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Bireli's internal soundhole mic

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  • guit_boxguit_box New
    Posts: 113
    Since the subject has morphed into a discussion of the corus ... my local music store had one of the AI Corus amps so I tried it out and compared it to my compact 60. Maybe it was the room and I should A/B them in a few different rooms, but I didn't find it to be any better than the AER, in fact I actually liked the AER sound better. I was expecting there to be a considerably fuller sound with the 10" speaker, but not really, it still sounded like a small acoustic guitar amp that at high volumes has a "pushed" sound -- a lot like the aer. I didn't get to try it with my AT831B lav mic, so maybe it wasn't a fair test on that front, and I've noticed my AER sounds thin in some venues and just fine in others, so the room can make a difference too. I'm considering taking it out on a couple gigs and comparing it to the AER, and if I do I'll post my observations back to the forum.

    Here are some of my initial observations about the amp and ergonimics:
    1. The carrying bag is just a simple vinyl cover that doesn't have a bottom. I found this to be really cheap on AI's part. Maybe you can buy an upgraded bag and I know you can get a drum-style of hard case, but really, a padded case like the AER has would be much better for gigging. The fact that there is a speaker with a paper cone on the bottom of the unit that doesn't have a cloth grill to protect it from moisture is a real problem if you live where there is snow like I do. Sure, I want to avoid placing the amp down in the snow, but it happens.
    2. The sends and the direct out are all on the front of the unit, so all those cables will get in the way of the controls.
    3. The spring-loaded tilt stand is quite nice.
    4. I liked that you can turn off the tweeter, but it didn't make much difference to my ears.
    5. the jack/plug contacts seemed quite loose compared to the aer so I wasn't impressed with the quality.
    6. I'm not quite sure how to set if for a piezo pickup vs a magnetic pickup since there are no switches on the front panel for hi/low. It did sound fine with the bigtone and had more than enough volume so I can only assume it is compatible with a direct piezo signal.

    It seems like a nice amp, and these are just my initial observations. I'd really need to try it out in some more settings. But for me, I hear no big difference between it and my compact 60 so it's hard to justify buying another amp and then having to sell my aer. If I didn't have another amp already I think I would give it some more consideration.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    [quote="guit_box"]but I didn't find it to be any better than the AER, in fact I actually liked the AER sound better.
    [/quote]


    What pickup did you use? If it's just a piezo then the AER might sound better at first, at least until you learn how to set the Corus to sound good. The AER is sort of idiot proof with piezos...it tends to make them all sound good at the expense of flexibility and compatibility with other pickup systems. The Corus is more versatile, but it takes time to learn how to set it.

    Did you actually AB it in person with an AER? We did that here with several local players and there was a unanimous decision that the Corus was far superior.



    [quote]1. The carrying bag is just a simple vinyl cover that doesn't have a bottom.[/quote]

    You can buy a fully padded one with pockets, etc. See:

    [url=https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/item--Acoustic-Image-Padded-Travel-case-for-Corus-Contra-Coda--acoustic-image-padded-travel-case.html]https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/it ... -case.html[/url]

    or a hard travel case:

    [url=https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/item--Acoustic-Image-Hard-Travel-case-for-Corus-Contra-Coda--acoustic-image-hard-travel-case.html]https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/it ... -case.html[/url]
    [quote]
    It seems like a nice amp, and these are just my initial observations. I'd really need to try it out in some more settings. But for me, I hear no big difference between it and my compact 60 so it's hard to justify buying another amp and then having to sell my aer. [/quote]

    The AER is very midrangey and "boxy" sounding compared to the Corus. The Corus has way more low end and generally a more flat frequency response which is great when using mics, Schertler pickups, etc. But for a piezo the AER is really nice....

    If you don't mind carrying a few more pounds, then the Acoustic Image Clarus amp with the Raezers Edge speaker is absolute heaven! So warm and very feedback resistant. The pinnacle of transistor amp tone...

    [quote="guit_box"]but I didn't find it to be any better than the AER, in fact I actually liked the AER sound better.
    [/quote]


    What pickup did you use? If it's just a piezo then the AER might sound better at first, at least until you learn how to set the Corus to sound good. The AER is sort of idiot proof with piezos...it tends to make them all sound good at the expense of flexibility and compatibility with other pickup systems. The Corus is more versatile, but it takes time to learn how to set it.

    Did you actually AB it in person with an AER? We did that here with several local players and there was a unanimous decision that the Corus was far superior.



    [quote]1. The carrying bag is just a simple vinyl cover that doesn't have a bottom.[/quote]

    You can buy a fully padded one with pockets, etc. See:

    [url=https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/item--Acoustic-Image-Padded-Travel-case-for-Corus-Contra-Coda--acoustic-image-padded-travel-case.html]https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/it ... -case.html[/url]

    or a hard travel case:

    [url=https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/item--Acoustic-Image-Hard-Travel-case-for-Corus-Contra-Coda--acoustic-image-hard-travel-case.html]https://shoppingcart.djangobooks.com/it ... -case.html[/url]
    [quote]
    It seems like a nice amp, and these are just my initial observations. I'd really need to try it out in some more settings. But for me, I hear no big difference between it and my compact 60 so it's hard to justify buying another amp and then having to sell my aer. [/quote]

    The AER is very midrangey and "boxy" sounding compared to the Corus. The Corus has way more low end and generally a more flat frequency response which is great when using mics, Schertler pickups, etc. But for a piezo the AER is really nice....

    If you don't mind carrying a few more pounds, then the Acoustic Image Clarus amp with the Raezers Edge speaker is absolute heaven! So warm and very feedback resistant. The pinnacle of transistor amp tone...












  • guit_boxguit_box New
    Posts: 113
    I did try it with a piezo only, since I didn't have my at831b with me. I may go take it home so I can compare the two amps where it's a bit quieter. I compared the two amps at a local music store.

    I'm surprised that everyone who listened to the two amps during your tests heard such a big difference. They sounded similar to me. What specific sound sources did you use in your comparison? Is there any specific adjustment that you found improved the sound of the corus in your tests?

    The corus sounded fairly good with the 3 band eq flat, but some added bass was nice. I did like that the eq could boost/cut more than the aer which has a very subtle eq. I didn't find the sweepable low cut/notch filter to be much use since I already wasn't getting the fullness I'd hoped for and I wasn't playing at levels that required notching/cutting to eliminate feedback. I can see where that would be useful to eliminate feedback though.

    Overall, I just didn't think it had the fullness I was hoping it would have, and maybe my expectations were too high for a small amp. Since I wasn't using the notch/cut feature and was either using the eq flat or with a small bass boost, I can't see what other adjustments I could make to get the more full-bodied sound I was looking for. I do like the sound of AT mic a lot, and if I could get a better sound using that mic with this amp I'd be sold on it. I'll A/B them again with the mic and report back if my assessment changes.
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    Generally a high frequency cut is a good idea when using a piezo into the Corus. The AER seems already have that built in so you don't need to do as much manually.

    Overall, the AER sounded "small," "boxy," and midrangey by comparison. High end was also harsher. It lacks the bottom that the Corus or a Schertler amp will have. But if you like a lot of mids, then that might be the "fullness" you're looking for. The AER is probably doing that so that explains why you like it better. Ultimately all these things are subjective...these are two very good amps.

    Also the guitar, the player, and the pickup (no two bigtones are exactly alike) all make a difference.

    'm
  • guit_boxguit_box New
    Posts: 113
    What kinds of input did you use for your tests and what were the results? Did you try it with the audio technica mic or just bigtones?
  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 5,893
    For the comparison we just used a Bigtone and a Stimer. Both sounded better with the Corus.

    I've tried mics through both at other times and have had a lot better result with the Acoustic Image.

    Again, the AER has a certain sound which is pretty cool with a Bigtone. I think you can get a more natural sound with the Corus, but in the end it's fairly subjective. Even so, most seem to prefer the Corus when you put it side by side with the AER.

    'm
  • StringswingerStringswinger Santa Cruz and San Francisco, CA✭✭✭✭ 1993 Dupont MD-20, Shelley Park Encore
    Posts: 417
    I did an amp test for an article that I wrote for Just Jazz Guitar where an AER was compared to an Acoustic Image Clarus(through a Raezer's Edge Cabinet), a Schertler Unico and a Gypsykat.

    I'd like to note that playing an instrument right next to the amps was VERY different than listening to someone else play through the amps at a distance of 20 feet away. This is where the AER sounds small and boxy.

    After this test, I sold my Compact 60 and now use the AI/Raezer's Edge rig exclusively with my SelMac guitars. Life is short and there are only so many gigs to play. Why not have the best sound possible? The weight difference is not a big deal for me. When 10 extra pounds is too much to carry, my gigging days will be over.

    I have not tested the AI Corus and therefore cannot speak to its attributes.

    Cheers,

    Marc

    www.hotclubpacific.com
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass
  • Bob HoloBob Holo Moderator
    Posts: 1,250
    The amp revolution has begun... Viva la Revolucion!

    I've always looked at those small sealed amps and thought that it's a cool idea, though sort of a parlor trick, to stuff that much speaker & that much power into such a small cabinet. At low volumes they're aces, but the harder you push a design like that, the worse it does its parlor trick. The real head scratcher is that it wouldn't take a whole lot more airspace to produce a more feasible sealed cabinet design. A C60 with less equalization and even a 20% larger enclosure would likely be a markedly better sounding product. You just know the marketing guy was saying "We'll sell more if they're smaller" and the engineer was shrugging his shoulders and saying: "OK, but remember - you're the guy who wanted it even smaller..."

    Raezer's edge seems like a neat concept. Big ported system.... just judging by the ratio of length to diameter of the Raezer's port and knowing its intended frequency range - it looks like the designers were aiming for a very low-stress, low-distortion design. Kudos to them. It takes Huevos to say: "Sure it's kinda big - but it sounds good - and you can turn it up if you want to."
    You get one chance to enjoy this day, but if you're doing it right, that's enough.
  • guit_boxguit_box New
    Posts: 113
    That was the same observation I was making in my earlier post when I said that both the aer compact 60 and the corus still sounding like small amps and they both had a pushed sound at louder volumes. Not a distorted sound, but more like what you were describing with a closed cabinet that's probably a little too small for the chosen speakers.

    If an acoustic amp manufacturer could come up with a more travel-friendly amp, I think some of these size issues would be solved. I'd like an amp that's designed more like a travel suitcase with wheels and a retractable handle. It would also be nice if it had some large pockets for a chart book and cables and maybe a way attach a music stand to the amp. I did some searching and discovered that there several portable PA systems that use this design, but no acoustic guitar amps. Alesis has a new PA that's close to what what I'm looking for in a portable amplifier.
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