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Series 4 from Acoustic Image

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by SteveFreides, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Anyone else noticing the ads from AI on their TB screens? The link takes you to their web site, but it just says more info will be coming soon. Is this something _after_ the Ten2 they're advertising?

  2. There seems to be more info on reseller's sites like Gollihur and Upton.
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  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri

    Here's the information from Bob's website, as usual he has the new info since he's very close to the AI folks.

    ALL combos now have the removable head feature (Cabrio model)

    ALL One and Two Channel Heads and Combos will now have the built-in effects

    ALL heads and combos will have a 600 watts @ 4 ohms power level; slightly lower than the past Cabrio models but with improved specs

    S4 Clarus 1 amps are upped to 600 watts, now include effects, and have the same case as the Cabrio models

    S4 Clarus 2 amps now also have the new 600 watt @ 4 ohms power level and remain in the Cabrio compatible case

    Contra combo amps are replaced by the single channel Coda (with higher power, effects, and removable head)

    Ten2 combo amps can now be had with one or two channels, at $1449 and $1599 http://www.acousticimg.com/docs/S4 PR.pdf this link will take you to the AI newsletter about it.

  5. Can you mix the two channels for pickup and mic use?
  6. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I would pose this question to Bob since he's in the know.

  7. Michael Eisenman

    Michael Eisenman Supporting Member

    Jun 21, 2006
    Eugene, Oregon
  8. No reason you can't - having two channels is a very useful thing, e.g., when I run my keyboard through my Ten2, it's got a stereo output and I run left into one channel and right into the other - it's very useful. I've never used a mic on my upright but there's no reason you couldn't do what you're suggesting and I'm sure plenty of people do it. Particularly since each channel's got a phase switch, you should be able to really fine-tune the combination of sound sources that way.

  9. Thanks for that - I guess I must not be registered because I don't get these - will email AI about that.

    The newsletter was quite informative. As Ten2 owner, it makes me consider selling my current head and buying a new one - since all the Ten2's have the docking system, I assume this is possible. But, to be honest, there's nothing I _hear_ from my Ten2 that would make me want to upgrade it - I've had to A/B the new and old heads - be very interesting to hear from anyone who's done that.

  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Of course - that's what they're designed for: two input sources, two combo input jacks. You'll want to audition one first, though, to see if you prefer the combo or head+cab configuration. Both have advantages:

    With the combo, it's all in one piece and easy to schlep, and the down and front firing speakers (adjustable in this case) will give a more ambient and less directional sound, especially as the downfiring speaker will reflect off of whatever is beneath it and disperse in various directions; this can be really great for a particular type of omnidirectional warmth, especially from a pickup signal, where it can help smooth out the rough edges of the piezo signal. It can also be troublesome for mic usage, since past a certain volume the mic will be able to "hear" the amplified signal, which can lead to woofiness and/or feedback.

    With the head+cab configuration (depending on the cab, of course), you will have the ability to get a more focused and "direct" sound, which allows you the possibility of directing the signal away from the pickup pattern of the mic, which in turn can allow you to use more mic signal before feedback. With a pickup, you can also set up your sound to be less ambient and to have more "point" on each note and less "body", which can be useful in some situations.

    (disclaimer - my observations come from the perspective of owning several previous series of heads and having played through a number of the downfiring combo models, but not with the current series, which I must admit I am itching to audition at some point)
  11. Chris, the Ten2 is 2-woofer, one down-firing and one front-facing - I mention that because you sounded like you were talking about the Contra-style of AI cabinet/combo.

  12. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Just as an outsiders observation, in the AI white paper that's off that link I posted, Rick Jones said "While the new ceramic‐magnet woofers add about two pounds of weight per woofer, they actually sound smoother due to a flatter frequency response,” Jones added. “They are also considerably less expensive than neo woofers for which future pricing and availability are unpredictable at best.”

    Wouldn't that mean that a Ten 2 cabinet in the Series 4 Design is going to weigh 27 lbs. versus it's current weight of 23 lbs. ? The new Ten 2's would then weigh in at 32 lbs. correct? Just an observation. The raise in the price of neodymium is forcing the manufactures to up the weight of their cabinets. I wonder how long Euphonic Audio will be able to build their cabinets before they have to move to ceramics as well? For that matter, Gentz Benz Shuttle's, Markbass, and GK all use neo speakers to reduce weight. What's really interesting is the weights that are listed on Bob's website for the Acoustic Image Series 4 amps don't
    reflect that, maybe Acoustic Image lightened up the cabinet construction to compensate for the heavier ceramic drivers. I'm sure that Bob will come on and give us the scoop. He's really good about that.

  13. brianrost

    brianrost Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
  14. tedw

    tedw Gold Supporting Member

    Jun 13, 2006
    Northwest U.S.
    Personally, I'm excited about the series 4. I've used a Series III Clarus Single Channel with a Contra EX for years for my Rob Allen bass. It's always been great for me. When I've needed a more focused speaker, I've used an Epifani UL-110. Either combination has always sounded great. I've never been disapointed. I've been wanting to buy a Ten2 extention cabinet, but now I'm tempted to just take the leap and buy a Series 4 Ten 2 (including the amp).
  15. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    To answer a couple questions I saw:

    Yes, the new amps will be a little heavier thanks to the ceramic woofers; we haven't updated the weights on the site yet because the weights are still up in the air. Additionally, the new power amp is a little lighter, and the "2 pounds per woofer" is a rounded-up figure. So it's probably going to be, for instance, a 2.5 to 3 lb increase for the Ten2, in my estimation. We'll see. It's still - by far - the lightest 2x10 combo out there that I've seen.

    Yes, the two channel amps are designed to blend two different inputs, and the combo jacks allow for two XLR, two 1/4", or one of each. Each channel has its own independent EQ, effects loop, and send/return to the onboard effects. They are "mixed together" at the final stage of the amp, just before amplification (and the DI output.)

    The current Ten2 and new Ten2 are probably going to be so close in volume/sound quality that I can't come up with a good reason to sell the Series III to get the Series 4. Yes, the new power amp reduces noise; but AI amps are already among the quietest in the industry. And the woofers may sound "better/smoother" - but they already sound great.

    We're excited to prepare for the new S4 models - but the Series III amps are no slouches! :)

    Any other points I've missed, let me know!
  16. Hi Mark,

    I'm not sure if you've received the S4 prodcuts yet, however I'm curious on your buy recommendation in regards to a S3 Coda+ ($1369 on your website) vs a S4 Coda two channel ($1349 on your website).

    It seems the differences are:

    S4: 600W amp, less power but supposedly cleaner, lighter,
    ceramic woofer supposedly smoother, but heavier

    both have two channels with what appears to be the same knobs, controls, effects.

    When you have them side by side and basically the same price, what is the meaningful real world difference between the two?

  17. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2000
    Gloucester County, NJ
    Chief Low-Frequency Facilitator, Gollihur Music LLC
    We don't have them yet; Rick at AI says he'll be shipping S4 amps out to retailers (including us) in a couple weeks.

    That said, I expect that there will be very little difference from one to the other. The new amp module is reportedly a bit lighter than the old one, which doesn't make up for the full difference in speaker magnet weight, but offsets it a bit.

    As to how different the new speakers sound, we'll see. I strongly doubt that it is dramatic; it will likely only be evident to those have the opportunity to A-B them directly in a good listening environment. Meaning, basically, very few of us. :) I imagine the majority of folks who have heard prior models before will hear the new one, and think to themselves, "Yep, still sounds every bit as good" (assuming, of course, that they like the AI combos.)

    800w vs 600w? I would hope that most AI combo users don't have the amp usually running at its peak levels (because it means that they really should be using a larger amp). But the 200w advantage of the SIII models would only be evident in headroom levels at the highest volume settings - I doubt there is much "overall volume" (SPL) difference between the two when run through their own combo cabinets. Now, if you pop the head out and run a couple of other speakers, then you might perhaps get a detectable volume difference - a pair of 8ohm EA Wizzy 12 speakers, for instance, would each get 400w instead of 300w, and that might provide a volume advantage (but might not, who knows?)

    Weight difference? I think that the ceramic woofer adds between 1-2 lbs, and the lighter preamp offsets that a little. In a combo weighing under 20 lbs, I personally wouldn't find an extra 1-2 lbs overall to be a dealbreaker.

    So I guess what I'm saying is that they are both really good amps, and whether you get what's left of the Coda+ amps (not many left, here or anywhere else - and no more available from AI) or wait for the S4, you still get a tiny, powerful, lightweight, transparent combo with a 5+ year warranty. A good buy, IMHO, either way.

    Note that the "docking systems" from the SIII and S4 models are fully compatible with each other, meaning a SIII head can mount into an S4 combo, and vice-versa.
  18. orbix


    Aug 19, 2005
    Erie, CO
    Thought I'd chime in here since I just picked up one of the handful of remaining S3 Contra EX cabinets that Bob had in stock to go along with the AI New Yorker I bought about 6 years ago. If you're interested in an AI speaker cabinet, grab an S3 before they disappear- the price went up by something like $80, the weight went up a few pounds, and that's about it. The heads got a number of improvements, but from what I was able to discern, the speaker cabinets really didn't improve, they just got more expensive.

    Now, having said that, I'm sure the new prices are more than fair- I'm still astonished that the S3s sold for $459, since they're *really nice*, and even at the new pricing are a bargain IMHO.

    (Yes, I'm a bit of an AI fanboy, I'll admit, but hey, they work great for me)
  19. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I'm sure that this is only the tip of the neo iceburg. Eminence released a letter with the following quote "For the long term, we are currently skeptical of the viability for the use of neodymium magnets in loudspeakers." AI is just being proactive since neo drivers are most like going to disappear entirely.

  20. Hi there,

    I'm wondering how the Coda 2 channel combo would perform as a bass+voice unit. It's great that the unit has built in reverb. How do vocals sound coming out of that speaker? Would it also be useful for acoustic guitar? (with or without voice / bass)? I'm seeing if I could have one unit for voice, acoustic guitar, double bass, and electric bass (EGB: for quiet events).

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