I chose this amp for a few basic reasons:
- It's ridiculously easy to transport to gigs.
- It's best combination of loud and clean I have ever heard.
- Between the previous reason and its extended tone shaping controls, it does everything I'd ever wanted in an amp
If this amp were stolen I'd definitely buy a new one. They feel a little expensive when something so small arrives in the mail, but in contrast to what people charge for other heads that can't even touch this one I'd say its priced very well.
How could it be better? I would say they could have some built in reverb, but they already offer that model (Clarus 1R Series II)! Actually, they had that at the time I ordered mine, but the price difference between the two is really not warranted at nearly $150. Reverb is such a subtle thing (for me at least.) and I use it so sparingly I didn't see the point.
Model Year: 2003
Price: $579.00 (new)
Where Obtained: www.jhalemusic.com
You can read all the nitty gritty detail at www.acousticimg.com, but here's a rundown of its most appealing features:
- Extended frequency range.
- 300 watts of clean, clean sound.
- Extended EQ w/switchable high-pass/notch filter
- Dual speaker outputs (down to 2 ohms!)
- Small enclosure and only 6 pounds.
It is a solid-state amp, which in my experience can tend to sound a little trebley and brittle, but the Clarus is quite luscious and warm. I play it through a Raezer's Edge Twin-8 cabinet (Another excellent product and an excellent match with this head.) with a jazz-fusion ensemble that can get quite loud and I have very seldom had volume issues. Any bad sound situations I can attribute to the room I was playing in.
As I said before, it is luscious and warm. It reproduces your instrument as it sounds - there's no coloring of your instruments original tone here. The clean tone are spectacular, and if you want to add some strange effects or dirty it up with distortion it processes those sounds just as well as any other amp I've heard. Also, when clean, it's nearly dead-silent. Awesome for jazz, funk, and really any genre if you give it a chance.
You may want to adjust your tone to suit the room you're playing in at the time to get the optimal sound and projection, but I find that's an excellent habit regardless of the amp your using. Also, with this amp you're in luck because of its extended EQing capabilities - the amount to which you can add and detract decibels from so many frequencies guarantess you can find the tone you want eventually. I jumped to this straight from a Line6 Flextone II (Odd switch, I know.), and after all the tap-dancing and button pushing it took to changes sounds on that I really enjoy the simplicity of just turning a few knobs. Then again, that's not a fair comparison because the Clarus is really a simpler machine in many ways, but what it does it does better than anyone.
I've used it quite regularly for about seven months and have had no problems whatsoever. The company has an excellent policy about replacing parts that break from typical use and are quite nice people too, from what I hear. They make it very easy to access the fuse in the event it ever blows, and they even sent me a spare one. Quite thoughtful. I read a couple stories about the unit dying on some people for reasons they couldn't figure out, but the company did fix them without charging and they work perfectly now. Also, two bad incidents among thousands of admonishments isn't too shoddy. All the same, I'll give it a 4 because that story did scare a little before I bought it.