Barefaced Super Midget Bass Cab

Barefaced bass speakers – much like their name – are about as no-nonsense as you can get and more than live up to their simple company description as a ‘manufacturer of ultra-lightweight high-output loudspeaker cabinets for bass guitar, double bass and pro-sound’.

The brainchild of Brighton-based sound engineer and bassist Alex Claber, who built his first bass cab in 2008 to explore the best way to construct the most lightweight speaker he could, Barefaced now boast eight passive cabs and one active cab design that can satisfy virtually any playing situation, from small cabs for clubs to stadium-rocking stacks (including guitar cabs and PA speakers too).

Our test model is the relatively new– that Super Midget like its super-hero style moniker – punches well above its ludicrously ‘light’ weight of 10.5kgs. The smaller sibling to the Barefaced Big Baby 2, and the second generation of their original Midget cabs, the Super Midget, importantly, features a single 12-inch speaker with a tweeter, or rather their newly designed 12XN550 speaker, which came about after a two and a half year R&D period, resulting in (according to their excellent and highly detailed website): ‘a 12-inch nominal diameter, extended range, Neodymium magnet, with ~550cc of volume displacement and 500W thermal power handling’. In short this means that the Super Midget can produce volume levels equivalent to a pair of another manufacturer’s 12s, and based on our testing more than matched our TC Electronic RS210 cab for volume and clarity.

The two ‘speakon’ cable inputs on the rear of the cab also mean this little brute can be paired with either a matching cab or one of its bigger siblings such as the Big Baby 2 for higher volume needs. While the quality of the tone was true, full and punchy across the frequency spectrum, with the volume for such a small and portable cab also hugely impressive, what really took our breath away is just how light these cabs are to pick up – meaning aching limbs or strained backs should be a thing of the past when loading gear into cars or awkward backstage locations.

The sturdy if slightly no-frills design of these cabs should not be a deciding factor – as it happens our test model came with a burnished steel front grill giving it a pleasing ‘classic’ look – in fact it emphasises the lack of gimmicks in the Barefaced aesthetic. Pairing this cab with both Genz Benz Shuttle and Aguilar Tone Hammer amps produced very pleasing results, with depth of tone, precise, focused sound and a noticeable warmth all present. Built to order for an RRP of £599, and capable of handling up to 600 watts of power, the Super Midget is a genuine revelation.

– Mike Flynn

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