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The new Acme Neo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Bluesy Soul, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Two weeks ago I took a new prototype of the Acme 1x12 Neo (no tweeter) to try out at a gig. Unfortunately, we had house power problems at the gig and I spent all my time trying to keeping my head from shutting down rather than putting the cab through its paces.

    Yesterday, before I returned the prototype to Andy, I decided to run some A/B comparisons between it and one of my Low B-2s (Series II). I powered them with an all-tube Eden VT-300 and a Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0 and I used my passive Precision (P/J). The prototype was 4 ohms and my Low B-2 was 8 ohms.

    I cranked both as much as I dared in the house. Once enough chattels start rattling, I can’t tell where a buzz might be originating. The prototype’s woofer, which has a sensitivity of 91+ according to Eminence, was still a little louder due to its lower impedance.

    Here are some impressions and some new info about Acme:

    - Andy has apparently resolved his delays with his mill and now has lumber cut. Some of the new Neo speakers delivered from Eminence were damaged, but that has now been resolved. He has an inventory of all his hardware and other components, and is in the process of training some of his people on construction of the new models. I think he’ll be ready to announce and take orders very soon.

    - Andy and I casually referred to the tweeterless 1x12 Neo cab as the "dumb box", a temporary nickname that obviously has no marketing panache. It will officially be called the "Flatwound" and will be the first Neo offering among the new Series III models that Andy is about to announce. I believe the Series III models will include the existing Series II models (1x10, 2x10 and 4x10) plus the Flatwound. The Series III models will all have black Duratex finishes, new handles (I think), polyswitches instead of light bulbs, no edging between the corners and new badges.

    - A 1x12 Neo (with a different name, of course) will come out later that includes a concentric tweeter mounted on the center dust cap of the woofer. Not a whizzer cone, but a true tweeter. Andy is testing adhesives now. In typical fashion, he has tried dozens already and has a few finalists that he subjecting to breakage, heat, cold and other types of tests.

    - If you purchase a Flatwound before the 1x12 Neo is available with the concentric tweeter, you will be able to buy a kit that allows you to easily add the tweeter at a later time. If the system Andy has devised works as well as it appears it will, all you'll need to mount the tweeter in the center of the woofer is a screw driver to remove the grill and jack plate. NO SOLDERING. The wires will connect with push-on connectors.

    - The announcement and availability of the Flatwound is imminent and its concentric tweeter stablemate is pretty close, but I have the impression the 2x12 Neos might be farther behind.

    - After comparing the Flatwound to my beloved Low B-2, I surprisingly decided that I actually preferred the Flatwound--though the Low B-2 is very close and is still an incredible cab. Some players, I think, will continue to prefer the Low B-2. I thought both cabs are equally “deep”, if "deep" means the ability to hit notes at 40 Hz or 30 Hz and not roll off 6 or 12 db in sensitivity. The Flatwound is a full-blooded Acme in terms of low end frequency response. The Low B-2, to me, has a somewhat darker and lower voicing so, from an EQ standpoint, the Low B-2 may seem "deeper" to some ears. Remember, this is on a comparative basis between two Acmes. Both have a low end as strong or stronger than any other 2x10 or 1x12 Neo I’ve heard.

    - Through the lows and mids, the Flatwound's natural voicing is more open and even than the Low B-2 and I thought it was actually a bit cleaner, with more "presence". The Neo woofer goes down to 30Hz and goes up above 2000Hz. It sounded naturally a little brighter to me than the Low B-2 does with both attenuators set at noon. As a card-carrying old schooler, I was surprised that I liked the Flatwound a little better than the Low B-2, but I wondered if I could get the B-2’s darker, even "bassier" tone from the Flatwound. A little EQ adjustment was all it took. I have a Genz-Benz Shuttle 9.0 that has a shelf-style boost from 38-67 Hz. The moment I hit that boost button, the Flatwound sounded almost identical to the Low B-2.

    I once thought I might wait for the "tweetered" version of the 1x12 Neo; but now that I've heard the Flatwound's wide response and know that the tweeter can very easily be added later for only the price of an add-on kit, I see no reason to wait.

    I'm really excited about the new Series III Neos.
  2. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues. Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Very COOL!

    Anything on the weight, dimensions and pricing?
  3. I didn't weigh it, but I'd guess 35-37 lbs. It's noticeably lighter and, with the single handle on top, easier to carry than the Low B-2.

    Dimensions are the same as the Series II Low B-2.

    I don't know about pricing. Andy hasn't said anything yet to me.
  4. Peter Lufrano

    Peter Lufrano Blues. and nothing but the Blues. Supporting Member

    Apr 18, 2004
    Berkeley, CA
    Sounds like 2 are going to be my next speaker system!
  5. mothra2

    mothra2 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    and...I knew he'd go concentric, as he gave himself away unintentionally in a phone conversation we had when he started talking about Tannoy speakers. :D
  6. Jefenator

    Jefenator Supporting Member

    Aug 22, 2008
    I took a break from Acme for a while but I am SO ready to get back in. I'm LOVING the B-1 I just got - but am missing the beefier 1x12 I sold to make room.

    I wonder how the (8 ohm) B-1 would work in conjunction with the new "flatwound"?

  7. I'd be interested in seeing what wattage he recommends.

  8. My thoughts exactly!
  9. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    I guess I still find it curious that Andy would opt for a two-way speaker system for the new 1x12 & 2x12 cabs, rather than the three-way design of the existing 1x10, 2x10 & 4x10 cabs. :meh:

    As I gather that Andy remains committed to true full-range performance of his products, I would have to hope that the new 12" Neo woofers are capable of producing balanced frequency response, from deep lows all the way up to the upper midrange, before crossing over to the tweeter.

    What say ye, Bluesy Soul? Is it too much to hope for in a two-way cab? :meh:

  10. The way I read it, this cabinet won't be as flat as the B's....

    Not that this is an issue for me, however. I loved the low frequency response fo my B-2, but wasn't in love with the inherent voice. Maybe this cabinet will work better for me. Who knows.

  11. mothra2

    mothra2 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2006
    Not with Andy at the helm, me thinks.
  12. mothra2

    mothra2 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2006

    Will these coaxial single 12's have a tweeter attenuator?
    Just thinking ahead to stacking a bunch of them.

    Will the tweeter kit cost + the flatwound cost not exceed the cost of the tweetered version?

    Also (and pardon my ignorance with coaxials here) but is there not a crossover involved as well?
    If yes, how is this to be handled with the kit/install?
  13. Hey Michael,

    Even though there isn't a full-range, two way Acme 1x12 Neo in existence just yet, I don't think it's too much to hope for. I assure you Andy remains committed to true full-range performance and embraced it as a primary design goal. He and I have had the discussion more than once. He's very pleased with the extended upper range of his new Neo woofer and is also excited about the tweeter he's found. He simply isn't locked in to either two-way or three-way designs.

    Andy is coming out with the tweeterless version now because he's ready to convert the entire line to the Series III configurations and he knows it has taken longer than anticipated. Most importantly, however, he has a significant customer base that insist they don't need to go to 20K. And if any of them try the Flatwound and decide differently, the concentric tweeter add-on kit will be an easy and (I assume) relatively inexpensive cure.
  14. Bob C

    Bob C

    Mar 26, 2000
    Duluth, MN
    This thought popped up and has stuck with me too, since first reading blusey soul's other Acme "dumb box" thread.

    There is a section on Acme's web site explaining that the secret of their cabinets' sound lies largely in the 3-way design.

    But I know Andy Lewis has taken all things into consideration. He isn't caving in to popular demand, or anything like that. I definitely want to hear more. Like when will a 2X12 be available?
  15. jasper383


    Dec 5, 2004
    Durham NC
    Strange choice for a name.
  16. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
    I'd really like to hear some Acme cabs.
    But just like Bergs, their unheard of in my area.
  17. Sav'nBass

    Sav'nBass Supporting Member

    Jan 18, 2009
    Northern Va.
    I can't help it... everytime I see ACME I think odf Wile E. Coyote.....
  18. mothra2

    mothra2 Supporting Member

    Dec 23, 2006

    With the drivers available at the time that probably was/is the secret of that design's success...
  19. +1 ;)
  20. Rodger Bryan

    Rodger Bryan Supporting Member

    Jun 17, 2006
    I'm tuned in to this thread.
    I like the combination of my B2 and modulus working together as a plug 'n' play, no fuss setup. There's no trouble fitting in the mix. However, I do find that I need to open up the mid attenuator when playing in loud, dense mix.

    Hey- Bluesy Soul, Has anyone taken a box out on an upright gig?
    This sounds like a good cabinet for the doghouse.

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