AI Contra limitations??

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by aqsw, Sep 22, 2010.

  1. aqsw


    May 28, 2006
    My daughter uses the AI Contra combo, when playing the DB.

    She is getting more gigs now because she plays DB and EB.

    She needs more punch with EB than the Contra can handle. I don't want to get an AI ext. cab, as I feel it may still be underpowered, and they are expensive !!

    I can get a great deal on a mesa boogie powerhouse 2x10 to use as an ext. cab.
    I don't want to go bigger because 65 lbs. is already too much weight for her to be toting around.

    My question is"will the contra be able to power this cabinet which is rated at 600w." and how will it sound. Do I have to buy a different head?

    Thanks in advance,
  2. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    Don't get me wrong I love Mesa amps, but I wouldn't let it near my Double Bass. Sometimes you get what you pay for. I use a Contra also. Great amps, you may want to explore Acne 1-10" cab, it works well with a contra combo. I use a EA doubler amp with a 12" M-Line cab for more volume and 2 M-lines for even more volume. That's what works for me. Stand by, some great ideas are on the way.
  3. aqsw


    May 28, 2006
    It's not a mesa amp, it's a mesa cabinet that I want to use as an extension cabinet when she plays EB. I'm wondering if the contra amp will be able to power the 2x10 Mesa cabinet when playing the bass guitar?

    When using the double bass. the contra seems more than enough.
  4. bassdaddyfive


    Feb 12, 2009
    Kenosha Wi.
    My bad. I think it will work just fine. I have a Mesa Fathom and 4-10 Mesa cab I use for EB gigs. I use my Contra to power ext. cabs. Having enough power won't be a problem. Just check the cab, that it's 4 ohms to get the amp to 2 ohms and max power. The internal speaker is 4 ohms.
  5. Pat Harris

    Pat Harris Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Mesa cabs are some of the heaviest cabs (in terms of weight) on the market if weight is a concern of yours.

    The Contra can power an extension speaker without a problem, but just remember that there's still going to be quite a bit of power getting put into the single 10'' that in its cabinet.

    If the Contra isn't cutting it alone, you may want to consider selling the Contra and getting an AI head to power an external speaker cab. Again, if weight is an issue, she could then just bring the 3 pound head and a speaker cabinet to a gig rather than the combo and another 2x10.

    Another option would be to check into the AI Ten2 extension cab. It has more "presence" than the single 10" cabs and is arguably the lightest 2x10 on the market.
  6. aqsw


    May 28, 2006
    I'm not going to be able to sell the contra on her. She loves that unit when she only plays the DB, usually in a lounge or such and it is perfect for that setup.

    Probably going to buy the mesa 210. I can get 8 or 4 ohms. Is it true that if I get the 8 ohm unit I can piggyback a 115 (8 ohm) onto it.

  7. For electric gigs, I pair my Contra with a Hartke 2x10, and it seems to be plenty loud. Because the Contra's tone circuit is rather flat (which is, of course, a good thing for DB) I use a K&K preamp as a tone circuit for the electric, bypassing the Contra's preamp by running into the effect loop. This seems to add the extra punch needed for EB.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have the AI Clarus + head and this is incredibly light and compact - I have used it for Bass Guitar as well although I play 99% DB - I tried it at Jazz Summerschool and it was very punchy for BG as you effectively have 400 or 800 watts of power.

    If you are worried about weight (as I am since having back problems) then I think a separate head and cab is always going to be the best solution - it doesn't matter how many trips to the car as long as each component is not too heavy.

    The AI Clarus will have the same great clarity for DB as the Contra and is a step up in that you could use it as the sole amp for a duo gig with guitar or electronic piano...?
  9. Bofee


    Aug 19, 2005
    Grass Valley, CA
    Prior to getting an AI Ten2, I used my contra with one or two Aguilar DB112 cabs for larger or outdoor gigs. This worked very well for both DB and electric. I sent my Contra back to the factory to have an internal speaker on/off switch added. (They did it at no cost!) You can also get the Contra modified to allow the head to be removed for separate use. Check out the website.
  10. I used to have a Mesa 210 and would not recommend it, as I could not get to project the low frequencies further than a few feet.
  11. Which contra does she have? I have the series II contra and on that model you can disconnect the internal speaker and run one or 2 cabs off the contra. That way you are not pumping a bunch of watts into the internal speaker that is not capable of getting loud enough for a eb gig.

    The series II is, i believe, 350 watts at 2 ohms and 250 at 4. I would definatley get a 4ohm cab to go with the contra. The series III is 500 watts i think but you cannot bypass the internal speaker, unless you get the speaker bypass switch done to it, as stated earlier in the thread.

    But yes the mesa would probably be fine for electric bass.
  12. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Oct 27, 2021

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.