1 x 12" high accuracy loudspeaker cabinet for FRFR guitar and acoustic instruments by Barefaced Audio
Please skip the following if you just want to get to the specs or buy one - this is the story of why this cab is how it is:
This is not just a lightweight FRFR cab with classic styling - it's so much more! The Reality 112FR combines the might of Celestion's F12-X200 full-range live-response coaxial loudspeaker with an AVD enclosure and custom rear-firing tweeter / adjustable crossover, for the best possible reproduction of modelled/profiled tones.
Full Range Flat Response is not enough because this only describes steady state sound in one location. If you want "high accuracy" (and if you want to hear your digital magic then you really do) then you need the following:
1. Accurate frequency response (aka FRFR)
2. Accurate polar response
3. Accurate transient response
4. Accurate dynamic response
These are the four critical links of sound reproduction. You may not know it but you WILL hear the weakest link - it's no good having "perfect" FRFR if the dynamic, transient or polar response is poor because the human ear is very good at hearing the deficiencies, not the best aspects.
This isn't our first FRFR cab, we've been doing this since Barefaced started out making radical high accuracy bass cabs. The Big Baby 2 and Big Twin 2 are already being used by bassists, keyboardists and guitarists who need to hear the truth of their tone, some through amps like Kempers. But the BB2 and BT2 have so much more low frequency depth and output than any guitarist needs, making them bigger, heavier and more expensive. So this is our first guitar specific FRFR cab.
We found that the F12-X200's coaxial 12" driver and tweeter with integrated crossover made for a great-sounding, efficient and elegant starting point but how it was used made a big difference in the resulting sound.
An F12-X200 in a closed cab does a good job of frequency response but polar response isn't so good further off-axis. Transient response is good too but dynamic response is limited at lower frequencies like with louder or chunkier rhythm guitar work.
An F12-X200 in an open cab will do slightly better with polar response but worse frequency response; transient response will still be good but dynamic response will really struggle when playing louder chords, low notes, etc.
Another option is a speaker like the F12-X200 but without the coaxial tweeter (using DSP to boost the higher frequencies where the cone's treble output is dropping). This can achieve the target frequency response and transient response, the dynamic response will be similar although more demanding on amps (causing clipping at high SPL) but most importantly the polar response will be very poor at higher frequencies. However it's far less expensive than having a coaxial speaker with a crossover.
An F12-X200 in an AVD cab achieves good frequency, transient and dynamic response with much improved polar response up to the upper midrange / lower treble region. However testing showed that improving the polar response higher up made a huge difference in real world situations.
Adding a rear-firing tweeter that's coaxial with the AVD and has its own custom crossover makes the polar response a near perfect figure 8, which gives you incredibly consistent tone wherever you're listening from. It's almost surreal to hear the improvement in audibility from turning up the tweeter control, considering that tweeter is firing away from you!
- • Barefaced AVD-8 enclosure for superior audibility, efficiency, power handling and truly accurate FRFR sound
- • Celestion F12-X200 coaxial 12" 2-way driver - "Full Range Live Response"
- • Rear-firing coaxial Eminence APT80 tweeter with custom 4th order crossover for radically improved clarity and tonal accuracy
- • Independent adjustment of rear-firing tweeter for acoustic correction in real rooms on real gigs
- • CNC machined dual-density plywood construction - better tone, gig tough, lower weight
- • Single top strap handle - low profile to fit under amps; steel core, brackets, bolts and t-nuts for durablity; replaceable chrome trim for aesthetics; rubber sleeve for comfort; nylon washers to add friction and damping to ensure it remains rattle free
- • Rubber feet on base - medium compound to damp vibration and add stability, tall enough to clear another handle if stacking
- • Dual combi 1/4” + speakon sockets - use standard 1/4" leads, or have a locking speakon on the cab end which you can leave locked in place during transport
- • Two grill cloth options: Deep Black or Bright Silver
- • Natural wood finish baffle to visually accent offset 12" cone and white piping as a constrast line between grill and tolex
- • Two tolex options: British Raging Green or Black In Black
- • Custom tolex or grill cloth also available - extra cost, subject to availability, longer lead times likely.
Full Range Flat Response guitar cabs were created so guitarists using modelling amps (as originally popularised by Line6) could hear the true sound of their modelled amp AND cabs - rather than hear the sound of the guitar speaker they were using. So the earliest FRFR cabs were simply little PA speakers as they have reasonably FRFR.
At Barefaced we know that FRFR is not enough - we want TRUE SONIC ACCURACY. That means not only frequency response but also polar response, transient response and dynamic response. No other FRFR guitar cab on the market properly addresses all four aspects of tonal accuracy. In your bedroom, sitting right in front of the speaker you'll notice it feels more 3D, like you're surrounded by tone with so much presence without harshness - but take it to a rehearsal or gig and you, your bandmates and your audience will be blown away by how well they hear you, not louder but just THERE in the mix, wherever they're standing. And that creates a virtuous circle of performance, where the whole band ends up playing better and making better music. This is about making music, not just reproducing it like in the world of hi-fi!
FRFR guitar cabs do not sound like normal guitar cabs - a normal guitar speaker has limited bandwidth and large amounts of colouration (i.e. distortion) which filters the sound of an electric guitar through an amp giving the tones we all know and love. An FRFR speaker is fed a modelled sound like those that come from guitar speakers, so there is no need for the speaker to add another layer of colour. It's a bit like cooking - if the chef has already added the seasonings, herbs and spices and then you add the same again at the table it won't taste good. With modelled sound including speaker and cabinet emulation you want the actual loudspeaker to simply turn that electrical signal into acoustic sound without changing it, not adding more spice.
But if you want to hear an acoustic instrument louder then you need to put a mic or piezo pickup on it, maybe add some EQ to help and then turn that up loud with a clean amplifier through a really honest sounding speaker. And in an ideal world you want that speaker to be omnidirectional, filling the room with sound just like an acoustic guitar does - just like the Reality 112FR!
"Augmented Vent Diffractor - Figure 8" is the latest patent-pending technology from Barefaced Audio. It improves low frequency efficiency and power handling whilst reducing distortion, generates rear-firing midrange output with even response and broad dispersion and integrates a coaxially mounted rear tweeter. The end result is highly accurate response from both front and rear of the loudspeaker, giving incredibly "real" live sound and outstanding resistance to the problems caused by noisy bandmates or difficult room acoustics.
This may take a while to get your head around! At lower frequencies the slot and horn acts as a Helmholtz resonator, like a reflex port. Above these frequencies the slot allows midrange and treble frequencies through, diffracting them sideways for improved dispersion, with the horn panels improving acoustic coupling with the room.
If the AVD worked like a horn then output through most of the midrange and all of the treble bandwidth would be minimal (because in a horn the air masses in the coupling chamber, throat and horn act as an acoustic inductance with a low pass effect). Fortunately the AVD system instead allows good response into the lower treble region but that leaves a few octaves missing from the rearwards output for many guitar sounds.
The AVD-8 system therefore has a high output low distortion tweeter mounted coaxially within the AVD assembly. This tweeter is crossed over where the 12" driver's rearward output rolls off, which is over an octave lower than its forwards output. The tweeter thus takes over the rearward output throughout the whole treble bandwidth, which is only possible due to the very steep crossover slope protecting the diaphragm from over excursion.
One other clear acoustic benefit of the AVD-8 enclosure is in how it controls internal reflections and standing waves compared to a conventional cuboid-shaped guitar cab. The angled AVD panels and asymmetric baffle measurably reduce the amount of internally reflected sound that manages to escape through the cone interfering with the original tone, often causing conventional guitar cabs to literally sound "boxy".
One of the almost magical abilities of the AVD-8 enclosure is that to your ears it has very broad dispersion but to your guitar it has much more controlled dispersion. This is due to the psycho-acoustic phenomenon known as "precedence effect", whereby the brain combines near-identical sounds even if they're coming from different locations, as long as the delay between the two sounds is less than ~50ms. Consequently your brain hears the rear output as it reflects off room boundaries and miraculously combines it with the front output, hugely improving audibility, but that delayed sound has a less strong effect in acoustically generating guitar feedback. No conventional cab is as easy for lead guitarists to coax singing feedback from.
Obviously with acoustic instruments you don't "play" with feedback like with an electric guitar but feedback is certainly a big issue. If you crank your acoustic guitar, violin, cello, etc up super loud through the Reality 112FR just like a wailing lead guitarist then you will run into the usual feedback problems and have to flip phase, use notch filters etc. But if you're not going so crazy and just turning up normal acoustic gig loud then the narrower forwards dispersion and broader rearwards dispersion will result in greater feedback resistance at a given level of perceived loudness than any conventional cab.
The tweeter control independently adjusts the level of the rear-firing tweeter - note that this tweeter is crossed over very low, as much as two octaves below where a tweeter on a typical guitar FRFR cab might be, so it has a big sonic affect as it deals with the full treble bandwidth and what many guitarists will also consider their upper midrange tone. This gives a unique dimension of acoustic control, so in a very bright sounding room with lots of hard surfaces you may keep it turned down low whilst in a more acoustically dead room you'll turn it up more.
This is particularly valuable when playing smaller venues where your guitar cab is providing the house guitar sound or the bleed from the stage is loud out front, especially in terms of how the sound changes between soundcheck in an empty room and a packed gig - humans are very efficient acoustic absorbers. Simply turn up the tweeter control and bring that clarity and liveliness back.
With acoustic instruments of all kinds, turning up the rear-firing tweeter will not just add audibility but more importantly make the sound far more 'acoustic'. Instruments acoustically radiate sound in all directions and that is one of the main reasons why the vibe and character of an unplugged acoustic is so different to hearing it through a typical "acoustic" amp.
In 2008 Barefaced pioneered the use of unconventional plywood, bracing and assembly techniques within the guitar and bass amp industry. For more than a decade we've continued to develop our enclosure designs, for the best possible sound through management of internal reflections for clear detailed mids and highs, and rigid non-resonant enclosures for tight controlled lows. This method of extensive bracing and calculated reinforcement allows us to make the cabinets incredibly low in weight but tough enough to gig for a lifetime. Since 2012 they've been precisely machined using our own CNC mill and then hand assembled in our Brighton factory.
(H x W x D)
|40cm x 45cm x 31cm
16" x 18" x 12"
|Weight||9.5 kg / 21 lbs|
|RMS power handling||200 W|
|Nominal Impedance||8 ohm|
|Speakers||Celestion F12-X200 + Eminence APT80|