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Tried to rock with a Focus 2R Series II

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by countrybass, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. Hello everyone,
    Say, I had a problem this past week on a gig.My head(Focus 2R Series II) overheated and quit working on the job.I've had a similar issue with this head,and Rick(the boss at Acoustic Image) has repaired it before.He's a sweetheart,but the problem still rearing it's ugly head.

    Here's my situation.An old Fender Jazz bass guitar,into a Sadosky pre-amp(with volume,bass,and treble all wide open),into the Focus(with Pre volume about 4,bass,mid,treble,brite,all full on,master volume about half),into 2 Schroeder cabs (1210+1212).The ohms the head is dealing with is 2.When the head overheated,Rick suggested I not boost the tone controls on the Focus.He suggested I run everything the way I had been,just leave the amps tone controls flat,and maybe put a fan on it.What I did was run the bass just into the head,still using the 2 cabs,with the tone controls set flat.I had not fan,but turned the amp off on the 15 minute break between sets.The amp lost sound twice,the light flickered but did not go all the way oext night I used the preamp with the tone controls on half,the tone controls on the amp set flat.Turned the amp off during the breaks,but at the end of the second set,the Focus died again.That was enough for me to switch to the house bass rig for the rest of the week.

    I love the sound of my rig,but it needs to hold up.I know I'm rough on my gear.Asking the Focus to work at 2 ohms,then boost everything is just asking for trouble.I have a question for you all.WHAT CAN I DOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!??????????????????

    One thought was to buy the Focus power amp (SA?),run one cab with my head,the other with the power amp.4 ohm load,600 watts into the Schroeders.One would think that'd be loud enough,huh?? Another thought is to just use the Focus for country,jazz,rockabilly,bluegrass type gigs.I still have my old SWR SM-400 head,just use that for the rock gigs. Another thought were the new powered speakers from Bergantino(sp?).The posts on them here at TB seem good,but they are heavy.Any suggestions? This band might want me to play my Kay string bass on this classic rock gig as a schtick.Which for me would be fine,I like string bass better anyway.But keeping up with 2 full Marshall stacks,and the old drummer from Man'o'War (Guiness book of world record holder of the loudest live band)might be a bitttt....much.Any thoughts? Am I nuts? Sorry if this is long winded or wierd,I haven't sleeped since the gig yesterday.Thanks and I hope to hear from you.

  2. Uncletoad


    May 6, 2003
    Columbus Ohio
    Proprietor Fifth Avenue Fret Shop. Technical Editor Bass Gear Magazine
    I think the Focus is just overworked at that application and impedance level. There are very few 2 ohm stable amps that sound good under those circumstances and don't blow up.

    Playing loud rock on a DB is a challenge. I do it but I use a WWU and a pair of VL208s to get it done. It's expensive and hard to get stuff.

    I'd ask another amp to do that job. You can add a power amp to the Focus I'd think. That may give you similar sound with higher power.

    I have an EA iAmp 800. I think that would work with those cabs and give tons of power and good tone in that application. It's a strong performer at 2 ohms. Perhaps that in lieu of your Focus on those gigs.

    I've never played with those boxes. Resident guru Tom Bowlus should chime in on his thoughts about those in your context.
  3. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Ditto on the iAMP 800. That thing is scary loud when it needs to be. I have the combo, but you could do it a number of different ways with the various EA cabs, or other cabs if you already have something you like.
  4. I posted it somewhere else but bear with me. soon after I got my Focus 2R III I did a REALLY loud fusion gig with it and two Eden 2 XLT 2x10's stacked vertically both rated 4 OHMS. This was an outdoor with no PA support with a guitarist, Drummer and keyboardist who simply do not even know how to play quiet. The amp/speaker combo not only performed like a champ but sounded great too! I was playing an active six string fretless and the low b was handled fine. I had the mids pumped a bit on the slab's eq but the head was flat with just the treble cut just a little. At the end of the gig I suddenly remembered what I was doing (running stupid loud at 2 Ohms)! and touched the to top the head to see how hot is was. It was cool to the touch. I wouldn't hesitate to run it that way again but thankfully I hardly ever play that loud. Maybe this is a case of the YMMV bit. I can't help thinking your not really getting anything beneficial by maxing out two different sets of EQ. That just sounds like trouble waiting to happen anyway. less EQ is always better.
  5. Do you use the high pass filter at all? If not, you may want to engage the high pass filter and leave the frequency down at 9:00 or so. You may free up some headroom by cutting a frequency range that your cabs don't reproduce anyway. I'm no expert, but I run five string electric with the high pass filter on all the time.
  6. 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 spent too much time with a Foucs, and I'm not a big fan of those cabs, so unfortunately, I am not much help. Other than to add that IME the iAMP 800 does, indeed, remain stable even when driven hard into a 2 ohm load.

  7. Thanks all for your input.The iAMP does look good.I've only heard one local Nashville guy play thru one,but the amp(and most importantly the bassist!!) sounded great.Can I ask a couple questions?

    Univac Jr.- What does YMMV stand for? Are the series III Focus amps better able to withstand long,loud,2 ohms gigs than the series II?

    Joe- I didn't think to use the filter last week,but that's a good idea.Thanks.

    Tombowlus-I've read your posts about the new powered Bergantino(sp) cabs.They seem great,but I don't know of any local stores that carry them.Love to try them out.Do you know of any dealers or owners near Nashville? I travel a bit for work,are there any around this area at all? I'm on the casino gig deal right now so it's St.Louis,Mississippi,Illinois,areas mostly.

    Thanks again for your input.

  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
    The IP series cabs from Jim Bergantino really are the top of the heap in my book. Looking at his dealer list, I don't see any stores that are all that close to you, but I would give Jim a call and see if he knows of anyone close to your area with an IP cab on hand. He's a really nice guy to talk to, too.

  9. Passinwind

    Passinwind I know nothing. Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Why not just get the newer Focus, which is rated for continuous 2 ohm operation and has a little more power to boot?

    I've used my Focus Series II for a number of really loud fusion jams on fretless BG, and I can easily get the amp to shut down just running into one 4 ohm Schroeder 1210. It's really stupid-loud at that point by my standards, and I'm really popping hard on my fretless when it shuts down, but I finally threw in the towel and put together my rack rig again. The 1210 is perfectly happy running off a bridged PLX2402, and the rig sounds better at tonal extremes now.

    I had an iAmp 800 previously. I prefer the Focus for my EUB by a good margin. The iAmp will get louder then the Focus Series II though, and it is stable at 2 ohms. The iAmp's EQ is also more flexible and might be a better match for the very loud situation you've described.

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