As a matter of fact I found myself looking for a high end acoustic amp not that long ago. I was leaning toward the rivera Doyle Dykes amp whan I stumbled on this dinky little solid state shoee box sized thing in the coerner of my friends music store.Low and behold this less than 5.lb little amp filled the room with sound and blew away everything regardless of price. That amp is the phil Jones cub and it's 100 watts and can be lifted with one finger Price= around 575.00.:BEER- Sir Douglas T
A lot of folks over on the Acoustic Guitar Forum speak very highly of the Ultrasound amps. I got one of the AG30, the simplest & lowest model. For less than $200, it sounds excellent. However, I'd probably opt for the next model up, which is the AG50DS4. That'll net you some more power, Alesis DSP effects, and a mic channel as well as XLR inputs with phantom power.
Depending on your needs/situation, you might consider a preamp like a Baggs ParaDI, which is quite cheap, and if you're going to hook into a house system (even our small-town coffehouse has a PA that gets used on open mic nights) that's a very cheap & easy solution.
I've had very good experiences with my Fishman Loudbox 100. Nice and small, light, great feature set, and nice warm tone, and very quiet. I've run it alongside several Clarus offerings and felt it hung with those just fine.
In your price range, I can definitely recommend the Ultrasound AG50-DS4...it's a great little amp for the money, especially in terms of the overall tone quality it puts out. It is not exactly a loud 50 watts, however, so I wouldn't plan on using it with a band or anything like that...but if your volume requirements are modest, I don't think you can go wrong with the Ultrasound. I have also heard very good things about the Phil Jones Cub amp, but haven't actually tested one myself.
Another vote for the Ultrasound AG50DS4, at least for people like me. When I need more umph, I plug its Direct Out into a PA. 2-channels, either of which can accept 1/4" or XLR. Even has a separate RCA input, great for adding an iPod, drum machine, etc. I wouldn't play my bass through it, but for a mic, a guitar and a whatever, it's a great little amp!
I agree with the Fender Acoustasonic but get the Pro which is no longer made.
The vocal channel is very good. There are presets for guitar via a foot switch and some very nice natural as well as "wet" tones can be had.
I am cheap and I already own powered studio moniters so that's what I use. I already had an AG stomp with effects so I ended up with a very cool little 2x100watt stereo rig. Sounds great. I can play with a light handed drummer and bass player no problem.