Bowlus Bass Blog

All things bass (electric, acoustic, and upright) related.

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Location: Fremont, Ohio, United States

I am an attorney by day, but that's really just my "backup gig" in case this whole "musician thing" doesn't work out. ;^) I was been blessed with the opportunity to write freelance reviews for Guitar World's Bass Guitar Magazine, and I contributed regularly from the Spring of 2006 up until Bass Guitar Magazine's demise. This was, in itself, a dream come true, and an opportunity for which I am truly grateful. But this was a stepping stone to bigger and better things, and I am now the Editor-in-Chief of Bass Gear Magazine ( Our first issue came out in August of 2008, and we are now the leading bass review magazine, worldwide. Of course, on the topic of my true blessings, I have a wife and two kids, all of whom I greatly adore, so my time for music/bass/songwriting/performing, and yes, even the occasional practicing, is not infinite. Nevertheless, I really enjoy my time spent playing bass, writing and recording songs, and just getting to "play" with all that great gear! This blog is a result of these external interests...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

1x10/1x8 Shootout

Well, I've been through the 2x10's, and now we're looking and those cute little 1x10's and 1x8's! Are they useful for anything other than as a paper weight? Can you make them jump off the floor when you slap a low B? Let's find out!

Here is the rundown on the competition (in alphabetical order):

Accugroove Tri 110 (250w, 8 ohm, 43 Hz to 18 kHz, 100 db, 42 lbs, 21.75" x 15.25" x 16.25")

Acme Low B-1 (175w, 8 ohm, 41 Hz to 22 kHz, 90 db, 31 lbs, 15.75" x 15.75" x 13")

EA CxL-110 (350w, 8 ohm, 48 Hz to 14 kHz, 103 db, 29 lbs, 13.5" x 14.75" x 12.5")

EA VL-108
(200w, 8 ohm, 58 Hz to 15 kHz, 95 db, 27 lbs, 13.5" x 14.5" x 10.5")

EA VL-110 (250w, 8 ohm, 41 Hz to 15 kHz, 95 db, 37 lbs, 13.75" x 17.5" x 14.5")

Epifani T-110UL
(250w, 8 ohm, 45 Hz to 16 kHz, 99 db, 23 lbs, 13.75" x 17" x 12.5")

Hevos Midget
(400w, 4 ohm, 40 Hz to 20 kHz, 97, 14 kg)

Low Down Sound 3-way 1x8 (250w, 8 ohm, 14" x 14" x 14")

Raezer's Edge Bass 10 (200w, 8 ohm, 50 Hz to 5 kHz, 98 db, 30 lbs, 17" x 14" x 11")

And the required group photos. This first shot is more or less straight on, and tries to show the relative proportions of the cabs (but I had to go without flash to avoid glare):

This shot was taken with flash, and does a better job of showing the driver configurations (and the nice blue baffle board on the LDS cab!), but since it is taken on an angle, it makes the LDS 1x8 look bigger than it is, and the Tri 110 look smaller than it is:

As with my 2x10 shootout, I have positive feelings towards each of these cabs (which is why I bought them in the first place!), so my comments in general will tend to be positive for each cab. Plus, I'm a "glass is half full" kind of guy. So, please bear with me!

The “testing equipment” again included my Skjold Custom 5 (which is the instrument that I am the most familiar with right now, and a very clear, yet full-sounding, instrument), into a line driver (with variable high pass filter, which was turned all the way off for these tests) built by Jim Bergantino, into a Crest CA9 (not bridged! ).

No guessing games this time! Here were my impressions (again, in alphabetical order):

Accugroove Tri 110
- I should point out that this is not the current offering (which is the Tri 110L). The "L" is both lighter, and is rated at 300w. I had asked Mark about "upgrading" to the neo 10" driver, but he felt that there wasn't much to be gained, so I stuck with the ceramic driver. This cab sounds very quick, with lots of upper midrange presence, though the highs themselves are not as brilliant and bright as on some of the other cabs (if you've heard Accugroove's smooth silk dome tweeters, you know what I am talking about). It has a definite "bark" and strong attack to each note, but it does not go as deep or sound as full as many of the others. Fast, quick transients are more its forte than is thick fundamental. For that reason, I find it to be a great companion cab to the Tri 210L.

Acme Low B-1 - This cab was not as loud as the others, and it's no surprise that Acme cabs are not very efficient. They do go quite deep, though, and the Low B-1 does not disappoint. However, its low end was not as forceful and full as that of the VL-110. The high end is very smooth, yet plenty clear. It also has a strong upper midrange presence (with its "emphasis" being voiced a tad bit lower than that of the Tri 110), and by comparison, it actually makes the Epifani sound somewhat mid scooped. On the whole, its low end was not as full as the VL-110, nor was its high end as bright as the EA's (and other cabs').

EA CxL-110 - Compared to its predecessor, the VL-110, the CxL-110 has more upper mids and high end, but is not as strong down low. It is still a fairly full, slightly dark sounding (but less so than the VL) cab, and has many similarities to the VL-110. I didn't feel that it sounded quite as smooth as the VL, either. But again, its overall clarity surpasses that of the VL-110.

EA VL-108
- This cab did not have the super brightness of the T-110UL, but otherwise had a similar amount of high end clarity and content. It was not as full sounding in the lows as the Epifani, but seemed more present throughout the mids (and also made the Epi sound slightly scooped by comparison). It sounds more smooth, and a tad darker, than the LDS 1x8. While not as big on the low end as the larger 1x10's, this diminutive 1x8 does present an amazingly full, solid sound.

EA VL-110 - This has been my "gold standard" when it comes to 1x10's for some time, but after this shootout, I think it needs to share that stage with the Epifani. The VL-110 sounds full, slightly round, and slightly dark. I think of it as offering "smooth clarity." It is definitely a cab that takes well to being driven hard (where I tend to prefer it to the Epifani), but at lower volumes, it can sound a bit too reticent, and slightly congested (which is where I tend to prefer the Epifani). Still, and all around excellent performer, in my book.

Epifani T-110UL - As mentioned, I believe this to be the same cab currently offered as the "UL110" (the "T-110UL" nomenclature was used back before the "NYC" label started to be used for the ceramic driver based cabs). This cabs sounds kind of like a cross between the Hevos Midget and the VL-110. It has nicely balanced mids (despite the fact that by comparison, some cabs made it sound slightly scooped; this is more of a "midrange push" from the other cabs, IMHO), and its low end is similar to the Midget's low end at lower volume (the Midget did better handling higher volumes). The Epifani tweeter is really open and airy, with a sweet woodiness to them. They tend to float on top of your sound, and are really somewhat unique, IME. Only the Hevos was more bright/brilliant on the high end, but the Epi was more smooth sounding. In fact, the general sound of the T-110UL is fairly smooth, though without any of the "darkness" I associated with the VL-110. Its low end is fairly full, though not as forceful on the low B as with the VL-110. As mentioned previously, the Epi really shines at lower to mid volumes, but when you push it pretty hard, the lows first start to roll off (relative to the mids and highs), and if you keep pushing, the low end can get rather ugly and out of control. But this is really loud stuff, and up to this point, it's a top notch 1x10. If you need to really slam a 1x10, then the Hevos or VL-110 are the top choices.

Hevos Midget - The low end is of similar depth, but not as full or big, as that of the VL-110. The midrange it tight and crisp, though definitely somewhat scooped sounding. This cab is super tight (including on the low B), and has exceptional clarity which really projects. It can be driven quite hard and still maintain its composure. This was the only 4 ohm cab of the group.

Low Down Sound 3-way 1x8 - This little 14" cube seems to go deeper than the VL-108, but is not as full sounding. You can definitely hear some port "chuffing" on the B string, but I didn't hear any from E on up. It has super clear mids which are very reminiscent of the VL-108. In fact, it sounds more clear than the EA 1x8 at lower volumes, but as you turn it up, you reach a point where this trend reverses, and the VL-108 becomes more clear. The VL-108 definitely takes to a low B better, and sounds more balanced on the whole than the LDS cab. Low to mid volume clarity is definitely the strong point of this LDS beauty.

Raezer's Edge Bass 10 - First off, let me just take a minute to say that Rich Raezer was a heck of a nice guy to work with, and he will be sorely missed. He builds some killer cabs, too, and is probably best known in the acoustic/folk realm. The Bass 10 is a tweeterless design, and you definitely hear this. The lack of a tweeter actually makes it sound a bit veiled up top, but you do get used to this. The lows are not quite as deep as, say the Acme, but they are as full as any of the 1x10's, and also incorporates some of the Tri 110's bite. The mids are warm and full, but not muddy, and similar overall to those of the VL-110, but with even more midrange push, more warmth, and slightly less clarity than the EA. You can't help but think of a P-bass with flats when playing through this cab! It has it's own vibe, but if this is your sound, the Bass 10 is very compelling.


Blogger Pat McDaniel said...

I am looking for an accugroove 110, acme low b1, ea 3way with a 10 inch. Anything anywhere??? Lol..

11:07 PM  

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