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Good cab for doubling using Clarus II?

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by lermgalieu, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. Pending the results of my trial run today, I think I may be buying a Clarus II instead of a Woods (more watts for the $$). I am really leaning towards the Euphonic Wizzy 112, which I have heard, for its efficiency, the fact that it is ported, and its lightness.

    However, I noticed that you can get those Ampeg Portabass 112 cabs pretty cheap now - I would basically save $200 on the cabinet that way. Has anyone used one of these with a Clarus? They are rated at 4ohms, but the sensitvity is 93db, much lower than the Wizzy. It seems to me that the portabass is just a lower quality, but still good cabinet. My main goal is to be loud enough for electric bass in a rock setting (small club), but transparent enough for a decent DB sound. Any opinions? I don't know where there's a portabass cab I could try out, and I can't seem to find any reviews of this exact combination.

    On option I suppose is to just buy the ampeg cab and ebay it if I don't like it....
  2. junglebike


    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    I'm in the same boat, one step further along. I've got a clarus, and I just bought (and returned) a Portabass 1x12 from guitar center. It was a fabulous deal ($215!), but it just didn't do it for me. (sooo nice and light though!)

    I'd recommend calling all Guitar Centers nearby and trying it yourself if you can find one -- if it works for you better than it did for me you'd have a cheap, ultralight cab. And you could return it within 30 days.

    It sounded good at low volumes with my P-bass. Cranked with my fretless, it got boomy, with a real annoying spike in the way-upper mids. Souded to me like to speaker cone wasn't stiff enough. Anyway, lots of highs, lots of lows, nothing in between. On upright, I found it just wasn't clear enough, and tended again to have boomy lows and tinny highs (even with the tweeter turned off.)

    I haven't found anything that sounds as good for my DB as my powered Yorkville NX520 PA speakers. They can't handle a lot of low end, though. I'm intrigued by the Wizzy cab, too -- let me know if you buy one how it goes!

  3. Your experience with the portabass sounds like my premonition of mine. The Wizzy is really light too though you know (except in the pocketbook).
  4. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    I use the Portabass 1x12 with a Clarus II and I double. I usually use two of them when I play with a rock band and volume is never an issue other than me being to loud. I usually use a SansAmp BBDI because I like the phat sound that it gives the whole setup. I did a gig recently using my 50's Kay, the Clarus II and the Portabass. The clip is the sound about 15-20 feet from where I'm standing and playing. Needless to say to me sounds different from what I heard. I had the cab on a stand pointed upward from behind me.


    I haven't tried all of the cabs that are available and bought the Portabass because they sounded decent when I played them in the store and the price was too good to pass up. To me the cost/benefit ratio is high and I don't know how much better a more expensive cab i.e. perhaps 2 to 3 times what I paid is going to sound.
  5. Adrian Cho

    Adrian Cho Supporting Member

    Sep 17, 2001
    Ottawa, Canada
    See my amp and speaker shootout report:


    I didn't like either of the Portabasses which I tested with the Clarus. I haven't tried the Wizzy but everybody is saying good things about it. Have you thought about using an EA head like the iAmp500 instead of the Clarus? Heavier but more power.
  6. Adrian/Phil - thanks for the replies. I am reasonably sure the Clarus will have enough headroom - I tried a Contra yesterday and at about 40% it was plenty loud with both electric bass and double bass, it was just lacking something in the bottom end with the electric due to the Coda cabinet. The reason I am going this route instead of something like the EA iAmp500 is that a) I want two completely independent channels like the Woods or the Clarus and b) I want something super light. From everything people like Phil has said, the only question really is whether I will need two cabs or one and which cabs they should be. I think the efficiency of the Wizzy is its primary drawing point for me - maybe the threshold where I will need two cabs will go up. I am feeling pretty good about the Clarus since it will go down to 2 ohms. I can't imagine pumping two efficient 12" speakers at 2ohms and needing any more. But I could be wrong!
  7. I ordered the Clarus II and the Wizzy 112 cab just now from Bob G. I am very excited. Assuming I like it, its ebay time for a random assortment of stuff pretty soon here! How exciting...
  8. JohnThomasson

    JohnThomasson Supporting Member

    Feb 3, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Supro, Mesa Boogie, DR Strings, Source Audio, Pigtronix, & Fishman
    I use the Bergantino HT112 with my Clarus II and I love it. It has a nice full range sound for being a 12. It is more expensive than the others, but worth it IMHO. It is such a loud rig for it's size. I play lots of rock shows and jazz gigs with it and it makes the other bass players in opening bands seem foolish for hauling around such big amps.

  9. Hi ... first time poster ;)

    just to chime in with Mas' post:
    I have taken out my Clarus SR-II / Bergantino HT-112 out on a few gigs now and it really does seem to be a really lethal combo --> very "natural" "transparent" sound with upright (as described by audience members), but plenty of presence.

    Although I was initially a little concerned about volume, audience opinion prevailed again, and it seems that the Berg is quite efficient at projecting a good ways through the room, without washing things out like a larger/less hi-fi cab might.

    Haven't had a chance to use it much for electric, but I have no complaints thus far, sounds great too, plenty of guts to anchor a rock act with.

  10. I'm hoping my experience with the Wizzy is as nice as your reports of the Berg... I expect to be similarily impressed since the EA is a nice high quality and efficient cab.
  11. dnburgess


    Jul 20, 2003
    Sydney, Australia
    Proprietor: Bass People, Green Square Music
    You might also look at the Acme Low B-1, its got great bottom end and is pretty light. 2 B-1s would be a very versatile rig - they are full range speakers (40 - 22k -3dB) so can be used as a mini PA in a pinch.
  12. LarryR


    Feb 2, 2003
    Los Angeles
    I agree with dnburgess. I use an Acme Low B-2 with my AI Clarus for URB and EB. It can get loud enough for most rooms. Additional volume for the house is achieved with the AI's DI.

    Still though, my ideal is to have (2) Acme Low B-1's. They're $ 360 a pop from acmebass.com. This would be a super versatile rig.
  13. Wow is all I can say. I received my Clarus II and EA Wizzy 112 from Mr. Gollihur yesterday and used them last night at rehearsal. Wow.

    Going from the Carvin RC210 combo, even though I had replaced the drivers in it, there is NO comparison.

    The WIzzy is so tight and focused, but with nice deep rich lows. The Clarus is so even. I ended up tweaking the EQ and then putting it back to flat as I realized it was only missing what I hadn't boosted ;-). It runs cool and quiet. This thing is amazing, and the carrying case is nice and plush too.

    My Musicman Stingray sounds unbelievable through this set up dry - no pedals of any sort. Very warm and present, and extremely articulate - you can hear every small shift in dynamics.

    My double bass sounds excellent too, nice and even, without the muddy boominess I had come to accept with the Carvin. All in all I am immensely pleased, although I am having trouble getting the effect loop to work properly (better read the manual, heh). I have ordered a Aphex Acoustic Exciter for the DB just to lively things up a little bit (more due to the bass than the amp!) and a optical compressor for the electric bass (the drummer complained about the excessive dynamics, although I think part of it was me enjoying my new freedom).

    All in all, well worth the $$. There is PLENTY of headroom - I have the master at about 5, the electric channel at about 4, and the upright channel at about 5.5. Its plenty loud enough like this to play a small club. In fact when I first turned it on, I couldn't get the stingray QUIET enough (but I figured it out). I dreamt about it last night, that's how good it was. I hope my wife doesn't mind.

    One question for you Clarus heads out there, I wasn't really thinking about the fact that it has two effects loops, which means I can only place my pedal tuner on one bass or the other. Does anyone have any magical way to avoid the plug/unplug nightmare of this other than getting another tuner or "tuning by ear" (in a rock envorinment, this is pretty impossible to do)? Or should I just plunk the $40 down on another tuner?
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'm interested in the Wizzy as well - glad to hear that it got another great review! If you ever get a chance to compare it to a CXL 112, let me know...I'm curious how it compares in several respects

    Probably not what you want to hear, but I don't think a tuner is really that great of an idea for DB for several reasons:

    1) When you play wih a real piano, the piano will most often be slightly off, usually on the flat side. Best to get used to tuning to that, since it can't really be changed.

    2) On every DB I've ever played, there is a fluctuation of pitch when playing pizz - if you have any kind of pull at all, the tuner will read sharp at first, then settle down (yes, I know about new/old strings, different basses, etc). I have a really nice built-in tuner on my EA iamp 800, which is dead on for slab. But for DB, when the tuner says I'm on, I'm actually slightly out, usually on the sharp side. I think that if you have a decently strong pizz stroke, the truth in tuning is a compromise between the attack and decay if you really want to find the sweet spot. I'd recommend just learning to use your ears for DB and saving the tuner for the slab. FWIW, YMMV, etc....
  15. Chris Pizz Herald,

    thanks for the tuner comments, BUT

    1. I don't play with a piano in my main gig. Its guitar, bass, and drums. I can tune to the guitar at the before the gig, but during a rock gig, its pretty unprofessional for the guitar and the bassist to be whacking a note between tunes to try to get in tune.

    2. I play arco to tune. I seem to get a much more even reading that way, although this is obviously subject to the same things you describe. In the situation I play in, I need to be able to check my tuning during intros where I don't play, and thus there is tons of noise going around me and I just can't tune by ear in that sitch.
  16. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    That's cool. But I have to wonder about your bass and or strings. With my bass and Spiro Starks, I usually only have to tune once a night, or once a set (before) at most. In reality, if I didn't have to put the bass in the bag and schlep it all over hell and creation, I could probably get away with only tuning it once every couple of weeks (and yes, I AM sensitive to intonation issues :) ). Are you using guts, or is your bass especially fragile?
  17. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Buy a tuner pickup. It will be a device that clamps on your bridge and plugs into your tuner. Handy for tuning, esp. if you tune with a bow. It doesn't always handle the lowest notes well, but using harmonics it's easy. I use it to tune in an orchestra when the trumpets and percussionists are trying to make as much noise as possible before the concert.
  18. Chris, I think what happens is I get to a gig and tune the bass without having the luxury of letting the bass adapt to the new environment. Then as the bass gets acclimated, it can either fall uniformly slightly sharp or flat. Or if I get really excited on a tune, I might pull it flat on a string. But in general, my bass stays really in tune, more so than my slab. I'm using Heliocores hybrid mediums on my Glaesel at the moment...

    It's just nice (to me) to be able to check it real quick halfway through a set.
  19. I've had my heart set on a Contra for a while, mostly because of what I hear about its portability-to-sound ratio. But I'm liking what I hear about the 112 Wizzy/Clarus combination.

    I was thinking about buying the Contra for upright and keeping my "big rig" (GK RB800 + Hartke 4x10 +Hartke 2x10) for rocking out. From what VERMIN GLUE says, I could dump at least the GK head and 4x10. Maybe keep the 2x10 as an extension if I need it.
  20. I think you'd be good. I was worried about headroom, but now I am just amazed. This rig is about the size and weight of my old GK MB150, but about 5 times more headroom. Sounds better too.

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