post is hard for me to respond to, because I love EA gear (and pretty much all of their cabs are great for both electric and upright), but Don builds a quality product, too, and I have a high degree of confidence in his ability to make a cab to your liking.

    With regard to 12's and 8's, let me just say that the Wizzy 1x12 sounds great on upright, and the VL-208 (or multiples thereof) is a fantastic electric bass cab, so I would say that speaker diameter is not necessarily determinative of what application a cab will be most ideally suited to perform.
     
  14. Thanks a lot! I know you're very partial to your EA gear, and I'm nearly sold on the iAmp 800 (as soon as I can afford one, that is...). I'm just concerned about my P-bass. My fretless has a preamp, and with my DB (when I get my own), I'd want pure tone coming through. I guess I'm looking for a transparent amp and cab, but I'm somwhat wary about this, because of my passive P-bass. Maybe I'll just end up throwing caution to the wind... Would I be correcting in saying that the 8's would have a faster response, possibly giving a tighter sound? My dad seems very against me getting anything with less than 10's in it...he's still pushing for me to keep my 1x15, but the only tubby thing I want in my arsenal is me!

    *Edit* In addition to jazz, I am also sometimes associated with an R&B/Funk band, so I'd need bottom end to boot. I do love my low mids dearly as well.
     
  15. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    In general, I find 8's to be a fairly accurate driver (when used in a well engineered cab), and they are certainly not "tubby." They don't have the aggressive punch of 10's, and in fact sound very smooth and un-hyped. This is probably why they work so well for upright. But they can also sound quite deep. The VL-208 has very impressive lows (and the transmission line design helps with this, no doubt). But the LDS/Patterson 2x8's have good low end for their size, too.

    Now, I have heard a variety of 1x12's, and to be honest, I find it hard to generalize about how 12's sound in a bass enclosure. My Epifani T-112, Bergantino HT112, EA CxL-112, EA Wizzy 1x12, and many other 1x12's I have heard, all sound quite different. The Wizzy, though, has a lot of upper mids, and is very full, but still quite quick and articulate.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  16. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I took a look at that LDS cab... very cool. Even has a built-in, collapsable and detachable cart. I didn't hear it, though.
     
  17. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    How big was it?
     
  18. mje

    mje

    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I don't have dimensions, and it was two weeks ago, but it's significantly smaller than the AI combos.
     
  19. OK. My LDS 1x8 is on its way. Should arrive Wednesday. I'll have a chance to try it at home then on low-volume gigs Thursday and Friday (no drums), and a medium-volume gig Saturday.

    So I don't have to post everything at once, I'll describe my cab. I have space limitations in the back of my car, and my cxl-110 just fits next to my bass. Anything bigger wouldn't go. So I aked Don if he could make it a little shallower (12.5" deep). He ran the computer program to ascertain what this would result in, which was to tune the box to a slightly higher frequency and sacrifice some of the bass response. So instead of the box being tuned to 45 Hz, it would have to be more like 46 or 47. He initially wanted to disuade me from doing this, but I explained that I was using this for DB only, and that I always use the low cut filter on my Focus anyway, and more of it the louder I get. After I told him this, he seemed OK with the idea. He also made it clear that he would test it once built, to make sure it was up to his high standards, that nothing leaves his shop unless it "passes the test", and that if I was not completely satisfied I could send it back for full refund less shipping. I can't say enough about Don's friendly manner and willingness to spend as much time as necessary on the phone with me hashing out all the decisions made for this purchase.

    So that's the long story of why my LDS 1x8 will be a little smaller than others. Another thing I requsted was to have the input and L-pad on the side, so I could lay the cab on its back when space on the bandstand is tight. This way it would serve as a personal moniter, with the drivers aiming up to my ears.

    Reports to come, after the weekend's gigs. I hope I like mine as much as macmrkt.
     
  20. Can anyone else not help but think of the LDS Church when they see the thread title? It threw me off for a minute.