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Vanderkley are better than Barefaced cabs, right?!


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#1 Al Krow

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:48 PM

Two of the most highly regarded bass cab makers in the market. A lot of love from fellow BCers for both.

Love the design and power handling of the Vanderlkeys. http://www.vanderkle...abinets/210lnt/ The 210 LNT can handle 1200W (with a choice of either 4 or 8 ohms), 44 lbs

Love the lightweight nature of the BFs http://barefacedbass.../Super-Twin.htm A 212 at just 37 lbs (with the more attractive silver cloth grille) also handles 1200W

Both around £925 delivered.

I've got budget to get one or the other and would really appreciate a steer from you guys! Which one would you go for any why? If you had one and decided it wasn't for you that would also be really interesting to hear?
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#2 ahpook

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:49 PM

Fight !

#3 chris_b

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:53 PM

At this level of gear better doesn't exist.

These are some of the best cabs made. Your personal preference will be what decides you to pick one over the other.

I'd also add Bergantino to the list.
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#4 Treb

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 03:56 PM

When in doubt support your local economy.

If Vanderkley still made a 4x8" when I was cab shopping I would have bought that. Apparently his 4x8" never got past the prototype stage. He suggested me to buy a 4x10". I bought two Markbass 4x8"s...
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#5 Al Krow

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:00 PM

Couple more things, if I may guys!

In relation to the two cabs I've posted links about above, how do you find a 210 in terms of handling the lows on the Vanderkley, particularly a B string or octave down, compared to the 12" of the BF, or is this a non point?

The other point I wanted to raise was that I've come across some remarks elsewhere about not trusting the plywood construction of BF cabs. Have any of you found your BF to be either slightly fragile and / or been wary of damaging it? Does the wood used in the cab construction have any bearing on the quality of the sound a cab puts out or is that pretty much entirely down to the speakers, electronics and drivers? I had the following really helpful couple of responses to this on another thread (which was a bit off topic and a reason for me starting a fresh thread). These guys both clearly know a lot more than me about the subject and both agreed on the importance of good cab design but disagreed on the importance of the choice of woods for the cabs:

View Postbertbass, on 07 July 2017 - 10:48 AM, said:

The wood used in the construction of a cab is not important it's how much the cab vibrates. The energy used to make the cab vibrate is wasted energy, energy that should be used to make sound. 18mm ply has become the norm for cab construction because it's easy to make and you don't have to worry about bracing but you end up with a heavy cabinet. MDF is better from a vibration point of view but is even heavier and easily damaged and absorbs water quite well. A concrete cabinet would be perfect but not very practical.

If you can brace a cabinet well so that there is no vibration then you can have it all, a light cabinet made of thinner material that performs brilliantly. Bill Fitzmaurice and Alex at Barefaced have done just that and while personal preference in sound plays a large part in the decision on what to spend your money on, no one can disagree that their products are some of the best you can buy or make.

View Poststevie, on 07 July 2017 - 02:16 PM, said:

Yes, the wood makes a noticeable difference to the sound, as does the quality of construction and cabinet design. It's only part of the equation but quite an important one.

Let me give you a tip. Next time you test a bass cab, play an open E (doesn't have to be loud) and feel for panel vibrations with the palm of your hand. The back panel is likely to be the most telling, although it depends on the shape of the cab. If you can feel vibrations at a low volume, imagine how much that panel is going to be vibrating when there are 400 watts slamming into it.

Whenever I go to a Bass Bash, I spend 15 minutes or so testing cabs for vibration (I don't think anyone's spotted me doing this so far) and it's been quite illuminating.

You won't be able to feel any vibrations with a well designed cab and that translates into better dynamics, better transients, lower colouration and less "lumpiness" at volume.

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#6 chris_b

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:05 PM

As I said in those threads, if you think that BF cabs are fragile you haven't done your homework.

And bertbass is correct.
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#7 Bill Fitzmaurice

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 04:18 PM

View PostAl Krow, on 07 July 2017 - 03:48 PM, said:

Love the design and power handling of the Vanderlkeys. http://www.vanderkle...abinets/210lnt/ The 210 LNT can handle 1200W
Where it comes to low frequency output watts don't matter, driver displacement does. Vanderkley doesn't list it. Barefaced does for most of their lineup, but not for the newer cabs loaded with tens. Alex needs to attend to that.
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#8 Orbs

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:27 PM

I've not found my BF cabs to be in any way 'fragile', and they have been used extensively. As for which is better; that's like asking which is the best Bass Guitar, it's personal choice. I think they are both great cabs, and you'll be happy with whichever you plump for, ideally hear each first if you can. I think BF still allow a months free trial, not sure if Vanderkley do, so that might be a good option for you to consider before pulling the trigger. Good luck with your choice......

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 05:49 PM

I have three BF cabs.
All outstanding and designed and built in the UK by a bassist that I can go and see or phone for advice at any time.
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#10 Al Krow

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Posted 07 July 2017 - 09:33 PM

View Postchris_b, on 07 July 2017 - 03:53 PM, said:

I'd also add Bergantino to the list.

The major concern I have with Bergs is their weight. The "equivalent" and comparably priced 1000W handling Berg HD212 comes in at a back-breaking 79lbs which is approximately DOUBLE the weight of the Vanderkley and Barefaced cabs I'm thinking about.
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Posted 07 July 2017 - 09:58 PM

Having had Barefaced cabs - a good few at that - they are far from fragile, more than happy to sit in a boot/van/load-space and rattle around. I always have Roqsolid covers for my cabs of course, but BFs are much harder than they look - maybe the Clark Kent of bass cabs?

I`ve not used Vandrkleys but the regular non-retro range of BF are very clean/flat sounding, no colouration so really let your bass and amp shine through, what you put in is what comes out. It`s a bit off-putting the first time you plug into one, as you really hear how much other brands colour the sound with added lows/reduced highs. But that`s praise, not criticism I might add.
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Posted 07 July 2017 - 11:06 PM

View PostAl Krow, on 07 July 2017 - 09:33 PM, said:

The major concern I have with Bergs is their weight. The "equivalent" and comparably priced 1000W handling Berg HD212 comes in at a back-breaking 79lbs which is approximately DOUBLE the weight of the Vanderkley and Barefaced cabs I'm thinking about.

The Berg equivalent isn't the HD212 - that has ceramic speakers which are much heavier. The others are Neo's and thats where a large part of the weight in the cab is. The Berg HDN212 is the Neo equivalent and weighs 48lbs. Its also made of lighter weight ply than the HD series which is Baltic birch.

Edited by Mudpup, 07 July 2017 - 11:07 PM.

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#13 Phil Starr

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:20 AM

For once I'm going to restrain myself from another over long technical explanation and say 'Al stop worrying'.

Yes the type of wood matters and so does the construction method, but can you order one of these cabs built out of the other's wood? Both claim rather over enthusiastic power handling if you take into account all frequencies and expect them to handle continuous power but both will probably handle all you throw at them in practice. Power handling is largely down to voice coil diameter for the upper frequencies and excursion for the lower ones as BFM hinted.

Anyway the designs have been finished and the speakers made, you can't change anything but you know both are quality products which you'll be proud of. All you need to do is decide which sounds best to you. Go and spend some time with each. It's like test driving a car, you've done your research, narrowed your choice down and now it's time to sit in the drivers seat and find out if the designs suit your needs. The design features are all interesting but you'd never buy a car without a test drive and neither should you spend that much on a cab. Enjoy your day in Brighton and make sure you check out the opposition :)

#14 Steve Browning

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:54 AM

I recently witnesed a a/b between the Berg and the Vanderkley. Both sounded great but I have also heard the Berg at a decent number of gigs (a good mate has one). It's an awesome cab. The Vanderkley was pretty close in sound (but it was a nice red colour!!).

Is there any reason you seem to favour a 2x10 Vanderkley and a 2x12 BF or is that just a 'for instance' thing?
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:06 AM

I have two Barefaced cabs, the deciding factor for me would be the fact that you can discuss the cab you want with the designer very easily, they are just down the road in Sussex. The other make I have never tried, have no idea where they are from, in fact I know nothing about them, but they would have to very very good to be any better than Barefaced. I have the first production Super Twin, so it is getting on for 4 years old now, been gigged many times in those years, still looks like new, still sounds incredible.
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#16 Steve Browning

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:21 AM

True enough (another Cartoon Hero, I see - Rob is one talented chap isn't he?).

With which designer did you discuss any of the other items in your signature? I'm not knocking BF (although it looks like it) but the designer is also the principal salesman. I suspect that the OP is after opinions which are more 'independent'.

I did use two BF Compacts for a while but found I preferred the Boogie 1x15s. Another chum has two BF 1x12s and they are great sounding cabs too.

What about a trip to Bass Direct? Could be that all those choices are there, under one roof and the owner there has a reputation for blunt assessment.
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#17 warwickhunt

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:31 AM

I'm interested in the OPs decision making process for getting to his shortlist of cabs: VK 2x10 & BF 2x12

Is it weight and cost?

I only ask as you could equally add some 1x15 cabs into the mix from other manufacturers. The tone of the cab isn't strictly linked to the speaker diameter so you have a much broader range of options. Why exclude TKS, Berg, etc in favour of BF VK... simply interested in your process for shortlisting? :D
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:34 AM

I've been very happy with both Vanderklay and Barefaced cabs. I'm currently on Vanderklay as that was what was available at the time in the second hand market. But both brands offer excellent cabs. I'm sure you'll be happy with either.

The differences that I would note and consider would be slight weight difference (which gives a different structural feel to them), handle design, carpet vs painted finish, and aesthetics regarding grill, cloth, red or black.

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:51 AM

 chris_b, on 07 July 2017 - 03:53 PM, said:

At this level of gear better doesn't exist.

EAD 212 :)
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:06 AM

 GreeneKing, on 08 July 2017 - 07:51 AM, said:

EAD 212 :)

I watched the thread when these cabs were designed I'm sure they are excellent pieces of kit.

Unfortunately this cab will never make most people's short lists because there aren't enough of them around to get noticed.
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:10 AM

 Steve Browning, on 08 July 2017 - 07:21 AM, said:

True enough (another Cartoon Hero, I see - Rob is one talented chap isn't he?).

Ah, Steve from Portsmouth, I saw you play with CH at Radstock near Faringdon maybe two years ago?? I came over the to the festival just to see Rob & the guys, as we weren't playing until later in the evening. Great band, but only managed one gig with them so far this year.

 Steve Browning, on 08 July 2017 - 07:21 AM, said:

With which designer did you discuss any of the other items in your signature? I'm not knocking BF (although it looks like it) but the designer is also the principal salesman. I suspect that the OP is after opinions which are more 'independent'.

None before purchase, but it is certainly worth getting Alex's opinion before deciding which cab to buy. I have had several discussions with the good people at Ashdown about various things to do with my expanding collection of their amplifiers as well, though. Also very rapid replies from Smooth Hound and Hiscox cases when I have needed advice or assistance. On the other hand, a question to Fender about pick ups was answered, but it took over about two weeks. Must have been surface email and not air email.
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 08:57 AM

If anyone wants to send me a range of Vanderkley 12" speaker cabinets I'll be able to offer my thoughts verses Berg HDN112, HDN212, HD112 (x2), Barefaced Big Twin II, Barefaced Big Baby II, Aguilar GS112, Aguilar SL112, Hartke 112 (x2), Dr Bass (lol), EBS Classic 112 (x2) Trickfish 112, Laney 112, TC Electronic K-Cabs 212... and probably a few more off the top of my head too.

I've owned most of these but some I have reviewed.


#23 Al Krow

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 09:50 AM

Hi guys - thanks for all your various responses to date. Responding to a couple of your points:

 Mudpup, on 07 July 2017 - 11:06 PM, said:

The Berg equivalent isn't the HD212 - that has ceramic speakers which are much heavier. The others are Neo's and thats where a large part of the weight in the cab is. The Berg HDN212 is the Neo equivalent and weighs 48lbs. Its also made of lighter weight ply than the HD series which is Baltic birch.

Yup fair point. The Berg HDN212 is however +30% on cost (£1,200 new) and - 30% on power handling (700W RMS), as well as being circa 10% to 20% heavier. So kinda still feels like that it doesn't square up to the VK or BF cabs? I know from our chat elsewhere you've just managed to get hold of a Berg 210 for a very decent price second hand from a fellow BCer and it will be interesting to see how that stacks up against your BF cabs? The Berg 210 is decently lightweight, but I felt it compromised with a relatively low 400W RMS handling capability - so it will be great to get your feedback on how they stack up.

 warwickhunt, on 08 July 2017 - 07:31 AM, said:

I'm interested in the OPs decision making process for getting to his shortlist of cabs: VK 2x10 & BF 2x12

Is it weight and cost?

I only ask as you could equally add some 1x15 cabs into the mix from other manufacturers. The tone of the cab isn't strictly linked to the speaker diameter so you have a much broader range of options. Why exclude TKS, Berg, etc in favour of BF VK... simply interested in your process for shortlisting? :D

I'd say I had four criteria in mind:
- great sound
- portability (= weight). Like a number of us on this forum, I have an ok but not a great back and whilst I can comfortably manage my MB combo at 36 lbs, I probably wouldn't want to go too much heavier, otherwise I'm going to be reluctant to load it up for rehearsals / gigs which kinda defeats the point of having it!
- power handling. I guess ideally above 800W so that I have a "one stop shop" cab solution which won't be restrictive on my choice of amp head and should be able to handle most live performance situations
- price, ideally less than £1K

I've tended to rule out 15" cabs, as I've found them generally to be a little less articulate than a 12" across the mids and uppers. My concern about 10" speakers is whether they can really handle the lows (on a 5 string or an octave down). I know folks sometimes say that speaker diameter is not a big issue these days, but I'm not entirely convinced, purely from the physics of sound waves, but I'm sure Bill FM will be able to correct me if I have that wrong!

The VK and BF cabs I've listed seem to tick all these four boxes, But if there are other cabs out there that meet the criteria (I think the Bergs don't quite cut it on the last 3 out of the 4 criteria I've listed) then I'm certainly open to suggestions.

Edited by Al Krow, 08 July 2017 - 09:59 AM.

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 04:59 PM

 GreeneKing, on 08 July 2017 - 07:51 AM, said:

EAD 212 :)


Pfft, overpriced Dr Bass clones. :P

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 06:51 PM

 Al Krow, on 08 July 2017 - 09:50 AM, said:

I know folks sometimes say that speaker diameter is not a big issue these days, but I'm not entirely convinced, purely from the physics of sound waves, but I'm sure Bill FM will be able to correct me if I have that wrong!
It's never been a big issue compared to all of the driver specs that do matter.The problem lies in getting sufficient accurate data to make an informed choice when the ability to try a number of cabs side by side doesn't exist.
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Posted 08 July 2017 - 07:41 PM

 Bill Fitzmaurice, on 07 July 2017 - 04:18 PM, said:

Where it comes to low frequency output watts don't matter, driver displacement does. Vanderkley doesn't list it. Barefaced does for most of their lineup, but not for the newer cabs loaded with tens. Alex needs to attend to that.
The new 10s are designated 10cr250. I think the 250 refers to the displacement in cc. I thought I'd read that on his website but couldn't see it after a very brief squizz.
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#27 Bill Fitzmaurice

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 10:26 PM

 MoonBassAlpha, on 08 July 2017 - 07:41 PM, said:

I think the 250 refers to the displacement in cc.
I didn't see that, could be. In comparison the Beta 10 that Orange uses in their 410 is 102cc, the Deltalite II 2510 that many manufacturers use is 147cc. 250cc is better than many twelves.
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#28 Al Krow

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Posted 08 July 2017 - 11:04 PM

 Bill Fitzmaurice, on 08 July 2017 - 10:26 PM, said:

I didn't see that, could be. In comparison the Beta 10 that Orange uses in their 410 is 102cc, the Deltalite II 2510 that many manufacturers use is 147cc. 250cc is better than many twelves.

Hi Bill, I'm going to need to ask you to unpack the whole driver displacement / displacement cc for me please, and what is considered good and not so good and how the Vanderkleys stack up against BFs in this regard? Please feel free to go into as much detail as you feel necessary for someone who is a complete novice on this point! I'm sure a number of my fellow BC'ers will definitely also appreciate a better understanding of this point too.
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#29 mcnach

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:07 AM

You might find some TKS cabs of your liking too. Tommy is also very approachable and can tell you a lot about his cabs, etc. I only have experience of their S112 and the much more powerful 1126, and in both cases I have been very impressed at the quality. The range of finishes is also pretty impressive, which you might like perhaps...

I havent heard that VdK cab. But the Big Twin seems similar to a couple of BigBaby2, which I did own. Personally I prefer my current solution which is a pair of BF Two10. It's a bit more expensive than a BigTwin, but I love their portability and they sound fantastic. I ignored them for some time assuming they had a 'vintage' dark retro type of sound, but they aren't at all.

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#30 Bill Fitzmaurice

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Posted 09 July 2017 - 12:35 AM

 Al Krow, on 08 July 2017 - 11:04 PM, said:

Hi Bill, I'm going to need to ask you to unpack the whole driver displacement / displacement cc for me please
It's simple, displacement is the cone area (Sd) multiplied by the linear excursion limit (Xmax). It's just like a car engine bore and stroke, the sum total of which for all the cylinders is the engine displacement, for instance 2000cc. Just like with a car engine the higher the driver displacement the higher the potential output.

Quote

what is considered good and not so good and how the Vanderkleys stack up against BFs in this regard?
BF posts the displacement for most of their products, and it's pretty much as good as it gets. Vanderkley, and every other manufacturer that I'm aware of, doesn't post it, though if you know what drivers they use you can figure it out, as the driver manufacturers post it.
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