Line 6 Power Cab: FRFR Solution Shoot Out

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

  1. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

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    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
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  2. John Beamon

    John Beamon Member

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    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

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    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 at 11:06 AM
  4. JoeInOttawa

    JoeInOttawa Well-Known Member

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    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
     

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