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Small Speaker Cab: Acstc Img vs EA

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by swingfingers, Aug 22, 2003.


  1. I’m having a difficult time trying to decide on one of the below two choices to pair with a Walter Woods 300 watt head. My main concerns are quality of sound - as transparent as possible - and portability (reeeelly easy to carry). I will mainly use it for DB but would also like to use it for BG.

    1) Acoustic Image Series II ext. speaker, 25lbs, 40-16khz, 90db, 300watts
    2) Euphonic Audio VL108 (available used), 27lbs, 58-18khz, 95db, 200 watts

    I’ve read a lot about the Contra on this board, and have heard great things about the EA VL208 but I’m hoping some folks here may be able to offer comparisons if possible.
     
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I just finished playing a gig using a 108. I love the 108 for small drummerless gigs, and as an "intonation monitor" for gigs with a drummer, but if you want to use the cab for any BG at all, I'd save up and wait for a VL208, which can handle a lot more juice. FWIW, the VL208 is (in my opinion) the best sounding cab I've ever played, bar none.
     
  3. Swingfingers#2

    Swingfingers#2

    Aug 25, 2003
    Thanks, Chris. I may get the VL208 for louder DB gigs and medium BG gigs (although I understand from some that the CXL 12 may be better for this function). BUT, at 48lbs, I do not consider the VL208 to be "reeeelly easy to carry" as I stated above.

    My queery was regarding a speaker mainly for DB use (with, let's say a jazz quintet, medium room, etc.) and some small BG gigs such as coffee houses etc. Many people seem to use the Acoustic Image Contra or GK150 for this kind of thing with great success. Sorry if I wasn't clear enough on what I am trying to go for.

    I am a bit surprised, however that the VL108 is only strong enough for "drummerless" gigs etc. I thought by it's specs that the VL108 would be at least as loud as the Contra Extension speaker if not louder. Is it a lack of low end from the 8" woofer that can't compete with the Contra's 10" down firing speaker?
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I don't know that it "can't" compete, but there's a certain amount of math involved here - smaller speakers move less air than larger ones, and that outer 2" of cone area on the circle probably covers nearly as much space as the inner 8", or at least the inner 6"...if one of the more technically intelligent folks like TIMOTHY LEARY or e=mj2 happens to read this, they could probably explain the math much better than I. Anyway, I like to have a little headroom to play with on the gig, and the 108 doesn't provide much of that, although it's amazingly accurate. I'll take it when I've played the gig before and have a good idea that it will be enough - otherwise I'll take the 208, or both and use the 108 as a "head monitor" for intonation.

    BTW, are you the same person as the swingfingers who started this thread, or has cloning become a reality?
     
  5. Swingfingers#2

    Swingfingers#2

    Aug 25, 2003
    I could not properly log in for several days and became frustrated. I had to register a second time to have any access and to email Paul about the problem. Now it seems that I am able to log in as "swingfingers" and post, but it automatically credits the post to "swingfingers#2. Any idea what the problem is?
    I like dollies but they don't help in getting the speaker out of the car, and up 4 flights of stairs etc.;) The weight of the VL208 and old CXL12 are supposed to be within a few pounds of each other - does the size and shape make that much of a difference?
    As far as cutting through a jazz quintet, I wasn't sure if those were the frequencies needed to do it (some people prefer to turn down the real low frequencies (below around 60-80Hz). The VL108 seems like it would put out more in the mids, but like you say, maybe the specs are not quite so honest. Or is it that the real low end is how the contra is able to cut through?

    Does the 208 really blow away the Contra in terms of transparency? Thank you both.
     
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I dunno. The concept of a downfiring woofer might be more attractive if I only played on large stages, or if my ears were in my socks.
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY


    In my opinion, yes it does. However, the contra "spreads" the sound differently, and some old school players like that effect a lot. Personally, I don't care for it, but that's just me.
     
  8. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Sonically, I would say that the VL-208 is a great choice. However, I have not heard the Contra.

    I will, however, through out a somewhat heretical suggestion, and that is an Epifani T-110UL. The UL models seem to have just a hint more upper mid presence, which I find is where the Epi cabs are a bit scooped. It is not going to be as transparent as the VL-208, but it only weighs 23 lbs! And it has a range of 45Hz to 16kHz, handles 250w, and is much more efficient than the other two at 99db. I have used it on upright, and it is probably the best Epifani cab that I have heard for upright - I also own two T-112's, and I have tried the T-210UL and T-310. The T-110UL for whatever reason has a much less "scooped" sound to it.

    But then again, the VL-208 is a thing of beauty, and really isn't that hard to carry...

    Happy hunting, Tom.
     
  9. poalf

    poalf

    Feb 27, 2003
    Phoenix, Az
    Up until I went entirely Schertler (DYN B, preA II and PUB 2/280), I used a Raezers Edge Bass 10 with a Clarus head and was very pleased. I will admit that I've not played through the Euphonic Audio so can't compare but if I remember correctly from pouring over specs it is slightly more efficient than the CXL 110. It handles 200W and and weighs right around 30lbs. At the risk of some shameless marketing, it is for sale...
     
  10. BassGreaser

    BassGreaser

    Aug 22, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Has anyone tried Accugroove for DB
    right now I'm using a VL210 for BG, but I think it might have too much low end
     
  11. 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 didn't get a chance to try my Kay through them, but I did extensively audition a Mini Whappo, Tri 208 and Whappo, Jr. on 4 and 5 string electric bass. Extrapolating from the results of my audition, and comparing how these cabs sounded on electric to other cabs which I know sound killer on upright (e.g., VL-208), I would think that you would be VERY pleased with either the Mini Whappo or the Tri 208. The Whappo, Jr. is a killer cab, but if you think that he VL-210 has too much bass, then it won't be for you, as the low end is absolutely massive on the Whappo, Jr.

    Betwee the Mini Whappo and the Tri 208, the Tri 208 is a bit smoother sounding, and has a laid back, very natural sound to it. However, it is not as efficient as the Mini Whappo, which is noticeably louder than the Tri 208. The Mini is probably the most precise cab that I have heard. While I did not get a chance to do a direct A/B to my VL-series cabs, I'd say that the Mini Whappo is equally uncolored, but with extended frequency range both on the low and and on the upper registers. This might not matter on DB, though. However, the Mini more than any other cab that I have tried, draws out the distinctions between the instruments that you use with it. Very impressive.

    If it were purely a matter of URB only, and you were only looking at lower volue settings, then the Tri 208 would be wonderful. Dare I say that it might even be superior to my beloved VL-208's! However, if you were looking to double on electric, or if you needed a good bit of volume, the Mini Whappo is also very, very impressive.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  12. kempe

    kempe

    Aug 26, 2003
    Sweden
    I haven't tried them yet but EBS has made two new light weight cabs that should be really good and portable...might be worth checking out
     
  13. tombowlus

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

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Just to throw another cab into the mix, I recently picked up an EA Wizzy unpowered 1x12, and let me tell you, this is a tremendous cab. It is rated at 4 ohms, and it is very portable. It is a good bit lighter than a VL-110 or VL-208, and in head to head comparison, I like it better than either as a stand alone cab. Yes, even better than my beloved VL-208's! It has a tone of clarity and detail, which is amazing, considering that it doesn have a tweeter (just the wizzer cone). It is warm, and yet detailed at the same time. To be honest, I slightly preferred the VL-110/VL-208 combo (which would also present a 4 ohm load, but which is not as efficient), but when you consider the cost of those two versus one Wizzy, it is a real bargain.

    I have yet to play out with it, so I don't know how it will sound at higher volumes, but I do think that the EA Wizzy WZ-112 is a cab worth looking into. So far, it has far exceeded my expectations.

    Hope this helps, Tom.
     
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    Have you gotten to compare it with a CXL-112? I'm curious how it would do volume (efficiency) wise when paired with one. Please do post a review once you've had a chance to play out with it!
     
  15. 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 have not had an opportunity to play a CxL-112 or CxL-110. Not having an EA dealer even remotely close to me, means that all of my EA gear has been acquired used. However, I did get a chance to use the Wizzy at a rock band practice last night. I figured that this was a good torture test, as this band has two very loud guitar players, and I was playing a 5-string. At the beginning of the night, things are usually a bit quieter, and the Wizzy was able to compete quite well. The B string sounded pretty good (actually very good at lower volumes), but the Wizzy is not a cab to thump too hard on a low B (it seems to handle down to D fine) when you have the volume up fairly high. I don't want any speaker over-excursion problems! ;)

    At any rate, the Wizzy really does handle electric bass well, and it is a very versatile cab. I really, really like the sound of this cab. It is detailed and musical, without being harsh at all. I had my Mesa Boogie Diesel Powerhouse, Jr. at the same practice space, and it has a 12 and four 8's, plus a tweeter. It is a very punchy, mid-range full cab, and it sits on top of a heavily modified Peavey 1820, which usually pair up pretty well, since it has gobs of low end, but needs some more definition. By comparision, the Wizzy has just as much punch as the Powerhouse, Jr., but goes deeper AND has better highs. But what really sets them apart is that the Powerhouse, Jr. (and many other cabs I have tried that have an apparent upper-mid boosted voice) can get honky and decidedly unmusical under certain circumstances (like if you have a midrange boost going on somewhere else in your signal chain). The Wizzy, on the other hand, remained very musical and full as I tweaked with various EQ settings.

    Eventually, as the night went on, things got louder, so I used the Wizzy with the 1820 to provide some low end support. I was using my Walkabout to drive these two cabs - which I know is a bit of a mismatch since the Wizzy is 4 ohm, and the 1820 is 8 ohm, and which is a 2.67 ohm load, I know, I know ;) - so the Wizzy was getting more of the juice. With this setup, I was able to confortably compete (with a good bit of gain left on the Walkbout) with the three volume hogs (throw in our hard hitting drummer).

    All in all, the more I use the Wizzy, the more I am impressed with it. It is the best $250 cab that I have ever used, that's for sure! :D :bassist:

    Tom.
     
  16. JonB

    JonB

    May 27, 2003
    Indianapolis
    Last night, a collegue brought a new wizzy 12 to the club where I'm using a CXL112, so I was able to play through them both. Unfortunately, I only had one speaker wire, so was unable to pair them.

    First, and most obviously, the wizzy is smaller and much lighter, which is why my freind bought it. I expected the sound to be similar to the cxl, and was surprised. As noted in a previous post, the lowest notes, from A to E ( I only play a 4 string upright) have very strong low end, more than the cxl. This low end comes out effortlessly, even when played quietly. As one might expect, the high end detail is not as great as the cxl, but is is, as noted, a very smooth, musical sound. I noticed one hump around Bb on the G string, but that is probably just my rig or the room. I didn't try it, but I imagine this kind of sound would go well with arco.
    I think this speaker would be great for small gigs, up to a quartet, perhaps, but I would want to try it with a big band before deciding. The cxl seems more linear, and remains linear when pushed. It works well with large ensembles. Also, without the low end bloom that the wizzy has, maybe there is more room for the cxl to expand real low notes, and so a wider choice of colors. It would be interesting to hear them together, but can you do that with the impedence mismatch?
    This may not make much sense - I've only had one coffee so far.