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New gear report

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tombowlus, Mar 7, 2005.


  1. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Well, following a rush of adrenaline, GAS, idiocy, genius, or whatever, I find myself with some more gear to play with. What is unusual, is that I actually had the house to myself for an evening to try it all out! :bassist:

    First off, I was able to finally to a shootout of several excellent SS amps - QSC PLX 3002, Stewart World 2.1, and Crest CA9. For results of this event, check out this thread:

    Power Amps

    Next, I had a chance to try out my newly acquired DB 659. Check out this thread if you care to hear how it worked out.

    Having set up basically a "solid state rack" and a "tube rack", I did spend a little bit of time A/B'ing the two. There's a snippet of how that went in that Power Amp thread, above.

    But I really wanted to give my new Aguilar 659/728 rig a run through some cabs, so here is the lineup I had to play with Friday night:

    [​IMG]

    First up, I tried it with my two VL-210's, which I had used for testing the SS power amps and the two preamps. I am really familiar with these cabs, and they are quite tonally transparent, which really helps. The one shortcoming of the VL-210's I have found is that the midrange doesn't really open up unless you slam them pretty hard and loud with a powerful SS amp (I had always liked them with the PLX 3002 at high volume, but now I look forward to trying them on a gig with the CA9!). With SS amps, they seem to be "plug and play" friendly (just make sure it's loud!), but with the 728, I really had to tweak to find a good midrange tone. Once I did, though, they had great balance across the lows, mids and highs, and they really sounded great. They were very full and deep, though not quite as full as the Accugrooves (but closer than with a SS amp, for sure). I should point out that I had switched to the Telefunken preamp tubes by this point.

    Moving onto the Accugroove Whappo, Jr. and Tri 210L, my notes say, "Instant tonal nirvana!" and "Killer, killer, killer tone!" :D The Aguilar front end and the Accugroove cabs just flat out love each other! Right, oddio!?! ;) I had the treble on the 659 at 2:00, bright on, mids at noon, bass at noon, and deep on. I did have to turn the deep switch off when I really started pushing the volume (the Tri 210L was complaining a bit), but at lower levels, it seemed to provide for a tight, full, deep low end (moreso than using any bass knob boost). Interestingly, the overall volume was just about as loud with just the Jr. (and the 728 set to 4 ohm) as with both cabs (and the 728 set to 2 ohm). With just the Jr., the sound was more articulate and tight, and with both cabs, it was more full sounding.

    Next up, were my newly acquired Bergantino HT310 and HT115. These cabs were punchy, quick and very articulate. The overall mass of volume and tone that they throw your way is quite similar to the two Accugroove cabs, but both rigs served it up their own way. The Accugroove rig is a bit thicker and warmer, and smoother on top. The Bergantino cabs have more punch and articulation, and definitely have more high end information. I had to re-tweak for best tone with the Bergies - no deep, no bright, bass at noon, treble still at 2:00, and mids rolled off to 9:00. I found that it was easy to dial in too much bass and/or treble with the Bergs, which goes to show that they have plenty of both to offer (and that they are a bit more tweak-finnickey than the Accugrooves).

    I was going to end my latest "shootout" there, but I had recently received my Dr. Bass cabs back from Marc Serio, and they were sitting close by, so I said, "what the heck!" These cabs were made as one-off demos, and desinged to be super light weight. I need to emphasize that they are not standard offerings from Dr. Bass. They are built to the dimensions of his Rx line cabs, but are made of 1/2 Baltic birch. The overall design is similar to the BL 115 and BL 210 (though on the 210, the porting is more similar to the Rx line). The drivers in both cabs are Eminence neo drivers (custom 16 ohm models, in the case of the 2x10). The tweeters are QSL, I believe. After my initial review of them, I offered some suggestions to Marc, and he asked me to send them back to him to do some of these tweaks (which included additional internal bracing to eliminate cab-wall flexing (which I couldn't see, but I could hear), additional internal dampening, and some crossover changes. Marc was great to work with, as you might expect!

    At any rate, these cabs are great for their size, and I was impressed with them the first time around. After the mods, they seem to be more refined, more smooth and balanced, and I think they have a stronger low end response (the fundamental seems more full and strong). With the Aguilar rig, I was shocked to hear that these little cabs could keep up with the big boys! They were the brightest sounding of the group, but had plenty of low end. They handled the power as well as any of the cabs in the bunch, and trust me, I pushed them really hard, and got no complaints. :eek: This is very impressive for such small, and comparatively inexpensive cabs. If you got down to the nitty gritty, I'm sure that the EA's, Accugrooves, or Berg's all exceeded the Dr. Bass cabs in some of the "finer points", but my overall impression was that you could gig out very happily with the Aguilar rig paired up with any of these cabs, and that's saying something for the Dr. Bass cabs!

    For my next gig, it's down to the Accgroove cabs or the Bergies. I hope to use both rigs at practice (unless I get lazy, and just bring a Walter Woods and a Wizzy!), as I will have two practices before this gig.

    Okay, that's it for now!
     
  2. Absolutely!!! I use exactly the same settings and the results are nothing short of astounding. Glad you're enjoying that setup, Tom! Great review (again), BTW. Thanks.
     
  3. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Right, youre going on my ignore list.

    Not only do you have the best ideas, tastes and opinions about tone, but you have the $$$ to buy what you want.

    Sweet rigs man. :D
     
  4. 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 am truly a blessed man, that is for sure! Sorry to promote so much GAS, but that's one of the side effects of having it myself, - a compelling urge to share the curse!
     
  5. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Here's a better shot:

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Jack

    Jack

    Sep 6, 2003
    Newcastle, UK
    Cant hear you . . . . . . . . :p
     
  7. Careful. Don't give yourself a hernia hoisting that tonnage up ontop of the cab! :D Another sweet Tombowlus rig.
     
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    You know, I'm a fairly burly guy, but I must say, that in light of the fact that the Jr. on its own is just about the same volume, and more articulate, than the two cabs together, I might just leave the Tri 210L at home. That would make hoisting the main sail a far safer proposition!
     
  9. cheezewiz

    cheezewiz

    Mar 27, 2002
    Ohio
    Good God Tom thats quite a setup. Billable hours must be UP! :p
     
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Last year was a very good year... :)
     
  11. Is a guy still playing through a 60 watt combo amp allowed to cry when he sees that picture?
    :crying: :crying: :crying: :bawl: :bawl: