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Most Neutral (least coloration) Bass Cab out there?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by L. L. Elwood, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. L. L. Elwood

    L. L. Elwood

    Jan 22, 2004
    Hi All,

    Looking for opinions on the most neutral sounding bass cabinet out there. One that if i was going to test several basses out, i would hear just the sound of the bass with no coloration from the cab.. ideally the head too.. or as close to that as you can get! I'd alos love any opinions on speaker size/configurations that allow for best natural bass tone.

  2. CTC564

    CTC564 Supporting Member

    Mar 7, 2011
    Toms River,NJ
    I bought my last rig based on the same tonal "transparency" as you seem to be going for...

    With that said, I'm going to recommend a pair of Baer ML-112's with a Genz Benz ShuttleMax 9.2

    Good luck with your search!!!
  3. L. L. Elwood

    L. L. Elwood

    Jan 22, 2004
    Yes.. i see them in your avatar. Nice rig! and thanks for the suggestion..
  4. markbass stuff is pretty transparent.
  5. Mehve


    Jun 2, 2012
    Kitchener, ON
    Be careful what you wish for - neutrality isn't necessarily a good thing where bass in concerned, especially if everything is neutral. Neutral is also a little subjective to begin with.

    For amps, the MarkBass stuff tends to behave pretty neutrally, and I think Genz's Shuttle series might loosely qualify as well. Wouldn't say the same for either of their cabs, however. Cab-wise, for real hi-fi right into the treble range, it's pretty hard to get there without a good multi-driver setup. You might want to figure out a way to audition something from the Fearful lineup, since that was a significant factor in their development.

    While I'll personally vouch for the awesomeness of the Baer ML112 cabs, it's because they're not neutral in all the right ways.
  6. Hey Larry,

    Imho the fEARful cabinets take a pretty decent stab at being even across their useful frequency range. As far as amps, I have heard good things about the EA iAmp. If you were willing to use a pre/power rig the ART pro channel II is very neutral.
  7. Russell L

    Russell L

    Mar 5, 2011
    Cayce, SC
    If you go Markbass you will get what you are asking. IMO.
  8. ::::BASSIST::::

    ::::BASSIST:::: Progress Not Perfection.

    Sep 2, 2004
    Vancouver, BC Canada
    The LittleMark 3 set flat with filters off is quite transparent.
  9. dspellman


    Feb 16, 2012
    It's fairly easy to figure out which cabinets are neutral; I run some familiar music programming through the cabinets and evaluate from there. Neutral cabinets will generally respond to EQ better as well.
  10. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    No cabs are 100% neutral on their own. Some are flatter than others, but only with DSP can you truly get into that territory. The ones that are built with a woofer crossed over to a mid driver and a high quality tweeter are where you'll likely want to look. Fearful, Audiokinesis, Baer, Bill Fitzmaurice, Barefaced, companies like that and a small handful of others. They have different voicings, but they're made that way and I suspect they're more of what you're looking for.
  11. joelb79


    Mar 22, 2006
    Lansing, Michigan
    I used an Avalon U5 DI as a preamp running into a Stewart World 1.2 power amp once. That was pretty neutral. Nothing I plugged into at the time was so it was very lacking. I'd try a fearful 15/6/1 for something "Flat" and uncolored; powered by something like I just said above. Be warned this will not be enough color, you'll have to provide that somehow with your bass and technique.

  12. WingKL


    May 12, 2007
    If you want to hear what a bass really sounds like, get a good headphone setup and a clean headphone amp or mini mixer or mic preamp with instrument in. A mini mixer, PA power amp and PA speakers, or powered PA speakers would get you "transparent". Kind of like going into the FOH with a DI.
  13. Arjank


    Oct 9, 2007
    Above Amsterdam
    Most neutral basscab?
    Without a doubt, my 210 with coaxial mid/high driver.
    Frequency response is within studio spec (see measurements in thread about "building a superior 210").
    It also has some more advantages, but I'm not going into debate here......
    This thing even sounds incredible when you play audio through it, well some guy even played keys through it and couldn't believe what he heard.

    I have build many, many types of cabinets and I was allways searching for THE tone. I was never impressed with what the regular companies offered. Since I also build and design hifi loudspeakers I thought about building a cab that has a smooth frequency response under different listening angles and see how that works in the "real world". I must say (and others who've heard and played through it) that it works excellent. It also gives me way more control over my playing since I can hear myself better.

    But the bottom line is that this works best for ME, some swear by an 810 svt, some a 115.....

    Attached Files:

    PBrown and razboinikoff like this.
  14. 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
    IMHO, your best value is a DIY or cut-kit fEARful 15/6/1.
  15. Bassmec


    May 9, 2008
    Ipswich UK
    Proprietor Springvale Studios
    This is a very elegant solution to a bass player wanting good transparency and smooth transition between mid and top as the crossover designs for these dual concentric speaker types, have had at least 70 years of design research from the likes of Altec, Tannoy and Urei in studio monitor design.
    Pop your bass into a millenia half rack pre amp, into a Bryston fan free amp (hopefully you have no fan noise coming from the output jack on on your bass) and play that through a Tannoy 15 DMT monitor:
    So the question remains how do you make that studio monitor nice and transportable.
    Arjank has done his version of a technology that like the Porsche 911 has had a very long development run, without the usual, "throwing the baby out with the bath water" annual new product sales drive.
    He gets my vote on the subject.:bassist:
  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
    This is of course a somewhat loaded question, and a topic which will see a number of different opinions from a number of different people. But, since there certainly are some cabs that go for an intentionally colored tone, and some that go for an intentionally uncolored tone, it's worth trying to get advice to help narrow down your choices.

    Of course, a lot of the "uncolored" cabs do have a bit of a voice to them - intentional or not - but it's still worth noting which cabs have a fairly balanced response.

    I've played through tons of cabs, and IME/IMHO, the following brands have at least some models in their lineup which are fairly neutral, fairly balanced, and fairly uncolored:

    Bag End
    Patterson Audio/LDS
    Phil Jones Bass
    Wayne Jones

    Now, granted, some of those brands also make some "colored" cabs, as well. There are also brands which make some very clear and balanced sounding cabs, but which have enough intentional coloration to them that I don't put them on this list - like Baer and Trace Elliot, for instance.

    One of the standouts, again IME/IMHO, are the Bergantino IP series, but they "cheat" a bit, as they are powered enclosures with an onboard DSP that includes EQ/compression to maximize a "flat" response.

    In the passive enclosure world, Duke LeJeune's AudioKinesis cabs are pretty amazing...

    As far as heads/preamps go, you'd be surprised how "flat" most heads can get, with the appropriate tweaking. If you through our Amp Lab technical reviews in Bass Gear Magazine, Tom Lees always does an "all controls at noon" vs "optimally flat" chart, and he shows you what knob settings to use to obtain "optimally flat."

    Hope this helps, Tom.
  17. L. L. Elwood

    L. L. Elwood

    Jan 22, 2004

    Thanks for chiming in. I really appreciate the great info and will check out the BGM "Controls at Noon" vs "optimally flat" info - that will be very helpful! Just out of curiosity, in the comparing you've done, do you feel the GK 112 Neo II is a fairly neutral sounding cab?
  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
    I do. It may not be as ruler-flat and smooth as some, but it's quite well balanced, very full, very clear, very articulate, and I think that it does let the individual nuances of different instruments shine through.
  19. That is one reason (but not the only one) that I find the amp reviews in BGM to be far and away the most useful reviews available. It's also why I paid for a subscription to BGM.
  20. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Yep, many in my crew lusted after Altec 604s in the mid-70s, especially after seeing Pat Metheny and a few others using them for FOH, and that was a very mature design even by then.
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

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