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Small Cab(s) for Electric & Upright

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by tombowlus, Apr 8, 2003.


  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
    I have been searching through this forum for days, and I am really amazed and impressed with the amount of information that I have found. Many of your posts have encouraged me to investigate avenues I never knew existed, and as a result, I have need for more information! Some of these topics have been dealt with before, but either in rather old threads, or not in context with the balance of my questions, so please bear with me if I am rehashing any old ground.

    After reading numerous posts about the Mesa Boogie Walkabout, I decided to order one (it hasn't arrived yet). Now, I am on the warpath for one, or more likely two, cab(s) to go with it. I'd like them to be fairly portable, but I'd consider something a little larger if it offered significant advantages over the smaller cab(s). I play electric (4 and 5) and upright, and the style ranges from jazz/swing to fairly heavy rock.

    Sonically, I like to cover the range of my instrument fairly evenly (I don't want to scoop the mids too much), but I do want plenty of low end. However, I want it all to be tight and articulate. This used to be a difficult task to handle for bass cabs, but it seems like some of the more recent products on the market are getting fairly good at this.

    I am open to any suggestions (and indeed, I am asking for them), but here are a couple of the possibilities that I have been bouncing around:

    2 EA CXL-112's
    2 Aguilar GS112's
    1 CXL-112 and 1 GS112
    1 GS 112 with an EA VL-110 or VL-108
    1 or 2 Accugroove Tri 112's
    1 Tri 112 with 1 Tri 110
    1 Raezer's Edge Bass 12 with 1 RE Bass 10

    I would certainly consider Epifani or Bergantino gear, and I am not ruling out the possibility of one 4 ohm cab. I haven't seen any posts on the Raezer's Edge Bass 10 and Bass 12, but they are very intriguing. I don't do much slap/pop, and normally I keep my tweeters pretty much off or set very low, so the lack of a tweeter doesn't really bother me.

    As I live in northwest Ohio, and there are not any high end bass stores in my immediate vicinity, I do not have the luxury of auditioning these cabs before I buy (which, of course, is the preferred method). Therefore, I am relying on feedback from fellow bass players such as yourselves.

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  2. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    I just picked up 2 Aggie GS112's. Although, I have not giged with them yet, I have practiced with them. My first impressiom was "Oh my god, how in the f**k can these small a** speakers put out that much volume and bottom end." My current speaker setup is 1 SWR Goliath Jr. and 1 SWR Son of Bertha. I mostly play jazz/funk/fusion. I like the sound the SWR's get but I hate lugging them around.

    The Aggies are very portable as well as light weight. They are a little on the deep side. I am going to gig with them this weekend. I will know then if they can "hang." The room I pratice in is relatively small so it doesnt take much for it to get loud or boomy, especialy with keys, drums, and guitar in the same room. If they can do what I expect them to do the SWR's will be back up's. The Aggies also handle the low "B" on my Lakland very well.

    I would recomend to put a lillte power to these speakers if you want them to shine. I run a Demeter preamp with a QSC 1602 power amp. The Aggies like the power. They are not power hungry, but they like a little extra power. All in all I do expect these to replace the SWR's and I heard a lot of upright players like them as well.
     
  3. 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 have heard what seem to be conflicting reports about the Aguilar GS112. Some folks say that they are clear and punchy, and others claim that they are muddled and indistinct. Certainly, everyone seems to agree that they have significant low end. My main question is how defined the cab sounds throughout its useful range.

    The claims about the GS112 being muddy are one reason why I considered pairing it with an EA cab (as I see some folks here have done).

    I look forward to hearing the results of your gig!

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  4. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Tom,

    Please keep in mind that one weak link in your signal chain weakens everything. If your amp colors your sound, then yes, the Aggies may sound muddy. Your speakers are only going to sound as good as amp that powers them. With the setup I have, the Aggies sound clean and tight. I would not say that they sound muddy at all. I think the Demeter preamp has a lot to do with it as well as the QSC power amp and my Lakland. Catch my drift? IMO, (if your using quality speakers) 75% of the sound quality (ie. tone, muddiness, cleaness, crispness, fat, thin, etc, etc) that comes out your speakers depends of the quality of your amp.
     
  5. Matt Morgan

    Matt Morgan Fellow Conspirator Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2001
    Plano, TX
    I completely agree with g4's comments about the Aggies. I also use two of them with a Demeter VTBP-201s and a Crest LT1500 power amp.
    I run the treble flat and turn the tweeters in the Aggies way down because they put out (in my opinion) exactly what you put in. Give them good clean pre and power and they'll reward you with very full, punchy, and cutting tone...LOUDLY! One of the best things about the Aggies is that they're very affordable too. I was ready to step up and buy Epifani, EA, etc. But after playing tons of different cabs, the Aggies sounded great and were much easier on the wallet. Just my opinion of course.
     
  6. 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 points. I should probably wait until my Walkabout comes in to get a feel for its tone. I had thought that I would most likely be picking up a more precise sounding cab (like EA), so I thought that the Walkabout would add a nice degree of warmth, but if it adds too much, then with some cabs it might sound muddy. I hear what you are saying.

    My main rig is pretty darn tight sounding, and I agree that the pre and amp have a lot to do with it. I use an Eden Navigator feeding a PLX 3002. Obviously, this gives me headroom for days. The cabs I use with this rig are a Mesa Boogie Diesel 4x10 (Deep) - which to my ears is the most balanced and articulate 4x10 I have tried - and an Eden 212XLT - which to my ears does not have the "traditional" Eden sound at all, but is much more focused, tight, and punchy, with a hint of growl.

    Once my Walkabout comes in, I will A/B it with my Navigator/3002 rig. That should give me a good idea of what I am working with on the ampflication side of things.

    I still would love to get an opinion of what the Raezer's Edge cabs sound like. I couldn't find many posts on them, but they appear to be well made, and what I have heard is positive (without being incredibly specific as to what kind of a sound they have).

    Thanks, Tom.
     
  7. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Tom,

    Just to confirm what the previous TB'r had posted. I was going to trade in my SWR speakers+cash for an Epifani or Bergantino set up. The Aggies are a great deal and after I played them I had no desire to inquire about the Epi's or the Bergie's. You will pay about $200-$400 more for Epi's or Bergie's. I am sure that they both sound good. But I am very happy with my Aggie's.
     
  8. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    ... but if you A/B the aggies (with the same amp) with the aggie 410, an EA VL210, El Whappo, Epi310, or berg 322 you're going to find that the Aggies are NOT as clear and do NOT put out as much low low low end.

    However, in the mix, I prefer the GS112 pair to almost anything - except for loud rock gigs which i use a GS410.
     
  9. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX
    Vanselus,

    I would agree with that. But, I do not want to confus the author of this thread. That doesnt make the Aggie cabs muddy or not a clear clean cab. I am sure the Epi's and Bergie's are a better cab than the Aggie's. But for what you pay an Epi or Bergie I think I will also stick with the Aggie's. The Aggie's are a great deal and even better sounding cab. I was impressed.
     
  10. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    I found the aggie 12 to have a very scooped sound. It did sound great as long as the mix was not too loud or dense- then to me it did sound muddy. I was only using a single cab and I have heard, as others here have already stated, that a pair sounds much better. I now use an EA CXL112 and while not as sweet sounding as the aggie, it does cut alot better and I hear my mids even in loud dense bands. The bottom is tighter on the EA also. I personally prefer the EA but if I was willing to schlep around 2 cabs I might still own the aggies.
     
  11. 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, for REALLY loud rock gigs, I have my main rig to use, and for medium volume gigs, I could power my Mesa Boogie 4x10 and my Eden 212XLT with the Walkabout.

    What I'd like to get now is a cab or pair of cabs that CAN handle a rock practice session or smaller gig (and cut through drums and two guitars, while still sounding full and tight), but which will also be at home playing jazz on the electric or big band swing on the Kay.

    I've been hearing some great things about the Raezer's Edge cabs from some (non-TalkBass.com)jazz guys, but I wonder if they can cut it in a rock setting.

    The Aggies are a bargain-hunter's dream. Botique cab, wholesale price. I just may be able to head to Columbus early next week to audition some.

    The Bergies sound nice, in that they are very portable, and from what I can read, they have a balanced, very tight sound.

    EA gear really seems phenomenal as well. I don't think that I can go wrong with almost any of their products. It is a bit pricey, but then so are several of the other options I have been considering.

    Thanks for all of your responses so far!

    Tom.
     
  12. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    Strange someone said the Aggies are scooped - when I directly A/B'd them with the EA it was the opposite to all ears present, but hey, whatever you hear...

    but tombowlus - if you as you say like the EA's and Berg's then you're probably not going to be happy in the long run with the Aggies. the clarity and sweetness is just not there - nor are they "full range" - however I totally wet my pants when I plug in my rig, so hey, who's counting. berg's just sound TOO nice.

    and remember g4string - there's no such thing as better, just different! ;) just cause epi & berg charge 2x doesn't make them 2x better - they're just harder & more expensive to manufacture, and people who buy them are paying to get that sound, which IMHO is easily justified. If those cabs held my sound, i'd pay twice the price for them.
     
  13. g4string

    g4string Supporting Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Melissa, TX


    I agree. That is an excellent point!
     
  14. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Before the sound gets to the speaker cab, your fingers, technique, strings, cables, pickups, on board eq's, body woods, neck woods, scale length, fingerboard woods, neck through or bolt on, your amp's tone and eq, is it tubes or solid state preamp and power section, any effects etc. all influence the tone. Add to this one's own perception of cutting through, honkiness, mids this, bottom that, brittle this, punchiness that, sweet highs this that AND then you add the speaker cabs characteristics to the mix.

    My rambling is to agree that AT LEAST 75% of your sound happens before it gets to your speakers. As Vanselus so apted points out in many of our previous encounters, you have to try everything out you can and not take our word for it in complete "trust" because bottom line we don't hear things the same, we don't play the same places, we don't play the same style of music, etc. etc. on inwhateverfinitum.

    Regarding the comment about is a Bergie, EA, or El whappo "worth" the 2x and 3x's more than a perceived equivalent Aguilar? If you think so, it isn't. Does it sound 2x or 3x better. How the h_ll can you measure two or three times better? Is a $3500 Sadowsky 5 string two or three times better than a G&L 2500 or a MusicMan Stingray 5? I tend to doubt that but again, how is it being measured? If a cheaper or tremendously expensive piece of equipment makes you happy, makes you play better, get it and let's not worry about convincing the rest of the world it's worth it or it's a bargain.

    The thing that's nice is we have choices which we didn't when I started playing. There were only a couple of custom builders, Fenders, Ricks, Gibson and Junk. There were only Fender and Ampeg amps, and some new ugly tuck and roll stuff. The rest, all of another couple or three brands were all crap. I'm glad we've come so far as consumers, but remember what some of the best players played on and through.....very basic stuff.

    I personally liked the sound of 3 and 4 way cabinets better than 2 way, but I had to get "used" to it. It wasn't love at first listen on the EA's I owned. I never liked the Ag gs112 as a standalone and have said that many times here, but there are others who think it's the best. So for them, the fact that it's haveable for $350 + is great. For my purposes, it's not worth it, so I'm now in an Epifani 310, sounds great but I miss the 3 way sound, so am looking into a whappo jr if my banker (my wife) will go along with it.

    EA's are great. If you don't mind schlepping several cabinets, having a couple EA 208's and an Ag 112 together works EXCEPTIONALLY, but please read the first paragraph above conditions.....it works for me. You may hate the combination once you try it.

    LKaye
     
  15. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    We must have different definitions of "scooped". By scooped I mean attenuated mids. Like your taking an ice cream scooper and scooping out the middle frequencies. The EA cab is known for its pronounced mids. I had to really crank the mids when using the aggie cab in a dense mix.
     
  16. vanselus

    vanselus

    Sep 20, 2000
    Boulder, CO
    None
    i think we're just talking about 2 different parts of the "midrange" spectrum. I suppose I don't think the Aggies are scooped cause they have that thickness - but not the sharp presence of the EA. Are you talking about that upper midrange burst the EA has goin? Cause in that case i'd totally agree with you, the Aggies don't have that at all. but i'd hardly call them scooped - there's no mention of marcus miller anywhere in the manual! :D plus to me, scooped means bright highs and big deep lows - and the aguilar cabs seem to be a little short on both those... (which I think is really nice)...

    and also.. amen Larry! the day that the $$ spent on gear doesn't bring joy to my life, i'm gonna sell all my gear! it would be absolutely ridiculous to buy gear just because it "costs more". This time ;) i'm right with ya brother!
     
  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
    Exellent points, all. If I had the opportunity to do so, I would bring in a couple of my axes, my Kay, my Walkabout, and jam through every cab on my list. Unfortunately, I do not have that opportunity. I MAY be able to audition a GS112 through my Walkabout with my bass(es) this Tuesday, but I will not be able to compare it to Berg, EA, Epi, Accugroove, or Raezer's Edge. I do hope to be able to compare it to my 212XLT, so at least I will have some idea of what's going on. Also, if they have two GS112's, I will be even more pleased, as I understand that two GS112's have a different overall sound than 2x the sound of one GS112.

    I'd love to throw a GS112 with two VL-208's, but unfortunately, I cannot find anyone willing to sell a 208. I do, however, have a chance at a VL-210, 110, or 108. I forget who had this stack, but the picture of the VL-108 sitting on top of the GS112 looked pretty nice. I'd be worried about the efficiency mismatch, though. But still, I agree with Larry, there is just something about 3-4 way cabs that is so compelling (in concept, if nothing else).

    This brings up the general question of whether it is preferable to have two identical cabs, or two cabs with separate identities (I like the "good cop"/"bad cop" allegory on a prior thread)? And if two separate identities are nice, what recommendations are there? It seems like the Aggie with something a little more precise, like Berg or EA could be nice. Maybe a Berg and a Raezer's Edge Bass 12 even...

    On price, yes it is always a factor, which is why I try to keep my eye out for gently used equipment. Their price has probably helped to move a lot of GS112's. But I don't mind setting aside more funds to get the right tool for the job. I was saving up for a Sadowsky for years, but then the recording bug hit me, and I blew the cash I was setting aside for Roger on a Digi 002 setup (which I love). So, I ended up with a DeArmond Pilot Deluxe 5 (neck through), which is a killer bass which costs less than 1/10th of the Sadowsky. Is the Sadowsky 10 times better? Probably not, but I still want one (and will have one one day, oh yes, I will!).

    Since I don't have a chance to listen to most of these cabs, my best bet may be to buy from a source that has a return/exchange policy. I believe that BassCentral does, and they carry most all that I am looking at. I bought my 212XLT from Beaver, and they were great to work with.

    Thanks for all the help.

    Tom.

    Seriously, though, has no one tried out the Raezer cabs or the Accugroove Tri 112? I haven't heard much feedback regarding them here.
     
  18. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    he's using a tri 112 right now. He might be able to give you a working bassist's comparison between that and a Bergie. Since he sells both lines also so it matters not to him.

    In talking to Gard yesterday, he also suggested the Epifani 112 as a little less "scooped" (sorry V-man) than an Aguilar, a little more ballsy than a Bergie 112, maybe a slightly "better" overall cabinet without going into the EA's more pronounced mid thang that some of us like, some don't.

    Again keep in mind all these terms are personally defined, as is scooped!! I think of kitty litter when I hear that term, not ice cream, but what's in a term anyway.

    LKaye
     
  19. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Actually, that was a really hepful post, Larry. From what I can piece together from all of the feedback that I have read, if the Epifani 112 is:

    "a little less "scooped" (sorry V-man) than an Aguilar, a little more ballsy than a Bergie 112, maybe a slightly "better" overall cabinet without going into the EA's more pronounced mid thang that some of us like, some don't"

    it may be just the ticket for me.

    I agree that the word "scooped" seem to have a variety of different meanings, depending upon the individual's perceptions and preconceptions, so we'll call that "mystery 1." However, it seems like "mystery 2" is just what is a "pronounced mid thang" and is it desireable or not? Ultimately, my own ears will tell me the answer (as yours will tell you), but until I actually hook one of these cabs up to my own rig, I will not know for sure!

    It's frustrating being stuck in the Styx (at least as far as high end bass gear is concerned), but I really do appreciate y'all's help and feedback.

    Later, Tom.
     
  20. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    for one 10 minute jam with the band playing for my step son's wedding. They were seven pieces. The bass player had a toned down Walter Woods amp-I think 450 watts? at 8 ohms and the Epi 112. It was nice sounding. Fender Jazz lite or something not real upscale, but the guy plays mostly upright jazz gigs. This band plays all Jewish "frelach" music, fast hora stuff. It's not the ooompa 1,5,1,5 stuff any more. The bass playing is challenging, with each set being a continuous playing of fast, uptempo medleys of 45 minutes to an hour,

    Sounded really clean, amazingly loud, lacked nothing on stage. The amp was miked through the PA but not put through the very small, hot spot type of stage monitors. A definitely nice amp and speaker combo for upright and/or electric players.

    They're available new in the $600 range and occasionally come up used for mid 400's to 525+. That may be the better ticket for both of us. It might be nice to have something smaller to take to some tighter venues and just add the 112 for a little more snap to the other gigs.

    Then again and unfortunately, with duo cabs, we're back up to 125 pound schlepping again with an investment of $1600 if new, whereas the Whappo Jr is a one cabinet, 81 pound schlepp for under $1400.

    Compromises, compromises, all good ones for the sake of tone, your back, and your wallet. Three positive things don't cha thunk?