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Focus 2R III review

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

  1. flatback

    flatback Supporting Member

    May 6, 2004
    Last month I began having real problems getting enough sound from my Walter Woods 100 8. I play in a bunch of different contexts from solo to a loud bebop band with horns. I started looking at all the gear I had and what I was using in different contexts ( Woods, Solstice, Gigpro, condenser mic, (occasionally) a reverb unit for effects at dance concerts,sometimes a PA (Mackie 450). I wasn't getting consistant results and there were just too many connections.
    It seemed like the Focus could reduce all that to one 5lb Hi Fi box.
    So I sold everything and bought the Focus.
    The Focus takes a little adjustment from the Woods, because it is so much less colored. The EQ's are a lot more subtle too and I thought at first that I was going to end up with a bunch of equipment again (bypassing the EQ's)
    But within a short time I was getting a very excellent sound. This amp can sound super brite in your living room (depending on the cab) but where it really shines is in context on the gig. Suddenly I was getting a sound I only used to imagine was possible
    Both the Vektor and the Full Circle work very well with this amp and lately I have been mixing in a Mic (an Audix in a prototype mic mount that fits into the upper f holes...a really great mount... more later when the maker will let me show a photo)
    I have tried the amp with a few cabs (LDS 1x8, EA 2x8, Kolbe 12, a cuppla others too) and the cabs make a big difference. I really liked the EA2x8 but i am totally happy with the LDS 1x8/focus for the ultimate micro rig. A little harsh solo but really rich and present in context.
    The Focus with a pick up and mic is such a great sound and with this amp as bionic and small and uncomplicated as you can get.
    The amp has a ton of headroom and never gets that, little engine that couldn't sound ( the strained sound)
    the filters allow you to dial in your sound (low cut on the mic and just a tad on the pick up) the low cut seems to fatten the sound a bit (like a slight compression) and in the context of a loud band that makes for a really tight and good sound. the direct out works beautifully.
    The only problems I can report: the case has been back ordered so it arrived nekid, and within a week I had bent one of the side panels at the circular handle. Rick responded instantly and is sending me new panels. Kept in its padded case this shouldn't be any problem.
    Is this amp worth $1400?
    For me the answer is without question yes. I am not a doubler so I cant speak for its use for EB but it is the best acoustic bass amp I have ever played. It delivers on every level: there are no wasted controls buttons or features. Every feature is well thought out and sounds great IN CONTEXT...which is so imortant.
    Oh and Bob G is the man. Before I knew that the case was coming from AI I asked Bob if he could replace the Speakon/1/4 cable with a Speakon/speakon cable and he made one up and sent it to me free. And charged me as little as possible for the amp. and he's a nice guy...and a bass player.
  2. bluegreenturtle


    Mar 15, 2003
    What do you think about the effects?
  3. ninnlangel

    ninnlangel Supporting Member

    Dec 14, 2005
    France, Switzerland
    You have to try it with an Acme Low B1 Cab. I have just received my Acme and I have never sounded this good. The fundamental is so full and precise you won't believe it !

    Other than that, I am using a series 2 clarus 2R and everything you say applies. My Focus 2R - Series III is on order...