Line 6 Power Cab: FRFR Solution Shoot Out

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by JoeInOttawa, May 12, 2018.

  1. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I just posted this on The GearPage, and I thought I'd share with you guys as well.

    Just back from a four-hour visit to Long & Mcquade. I played extensively using two guitars and eight presets, with the odd OCD thrown in for good measure. I compared
    • a PowerCab using internal IRs, in FRFR mode with cabs turned on in the AA6, and in horn-free FRFR mode using my Atomic cabs
    • an Amplifi 150 (using the Headphone Out from my AA6 to the Aux In on the Amplifi)
    • a Yamaha DBR12 (1x12/horn) on its side as a monitor
    • a Yorkville NX10c 10" coax PA speaker
    Spoiler alert: the PowerCab came in a distant 4th.

    I could not get the PC to work for me at all. I tried the full presets I had built into my Atomic and found it really crispy (not in a good way); I tried built-in IRs, and they were worse. There was no bottom to speak of in any mode, and the sound got worse when I turned off the horn. I strongly suspect the speaker needs some break-in, but I just was not feeling it at all while I was playing through it.

    The Yamaha was very good, but only after you backed up about ten feet. Something about the separate horn that just doesn't mesh with the low driver until you put some distance between them and your ears. This is exactly what I am experiencing from my own Yamaha DBR12s and my Alto TS110s, so I guess I should not be surprised.

    The Amplifi was surprisingly good. Not enough bottom, and a bit strident on the top-end, but really not bad. A little break-in might have helped it, too, but, in the end, I wasn't really feeling it either.

    So that brings us to the NX10c. Plugged in, turned on. And then the sales guy turned me up. It was really, really good. Not quite the open-back 1x12 with a Celestion Gold that is my gold standard for what I (and I stress "I") want to hear, but really close. Lots of authoritative bottom -- at volume, I could get a chug-chug-chug from my Plexi model that moved my pant leg.

    An aside: It sounded about the same standing over it as a floor monitor as it did ten feet away, so I'm now convinced coax is the answer one way or another.

    Now, clearly my mileage is varying wildly from what a lot of people are experiencing, because I know some of you guys are just loving your PCs. I wanted to love one too, but, in the end, I chose the NX10c because:
    • It is so much smoother than any of the other solutions, particularly up close, that this was not even a contest. It had a smooth top end, an authoritative bottom, and, in the end, will let me (also being the band sound man) hear from my guitar monitor more or less what's out front in the PA.
    • It is comparatively tiny at 12x12x13
    • There are million of them out there, so getting one used at a great price is easy (mine is coming from the Coburg L&M for $390 vs $800 for the entry-level PC, and, for $20, I can add a no fault two year warranty -- all prices quoted in Canuck-bucks).
    I wanted to love the PowerCab, I truly did. And I am thrilled for you guys who love yours. But if you try one and decide it's not quite there for you, or if you have a tight budget, I humbly recommend you try something like the NX10c, because it just might be right up your alley. The only thing I *think* I know for sure is, stick with something coaxial, whether you try the Yorkville or something else.

    So my sincere congratulations to the guys for whom the Power Cab is the holy grail. It just, sadly, did not work for me. And the NX10c really, really did.

    Joe
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2018
    John Beamon and Jace Nuzback like this.
  2. John Beamon

    John Beamon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    I am really close to making this permanent change in my gear history. I'm 48, I basically only play at church anymore, and that's a direct/IEMs stage. My wife was convinced I "need to keep" my AC30, but I never use it anymore. If I needed a local speaker for a gig, the AC30 would change my tone and weigh 100lbs in a road case. I'm seriously <this> close to selling it for a 40lb powered FLFR and just playing modeled for the rest of my life. That's a shopping project I really don't want to undertake, 'cause I'll have to sell the amp to fund it.
     
  3. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    A quick update:

    I went to pick up my Yorkville NX10c last night, and decided to give the PC one last try. I didn't end up with it, but I will tell you two things:
    1. Regardless of what you might hear otherwise, these speakers DO require a break-in. I believe the 12" is a paper or fibre M-roll surround, and they definitely DO need to be exercised to loosen up. The PC had a lot more usesable tone last night vs Saturday straight out of the box.
    2. The PC needs to be coupled with the floor. When I pushed it back on the kickstand, it got very thin, comparatively, and left me cold.
    Had it sounded like that on Saturday (and had I not used the kickstand) I likely would have come home with it. As it stands, I had the option to change my mind on the NX10c, and I still ended up coming home with the Yorkville. But I thought it worth updating my initial thoughts about the PowerCab.
    Joe
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  4. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28

    Yorkville NX10c and an AmpliFirebox. A 1-foot cube and a footpedal. What's smaller and sounds better than that?

    But (IMHO) keep the 30. Even if you throw a tarp over it until you need it. Because that kind of seller's remorse can be expensive.

    :)

    Joe
     
    John Beamon likes this.
  5. John Beamon

    John Beamon Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2018
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    3
    > Because that kind of seller's remorse can be expensive.

    I hear that, but so is having both old gear and new gear under separate tarps where you think the wife can't see them.
     
  6. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    @John Beamon, have you considered telling her what you REALLY paid for the Vox?

    :)

    As a long-time tube-head myself, I am keeping my tube amps, because I do still get out occasionally where I'm not the sound guy, so schlepping my own gear around is not a huge big deal. And it took me a long time to find and acquire the amps and cabs I have, so I cannot bring myself to part with them. The two technologies can and do co-exist peacefully in my basement. Plus, happy wife, happy life, right?

    What drove me to modeling was the fact that I struggle with finding the teeny-tiny sweet spot in front of my cabs required to get all that tubey goodness out to the audience through the often less-than-stellar mains, and I'd rather give up 10% of my tone on stage to get 100% of that slight compromise out to the audience (and I am constantly working towards eliminating the compromise). Add in the very small stages we often play, and I'm kind of in the same boat as you.

    My suggestion, if you're really serious about giving modeling the old college try: If you can afford a CLR, they are supposed to be amazing. If I come into money or if I find a used one for cheap, it's on my list. Barring that, though, and staying on the cheap side of affordable, grab a Firebox -- new or used -- or even a used AA3 (lots of people are upgrading to the AA6 and casting off their AA3s). Add a small coax PA speaker, like the NX10 (+/- $500US new, a lot cheaper used) or even a Seismic Audio coax monitor ($200 for the 10", $225 for the 12") and you'll have a rudimentary modeling system that sounds good, translates well and easily into the PA, and gets you started on your modeling career.

    Now, all you have to do is work on your Blue Steel look.

    :)

    Joe
     
  7. Clint Martin

    Clint Martin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'm very pleased with my Powercab Standard. I can't swing a CLR at the moment...so I'm happy.
     
  8. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2017
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    52
    Trophy Points:
    28
    I hear ya, Clint. Lots of people seem to love them. They just aren't my bag. Maybe if I'd brought one home to play with for a week or two, I dunno.

    I'm actually considering having an open-back 1x12 built for the upcoming Celestion 12" coax, because I think part of the issue for me is that I prefer the sound of an open-back.

    Joe
     
    Clint Martin likes this.
  9. Clint Martin

    Clint Martin Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2017
    Messages:
    204
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    43
    I'm very curious about that speaker too. Lots of great choices out there.
    I've never seen or heard the NX10, but when I had my K12s I kind of thought K10s might sound better.
    I've been through so much gear the last few years you wouldn't believe it.
     
  10. lespauled

    lespauled Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2017
    Messages:
    117
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Location:
    NYC, USA

Share This Page

Share