AI Coda, not enough volume

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by eunchang, Sep 13, 2004.

  1. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    I bought an used Coda from a TBer a couple of weeks ago. It arrived with minor damage in transit(FedEx.. :spit: ), however I liked it much. The sound was beautiful.

    However, the problem is I couldn't get a good volume out of it. If I set both input gain and master pass around 12 o'clock, it starts farting so bad - it just gets overdriven. I plugged in 4 different basses - a DB with Underwood, an EUB with piezo pickup and electric basses(passive/active), so I don't think it is the bass problem. Of course the output levels from different basses varied, but at some point the amp cannot handle it no matter which bass I plug in. I set all the EQs flat and never turned gain and master pass 2 o'clock. I believe the amp with this quality should be able to handle it.

    I played several different gigs with it. I thought I could get some more volume out of it because it has some more wattage than Workingmans 12 I have, but not really because it gets overdriven so quickly. I think the head has plenty of headroom but the cab cannot handle it.

    So my question is,

    how much volume could you get out of AI Coda(or Contra) before distortion?

    I already called AI and they said they would send me a new woofer at no cost if it is damaged one. Nice people!! All I need to do is figure out what is wrong with it unless I want to ship to them.
  2. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    I've played the Clarus head through different cabs when I tour and I've had the gain and volume around 2:00 without farting. Take AI up on their offer because the head can handle past twelve o clock easily. Good luck.
  3. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    Those are about the gain settings that are the limits for my Contra as'll start to break up much past that. Rolling the bass back helps get a little more volume without distorting.

    The deal is, though, that the AI combos aren't really built to supply high volume. You might get someone in the audience to listen while you play, might be making a judgement call from too close to the amp. That tone carries a lot further than you think, and it doesn't fully develop for several feet.
  4. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    That's right. I've heard that AIs are not for loud volume but I just didn't believe it until I got this one. The reasons are:

    1. I was ignorant about the efficiency of a cab makes a huge difference in output. Also about the hi-fidelity/efficiency trade-off(Rick Jones from AI educated me this morning about this issue).

    2. Whenever I heard my friends playing AI amps they sounded loud enough. So as you mentioned, maybe AIs can carry the sound further without getting too much loud right in front of the amps.

    Now I am considering getting an extension cab(I love the sound of my Coda). Rick Jones recommended their extension speaker of course, but I want to hear TBers opinions as well.
  5. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    I find that the Coda does have enough volume from combo to big band rehersal and stage volume. When I run into trouble with it is in outdoor, background music gigs where the sound just disapeers. I find that my old bass, early 50's Kay, sounded a little muddy and bassy, but my new Wilfer bass sounds much better. Also my old bass had a K&K Bass max which had great results through other amps. My new bass has the Full Circle on it. This pick-up difference could have to do with the tonal differences somewhat, but I really trust in the K&K equipment so it could be the bass. And a third thing, I find sometimes when my pizz hand creeps up towards the nut and away from the end of the finger board it becomes much less defined (that was a fairly obvious statement huh?). When playing towards the end of the finger board I find that the clairity makes the amp "sound louder". It definately cuts more. Thats my fairly un-educated 2 cents.
  6. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    You're definately right. I've seen and heard various AI amps from my school and never had a feeling that they were running out of gas even with loud, loud big bands. But, the fact that the music was played in quiet classroom or recital halls made it possible.

    Since I got the amp, I have been playing an outdoor gigs where the sound just disappeared on the stage, noisy steakhouse bars where everybody's yelling and dance clubs where everybody's drunk. I can't hear myself and the amp distorts.

    Luckily enough, my new band is working on getting an endorsement deal(not with AI though :( ), so maybe I don't need to worry about the volume anymore. If the endorsement deal is not happening, I think I need to get an extension cab.
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Count your blessings!

  8. I was considering this myself, before I got my Pub. I asked Rick about front - firing extension cabs, and he said quite a few of his customers were happy with the Acme Low B-1 or Raezer's Edge bass cabs. If you do go this route, you'd probably be best off with a 4 ohm cab.
  9. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea

    I love the sound.
    I can plug in a mic.
    I can blend a pickup and a mic without carrying anything else.
    I don't worry about impedance matching anymore.
    It saves my back. Wait, not really.. 'cause I don't use a dolly to carry an amp anymore.

    I know I complaint a lot but will not trade this with a GK150 or Workingmans 12(probably because I have one ;) ). Still curious about how a WW works..but I guess I need to wait until I win a lotto.
  10. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I more meant: Sounds bad -- can't hear it.

    The WW is da bomb, as far as I'm concerned....
  11. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    I tested the ai at a gig and had the fart noise problem too (though I really like the size). I play a bunch of quiet gigs but also some moderate gigs and don't really want to own two amps. Eventhough the wm12 has a much lower watt rating I feel like it can get much louder before distortion. I hate the feeling of not having enough headroom in my amps volume.
  12. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    Ray Parker,

    I am just a foreigner happens to be in US. So..don't get surprised when I don't get it ;)


    That is exactly how I felt with AI and WM12. Due to the WM12's more efficient cab, it will sound louder than AI - that is the answer I've got from Rick Jones at AI. And he said the farting comes from the head. Well, I have been so ignorant about power rating and all the numbers you can see at specs, but I am learning, slowly.
  13. jazzbassnerd


    Aug 26, 2002
    I don't know how much more "Efficient" (sp?) the Workingman's cab or the GK mb150 are. (Note: I have played on both and I own the AI Coda). I think those cabs sound less "accurate" and not nasely but more pickup-y. This sound, IMHO, cuts through a bit more. Since I have, and still do sometimes, play unamped I prefer the more "natural" sound of the AI. That being said, I never mind not having to bring my amp and getting to play through that Workingmans of the GK, they are great amps. My 2 cents.
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    To those experiencing the "farting" problem: the problem is likely a low-end problem that can be helped greatly by the addition of a "Hi Pass" filter, such as can be found on any number of inexpensive eq devices (my favorite of these at the moment is the Presonus EQ3B, but there are many). Basically, when you put one of these filters in the signal chain, they cut the lowest frequencies dramatically and allow the hi frequencies to "pass through" the filter untouched. What this means for your speaker is that it won't have to work as hard to produce the low lows (since there won't be as much of them), which are the frequencies which typically cause the "farting" sound. Once these frequencies have been reduced, most amps can generate a lot more "perceived volume" while still maintaining a clean sound. If you already own an amp or speaker that "farts", try this solution before giving up - it could save a lot of headache, time, and money. :)
  15. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    My Coda has two filters - variable notch filter and high pass filter. So I don't need to spend any money for a little box!! Mr. Fitzerald, I think you're absolutely right, though. Rick Jones from AI gave me exact same explanation. Tonight I have that loud(not rock-loud) dance hall gig again and I am definately trying the filter.
  16. Chef

    Chef Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    May 23, 2004
    Columbia MO
    Staff Reviewer; Bass Gear Magazine
    I dunno about that particular amp, but:

    I use a mesa 400+ and an swr goliath III for big jobs, and love that combo. Big rich tube sound, lots of headroom.

    I use an swr strawberry blonde for smaller jobs, and dig it as well. It's 100 watts with 1 10" speaker, and it works for my small jazz quintet with paino, sax guitar, drums and me. It helps to have a drummer that understand dynamics, and can use brushes some of the time...
  17. Just to clarify, it's one filter that you can set either to high pass or notch. You can't have both simultaneously. Whichever one you choose, they are both variable. The notch in theory is useful for eliminating feedback. The high pass, that's the one to use to combat the farting. Basically, the higher the volume, the more bass you need to cut, so at louder volumes you should set the rolloff to a higher frequency.

    Keep us posted.
  18. eunchang


    May 12, 2004
    Seoul, Korea
    Thomas, thanks for your input again. You explained everything much better than I did.

    Yesterday I had relatively loud gig and tried to get most volume out of my Coda. The high pass filter significantly helped avoiding unpleasant distortion. On the wooden stage which made the sound bottom heavy so cutting lower frequency was desirable. It was win-win.

    After realizing the farting comes from the head not from the woofer, I turned master almost all the way up and controled volume with the input gain(around 9 o'clock). Along with engaging high pass filter, that helped a lot. Finally I was satisfied with the volume level I could get out of it. I think I still heard farting occasionally but wasn't that bad as before. Turing up high pass filter just a bit cleared the farting.

    Also I used a DI(Sadwosky Pre/DI but didn't engage the preamp) and plugged into XLR. I cannot explain why but I had a feeling that I could get more volume before distortion with the DI -> XLR input rather than instrument input. Of course I can be wrong.
  19. I have recently bought an AI Contra and agree with all the above coments re the limits to the volume that a 25lb package can produce. I am more than happy with the sound and volume level, and amazed at the quality in an amp that slips into its hard case and can be picked up with one hand. It is lighter than my old Peavey head (well...almost). Surely this is the point of the AI package?

    I would just like to add that if you need to go much louder, why not instead buy the drummer some brushes? or just DI into the FoH?