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AI Focus! It's no lightweight!

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by NeedMoreBass, Jul 16, 2004.


  1. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I've had my Acoustic Image Focus over a week now and am amazed that there have been very few comments about this amazing amp. If you aren't familiar with it you need to check it out. It weighs 4 lbs and pumps out 600 watts @ 4 ohms. I've been playing WW amps for over 20 years and presently own 2 Ultras and each day that passes since I've owned the Focus it is becoming my favorite amp. Don't get me wrong, I love my WW, but there is something about the Focus that really gives me what I want in my tone. It also blew away my iAmp 800. I'm presently using it with either a EA VL108 or VL208 and it is punchy as all get out using a passive J Bass. It doesn't sound very good however with my CXL cabs and the WW does a better job with those, but the tone I'm looking for is in the Focus/VL combination. I imagine the Focus would also sound great with the Berg 12's and I'm anxious to check it out. I've started this post for other Focus users because I know you're out there. Chime in!! :bassist:
     
  2. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Oh yesh, this is stoking me on the Focus. Do tell, do tell.
     
  3. basss

    basss

    Aug 27, 2001
    NYC
    Why didn't it play well with the CXL cabs?
     
  4. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    Oh yeah you Clarus users, you're not ready for this thing!!
     
  5. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    The CXL Cabs tend to be midrangey and for whatever reason the Fous did not match up well. The VL208's are very true sounding cabs and I think I'm getting a very good represenatation of what the amp and the bass really sounds like.
     
  6. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Go on go on, how is it superior to the Clarus *besides the obvious ability to kick #ss.*
     
  7. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    One word, "FOCUSed"!!!
    :bassist:
     
  8. j.s.basuki

    j.s.basuki Supporting Member

    May 14, 2000
    asia/australia
    What do you have F 1,2, 1R or 2R?
    Is the Reverb and Mic Channel any use ? Thanks
     
  9. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I have the Focus I.
     
  10. 6-3-2

    6-3-2

    Sep 20, 2003
    i played one of those at Low down sound, it sounded great. I didn't now at the time it was the cool new thing though.
     
  11. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i'm lovin' mine, too. :cool:

    had mine shipped up from Bobby (ALL HAIL) G, and in no time, did i fall in love with it. used it on a recent worship gig, and for 3 nights, sounded sooo nice with my Sadowsky Modern 5, and Acme 1x10. uncolored, yet fat, and rich.

    doubt it'd replace the flexibility and tube like nature of my iAMP800 but, its a crazy nice amp that'll be with me for a long while. still, someone close to the gents at AI should tell them to make the Focus 2 ohm compatilble. :meh:
     
  12. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    I haven't gigged with my new Focus yet, but I've been using it in practice situations with my EA CxL 110. To my ears, the combination sounds fantastic with the basses that I've tried (J-Retro-equipped Am. Jazz Deluxe, passive P through a Sadowsky pre, and especially my MTD 435).

    I'm a former WW owner. I've never heard a better bass preamp than the one in my old one (MI-100?), which I sold because it lacked the power that I needed. But the Focus is right up there.
     
  13. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I have the CXL110 also and it probably would sound good if I didn't have the VL 8's to compare it to. They sound so rich!! I don't want to discourage anyone from using the CXL because it doesn't sound bad by any means.
     
  14. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    There was another thread I mentioned the Focus in.

    Rick has really done it this time. My first Focus came in and went out in a day. This next one I got has the Reverb. The reverb is really nice and a cool feature.

    The Focus it self, well I was pretty blown away. I actually called Rick just to tell him Thanks! I've owned a number of WW's and they are great amps, but the Focus just gives a wonderful clean even tone with 600 watts of power and weighs nothing.
    When my first Focus arrived, which was a F1, I thought they had forgot to load the amp section in it, it was so light.

    I've talked with Rick about a doing a new add on amp to the unit so that you can slave the pre from the Focus and have another 600 watts amp under it to run two 4 ohm cabs with 600 watts each. I think this would really turn head and the power guys would get for big rigs would be awesome!
     
  15. NeedMoreBass

    NeedMoreBass unregistered

    Feb 14, 2003
    I would buy that in heart beat and run my 4 VL208's with it.
     
  16. Wilbyman

    Wilbyman

    Sep 10, 2003
    Parkersburg, WV
    Brian,

    Though I really like the AI preamp section and find it really well designed, the slave amp idea would be nice for those of us who typically use the Clarus/Focus with outboard preamps into the effects return (or plug straight into the effects return). For instance, right now I'm using the Raven Labs blender that way.

    Maybe there will some day be a market for modular setups based around a Focus-sized poweramp. By this, I mean a Focus sized power amp might be designed that could accept modular preamps mounted onto or into the unit. Like one-space rack gear, you could just plug a standard size pre from any manufacturer (maybe the size of a Raven Labs True Blue, etc) into the unit and mix and match at your convenience. Rack flexibility with AI/WW size.
     
  17. Brian Barrett

    Brian Barrett

    Nov 25, 2001
    Murfreesboro, TN (Nashville)
    Dealer LowEndBassShop.com, Builder LowEndBasses.com
    Actually Jim Bergantino and I have talked a number of times or creating a preamp setup that was modular. You would have a basic preamp, then add-on like a compressor, parametric, effects like deverb, delay, etc. You could build the unit to fit your needs...... ok, anyone reading this, I claim influence :D

    The Slave amp for the AI would be great because you would have the focus unit and be able to run one 4 ohm cab and then the slave amp under it to run another cab. Rick and I talked about what features could be included on the slave amp, etc.

    After NAMM I'll talk with Rick again about working a proto-type up. I'd love to match something like this up with my New True-Voice preamp that I've been working on with Les Plopa who Eng the Kern pre. The True Voice is an Audio file Tube point to point wired unit and really for Audio file guys that want the purity of the instrument. The Small T-V unit would work great on top of a slave amp thats small like the acoustic Image and even with the Focus for adding the tube depth.
     
  18. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002
    Corrupticut
    I'm sure that there is a reason... but why not just take the effect loop send from one and send it to the effect loop return of the "slave" amp. I use the effect loop output on my Clarus to drive a tuner, and have used it to drive a separate DI.

    Bringing a signal in the effect loop bypasses the preamp aqnd hits the power section directly.

    Just food for thought.

    Pete
     
  19. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    From Bob G's site...

    "However, and in spite of their power, the Focus amps were not designed to play at tonal extremes or with a distorted output."

    But any of you guys try the focus completely distorted? How did it sound?
     
  20. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    AL/GA
    That would be my question....