The greenboy designs advantage!!
Loudspeaker technology has come a LONG way in the past few years. Unfortunately, commercial bass cab makers haven't kept up.. Looks and a price point continues to trump proper design, premium components, and superior performance.
greenboy cabs are engineered from the ground up to deliver exactly what the working bassist needs onstage.. Strong low-frequency response, unparalleled clarity and midrange/HF dispersion, all loud enough to carry most venues without PA assistance.. Did we mention all this comes in smaller and lighter enclosures??
It's funny to read some of these "Bassist Wanted" ads.. Quite often you see a "must have pro gear" requirement.. If folks really knew what's behind the familiar nameplates, ads would start reading "must have a greenboy cab"...
We all know what the "classic" bass cab driver configurations are, and how long those have been established. Long enough ago to remind you that when these cabs were introduced, the engineering research that enabled designers to build proper enclosures was in its infancy.. By and large these cabs were "eyeball engineered". There weren't many driver choices available then, either.. Some were better than others, none were ideal, but often times cost was the overriding factor. Sure, "brand A" came up with a configuration that has become the bass player standard for over 40 years, but in reality, these "classic" 810's/410's are audio engineering disasters.. The 70's vintage 215's are slightly better from an engineering standpoint, but suffered from the shortcomings of the available drivers.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of working musicians still have no idea their so-called "pro gear" is letting them down big time, and this allows manufacturers to continue trying to sell looks and a price point with little regard for sonic performance.
The same is true for automobiles, TV's, computers, and bass cabs. What was considered "state of the art" 30 years ago is now woefully obsolete!
For the longest time it was always assumed if you wanted "your sound" out front in the PA, you had to mic your cab. For some reason the preamp XLR "didn't send the same signal" to the board. In reality, it wasn't the amp/preamp's fault.. It was what the onstage speaker cab was doing WITH the signal that was causing all the grief.. I'm sure those of you who play or have played the 810/410 can attest to most of the following...
Not being able to hear yourself onstage, but 25 feet into the room the bass is overbearing.. Nice tone onstage, but it turns into an unintelligible roar in the room.. Can't dial in volume/tone, because it changes wherever you stand in the room.. Bandmates either can't hear you, or you're too loud.. "Farting" distortion at relatively low volumes.. B strings that sound weak/disconnected from the rest of the instrument.
The major issue behind a lot of this is the horizontal placement of drivers in the cabinet. Creates a phenomenon called "comb filtering".. Sort of like having a non-adjustable EQ in all the wrong places. There's some major cancellations in the frequency spectrum depending on where you stand in the room, and there's not much you can do about it.. Unless of course you build new cabs and vertically align all the drivers. This is where the 2-15's have a little advantage, not much as we will touch on a little later.. What has been regarded as "cabinet voicing" is actually the result of poor audio engineering..
Reproducing the low frequencies properly requires a lot of excursion from the speaker drivers. The vast majority of 10's and many vintage 15's do not allow enough cone travel (xmax) to do the job right. Some of you may be familiar with a term called "displacement limitation". This is why many manufacturer's power ratings are so misleading. A speaker may be able to handle 300 watts thermally, but if it exceeds xmax at 50 watts, that's your real limit! This is the "farting" distortion which is common with budget cabs..
Back in the day, there was no such thing as extended-range instruments, and stage enclosure design kinda took that into account.. The "farting" distortion was kept somewhat under control by tuning enclosures at a much higher frequency (i.e. around the first harmonic of the E string). Nowadays, 5-string basses are becoming the rule, not the exception. Many of these "classic" enclosures are simply not engineered to handle B strings. Either the cabinet tuning is so high the first harmonic of the B is diminished, and/or the "farting" distortion commences at a much lower volume level..
One last issue is mid/high frequency dispersion. Comb filtering is the major culprit on the 410/810, the 12's and larger have their own issue.. All speaker drivers exhibit a narrowing cone of dispersion as frequency goes higher. Generally, the larger the speaker, the worse this phenomenon gets. Easiest way to prove this.. Stand right in front of your cab, then stand to one side and notice the difference in higher-frequency content. Onstage, unless you are in the PA, there's no way you're going to be able to present a consistent sound field in the room.. Often times the high-frequency response of 12 and 15 inch woofers are uneven and not musical-sounding at all.. In recent years some manufacturers have tried to remedy this by including a bullet tweeter. Thing is, it does not solve the problem.. The crossover frequency is way too high, Needs to be at least 1 KHz lower to even start to address the midrange issues.. then you're sending the tweeter signals it can't handle..
OK, now that we have got you thinking about rigging that 810 into an exploding prop, its time to explain why greenboy cabs have become the gear of choice for a growing number of working bassists...
For once, bass players do not have to settle for cost-cutting and compromise in the design and function of their stage gear. Cabinet design is predicated on the goals of making the smallest and lightest enclosures still capable of fully reproducing extended-range instruments CORRECTLY.. Well-braced 1/2" premium plywood construction takes the place of heavier and often times times cheaper 3/4" plys and MDF. Every component inside these cabs have been carefully researched and selected for their superior performance, and the ability to work together as a system. The internal crossovers have been extensively engineered to work well with the chosen drivers, and to enhance the bass playing experience. Nothing escaped scrutiny in the development phase.. Even the placement of drivers on the baffle have sonic significance!
What does all this bring you, the working bassist? A series of enclosures that delivers loud and low, with unmatched clarity and detail to the live stage. Lows are present and strong, mids and highs are now at the proper level, and properly dispersed into the room.. For the first time, what you hear onstage is exactly what the audience hears everywhere in the room. There is no such thing as "cab coloration". These cabs will force you to really learn how to work EQ and gain structure, because whatever goes in will come back out of a fEARful/FEARLESS the same way, only louder. You can finally use that amphead XLR out to the board with confidence.. There are no tonal differences between the different fEARful offerings, just impedance and power handling.
Displacement limitation with fEARful/FEARLESS is pretty much a thing of the past. The woofers chosen for these designs (Eminence Kappalite 3012 and 3015 LF) sport an xmax of 9mm. This is 2 to 3 times the excursion of many drivers pressed in to bass guitar duty by commercial manufacturers. What this means is that the fEARful/FEARLESS will handle nearly its full thermal power handling capacity without losing linearity and distorting. More sound pressure level, more clarity. Lows aren't hinted at, they are THERE.. with a vengeance!! There hasn't been a B string yet that these cabs didn't love.. This also applies to the FEARLESS F110, and the brand new F210.. These are amongst the first successful applications of the brand-new 3010LF.
The efficiencies of the chosen drivers are also much better than a lot of commercial offerings. This translates into more sound pressure level per watt.. A couple of examples.. The fEARful 1515/66/1 is capable of handling 1500 watts of power. I have a customer who plays his through a 400 watt tube head. He uses a lot less volume knob than what he done with his old 810.. Recently I let a fellow audition a FEARLESS F112 onstage, and all he had for power was an 80's vintage Peavey Mark IV.. More than enough to fill the room with premium tone, no PA assistance..
Exceptional low-frequency performance does come at a price, and the tradeoff is suitable midrange response. An essential part of the fEARful/FEARLESS equation is the inclusion of high-quality 5 or 6" midrange driver(s), chosen for the application. Of course, internal crossovers are optimized to maximize their effectiveness.. The FEARLESS series features a switch that helps tailor the midrange response for upright. When you play these cabs by themselves or in the practice room, the mids might be percieved as a little "forward".. Thing is, the magic occurs when you're onstage with the band. This added midrange response adds much needed presence and definition to the mix.. you are no longer the background roar.
Although these midranges are very usable up to 5kHz, there are those who really want the snap and sizzle a dedicated tweeter brings. all fEARful/FEARLESS designs can be ordered "3-way". Again, components are well matched, and the HF level can be controlled by an L-pad mounted on the cab.
We shouldn't forget that all this performance comes in much smaller and lighter formats than what you're used to. Some players have found that a little ol' fEARful 12/6 is more than enough.. Even the largest in the lineup, the fEARful 1515/66, is smaller and lighter than the typical 810, and seriously outperforms these dinosaurs in every measurable manner...