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New Acoustic Image heads

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Brad Maestas, Sep 18, 2005.


  1. Has anyone gotten a chance to check out the new line of AI heads? I know that they have slated a late-September release but did they have them at the last NAMM show? I already have a Clarus 1, Series II and almost bought the Focus II but I'm glad I waited. They look more like a WW now, I think. Also the CAD drawings they've released show these two little ears that stick up from the front panel. I would assume this is for mounting in the Contra cabs but will they be present on the standalone models, too?

    I have experimented with the ideas presented by Mike Pope and others to plug my active bass directly into a power amp or the power amp section of an amp like an AI. Personally I find that doing that with my AI sounds very sterile. It sounds pretty good with one side of a Stewart 2.1. I am contemplating using the Focus SA model because of it's smaller size and weight. Has anyone plugged straight into it with their on-board preamp? As it looks now I'm gonna probably get the Focus 2R III.

    P.S. any word on the exact date the amps will be available?
     
  2. There are about a million posts on these over on the DB side. Check them out. I believe from those posts that they will be available sometime in October. From what I gather from the posts, the basic sound, preamp etc. will be pretty much the same... more of a feature and look change, and a slight power increase.

    I have a current Focus. Extremely lightweight, high quality... but IMO lacks the punch necessary for a good pop/funk/rock EB sound. However, if you are doing jazz type gigs, or like a very organic woody, mellow sound, or especially if you are playing a piezo semi-acoustic instrument like a Rob Allen or Ric Turner, or an EUB..... they are AMAZING sounding.
     
  3. Yup, this is exactly what I do with my Stingray. Plenty of volume and punch. I power 2 GS112s with it and have more volume than I need for any situation so far -- bars, pavillions, festivals, etc.
     
  4. Great, thanks, guys. I'll look in the DB section.
     
  5. Petebass

    Petebass

    Dec 22, 2002
    QLD Australia
    According to the Australian distributor in AI:-

    "ACOUSTIC IMAGE SERIES 3

    We have more information about the new Acoustic Image Series 3 models which will start shipping in October.

    Apart from looks, the major changes are:

    * Clarus / Contra / Coda models go from 200W into 4 ohms to 300W.
    * Focus models go from 600W into 4 ohms to 800W!
    * The number of models has been reduced, so in each model range there will be only two variants – single channel without effects and two channels with effects.
    * The models with effects now include reverb, chorus, flange and delay.

    Hmmm... A focus at 800W and only 2kg. It just made my short list of potential amps if and when I even need a new one.
     
  6. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    AI website shows the input sensitivity of the slave amp as 250 mV.

    That is VERY sensitive! ...should work fine.

    My guess would be that the Level control is an input level attenuator not a gain control.

    Does anyone know?
     
  7. jokerjkny

    jokerjkny

    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PA
    i put my order in w/ jong at jivesound, and should get my 2 channel Focus 800 watter in a few weeks. i'll let y'all know about it. :cool:
     
  8. It doesn't have enough gain for my passive jazz w/Sadowsky outboard pre, but with the Stingray the stage volume is more than adequate.
     
  9. Can't wait to heard what you think of it?

    I thinking of getting one myself since people want that much money for their Walter Woods!

    -Christian
     
  10. lo-freq

    lo-freq aka UFO

    Jan 19, 2003
    The Republic of Texas
    My understanding of the standard Sadowsky outboard pre is that there is only some gain present through the bass &/or treble boost (it doesn't boost the overall signal).
     
  11. I have both a WW Ultra and the current 600 watt Focus. From what I understand, the new Focus will sound very similar to the current ones (even with that 25% power increase). The AI amps are very nice and have a very warm, very tubelike sound, but IMO not a lot of punch for the EB. They sound amazing for fretless bass... especially fretless basses that are trying to emulate a DB, like the Rick Turner and Rob Allen models. The AI really makes them more 'woody' and acoustic sounding than any other amp I've used.

    The newer Walter Woods models (as of the past 5 or 6 years) sound much more like a traditional transistor EB amp.... very punchy, nice treble, lot's of tone control from the preamp (the AI tone controls are very subtle.... the Walter tone controls vary things a lot).

    Both good amps... but totally different sounding... so one cannot replace the other. The Walter IMO can be used for any style of music at any volume... the AI is much better suited for a more organic, mellow sound and for small to medium sized gigs, again IMO. Since AI is stating that they are not changing the voicing of the preamp and the basic sound of the unit, I'm assuming my comments will also apply to the new models.... we will see :bassist:
     
  12. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    The 31 band graphic between my bass and the input of my Focus 600 gives me great, no make that superb electric bass tone....clean, punchy, plenty of bottom, nice clean but not ear shattering highs. etc. etc. Now add to this the inherant cut through and punch of the Schroeder designs and you really have an amazing small rig with the 1210 and an amazing mid to large gig stage rig with a single 410.

    I'm guessing that based on my experience with a Rob Allen, that the Focus alone will sound better for fretless than my using the 31 band in the signal chain. I used to take my practice amp along with me (Yorkville Block 80) to gigs when I played fretless even for rock gigs. The tone was just much "better" with a simple 3 band eq and then DI'd, (I know you guys are saying is this the same person who hates going through the PA....the answer is yes, but not with my ex-Rob Allen. It sounded much better with no 31 band graphic and through a single, underpowered slmost 20 year old amp with 115 and no tweeter mic'd or DI'd into the PA. I can't say that for all fretless basses....but for the RA, it sure as heck did.

    LKaye
     
  13. Makes sense... there are a number of TBers who use a different or additional preamp/tone control in front of or as the front end of the Focus. I hear that sounds good. However, my Walter sounds that way without an additional piece of gear. I do lot's of one nighters in large cities and am definitely a 'less is better' guy if it sounds good.... so no extra pieces for me. I agree with you on the Rob Allen... there's something about that Focus front end that really works well with that bass, and I assume the similar Ric Turner models.
     
  14. bassjam

    bassjam

    Aug 2, 2004
    dfw
    Lakland Basses,Genz Benz
    i also use a focusII with schroeder cabs but use skjold basses with onboard john east preamps.i play in a 7 piece rock/funk band and have never felt like i needed more punch.cuts right through no problem.ive always wanted to play through a ww but im very satisfied with the ai.plus now is a great time to but the focusII's.600w is plenty for most of my work(mostly w/full monitor system) and when i need more umph i add in a mini 12 or 1210.not sure what the wattage is at 2ohms but its LOUD.my rack system hasnt left the house in 6 months.
     
  15. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    with playing at 2 ohms? I know the focus is capable of it but it's not widely acknowledged or approved, but it can be done?

    No overheating or turning off on it's own?


    LKaye
     
  16. bassjam

    bassjam

    Aug 2, 2004
    dfw
    Lakland Basses,Genz Benz
    i heard that people were running them at 2ohms and wasnt sure myself.i called larry at acoustic image and was told they heard the same thing so they tested them at 2ohms and it was fine.ive done it several times and havent had a problem.you may want to call them and verify that for yourself but so far ive had no issues.
     
  17. Thanks Kjung,

    But since I play Fodera which have a pretty nice preamp don't you think that you can get good sound with the Focus III.
    The Focus is also half the money compared to a VW and you have the possibility to run at 2 ohms and then I can run a Epi 4x10UL and a 1x12UL or two 1x12's together :smug:

    -Christian
     

  18. +1 Although the Focus II is not designed to run for any length of time at 2ohms.... so be careful. Maybe the III will, though. It's all personal taste and the sound we are going for. My EB sound is probably very different from what you are going for (bright, modern, 'new round wound'), and the Focus just doesn't quite get me there. However, if you are primarily a finger-style player who likes a warm, mellow mid-oriented tone, the Focus (even without a separate pre) sounds wonderful.

    Also +1 on the Walter price. I actually do not recommend them to most people because of that. If you don't require the amazing portability of that amp, a TF550, an Eden550 or 800, etc., etc. will get you to a great sound for much, much less money. I love my Walter, but it's a big chunk of change!

    PS I can't imagine being on a gig that needs more volume than the Epi410UL!
     
  19. Larry Kaye

    Larry Kaye Retailer: Schroeder Cabinets

    Mar 23, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    I think it's "great" that I may be able to run my Focus I 600 at 2 ohms!!!! However, that means that I'm gonna have to schlepp anywhere from 2 to 4 cabinets around. The idea of your Epifani 410 UL and my Schroeder 410 and frankly the 1210 as well, is that they're ONE CABINET SOLUTIONS for the "working" bass player. That doesn't mean that if someone wants/needs 2 1210's instead of one or a 21012 or 410 because because you don't want to lift 78 pounds in one cabinet, fine, but you're lifting 95 pounds instead of 78 per trip to and from your car, home, etc., and you'll be spending $1500+ instead of $1000+ for the priviledge AND you're going into uncharted, untested territory on the reliability of the Focus to put out 4 hours per gig at 2 ohms.

    if I were to have a 2 ohm load consistently, I wouldn't be using the Focus or a WW Ultra..I'd get an EA iAMp 800 or some other brand with 1000-1500+ watts at 2 ohms rating or a 750 to 1250 watts per channel @ 4ohms, stereo power amp/preamp config to push the cabs.

    Continuing....When or where realistically do I need to run my 410 and 1210 simultaneously? I can not get the 410 to fart out unless I'm so freakin' loud on stage that it's totally disruptive to the balance of the band on stage and off, let alone mine and other's eardrum damage.

    The points.....don't buy a head that's not manufacturor's rated and tested extensively at a 2 ohm load if you're running 2 ohms. Maybe some of you guys should consider turning down ( I can't believe I'm saying this!!) and let your soundtech do his job to reinforce your volume in the venue and through your monitors (if all systems can handle it).
     
  20. I don't think that I need more than a 4x10UL cab! But I had a Epi 2x10 4 ohm and couldn't that with one 1x12 8 ohm because my amp only run at 4 down. So going down to 2 down may come handy someday.

    -Christian