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AI Series III Coda Combo has arrived!

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Bob Branstetter, Apr 8, 2006.

  1. The Series III Coda Combo amp that I ordered last September arrived at my door today. I haven't weighed it, but just carrying the shipping box inside told me that it is significantly lighter than the Series I Contra that I've used for several years. I have no trouble believing that it weighs under 20lbs. The real shock is how small this thing is. It stands only about 11 1/2 inches from floor to the top. It is almost too small. I have to get down on my knees to see all the control knobs and switches. I'm thinking about printing out a strip of paper with the names of the knobs to place on the top so I can turn the correct knobs (atleast till I memorize where they are).

    Since I'm still recovering from my shoulder rotator cuff surgery, it will be a while before I can report on how it performs on the job. However, from what I hear in my living room, it is very similar to the sound of my old contra but with more highs and a lot more reserve power. I will have to experiment with the tweeter since that is new to me. I decided to buy the Coda so that I could mix my AMT SB15 mike with the piezo pickup and it looks like it will fill the bill quite nicely. I'm currently using a Fishman full Circle pickup, but with all the options the Coda brings to the table, I'll may be experimenting with others.

    I'm sure that this is one of the very first to be delivered. The serial number is 5S 0005. I can assure anyone who has had one on order for some time that it is well worth the long, long wait. Rick Jones has out done himself again.:) Also, thanks to Bob Gollihur for sending out progress reports during the long wait between ordering and delivery.
  2. Jason Hollar

    Jason Hollar It Don’t Mean A Thing... Supporting Member

    Apr 17, 2005
    Central Pa
    Sounds cool.

    Please keep the reports coming. I'd love to hear what you think of it with other instruments involved -- but I understand you'll need some time to deal with that. Also curious about how the AMT mic interacts with p/u's etc.

    I'm in the market for a new small amp -- and the older AI models impressed me. Congrats!
  3. Over the past week I've done more experimenting mixing my AMT SB25 mic with the Fishman full circle going into my new Series III Acoustic Image Coda. So far, it has done everything I could ask for and I haven't even tried using the notch filters. I can get a lot of volume out of the unit without feedback while delivering a mix that sounds very acoustic to me. I also have tried hooking up the Coda with my new Acme B1 extension speaker. I can't wait to use it with a big band or outdoors. I can't imagine needing any more power (500 watts @ 2ohms) than this combination delivers. It's very small, light and powerful. That's a hard combination to find anywhere else.
  4. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    I liked my original Contra so much that I just bought a Series II Coda-R just last month and have to laugh at your description of how small it is.
    Even though I'd seen pictures it took a while to get used to how small that little amp is.
    Didn't think I'd do it but now that I've got the Coda-R I guess it's time to send the Contra to a new home.
  5. My old series I Contra seems absolutely huge compared to the Series III Coda. I bought the Mooridian padded case to go along with it, and my wife has hand bags that are nearly as large as the padded case for the Series III Coda.:)
  6. I ordered mine in November.. guess I'll have to wait in line a while yet...:crying:
  7. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Bob, thanks for posting the first field report of the Series III combos that I can recall seeing.

    Besides the size difference, would you say the new combo sounds any different than your old Series I Contra?

    I noticed you said "more highs" in your initial post, but can you elaborate on that please, or provide anything else that you've discovered about the change (positive or negative) in sound? I bought a Series I in 1999, so I've got a pretty good idea of what that unit can do.

  8. Since I no longer have the Series I Contra to do a direct comparison, I really can not elaborate any more than I have in earlier posts. Is there a "huge" change? No. It's just a little difference. However, It is not a negative change. If someone didn't like the sound of the previous series, they are probably not going to like this one either. I imagine with the right EQ that you could make it sound exactly like the old ones. The big difference between my old series I and the new one is the amount of available power. There, the difference is huge.
  9. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Bob, thanks for your reply.

    Does this additional power you mentioned result in you being able to play significantly louder before the combo start to "lose it"? (Not that you want to play louder ... Just in a testing type environment I guess).

    And/Or do you feel you get a "cleaner" sound now with that extra power regardless of volume?

    Just (very) curious. And I keep thinking about your remarks about the smaller size of the Series III. That's amazing!

    Thanks again for sharing.
  10. I've always found Acoustic Image products to be clean at lower to average playing volume, but yes, IMO you can play significanly louder while remaining clean.
  11. I (finally!) played my first job with the new Coda last night. I can't find anything to complain about the Coda except that it is so close to the floor that making minor adjustments is a challenge while holding on to my bass. Power wise - it blows away my old series I Contra under louder than usual conditions. There is so much reserve power that doesn't feel like it is being pushed when I really dig in.

    I am using an AMT S25B mic (tailpiece mounted) along with a Fishman full Circle. Using a mix of just slightly less volume for the mic than for the pickup, I was able to get a nice acoustic sound while cutting through Elec. piano, Guitar, drums and 2 horns. I'll be using this little box along with my Acme B1 extension speaker next week with a 15 piece big band. With my old Contra, the guys on the far end of the band would complain that they couldn't hear the bass well enough. With the extension speaker on the other side of the band, I don't anticipate hearing that again.

    Bottom line... This is one great little amp. Try it - you'll like it.
  12. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    I don't have a Series III but I do have both the original Contra and a Series II Coda-R.

    If I can get the Contra away from my buddy I'll try to do a comparison. I know there are some differences between the Series II and III, but it's the best I can do! :)

    Oh, I'll also be doing the comparison with my Sterling. :meh:
  13. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur GollihurMusic.com

    Mar 22, 2000
    Cape of New Jersey
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music (retired)
    I was talking to Rick at AI yesterday morning and could hear the "beep -- beep -- beep" of the trailer backing into their dock. The container with the cabinets finally arrived yesterday, so they'll begin building Series III Contras, Coda Rs, and Contra EXs this week.

  14. From my 5 year experiece playing with my old series I Contra and playing other bassist series II Contras, I can assure you that there is a world of difference between the earlier Series I & II and the current Series III. You have to remember that they are not even made from the same materials and have considerably more power.
  15. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Bob, sound wise, are you referring to the additional power again? Just s'more curious.

    P.S. I can picture bending down to turn the knobs and trying to hold the bass. I'm 6'6".
  16. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Does anyone know if the 5" driver has changed in the Series I-II-III's?

    I presume it has, probably more than once, but don't know any of the details.
  17. It is a combination of volume and sound. Sorry, but I can't quantify the difference any better than I have already. Hopefully, now that AI is starting to build combos in mass, someone else will be able to answer your question better than me. IMO, Sound is in the ear of the beholder. I can just say that I was looking for a better way to mix my AMT mic with my pickup and an amp with enough power to use an extension speaker for big band jobs. This (very small and light) package fills my needs quite nicely.
  18. youngheo


    Jul 30, 2002
    Dallas, TX
    hello, Bob.

    How is your coda sound with acme B-1?

    I love the size and sound of coda, but sometimes I need more volume. Does acme help a lot?

  19. It sounds great and gives me all the volume I need to cut through a 16 piece big band and when playing outside. I love it since I only have to carry around the (weight of the) B1 when it is needed - and fortunately for my ageing body, that isn't very often.
  20. Akami

    Akami Four on the floor Supporting Member

    Mar 6, 2005
    Well I did a comparison between the old Contra and the newer Series II Coda-R and it seemed as though the sound was just about the same with possibly a little more tightness to the newer amp.

    One surprise I got was that I don't like the tweeter in the newer and have since turned it off. It was very annoying and sounds much better now. I've been using it on a weekly basis to play an acoustic guitar through with a vocal mic which is where you might expect the tweeter to be beneficial, but I didn't like it.

    I do however love my Series II Coda-R !!:hyper:

    Is there anyone interested in my old Contra?

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