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Thoughts on Epifani and Bergantino 1x12 cabs

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by bben, Aug 29, 2002.


  1. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    During the past year I have become a convert to the 1x12 bandwagon, mostly due to the enthusiasm shown by Ed Friedland. I have had a pair of Epifani T-112s for a while and just bought a Bergantino HT-112 and EX-112 pair.

    These speakers like a lot of power. I am using a Stewart World 1.2 in bridge mode, for either one cab or a pair. Before that I was using a bridged QSC PLX1602. The extra headroom of a high-powered amp really does open up the sound of these cabs. With this much power you can drive one of these cabs to ridiculous levels, to the point where the vents start to make farting noises. The Epifani puts out a bit more overall sound before it reaches this limit, but the distinction seems pretty academic, since this is no way to treat a speaker in actual use. I tried this briefly just out of curiosity.

    These are great speakers. The sound of 12” speakers works well for my fingerstyle playing – a bit punchier than 15s, a bit more solid than 10s. The review in Bass Player seems accurate to me. The Epifanis are punchy and clean, and put out a lot of sound in the lowest octave. The Bergantinos are very smooth, and the bottom octave is all there, but not as big and round as the Epifanis.

    Where I part company with the Bass Player editors is in their stated preference for using one of these cabs instead of a pair. I play acoustic folk and moderately loud rock and blues, and after trying it both ways I like the sound of a pair much better. Maybe it’s just my aging ears or my old rocker roots, but a pair fills a room in a different way than a single does, and I like it better. The idea that one driver is a more coherent source certainly has merit, but in some of the rooms I play in the room mode and boundary effects don’t seem to care much if the source is coherent or not. If I only had one 1x12, I would probably be happy using just one, but since the others are sitting there, it seems a shame not to use at least two. In my experience, one of these cabs can keep up with a moderately loud rock band, at least for practice, but two do it better. At the other end of the scale, for my uses two 1x12s is plenty, to the point where I haven’t even tried using them three or four together.

    Since I do tend to use them as a pair, lately I have been mostly using the Bergantinos. I like the tweeter and crossover in the Bergantinos a little better, and they are significantly smaller and lighter and easier to carry around. I can carry a Bergantino and something else in my other hand at the same time; for me, the Epifani is just enough larger and heavier to be a trip in itself. The Bergantinos fit in the trunk of my Honda Civic; the Epifanis have to go in the back seat.

    Bottom line: I would recommend either brand of these cabs wholeheartedly, but for me the pair of Bergantinos gets the nod.
     
  2. jobu3

    jobu3 Artist formerly known as Big Joe

    Feb 17, 2002
    Mountain Top, PA
    bben,
    do feel that one colors the sound more than the other? do you ever use any effects with them? overdrive in particular? i would like to go with a 3x10 and a 2x12 rig with probably the aguilar db750. i'm leaning more towards the bergantino cabs for this, but i don't want to rule anything out. i play with lots of overdrive for classic rock and want to know if they will handle it or sound too harsh like hifi cabs with midrange drivers i.e. acme and ea which sound like garbage when any distortion at all is present
     
  3. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I love my Bergantino 12" cab to death:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?s=&threadid=53710&highlight=Bergantino


    As regards the Epifani 12's, I A/B'd the Epi and Bergantino 12's when I bought the Bergantino, and the result was ugly...the Berg sounded just like my bass, while the Epi sounded like a boxy wet sock that had just stepped in dog doo. Keep in mind though, that I was primarily using an upright for this comparison. With a BG, they didn't sound as different, but the Berg still slaughtered the Epi, which always sounded somehow "dishonest" next to the Bergantino and the EA 112's. But hey, that's some pretty stiff competition, and to be fair, the Epifani stuff was priced way lower.
     
  4. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    FNA4, sorry, I don't use any effects, just a straight-wire-with-gain kind of guy.

    Chris, the Epifani is priced right up there with the EA and above the Bergantino, so I'm a bit confused by your post.
     
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Wow, that's odd. At Bass World here in town the Epi's were considerably lower priced than the Bergantinos on the day I did the testing. Perhaps one or more of them was used and I didn't know it? They all sure looked new... anyway, no matter. For DB at least, the Bergies SMOKED the Epi's to my ears. :)
     
  6. ThunderStik

    ThunderStik Guest

    Jun 25, 2001
    Claremore OK.
    The Berg's do like the power. I own an HT2-12 and this thing is a monster and to me its the best sounding cab i have ever heard. The 1-12's dont go as low as the 2-12 because of box dimensions and you can see this on the Berg site,they are also (bergs in general) less efficient than most cabs which is why they like the power. But the sound to me is thick and rich and I love it. I feel (in my 2-12) that there is a little coloration there but thats what I liked about it, it seems to have a little "oldschool" vibe" to it, these also seem to be the most articulate cabs around also so sound definition is great.
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    Great review Ben!
    i gotta "amen" for alot of what you said.

    as for coloration, i'd say the Bergie colors things more, only cause whatever i send thru the Berg, most of the tones still have that glassy sheen on my notes. must be that gorgeous tweeter. Aguilar, Eden, EA cabs all have a somewhat similar tone with only a few tweaks that keep their namesake. but, the Bergie really is in a tonal signature of its own, and nothing really sounds anything like it. but its a gorgeous tone.

    that said, the Epi does seem more airy, which makes it appear to sound more open and not quite as coloring. still, i wouldnt say its quite as "true" as my Acme B-2, due to the Epi's boosted higher highs, and slightly added low mid punch. also, compared to my Aggie GS112, my El's low B busts out like a hammer. tho not as cannon like, Aggie seems to have a bit more goin' on down there with that cool churny, molasses' thickness.

    btw, if you wanna really tell how coloring a cab is, try the good ol "direct listening" test. try running your bass & pre (set flat, of course) straight into a mixing desk (set flat as well). listen carefully. then play the same rig with your cab. the differences are quite interesting for some, and startling for others. i was doing this with my Acme B-2 the other night, and found the B-2 was very close. didnt try it yet with my other cabs, but i now know what my "flat, uncolored" tone is. give it a try. also helped me realize i should heighten my low B cause it boomed out too much. should help you understand and find that right cab for you.
     
  8. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    one difference ive noticed between my epi 210 and 410 is that the 210 has more pronounced high mids that make it sound more agressive than my older 410. i prefer the sound of the 410.

    ive been interested in trying out a pair of bergie 112's myself.
     
  9. i'm also in the market for a 112 (mostly for gigs i have to walk to :) and practising)
    i was looking at the berg, the eden, and ashdown, i think i'm gonna go with the eden, seems like a good ratio between weight, size and price (£385). i get to try it 2moro at bass centre, so maybe i'll review it! :)

    *Si*
     
  10. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hawaii
    The Bergie 1/12 HT has a more focused sound than my 3/10 or 2/12 Bergies! Lately I've been throwing the 1/12 on top of the 2/12....they sound great together!!!!
     
  11. bben

    bben

    Feb 28, 2002
    Santa Fe, NM
    ThunderStik, the interesting thing about the pair of
    Bergantino 112s is that despite how small they are, and despite them not being tuned as low as the 2x12, they really do a good job down to a low B, no problem. I was most pleasantly surprised by this.

    The Epifani 1x12s are almost exactly half an Epifani 2x12 (the original model, not the new diagonal one) in dimension, so a pair of them really gets the same big sound the Epifani 2x12 is famous for.

    Joker, funny you should mention listening to cabs as hi-fi loudspeakers. The digitally-powered subwoofer in my stereo ran out of digits and died earlier this week, and the small speakers I use with it sound mighty thin without it. I ordered a new subwoofer amp, and for a few days before it arrived used the Epifani T-112s as my stereo speakers. I have a NAD amp that has high current peaking capacity, and it drove them no problem.

    The sound was really very good, but not quite what I would call hi-fi. The treble was really terrific, quite a surprise for me, and the midrange, and the imaging was good, too, another surprise. Where they fell down was in quick-transient punch (bass drum and snare attack), and they were a bit "boomy" in the mid bass, and they lacked the deepest deep stuff.

    Sound reinforcement speakers don't usually sound very good as home hi-fi speakers, being designed to different paramaters, and bass cabs are usually even less hi-fi. But I must say the Epifanis sounded at least as good as any typical FOH sound sspeakers and better than most, and acquitted themselves very well.
     
  12. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    bben,
    I think you got those cabs from me...right? Rock City Guitars? Like I've said before, I LOVE these 1x12's!!!!!!!!! I have a one-off 6x10 that Bergie built for me and it NEVER gets used. Not because it's not amazing, but because I can get just as big a sound and not have as much to carry. I use a Woods Ultra(1200 watts) through 2 Bergie 1x12's and the sound and feeling is nothing short of incredible. Also, I'm not easy on these things! I play in a LOUD pop/rock band and compete with 2 Marshalls.
    GEEK
     
  13. narud

    narud Supporting Member

    Mar 15, 2001
    santa maria,california
    now thats the rig i want to try out.
     
  14. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Hey

    I too use a woods ultra with 2 berg 112's :) I bring them into a wide variety of musical situations and so far they've been the great. I can coax (sp?)a wide variety of tones out of them. the more I use them the more I appriciate them:D
    thanks Geek(happy customer)
    AJ
     
  15. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    woah, for my Epi friends, dem's fightin' words...

    but i gotta agree with the Berg shining like a beacon above. the tones are that heavenly.

    but admittedly, my HT112 doesnt hammer out low B tones like the Epi. My El sounded huge coming out of the Epi T112. the berg had a nice round articulation to it, but no where near the raw force or punch. then again, the Berg's cab is soo much smaller and lighter, i wouldnt expect it to have such. the Epi's 1x12 enclosure is much larger and almost the same size as the smaller 1x15 cab Nick does. :eek:
     
  16. fast slapper

    fast slapper

    Dec 11, 2001
    Fresno, CA

    What amps and basses did you use? What do you mean by boxy. Maybe not enough power? It's funny because I find the Bergantino to sound somehow "dishonest" next to the Epifani. But I wouldn't say one slaughtered the other because I find them to be both very good cabs.
     
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    The main bass was my upright, a carved Czech bass with a K&K Trinity mic and custom double Bass Max pickups. The BG (which admittedly, I used very little for the comparison as it's easier to EQ in the sound I want on a BG) was my Ken Smith BSR6P. Both were being run through an Alembic FX-1 pre and an Eden WT-1000 power amp.

    By "boxy" I mean the sound felt like there was a bump in the low mids which kept the sound all wadded up in the cab instead of letting it project forward, and a slight hollowness that left a hole in the sound (to my ears). I'm not trying to make anybody mad or give anybody's equipment a bad name, I'm just reporting what I felt at the time.

    I also heard both cabs used to amplify a Buscarino archtop guitar (the guitarist from my original group was there with me to check out cabs as well) and he felt the same way about the Bergantino/Epifani comparison...only he felt that the Epi sounded "bottom heavy" (his words). When he gets the bread together, he plans to buy a Bergantino. (He's gonna have the "all Italian" setup: Bergantino/Buscarino :D )

    But like I said, remember that this is all just the opinion of a couple of guys from KY with straw sticking out of their overalls. :)
     
  18. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    Chris,
    Just for the record......I've sold a bunch of Berg 1x12's to jazz guitarists! Have your friend try it with an Acoustic Image Clarus. That makes for a great, small, killer sounding rig! I think he'll find he likes the tweeter in the HT-112, because it's voiced so perfectly.
    GEEK
     
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    You must be psychic - I had my Clarus there to A/B it with the Eden WT1000, and the setup you decribe is exactly what he's planning to get. He wants the Clarus 2R, though. Good call!
     
  20. Rock City

    Rock City

    Apr 8, 2001
    Boston,Ma
    Chris,
    Keep in touch!!!!!!!!!!!