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Lighter weight options (HS210-->Schroeder, Epifani, Berg AE112)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by McFarlin, Aug 28, 2012.

  1. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Back injuries and increasingly terrible downtown parking/driving conditions have me looking for lighter cabinet options.

    Currently using:
    Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0 through one Bergantino HS210
    with a semi-hollow mahogany 4-string
    in a progressive "rock" ensemble - elect. guitar, sax, violin, drums (fingerstyle)
    and a very noisy avant-rock group (fingerstyle, pick, various objects)

    Mesa Walkabout Scout 12
    with a G&L ASAT
    surf/spy/soundtrack group with baritone guitar, elect. guitar, drums (palm-mute picking, fingerstyle)

    Very happy with with my tone, both rigs.

    Normally don't take both HS210 cabs to a venue (I own 2). The Shuttle and 1 cab are always enough with PA support.

    The W/Scout 12 is barely cutting it, volume-wise.
    I plan to use the Walkabout head with the HS210 pair when necessary (really like the tone). But 104 lbs of cabinets aggravates a work-related injury.

    So, I'm looking for a lighter alternative to the HS210. Preferably something 4ohm or an 8ohm pair.

    Epifani UL112 x2
    Schroeder 1212 (newer version)
    Schroeder 1212BMF
    Bergantino AE112 x2 (obvs. hardest to find used)

    Haven't found away to try any of these at the moment.

    Hoping anyone with knowledge/experience regarding any one of these vs. the other might have some insight.

    Previously owned HT112ER cabs. Preferred the slightly meaner (low mid?) sound from the HS210 vs. the clear monitor-like sound of the HT112ER. Found the HS210 works better overall with my bandmates' varied tones (and that I didn't need the extended bottom of the HT-ER cabs).

    Thanks for reading. Any comments are appreciated.

  2. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    First, you might check out using a Kart-a-bag Super 600 fold up cart. Perfect for the HS210, and with its super high quality design, built in bunjee cables, ability to fold up very small, and most importantly, the built in curb/stair walkers, it is a dream for large city schlepping.

    I use mine with the AE212 (much larger and a little heavier than your HS210) and never have an issue with the typical 'park three blocks away, drag it up a few stairs at the shipping dock' sort of big city freelancing that I do.

    So, that might be a great solution for you.... Genz head and cables in a bag with your stand on top of the cab and it is a one trip wonder.

    That being said, given that you like the more mid voicing of the HS210 versus the wider, more hi fi HT112ER, I'd stay away from the Epi's. I was very happy with my Schroeder 115 cab (the very small, lightweight model with tweeter and one 15). Super lightweight, very even but quite mid voiced (even moreso than the HS210). With that cab, you could actually get away with the smaller Kart-a-bag model (I think called the Concourse III or something like that). Nice match with the Genz head, and it will put out about the same volume as a single HS210 (I owned the Schroeder and the HS210 at the same time a while back).

    I would suggest the amazing Thunderchild TC115 Compact Composite, made by Mike Arnopol in Chicago. Around 33 pounds, and it will almost keep up with both your HS210's. However, it is a very even, pure cab, more similar to the TH112ER voicing than the HS210. However, the Genz head has plenty of EQ power, and that might be an option. Works well with the Super 600 Kart, and is really lightweight for its output.
  3. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the input. I read your comments on many, many threads and it's helpful stuff.

    Bought a Magna Cart and it feels like it might snap with the Scout combo.

    I feel like the Walkabout might bump my Shuttle to 2nd string (just got it, so may be infatuation). Was a bit concerned about a 15 not feeling fast like the HS210. But I'm sure different 15s vary. And versatile as I feel are both my heads, more pure or neutral cab voicing may not be a huge issue vs. weight and portability.
  4. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    The Walkabout is a special head. I had one for a while (I guess I've had a lot of stuff 'for a while':D).

    The Schroeder 15 sounds more like a really loud 110 cab (as an oversimplification). It probably is the king of the 'weight/output' ratio. And, the Walkabout has plenty of low end oomph to widen the very punchy tone of that little 115 box.

    Another thing to possibly consider (especially if you are using the Walkabout) is one of Roger Baer's ML112. It is about 38 pounds (I think... right around there) and puts out a lot of wump, and with its heavy duty (but not heavy) 12" driver, and the very nice midrange driver, it is very articulate and puts out '210' volume in a lighter box with more real low end. It is 8ohm, but the efficiency is quite good, and the Walkabout is loud for its rated wattage. Of course, the Shuttle would crank it pretty well.

    The ML112 is a bit more 'traditional' sounding than the very pure, very studio monitor like Thunderchild Composite Compact 115. It is a GREAT 112, and gives you a tone somewhat similar to the Bergantino AE112's you mention, but it puts out more volume and low end than a single AE112.

    That all being said, I again think a better cart and the HS210 should work for you, as long as you can deal with the roughly 45 pounds or so of th HS210 (I think that is about what it weighs... maybe a touch more).
  5. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    After reading more about the Schroeder 15, it looks like a good 4ohm single cab solution.
    I am now comparing it to the Schroeder 1212BMF.
    Similar weight (listed 35 vs 38 lbs), and for me the box dimensions difference between these two isn't a big factor.

    Trying to figure-out if that pair of 12s would provide a significant difference in max. volume over the 15 (both @ 4ohms resistance). What I read makes them appear to have somewhat similar tone.

    Temporarily ruled-out the Baer after reading multiple threads. Can't remember exactly what steered me away. So many threads.

    Thanks again.
  6. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    First, I agree with Ken's feedback. Good stuff.

    I have owned 2 Schroeder 1212BMF's and still own 2 Schroeder 15+L's. The 1212BMF is a really nice cab; very light and very loud. I found the 15+L to have a bit more growly character, the 1212BMF to be a little more "clinical." I love the 15+L for upright gigs and two of them will rock most cover gigs.

    That said, I routinely caught flack from the sound guy for being too loud in the rock band at the time using any Schroeder setup including a single 15. In contrast the same sound guy was happy with a Berg NV610. "Just good tone," he used to say about the Berg. Go figure. I ended up with a Berg AE212 for that gig, and all were happy.

    Since then I put in a lot of time with the pair of 15+L's in a cover band, but have learned to be judicious. I do think there are other cabs, as Ken mentioned which may not be quite as loud but fit in a little better. I personally like the 15+L a lot, mostly because it has what I perceive to be good growl. However, I also respect more unbiased feedback I get from sound guys; and for me, the Bergs have been kind of like Sadowsky basses, producing a sound that sits well in the mix and gets rave reviews from the sound guys.

    But, tone and gig situations are so diverse and individual, one must be careful with making pronouncements. And we have so many good choices now. Best of luck with yours.
  7. Jim Carr

    Jim Carr Dr. Jim Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2006
    Denton, TX or Kailua, HI
    fEARful Kool-Aid dispensing liberal academic card-carrying union member Musicians Local 72-147
    But Ken, why stay away from the Epi's—and which ones? :D

    My UL1 210 is so light, and I have never been unhappy with the mids. :confused: :cool:
  8. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    That IMO is a very scooped cab (with the UL1 being a bit thin in the lower and mid mids to my ear, and the UL2 is even more so). That isn't bad in and of itself, but his preference of the HS210 over the HT112ER suggests that he would not dig the tone profile of the Epifani cabs.

    Also, I don't even think Epifani makes particularly lightweight cabs any more. The current UL's are actual ceramic loaded.
  9. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the input. I think the "growl" is what I like about the HS210 (esp. w/ chords and double-stops), and I'm into the faster feeling of those 10s (vs. the HT112ER). Mostly with my Yancey semi-hollow and the Shuttle. I think both my basses and heads can really growl. Maybe too much?

    The only thing I don't like about the single HS210 tonally is the attenuated low end, but fortunately only in the "surf" band when I'm going for big bottom. Of course, using the pair of HS210 cabs makes a wonderful, full sound (and then I encounter my "weight weenie" problem).

    I assume the 15 will give-up some low end for the mid-tuning, perceived volume, and low weight.
    As Ken mentioned before, I can dial-in plenty of bottom with the Shuttle and esp. the Walkabout.

    Would you recommend the 15 over the 12?
    If so, due to overall volume? Efficiency?
    I noticed a 2.4dB difference between the two efficiency ratings (assuming the composite 15 rating is identical to the standard 15). Have no clue how significant are these numbers.

    Assuming the 15 composite "will almost keep up with both...HS210's", could the 12 be perceived louder than one HS210?

    I'm still wrapping my head around the physics and mfg. spec listings. Recently realized in most cases I really didn't know what I was buying (for the last 18 years!) regarding true output and compatibility. Fixated on the idea that these are 4ohms (like the used Schroeder 15 I'm coveting).

    Being so light and loud, are these Thunderchild cabs low-end attenuated?

    I really should hit the Thunderchild threads instead of likely prompting you to repeat things already written. But, last thing I need is another hour cruising forums.

    I could always practice...
  10. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'd agree with this and I love my Epi's passionately but BECAUSE of the studio monitor clarity which seems be what the OP is trying to avoid to some degree. I dont have much opinion on the others as I rarely change amp gear and dont have experience with those amps. The only Epi's I really consider lightweight are the UL series 1. I have 2 UL 310's, a series 1 and a series 2 and the series 2 is noticably heavier. Ceramic drivers would only make it worse.
  11. KJung

    KJung Supporting Member

    Just to be clear, I am NOT recommending the Thunderchild for your needs. They are amazing cabs, but are very pure, very even, VERY studio-monitor sounding. That does not seem like what you are looking for. The low end is amazing on these boxes, but the top end is not goosed and there is VERY little distortion, due to the massive woofer and the super sophisticated crossover and high quality upper midrange/treble horn.

    To answer your volume question, my Thunderchild 112 at 4ohms puts out about the same absolute volume with the same head as my 8ohm Bergantino AE210 (or your HS210, which I owned before the AE). However, the low end is MUCH more full, deep, and forceful on the Thunderchild, which is why it takes more power to attain the same perceived volume.

    The Thunderchild is almost the exact opposite of the little Schroeder 115L+, which is very high efficiency, somewhat low end attenuated, and has a lot of grind and grunt and midrange distortion in its sound coming from the top of that midrange-oriented driver. I like that tone profile also. Different strokes!
  12. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Last night I opted to read all of the Schroeder 115L+ thread (instead of finishing our kitchen cabinets or preparing for the Friday gig). Found a few of Ken's comments that reinforced my interest in that cab.

    "If you find a 210 is 'almost enough', this cab would kill for you IMO."

    "...best way to conceptualize this cab is that it's the loudest 112 ever. The volume produced sits between a 210 and a 2 x 112 stack..."

    I rarely find a need for my second HS210 (outside of opening-up the low end, which sounds great). I often play in pretty loud situations in multiple venues around town, with PA support almost 100% of the time. I feel like having both would bury everyone else on stage. One has been plenty with every ensemble.
    I bought the second cab when we were starting a ridiculous, noisy 2-drummer "metal" band (which eventually reduced to a single-drummer avant-rock group) and expected to play in more divey joints, record stores, tattoo shops, etc.

    I think my expectations for volume/performance in a cab is lower than average based on what I often read in TB posts. I take my HS210/Shuttle to a med/large venue and sometimes get by without even pushing it (also surprised by how nice that combo sounds mic'd). Meanwhile, I watch the other acts dragging 410/15 piles onto the same stage (or 2x15 and SVT)...poor guys, the load-in/out must be a drag.

    Recently played a provided backline with SVT and 2x15 and didn't like it at all. I couldn't open the thing up without drowning everyone in stage volume.

    I consider myself lucky. Always heard, then off the stage in about 3 minutes, still getting the occasional compliment on my tone (usu. tone w/ HS210/Shuttle mic'd). The only time it sounded weak was outside w/o PA support. It feel like if I needed extra SPL/cone area in that situation, the Schroeder 15 would work with my WA Scout 12, although the different inherent tone, driver design + size might sound or feel a little janky. If the gigging ever requires, odds are I'll get carried away and eventually pull triggers on two 4ohms 15s (for use with the WalkAbout). Hope not.

    Thinkin' I might even be able to fit the Schrdr. 15 on a city bus with everything else in the gig bag. Picks-up 2 blocks from my house and drops in the center of downtown Austin.

    Thanks again, everyone, for the input. Didn't expect much of a response. All is greatly appreciated.
  13. McFarlin

    McFarlin Supporting Member

    Oct 27, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Just an update in case someone ever finds this thread useful:

    Found a used Schroeder 15+L
    I think it's a version slightly different from what Ken mentioned (what is discussed in the longest thread). The box dimensions are a bit larger and this one included a different driver.

    Great cab

    Very loud - Louder than one HS210, not sure how much being 4ohms vs. 8 factors-in
    The low-end sounds much bigger than my HS210. It feels like upper-low-end or low-low-mid, just really thick.
    Very aggressive
    Sounds GREAT with a pick

    But, not super-versatile (matched with my gear/skill/knowledge)
    The 15+L sounds great in a live setting, but not pleasing playing solo at home. It sounded a bit ganky with a Shuttle head, and terrible with my ASAT bass and any head.
    I was usually EQing to compensate for what I didn't like about the inherent tone (at home, solo). Again, mixed with a loud band, it sounded great, which seems to be the right idea.

    With each ensemble, A/Bing during rehearsals, I still preferred the HS210. I would call the HS210 a bit more tame/clear/clean. The Schroeder might be considered an even more mid-focused, beefier sounding, less-polite version of the HS210.

    The Schroeder cab is very light, very loud, looks pretty cool and is easy to hear with a loud band.
    Good sounding, practical cab
    But using it reinforced my preference for the HS210. The HS210 agrees with just about every bass or amp I own (liked he HT112ER better with upright).

    I'm just gonna suck-it-up and deal with the weight.

    Also, sold my Shuttle
    The WalkAbout is winning in almost every situation (Shuttle had a slight advantage in volume and "cutting").
    I'd rather concentrate on improving my familiarity with the tone options vs. playing situations/settings using a few pieces (WA+HS210...+HS210) rather than always switching between gear.
    I feel like the WalkAbout has everything I liked about my Demeter VTBP-201s, but with more EQ capability (obviously), a bit meaner/grittier sound, and much bigger low-end. For me=perfect
    And I can dial-in a pretty good match to the run-flat Shuttle sound.

    The obsessive "search" is over. Now, hopefully I'll just practice.

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