Acoustic not Image

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Silevesq, Nov 22, 2022.

  1. Silevesq


    Oct 2, 2010
    Hey everyone, hope you are all doing fine!?

    I have been considering an acoustic image combo for a while. But I ended up buying the PJB Bass Cub II BG-110, which has served me great for the past few years, when doing more traditional Jazz gig. Plus, it costed me around 650$ cad while the AI would have costed around 2000$...

    But lately, I feel like I need a bit more power.
    So I considered buying only the acoustic image double shot speaker for bigger venues, but I don't think I can powered it up with my amp by PJB, Can I? From what I understood the line out can be plug into a powered amp?

    So I looked at the acoustic image double shot with a Clarus 2 ch head. Hoping to find a deal or used. For the used part, I don't find much around me, a few series II with only one channel. I could look online but didn't take the time yet!

    But then I though maybe I could get the double shot and find a different amp? I know it might sound sacrilegious for some of you. But why not? Has anyone done it? I have been seeing a few used Markbass head for sale.

    I'd like to be able to have two channel with the possibility of one microphone. I like using both a mic and a pick-up when I can.
  2. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    Although they do come up from time to time, because they are so reliable, compact and small, players don’t part with them as often.So finding them used can take a while. Some players I know use non AI heads with AI cabinets but most use AI heads with non AI cabinets. You aren’t alone in finding the PJB Cub not applicable in louder situations. I love my Traynor SB 106 for smaller gigs but it’s a single channel. You could combine a preamp with any of the Traynor heads. Just a thought.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022 at 7:19 AM
    damonsmith and Silevesq like this.
  3. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Make sure you understand that the DoubleShot has a very low sensitivity rating. Per the OM it can handle 600W continuous, but puts out only 118dB. This puts the sensitivity rating at about 90dB 1W/1m.

    Here is the calculation--Decibel change of 1W-600W = Log(600) x 10 = 27.8dB. Subtract this from the max: SPL 118 - 27.8 = 90.2dB

    With sufficient power, I am sure it will get louder than your current rig, but this is not the cab I would want for large venues. However, my philosophy is probably different than yours. I like a rig that can get way louder than an upright bass. If you have not actually tried this DoubleShot...IMHO you really should before you buy.

    My experience with AI is with the original Contra. It was a great grab-N-go amp for low volume gigs. Not so great for large venues or big band.
  4. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    With respect, the DoubleShot and a Clarus SL (nominally 650 watts into 4 ohms) is *way* louder than is necessary for playing with an 18 piece big band—and I speak as the upright/electric bassist for an 18-piece big band. I have on occasion used the DoubleShot with a micro Gallien-Krueger MB200 amp and it worked just fine. Certainly quite loud. Back in the day I used to use an original Contra with its matching extension speaker (the guys called them the toaster amps) both with a big band and on occasion with a loud jump blues band in club settings. While the Contra on its own wasn’t enough, the combination with the second matching speaker (either near each other or separated by 15 feet on a big stage, sitting behind the drummer who enjoyed it) was a surprisingly effective rig.
    Silevesq likes this.
  5. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011
    Another bass player in my organization (at the time) bought the original Contra with the matching extension cab specifically for big band. In our experience, it was not loud enough and frequently went into protect mode and would cut out for about 1.5 seconds, which was frustrating for the entire band. After a few rehearsals, the Contra was relegated to jazz combo background gigs, where it did great.

    I would expect the DoubleShot with 600W to be louder than the Contra with the matching extension. But I have felt every rig I have played that was rated for 118dB max was borderline at best in a professional big band. If 118dB Max SPL is loud enough for you, does not work for me.

    Keep in mind, I am not telling @Silevesq that he should not buy the DoubleShot. Only trying to help him make an informed decision. Maybe the DoubleShot will be great for him, and maybe it won't.
  6. Dudaronamous

    Dudaronamous Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Oct 16, 2005
    Bothell, WA
    I have the PJB BG-400 and the volume was very underwhelming with the piezo Realist Lifeline pickup until I added a clean boost preamp. I have used the Q-strip and the Broughton Hi pass/low pass with much success. Both have a clean boost. Maybe that’s something that would be worth a try with your PJB.
    CryingBass and Silevesq like this.
  7. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    While I love my AI head, I've used about six different AI cabs and every single one of the let me down and was underpowered. My feeling is that they have such an emphasis on lightweight that they sacrifice power and headroom. Ultralight whimpy cabs for very low volume settings, that you can occasionally push to the mid volume. I need solid cabs that can run all day long at mid volumes and can handle pushing heavy when needed. It makes no sense to me that my AI Focus Head can power a 4x10 or a big SVT cab with no problem, yet when I run the cabs made by AI, they let me down.....Bring out an AI version of the Thunderchild or a 4 x 10!

    BUT...with all that said, I am soooooooo happy that AI continues the be a solid company (local too!) that makes a great product and has not been sold off to Fender or somebody similar who will mothball the company after a couple of years...
    Silevesq, crd, Keyser Soze and 5 others like this.
  8. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    I've been using TC electronic heads with the Doubleshot. I owned the Clarus for a number of years too. The BQ500 goes way louder than the Clarus with the knobs dimed. It gives the doubleshot some oomph that the Clarus lacked.

    I've used the TC/DS rig on large and small stages. I'd say the DS has about the volume of a decent 1x12 but with more spread out open sound rather than forward punch. I sometimes miss that lack of forward punch though. In one band I play with I set up between a Buddy Rich style drummer and a keyboard player that uses 2 QSC powered speakers for his stage sound. It's loud but not Rock Band loud. Using the TC/DS rig I can hear it but next time I'm bringing a 1x12 cab to that gig to get more solid forward punch.

    On the other hand I used that rig in a loud big band rehearsal. All acoustic but in a loud room. The DS filled the room with a great natural sound, loved it. With the right head it's a great cab for gigs that creep up in volume as it can hang with a decently loud drummer and is very lightweight. If you play in loud bands where everyone is miced/amped it may not be the best choice.

    As for using a mic, you'll need a preamp unless you go the Acoustic Image route as there's really no bass amps with mic inputs. There's the Genzler acoustic combo but that's pretty spensive. How are you getting a mic into the PJ combo you have now?
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2022 at 6:21 AM
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  9. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    At this point only the Clarus 4+ has microphone inputs, the SL series does not have them
    Povl Carstensen likes this.
  10. For a least expensive volume increase, could you use the Line Out (or D.I. Out) into a powered PA speaker? Any brand, bought used or new should do.

    Of course, you could also check out the PB-300 Powered Cabinet, PB-300 250W.
    sean_on_bass and Ric Vice like this.
  11. DannyW


    Sep 1, 2021

    Acoustic Image
  12. Silevesq


    Oct 2, 2010
    This is the one I was thinking about with the double shot Acoustic Image.

    @longfinger have you done that?

    @Wasnex You lost me, I know what you wrote is true but I'm not sure how to interpret it.

    I'm so lost in all off this, I wish I could just play acoustic and get done with it, but I'm not in my 20's anymore and can't pull the strings like I used too...

    The best scenario would be that I would keep the PJB for home practice with the EB. But I like being able to transport it easily at the same time with the upright... Anyway... I'll keep on looking.
  13. My 600w Clarus head with an Upshot is more than enough for some pretty loud gigs - I don't go into rock volume too much, I have a heavy 15" cab I use when I need more.
    The point being, if you are playing at loud jazz or even free jazz volumes, AI stuff will be great. I do not doubt @james condino needing way more headroom for louder club gigs. One person said that AI uses the power of fidelity instead of volume, which makes sense. I can get a pretty good picture of my actual bass sound with my set up.

    Too the other points in the thread: I ultimately decided against a double shot as my second cab for louder sets, I really waiting for any lightweight regular directional cab to come up at a decent price. Probably a Markbass, they seem to be around.
    The Upshot has been great and it great when paired with house sound as well.

    The Upshot may be plenty for you as well.
    Silevesq likes this.
  14. No, I have not done that. I have an AI Coda that gives enough sound most times. When it does not, I usually can plug into a house PA for extra sound.

    For louder BG gigs, I'll use my Eden DC112XLT. Even that can go into a PA for more sound.

    But for you, if you like your PJ Bass cub and it works for you most of the time, but for some events where you don't have PA support and you need a bit more sound, and external powered cabinet should do the trick. You can get one used for less than $400. (Though sellers of used powered speakers often want to sell pairs). Leave it at home when you don't need it. Bring it with you when you do.
  15. james condino

    james condino Spruce dork Supporting Member Commercial User

    Sep 30, 2007
    asheville, nc
    HA! Those are the times when I blew up my AI cabs- on what I would call moderate jazz gigs! The amazing thing is how well their heads do with much larger cabs.

    For me, the breakdown is simple:

    No drummer= AI cabs

    Drummer= anything but AI cabs


    'Hope everyone has a fun, safe, & drama free holiday....
  16. Wasnex


    Dec 25, 2011

    AI head with EA NL210 worked great in a big band.
    Dudaronamous likes this.
  17. Greg Clinkingbeard

    Greg Clinkingbeard Commercial User

    Apr 4, 2005
    Kansas City area
    Black Dog Bass Works
    Regarding AI heads and combos; been there, done that, then been there, done that. You can say that again. Generally, I think the downward facing cabinet design works very well in delivering a very natural tone, in a small percentage of situations. Essentially, gigs which require just a little help. Somewhat related to Dr. Condino’s point about AI’s emphasis on lightweight, I purchased a carpeted Contra extension cabinet last year and think it sounds noticeably better than the polymer version. I once did a head to head with the carpeted Contra and a polymer (series IV?) I owned at the time. The old one had a more solid tone. I also have a Gen 1 Clarus (the little one) and don’t honestly think it sounds very good. A MarkBass Nano 300 works very well with the AI cabinet, as does the TC Bam200.
    That said, I have no experience with the Double Shot or any of AI’s new cabinets. Hope this helps somewhat.
  18. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    The Doubleshot is very different different than the previous downfiring AI cabs both in sound and output.
  19. This group did a tour in April (another one in Dec.!). So there is the most video of it.
    Here is no amp:

    Pittsburgh with the Upshot & Clarus:

    Erie with the same setup:

    Chicago with the same setup:
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  20. Silevesq


    Oct 2, 2010
    In which sense do you mean that?

    @damonsmith Is the set in chicago with the same bass as the no amp set?