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pHGTRSpider

Acoustic Amp ?

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Hello All,

I'm thinking about taking the plunge and purchasing an acoustic amp. I've been jamming with a friend and we're talking about getting more serious. We've done a few verandahs and lounge rooms, next will be a few small clubs. I came across this clip while looking the other day, music starts from around 2 minutes.

Has anyone here tried one? The local store doesn't carry them. Anyone got any other suggestions? I need gtr and mic in one box, we've decided against a bigger PA set up for the moment. Maybe later.

Thanks in advance, Spider...

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"I need gtr and mic in one box ... "

I don't understand this? I assume you want a small "amp" - a pre amp & power amp with a speaker in one box - with a single (?) input for a guitar and one (?) for a vocal mic. Is that right? Just single inputs for your use? Your partner will supply another component for their use?

What features do you desire? EQ? Phantom power? Reverb? Modeling? A "pre" pre amp for a guitar pick up? What pick up are you using for your guitar?

You must first set a budget. Then list the specs you'd prefer. How many inputs and outputs? What additional features would you like to include? Consider a class D amp and costs go down. Tubes are more expensive and weigh more due to the transformers.

If you would like to buy a system that can grow as you go, you'll need some basic in/out capabilities. The cost goes up as you separate out each component but, on average, the quality goes up as does the flexibility of the system.

Until you decide more about what you want and can spend, the best we can do is suggest you look at all the amps your local shop has in stock. I certainly would not suggest you buy an amp you haven't auditioned.

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Spider,

The AC-33 sounded pretty good on the video. 30 watts sounds good like a lot, however, it is only 15 watts per channel (guitar and mic). Is it powerful enough for a veranda or lounge situation with background noise, etc. I see in the video, he has the amp mic'd. I would wonder why. It is also my understanding, if you use any effects on the guitar channel, it also crosses over and affects the vocal channel. Lastly, it's pretty expensive for a small amp of this wattage compared to others. I would think a portion of the expense is attributed to the battery power circuitry of the amp. If you don't plan on playing in venues where there is no electrical power, you could put that expense elsewhere in another larger amp.

Just my thoughts,

Mike

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While the two times 15 watts is true, it is worth noting the volume change between 15 watts and 30 watts (in other words, doubling the wattage) is only plus 3dB. 3dB is about where the average listener first begins to notice a louder sound. About what you hear when you click your remote control two or maybe three times. That 3dB change is constant any time you double the wattage. And the increase exists at the top peak levels of headroom. You can play louder without distortion on peaks while average levels remain about the same.

It does have a two channel/mono line out which could be used to drive a separate amplifier/speaker. If you are building as you grow, this feature could be useful. You will find most of your volume though exists in the sensitivity spec of the loudspeaker driver(s). Adding a second speaker to the Roland makes it sound a bit more powerful than 15 watts would suggest. Or adding another 3dB of speaker sensitivity is the equal to doubling your wattage.

There shouldn't be any extra cost to battery power in a smaller amp. Most of the small amps which can be driven by batteries are class D amps consisting of a large scale chip for the amp section. At about 90% efficiency, they make the average class A/B amp (at about 15%) look highly wasteful and overly weighted down. Class D is probably where the audio industry is headed in the next decade since they are cheap to produce yet offer very good sound quality for the buck. Repairs are often just swapping out chips rather than discrete components.

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Thanks Mike, Jan and Eddie,

Do you have an acoustic amp Mike? I have also looked at the Fender and Marshall type but they are so big.

What about you Jan, no suggestions?

Eddie so you have one, excellent, loud enough for say corner of a restaurant or small bar? Does the anti-feedback work like it should? Appreciate any more comments you might have on it. I also like the look of its bigger brother but I notice it doesn't come with the looper. My cube 15 is plenty loud but no anti-feedback seems to really limit it for the acoustic. cheers

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Nope, no suggestions. First, I find it rather useless to suggest an amp or speaker or guitar or a pick even that you can't audition. Yeah, you can buy it and send it back but, IMO, that local shop audition and purchase still has the edge. If you don't sport your local dealer, eventually they will go away. I really do think you need to lay out what you need and what you want from an amp. 30 watts across two channels can get loud with the right speaker combo. Lay out the number of inputs and outputs and the features you need, the features you would prefer and the features you'll pay for if they come in the package. Put that info on paper so you can get a better idea of what you want to buy.

There are several competitors to the Roland and you can look at the used market for even more. I would suggest, if you spend time with a local shop and they can do you a good deal, give them your business. Don't buy until you at least ask.

You might also look into some powered monitors (power amp is built in) and a versatile mixer/pre amp. Powered monitors on stands will get your sound up and over the heads of the listeners when need be. Which, IMO, is most of the time. The Roland or any "amp" package like it won't be as versatile in that respect. You'll be playing into the audience's knees if the amp is sitting on the floor.

There are several ways to get to where you want to arrive. Don't buy just to have something. Take your time and assess your options. I don't know what you want so I can't make any more specific suggestions. Go out to a few live events and pay attention to the equipment used. Walk up after the show or at intermission and ask about the gear and what they'd do different.

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Yes the anti feedback works well, as it should. I used it for a family reunion outside under a canopy about 25x40 with a Taylor plugged in. Also a headset mic. It did fine. I am gonna try a venue out door here at the house where I have more to choose from at my grasp. By that I mean other mics, and gadgets.

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Good One Eddie,

Really does look like the best of the bunch that's around at the moment. If it has your stamp of approval it'll be good enough for me. Thanks for your time and trouble. Cheers Spider. :clap:

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Spider,

After watching Eddie's posted videos, the AC-33 appears to be very versatile. The portability is a big plus. Looks like you've made up your mind. :clap: I'm sure you will enjoy it. Let us know your thoughts after you purchase it.

No, I don't have an acoustic amp per se. For my Taylor 814CE, I use a Fender Combo tube amp programmed specifically for a Taylor. For my electric guitars, I use a '67 Fender Twin Reverb tube amp. I can get a good tele sound out of it or a good jazz sound. You're right, they are big and heavy, but pretty powerful.

Keep us posted!

Mike

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I normally hook up to my Bose L1 tower for acoustic. It is a very nice compact system but I wanted the looping and (battery power) the AC33 have to offer.

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Hey Mike,

I got a few tube combos for my electrics and I wanted to steer away from that for my acoustic. The main reason is they tend to be noisy at low volumes. I still have my Power Soak (Tom Scholz) but it doesn't alleviate the problem. I also have a Roland micro-cube and a cube 15, which I use when I am doing the fifo thing at a permanent mine site.

I had a look at the cost here in Australia for the Roland ac-33, I can get a Marshall as50d, a Fender Acoustasonic or the Roland ac-60 for around the same price. For your acoustic are you using this type of fender? I also like the advantage with the portability with the ac-33. It's a difficult choice but these you tube clips are impressive. And Eddie's vote of confidence.

Thanks Spider

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Thanks Eddie,

"Great minds think alike". The Bose L1 is the larger system we looked at and thought that if we are successful we would move up to it. Expensive in Oz almost $3000 .

cheers Spider

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While searching the 2nd hand market for an amp, I've just come across two Boss pedals AD-3 and AD-8. Any experience with these? One of these in front of my Cube 15 might be a much cheaper solution? Thanks again.

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