Barefaced is a U.K.-based speaker manufacturer that I must thank for a couple things. First, due to the extremely limited space in BP’s product review section and our mission to provide a good cross-section of gear month-to-month, we’ve had the One10 reviewed here for a long time. Now, this would be understandably aggravating for any manufacturer (I’ve heard it all over the years), but it does come with a distinct advantage, which brings me to my second point: When I can spend a lot of time with gear, I get to know it deeply, and that can only yield good things for my testing ability. So, thank you to Barefaced for letting us hang on to the cab for so long, and thanks for making such an excellent product. I love the One10.
Before I expound on its virtues, a bit about its design. The One10 is a diminutive cabinet that is the very essence of portable. The simple side handle is more than adequate to schlep the cab up and down stairs and around town, even on a motorcycle (more on that later). The cabinet is made from lightweight ply, and it’s blessed with metal corners and a durable acrylic coating. CNC machines employed during manufacturing ensure tight quality control. The enclosure’s high performance at such a small size is due largely to its designer, C. Alexander Claber, a cabinet engineer with the deep curiosity and broad knowledge to make smart choices. The evidence is in its “Hybrid Resonator” chamber, the bracing design, and excellent damping. It takes a lot of chops to make a cabinet this small sound good and loud, so I respect the brain behind it all.
I am occasionally a lazy bass player when it comes to my rig. Sure, a casual set at a local lounge or bar would sound fabulous if I brought my 50-pound head and 90-pound cabinet, but that ain’t happening. Living in super-packed San Francisco means I often park ludicrously far from a hit. For smaller stuff, my goal is basically one trip—and for that, the One10 has been a godsend. It’s way smaller and lighter than some of my favorite 1x12 cabinets, but every bit as capable. It has even saved my butt on a few things, most notably the time I was at my studio and realized that my soundcheck for a gig 30 miles away was in five minutes. We all know that panicky feeling. I immediately sprung into action, only to remember I didn’t have my car with me—I had taken my motorcycle that day. After frantically calling the bandleader to say I wouldn’t make the check, I began to wonder how in the heck I was going to bring gear to the gig. Scanning my room, I saw the One10 there and had a lightbulb moment. Suffice it to say, thanks to the miracles of duct tape and lane-splitting, I made my gig. I honestly can’t think of another cabinet that would have served the dual purpose of being portable enough to tape to my bike and loud enough to pull off a good-size room. I was sold then and there.
The One10 is capable of incredible volume for its size. This fact has been commented on often at gigs. It offers remarkable bass response and off-axis presentation into a room. It also boasts impressive power handling; rather than devolving into a nasty mess when pushed hard, the One10 edges into a satisfying growl. Its natural tone is on the smooth and mellow side, due largely to the absence of a tweeter. The Barefaced-designed, Eminence-manufactured 10CR250 driver is a marvel. The lightweight cone is coupled with a beefy voice coil and concentric midrange driver to produce a ton of sweet and articulate response, even at high volumes. It’s downright miraculous.
To my knowledge, there is nothing out there like the One10. It’s legit capable of handling medium-size gigs. It’s extremely easy to carry around. It’s built to last. There’s nothing not to like, which is why it’s more than deserving of a Bass Player Editors’ Award.
One10 1x10 Cabinet
Street Approx. $500
Pros Insane power handling and frequency response for its size; excellent construction
Bottom Line The most badass tiny cab out there.
Configuration 1x10" + 2" concentric midrange
Power handling 250 watts (Barefaced states that up to 500 watts are possible with a clean tone)
Frequency response 30Hz–6kHz
Connections Neutrik Speakon combo jack
Made in U.K.