Best Acoustic Amp

Discussion in 'Amplifiers' started by cubby61, Nov 16, 2018.

  1. cubby61

    cubby61 New Member

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    I was wanting to get everyone's opinion on what they think is the best amp to use for Acoustic guitars. I know you can use an electric guitar amp but I keep reading that using a special Acoustic amp will highlight the lows and highs better. I have several acoustics and a HBII and a P24 with split outputs that would also benefit.

    I'd like to keep the price low but don't hesitate to recommend something pricier if you feel it is way above the rest in terms of quality of sound.

    Suggestions?
     
  2. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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  3. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    I'd recommend any PA or powered speaker. Add a digital reverb pedal and you're there.

    In my experience, acoustic amps try too hard and come off sounding too much like electric amps.
     
  4. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    Rivera Sedona
    Fishman Loudbox
    SWR Strawberry Blonde
    Fender Acoustasonic
    Roland Acoustic Chorus
    Carvin...I forget the actual model nomenclature

    I have the Fishman Loudbox and the Carvin, myself, still want the Rivera (because I have more Riveras than anything else other than PRS -- I already have a Clubster, Quiana, and Suprema), Fender, and Roland (I have a JC-22, so that's lowest on the list).
     
    #4 Dusty Chalk, Nov 17, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
  5. cubby61

    cubby61 New Member

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    I was thinking the $200-$400 range if possible. It will only be used in my house and will be an acoustic compliment to my Mesa Mark 5 - 35 which is my main amp.
     
  6. cubby61

    cubby61 New Member

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    A local dealer has a used Fender Acoustasonic and I wanted to see where that ranked when people gave options. They are also a Fishman dealer so they have those but they cost more.
     
  7. Dusty Chalk

    Dusty Chalk alberngruppenführer

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    Dew et.

    The first four (including the Acoustasonic) are a short list from a friend who's been a guitarist for decades, and has never steered me wrong in terms of advice and recommendations. Basically he's saying those are the only four worth considering.
     
  8. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    When I asked this question to two different guys at two different music stores last year, both said “buy the best Fishman amp you can unless you want to go a grand or more. “
     
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  9. Audie

    Audie New Member

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    Bose S1 Portable PA. Built for the acoustic guitar and comes in at 599.00. AC or DC power. It is a hot ticket with a lot of acoustic players. You like Mesa I see. There Rosette is awesome as well, but that is 1150.00. Acoustic amps were for the longest time some type of toy or something. In the last decade, there has been some significant changes. A nice cheaper amp is the Fender acoustasonic for 499.00. It sounds pretty darn good.
     
  10. Boogie

    Boogie Zombie Two, DFZ

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    If you want a dedicated amp, your suggestions above are quite sound. From personal experience, I’ve gone straight from the pickup jack to the PA (Bose L1s were especially nice) and used my EQ onboard to manipulate my sound. If you have a sound guy, there’s nothing to worry about.
     
  11. cubby61

    cubby61 New Member

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    Thanks for everyone's replies. They are very appreciated.
     
  12. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    As an aside (I realize this isn’t going to be what the OP needs because he’s only playing at home), with any guitar pickup going to a sound person or recording console it’s best to use a Direct Box (also called a DI) to bring the instrument’s level to Line Level. The instrument also sounds better because the impedance will be correct, i.e., what the instrument expects to “see” from an instrument amplifier, and what a mixer expects to “see” from a signal source.

    This will give you your best tone, and the least amount of hiss and noise due to level matching.

    Most sound people have direct boxes for this purpose, but some don’t. I always took a Direct Box with me to gigs for my bass and keyboards (I only used guitar amps live, so had no need for one for that situation). I use one in my studio work as well.

    Lots of people use the Avalon U5 ( love mine) or A-Designs REDDI for this (they’ve kind of become industry standards), but there are other really good ones on the market, and many are less expensive. I’ve been a U5 user for nearly 20 years, and have had great luck with them. On personal experience I can also recommend the Demeter Tube Direct and Universal Audio 610. I didn’t care for the sound of the two Radial boxes I tried, but people swear by them, and there’s the Countryman that lots of folks like as well.
     
    #12 LSchefman, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018
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  13. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    If you go the DI route, the Fishman Aura and Spectrum are worth a look.
     
  14. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    I have an Aura for sale right now (only because I now use an acoustic IR in my AmpliFire3)
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I know you didn't ask, but for me an acoustic sounds best miked up and run through the PA. I don't care for piezos.
     
  16. DreamTheaterRules

    DreamTheaterRules New and improved member

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    The big issue with that is that it forces the player to almost not move at all. Acoustics change radically as you move a mic around in front of one. When I first started out as a sound man, one guy that played regularly had to be mic’d and I swear, I couldn’t take my finger off his mains volume slider. He’d move just a little bit and his guitar would disappear. Then he’d turn back and if I didn’t ride it quick he’d blast you out. Move a little in a different direction and you were suddenly in “the boom zone!” And, it was no fault of his. That works in a quiet studio. It’s tough on stage with singers and other instruments. Ha, and, placement is SO critical, that I’d argue that it can go from the best sounding option, to the worst, with just a minor move in position by the guitarist.

    Now, I haven’t tried them, but if you’re talking one of the newer “mic inside the guitar” type setups, those should have potential. Hey, I don’t like piezo’s either. They quack if you play hard, and I’ve never had them sound good if I play a faster lead. Taylor has a pretty nice solution with the body sensor pickups. Or, if you have piezo and a mic you can blend like my older Taylor (Fishman Matrix Blend) you can mix a little of both competing out of the guitar, warm the piezos and reduce the quack.
     
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  17. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    That really isn’t an issue any more. Several companies make miniature, high quality external condenser mics that have clips and goosenecks designed for positioning on acoustic guitar bodies. You can aim these little mics exactly as you would in the studio.

    I really like mics by the Danish microphone manufacturer DPA, who’ve come out with a very small condenser called the d:vote 4099, that works that way. DPA used to be called B&K; most studio folks will know about B&K mics. Most DPA mics are extremely expensive, these aren’t, and they’re broadcast-quality mics.

    Or:

    You can get the new product my company is introducing at next year’s NAMM show, called the Guitarist Anchor Kit, that nails the guitarist and bass player in a band to a single spot on stage. The anchor weighs enough for even the most rotund guitarist or bass player, and the ankle shackles are padded, very comfortable, and decorated with musical motifs. We make a special set for metal players with spikes around the shackles. They’re really impressive! And there’s no more need for wirelesses, because annoying guitar player movements are completely eliminated, so ordinary guitar cables can be used without worry over tripping on stage. Now the only tripping is done with, you know, psychedelic substances.

    There’s also a quick-release mechanism (controlled by the keyboard player, of course!) in case an amp blows up and catches fire, or the audience starts to throw dangerous projectiles at the band. This gives sensible keyboard players not only control over annoying guitar players’ tendency to jump around on stage, it also allows them to enjoy seeing the guitar players pelted with non-dangerous vegetables, etc., if they want to be entertained during the show.

    We’re also planning a special model for singers, that has the anchor and an attachment for a mic stand with a mirror that can be positioned so singers can admire themselves during a show.

    Edit: The accordion/banjo player model comes with a plaid leisure suit. Our next exciting product will be the 12th Fret Block, that simply snaps onto the fretboard without damaging the finish of an expensive instrument, and prevents the player from going above the 12th fret for annoying weedly-weedly. A pet project I’m working on is going to be called the Djent Prevent, and next in line will be the much-requested Tone Copper. The Pedalboard Forklift is already in production.
     
    #17 LSchefman, Nov 20, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2018
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