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Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by GroovyJazz, Dec 12, 2001.

  1. GroovyJazz


    Dec 1, 2001
    Rochester NY
    Hey im looking at buying one of those Contra Amps from Bob's page. The fender bassman 100w i have right now sounds like this electric piece of crap and it isnt loud enough. If anyone has one can you give me a little feedback? I play jazz and funk, Sorta MMWish. I need to be loud and smooth, i want it to sound like an actual DB. Let me know.
  2. I would recommend the EA iAmp combo over the Acoustic Image. I don't find the contra to be very smooth sounding at moderate volumes. I just used one today at a big band session and I ended up getting my own EA setup( iAmp 600w/ vl110) at the break. Major improvement. I had used an AI in the past on some jam sessions and had the same results. I spent about fifteen minutes before the session with the amp and continued to tweak it during the session. I just couldn't get it to sound clear and not boomy. I tried both my gage and underwood pickups. The underwood sounded better with the AI (Actually my Underwood excels at louder volumes through most amps. ) The AI sounded a little better at low volumes but I still couldn't get it to sound less boomy. I know a lot of the guys here love the Acoustic Image so obviously someone's getting it to sound good, it just isn't me. The fact that every double bass is different may have something to do with this. :) The pickup you are using is also very important to the end result. Based on the fact that you will be playing some louder stuff on it and want smooth, I would still recommend the iAmp combo.
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    I'll put in a plug for the Conta. I think part of Bass Boy's problem was he was using a Realist; nearly everyone who uses a Realist with a Contra seems to complain about the Contra, but people who use another pickup nearly always love the Contra. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that I just don't like the Realist with neutral amps.

    That being said, for really loud venues I would add an extra speaker. I've been playing in a big and very crowded (read loud) club lately. To get the volume I need, I've been playing with my Schertler Dyn-B into my Conta, and using my direct out on the Contra to the PA. I get more coverage than going straight into the PA or just through the amp. How natural is it? Two bassists were at the bar Saturday and argued on whether or not I was plugged into anything or playing acoustic (my amp was under the piano). I can produce a lot of volume acoustically, but in that room I still need a little bit more. Most of the volume still comes from the bass, however,

  4. daveemac


    Dec 6, 2001
    SF, CA
    I recently listened to the contra on my bass with a realist and on a friend's bass w/the amt mic and also with the bass max system (bridge wing + individual string sensors). With all these systems the contra did not do it for me. Congested, stuffy, thuddy, not very much volume... It could be the realist (and these other pickups) but I think it's the box. I have heard the clarus head with a non-AI cab (although not with a realist) and really liked it: warm, punchy, full....

    I think the contra sounds good if you don't need much reinforcement, but so do a lot of amps: upright bass especially seems to be harder to keep natural sounding the louder you get.

    I think AI has a pretty cool return policy, but the shipping may be expensive. I would listen to a contra before ordering one.

    Just my 2 cents.
  5. I actually used the Underwood for the session after I tried the realist and still didn't like the sound. A friend of mine uses his realist with his AI and gets an ok sound. It is really strange, my realist sounds great through my Carvin R600 and my underwood sounds ok but my realist sounds too boomy through my iAmp600 (at medium/loud volumes-it sounds great at lower volumes) . The underwood however sounds great through the iAmp. I have been leaving both pickups on my bass and use which ever one sounds best for the gig. I would love to combine them. Guess I have to save up for a Raven Labs mixer!

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