Stuart Clayton road-tests DB's new cabs.
Turn it up, that man!
DB Bass
w w w .d b -b a ss.c o .u k
he portable, lightweight speaker cabinet market has exploded in
recent years, with many gigging professionals abandoning large
1x15 and 4x10 cabinets in favour of smaller, more back-friendly
configurations. One such bassist was Dave Blundy, who had quickly
become frustrated with the design of many of the cabinets on the
market, believing that too many compromises were being made
for the sake of portability. A lack of bottom end when stacking smaller
cabinets up to ear level and a nondescript sound were chief among his
concerns, and so he set out to build a better speaker cabinet.
Through extensive research, and after building many prototypes, Dave
finally arrived at the cabinet of his dreams: lightweight, portable and with
a focused tone, excellent on-stage monitoring and big cab performance.
The success of his breakthrough was then expanded into a range of
different cabinets - the Embee 10 and 12 cabs (both rated at 600 watts),
the 210 (rated at 1,100 watts) and the Ebee 10, a second 1x10 cabinet rated
at 300 watts. We've been sent the entire range for our review.
b u il d
q u a l it y
The construction of the cabinets is superb. Each is constructed from high-
grade birch plywood with a self-bracing design which, according to the
company's literature, reduces panel resonance. Each cabinet is finished
with textured paint of the kind commonly seen on speaker cabinets in
the upper end of the price bracket. This finish is extremely hard-wearing,
and stands up well to a hard life on the road, making it a wise choice here.
Aesthetically, the metal grille complements the finish of the cabs well
and is similarly tough, with minimal flex: there's certainly no danger of
anything damaging your speakers with this in the way.
It's hardly relevant to the build or sound of the cabinets, but we
particularly like the angled logo in the top right hand corner. Appearances
aside, there are some very pleasant surprises in the construction of these
cabinets. Firstly, the Embee 10, 12 and 210 cabinets use the Max-Flo
system, an efficient, tuned bass enclosure that directs and projects the
sound through the front of the cabinet. According to DB, this delivers air
movement typically associated with larger cabinets. This was one of the
founding principles of the design of the cabinet.
In addition, the speakers themselves are fixed at a 45-degree angle
in order to improve monitoring. This is a neat idea, and certainly a nice
adaption of the kickback combo idea that has proven popular with other
manufacturers over the last few years. This means that it's not necessary
to stack cabinets vertically (which can sometimes result in a loss of low end)
and there's no danger of your amp sliding off of the top of an angled cabinet.
s o u n d s
In terms of sound quality the results are extremely impressive across the
range. The 210, my first port of call, is tight and punchy while retaining
significant low end, certainly not what I was expecting to hear. The angled
speakers meant that the sound was being directed upwards towards
my ears at all times and I found that monitoring during a rehearsal was
excellent, even when standing very close to the cabinet. At a whopping
1,100W, it's likely the most powerful 2x10 cabinet on the market:
impressive stuff.
The 10 and 12 Embees were similarly impressive. Being lower to the
floor I was expecting each to fare worse in terms of monitoring, but again
the results were excellent. Low end handling on the 12 was especially good
and the top end was equally well catered for, thanks to the tweeter. All the
cabinets also exhibit a pleasing mid-range punch. If I had to pick one word to
describe the sound of these cabinets it would be 'focused' - the combination
The sides of each cabinet feature recessed carrying handles, but again,
these are old features with a new spin: DB have opted to insert the handle
enclosures at a 45-degree angle in order to allow for a more natural
carrying position. The idea is that your wrist has to twist less when
carrying it, putting less pressure on the joint. Another simple idea which
works well: after a while you wonder why cab handles haven't always
been like this. The rear of each cabinet features nothing more than two
recessed Speakon sockets, while the tweeter attenuator is sensibly sited on
the side of the cabinet for ease of adjustment.
t e c h n ic a l
s p e c if ic a t io n
E L B E E 10
P R IC E I £499
IM P E D A N C E I 8 Ohms
S P E A K E R I 1x10
B A S S P O R T I Front and side
P O W E R |
300W RM S
IN P U T |
L IN K |
Speakon (for connecting an
extra cabinet)
H 30 cm, W 30 cm,
D 38 cm
W E IG H T |
t e c h n ic a l
s p e c if ic a t io n
e m b e e 12
p r i c e |
IM P E D A N c E |
8 Ohms (4 Ohms on request)
s p e a k e r |
B a s s P o R T |
T w
E E T E R |
Piezo with attenuator
P o w E R |
600W RM S
IN P u T |
U N K |
Speakon (for connecting an
extra cabinet)
d i m e n s i o n s |
H 45cm, W 37cm, D 45cm
w e i g h t |
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b a s s g u it a r m a g a z in e
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