Looking for a light and portable rig: considering ea, berg, and epi.

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ArwinH, Sep 21, 2006.

  1. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    So I'm feeling less enthused about the weight of my wonderful sounding aguilar rig. I'm also considering moving onto a cleaner sounding rig, although I'm trying to retain some fatness :)

    My rig currently consists of an aguilar db750 and two gs210's. Each box is altogether too ehavy for me when I have to schlep the rig as often as I've had too lately. I was expecting to be mroe grounded musically, but I'm constantly moving from place to place and In need of a rig that's smaller and lighter.

    I find that in some situations a single gs210 and the db750 is too loud and too big. When playing rock though, it's not loud enough so I need to carry even more with me. I don't think I've ever been 'not loud enough with both cabs and the db750.

    The thinking about three hypothetical rigs that would probably work for me.

    1. Ea iamp800 and two nl210's. The new even lighter nl20's are very appealing, and the idea of two 4ohm cabs getting me 100 watts of power seems really cool. I'm not sure though, maybe using one 12 with the nl210 would be cool so I would have an even smaller rig available to me, but would it be as loud and fat as the two nl210 combination? Maybe the iamp combo and an nl210 would work well, although the combo is fairly heavy (it does have a dolly) and then i wouldnt be getting 1000 watts out of two cabs.

    2. Berg ip112 and ex112 combination. It gets raved on here all the time. It's smaller than the ea rig but just as heavy. I would think that the iamp800 with two nl210's would blow it away in terms of volume and depth though, as it has more speaker surface at the same wattage. I'm not exactly sure which preamp I would want with this rig.

    3. Epifani ul902 and _____? The ul902, although it's a bit of a phantom as it seems, sounds very very appealing, with seemingly unlimited headroom. It's enarly twice as expensive as the iamp800, understandably, but it still seems very reasonable. I'm not really sure what cabs I would want to match up with this head. Most likely those nl210's. Although the gkneo112 also holds my attention as I've heard it fill up a large ballroom just being pushed by a 1001rb, two would sound sick. The epi ul410 is too large and too heavy for me, in relation to all these smaller cabs, although it would be a one cab solution.

    So, does somebody want to give me some insight :D
  2. The EA rig. For modularity, scalability, etc. I would change it to a CXL-112 plus the NL-210. It will give you the flexibility of three rig combinations and one of the best sounds out there, period.

  3. FunkyLemz

    FunkyLemz Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    IMO - Get rid of the cabs - keep the DB and pick up a that Bergie mini rig-Very nice!
  4. FunkyLemz

    FunkyLemz Supporting Member

    Oct 17, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    Im rockin the DB with 2 Epi UL 2x12's -Yum
  5. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    I've gone back to a little bigger rig over the last eight months or so and now I find myself missing my previous EA rig.
    The next few weeks will tell, but I've already contacted a couple dealers about getting another Iamp800, a newly redesigned NL210 and a newly redesigned CXL112 when they become available in a few weeks.
    I know I'll probably end up kicking myself for ever selling my EA gear in the first place.
  6. Pako

    Pako Are we having fun yet?

    Jul 31, 2002
    USA, Montana
    I would love to be able to go out and play every combination under the sun, but I don't have that luxury. I will say that I have not had a gig yet that the IP112/EX112 was not enough equipment for me. Simply amazing and it just works in every way. I still love the direct tone the best and still trying different pres out to find the sound I like best.

  7. Reefer

    Reefer Guest

    Mar 9, 2003
    My vote is kinda a combination of what you are looking at. I suggest the Bergantino HT112/EX112 with the iAmp 800. Having owned just about every EA cab made and also many Berg cabs including the IP112 I have found this combination to be just about as good as it gets for a portable rig.
  8. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    So it seems the csl112l and nl210 would be the best contender in terms of portability and options.

    Would I be missing out on the tone and volume from the two nl210's paired together?

    I remember reading a comment Tom Bowlus left to the extent of the two nl210's being a pretty magical combination and a favorite.
  9. Shoot Tombowlus a pm and ask him what he thinks.

    Leland Sklar has used the CXL-112 and NL-210 together many times - big, big tone and, again, the possibility of three different rigs depending on your venue.

  10. I am very impressed with the EA NL-210's... and as you mention, the newer models are even lighter and more robust (protective corners, etc.). They also match up VERY well with the iAmp heads. I can't imagine needing more ooomph than two of these with an iAmp800. However, going from a DB750 to an iAmp will be quite a difference in tone... much cleaner and quicker, with a much more complex EQ. You might want to consider a Thunderfunk, which is a little more 'rock voiced' to me than the iAmp (and it matches up with the NL210's very nicely IMO. However, pure personal preference.

    The IP's obviously sound great also. I would not really consider the IP112/EX112 a particularly lightweight solution, and as Pako and others have pointed out, matching the 'right' preamp to them seems to be somewhat complicated. I am really enjoying my HT210S/EX112S stack at the moment... but that's REALLY not a lightweight solution... over 100 pounds.. whew... but it sounds great and is modular, and therefore is workable. Quite frankly, if I didn't like the Berg/Walter Woods match-up so well, I would have chosen two NL-210's.

    The Epifani UL line IMO is probably the ultimate in very lightweight, clean, portable sound. There are so many great options... the punchy, extremely light, clear 2 x 112UL stack, the 'ultimate one cab solution'... the 310UL at 47 pounds, the large but very lightweight and massive sounding 410UL, and the large, full, deep, light 210UL... all very nice. I don't particularly like the way the Epi line sounds with the iAmp, but pure personal taste... a little too 'clean' for even me:D .. however, the EdenWT550/405 and Thunderfunk heads match up wonderfully IMO. The new 'performer600' Epi head seems to hold some promise also.... 8 pounds and 600 watts.... cool!

    The new Accugroove Tri115 is getting some good press around here also. These cabs sound quite unique, and fit some tone preferences better than others (like any cab, I guess)... with the three way design, the soft dome tweeters, etc.

    Finally, the Schroeder Lights have taken somewhat of a beating lately, but I am still quite impressed with the 21012L..... 63 pounds, only 16 inches deep.... quite aggressive treble response and deep low end... quite wide sounding versus other Schro's... I hear it as similar to a 115/210 stack. It matches up GREAT with the mid-voiced Thunderfunk, which tends to 'flatten out' the somewhat scooped sound of that cab.. very nice IMO.
  11. ArwinH

    ArwinH run rabbit run

    Dec 1, 2005
    Southern California
    Ken- about the jump from the db750 to the iamp800: I'm more concerned about any inherent difference in volume and true low end than the characteristic sound and feel of the head. I find myself wanting something a bit cleaner with less furr from the input gain. Lately, when I was gigging around with my passive jazz bass I would take my fulltone bassdrive to give it more phatness and output to run into some of those house rigs, and it surely made some of those cleaner and more sterile rigs voiced closer to what 'works' for that rock sound. I'm confident that I can dirty up a clean rig when it's called for, I just wish the db750 was a bitter cleaner at volume sometimes.

    So, right now I find myself leaning towards the iamp800 with either either two nl210's or one nl210 and one cxl112l.
  12. Slink


    Dec 27, 2005
    I agree with Kjung, the Epifani UL are very portable.

    Iam running 2-UL112's ( just over 30lbs each ) powered by an Eden wt-550 and if I needed to I could add two more cabs.

    A very full sound plenty of lows.
  13. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    You'll have to try that for yourself, but I used the Iamp800 with one of their 2X10 (I think the first model neo) at moderate volume with a horn band playing R and B. No problems being heard but way too clean and sterile for me. The rest of the band didn't like it either and after 2 tries and lots of fooling with the EQ I gave up on it. The only thing missing in the sound was warmth. You may have better luck.

    The combination was light enough to esily transport. The EQ on the Iamp has way more options than anyone should need.
  14. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Something that no one has mentioned here is pairing an iAmp 800 with a pair of EA Wizzy cabs. I have this setup and I hear none of the sterility that's been mentioned...the Wizzys are much more of an vintage tone, yet they have a nice musical high-end. Good bump in the midrange response, which is what really makes the difference in how you sit in a mix...and also where lots of boutique cabs fail. They sound good in a bedroom, but not on a stage. Plus, the Wizzys are really light weight....about 26 lbs per.
  15. 62bass


    Apr 3, 2005
    That makes a lot of sense to me. I just wish they made the Wizzy in an 8 ohm model.
  16. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    The CxL-112/NL-210 combo certainly is nice, but I have compared them numerous times with several different heads, and I just prefer two NL-210's (which is the only reason I decided to sell my CxL-112).

    Getting back to those three respective rigs, they are all very nice choices. I have and will rave about the Berg IPs as well as the iAMP 800/NL-210/NL-210 rig. My guess is that the UL-902 with a couple Epi cabs would be great, too.

    If at all possible, give them all a test drive, and let your ears do the choosing. I think you'd be happy with any of those setups (though I can only recommend the Berg and EA rigs based upon actual gig experience).

  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
    The DB 750 is such a powerful amp, it's almost scary. I give it the edge over the iAMP 800 in terms of sheer volume and amount of low end. But deep, full, and tight lows are really the iAMP 800's forte, and I think you would like what you hear from the iAMP, based upon your comments, above.

  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
    Good point! Either the iAMP 500 or 800 with two Wizzy's is a great 'little' rig. The new (limited run) M-Line Wizzy takes that Wizzy tone to deeper depths, with a more refined - but slightly less punchy - midrange, and more apparent high end (though I suspect the actual, measured, high end to be similar).

    Regarding the 4 ohm versus 8 ohm deal, at least with EA heads, it doesn't matter, as they do a 2 ohm load, no problem.

  19. lame(B)ass


    Jun 18, 2004
    There's also the Markbass solution. Might be interesting too.
  20. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin Inactive

    Dec 11, 1999
    I'd like to take a moment to address the 4 vs. 8 ohm topic that has been brought up here, in other threads, in discussions with journalists and more. It seems to go on forever. It might also lend some credence to the Accuswitch that has been so maligned both here and in BP

    Using the same amp, the difference in volume between the same cabs, one rated at 4 Ohms and the other at 8 Ohms) would be about 3dB. - that's it. 3dB is barely discernable. You can figure it out, the math is pretty easy. It might be why you don't actually hear a difference in the accuswitch. What it does do, however, is allow you to run multiple cabs (at 8 ohms) or have your amp run a little cooler (at 4 Ohms).

    Let me use the NM-410/iamp800 as an example. Running 1 cab at 4 oms is a tiny bit louder than running one at 8 ohms (3 db). Add a second cab, now you add an additional 3 db to the mix - so 2 cabs running at 4 ohms is 6 dB louder than running 1 cab at 8 ohms or 3 dB louder than running one cab at 4 ohms. Where 3 dB is, as I said, barely discenable, 6 dB is quite a difference (the dB scale is logarithmic). Hence, if you are looking for a standalone cab, either a 4 ohm cab or an 8 ohm cab would suffice. If you are looking for a modular system, just make sure your amp can handle the impedance of both cabs.

    I would imagine most companies, and I know at EA, we design our cabs to sound the best we can. Sometimes that means making a cab 8 ohms (like the NM-410) and sometimes it means making it 4 ohms (like the Wizzy). The sound of the cab is what is important and the volume difference between cabs is negligible. It does, however, mean that if your amp cannot handle a 2 Ohm load that 2 Wizzy cabs is not a great choice. It is however, why we also build all our amps to safley handle a 2 Ohm load

    Hope this clears something up in the whole impedance debate


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