BAREFACED SUPER COMPACT 12 CABINET PRiCE £ 5 4 9
_ _ _ _ _ _ GEAR
B
areface d w a s sta rted
in 2 0 0 8 by A le x Claber.
You m ay re m e m b er
A le x fro m his
BGM
co lu m n 'B u t th is
G o e s To Ele ven ?':
h e's p a ssio n a te ab o u t b a ss
ca b in e t d e sig n , and w ith three
g e n e ra tio n s o f d e velo p m e n t
s in c e the sta rt o f the co m p an y,
th e se S u p e r C o m p a ct 12 ca b s
re p re se n t the real cutting
e d g e of co m p a ct b a ss cab and
sp e a k e r d e sig n .
BUILD QUALITY AND
FEATURES
D e sp ite the traditional lo o ks,
the co n stru ctio n of the C o m p a ct
12 is b a sed so u n d ly on sc ie n c e
and the latest a co u stic d e sig n
p rin cip les. All b a ss ca b s are built
to be rigid: th ey need to be,
but m o st m an u fa ctu rers try to
ach ie ve th is by u sin g th ick and
d e n se plyw oo d to co n stru ct a
sim p le six-sid e d bo x to put the
sp e a ke r in. S o m e add an internal
'fron t to b ack' brace or tw o. Th is
o b vio u sly w o rk s to a d e g re e
and it's an in e xp e n siv e w ay
to build th em , but it can have
the un fo rtunate sid e e ffe ct of
m akin g the cab e xtre m e ly h eavy
and reson ant.
Th e B are face d Su p e r
C o m p a ct 12, like all B arefaced
TECHNICAL SPECIFICATION
PRICE
I £549
SPEAKER
I 1x12” Custom Eminence
w ith Neodymium magnet
CONNECTIONS
| 2 x A Jack/N eutrik
(parallel)
POWER
I 150-600W RMS
FREQUENCY RESPONSE
I 37Hz to
4kHz
IMPEDANCE
I 8 ohms
DIMENSIONS
I (HxWxD) 560 x 440 x
300mm
WEIGHT
I 11kg / 23.5lbs
EXTRAS
Fitted cover and silver grille
cloth available at extra cost
WHAT WE THINK
PLUS
I Huge low-end punch, lightw eight
and a great price. Two of these cabs
w ill make a portable rig that w ill handle
most gigs
MINUS
I Nothing
OVERALL
I British-made and designed
and quite possibly the best compact and
lightw eight bass cabs available today.
If used w ith a decent amp, a single cab
should be more than adequate for most
small gigs or rehearsals
BGM R
a t i n g
BUILD QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
VALUE
c a b s, u se s relatively thin 9m m d u a l-d en sity ply, but it's co n stru cte d
around a co m p le x internal stru ctu re o f in terlo ckin g p a n e ls, w h ich not
o nly m a ke s the w h o le thing in cre d ib ly rigid, but a lm o st un b elievab ly
light. T h e internal b ra cin g p a n e ls su p p o rt the e xtern al s id e s o f the
ca b in su ch a w a y that there are no equal le n g th s of u n su p p o rted
ca b w all, m in im isin g re so n a n ce . It's all cleve r stu ff, and if you w an t
to kn o w m ore (m u ch, m uch m ore) ab o u t the th in kin g behind the
co n stru ctio n o f th e se c a b s, the B a re fa ce d w e b site h a s to n s of
ad ditio nal inform atio n.
T h e sin g le 12" driver is pretty sp e c ia l too. It's an E m in e n ce unit,
cu sto m -m a d e for B are face d , but w ith an in ge n io u s tw ist to the
original d e sig n . Th e sm all ce n tre d u st cap is attached to the central
tube that the v o ice coil is form ed around, rather than g lu e d to the
sp e a k e r co n e as usual. T h is little detail m a ke s a big d iffe re n ce in
that the d u st ca p itse lf ca n vib rate in d e p e n d en tly fro m the re st o f
the sp eaker, pro d u cin g fre q u e n cie s h igh er than the sp e a ke r co n e
they
seem
particularly
well
suited
to
rock
and
soul
GIGS;
THE KIND O
f
JOB WHERE YOU MIGHT
WANT TO
USE AN OLD-SCHOOL
PRECISION OR JA
zz
, AS THE NATURAL
TONE SEEMS TO
SUIT THIS KIND OF
SOUND PERFECTLY. IMPRESSivE”
co u ld alone. A n extra bo n u s is the im pro ved m id ra n ge d isp e rsio n and
a co oler-run ning v o ice co il, ad d in g to the e fficie n cy of the speaker.
It's an idea that w a s u se d on early Lo w th e r sp e a k e rs and so m e A T C
m o n ito rs, but as far as w e kn o w th is is the first tim e it's been used
for a d e d icate d b a ss driver.
S o , a ca b in et m ade in -h o u se from b e st q u ality m aterials and a
c u sto m lig h tw e ig h t and e fficien t n e o d ym iu m b a ss driver - th is is
sh a p in g up w ell. H o w ab out the fin ish ? Th e go od n e w s here is that
it's sm art, du rable and lo o ks great. It's a hard, sp ra yed -o n , textured
co atin g sim ila r to that so m e tim e s se e n on pro PA sp e a k e rs. Th e
ch ro m e co rn e rs are a nice retro touch and if you prefer even m ore
o f a v in ta g e look, for a bit extra you can sp e c ify a silve r grille cloth
rather than the b lack steel versio n that c o m e s a s standard.
Th e S u p e r C o m p a ct 12s are rated at eigh t o h m s, and on the
sm all back panel there are tw o d u al-p u rp o se Sp e ako n /ja ck so ck e ts,
m e an in g you can link tw o ca b s to ge th e r for a m ore pow erful rig.
SOUNDS
It w a s o b vio u s that th e se ca b s w ou ld need m ore than ju st a hom e
te st in the stu d io , so I to o k th em off to w o rk and u se d th em on a
go o d cro ss-se c tio n of g ig s in clu d in g a big sta g e se t for a festiva l, a
sm all co n ce rt theatre g ig a s part of a co m p a ct d o u b le b a ss rig and
fin ally into the stu d io for a reco rd in g s e ss io n . B efo re any of that
th o u gh , th ey w e re given a thorou gh g o in g-o ve r to s e e h o w they
so u n d e d in a q u ie t environ m en t.
H o o kin g th em up to a M a rk b a ss Tube 8 0 0 ga ve a so lid , m u scu lar
so u n d w ith an in cre d ib ly detailed m id ran ge. A lth o u gh the ca b in et has
n o H F driver, you ce rta in ly do n 't m is s the high fre q u e n c ie s at th e se
low er v o lu m e s, and overall I'd d e scrib e the so u n d as fo cu se d and
w arm . T h ere's a slig h t ch a n g e as you stan d further o ff-axis, but not
m uch, and th ey sh o u ld so u n d go od to a w id e area o f the au d ien ce.
In the stu d io the S u p e r C o m p a ct co n tin u ed to im p re ss, not
le a st b e ca u se the live room is up tw o flig h ts of sta irs and ca rryin g
it up w a s le ss effort than b rin gin g up the tray o f co ffe e s before
w e sta rted ! In the a c o u stic a lly neutral live room the cab so u n d e d
fa n ta stic and the reco rd ed
so u n d w a s o p e n , d etailed and
w ith the kind o f w e ig h t to the
low end that you'd no rm ally
e xp e ct fro m a 4x10.
E x p e ctin g a sin g le cab to do
all th in g s brillian tly is u n realistic,
and u sin g the cab for a do uble
b a ss g ig revealed that the Su p e r
C o m p a ct 12 is better suited
to rep ro d u cin g e lectric b a ss
in a ro ck or sou l situ atio n. The
so u n d w a s go od , and the lack of
fe e d b a ck v e ry im p re ssive , but
the C o m p a ct 12 isn't d e sig n e d
to rep ro d u ce the m ile-w id e
fre q u e n cy range put out by
the d o uble b a ss, alth o u gh the
m id ra n ge w a s rep ro d u ced w ith
stu n n in g accu racy.
How ever, I've saved the
b e st until last, b e ca u se linking
tw o of th e se cab s together for
the festival gig w a s genuin ely
am azing. Rem em ber, w hat w e
had here w a s tw o sin g le 12"
cab s w ith no H F units and a
footprint little bigger than a sm all
com bo. U sin g the sa m e 800
w att am p that w e'd used for the
initial te sts, w e plugged in m y
old '62 Ja zz b a ss and the sound
w a s a sto n ish in g, w ith a fat and
fo cu se d bottom end that se e m s
co m p letely at o d d s to the size
of the cab s. You w ant loud? W ell
here it is, w ith no discernable
distortion u n le ss dialled in from
the am p. Th e ca b s sou nded like a
rig tw ice the size , w ith a level of
definition and p rese n ce that could
only be dow n to the cab s' super-
rigid design.
CONCLUSION
Don't be fooled by the traditional
appearance of the Barefaced
C o m pact 12. Th is is as advanced
as b a ss cab design g o es, and
you'd be hard pressed to find
another b a ss speaker that would
m atch it for perform ance at any
price. T h ese cab in ets w o rk well in
a w ide range of applications, but
to hear them at their b est you'll
need to crank up the volum e and
stand back. A n y decent 1x12
cabinet will sound O K being driven
by a high quality powerful am p at
lower vo lu m es, but w here m ost
start flagging, the Super C o m pact
12s are ju st getting into their
stride. Th ey se e m particularly well
suited to rock and soul gig s; the
kind of job w h e re you m ight w ant
to u se an old-school Precision
or Ja zz, as the natural tone
se e m s to suit this kind of sound
perfectly. Im p ressive. ■
BASS GUITAR MAGAziNE
49
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