TecAmp Puma 900 speaker match

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by melodiaopus, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I'm going to be getting a Puma 900 in the next week. I'm looking to get a great speaker match for this head. Right now I have been running a TC Electronics RH750 through a Berg HT322. Definitely not the sound I'm looking for. I'm thinking about a the Baer cabs, TecAmp cabs, Aggies, and possibly a TC cabs. I'm looking for light weight since I will be driving cross country to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music. Hopefully Kjung can through in his two cents. I'm playing a Warwick Thumb Bolt On 4 string. Mostly will be playing jazz, fusion, funk, and pretty much everything else while I'm over there.
  2. That Puma will kill with that HT322, but it is a heavy horse. I did not like the RH450/750 match with the HT322. That cab is so wide and pure and full range, and the RH heads are so compressed down low, that the combo can be a bit dead sounding. The HT322 can eat some power (I used a Walter Woods 1200 with mine back a number of years ago), so except for the weight, the Puma will change your tonal life with the HT322.

    The Puma and the new Bergantino CN212 (46 pounds) should sound amazing (from my experience with it and my Markbass F500, which is relatively similar to the Puma tone profile). The CN212 is more mid present and punchy than the HT322. The CN212 is pretty similar sounding to the original TecAmp s212, but with MUCH more output. The new TecAmp s212 with the ceramic drivers is getting good reviews also. I have no experience with the neo Aguiler cabs.

    The Puma500 would be PLENTY of power to drive the 4 ohm CN212 (or TecAmp s212) to full performance, so if you are considering that cab, you can save a couple hundred bucks going with the Puma500 versus the 900 (the 900 is great for running a big 8ohm cab or two large 8ohm cabs at very high volume). Of course, you can just be careful with the volume knob on the 900, and it will work fine.

    The Puma900 would be a nice match with the Baer ML112 also (500 or so watts into that very powerful 8ohm cab with that powerful 3012-based woofer). It is a large, relatively lightweight 8ohm 112 that can handle a lot of power. Nice even tone, more 'clean and bright' in the upper midrange than the TecAmp or Berg CN212 cabs, with a bit tighter low end that can be EQ'd bigger with the Puma. I like it very much with my P Bass. For the J, I prefer a high quality compression driver like in the Berg CN212 or TecAmp cabs, and the 46 pounds of the CN212 is not that much more weight than a single Bear ML112. However, if you don't need upper treble zing in your tone, and are looking for the smallest box with the biggest wump, that ML112 with Puma900 would be pretty amazing. If you were going for a Matt Garrison vibe or whatever, that would be quite wonderful, and would be enough for moderate volume club gigs.

    Lots of good stuff out there! My favorite cab that 'can do it all' at the moment, however, is the new (soon to be shipping) Bergantino CN212. It is relatively large (it is a 212), but is SO light, and hammers SO hard (I was a field tester for the prototype) that it really is perfect for me. With a good small cart, it is very easy to schlep, easy to carry up and down stairs, etc., and is capable of doing virtually any gig at any volume, and the relatively high efficiency and 4ohm impedance makes it pump with a wide variety of 400-600 watt heads. If I was doing more 'small club jazz gigs' and was focused on a warm, fingerstyle, articulate tone and wanted the absolute smallest cab that could do 'most gigs', I'd probably choose the Baer ML112.

    Hope that at least gives you something to think about!
  3. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    KJung, you never cease to amaze me with the wealth of information you bring.

    The HT322 is waaaay to big for me to haul around. Not to mention that my HT322 doesn't have the original 12" speaker in it. The person who last owned blew that speaker and replaced it with another. I'm not sure what exactly is in it. Thank god I was given the cab. Tonally I don't think the HT322 is at its full potential. I imagine if I call up Berg to order a 12" speaker there wouldn't be any problem, but I'd rather spend my money towards a lighter cab.

    I'm still looking for that sweet spot in my tone. I just can't seem to find it. I'm not good at explaining the tone I'm after, but once I hear it I know that it's my happy place. I am trying to stay away from the Epifani sound, which I associate the Garrison sound to be. I owned a UL-502 and UL-310 that just didn't add any color to my sound. Far too dark and nasally for my taste. I tried the TecAmp 1000, which I regret selling since I loved the clarity of the head, but it seemed to lack the headroom for what the wattage had stated. I think it was too complicated for my knowledge if amps. I then got the RH750, which seemed to have much more headroom, but I lost the clarity. Plus the constant tube tone effect, even when turned off was also present, couldn't get a clean mix.

    The Baer cabs scare me bit. I feel that they may be more along the line of the Epifani tone that I want to stay away from. I just haven't found the cab to match any of the heads I've owned. Let me tell you, I have gone through tons. If I could I would love to get 2x112 cabs that way I could be much more versatile with the gigs I play. Rather then hauling one 2x12 cabinet that may be a bit overkill for a jazz gig in a crackerjack box night club in Boston.

    I'm also upgrading my pickups and preamp from the stock MEC gear to a Aguilar ODP-3 preamp, 18volt along with some Delano pickups. Hopefully that will open up my sound a little more as well.

    I just can't get the right about of boom to compliment the mids and highs on my setup.
  4. That Epi 502 is probably my least favorite head of all time... dark and nasally is a good way to describe it. Combine it with the relatively scooped Epi 310UL, and there you go.. simply awful to my ear.

    The Baers (and the Puma) are NOTHING like the Epi head/cab. The newer Puma is more mid present and immediate sounding than the fatter, smoother original Puma1000, and it hits hard. So, no problem there. The 310UL is deep down low, no low mid bump, a big upper mid hole (more on the Series II than the original) and an airy upper treble extension. The Baer is just the opposite... tight low end, nice low mid push, VERY present but organic upper mids, and no tweeter, so nice extension to the low treble with no upper treble. VERY nice articulate cab.

    The Berg CN212 and CN112 are also quite fat down low (versus the overextended low end and lack of upper bass punch of the Epi's), nice and full in the midrange, present in the upper midrange, and a nice, organic tweeter that takes you all the way up to the upper treble without any metalic sizzle. So, again, very nice for a warm, mid present, punchy, articulate fingerstyle tone.

    As long as you don't need 'Marcus Miller' sizzle, you might REALLY dig the Baer ML212, and with the 500 or so watts the Puma900 puts out at 8ohms, that would be good for all the way up to a medium sized club playing funk/electric Jazz with no front of house.

    PM TBer Nostatic, who uses that rig and plays quite a few 'loud jazz' sort of gigs/venues, and he'll give you another data point. He also uses the TecAmp cabs prior to the ML112, so he can give you some info about that.
  5. Here is a clip I put up a while back comparing the Baer ML112 and the Bergantino AE210 (which has quite a bit of tonal similarity to the new CN212). I'm using the F500, which is somewhat similar in tone to the Puma (i.e., relatively neutral but not particular hi fi/deep/sizzly).

    Of course, the 70's J style bass with relatively new roundwounds is most likely quite a different tone than you are going for, but maybe this will help as another data point, and it at least shows the nice top end of the ML112 even though it does not have a tweeter.

    If you have a good set of phones, the recording quality is quite good.


  6. Also, Nostatic has a BUNCH of clips with his Fodera's and the ML112, which are a bit more in that 'warm midrange' tonal area as your bass, and his playing style is a bit more 'Berklee' than mine:D Hopefully, he will stumble onto this thread and post a few links.
  7. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I like sizzle highs, but I like something in between where it doesn't lose a lot of bass. I think the grand piano tone is the tone I'm after. There I like everything to be pretty even. I don't like too boomy or too sizzle up top. I hate when I hear clappy players. Where you hear the sound of the string hit against the fingers. It's hard to describe the tone I'm after, but I hear it in my head.
  8. Well, you are on your own with that tone goal. I have no idea what that 'tone in your head is'. Good luck with the search!
  9. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I know KJung. I really like the tone of Victor Bailey, Wooten, and even John Patitucci. I think old Wooten, Yin Yang album, Bailey's Low Blow album. Tonally they are different, Bailey's more mid snarl and Wooten's hi-fi clarity.
  10. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Ken's got you covered, but to throw a few cents into the discussion, let me say a few things. I agree that the Baers sound nothing like Epifani cabs, and I agree with Ken that they should be on your short list. While I have not heard the Berg CN212, from what I know of every other Berg cab I have played, I think that the CN212 would also be a great fit.

    But your own ears are your best guide. If you could put yourself in a room with the Puma 900 and a range of cabs, like the Baer ML112 or ML212, the Berg CN212, and a few others, like Acme Fullrange, AudioKinesis AC112, fEARless F112, and a few others, you might find just the magic cab for you.
  11. Quite frankly, those tone profiles (I'm very familiar with those players) are due much more to the instrument, string type and technique than rig. With the nice wide, clean, accurate Puma and the right technique/instrument, any full range cab is going to get you there pretty well.

    Bailey uses that unusual J bass with a Mahogany body, and I think Bart pickups if I remember correctly. Very warm and mid present, and I'm sure he favors the bridge pickup. I recently heard him in a small club playing through god knows what backine... some old beater, and he sounded just like Victor Bailey.

    Victor Wooten's 'fretted' tone is all about those EMG pickups IMO.... super modern, massive upper treble response, and very clean.

    A nice two way cab with plenty of mid presence and a well voiced tweeter should do you quite well, whether it be a Berg CN112, an Aguilar SL112, etc. Even the Baer would work great if you don't need that extreme upper treble that Victor W. achieves.

    Of course, the Epi502/310UL... that was probably one of the few rigs that would fight pretty hard against you for any of those tones. Andrew Gouche 'boom and click'... check!

    While I'm sure the tone on my clip above is not your thing, the key is to hear how those two cabs very accurately conveyed the tone of a 70's J bass with stainless steel roundwounds. While the BaerML112 and the Berg AE210 each sounded a bit different, the relatively neutral head (the Markbass F500 which has much in common with the current Puma's) resulted in that 70's J inspired instrument to, well, IMO sound like a 70's inspired J instrument. It isn't as hard as you are making it, you just had IMO a VERY voiced rig that was voiced in the wrong way for you with very limited EQ, and it has made you a bit gun shy.
  12. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    KJung, I agree about the technique and instrument. I'm planning on upgrading my electronics to a either a Aguilar ODP-3 or Mike Pope Flexcore preamp. I was thinking about putting some Delano pickups in my bass. I have heard great things about the Flexcore preamps on the forums in TB. The Delano's I'm a little uncertain about, though a fellow bass friend said that he loves his in his Charles Cote bass.

    The Berg CN series are a little pricey for what I would want to pay right now. I have the feeling that Baer's aren't going to produce enough high color to my needs. Though they are badass looking, I think I would get a little disappointed in the tonal color of the Baer since they are not a full range cab. Though I don't I have ever played through a tweeter cab. So I'm assuming, which is a bad habit. Though I understand that the sparkle of the Puma is going to be really thick up top, the Baer might just be what I'm looking for.
  13. maisbass

    maisbass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    I just did my first gig last night with the Baer ML112. The cab is simply amazing and I am literally blown away with the low end response and dispersion on this cab. I was also impressed how well this one cab can cover a room.

    I used to use a EBS NeoGorm 2x10 so I understand your concern about a tweeter less cab. I too was concerned making the jump to the Baer. But after last night, those concerns are gone. My band plays all styles if music, and this cab handled all of them easily. Believe it or not, the 6"mid driver can go pretty high frequency wise if you dial in with your eq. I did this at first to get some of that upper click I had with my EBS, but after experimenting last night, I liked the cab better with the treble rolled off. The mid driver seemed so much thicker and stronger, and still didn't lack highs IMO, and the mids growl beautifully.

    It definitely is a different beast than what I was used to, but I am completely satisfied with the tonal response of this cab. I also like the feel of it as well. Lots of punch and all my notes were even across the board. Everything sounded full and thick, and my B string sounded thunderous. Best it ever sounded.

    I would definitely check it out.
  14. maisbass

    maisbass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    And btw, I also own an Epi UL212 and this cab blows it away. The mids on the EPi are too scooped for me.
  15. gravesbass

    gravesbass Supporting Member

    Aug 16, 2006
    San Jose, CA
    Endorsing Artist: MesaBoogie-SpectorBass-Dunlop-EMG Pickups-Darkglass-Hipshot
    Nice post ken. Tone is tight.
  16. Thanks. Two of my favorite small cabs! Definitely the J tone in my head! (edit: And, hopefully the OP could hear the quite impressive top end of the Baer ML112. These cabs sound equally good with the Aguilar head and the PBass... fat and chewy and punchy).
  17. melodiaopus

    melodiaopus Supporting Member

    Feb 9, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Well, I think I'm going to go with the Baer cab. Since its a cab I've never used and have heard great things about. I wish they weren't so damn expensive $650 each.

    Hopefully with my tax return coming up I will be able to get my setup.
  18. maisbass

    maisbass Supporting Member Supporting Member

    May 5, 2010
    Good luck. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I purchased it blindly based on recommendations from TB'ers here, especially KJung's, and I couldn't be happier.
  19. nostatic

    nostatic Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2004
    los angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: FEA Labs
    I run the Baers with my Puma and they play very nicely. The Fodera with EMG PJ setup sounds great through the combination.
  20. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    If I can alleviate your apprehensions about the Delano pickups, I will. I have a set of the JMVC 5 FE in my Carvin SB5000 J-style five-string, and am certain they're the best possible choice I could have made for that instrument: Hi-Fi - in the best possible sense of that term; also very powerful, punchy & balanced, with an abundance of every frequency range you could want. Simply superb.

    Similar reports of the other Delano models are beginning to trickle in to North America, as more American & Canadian players begin to discover these gems. Whether it's the soapbars, the J-styles, or the MM-styles, I don't see how you could go wrong.

    As to the preamps, I also own an Aguilar OBP-3 in one of my instruments. I think it's great, though a little over the top in the low end. I consider it pretty much a "rock-voiced" preamp, which is perfect for the instrument in which I have it.

    No experience here with the Mike Pope Flexcore, but word has it that it's ultra high-end, and probably well worth the investment. I don't know what you may consider to be lacking in the stock Thumb electronics, but I have no doubt that the right set of Delanos, coupled with the Mike Pope Flexcore, would provide you with a truly super high-end sound. I say go for it! :bassist: