Many thanks to Bob Gollihur and his son Mark for the visit yesterday to Bass Mecca in Ocean View NJ. Nice to take a family vacation "down the shore" and get to go try some super nice gear at the same time! I've been looking for a new rig for a while and have enjoyed chatting with many of you about the pros and cons on several of the systems available. The chat becomes even more important because lots of this high-end gear is just not readily available at local music chains. It's just too specialized. I tried a potent combination of the Euphonic iamp800 head and a new VL 2x10 cabinet. I liked the speaker cabinet immediately because it's designed to stand vertically -- the way I nearly always prop my SWR 2x10 cab. The coating on the box is sturdy and I'm going to like the fact that it's good at repelling smoke and other "kling-ons". The cabinet is comparatively light too -- weighing in just under 45 pounds. Mark brought it in from the garage and hoisted it up on his shoulder for a proper demonstration! The sound was loud and clear. The EQ was not lacking in any way. I especially liked the tone presets, as one or two buttons gave me the full, deep and clear sound I normally want. The cabinet pushed lots of air and the headroom of the amp was apparent as it never seemed to "break up" or sound muddy. Even set "flat" the amp sounded quite natural. It was also very clean, I noticed no hiss or noise. I tried Bob's '41 gut-strung Kay bass with the Golden Trinity pickup/mic system. I liked the mic a lot and might consider adding one to my bass in the future. The upright sounded great through the amp and we could get it quite loud without any feedback. I also brought my Modulus Vintage Jazz (w/Rotosound flats) for reference. Again, I got a big fat sound without any hassle. I also was excited to try an Acoustic Image Focus head. I was really impressed by how much sound came out of that little box. For players who hate too many knobs -- this might just be the amp. In fact, I loved it...very simple and quite compact. However, I did notice a distinct difference between the two heads in that the iamp800 simply had more juice. Since I'm going to need this rig to pull double duty on quiet cocktail jazz gigs with upright -- and loud club concert gigs on electric -- ample power is a key factor. The Focus sounded great through the EA cabinet. I could certainly see having a Focus head and one of the smaller EA boxes as a killer compact jazz rig. However, I'm pretty sure at this point I'm going to buy the iamp and 2x10. I'm going to save up a bit then start adding cabinets...most likely a second 2x10 for my outdoor gigs where there's no big PA system to run through. In addition, I'm interested in the idea that EA is putting out a newer version of their 2x8 cabinet. I had an old SWR 4x8 Henry Jr. that sounded very good with upright. It was just so beat up, it crapped out if you pushed it too hard... My only suggestion at this point is for EA to make a cool little amp rack with the same coating material as their cabinets -- for a uniform look and for the obvious benefits of stability and protection. I'm still going to try out a few more rigs in my travels this summer -- but at this point, I'm fairly impressed with the EA gear. I'm also very interested in the fact that Acoustic Image is updating their heads with more power and better input options. In fact, I might have to wait another month or two just to see what they come up with. I'd love to hear opinions on all this and will reply when I make the decision to make a purchase. Cheers!