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Acoustic amplifier education needed

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(@maxrumble)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441
Topic starter  

Hi,

I have an acoustic with a pickup that I have had plugged in exactly once, and I was thinking of getting an amp.

The problem is that I know nothing about amps. I have only played acoustic guitars and I just don't have the same interest in electrics. Anyway could someone give me an education in amplifiers - specifically ones for acoustic guitars. What effects are available, what I can expect in different price ranges? I am not sure what I would be willing to spend yet.

It is only for fun, I don't really need the extra volume.

Thanks

Cheers,

Max


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

MaxRumble

Electric guitar amps are designed to distort. Even when playing "clean" there is a certain amount of distortion added.

Acoustic amps like PA amplifiers are designed to reproduce the signal without distortion.

Also, electric guitar amps usually have one or more "full range" speakers that covers a wide band of frequencies. Acoustic amps will often have a woofer for your lows and mids, and a horn or tweeter for your high frequencies. This will get you that special sparkle that acoustic guitars have.

There are lots of good acoustic amps out today. Many have built in effects like chorus, delay, reverb, phase, tremelo, etc.... Some have an XLR mic input. I would recommend getting an acoustic amp with effects and a mic input too. Set up a mic and a stand, and you are a one man show. :D

Don't know your budget, but there are some great amps under $500.

Behringer ACX1000

This is a nice amp with lot of effects and a seperate channel for vocals. Very reasonable price too.

Here's a nice Fender.

Fender Acoustisonic DSP 30

Similar features to the Behringer amp.

A Marshall.

Marshall AS50R Acoustic Amp

Only effects are Chorus and Reverb, but gets great reviews from customers.

An Epiphone.

Epiphone Regent 220

And if you are really on a budget, another Behringer.

Behringer Ultracoustic AT108

It has the basics.

I would look up as many amps as possible and read as many reviews as possible. Look at the person making the review.

I am sure some on here will give you their recommendations.

How much did you want to spend on an acoustic amp?

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@maxrumble)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441
Topic starter  

Wes,

Thanks for the information.

I will look in to those amps. Ill have to google all of those effects because I don't know what they mean :oops:. The mic input is a great idea. I was thinking of building a stomp box? - A box with a mic in it to keep the beat with my foot. Maybe a duel mic input?

My budget is variable. I can afford an expensive amp, and I like buying quality gear, it saves on upgrading and gives me more confidence. I am still thinking about what I would do with the amp - to get a feel for what I should spend.

Ill look at a bunch on the net and take a look in my local shop.

Thanks

Cheers,

Max


   
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(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 3221
 

That's a great overview from Wes.

I have the Fender DSP 30; it's very good (meaning it's very neutral), and just a dash of chorus and reverb really enhances the sound. The other effects are gimmicky in my opinion. It is loud enough to fill a modest sized room but not much more. The cabinet can be angled back, which is a nice convenience.

It only has a line-out though - if you plan on running to a mixing board, the Marshall might be a better option because it has a balanced XLR output. The Marshall is also a 50 watter, and a bit louder. Personally, I thought the Marshall sounded a bit glassy compared to the Fender, but some additional EQing would have surely helped. Don't know about the others.

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


   
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(@maxrumble)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441
Topic starter  

Well I am now armed with some new information about what exactly the effects do. I found this site.

http://users.chariot.net.au/~gmarts/fx-desc.htm#Trm

I have the Fender DSP 30; it's very good (meaning it's very neutral), and just a dash of chorus and reverb really enhances the sound. The other effects are gimmicky in my opinion.

Interesting I was wonding if some of the effects might be a bit much.

Anyone else have opinions as to the value of different effects on an acoustic Amp?

Cheers,

Max


   
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(@wes-inman)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5582
 

MaxRumble

When it comes to effects everyone is different. Some folks like lots of effects, others don't. I have numerous effect pedals but only use them very sparingly. As slejhamer mentioned, probably the two most popular effects for guitar are chorus and reverb. Chorus adds a second signal like the original just a few milliseconds apart. It is sort of like two guitars playing at once. It will give you a singing type quality. I personally use just a very little chorus on clean sounds when playing my electric. Some folks really like a lot of chorus. One reason I am not that crazy about chorus is that everybody seems to use it. But that's me, you may love this effect.

Now reverb I personally like a lot. I think it is the greatest effect ever. Reverb just simulates playing in a large room or cathedral with the reverbarations you would hear. Lots of reverb will give you that "surf" tone.

Delays and echos can be good. With a little reverb and delay you can get the famous Country "slapback" tone. Nice.

Tremelo is a nice effect. It simulates as if you were turning your volume up and down quickly. If you remember the old song Crimson and Clover, that was an excellent example of Tremelo.

Phase or phase shifter is popular. This sort of adds a whoosh or wind type sound. Kind of the Doppler effect.

You just have to try effects for yourself and see if you like them. Effects can be very nice if they are not overdone.

If you know something better than Rock and Roll, I'd like to hear it - Jerry Lee Lewis


   
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(@maxrumble)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441
Topic starter  

Thanks Wes,

I read about what the effects do from a physics standpoint, but your description is much better.

I should try a wide range to see what I like.

Cheers,

Max


   
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(@Anonymous)
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Joined: 1 second ago
Posts: 0
 

I have played several guitars (ovations, ibanez, alvarez) using the Behringer ACX1000 at t he store. I sat thbere one day for almost 2 hours! I really like this amp and all it has to offer. LIke Wes I prefer the reverb mostly but I also like some chorus and or delay. It also has the mic imput and 2 channels so you can use this for vocals and guitar. There are two "legs" that fold up on the sides that act like an amp stand to angle the amp up toward the audience. I have been trying to find one on eBay for a decent price but they all are selling at the retail price...


   
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(@kachman)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 155
 

I just got a fender acoustasonic jr, which is like the acoustasonic 30, but with a little more output power (10W more per channel). the 30 and junior are big sellers and fender just upgraded both of them with the DSP versions. The older ones without the DSP are now lower priced and can be found used in lots of places including ebay where I got mine.

I haven't been playing long and am not big on effects, so I like this amp just fine. Chorus and reverb are the only effects available for the guitar/instrument channel while the mic channel has phase also. I've only had the amp for a week and have jammed with it once, but I'm satisfied so far...

http://www.myspace.com/kachman


   
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(@maxrumble)
Honorable Member
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 441
Topic starter  

Thanks Mike,

I much prefer getting the opinion of someone rather than just reading the reviews. A lot of people have axes to grind.

Cheers,

Max


   
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(@jonnyt)
Reputable Member
Joined: 22 years ago
Posts: 336
 

Behringer ACX1000

This is my acoustic guitar amp, PA, effects, etc., etc.

E doesn't = MC2, E = Fb

Music "Theory"? "It's not just a theory, it's the way it is!"

Jonny T.


   
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