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Accoustic Image Contra

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Nick Ioannucci, Feb 24, 2006.

  1. DOes anyone have this combo? ive been looking at it for a while, and was wondering if it was a decent amp for doubling? i play upright and a fender fretless jazz. Looking for some input as to sound and worth. is it worth 1000? please and thank you
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I have a series 1 Contra. It's good for double bass; I don't care for it with the fretless. Many folks do use it for doubling, however. I prefer a front-firing cab for any electric bass work.
  3. I have a Contra (Mk 1) - it's works quite well with the double-bass, in fact I've had gigs where the leader has specifically asked me to use it (instead of the AI Clarus/Raezer's Edge, or the GK150 which I also use). I've used the Contra with the extension cabinet at a few gigs as well. The sound is great, and they seem to work much better if the cabs are slightly tilted - for the Mk 1s this is done with a "Magic Triangle" (small metal prop inserted under front edge of the cabinet).

    It works OK with the electric bass, but I've used mine mostly with the double-bass.

    I would have thought $1k to be high - I would think for that price you'd get the extension cabinet as well… (oh, are you talking about a Mk 1 or something more recent?)

    - Wil
  4. Ryan Nilson

    Ryan Nilson

    Feb 10, 2006
    Kansas City
    It is great for DB and OK for BG. It all depends on the sound you want. Your not gonna get a punchy funk sound out of the BG. I use it for both DB and fretless BG in a traditional jazz setting, but not in funky, heavy electronic settings. A thousand is alot for it though look around you should be able to find one for 850 or in that area.
  5. cool. mabey ill have to find a place where i can play my frettelss on one and see if i like it. can anyone reccomend any alternatives for a someone that doubles?
  6. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Nick, not to be a tool or anything, but search the DB Amps forum on "Acoustic Image", "contra", "doubling"

    You'll see that we've spent a ton of time discussing these things and as a result there is a wealth of information waiting for you that could be had with 20 minutes of reading old posts.

    I think you'll be glad you did and then if you have some more specific questions, come back and post and I think you'll get some more specific answers.
  7. Nick,
    I had CONTRA for few month, got it off, came back to GK MBE. Too much CONTRA´s problems on various stage surfaces, two trips to car, no handy shape, rather strange lows...
  8. Oh, forget about CONTRA for BG. My fretJazzBass didn´t sound like "electric bass" through AI CONTRA.Downfiring woofer is not good for BG.
  9. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Hmmm - since only lows go through the downfiring woofer, it seems like it wouldn't matter much about different flooring. Lows being omni and most flooring not absorbing lows.
  10. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    FWIW, IMO trying to answer Nick's original question about whether or not the Contra will work in a doubling situation depends a lot on (1) the player and (2) the situation, in particular the max overall volume requirements.

    Actually I tend to agree w/ what Marcus said in his post (#2). And there certainly are a lot of cool options out there for doubling. But in the final analysis, I still think a lot of it just depends on #1 above, namely the player's tastes.

    I know one cat who uses a Contra w/ his fretless and he is able to get a very deep, punchy and authoritative tone.

    What that proves ... I dunno.
  11. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    The AI's problem for BG is not the configuration, but the lack of tonal coloration. BG amps typically have all sorts of non-linearities designed in, whether from a 12AX7 in the front end, or tone shaping networks. Add a SansAmp Bass DI to a Clarus and be surprised.
  12. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    To mess up this whole situation, I must say that I like the contra (I have a Coda, but same difference) with my fretless. Granted, I don't play fretless that much anymore, nor do I play in a rock band, but I did play in a "Fusion" band. It was drums/bass/guitar trio with myself as the front-man, kinda. Lotsa bass melody tunes and such. It cut it for rehearsals, and when we got to venues I used the PA and monitors.

    As people have said above, it does depend on the player and situations. Being a self proclaimed mainly upright bassist, I kinda like the "sterile" electric sound. But I'm trying to get a fairly uncolored "upright-esque" sound.
  13. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    Ah Ok.
    Myself, I like a transparent amp/speaker so that I can add on preamp/effects to color the sound if I choose. Or turn it off and get a transparent sound. In fact, a good PA is a good way to go.