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AI Contra Series II vs AI Coda R SIII?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by fovea1959, Apr 10, 2009.

  1. fovea1959


    Feb 10, 2009
    my requirements are for URB, occasional slab (moderate volumes, if I need earplugs, we're too loud!), occasional acoustic 6-string.

    my ultimate would be an AI Coda SIII (like the 2 channel capability), but the budget isn't there yet, even if I sell my SWR WM15 and my Marshall AS50R...

    but I occasionally see AI Series II Contras for sale; if I am willing to give up the 2 channel capability, how does the Series II compare to the S III? serious price difference (unless someone wants to sell their SIII cheap because they are getting a 2-Ten or Coda+!!!!!)

    I'm going to borrow a Coda Series III next weekend for an A-B test...
  2. fovea1959


    Feb 10, 2009
    I tried out the SIII side-by-side with my existing SWR WM15. wow...

    can anyone speak to the difference in sound between a SII and a SIII? The SIII is not in the budget, but a used SII may be...
  3. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Hi. Belated welcome to TB.

    I could be wrong, but as a generalization, I think the character of the tone is pretty similar. And I think that was probably a conscious design decision.

    There was a power increase. So the SIII can go louder, and will have less "break up" at the same loudness level as a SII. But you would have to be pushing the SII hard or using extreme EQ settings to get it to break up. That said, IMO these are not super loud amps. If you've tried one, then you know what they can and cannot do. The primary design goals are a natural sound in a compact package.

    OTOH, when the SIII's came out, some people said there was "no comparison." Not sure if they meant power, or tone, or feature set, or what. Hopefully they're still around and will chime in.
  4. Hi! Can you explain what does this mean? I have an swr wm15 (the older version with the recessed panel) which I use for slab and upright. I have been thinking about getting a coda SIII but won't be able to try it cause there are no dealers in Portugal. Can you please compare them (if such thing is possible!!!) in terms of volume and tone. All the info will be welcome.

    Thanks in advance.

    David Santos
  5. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX
    Hi David,
    I just picked up an AI Contra series II recently (yesterday!!). This is my second AI contra II, with my previous one being a IIa. My impression, as I have owned a WM II in the past...
    The AI tonally is SO much more appropriately voiced for DB. My current rig is a Markbass LM II, and a Schroeder Mini 1X12. For electric, that rig is unbeateable....best slab rig I've ever used....really punchy, small, and LOUD.

    However, with DB, the AI Contra is so much warmer and natural sounding. Compared to the SWR rig, I believe you would be better off getting the Contra. I used my old one for soft slab gigs (P/B/D trio stuff where the upright wasn't a necessity) and it worked fine! Your advantage with the Contra won't be volume with the EB...it'll be tone and punch. For EB, the SWR will go louder, but I have not had a problem being heard on slab with the Contra. Plus the WM rig is HEAVY, and the Contra is so much smaller. I picked mine up for 410 bucks with the hard case. A steal! Best 4 Banjamins I've ever spent! For that kind of cabbage, you could get a Contra AND a small cabinet to switch on the gig. IMO, the limited volume with the Contra isn't due to the amp...it's the speaker.

    If you brought a small (Wizzy 1X10 or 1X12) or Schroder Mini 1X12 to the gig, you could just plug in the small cab to the head and you've got the best of both worlds....or, get a used Clarus head and a Wizzy cab, and you're good to go for both!! There is a used Clarus at used.guitarcenter.com for 499 right now. That's where I got the Contra. Offer them 400...they'll probably take it. That and a small cab...and you're golden!

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