FYI: Acoustic Image product updates

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by Bob Gollihur, May 15, 2002.

  1. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I've gotten a few emails as a result of the little teaser on Acoustic Image's web site - yes, they are updating most of their products. This is not immediate, as each item will be introduced as they can be over the next few months. There may be blackout periods during the transition when neither the old or new will be available. I'm trying to stock up on current models.

    The Contra/Coda and EX models will be slightly smaller with some enhancements, and will be more robustly built. However, they will also go up in price.

    The preamp section of the heads and combos will also be updated with some minor changes. Yep, they'll go up in price, too.

    The hoped-for higher power Clarus 1H is taken off the back burner and put back in the closet. Don't expect to see it anytime soon.

    That's all for now. AI will update their site gradually, to show the new line, as will I. If you have any specific interests email me off list for further details.
  2. Dang! I played five agonizing rehearsals and six performances of a high school spring musical specifically to make the bread for a Contra, and now --- THIS!!!! Oh, well. Bad timing strikes again.
  3. D'OH!!!
    Maybe I'll return to pursuing EA gear.....
  4. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    I have some Contras on the way to me and should have one or two available after all orders are satisfied. But that's all there will be; Dr. Rick told me yesterday that he couldn't send me any more.

    Also, there will be a short term special deal on a sort of interim solution-- one of the current Clarus heads along with the new Contra EX cabinet, $849 for the pair.
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Hope they've beefed up the speaker covers; mine fell off after six months and has been duct taped on ever since.
  6. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Yes, the woofer will be protected with a steel cover and from the photos I've seen, everything is more robust. Plastic is passé.
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    What was the problem with the higher-powered Clarus? Was it running too hot?
  8. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    No. Dr. Rick just wanted to redesign the transformer to make it lighter, as well as come up with a different case; the modified Clarus 2 case wasn't strong enough for the extra weight. Rather than put his time into that head, they are putting their energies into updating the existing line. It's a very small outfit, and they are having enough trouble keeping up with orders for the existing stuff.
  9. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Just wanted to share a good piece of news from Acoustic Image. They are extending their warranty to Five Years -- and that is retroactive to include all the Contras, Claruses (Clari?) and Codas that are already out there.
  10. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Boogie on, (ALL HAIL) Reggae Woman!
  11. AI continues to disappoint me. Every day I am intrigued by the small size and light weight of the Clarus head but the sound just isn't there. I've tried many cabinets: EA, Bag End, Aguilar, Eden and I just get a thin sound out of this thing. The advertized 300 watts just isn't there at 8 ohms, more like 120 watts. Until AI gets some power at 8 ohms, their amp will continue to sound thin and light-weight.
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Objection, your Honor. AI never claimed that the Clarus put out 300 watts at 8 ohms. The specs clearly state that the amp is rated to put out 300 watts at 2 ohms, and exactly 120 watts at 8 ohms. I see no false advertising here:

    Exhibit 1 (copied from AI's Clarus Specs page):

    * Extended Frequency Range, High Fidelity Sound
    * Compact Enclosure (8.4x6.4x2.5 inches)
    * Light Weight (5 pounds)
    * Integrated Preamp and Power Amp
    * Four-band Preamp Section
    * 300-Watt "Digital" Power Amplifier (300w @2 ohms, 200w @4 ohms, 120w @8 ohms)
    * Master Level Control
    * Instrument Level Control
    * Bass, Mid, Treble and Brite Tone Controls
    * High & Low gain 1/4" phone jack Inputs
    * Input Impedance Select Switch
    * Effects Loop via 1/4" phone jacks
    * Balanced XLR Line Output
    * AC Power On/Off switch with LED Indicator
    * Switchable Dual Voltage Operation (115/230 V, 50/60 Hz)
    * Speaker Outputs via Neutrik Speakon Connector
    * Detachable AC Input Connector with Built-in Fuse
    * High Quality SMT Printed Circuit Boards
    * Durable Powder-coated Aluminum Enclosure
    * Padded Carrying Case with Shoulder Strap

    The defense rests.
  13. Technically, you are correct, AI clearly states in their specs 300 watts at 2 ohms but when the amp is advertised, it is advertised as a 300 watt amp without reference to ohms. Who has a 2 ohm cabinet? Just for laughs, check out Bob's (as in All Hail) website - he lists the Clarus as "300w"

    Anyway, that is not the issue (although it does tick me off a bit). The issue is the sound. This amp just doesn't deliver. 120 watts is not enough power for the monstrous appetite of bass frequencies.

    300 watts would be more appropriate even for a small coffee house gig. Bass frequencies require so much power, especially for transients, that a large amp s needed. I notice AI's lacking every time I play. It just cuts off the lower frequencies time after time.
  14. Interesting discussion - I've had no problem with my AI Contra at small gigs (trio, no drummer), but last weekend I played a gig (sax, 2 guitars, bass, drums) where I just couldn't get the sound I wanted. It sounded OK on the recording, but the bass was somewhat muddy, especially when the drummer was playing. It sounded fine on the ballads, when he used brushes, but the rest of the time I was having a problem hearing myself. I tried playing around with the eq (cutting the bass, boosting the mids & highs), but still couldn't get the "right" sound. Maybe I was standing too close to the drummer. I've spoken to various people about this, and apparently, it's something that other people have noticed with the AI Contra; it's fine for smaller gigs, but gets a bit lost when competing with other instruments. I'm thinking of trying the EV CXL-112 solution - I have Clarus 1 which I can use - I'll see if that's any better... Maybe I'll order a WW - (2 years wait though... :< )
  15. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    AI is hardly the only company that uses 2 ohm ratings when advertising amps. Ampeg, Carvin, Peavey come to mind immediately.

    As you probably know, solid state amps vary in power rating according to impedance load. With one exception (older Walter Woods amps) makers routinely advertise the maximum power, whether it is into 8, 4 or 2 ohms.

    While I have yet to see a 2 ohm cabinet, I see plenty of 4 ohms boxes and two of them in parallel is 2 ohms.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I have no experience with the Contra, but the Clarus in combination with an EA CXL 112 gets an absolutely beautiful sound for DB. When power/volume is an issue, I'll bring an extra cab to make the Clarus run at 4 ohms. I highly recommend checking this configuration out. Check out this page of the "Small Rig users" thread to find out more about the many uses I've discovered for the Clarus, and also find out just how anal-retentive a certain DB Moderator (who shall remain nameless) can be about taking exactly the right rig to the gig:
  17. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Here I'd have to second Ed's METALLICA comment. I do use an amp for coffeehouse gigs, but usually I just bring the Clarus and a single 1x8" cab, and only end up setting the master volume between 9-11 o'clock with the preamp set at high noon. With the amp set like this, I usually do more turning down than turning up. If you're happy with your natural sound and your pickups, then there's either something wrong with your Contra, your drummer, or your expectations.
  18. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    Just for the record, I used to have a real hard time getting a sound on my Contra using the Realistic pick up, in very few rooms it would sound OK, then I got the underwood and I am very pleased with the sound, and end up using a lot of mic anyway, I have the Golden trinity and it works beautiful with AI.
    BTW if I am playing in a loud club I use the Extension Cab for Contra and I keep one on each side behind me, and that helps a lot, unfortunately I have to play quite of few gigs where people are taliking right next to me and not paying any attention to the music, I don't mind playing is just a lot of fun, but if people are talking louder than the music you just have to turn it up ( or down ) ;)
  19. I've been checking the Acoustic Image site religiously, and I see that they now have images of the new Contra.

    It definitely has a more rugged look to it -- kinda like they screwed a Clarus head onto a revamped cabinet -- and it's a couple of lbs. lighter. They've also added a 1" speaker (can be switched off) and a switch to choose between a notch filter and highpass filter. It also has an effects return level and a ground lift switch for the XLR out.

    They've upped the price by about $150 and shipping is still a few weeks out.

    I've had several chances to buy the older model (used), but I will definitely wait for the new one
  20. Bob Gollihur

    Bob Gollihur

    Mar 22, 2000
    New Joisey Shore
    Big Cheese Emeritus: Gollihur Music
    Essentially the Contra and Coda now use the same 3-way cabinet, and it is a lot more robust as well as smaller and slightly lighter; they have a switchable tweeter. Old vs. new:


    In anticipation of the final units, they are running a special for the interim period, a Contra/Coda Series II cabinet with an original Clarus head for $849, a pretty good deal, especially if you like the flexibility of being able to use the Clarus head with another speaker or Contra speaker with another head. I can't wait to see it; Rick said he should be shipping me some in a couple weeks.

    While the Contra has gone up to $949 list, I will be permitted to sell it for as low as $849, and of course, I will. I'll be updating my site with the product details and new pricing over the next couple days.