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Acoustic Image

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Marty Forrer, Jun 23, 2001.


  1. Because I'm a doubler on upright and BG, and I'm always looking at ways of downsizing my gear, I'm looking at the Acoustic Image Contra or Clarus. I know how good they are for upright, but I need to know if they're any good for BG, in particular with a low B. I currently run a GK800RB head into SWR 2x10 and 1x15 cabs, and my thinking was to use either the Contra with the 2x10, or the Clarus with both cabs. Anyone out there have experience of these amps?
     
  2. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I've owned a Contra for almost two years and a Clarus for over a year.

    My Contra has been used for electric bass, and yes, a five string, though usually under not very stressful conditions. Good tone, very neutral and warm response from the Contra, though a very different sort of experience than a typical forwarding facing box -- the downfiring "subwoofer" spreads the sound, and while it can be punchy, it isn't like your average box. I have also taken it to living room rehearsals with my classic rock band and it cut well, but it's not something I think I'd rely on for higher volume work by itself; the addition of the 2x10, when needed could do the trick.

    The Clarus is very cool -- also has a very neutral character and warmth that you wouldn't usually associate with a solid state amp. Both units have a four band EQ, but it is subtle and doesn't offer the usually massive (and unnecessary) boost and cut that some other amps have.

    Don't know your SWR cab's impedance, but the Clarus will put out 300w/2 ohms and 200w/4 ohms. And the newest models do seem to have more headroom than the originals. That would seem to be the most reasonably priced solution -- I really like URB through a 2x10. My son has a SWR 2x10 and it is a nice cab. Of course, the Contra is lighter and more compact.

    BTW, after recommending their stuff the past couple years I finally asked and became a dealer for Acoustic Image last month: http://www.gollihur.com/kkbass/accimg.html

    One of the nice things, also, is that you get a 14 day trial period with the AI stuff so you can check it out without a permanent commitment.
     
  3. Thanks for the offer Bob (hail), but I live in New Zealand. We do have an AI agent here, and I have just emailed him. My big concern is whether the Clarus will be an advantage over my current GK, which also has subtle EQ shifts. Another question is this, The new model Contra is listed as having an 800watt digital power amp, while the Clarus remains at 300w. What is the practical difference here? Headroom? Output? Ability to handle the B?
     
  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    The 800w figure applies to both the Contra and Clarus - it's a peak power output. The power amp was updated a couple months ago to provide more headroom. I've shipped a Contra to Japan, so that's no impediment.
     
  5. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Say, Bob, do you know what the deal is with the new Clarus (Clarus 2) that's supposed to come out? Is it shipping? Does it cost more? Also, I'm confused about the difference between the Contra and the Coda. Looks almost as if they're the same amp with a slightly different preamp.

    Do you think the Clarus would work well with a 4 ohm Acme Low B-1 (1-10)? I know in advance it would not be very loud, given Acme's legendary inefficiency (I have a low B-2), but I do like the Acme sound. EA is more than I wanna spend for what you get, and I wasn't quite as impressed with them as I thought I'd be anyway. Thanks.
     
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    The Coda is available now; the Clarus 2 is due to be introduced at NAMM Nashville July 20 and should be available following that date.

    The Clarus 2 will be $999. It has the same preamp as the Coda (mic and instrument channels) along with a digital reverb. It will also have more power than the Clarus, 250W at 4 ohms, 360W at 2 ohms. The Coda is similar to the Contra, but has the 2 channel preamp and adds a 1" tweeter to the cabinet.

    The Clarus is a very transparent-sounding amp, and will deliver 200w into a 4 ohm load - if you have had the opportunity to use heads with a similar power output you will have some idea. I use mine with my EA VL-208, which is 8 ohm (into which the Clarus delivers 120w) and also not too efficient, and it sounds great and it pretty loud. I've also plugged it into my pair of EA 210 cabs and it is very loud. Haven't played through an Acme.
     
  7. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Really? Almost twice the price of the Clarus ($559)? Then I'd guess the Coda is, what, about $1250?
     
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Last pricing I received had the Coda at $999, too. I'll email to confirm. Does seem a bit odd.
     
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Confirmed. Clarus 2 and Coda are each $999.
     
  10. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Still sounds odd to me, but thanks for the info.