Re: My Support of Bass Central

Some of you have emailed me mentioning a couple of other places that sell the Acoustic Image amps at the same price and are wondering why I chose Bass Central, which is more of a bass guitar store. They are the same price on the Acoustic Image as the lowest priced places out there, because Acoustic Image has a dealership agreement that forbids any dealer from selling below a certain price. For other products, such as the NS Design Basses they were the best in price (period). I highly recommend purchasing from Bass Central for your Acoustic Image amp and NS Design Bass. For anything else that’s upright bass related, check out the Where to Go For… section using the tab above for places that I have had good experiences with.

I like good people. When good people have the best prices, I fully support and recommend them. There’s Steve Koscica of The String Emporium who is a phenomenal full-time performing bassist, has excellent prices, wide selection of basses and invaluable insight. He knows a good bass because he knows how to play them to their limits, all the while still being a great guy.

Then on the other end of the spectrum there’s Beaver Felton, who’s also a great person, and a renowned bass guitar performer and instructor. He came from the 80’s rock era and had a life changing car accident; he was paralyzed from the chest down. I’m not supporting him because of pity, but I support him because through his adversity, he’s still such a great guy. I have to respect someone who can overcome obstacles life his dealt him, lose way on his lifelong dream, and still come out on top. It’s just wonderful to be associated with inspirational people like this.

There’s also the simple fact that I like to direct people to ethical, highly skilled bassists, since it boils down to a single question I have for retailers: How can you tell people that something is good, if you can’t play that well? Aren’t you more impressed when you hear a store owner who can play at a high level and not just talk the talk? Factor in that these two have the most competitive prices, and it’s a no-brainer to me.

Steve Koscica runs The String Emporium and can be seen/heard at the Phoenix Symphony

Beaver Felton runs Bass Center and can be seen/heard in the Superchops instructional videos for bass guitar (and on YouTube).

On Order Acoustic Image Coda+

I have just put in my order for the new Acoustic Image Coda+ through Bass Central. They anticipate that these will start shipping in a few weeks. I’ve known about Acoustic Image since they started, but until seeing this model, I was hesitant to change my decades old SWR/Bag End setup. Quite frankly, the first couple of Acoustic Image models always looked like they were works in progress . They have finally evolved to the point where I couldn’t resist this amp: It’s even lighter weight, more compact, very refined in construction and now they’ve added a head that you can undock (called the Cabrio System) that allows for the ultimate in flexibility. Most high end PA speaker manufacturers have already moved away from wood construction and have proven that material obsolete. Class D amps and sound chamber shaping abilities of molded polymer cabinetry has made the birch cabinets and class AB amps that I had seem so dated and unnecessarily heavy. I went ahead and ordered it. I sold off my amps and some cabinets, and then used that money to get this combo.

I’ve become a minimalist and my setup is now down to:

  • Old German Bass w/ Realist
  • NS Design CR4T (still waiting, it’s a special order)
  • Acoustic Image Coda+ (on order)

That list of gear pretty much does it for me. Maybe if I get the urge to be a coda_plus-design-lggearhead someday, I’ll buy the Acoustic Image Ten2 Ex to add to the Coda+ to get more volume if needed.

I’ll do a writeup on it when I get it in. It does seem a bit odd that all 100+ lbs of gear that I sold off is consolidated into this 20 lbs combo amp, but I’m sure my back will appreciate it. With the added AI Mooradian Soft Case, I’ll be able to roll my bass and tote the combo over my shoulder. It’ll be nice to be able to get everything in one trip, and still have 450 watts of quality sound. (Yes, I know that the specs say 800 watts; that’s only if you add another speaker and get the impedance down to 4 ohms.)

Acoustic Image: No Contra+

Acoustic Image, a popular manufacturer of amplifiers for the upright bass, has upgraded the features of the Coda through theseparation_ad years. The most recent feature added is the Cabrio Docking System which allows you to undock the amplifier (“head”) section from the speakers. This allows for more flexibility if you need a different configuration (e.g. outdoor concerts, venues with no P.A.) where you would need a different speaker configuration. Systems with the new Cabrio Docking System have the suffix, such as the Coda+.

I asked Rick Jones of Acoustic Image if they plan to offer the docking system in the Contra (which would make it a Contra+). The official answer is that they do not anticipate offering that feature because they are trying to keep the price down on the Contra, which they consider to be their entry level product.

Acoustic Image can be found at