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David Powell 02-08-2007 04:24 PM

I was holding out for an AI Coda III and got impatient so now I'm using an Ampeg PB800 with a PB212H. I really bought this pair (cab first, then head) thinking EBG amp. I've been pleasantly surprised at how well it works for my DB amped rig. I use the K&K bassmax with it and as "electric" as that pickup sounds, it sounds much better both pizzacato and arco with the Ampeg rig. I did A-B the Ampeg with an AI Focus head with the PB212H on both heads and there was not much difference that I could hear. If I invoked the notch filter on the AI, I could get a little more before feedback than with the PB800. I still think I might get the AI Coda for it's compactness. I'd also like to use a mic when possible rather than a pickup and AI makes that no hassle.

Interesting how you fellows with WW amps and the Focus have compared them. That speaks well for the Focus.

Jay Kilbride 02-25-2007 10:53 AM

Anyone out there still using Polytone gear? I'm still with the blue vinyl mini-brute III, bought when I first started playing DB. I'd dearly like to upgrade, but unfortunately the price of equipment in the UK is outrageous. :mad: For example, the list price for an AI contra combo from the only UK stockist is 899.00 (their cheapest offer - when the series III first arrived they were over 1k:eek: ). This is equivalent to approx $1,765. That's basically twice as expensive as a Lemur or Gollihur. (Dunno how relative salaries etc stack up - but my hourly rate in childcare is 7/$13.75, which compares to bar staff or call-centre staff etc: minimum MU gig rate is allegedly 60/$118 but often we end up with 40-50 & full corporate gig rate from agencies is usually 130/$255)
Anyway, maybe my children will stop eating & wearing clothes soon and I can get hold of a Schertler pub 280 & 380;)

Bob Branstetter 02-25-2007 03:46 PM


Originally Posted by Jay Kilbride (Post 1038)
Anyone out there still using Polytone gear?

Paul Warburton still uses one. I have one, but it is strictly backup insurance for my Series III AI Coda combo amp (which I absolutely love).

Bob Chandler 02-28-2007 04:22 PM


Originally Posted by Bob Branstetter (Post 561)
... The Series III Coda gives me everything I need in one small box. I mix my tailpiece mounted AMT mic with a Full Circle pickup and I have been very pleased with the sound quality I can obtain by mixing the two since I can adjust the relative volume of mic and pickup to suit the gig without having to carry around anything extra. Best of all (especially for us older guys), it only weighs 20lbs.

Doesn't the AMT mic require phantom power? Does the Coda provide phantom or are you using an outboard preamp/phantom power source for the AMT?



Phil Maneri 02-28-2007 11:46 PM

The AMT requires a preamp to function which powers the mic element. It can be run on phantom which the AI stuff will provide.

Mike O'Malley 03-13-2007 01:18 PM

Because I use a schertler Dyn-B and do a lot of doubling I like the Markbass 121P. It's small, very light, very loud, and I can plug the Schertler directly into the xlr input of the markbass. It's fine for double bass but a little boxy and thick sounnding. It's excellent for electric bass if you like a more old school kind of sound--it doesn't have the "hi fi" quality a lot of amps have. Can't beat it for convenience

If I'm being picky I run the Schertler into an avalon u5 and then into an AI focus Sa power amp, and then into an epifani UL 110

Flint Buchanan 03-22-2007 04:08 PM

Hope I'm not totally OT, but my rig consists of an Ashdown ABM 500 C210 500-EVO and a K&K bassmax. I hope to trade out the bassmax in the near future for the Uptonbass Revolution Solo II, in an effort to get a bit better tone out of the bass.

Not really playing out with this rig, so I can't comment too much. However the Ashdown combo has great tone with both my slab (fender Jazz) and upright.

Brian Casey 04-04-2007 05:33 PM

Currently, AI Contra (Series I) with Full Circle - I'm pretty happy with the transparency of the amp. It pretty much sounds pretty much just like my bass without an amp, only with more volume. There are some rooms I play where it's a little harder to get the right sound off the bat. EQ straight up sometimes does the trick, sometimes not.

I also like the 80's Roland Cube 60 Bass I was using before I got the Contra. It seemed like I could access something close to the tone I wanted more readily, but doesn't have the penetration the AI has on a small stage.

I'm currently looking at acquiring another bass (Older German vs. my current Christopher 401) and I'm trying to figure out what PU config. might work best with either of those amps - anyone have any thoughts or ideas?


Greg Clinkingbeard 06-30-2007 07:42 PM

This thread has been dormant for awhile, so I thought I'd wake it up.
I just got an Eden WTX-260 head to run with a little homemade 12".

So far I really like it, however I haven't gigged on DB with it yet. It is easy to get a nice tone that sounds pretty much like my bass when trying it at home. It fits in the front pocket of my Mooradian bag making portability a no-brainer.

With all the buzz (pun intended) about the other new micro head, I thought I'd just put in a plug for the Eden. It doesn't seem to get much love in DB circles, but it seems like a pretty good choice.

David Powell 07-06-2007 06:30 PM

another lucid moment here
Well I finally accomplished what I set out to acquire about a year ago. I now have an Acoustic Image Coda R series III and it is everything Bob Branstetter crows about. I picked it up Tuesday and used it Wednesday for a private 4th of July party that we have now played for 8 years straight. It was such a difference that the client commented while we were doing the sound check. Over the past 8 years he has seen my gear change quite dramatically, but in steps. An integral part of the system I used is my Ampeg PB212H cab. This is the box I normally use with a PB800 head for my EBG gigs. Coupled with the AI Coda, I now have what is for me the most versatile set of amp gear that I could want or imagine. Both the AI and Ampeg PB800 are two channel heads so I can easily set up to double on EBG and DB when a gig calls for that. I can also go very light weight if need be and take nothing but the Coda. Or I can really gear it up and use the extension cab. If I have only EBG to play, I can stick with the Ampeg rig and run fretless and fretted.

Last night I used the Coda and Ampeg ext. cab in a way that I had not really anticipated. We have a jazz gig in a very small venue with only about 6 or 7 tables and a bar. Keeping our footprint small is really important and there is just no room for a PA. Using the Coda and the extension we were able to run the vocal through the 2nd Coda channel and put the guitar through a smaller combo amp that stacked nicely on the Ampeg cab.

Before the place had to turn on a noisy HVAC system we were able to do the gig with no amps. So now we can be heard again and we take up no more room than we did before. We had done a couple of the gigs with the vocal running through a two channel guitar amp (sounded horrible of course) and I ran the DB through my old Fender RAD to keep it small. Using the Coda cleaned everything up nicely, plus using an extension we were able to get the same wrap around that a PA would give. It's a very versatile amp. When you consider how many other gear items it eliminates the need for (6 of Alesis' best effects to boot), and how compact it is and how powerful it is, it really is a great value for the price. Of course if one is in the UK, I suppose that might not be the same thing. What is up with that? :confused: There must be huge import duty or something. Are all the American products that expensive in the UK??

Greg Clinkingbeard 12-16-2007 12:08 PM

I've been using a Full Circle for a few months and got a Clarus III shortly thereafter. Speaker is still my little DIY 12 containing an Eminence 2512 Neo driver. Lately, I've been troubled by the lack of low end in my amped sound and have decided the main culprit is the cabinet. It rolls off quickly below 80hz and has a rise around 2K. Not bad for slab, but unnatural for DB.
I played a trio gig in a large restaurant at the Art Museum last night-marble and stone everywhere. I finally set the EQ with the bass all the way up and the mid and treble at 9:00. Surely, this was an extreme situation, but it's been hard to get a full natural tone lately.
I think I'm headed down the route to an AI combo before long.
I just want to forget about everything but the music.

David Powell 12-26-2007 12:08 PM

I had that same experience with a 10" speaker that is in my Fender RAD. I'm pretty sure it is an Eminence as well. It sounds really excellent for EBG, but very weak at the bottom for DB. Even in a ported reflex cab design, the lows you expect from a DB were extremely thin.

Not all speakers for EBG are equal though. If you are considering a forward firing cab that might deliver more low end from the Clarus III, Ampeg created the Portabass series with double bass in mind. My ampeg cab really has excellent low end with 2 neodymium 12" speakers and a tweeter. Ampeg makes a 2x10 version also. These are lightweight for what they deliver in sound although not as light weight as the AI combos. These are 4 Ohm cabs, so you would get 400 Watts from the Clarus. I used the 212H cab once around with a borrowed Focus head and it worked really well. Lots of bottom end. I think this is the best sounding cab I've used since my old Acoustic 106 2x15 ported reflex.

Greg Clinkingbeard 12-26-2007 12:40 PM

Thanks David.
I am currently borrowing a series II Contra and have been trying it at home. Unfortunately, I've got to give it back the first of next week so I can't try it on a gig. I have played through a couple of AI combos around town and always found them to sound closer to my ideal than anything else.
I like the tone I'm getting. It has a much more solid low end than my DIY cabinet. From top to bottom, it is very tight, almost like it is heavily damped. I wonder if loading the woofer downward adds some mechanical damping. :confused:
Anyway, when using a long cable, standing at a distance from the Contra it sounds very natural to me, where my cabinet sounds like an amp.
At this point, I am planning to go the AI route, either selling my Clarus and buying a Coda or Contra combo or possibly just buying a Contra EX.

David Powell 12-29-2007 09:53 PM

Well, I certainly won't discourage that approach, because the combo (Coda) is what I preferred over a separate head. Getting an EX cab is a good idea also. I don't know if it would be as loud as the Ampeg cabs, but if you don't need that, it is much lighter in weight.

I think the type of floor does make a difference in damping the Coda's woofer. I have better results on wood or concrete and acceptable results on carpet, but it seems to soak up some punch if the carpet is too thick. Whenever I use the Ampeg cab for an extension it still has the sound of the Coda. That 212H cab is super neutral. I have recorded from the direct outs of both the AI head and and Ampeg head and the recordings sounded as if I had mic'd the cab.

Mike Milner 03-21-2008 06:27 PM

I was fortunate to find a used GK 200MB ( a jazz guitar player was using it!). Picked it up for $400, still had the original foot switch and carrying case. I use a Fishman pickup (mounted on the bridge) along with a Fishman Platinum Pro EQ. Works great for any jazz gig I'm on.

Cheers & Happy Easter all.

Joe Hakim 05-02-2008 09:55 AM

I've been using my GKMB150 combo for 13 years and I've never had a problem with it. Run it with an Underwood on my German bass.
I'm currently looking for a good doubling rig, as the GK isn't the best at louder volumes with electric bass.

Greg Clinkingbeard 05-02-2008 09:30 PM

To update my situation, I'm using an AI Focus 2R III into an EA Wizzy 10, occasionally an AI Contra EX. I think this is a big improvement over anything I've tried so I'll be with this for a long, long time. The Wizzy is great on pork chop at moderate volumes so this is a good doubling rig for me. I had a GK for awhile and liked it, although it is a different animal.

Terry Takahashi 07-01-2014 04:14 PM

After using AI Contra (IIb & a newer model) or a Polytone Minibrute (80's) for about 3 years, I found to my surprise that the best, most transparent sound was a Genz Benz Shuttle 6.0 driving a Bergantino HT112. I have Fishman Full Circle whose output is fed into an LR Baggs GigPro (the girls think it's hot when you wear it on your belt - kinda like wearing a slide rule - but I digress). Everything is set flat except on occasion I dial back the lows on the Baggs given the room.

I bought the Genz for quiet electric BG work but it turns out to be even better for my acoustic upright and better than AI or Polytone.

Good gigs y'all.

Gerry Grable 05-05-2017 11:12 AM

New Amp.
Well, its over. My GK 200ma amp bit the dust. I tried to prolong its life but, as the tech guy said, it is fried.
Now good news. I bought a new Fender Rumble 100 combo for $299. It's been great with the 16 piece band that I play with ( my Jazz bass sounds pretty good, too). I'm playing an old Saffran (Wilfer) 7/8 (luthier's assessment) with a copper foil Gage pick-up. The sound is clean, no noise and the amp is very light and easy on my old bones.
My only complaint is that my bass has developed a Ab (plus or minus) wolf tone (I wonder if it was the dry air in my music room this past winter?) which I barely hear when I play sans amp. I've been experimenting with my MXR 10 band equalizer using the amp's convenient Effects jacks. I don't know if this is a good idea since the amp has four equalizer controls. It may be over-kill. I'm a plug it in and play kind of guy when it comes to electronics.
Thanks. Gerry

Gerry Grable 08-02-2017 12:36 PM

Rumble 100 update
I'm still having trouble getting a good, dependable setting on my big band gig. I've given up the 10- Band equalizer and am just using the amp itself. I'm still not sure how to use the special controls: the three Bright, Contour, Vintage buttons, and whether or not they can be used together in combinations? Also the Overdrive: Drive and Level knobs. I just turn them off while on the gig. I don't think I need overdrive for jazz. Then there's the Gain control. Should I use it with only the bass, low mid, high mid and treble EQs or turn it off?
I have the copper Gage pickup. Could it be going? I also have a pesky wolf tone that seems to come and go.
I know it sounds like one of those TV drug commercials but: Other than (a list of a dozen bad reactions) it's a very good product for the money 🤔.

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