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Acoustic Cab Shootout

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by VegasGutPlucker, Jan 18, 2012.


  1. VegasGutPlucker

    VegasGutPlucker Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Chicago
    I'm currently using an Acoustic Image Clarus i think series 3, and an Aquilar 112 no tweeter, and I'm looking to upgrade my sound a bit. I prefer playing unamped whenever possible but some situations make that just unrealistic and possibly painful. I use a gut setup with a Schertler Dyn-B for pickup.
    Having been out of the market for a while there are some new toys I don't know about so I wanted to ask YOU for your opinion and experience.
    I'm looking at a Thunderchild, or a 2Ten cab to go with my Clarus, a nice compact combo unit might be nice though.
    Does anyone have comparative experience with these two cabs?
    Does anyone have another suggestion or direction I can look into?
     
  2. Roger Davis

    Roger Davis

    May 24, 2006
    England
    I use a Wizzy 10 for small (up to 80) gigs and a Wizzy 12 for the larger stuff. Sometimes a Wizzy 10 on a 12 which surprisingly gets a lot more bottom out of the 12 while giving you middle/top clarity from the 10. With my Clarus.

    But there will be others with equally valid preferences. I hear the Bergantinos are killers.
     
  3. klem.gote

    klem.gote

    Jan 18, 2009
    New England
    Bass Player
    I've used the Clarus Series III for a couple of years now, very happy with it. I've used the Wizzy 10 and 12. Both were good in different situations, though obviously a little different sounding. Overall I guess I preferred the 12. Last Summer I got the EA 2Ten ext cab and couldn't be happier with it. I have a Shen Willow and use the FC pickup. Plenty of warm, natural sound, and for a couple of outdoor electric gigs I added the Wizzy 10 to it and it kicked butt!!
     
  4. I presume you mean the AI 2 ten.
    I use the ten2 as well. Great in so many different rooms. lightweight but packs a lot of quality sound.
     
  5. klem.gote

    klem.gote

    Jan 18, 2009
    New England
    Bass Player
    Yes sorry, AI 2ten. And yes, different rooms, different bands and volumes etc. And that cab and the Clarus is an easy lug!!
     
  6. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    I was using a Wizzy 10 for a long time but had trouble with the midrange. That being said, I just built a fiberglass composite cab with a special Neo 8" driver. I much prefer the sound to the Wizzy and it goes just as loud.Maybe louder.No midrange wank and a very extended high frequency response. A lot smaller and 9.3 lbs. I'm very happy. I also built a composite 12 cab (with an Eminence 3012ho driver). It sounds great,is small, and goes loud enough for Electric bass gigs and weighs 15 1/2 pounds. I'll post some pics when I have a chance. Love that composite. Been screwing around with it for months and it's finally come to fruition!
     
  7. VegasGutPlucker

    VegasGutPlucker Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Chicago
    Great feedback guys, keep it coming. Never thought to look at the Wizzy, but I'll do some reading on them.
    Mike, please post some pics, I'd love to see what you came up with. An 8" driver? How's the low end on that?
     
  8. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    It has an extremely long excursion. I'd say that it's fine for piano trio gigs with drums. As loud as any 10" cab I've ever played through.
     
  9. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    Within its limits the Wizzy 10 is a nice cabinet. The one I had was prior to the stuffing mod which was intended to eliminate some of the midrange problems so I don't know how the newer ones are. I've been using an Acme B-1 and am really addicted to the low end extension for most of my gigs. If I have a long carry I will go with the GK MBX112.

    Mike, please share details on the 8". I would be very interested.
     
  10. VegasGutPlucker

    VegasGutPlucker Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Chicago
    I had an Acme B1 a while back but had to sell it. It was a real nice cabinet, at a lower price point than the 2Ten or the Thunderchild. Jeez, I wish I could sit in a room and play them all to decide.
     
  11. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    The Acme is interesting. It does eat the power and I can sometimes detect that the midrange driver isn't perfectly integrated with the woofer. However, it is nice to be able to adjust the level of the three drivers. I'm driving it with 400W at 4ohms. Negatives aside, it is a great DB cabinet that is as close to the ideal as I've experienced.
     
  12. cacophonic

    cacophonic

    Mar 18, 2008
    San Francisco
    +1 on the Acme.

    I use an AI Focus 2R with a B1, and liked it so well I acquired a B2 for louder gigs. If you are using the AI amp because you prefer an uncolored sound, the Acme achieves that goal very well. For a less hi-fi sound that some may describe as "warmer" you may use the midrange and tweeter attenuators to decrease upper mid and HF output.

    Acme now offers a new line that employs 12" woofers, for those so inclined. I have not used a 12" Acme yet, as the B1 and B2 are excellent products that allow me to forget about shopping for speakers and focus on other, more important things.

    Words-of-caution: The AI/Acme combination is quite accurate--what goes in is what comes out, only louder. You may find that the natural, extended frequency response of these components reveals some as-yet-unrevealed aspect of the sound of your pickup that your current cabinet masks. Often, some fine-tuning of the pickup position/orientation, and maybe a little eq, can solve such problems, but then, maybe not.

    And as is widely known, the relative inefficiency of the Acme speakers is the price paid for their extended LF response. My experience is that the B1 is "loud enough for jazz" so long as the drummer plays with restraint. Louder groups, including big band ensembles, will likely benefit from having a B2.

    bob
     
  13. VegasGutPlucker

    VegasGutPlucker Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Chicago
    +1 on all that. I used the B1 (aka peashooter) for upright and two B2's in various combinations for louder electric stuff. Crystal clear with the AI Clarus and honest when I went tube amp occasionally. I had problems with the light bulbs blowing all the time with electric bass, no matter what I thought I tried. And for drummers who, unfortunately, go Jon Bonham on a jazz trio gig because of nerves or girls or booze, made it hard to compete with the B1 without sounding thin. Maybe I didn't give it enough power, the Clarus 1 is only 400w @ 4Ω right?
     
  14. VegasGutPlucker

    VegasGutPlucker Supporting Member

    Oct 14, 2008
    Chicago
    just to piggyback on that, have you ever tried pointing the B1 at the ground using something to prop it like the AI speaker cabs? If not, give it a shot playing upright and report back if you're interested.
    I'm wondering if dispersion through a room is more important than volume, something playing on gut strings has taught me.
     
  15. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    KC Strings
    I don't want to derail this thread but I feel the need to comment on amps. I have owned several of the popular micro amps on the market: AI Focus 2R III, Clarus III, MarkBass LMII, Eden WTX 260, GK MB200 and currently an SWR Amplite head. Since I've owned the Acme I've only tried the GK and SWR.
    My opinion is that the AI amps (both 800w at 4 ohms) sounded a bit challenged in the low end department. They would go quite loud but they seemed to me to be mid focused without a really solid low end. I replaced the Focus with a LMII (class AB, I think) and it sounded bigger and more solid, in spite of it's lower power rating.
    After buying the Acme, I used it briefly with the little GK MB200 which is rated at 200W into 4 ohms. It sounded OK but only to a point and struggled to drive the cabinet to a level where I trusted it. The SWR Amplite (400W at 4ohms) sounds amazing with the Acme. Although it should only drive the cabinet another 3db it's much more than that.
    I do think the class D amps are amazing but vastly different in their ability to supply current and supply power into difficult loads in real world situations. My understanding of the 'hows' and 'whys' is limited. I'm simply relaying my experience.
    The combination of Headway pre and Amplite are head and shoulders above anything else I've tried. I wish somebody would put them in a single unit.:)

    Yes, the low end extension of the Acme comes at the price of lower efficiency. It's a valid trade-off in my opinion. Fed with plenty of clean power I can't imagine needing more than the B-1 but I rarely take the stupid loud gigs anymore.
     
  16. redcloud

    redcloud

    Oct 6, 2011
    I recently purchased the EA iAMP Micro 550 and the EA M Line Whizzy 112 primarily for use with my fretless ABG. I believe it is about as good as it can get for a small rig.
     
  17. Jazzdogg

    Jazzdogg Less barking, more wagging!

    Jul 29, 2006
    San Diego, CA
    I'm happy with the results I get using an iAmp800 and Wizzy12M and/or VL208, although I'm enchanted by both the Thunderchild (acoustic friendly version with rear-firing tweeter), and the new Acme 12.

    That said, I've been wondering about using a small powered cab, like the Phil Jones PB-300 or QSC K-8, K-10, or K-12 with a small line-level pre-amp like the Fishman Pro Platinum or the Headway EDB1 preamp:

    http://www.talkbass.com/forum/f4/headway-edb1-preamp-574997/
     
  18. cacophonic

    cacophonic

    Mar 18, 2008
    San Francisco
    The B1 is just a single 10" driver, in a small and relatively inefficient enclosure. There's only so much it can do, no matter how much power you put into it. 400W should be more than enough to drive it to its maximum acoustic output, I would think.

    Haven't tried that at all yet. I tend to either tilt it back like a wedge monitor or set it on a stool so as to be able to hear clearly the mid and high frequencies. That helps me to hear just how excruciatingly bad my intonation is (esp. arco) so that I have a shot at adjusting for the benefit of the band, the audience, and all mankind. I'd hate to lose that by pointing the drivers at the floor. A feature of AI cabinets is the down-firing woofer, but with a front-firing mid/tweeter... I think the Ten 2 also has a front firing woofer in addition to the down-firing driver. Frankly, the AI cabinets are very good sounding units to my ear, although the Acme's go deeper and provide additional heft in my experience.
     
  19. cacophonic

    cacophonic

    Mar 18, 2008
    San Francisco
    That's quite different from my impression. Prior to going with AI, I used a Stewart 1.2 (bridged, usually, 1000W @ 4 Ohms). I have found the Focus 2R Series III to be every bit a match for the Stewart, and it will quite easily drive either the B1 or B2, or both together, to the limits of their woofer excursion on fundamental frequencies. Perhaps some other amps tend to accentuate mid-bass, giving an impression of more low end.

    I've found that neither the B1 nor the B2, or even two B2s for that matter, will suffice for "stupid loud gigs." Stupid loud demands lots more cone area than any single Acme cabinet offers. Two B4 cabinets would only be a starting point for stupid loud, methinks. But I don't do stupid loud either. Anymore.
     
  20. shwashwa

    shwashwa

    Aug 30, 2003
    NJ
    i have that head, and a ten 2 cabinet, and my thunderchild is about a week away, and i use guts too. ill let you know what i think. (thats not my main amp head though, but ill give it a whirl)
     

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