IF I WERE A BETTING MAN (AND MORE
than a few fruitless casino encounters
prove I’m not…), I’d wager powered cabinets
become the next big trend in bass
gear. Though the Neo revolution and
the Class-D uprising continue to dominate
developments in the world of bass
amplification, there’s a growing tide of
amp makers building power amps directly
into their cabinets—Roland, QSC, and ISP
Technology, to name a few. For years, Illinois-
based Bag End has been leading that
charge. BP’s Jonathan Herrera seemed to
really dig the company’s 2x10 PD10BX-D
when he reviewed it in November 2009, so
I was more than a little curious when Mr.
Postman dropped off this 1x18 PS18E-D.
Though ultra-light cabs have become
overnight sensations among the gigging set,
some manufacturers have been reluctant to
cut too much mass from their drivers and
cabinets, noting that many of those weightcutting
measures result in lightweight tone.
Wrestling the nearly 74-pound PS18E-D
out of its shipping container left no doubt
in my mind where Bag End’s philosophy
lines up. But considering the incorporation
of a power amp into the cabinet itself
saves the hassle of handling another piece
of gear, the weight didn’t bum me out in a
Nestled into the back of the red-carpeted
1x18 enclosure is Bag End’s Minima One
power amp, which draws its power via a
Speakon cable. The Bag End’s combo input
jack accepted both XLR and ¼" cables, so
I was able to plug a bass in straight away.
Any preconceived notions I had about a
colossal 18" driver sounding more muddy
or sluggish than a smaller speaker evaporated
in short order as I played up and
down the bass’s neck. The swift sub spoke
loud and clear when I plumbed the lower
reaches of my 5-string.
Plugging a range of basses into the Bag
End was a thrill—it felt as if I was listening
to the pure tone of each instrument without
the coloration that comes from running
it through a mess of preamp circuitry.
Of course, the Minima’s minimal tone control—
which consists of a 3-position hi-pass
filter—means a preamp would be necessary
for most applications. Pairing the Bag End
with Fender TPB-1 and Demeter VTBP-
201S preamps allowed me to leverage a luscious
array of tones against the Bag End’s
unflappable, fundamentally massive sound.
Though I haven’t yet had much luck wrestling
Eden’s new WTDI preamp/DI pedal
away from BASS PLAYER Web Director Max
Sidman (whose review of the pedal you’ll
fi nd on page 54), you can bet I’ll soon be
packing that pocket-sized preamp in my gig
bag and running it through the PS18E-D.
Wish me luck.
Pros Super-fast, flabfree
Minima One power amp
Power rating 500 watts @ 8Ω
Power amp topography Class D
High pass filter -6dB @ 8Hz, 50Hz,
Speaker 1x18" Bag End subwoofer
Construction 7-ply poplar with metal
grille and dual recessed handles
Covering Red carpet
Dimensions 22" x 22.5" x 18.5"
Weight 73.5 lbs
Made in U.S.A.
Warranty Electronics, 2 years;
cabinet, 6 years