iAmp200/Wizzy impressions

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by drurb, Nov 11, 2005.

  1. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Well, I have one more promise to keep regarding my iAmp200/Wizzy rig and that is to report on my impressions of its sound. Just to be clear, I did not buy the combo because I wanted the flexibility of having the amp physically separated from the cabinet. My system is, of course, functionally identical to the iAmp200C.

    Some details regarding the setup. I have a fully-carved Upton bass fitted with the RS Solo pickup. I play in a small group, the largest configuration being a sextet.

    Disclaimer: What follows are MY impressions based on MY preferences with MY bass and MY pickup in the rooms in which I have played.

    I am extremely pleased with my EA rig. At low to moderate levels, I really can achieve something quite close to the sound of my bass, just bigger. I attribute a great portion of that success to the RS Solo pickup. Here's an interesting anecdote. I was playing a duet with my sax man and he was commenting on how my amplified sound seemed to "come from the bass." (Okay, the amp was near the bass.) Anyway, he was impressed at how much the amplified sound resembled the sound of the bass. He asked me to turn the amp on so he could compare. I then pointed out that the amp WAS ON! (No, it wasn't turned all the way down. ;)) . Then I turned the amp off and he immediately noticed the drop in level.

    At higher levels, the sound is less "natural." I believe this is a function of at least two factors. The first is that, at higher levels, all sorts of room resonances will be excited and will become apparent that are not an issue at lower levels. This seems to be the case for the sample of rooms in which I've played. The second is that this rig is simply not intended to be a powerhouse that will allow you to cut through the playing of over-zealous guitar and horn players. (You know the type!) That seems a fair trade-off for being able to easily carry around the rig.

    I find the parametric equalizer on the iAmp200 quite useful. I understand that some do not. In some cases, this is a result of users feeling that there are just too many knobs to twiddle and too many choices. IMHO, it is worth it to really learn how to use a parametric EQ. They offer enormous flexibility. In my case, having had decades of experience with such devices and being able to identify, by ear, the particular band of frequencies that corresponds to a response anomaly, I was able to make use of the parametric EQ in short order. The biggest source of variance that will cause you to want to change the settings of that EQ is the interactions between your speaker cabinet and the "response" of the various rooms in which you play.

    Having said all that, to date, I have run the EQ on the iAmp pretty flat except for a small boost at 40 Hz and, sometimes, a small cut around 500 Hz or so. This is what has worked for my bass and my pickup, in the rooms in which I have played.

    Finally, I did have an opportunity to A/B the EA rig with an old AI Contra. In the limited trial I performed, the EA rig won. The test was decidedly unscientific and was performed in one room. I always liked the AI Contra. I still do. In my opinion, and it is only that, the EA rig sounded better and will not suffer from the unpredictability of the sound produced by the down-firing woofer in different venues and with different floor-surfaces that has been reported in many TB posts.

    By the way, I saved a ton of $$$ and trouble by buying this bag here:

    http://www.americanmusical.com/item--i-GAT GPA700.html

    The entire EA rig along with cables and all my "stuff" fits easily into it and then I just roll it away. It was a great find.
  2. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Thanks for the info about the iAmp and Wizzy. I am considering getting one myself. I currently have a very old WW and a Wizzy cab and it would be nice to have another amp around in case something happens to the WW. I was thinking of the 500 watt model but after reading so much on this forum that there wouldn't be that much difference in volume with the 500 watts, I am seriously considering the 200 watt model. After all, the difference in weight b/w the two in considerable and 200 watts is probably more than I'll ever need.

    It would be nice if there was a handle on the iAmp (a little strap like on the WW amps).
  3. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004

    If your purpose is to drive the Wizzy, then the iAmp200 is PLENTY. Believe me, the Wizzy gives up well before the iAmp. You are correct in your analysis. Going from 200 to 500 watts will net you only 4 dB. In my opinion there is no point if you only want to drive the Wizzy because you'll never be able to use the extra juice.

    I place the iAmp atop the Wizzy, throw a bungy cord over the top and around the cabinet handles, and lift it all by the handles.
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    I would like a handle just to carry the iAmp (makes the one handed carry much easier).
  5. bolo


    May 29, 2005
    Apex, NC
    I’ve been using a Wizzy combo for over a year now, and I am still really happy with it.
    The precision especially in the mids I think is worth noting. Sitting down with the parametric EQ, applying a boost / cut to one of the bands, and then slowly spinning through the frequency range is a treat. Actually for my ears it was more like an education! I think this ability to handle the mids so well must convey to all the EA gear.

    The combination of features is really pretty unique - transmission line design, Whizzer cone, cabinet covering. Really a neat and versatile package IMO.
  6. drurb

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

    Apr 17, 2004
    Yep, I agree. I had the rig in a relatively small room yesterday playing bass/sax duets. The Wizzy sounded great! Gone was the comprimise of a somewhat artificial amplified sound.
  7. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    I am still amazed at what the Wizzy can accomplish in such a 'deceptively simple', small box. The fact that it is not a neo magnet design is also noteworthy, given its relatively light weight. While I have not tried the iAMP 200 or 500, I am very impressed with the results I get pairing my Wizzy up with my iAMP 800. Two Wizzy's with the 800 can get very loud, and sounds very authoritative, BTW.