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Looking for a small cab that works great with tube amps

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by jmjbassplayer, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    Hello. I'm looking for a cab that might work for me in the studio. It would be powered by everything from low-wattage tube (Sunn 200S, Traynor BassMaster II) to class D modern (Darkglass, Aguilar) to a Mesa Walkabout. I need it to have a relatively small footprint and to lean towards a vintage sound signature. And yes, it doesn't have to be new...I was just wondering if there was something new that worked with a wide range of power and fit this bill. Any suggestions?
    NKBassman likes this.
  2. As long as you don't overpower it, you'll be good.
    Underpowering is not a thing, at least to be concerned with it causing harm.

    Buy accordingly for the highest power amp.
    Rule of thumb is twice the power of the amp, using the same power units, or listen carefully for signs of stress and back down if needed.
    Josh Kneisel and jmjbassplayer like this.
  3. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Bag End S15D
    CapnSev, telecopy and jmjbassplayer like this.
  4. mmbongo

    mmbongo Five Time World Champion Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2009
    AudioKinesis Hathor 1203. Very small and beautiful sounding cab.

    Modern sound? Mid switches up.
    Vintage sound? Mid switches down.

    Hathor 1203

    Also the Mesa Subway 115 would be fantastic. Roll the tweeter down for vintage sound. Has a larger footprint than the tiny Hathor though.
    GregC and jmjbassplayer like this.
  5. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    Unless you are trying to get a set of tube finals into their happy place, power handling in studio is of no concern. And even then, unless you want a SVT in full roar, the power handling is easy to obtain.

    What's more important to me in a studio cabinet is having a voice that records well and makes it worth the effort to bother recording the rig instead of DI. Studio is a wild game. All that matters is what ends up in the track. Finger attack, bass, strings, amp, cabinet, mic, mic preamp, mic placement, compression, eq and room all are in play for starters in serious recording. And none of that matters if the arrangement bites.

    Be warned. Recording is a head game. What really matters is the song and having a solid concept of how the whole is supposed to sound. The art is getting there. The diversions are plentiful, and figuring out how to stay pure to the intent is the game if you want to get hired regularly. My experience has been that a well played line through a good sounding bass direct is a winning approach unless the song really screams for a unique bass to make it work.

    I would suggest concentrating on getting a top shelf DI long before considering a rig in studio.
  6. deathness


    Jan 19, 2015
    When you mentioned vintage sound and small footprint, two cabs that popped to mind; greenboy bassic and ampeg svt210av. The greenboy would have better low end extension and the ampeg would be tighter with lots of punch like a mini fridge. If you want to go really small perhaps a barefaced one 10? No direct experience but they review well around here and it's engineered like an update on classic/vintage design, worth looking into.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
  7. chris_b


    Jun 2, 2007
    Some good cabs already mentioned but my suggestion would be either a Berg 112 or, my preference, a Barefaced One10.
  8. Dave W

    Dave W

    Mar 1, 2007
    White Plains
    I could be wrong but I think JMJ might have some studio experience.
  9. el murdoque

    el murdoque

    Mar 10, 2013
    another vote for the barefaced one10.
    It just fits the bill.
    With 11,5"x11" it has a tiny footprint.
    You'll get a great sound with an oldschool vibe.
    It can handle 200 watts with ease.
    And, at least I suppose that, the fullrange driver with the concentric midrange dome is easier to mic than a cab with multiple speakers (like the greenboy designs or Hathor cabs).
    SactoBass likes this.
  10. Interceptor

    Interceptor Supporting Member

    Mar 29, 2005
    Madison, WI
    My apologies to JMJ.

    GreenBoy Bassic 1x15 gets my vote.
  11. HaphAsSard


    Dec 1, 2013
    Doesn't happen everyday we can actually suggest a member that he give Tim Commerford a call to try one of his Barefaced Two10's (and then get a One10 if he likes the tone)...
  12. NKBassman

    NKBassman Lvl 10 Nerd Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2009
    Winnipeg, MB, Canada
    Bergantino NV212 maybe?
    SactoBass likes this.
  13. Kro

    Kro Supporting Member

    May 7, 2003
    New Jersey
    Interesting! Not sure if you’re aware, but there was just some discussion of one of your live Ima Robot rigs a few days ago – something about a mixed Ampeg cab setup :D, but I digress.

    As a Fearless user for live work, the thought of picking up a small cab for recording has been something that’s been on my mind lately as well, and I’ve been doing a bit of research on the topic (though I think I’ve decided to ultimately put the idea to rest). For my needs, I think two of the cabs that have already been mentioned a few times and that kept on rising to the top of the list of cabs to audition were the Ampeg SVT-210AV and the Barefaced One10.

    However, I had planned on using them with my solid-state rig, or maybe pairing them with a low-wattage tube head. If you’re looking to have the flexibility to use it with everything including the big-boy tube amps, and potentially push them a little harder, I’d probably be looking at cabs in the same vein, but with the ability to soak up a little more wattage.

    In your shoes, I’d probably personally be looking to audition a Barefaced Two10 and maybe the SVT-212AV (if it isn’t too big).

    Again, I say this just from doing some personal research on the same topic, and have no firsthand experience with either of the cabs, they’d just be at the top of my list to audition if I found myself in your shoes. Happy hunting!
    Lowendtech likes this.
  14. Cowboy in Latvia

    Cowboy in Latvia

    Mar 1, 2015
    Barefaced Two10 works great for this application.
    Lowendtech, speyer, joker820 and 2 others like this.
  15. jmjbassplayer

    jmjbassplayer Justin Meldal-Johnsen Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2005
    These are some great suggestions! Shame about the logo on the Barefaced stuff...egads! I hope that can be removed.
    fclefgeoff, speyer and BassmusM6674 like this.
  16. somebrains

    somebrains Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2017
    Demeter or similar iso cab?
  17. monsterthompson

    monsterthompson The Eighth Note Wonder Of The World Supporting Member

    Nov 25, 2008
    Another popular complaint, aside from the price and the difficulty finding one to demo, is the strap handle design. Aside from that, they perform quite nicely. I actually preferred my all-tube Mesa Buster with their Super Compact, but the 12" woofer it uses has a decidedly different voicing (full range, flat response, though rolled off without a tweeter like the Super Midget or BB2). The 10" woofer range of cabs certainly sound lovely, with a nod to a more vintage/traditional voice.I didn't have a Darkglass head when I owned the 210, but I have one now with a BB2 and it is a nice combo, though not quite the tone you seem to be after.

    The AudioKinesis Hathor 1203, mentioned earlier, is also worth a look. Duke makes nice cabs. The Hathor has a few voice options with the ports and switches. They are less monitor-like than the Thunderchild models.

    These are the ones I'm familiar with. Certainly, other good options exist.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2017
    Lowendtech and SactoBass like this.
  18. SactoBass

    SactoBass A retired civil engineer who likes all-tube amps! Supporting Member

    That's a pet peeve I have about *all* cabs with [what I consider to be] unnecessarily over-sized logos. I "get" why manufacturers do it. But I don't care for it, at all.
  19. Hey JMJ,

    Check out the Bergantino NV115, man.
    The Fender Neo 115 seems to get a lot of love from tube guys too.

    It would be cool to hear what you decide on.

    Have a great 2018
    fclefgeoff likes this.
  20. RevSound RS28 (2x8")
    marcwhy likes this.

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