Part 1: Cabs well, just got back a little while ago from the Epifani shop, where i met with fellow TB'er, Devilman, to jam thru a few of Nick's righteous cabs. While talking with Nick and Brett just shootin' the breeze, Mike, another Epi floor guy, and Dev showing us some very cool chops, and Dave Beasley from Fodera stopping by, it was quite the day to try out some choice Epi gear. unfortunately, i was running really really really late, cause i had to pick up my Demeter pre that my bud had borrowed the night before. but Dev was cool about it. considering he had about 15 Epi cabs around him, i doubt he was bored. anywho, Dev brought his SUPER sweet MTD 635. i just couldnt put that thing down! the top had a gorgeous burled / quilted look, and nothing like i've ever seen. quite possibly one of the cooler MTD's i've come across. had a growl like no other. i brought trusty Betsy, along with my Kern IP777, Demeter VTBP201s, and Stewart World 1.2. i wasnt planning on bringing the Stew, but it was in the two spacer my friend borrowed. now, for the fun stuff! where to start, where to start... hmm... as soon as i walked thru the shop door, Dev was slammin' out some proggy lines with his MTD blaring thru one of Nick's all tube preamp prototypes connected to Nick's bodacious 6x10 cab. crystallin' highs, complex mids, huge booty shakin' low end. what more could you ask for? please dont ask me which is better, the Berg 6x10 or the Epi, that's near impossible... i asked Nick about his ultralite cabs, and he hipped us to the fact that his ultralite cabs are built with his design of "ultralite" speakers, and "ultralite" wood, which make for a very noticibly lighter cab. i could easily lift a 2x10 with one arm, (tho Dev could prolly easily pick up a 3x10 with his pinky ) while the regular 2x10 nearly pulled my back. btw, his ultralite speakers were first made by Emimence following his own design, but their final product didnt cut the mustard. so now, they're being built by a small european company who's name i forget. well, looking around, we had MORE than enough cabs to try. first thing i tried was the 3x10 ultralite. about as light as my Acme 2x10, no joke. very little effort needed. the sound of course was clear, yet very meaty. you can really feel the string windings and the pickups. trademark of the sweet Epifani sound. next, what i thought i was playing thru was a 2x10 ultralite was actually a 2x10 ultralite cab loaded with the older prototype Eminence ultralite speakers. Brett then went and built for me right next door in the other shop, a "real" ultralite with the right speakers! that's SERVICE! while Dev was upstairs at the Fodera shop getting some new strings for his MTD, and Brett was making the 2x10 ultralite, Nick had me try out a pairing of his ultralite 1x10's, with my Kern IP777. HOLY SMACK! what an immense sound! right then and there, i knew this was my new small rig!!! really. it was big, bold, complex, rich. nothing harsh about it, and oh so, full and satisfying. you couldnt slap the grin off of my face. i was already daydreaming about being able to hop onto the M3 bus to my next gig with these two babies in tow. doesnt hurt that holding up one literally felt as light as a briefcase! as awesome as the little rig was, i still wanted to try the 2x10, and Brett, Nick's right hand man, brought out the real Ultralite. compared to the Eminence loaded ultralite, the Epi Ultra had a nicer upper range extension, a more inyourface midrange attack. the Eminence, on the other hand, sounded "slower". hard to explain, but just not quite as responsive or as open. Nick then had me A/B/C'ed thru all three cabs to show the differences between the cabs. the regular Epi 2x10 was the smoothest, and prettiest. smoother trebles. had a nicely round "in your gut", low mid punch. the Eminence Ultralite speakers were a bit more forward feeling in the mids, while the upper end was a little harsh. didnt quite have the low mid punch. the Epifani Ultralite speakers were just inyourface! the mids seemed to jump out at you, while there seemed to be again that extension of the upper range that was nicer and more articulate. and yes, made my slap tone ROCKIN'! in the Epi ultralites, that rounded low mid punch of the regular Epi seems to have been moved up juuuuust a few notches near the middle of the frequency range. some guys may not like it as much, preferring the older, regular Epifani sound. like another good friend of mine who recently visited the shop, he said it just sounded weird to him coming from an Epifani. but i love it! has a chewy Jaco like quality to it, but with a detail that's still unrivaled. now, here i was at a loss. the pair of 1x10's was so farkin' nice, and easy to carry around. but the 2x10 ultralite could easily rock the house as well with its more focused low end. to help me choose, while i was a/b'ing the two, Mike, one of the floor guys, came by with his sweeeeeeet Fodera Matt G. model. and tho he's fully self taught, the dood can play! had him play everything from a few of his Jaco-esque lines to his best Wooten impersonation. then again, he made it even harder, distracted by his incredible playing! i ended up ordering a pair of the 1x10's only cause, they'd fit better for my smaller gigs, and i thought that if i needed something bigger, a 3x10 ultralite would definitely be in my future!