Acoustic Image Series III

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by KJung, Nov 30, 2005.

  1. FYI... the AI website has just been updated with real pictures and full specs/pricing on the new AI line. It looks like they are now in full production mode and that the products are shipping.

    The Focus is now formally listed as safe to operate at 2ohms (1000 watts), which I know some TBers were hoping for. The only thing that looks strange to me is that the treble shelving control is set at 10K!!!!! Seems like that would only be useful as a roll-off on a DB versus a useable control for EB.
  2. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Clarus 2R...Clarus 2R...they look nice. I actually don't much like the tall sides on the case. I know they serve a purpose, but I just think they look like hell...

    Ken, where was the treble control on the older amps? I can't remember.
  3. I think it was the same, but they had a bright control which was a non-shelving variable 'bright switch centered at 9K... however, it seemed to have a relatively broad band and acted more IMO like a typical treble control. This is no longer part of the preamp... just the very high treble control.

    I was assuming since they got rid of the bright control that they would have lowered the freq of the treble shelving a little bit. However, I think those amps really are designed with the DB player in mind, so maybe it makes sense.
  4. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    I didn't realize how high that bright control was set. FWIW, I never touch the treble but always use the bright knob...for DB. It is voiced perfectly for taking the zing out of a piezo PU or adding some if you need it. In fact, I've never touched either mid band on the old Focus/Clarus...they just don't do that much IMO.

    For electric, the usefulness of that EQ is so negligible that it's not really worth fussing over (my .02). The amp sounds great as it is, though.
  5. +1 I use the bright control as the treble control on my Series II... I think they made a mistake taken that out of the circuit on the new ones.

    You hit the nail on the head... if you don't like the sound relatively flat, then you probably shouldn't buy the amp... not a lot of power (at least for EB) with the tone controls. I know some guys use stand alone EQ's and preamps, etc., but that kind of defeats the purpose of the small head to me.
  6. coldtrain


    Aug 19, 2004
    Middleburg, VA
    I'm using the older Focus SA with an SABDDI as a 'pre', so my whole rig fits in my gig bag...I haven't had a chance to try the full AI heads with the integrated pre, but the SA just sounds great as is.
  7. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    And +1 to that...once you start bringing bunch of outboard stuff, you might as well take a TFunk or 550.

    To tell you the truth, I never got a good sound using a preamp into the effects return of these amps. The flat sound into the front of the amp is the best one.

    I'm using a first generation, it's practically vintage now!
  8. bino

    bino Supporting Member

    Jun 27, 2002
    Orange County
    Man, you're so old-school. Are you wearing black socks and loafers with shorts too?
  9. You know things are moving too fast in the bass gear world when you can be old school with a 5 pound digital amp!
  10. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Thanks to Wilbyman I have a Series II Focus as well as my old Series I Clarus. I had a newer Series I Clarus and a traded it to a friend, and bought my current Clarus which is super early production Series I. It has the old style bag and the applied control label plate. Still not old school, just an early example.

    I like that AI has changed the controls and inputs. One example is that the front end on the Series II gear seems to be a lot better. For example, it is really easy to overload the input section on the Series I Clarus if you run a hot signal into the hi gain input. The Series II Focus doesn't seem to care. It sounds clearer and doesn't overload as easily. I tried a Series II Clarus and it was the same way so it isn't just the power section.
  11. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    without my addictive 31 band eq the last three gigs now. Tone is fine...again, it's gotta be cranked a little to get things to work more "effectively" with either of my Schroeder cabinets, and yes, I would be concerned slightly about the 10K treble with no Bright switch or knob like on the last version, but having a 2 ohm rating, a few more watts and preconceived notion/or assumptive knowledge that ya might be a little high, treble shy, maybe pedal eq with a couple of slides over 10K in the effects loop would get the extra adjustability with only a pound more weight.

    I've found that if I don't turn all my tone up significantly on the head and just crank up the volume, there seems to be plenty of lows, cut through, and highs. This was surprisingly enough the recommendation that Roger Sadowsky has (don't significantly boost your tone controls, especially the 300-400hz range) and you should get a nice blend of everything heard nicely in the mix?

    I've been running my bass full bore bass, treble, mids at 250 boosted as close to full as room will allow, treble roll off (vintage tone control equivalent) all the way up/on, and on the Focus the bass 1/3 up, the mids around11 oclock and the treble and bright up around 3...I know this is higher than the other two, but my strings are very old and this is the what I've needed to do to get enough treble.

    I'd probably add the slave amp to be able to accomodate 2 4 ohm speaker cabinets rather than sell and upgrade to the new Focus integrated head because that way I'd have separate volume controls, one for each cabinet, still have the bright and treble option of the "older" model Focus and be running 1400 total watts with my entire rig which I gotta believe is close to insanity.

  12. SteveC


    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
    What do you guys know about the Focus SA Power Amp? I am looking for something light, small and non-rackmount to use with my PodXT. A 3.5 pound 450 watt amp seems like a good choice.
  13. Wilbyman


    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    It's tough to be on the cutting edge of fashion and bass gear simultaneously!
  14. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA

    best reply today... :D
  15. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    My experience is very different, but I don't doubt the vaildity of what you're saying. Just plugging my active basses directly into the EFX return sounds worlds better than using the Focus front end, IMHO. It took some trial and error to find the right preamp for me for fretless BG. I ended up building my own, small help for anyone else! ;)

    And +1 to that...once you start bringing bunch of outboard stuff, you might as well take a TFunk or 550.

    Not if you don't own one. :cool: For me, the Focus as a standalone is perfect for my EUB gigs (all my real gigs are on EUB, basically). Using a few lightweight pieces out of my scary big rack rig with the Focus is a nice cost effective option for me when I want to do a casual gig or a jam with BG. Just depends on your situation, as usual, eh?