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Recommendations for the best Acoustic guitar amp

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Kborg, Sep 7, 2006.

  1. Kborg

    Kborg Silver Supporting Member

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    If cost were not an issue:Devil ... What is the best combo type amp for acoustic guitar. This would be used in a band setting for folk or rock applications, playing clubs possibly some outdoor pool deck type stuff?

    Now if we leave fantasy land, in the real world what is the best bang for the buck:angel.

    I am an old electric banger looking to broaden the horizon. I have a custom made EA and need an amp to get 'r' done.

    Thanks
     
  2. Kborg

    Kborg Silver Supporting Member

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    Sorry I posted twice by mistake and can't delete.
     
  3. suttree

    suttree Member

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    the AER stuff seems pretty nice to me.

    best bang for buck.. hmm.. the fenders aren't too too bad. the crate stuff is nice for the money. i haven't heard it yet, but there's a new hartke model with a ribbon tweeter, so it should sound really sweet.
     
  4. pickaguitar

    pickaguitar 2011 TGP Silver Medalist Silver Supporting Member

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  5. Betos

    Betos Member

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    Trace Elliot Acoustics - if you can find their old 200 watters which are tru e stereo are fantastic.

    They're concert series also have 12" speakers, maybe better for clubs.


    ~Betos
     
  6. MikeT

    MikeT Member

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    +1 on AER

    Now, if money is no problem I'd get a small rack with a pendulum SPS-1 preamp, a good SS power amp and a Lexicon multi-fx. And one or two full range boxes.

    http://www.pendulumaudio.com/SPS-1.html

    Power amp and box could be replaced with one or two of the wedged AER active boxes.
     
  7. Big0range

    Big0range Member

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    So, does anyone else go to dreamguitars.com to listed to Al Petteway's samples? :dude


    I think the Bose acoustic stuff sounds great, and is pretty darn pricey!

    For great value / bang-for-the-buck, you can't beat a used SWR Blonde-series amp. The Strawberry can be had for under $300, and the California Blonde, for more power, for around $400. They both sound great with acoustic instruments.
     
  8. sage97

    sage97 Member

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    + another for the AER amps. I have the compact 60 for coffee house type applications. It even makes my voice sound really good. Plus it's easy on my aging 36 year old back.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I think just clean, powerful uncolored amplification is best for acoustic guitar. Acoustic amps are great for small solo gigs so you don't have to shlep a PA, and a keyboard amp works just as well. I use a Roland KC-300 and it sounds great.

    But if the band has a PA just get a Radial JDI and run direct into the board. For folk rock maybe a touch of chorus or delay pedal would be sweet.
     
  10. 02Singlecut

    02Singlecut Supporting Member

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    RIVERA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SEDONA!!!!!!!!!!!:crazyguy
     
  11. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    Cost no issue? Daedalus/Pendulum/high end power amp of your choice.

    I get good results with a RANE AP-13, 2 ART Tube EQ's and an SWR Blonde on BLonde powered speaker ($225.00 used).

    The LoudBox series isn't bad sounding to my ears, but I'd really like a seperate level control for the DI out.

    Brett
     
  12. texasdave

    texasdave Member

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    "you can't beat a used SWR Blonde-series amp."

    My only problem with the strawberry blondes is they seem to really color the sound of whatever is plugged into 'em. They provide a "good" acoustic sound, but it's very much their sound and may not sound like yours... now before anyone gets defensive, plug your acoustic into it, then plug a Strat into it and see if I'm so far off base <GRIN>...
     
  13. Brett Valentine

    Brett Valentine Member

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    When I first set up my rig, I set it up using my home stereo speakers (the original Polk Monitor 7 speakers). Once I got it sounding good, I used an MXR 10 band graphic eq to match the powered speaker's sound to my stereo. While there were no drastic setting changes, the result was good, and pretty accurate when I went out live. When I plugged into the Cali Blonde, I noticed how different the sound was to my rig. I know my rig offered more control, but I noticed where how SWR and I differed in how we would voice our cabinets (personal taste).

    Brett
     
  14. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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  15. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    Right, but that's a personal PA system, not an acoustic guitar amp.
     
  16. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    The loudbox, and many of the other acoustic amps are nothing more than scaleddown personal PA systems. The Bose stick isn't much more unweildly than a regular acoustuc amp. I didn't really enjoy the sound as much as a conventional speaker sys, myself, but it is every bit as vialble a solution as any of the acoustic amps. It breaks down in a few pieces, and is a very light load in/out. I helped a friend pack out one night. Don't let awkwardness scare you away. If you try it and like it, go for it.

    Re- the SWR blondes, I liked their sound. Especially their DI outs. I'd actually probably buy a preamp version that gets that DI sound if it were available. I really didn't find that using the Strawberry Blond I had any more useful than a stage monitor, or PA.

    The Daedalus cabs www.daedalusmusic.com look too good to be true.
     
  17. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I'm not familiar with the Loudbox, but acoustic amps I've played tend toward coloration that "flatters" a guitar, which differentiates them from a PA or, as I've mentioned, a keyboard amp – which also works great as a personal PA. I know they have mic inputs... but in my mind they're not just scaled down, they're different because they're designed to be instrument-specific. I don't mean to nit-pick; if it does the job, it's a personal PA - period, end of story. I'm just making a point.

    Acoustic amps also seem to soften the midrange "flap" of cheezy transducer pickups. They might make a mediocre guitar sound more full and warm, but IMO they diminish the clarity, air and definition of a really fine guitar. Not that they make a good guitar sound bad; I like the sound of some of those amps... the Strawberry Blonde in particular. That 10" speaker sounded really sweet to my ears. But if you've got a good voice, a good mic and a good horn, you'll probably want a sweeter high end and air, and for that I feel there's a better way.

    Speaking of DIs... I bought a Radial passive DI last week (two, actually) and wow, what a difference between that and the ProCo DI I had been using. I did an A/B/C comparison yesterday among the Radial, the ProCo and an Avalon U5. The U5 is active, of course, so it's a different animal... but it's still a DI so what the hell. I'll post my impressions later, but the short version is that for acoustic guitar the Radial killed both of them.

    And speaking of the Bose system... my wife and I are seriously thinking about selling all our live sound gear and getting two of those poles. I've never heard anything so fine as those. The whole 2-amp, 2-mix system is really getting f*cking old for a two-person gig with no sound man: shlepping four speaker cabs, a mixer, a rack full of crap to make it sound better, two power amps, all these cables that have to be taped down... then having to stand there on stage guessing what it *probably* sounds like in the house based on what I'm hearing in the monitors...?? Or better yet, playing "Find the Hum" for half an hour.

    $3600 is beginning to look cheap.
     
  18. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    Absolutely! You're dead right. In fact, some amps were built around making a specific type of pickup system sound its best.

    It's easy to blow a lot of money on DI's. I have a Duplex, J48, and BSS AR 133's. BSS is my favorite on my acoustic guitars, but I usually just use my Strobostomp's DI out.

    One Bose stick would probably do ya. IMO, two would be cool. Just run your insts and mics to a mixer, then feed the sticks like powered speakers. And don't be afraid to get a sub, too. When I played on it, I felt it had potential, but I really like my system.
     
  19. DualRectifier

    DualRectifier Silver Supporting Member

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    Bose just came out with a preset for its amp optimized for the Taylor Expression System. A lot of people I know who have Taylors with ES have gushed about this new preset. It fixes the problematic dip in EQ some amps and PAs have when plugging an ES equipped Taylor straight in (as you are supposed to do with the balanced XLR cable):

    "Bose has recently teamed up with their counterparts at Taylor Guitars to create Bose ToneMatch presets for Taylor Expression System equipped-guitars. This is the first time a speaker manufacturer and an instrument manufacturer have worked together to create a complete amplified solution for acoustic players.

    Taylor ES players who use the L1 system with ToneMatch presets now experience a consistently full amplified experience, and feel confident that they will hear clear, consistent Taylor tone, evenly throughout the room.
    If you play a Taylor Guitar and would like a free ToneMatch upgrade kit for your L1 system, call 1-800-905-0894."

    http://www.bose.com/controller?event=VIEW_STATIC_PAGE_EVENT&url=/musicians/tonematch.jsp&ck=0



    I haven't heard this personally yet, but I am very interested in trying out my 514CE through one of these Boses. I have only heard great feedback (no pun intended).
     
  20. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    Um, not when I tried it. I really don't like the ES. In a band context, actually, I think it sounds great, as long as you're just strumming cowboy chords. Once you start fretting the strings abovthe fourth fret, it sounds like the neck pickup on a jazzbox. That's cool if that's what you're looking for, but I'll take piezo ping over that any day. When I cranked up a Bose with an ES Taylor, using the ES Taylor preset at GC, it still sounded like that. My girlfriend has an ES Taylor. When I get a chance, I'll set up my PA and get a clip to demonstrate.

    BTW, the acoustic guitar page which was formerly the Taylor guitars forum has some guys who like the ES, and a coupe came up with EQ curves to correct the balance on the ES. I tried them, and they do correct the frequency balance, but that Jazzbox BS is part of the ES tone. Such a shame cause you can't beat ES for dynamic range and feedback rejection.

    I want to love this system, but I am so disappointed with it.
     

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