Headrush FRFR 108 vs. Yamaha DXR 10 - my impressions

  • Quote

    These are my impressions comparing the two units.


    Many people know that the Yamaha DXR 10's have been my go-to FRFR cabs since 2013. I even preferred them to the Atomic CLR's due to a better form factor. They always sounded good, albeit slightly mid heavy, they were crazy loud and light. Convenient.

    When I read about the Headrush FRFR 108 I was very interested to try them but they were not available in Germany until recently.


    What did I expect? I wanted to know if I could get decent results with the crazy good form factor of the 108 without sacrificing tone.

    I didn’t expect them to beat the DXR's in any way but they really did (for me). Read on.


    First of all with only 9.2 kg (DXR 10 14.6 kg) they're more than a third less heavy than the DXR 10. They're quite small in comparison, too. The form factor is crazy good for me regarding portability.

    They won’t get as crazy loud as the DXR 10 but certainly loud enough to carry a room (when standing up or elevated and not used as a wedge). They don't have a Mic preamp (not needed for this purpose) and less switchable EQ curves which adds to the price difference (and the fact that Yamaha = premium, price wise).


    The sound: this was the greatest surprise. Albeit the chassis of the Headrush is much smaller than the DXR 10 it will go lower (46 Hz vs 56 Hz according to specs). The overall impression was that the bass fundament is more profoundly laid out with the 108 (without using the contour switch which is like a 3 dB loudness switch with even more pronounced bass and treble and which I can’t imagine to ever use with a band at gig levels).

    The mids come very balanced vs. the DXR 10 which in fact can sound a bit boxy and hard. At gig levels one of the greatest pros of the DXR 10 was that due to the pronounced mids they were always IN YOUR FACE, and whatever the circumstances you would always hear yourself no matter what loud drummer/keyboarder/guitarist you played with. With the 108 this will not be the case to this extent, it will not be in your face THAT MUCH, but let’s face it, it SOUNDS better. To me.

    Treble is the same. Could be a little on the harsh side with the DXR 10, is very "sweet" (in lack of a better word) with the 108.

    Conclusion is that to me the 108 sounded better than the DXR 10, reminding me of my CLR's which I have long sold.


    At home, in my comfort zone in my music room, sitting in a sweet spot I very often preferred to play over a real Greenback cab instead of the DXR 10 because there’s some magic in a great guitar cab.

    Now with he 108 the gap to the Greenback cab has become VERY SMALL.

    With the FRFR 108, Headrush has certainly hit a home run.

    The price, weight, form factor and most importantly the sound is awesome.

    An extraordinary product.

    I've sold my Yamaha's.

  • Thanks Ingolf for sharing your experience and all the details. I am still on the edge of deciding to go FRFR as well instead of moving my ENGL PRO 4x12 with its ridiculous fiftysomething kilogram around. That thing sounds great but you need a bunch of good friends to carry it from stage to stage for you :P


    The much I love the "in your face" thingy as well it is most probably reasonable and clever to reduce that a bit in order to make your sound guy happy as well... best sound for the audience rules :)

  • What style of music do you use them for?

    Kemper PowerRack | Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop

  • I always thought the Headrush Cabinets were re-labeled Alto Speakers? I am still quite happy with my Yamaha DBR10 (not DXR10), but I only use it as an "emergency solution" for my guitar.


    So far no fullrange solution could make me really happy. I hope that Kemper Kone will change that is high! ;)

  • I was just looking again:

    The Alto TS 308 looks similar and is also the same in specs. It is also a bit cheaper.


    Are the headrush products voiced differently? Just like Friedmann does with his full-range speakers, which are actually modded B-52 monitors.

  • I was just looking again:

    The Alto TS 308 looks similar and is also the same in specs. It is also a bit cheaper.


    Are the headrush products voiced differently? Just like Friedmann does with his full-range speakers, which are actually modded B-52 monitors.

    They do look identical yes.

    Kemper PowerRack | Rivera 4x12 V30 cab | Yamaha DXR10 pair | UA Apollo Twin Duo | Adam A7X | Cubase DAW
    Fender Telecaster 62 re-issue chambered mahogany | Kramer! (1988 or so...) | Gibson Les Paul R7 | Fender Stratocaster HBS-1 Classic Relic Custom Shop

  • This is a really interesting thread...

    I own (and use) 2 DXR10’s, usually one at a time.


    I also bought the HR 108 to use upstairs - due to size, weight and no fan.

    It’s good in that role.


    BUT.... there is no way it can compete with the Yamaha’s 10” driver for overall sound/authenticity of the modeled cabinet and tone.. In my opinion (yes, opinion), the DXR is a far better sounding speaker with better realism, balance and ability to handle louder volumes as well.


    I also found the 108’s bass response to be very “spikey”.


    I like the 108 for $199, but to me, that’s all it’s worth. $199.... it’s $199 well spent, but it’s no DXR10. Not by a long shot. (That said, I can see it as a good option for a monitor speaker...)


    -N

  • They won’t get as crazy loud as the DXR 10 but certainly loud enough to carry a room (when standing up or elevated and not used as a wedge).

    Yours were among the opinions I valued when I chose the DXR 10, and I'm quite happy with it. I also have a small car, so form factor was a major consideration.


    Of course, it's always good to keep an eye on what's new and groovy. I play styles of classic rock that encourage very loud drummers (Whitesnake, Judas Priest, etc.). What would you say is the realistic max is for the Headrush cabs? The DXRs hit 110db in the studio without breaking a sweat and I'm sure they can do more.

  • Yours were among the opinions I valued when I chose the DXR 10, and I'm quite happy with it. I also have a small car, so form factor was a major consideration.


    Of course, it's always good to keep an eye on what's new and groovy. I play styles of classic rock that encourage very loud drummers (Whitesnake, Judas Priest, etc.). What would you say is the realistic max is for the Headrush cabs? The DXRs hit 110db in the studio without breaking a sweat and I'm sure they can do more.

    I'll measure the loudness, Chris Duncan