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EA Combos

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by TroyK, Mar 8, 2006.

  1. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Is anyone living with the Wizzy 200 or 500 combo as their primary amp for gigs? If so, can we get a discussion going about them here? There's surprisingly little about them in the archeives and nothing negative. Not to look for problems where there aren't any, but I'm seriously thinking about taking the plunge and if something is lacking, I'd like to know now.

    I really prefer an all purpose combo to a seperate head/cab, but I may get over that. I'm currently using an old MB150, so the size jump from the 200 to the 500 to say a nameless 50lb combo would probably be a factor for me.

    The only semi-negative thing I read on the wizzy was "the cab gives out LONG before the head". Are there some limitations to these combos that keep them from being fully scalable?

    Thanks, sorry to drag up something if it's been discussed before, but I've spent my time in the archeives and am just not seeing what I'm looking for.

    Want to like an AI combo, but it seems like almost everyone has moved on to pairing those heads with front firing cabs. I've spend a little time with a series 1 or 2 AI combo and actually liked my GK better. I am still considering a Clarus head, but then I've got to start chasing cabs and making sure that I don't have a short in my speaker cable, etc...

    Thanks in advance for the discussion, especially if you've thoroughly road tested one of the EA combos.

  2. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    Troy, I've used the 200 watt Wizzy combo for just about all my gigs for the last 2 years. It has worked and sounded great IME and IMO.

    I would certainly recommend these amps to anyone. To me they sound excellent w/ slab too.

    The only time either the speaker or the amp started getting a little rough sounding, I was playing a fretless w/ a SansAmp BDDI through it and was just playing too friggin' loud.

    You know, I really want to like my AI combo more too. I even have the AI extension cab to go with it. But if I could only have one amp, it would be the Wizzer for sure. Hands down.

    Here are the threads (including some way out sidetracks) I remember most, which you may have already seen:


    If there's some specific direction you want to explore more, just say so, and I'll give 'er a try.
  3. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Thank you for the response and the links. VERY HELPFUL. So a couple of questions:

    1) How loud with the fretless slab before it complained?
    2) Are you able to play contrabass through the combo without a preamp now? I'll track that EA thread to see if there is some resolution to that (I'll call it "sub-audible" since that hasn't been used yet) problem. I hope they do resolve it because there are a LOT of amps that we could use if we wanted to put a bunch of stuff in line in front of them to deal with their issues.

    I really want to talk myself into a Wizzy combo, but at that price and the inability to try before I buy, I'm struggling. I don't think I can talk myself into an AI combo. I may end up with an AI head and a stable of mix-and-match cabinets and speakerwires, although it's not really what I want.

    We're really into some high end gear here. I also can't help but think about the SWR California Blondes for the used or new price, they're just kind of heavy and have some top end limits, I'm sure. I own a GK MB150, which has served me well and I could live on with. I do occasionally run into headroom problems and sometimes struggle with all the stage sound I would like from an amp. Still, very good amp, very useful.

    I play almost entirely db in small group jazz settings. I like things simple, I want to carry something in, plug into it and sound good with as little fuss as possible. I don't want to have to worry about batteries dying and chords shorting any more than I need to. I need to keep an amplifier around that will enable me to play electric bass or db in whatever situation comes up, because I don't like turning down work because I don't have the right gear. I'd prefer not to have a seperate electric bass rig that just used a few times a year. Seems like an terrible waste of money, even if it's old and paid for and it's a waste of space, which we're all constrained for in Seattle. The economics of renting gear for a gig, don't ever seem to work out for me.

    So, I'm really looking for the EA combo to be my all things to all people solution. Preferably the 200, because it's a little lighter and a little cheaper, but it concerns me that the only extension cabinet that I could run off of it is another $1k EA purchase. If I ended up needing to run an extension cabinet, the little extra money for the 500 combo would have been well spent.

    The only way I could really justify spending this much money is to firesell all my other gear and declare myself through with the search. I'd probably hang onto my GK for at least a year if not forever, since it's served me so well and is so freaking light.

    Thanks again for your reply.

  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I am currently using a Wizzy cab and a WW 100 head. I have been looking at the Wizzy combo for sometime now for most of the same reasons that you are. Currently, since it's not imperative that a purchase a new amp in the near future, I am waiting for the MarkBass amps to be out so that I can try one of those before decide on the Wizzy combo or the MarkBass.

    If I go with the Wizzy combo I'll probably lean toward the 500 watt version b/c it can power an ext cab.
  5. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    If you are playing both Db and slab I would tend toward the 500 combo. The added headroom is nice for the dynamic range of the slab. If you a primarily a DB guy. The 200 is cool.

    With the 500 you can add an extension cab, With the 200 cab you can add a powered wizzy (200 watt Class D head that slaves off the master). In fact you can add as many powered Wizzy cabs to the main as you want (200 into 1 wizzy, 400 into 2 wizzys, 600 into 3 wizzys, etc). I played a 200 Wizzy combo with a powered extension at the 2003 Bass Quake in San Jose. It was really amazing. I love that rig.

    Bass NW in Seattle is a dealer and , if there website is up to date, they have a 200 combo in stock.

    Mike Dimin
  6. Michael Glynn

    Michael Glynn

    Feb 25, 2004
    You should definitely check out Bass NW. At least give them a call and see what they have. When my trusty old Polytone died, I went down there with my bass and tried out a whole bunch of different combinations of heads, cabs and combos. I ended up going for a Clarus + Wizzy (almost went for the Bergantino, though). This is a combination worth looking at. You have to deal with hauling 2 separate pieces, but you save about 10 pounds over the Wizzy combo, I think. Plus you can connect a second cab to the Clarus for those gigs that need a little more juice. The Wizzy is so loud on its own that I don't think I'd even want such a gig, though...

    Oh yeah, they didn't have the Wizzy combo when I was there, so I have never compared it to the Clarus/Wizzy.

    If Bass NW doesn't have what you need in stock, feel free to shoot me a PM and maybe we can meet up so you can try my rig sometime.
  7. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Hi, Mike,

    Bass NW lists just about every amp they can order on the 'New Amps and Combos' page, rather than what they actually have in stock. In some of their categories, they list what's in stock, and others they list everything they can order. I'm betting they don't have any EA gear in stock other than the used VL110 cab they list elsewhere. I may be wrong though, and it can't hurt to call them. They will order it ... I got one of my Wizzy cabs from them at a great price. But that doesn't help someone who needs to try it first.

    Keykendrick, I just noticed that I have a pm from someone down around Lacey who has an iAmp he'll let me try out (I posted over in the slab side of things, http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=233235 and I think you replied over there also???). I'm going to contact him, and I'll see if he's up for two of us coming to meet him, if you might be up for a drive down there sometime??

    In the meantime, you're more than welcome to try out my Wizzy cab(s) and AI Clarus SL head if you like.

    All the best,
  8. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Hey Liam, if he's got a combo, let's take the road trip. We can pile every bass we own in my Subaru Wagon and head down there.

    I just called BassNW and as I suspected they don't have any new EA stuff in stock. They are a great store and I've dealt with them a lot. Nothing but bass stuff wall to wall and great people to deal with. However, they sell more electric bass equipment than doublebass equipment. They'll order anything for you, but Bob doesn't have to charge us tax, he ships for free, offers a 14 day return (I think) and is part of the family, so the only thing that BassNW could do to top that is have a used on come through or have one there for me to try.

    I'm up for the Road Trip and I apprecaite the continued feedback. I may have to get over my love of combos and start looking at head/cabinet combinations, but I'm still holding on to the dream for now. I wonder (out loud) what if anything the extra power will do to the performance of the AI combos. Likely nothing, but...
  9. Lia_G


    Oct 27, 2005
    Even if it's not the combo, we can take my Wizzy cabs down and plug his head into them ...

    I sent him a reply to his pm, letting him know that there's another person interested if he's okay with that. I'll let you know what he says ...

  10. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    The gig I was referring to was a jazz trio w/ piano and drums, but the crowd noise in this particular place gets very intense. It’s a bar that holds 200 people maybe. Sometimes it’s so loud in there that we can’t even get them to turn off the house musak before we start a set. So we just play right along with the durn musak. It's like two bands goin' at once.

    I don’t know if the break up I heard that night was from me attacking too hard, the SansAmp “drive” feature, or the Wizzy to be honest. It was just on the initial hit of some of the notes. When I backed off w/ my right hand, everything returned to normal.
    Yes. I have an Upton Rev SOLO pickup on my upright now, and IMO it sounds great through the EA without a preamp.
    Ditto. I went through the same basic thought process as you. I decided that the Wizzy combo seemed like the best overall option to me for that "all in one solution," although I know there are other excellent options out there as well as other opinions. And after using it regularly for two years now, I'm still very satisfied with it. Still delighted with it in fact.
    Brother Troy, we’re never really through ya know.

    Bob G. would probably tell you right up front about his return policy, and what you would end up paying in shipping should you try one and decide to return it.
  11. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I use the EA iamp200 and the Wizzy cab. Those, of course, are the same components that make up the Wizzy 200 combo. I play exclusively double-bass with a Rev. Solo pickup. I don't use a pre-amp at all.

    The EA equipment has been great. The only time it was overwhelmed was in a quite large (horrible) room packed with noisy people and I was playing in a six-piece combo. I could hardly blame the equipment and I didn't buy it for large venues anyway.

    In smaller settings, it is close to ideal. The greatest compliment I've gotten (from more than one person) is the question of whether the amp is on in a small combo setting. Now, that question wasn't asked because they couldn't hear it. Rather, they thought they were listening to my bass alone!

    As long as it was mentioned, I was the guy who discovered what I considered to be an infrasonic response of the iamp200 that was, shall we say, a bit too enthusiastic. You can go back and read those posts. The bottom line was that it was SOLVED well to my satisfaction. This gives me a chance to mention the spectacular treatment I received from Gary at EA (also mentioned in those posts). Gary is extremely devoted to customer service and to making sure the end-user is happy. His devotion went well beyond what could be expected.

    Good equipment, good people. What else is there to say?
  12. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I may have actually said something like this. If so, it was to point out that the 200 watt amp provides plenty of power for the cab. That would not have been a negative statement at all about the cab but a positive statment about the sensitvity of the cab and that, in my opinion, there is no need to put 500 watts behind it. After all, going from 200 to 500 watts nets you a whole 4 dB.

    If you look at the specs of the Wizzy cab, it develops 103 dB SPL with 1 watt @ 1 meter. With 200 watts behind it, it puts out it's maximum acoustic power of 126 dB SPL @ 1 meter. That's plenty! If you put 500 watts behind it, you could, theoretically, achieve 130 dB SPL @ 1 meter. That's not a large difference AND it's beyond the rated spec of the cabinet.

    My advice: Go with the 200 watt amp. It packs quite a punch!
  13. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Agreed. From my point of view the advantage of the 500W version is the ability to run a second cab. And two wizzys are much louder than the sum of their parts.
  14. mchildree

    mchildree Supporting Member

    Sep 4, 2000
    How's this for headroom?

  15. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999

    This is why EA users are part of a family! Let me know if I can help in any way.
  16. Mike Dimin

    Mike Dimin

    Dec 11, 1999
    The EA combos are just the individual components in a combo cabinet. The sound would me the same.

  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Got any windows left in your house? Beautiful amp, brother.

    Any first impression coming from the (pre-Fender) California Blonde?

  18. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    I agree that the 500 watts would be useful if one wishes to run a second cab. Please see my post regarding the stacking/ganging of cabinets. The best one can achieve within a single plane, is a 6-dB increase for two identical cabinets driven in phase. If, however, you are in a situation where you can use the cabinets to point in different directions, it's a different game. Here's what I mean. Suppose you are in a large room with the cab facing toward the left. The folks on the right might receive a meager sound-pressure level. Now, if you could fire a separate cabinet at them, whala-- a more than 6-dB increase in that single plane. OVERALL, however, (i.e., the entire room considered as a whole) you can't beat the 6 dB. It's just physics.
  19. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Do you know if this infrasonic problem was/is to be a fix on all EA amps going forward? Or would each new purchaser have to send it off to EA to get the "fix"?
  20. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, I don't mean to be argumentative at all. I am just trying to help folks understand the physics of all of this. The iamp800 powering a single Wizzy cab does not provide any more usable headroom than does an iamp200. 800 watts could yield no more than 6 dB more output than 200 watts. Okay, now you might say, "Hey 6 dB is substantial and I want it!" Well, you ain't gonna get it from that single Wizzy cab. This is because the 200-watt iamp will drive the Wizzy right to its limits. That DOES NOT mean that the Wizzy leaves something to be desired. The Wizzy is a quite sensitive cabinet, that delivers 126 dB SPL @ 1 meter with 200 watts.

    Now, there is reason to have that 800 watts if 1) you wish to drive more than one Wizzy simultaneously or 2) you wish to have the needed power for other cabinets.

    Here's a real-world example. Consider the Acme B-1 cabinet. It is rated at 90 dB SPL for 1 watt @ 1 meter. That is fully 13 dB less sensitive than the Wizzy. What does that mean? Well, it means that the Acme requires 20 times the power in order to achieve the same sound pressure level as the Wizzy!.

    Yes, you read that correctly. Assuming all the ratings from the manufacturers are correct, you would need 4000 watts to achieve 126 dB SPL from the Acme whereas the Wizzy requires only 200!

    Now, what do you suppose would happen if you drove the Acme with 4000 watts. I suspect it would smoke. In fact, Acme rates the power-handling of the B-1 at 175 watts continuous. That's the maximum. That would yield 112 dB SPL @ 1 meter. You'd have no chance of seeing the 126 dB SPL you could get from the Wizzy. Of course, all of this assumes that the frequency responses are comparable.

    I AM NOT KNOCKING THE ACME B-1!!! I am simply demonstrating the benefits that accrue from EA's design of the Wizzy cabinet. One could make the argument that the 112 dB SPL you'd get from the Acme is quite sufficient. So you see, there is little point to driving a Wizzy with anything more than 200 watts. If you take anything away from this, it should be the following: