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Video Review 1x12 cabs: Fender Rumble 112 vs. Aguilar SL 112

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by johnny_bolt, May 17, 2017.

  1. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    I was lucky enough to have both of these at the same time, and could A/B test them. The $730 SL 112 vs. the $300 Rumble 112. I made sure to keep settings the same between cabs. I also tested each cab in the same spot in the room by moving them back and forth. I tested with a fretless Precision bass and an Engelhart upright with K&K pickups.

    My goal was to return one, and buy a second of the other. Very interesting results. The first 45 seconds really makes the difference clear:

    I returned the SL 112. (!!) EDIT: Guitar Center has re-listed it for the same discounted price I paid – used, mint condition. And it was not about price. Price only entered the picture after realizing that they're both such good cabs, how tough to decide, it made sense to go with the one that's less than half the cost of the other. I have to admit, my friends and I like the tone of the Rumble better:

    The Rumble gave me my bass's full tone. Whereas the Aguilar sounded scooped in comparison. Secondly, the Aguilar sounded more gritty, but not in a good way. The Fender sounded more musical. This is probably the "tone coloring" that other reviewers allude to.

    My theory: the perceived better sound is due to the crossover and tweeter in the Rumble. I have no idea what they are though, versus the Aguilar.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  2. shawshank72


    Mar 22, 2009
    I agree the Rumble is far superior to my ears as well.
    Thanks so much for this, answered a lot questions.
    Rattman, johnny_bolt and Linnin like this.
  3. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    Great demonstration of the tone/value equation of the Rumbles...especially for all those boutique naysayers. At over twice the cost, i would expect the Aguilar to sound twice as good or at least "better". To me the Rumble sounded punchier and more clear and given the radical price difference...a clear winner.
    johnny_bolt and Linnin like this.
  4. The Fender Rumble has far more definition over a wider range than the much more expensive Aguilar. Thanks for the video! :thumbsup:
    Rattman and johnny_bolt like this.
  5. Bingo-Zingo Baby! Couldn't have said it better.
  6. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    The Aguilar does shine in the portability. It feels like I'm carrying a small bag of groceries. The Fender, on the other hand, lets you know it's a bass cab — albeit a very light one. The Aguilar IMO has a classier, more expensive appearance. Although, the Fender front fabric sparkles when the light catches it — very showbiz! — which I like.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
    Brio likes this.
  7. FirewalZ


    Aug 14, 2014
    S.E. Michigan
    True...but for the price difference you can get x2 112's with spare change for a Rumble head, cab covers or whatever.
  8. Stevorebob

    Stevorebob Well... I Am Here, Aren't I? Supporting Member

    Sep 29, 2011
    Los Angeles
    Thanks for the video. Illuminating results. The Fender is impressive. (I still hate the brand name Rumble, because that's the last thing I want my bass cabs and amps to do.)
    basslust and johnny_bolt like this.
  9. Very nice demo. Thanks for going to the trouble to do that.
    johnny_bolt likes this.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Expensive is not always better. Gear snobs will disagree of course. Fender makes very nice amps and cabs at an affordable price.

    Now if they would just make those cabs with metal grills.........................
  11. qwench

    qwench Supporting Member

    Mar 30, 2006
    Saskatchewan CANADA
    Thanks for this...I just returned a pair of Ampeg pf-112hlf cabs and was thinking about BOTH of these options...the Fender Rumble v3 112 seem to be the winner from ye ole value perspective but I was liking the Aguilar SL112 sound better after a headphone listen? Not twice as good as someone mentioned, for certain...so....I still have a decision to make but my ears seemed to prefer the SL's (unlike all the other comments thus far)??

    Regardless...appreciate the time and effort on putting this together!!!
  12. I like Aguilar amps, but I feel like their cabinets "color" the timbre more than other cabinets.
    that being said, they make G-K amps sound fine in overdrive & on any other cabinet I can't stand the sound of G-K overdrive
    PDGood likes this.
  13. n1as


    Mar 29, 2013
    Cell phone video / audio. Ugh. Not sure I can conclude much from the video so thanks for the description.

    Years ago I had a Peavey 210 (considered hot-stuff at the time). The cab had a very mid-scooped sound. I bypassed the crossover on the woofer side and the whole thing opened up and began to speak. Much better. I suspect the Aguilar may be following the same basic formula.
    Rattman likes this.
  14. That was a lot of patient work, Johnny. Thanks much for putting in those hours of selecting cabs, setting up for A/B comparison playing, recording it all, and finally returning the cab to the store. You made it fun and interesting for the rest of us by the sweat of your labor. Good work.. Many will benefit from this.
    . .
    PDGood, DukeCC and johnny_bolt like this.
  15. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    It's a real funny thing. I was totally loving the SL 112 sound, especially because I love the low subsonic thumps. The cab is rated down to 37 Hz I believe (For whatever that's worth). And I've never been the type of bassist to prefer a more 'vintage' sound and more mids. Until now I guess! Maybe I'm just getting more mature, or the tone of my basses just comes through on the Rumble.

    You can listen to the first 30 seconds or so of my video and hear the essential differences between the two.

    Another thing about the two cabs: I had the tweeter as high as it would go on both. (A knob on the SL-112, and the "full" setting on the Rumble.) The SL 112 had an audible hiss, and kind of an annoying clanking sound almost. The Rumble, though, sounded perfect. Even though its manual says that the -6 dB setting is the "normal" position.
  16. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    Hey, you're welcome! I think I'm a wanna-be scientist, trying to make this as controlled of a test as possible.

    And I know how hard it is to find two cabs like these side-by-side in a store. I first ordered the Rumble from Zzounds. It was $270 as an open-box discount. Then, just after they shipped it, The SL-112 showed up used, in mint condition, in the GC down the street for $520. So I ran out and bought it. I returned it last night and they've got it listed again at the same price. A real deal, IMO, if you like the tone. And/or you want the absolute lightest bass cab.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
    Rattman likes this.
  17. You do have the right mindset for that for sure. I saw the true 'Scientific Method' being applied right there in place! I'm secretly glad you went with the Fender Rumble. It just sounded better all the way around.
    . .
  18. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    Heh. I was about to comment that through this whole session, I'm most impressed with my iPhone 6s+'s microphone. It picked up real bass tone, even at a high volume. The first 45 seconds definitely capture the difference between the two cabs. The Aguilar actually does sound a little muffled and indistinct. It's not the mic. Listen through good monitors or headphones.
    Last edited: May 17, 2017
  19. johnny_bolt

    johnny_bolt Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2017
    Las Vegas
    Thanks! The last real improvement I want to learn how to do, is record the riff uneffected and then loop it — so that there's no difference in my own playing. That'd control for me subconciously changing my technique based on my expectations.

    I saw one Youtube reviewer who does that, but forget who.
    Rattman likes this.
  20. MDBass

    MDBass Supporting Member

    Nov 7, 2012
    Los Angeles, CA
    Endorsing Artist: Dingwall-Fender-Jule-Dunlop-Tech 21-Darkglass-Nordstrand
    I was curious about that.

    It would have been interesting to hear how the cabs sounded with the attenuaters at noon and/or completely off; a lot of cats don't use tweeters at all, and even the one's who do never turn them ALL the way up ;)

    The top end on the Rumble has a weird wah effect happening every now and again, maybe the mic on the camera compressing or something.

    Good comparison though, the Rumble line is definitely a great value.