Posts tagged ‘polypropylene’

13/06/2018

Review: TOOB 12B

Kitarablogi.com reviewed the guitar-specific TOOB models 12J and 12R back in April. At that time no bass version – the 12B – was available for testing, but now we got our chance to do a review of this model, too.

In case you haven’t yet read the previous TOOB review, let me run the basic features by you again.

Finnish inventor/ guitarist Markku Pietinen has come up with what I regard as one of the coolest new ideas in the field of speaker cabinets – the TOOB.

The TOOB is an ultralight speaker cabinet conceived especially for the musician on the move.

The TOOB’s cabinet consists of a length of Uponor IQ drainage pipe. This is an extremely lightweight and strong corrugated tube made from double-walled polypropylene. The mounting rims are a proprietary design, injection moulded from ABS plastic specifically for use in the TOOB cabinets.

There are two guitar speaker versions available – the 12J and the 12R – which both come loaded with 12″ Jensen speakers, alongside the TOOB 12B bass cabinet that sports a Celestion BN12-300S.

The TOOB 12B  (current RRP in Finland: 499 €) weighs only 4.6 kg and offers power handling of up to 300 watts at 8 ohms.

Standard colours for all TOOBs are black and cinnamon (as reviewed), but you can also order custom options with a painted or covered veneer overlay.

All TOOBs come with metal clip-on legs as standard, or you can get an optional magnetic plywood foot, as used on our review sample. I’ve also heard rumours that the company is currently working on an adjustable cradle stand, tentatively called the TILTA.

The bass version comes with an additional set of clip-on legs should you want to place your 12B in an upright position.

This position results in a different kind of sound dispersal, often preferred by double bass players, in addition to taking up even less space on stage. I’d strongly suggest you try both styles of placement.

The 12B offers both a Speakon connector and a phone jack as inputs. As the inputs are wired in parallel, you can also use the second connector to daisy chain two TOOBs to a single amp.

The bass model also offers an additional tone shaping feature in the shape of the TOOB Tone Cushion. The cushion is velcroed to the inside of the TOOB, and can be removed or squeezed to give open-back or half-open tonalities. My personal preference was the closed setting, but you should definitely experiment with the Tone Cushion to find your favourite set-up.

I got to test drive the TOOB 12B with two micro-amps – a Trace Elliot Elf and a Gallien-Krueger MB200 – which can be handily velcroed to the cabinet’s small wooden table.

The sound quality, sound dispersion and power handling of the bass-TOOB are nothing short of impressive. Yes, you can get the speaker to distort by driving the cabinet at silly levels, but for the types of bands and gigs it has been designed for, you’d be hard pressed to find a better ultra-compact solution than the 12B.

In my opinion the TOOB’s bass version is best suited for Jazz and Lounge groups, as well as Pop/Rock gigs in (very) small venues (like the pub on the corner). The TOOB 12B is also ideal as a cabinet for acoustic bass guitars in ”unplugged” bands.

The sound clips were played through the GK MB200 and recorded with a Shure SM57:

1980s Jazz Bass

Double bass with Shadow pickup

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The TOOB 12B

Lightweight bass speaker cabinet

499 €

Contact: TOOB

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Pros:

+ made in Finland

+ ruggedness

+ weight

+ power handling

+ sound

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06/04/2018

Review: TOOB 12J & 12R

Some of the coolest inventions tend to make you go ”Geez, this is so obvious! Why didn’t I think of this?”

The truth is, though, that the basic idea usually is only the first impetus for going on an exploratory journey. You have to have the inventor’s drive and perseverance to grab the idea by its throat, and hold it there for as long as it takes to hew and mould it into its final shape.

Finnish guitarist/inventor Markku Pietinen had become increasingly frustrated by the weight and size of traditional speaker cabinets for guitar. Modern technology – like Class D power amps – has lead to ever smaller amplifier sizes, yet cabinets were still cumbersome and angular.

Then one day, a few years ago, Markku passed by a building site, where he spotted a leftover piece of corrugated plastic pipe (normally used for drainage) on the ground. The proverbial lightbulb went ”ping”, and Markku started pursuing his quest for a lighter speaker cabinet.

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Here is the finished product, called the TOOB™ (current price in Finland: 369 €), which stands for ”Thinking Out Of the Box”.

The TOOB is available in two guitar versions, the 12J and 12R (as reviewed), which come loaded with a 12-inch Jensen speaker. A bass version – the TOOB 12B – is also available, and it sports a Celestion unit.

Standard colours for all TOOBs are black and cinnamon, but you can also order custom options with a painted or covered veneer overlay (you can see a few examples in the opening picture).

The TOOB’s cabinet consists of a length of Uponor IQ drainage pipe. This is an extremely lightweight and strong corrugated tube made from double-walled polypropylene. The mounting rims are a proprietary design, injection moulded from ABS plastic specifically for use in the TOOB cabinets.

Clip-on stainless steel feet come as standard, but if this looks too spartan for your taste, you can always order your TOOB with a magnetically-attached wooden stand.

The main difference between the TOOB 12J (left) and the 12R (right) is easy to spot:

The 12J (stands for Jazz) is an open back cabinet, while the 12R (= Rock) uses a ported back wall. The 12J is also a few centimetres shorter than its brother.

Both guitar versions sport two parallel jack connectors, allowing you to daisy-chain two (or more) TOOBs.

The cabinets are equipped with painted wooden mounts for use with a micro-amp of your choice (professional velcro-type adhesive strips are provided). A top notch angled plug speaker cable is also part of the package.

Both guitar TOOBs come loaded with a lightweight 12″/8 Ω Jensen Jet Tornado neodymium speaker.

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Testing the TOOBs with two different valve amplifiers – a Blackstar HT-1R and a Bluetone Shadows Jr. – it became clear very quickly that both cabinets are focused on delivering tonal clarity and getting the job done with a minimal amount of fuss.

A TOOB isn’t meant to be an esoteric boutique-style speaker cabinet, full of voodoo-like mystical timbres. These are straightforward musical tools, made to withstand the occasional knock or two, and meant to lighten your load (both physically and psychologically).

Both TOOBs offer a very focused tone that is clear and bright, but not nasty or brittle. The mid-range also stays rather well-defined and uncoloured.

I think one shouldn’t get too hung up on the supposed Jazz- and Rock-connotations of the 12J and 12R models, especially as the 12J also performs well with acoustic-electric guitars, but the differences in sound are easy to hear. The TOOB 12J is the airier and more ”acoustic” of the pair, while the TOOB 12R offers much more low-end punch and overall focus.

CLEAN STRAT

Reference speaker (Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo with a 10″ WGS Green Beret; Shure SM57):

TOOB 12J:

TOOB 12R:

OVERDRIVEN LES PAUL

Reference speaker (Bluetone Shadows Jr. combo with a 10″ WGS Green Beret; Shure SM57):

TOOB 12J:

TOOB 12R:

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Any way you look at the TOOB™, you will have to concede that this new type of speaker cabinet is an ingenious solution to an age-old problem. The TOOB is just as rugged and roadworthy as it is lightweight and compact.

These unique cabinets sound great, with more than enough power on tap for most of us working stiffs, who play small to medium-sized indoor venues.

Combine a TOOB with one of the current micro-amps, like Vox’ MV50-series for example, and what you get is a powerful rig that’s hard to beat for ease of use and transportability.

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The TOOB

Lightweight guitar speaker cabinet

TOOB 12J: 369 €

TOOB 12R: 369 €

Contact: TOOB

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Pros:

+ made in Finland

+ ruggedness

+ weight

+ power handling

+ soundSave

Save

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