Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 36

Thread: Acoustic Amps

  1. #1
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Rockland Cty, NY
    Posts
    1,659

    Default Acoustic Amps

    I'm running into a few more plug-in gigs where I need to bring an amp instead
    of (or in conjunction) with running into the board.

    Sorry I know this subject has been probably been beaten to death but what are some opinions of the current offering of acoustic amps on the market in the context of using it with an acoustic mandolin (with a pick-up)

    And do you find that you still like to run an "out" to the house to fill it out a bit?

    Thanks for any and all opinions!

  2. #2
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy
    Posts
    12,197

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    My all purpose hearing aide is a Roland AC60, does all I need plug any mic or Schertler pickup in one and magnetic coil or piezo source in the other channel , there are preamp outs and ins on the back .
    and the padded gig bag holds cables and such and an extension cord under the lid.
    has a shoulder strap to haul it away by.
    you can use it as a PA as it has a pole stand socket in the bottom.
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  3. #3
    Registered User chasray's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Ky
    Posts
    411

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Just my opinion,

    I like the Roland AC-60 and the Fishman Loudbox 100.

    Depending on your situation, it would probably be safer to run an out to the house. Use the amp as your monitor. If it's just you, just mic the amp. If you do both, do you know the sound man? Of course, the size of the venue and playing with a drummer (have you read the jokes thread?) enters into your decision.

    You would lose the stereo effect of the two speakers of the AC-60 by connecting direct to the house.

    The Loudbox can be connected with a pure signal (you can turn it up or down as a monitor without affecting the strength of the signal to the house), or with your effects (but turn it up to hear it better, you strengthen the signal to the board).

    There's a start for you.

  4. #4
    Registered User Perry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Rockland Cty, NY
    Posts
    1,659

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Hey thanks....

    Ac-60 looks good....some complaints I've just read are about the AC-60's lack of volume/output......I guess the AC-90 is a louder version of the AC-60

    Any experience witht the AC-90?

  5. #5
    Destroyer of Mandolins
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    4,989

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Yes, the Roland AC is available in different configurations. They are a top choice for mandolins with pickups. They can be reinforced by the mains board. The 90 is heavier, bulkier, and a bit more money. Choose between convenience and your need for stand-alone power for those times you need it. The Rolands won't disappoint.
    Dedicated Ovation player
    Avid Bose user

  6. #6
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    6,876

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    The AER Cube 60 works great for me, has a line out to the board (Lo-Z), phantom power and two inputs, one quarter inch and one Lo-Z. It's nice and small and great sound.
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  7. #7
    Registered User mcH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    NW Georgia
    Posts
    452

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I just bought a loudbox 100 to repace a wimpy 15 watt acoustic, and it's definitely LOUD. And it's lightweight enough that I don't feel like I'm lugging equipment. I would definitely buy it again. I have yet to use it running to the house, but have used it in a coffee house setting and at several practices.
    Sheryl --- Me

  8. #8
    Mandolin Botherer Richard Moore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Falkirk, Scotland
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I use an Ashdown Engineering Radiator 1 acoustic amp (100W) which I find works very well with mandolin (using phantom-powered clip on condenser mic). It has mic (phantom power switchable) and low-high pickup inputs, anti-feedback control, phase in-out and digital reverb and is much the same size as the AER (which is excellent but more expensive).
    Gary Nava 2-point
    National RM-1
    Di Mauro Model 10 "Muguet"
    Fairbanks-Vega 1922 Whyte Laydie short-scale tenor banjo
    Dobro round-neck guitar

    __________________

    A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.
    Frank Zappa

  9. #9
    Mandolin Botherer Richard Moore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Falkirk, Scotland
    Posts
    990

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    P.S. When a bit more power is called for I use a Yamaha StagePAS 300W mini-PA which all packs away into two small speaker enclosures and so which is also highly portable.
    Gary Nava 2-point
    National RM-1
    Di Mauro Model 10 "Muguet"
    Fairbanks-Vega 1922 Whyte Laydie short-scale tenor banjo
    Dobro round-neck guitar

    __________________

    A mind is like a parachute. It doesn't work if it is not open.
    Frank Zappa

  10. #10
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Duluth Mn.
    Posts
    294

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    If you want the purest acoustic sound, try an Ultrasound. I have the 100 watt model, but they come in other sizes. It is amazing. You will not believe the sound. In larger venues, I either mike it through the PA or direct line it. It was recommended to me by somebody on this sight. They're small and lightweight, but kick a_ _.
    Chief. Way up North. Gibson 1917 A model. 60's Kent 744 electric mandola. JL Smith 5 string electric(black). 1929 National Triolian resonator mandolin. 1935 Dobro resonator mandolin. Harmony Batwing electric. Bacorn 8 string electric mandolin. 60s' Kay archtop electric. Rickenbacker 5002 V58 electric mandolin. Cigar box mandolin with pickup.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Genz Benz Acoustic Pro. 200 watts 12 inch speaker. All the in and outs you could ever want. I also run another 12 cabinet with it for better coverage. The Pro is not light but they do make lighter models now. Worth a look.

    Joe

  12. #12
    Registered User Pete Martin's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    2,316

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    My vote is Shertler Unico. Love the tone, pretty darn acoustic sounding.
    -----------
    Pete Martin
    http://www.PetimarPress.com
    12 Free Instructional .pdf books (Fiddle Tunes, Bluegrass, Jazz, Improvisation)
    Private lessons in Seattle and Issaquah WA
    Skype lessons

    http://www.Jazz-Mandolin.com
    Instruction articles and videos on Jazz Mandolin

  13. #13
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    tahoe ca
    Posts
    511

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    A quality pre amp offers many possibilities for dual pickups or multiple instruments, microphone inputs, phantom power, effects blending, tuner out, and sending separate main, monitor, and stage amp lines out. Then you can use any powered speaker or guitar amp. I prefer to mic an amp rather than use a line to the soundboard for various reasons. Sennheiser 609 is a great choice. Mackie makes a 500 watt high definition 2-way powered speaker, and musician's friend or guitar center offer them used occasionally.
    I like my old Roland AC-100 when using a Schertler pickup, but I mostly use a Dean Markley K60 guitar amp.
    My next rig will be a Manley direct pre and a Mackie. Avalon and Radial make nice pre amps to.

    http://www.manleylabs.com/containerpages/di99.html
    david blair

  14. #14
    Horton River NWT Rob Gerety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Vermont - Upper Valley
    Posts
    2,585

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I use a powered PA speaker. Never understood with acoustic instruments why people use amps. Probably I'm missing something.
    Rob G.
    Vermont

  15. #15
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Pacific Northwest, USA
    Posts
    2,595

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gerety View Post
    I use a powered PA speaker. Never understood with acoustic instruments why people use amps. Probably I'm missing something.
    I like the powered PA speaker approach too, but it does require some extra gear like preamp, EQ, effects, etc. You can do it with just a Baggs PADI feeding a powered speaker, but there are more complicated (and expensive) ways to do it with pedals or racked gear, depending on your requirements. An acoustic amp offers basic front-end processing in one box, at a price that's usually lower than assembling separate components. So I think it's the dual appeal of plug-'n-play operation, and relatively low cost.

    Also I think many folks don't realize how compact, lightweight, and great-sounding the new generation of modern powered speakers are. For musicians who have been at the game a long time, the term "PA" can evoke thoughts of big, heavy boxes and cruddy sound.

    I do like acoustic amps at the smallest end of the scale, where I think they have a place as monitors or "light" reinforcement. I sometimes use a little 15 lb. AER Alpha when our trio plays a small-scale gig without a PA, and I need just a subtle boost to keep up with a loud fiddler. One of these days I'm going to rig up a 12v. battery and inverter so I can use it as a street busking amp. It's a cool little amp for that kind of thing (AER does make a battery-powered amp, but it's expensive and heavy).

    For anything more than that, I'd rather be running into the compact PA our band uses. The powered speakers (QSC K10) sound great and weigh only 32 lbs. each. That's half the weight of my old Sedona acoustic amp, which is admittedly a very heavy amp, but there are others like some Fender Acoustasonics and older Fishmans that get up in that range. Equipment like this has squeezed out the role of high-end acoustic amps, in my opinion, if you can handle just a slightly longer setup time, and the higher cost (usually) of the component approach. YMMV, and we're not all going to have the same requirements when playing out.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gerety View Post
    I use a powered PA speaker. Never understood with acoustic instruments why people use amps. Probably I'm missing something.
    Powered PA speakers are fine but for the average guy who justs wants that certain sound without the other gizmo's needed to get it Acoustic amps are easier to use right out of the box. No mess no fuss.

    Joe

  17. #17
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy
    Posts
    12,197

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Reading about Roland's 'Street cube' it is stated to run off a collection of AA batterys for quite a while.
    They offer a 2 channel one to sing in one and play into the other .
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  18. #18
    Horton River NWT Rob Gerety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Vermont - Upper Valley
    Posts
    2,585

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I just plug my Shertler PU into a mic cable and then straight into the PA speaker. Works very well. Sounds very acoustic. No extra gizmos. Pretty cheap and simple.
    Last edited by Rob Gerety; Sep-28-2009 at 8:23pm.
    Rob G.
    Vermont

  19. #19
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    6,876

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Gerety View Post
    I just plug my Shertler PU into a mic cable and then straight into the PA speaker. Works very well. Sounds very acoustic. No extra gizmos. Pretty cheap and simple.
    Not even an amp? Better edit again
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  20. #20
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    S.W. Wisconsin
    Posts
    643

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I use an old Trace Elliot that i got off fleabay. Works great is half to a third smaller that any acoustic amp out there and sounds good. has phantom power and 2 x 5" speakers which i think is all you need for a mandolin.
    I like the powered p.a. idea, but taken to a smaller size a powered hot spot is 100 watts extremely small, and with something like a Shertler or a para di would work great.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

  21. #21
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    188

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I prefer to play through the PA whenever I can so most important to me is a good preamp...when I started amplifying "acoustic amps" didn't exist so a preamp that worked well is what you spent your resources on. From there it made sense to just add a speaker and power amp when a PA wasn't available. The preamp also turns any regular low input impedance combo amp that might be available (or already owned) into an "acoustic" amp. Another advantage of a non-combo rig is that I got to choose the individual components. Something I didn't think about initially but ended up doing a lot too is play through the PA with just the preamp while the speaker and power amp get used as a monitor....for several years playing regularly in a duo working bars and restaurants that was my contribution to the PA.

    The downside is you have more choices to try, to pay for and to be confused by individually and in combination. And while the half rack Raven Labs preamp, Stewart power amp and 8" Tannoy speaker aren't any bigger total than a small combo it is a bit more work to carry and plug in.

    I haven't tried any of the latest generation of acoustic combo amps but I bet some of 'em sound great. I doubt I'd ever buy one though just because I'm waaaaay too lazy to carry it when I just need the preamp.
    jeff bonny

  22. #22
    Horton River NWT Rob Gerety's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Vermont - Upper Valley
    Posts
    2,585

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    Ooop. Sorry Mike - I meant "powered" pa speaker.
    Rob G.
    Vermont

  23. #23
    Registered User Mike Bunting's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    6,876

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I figured so, just teasing
    Mike
    Edmonton, Ab.
    Canada.

  24. #24
    Registered User herbsandspices's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    242

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I have a Schertler Unico, and love it.
    Two instrument inputs and a mic input = really handy for a band!

  25. #25
    Registered User theBlood's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Healdsburg, California
    Posts
    125

    Default Re: Acoustic Amps

    I am no sound expert, but I've played a lot of gigs and have tried to pay attention to what works.
    One thing that doesn't get discussed is the dispersion of the speaker with acoustic amps. PA speakers are designed with a fairly narrow focus for the projected waves compared to the typical amp speaker. This means more sound gets to the people in front and less is being bounced off of nearby walls, in a pub, let's say. With the normal "combo" amp, the waves are going out 180 degrees and it can sound muddled because the listener is hearing the direct sound combined with the sound bouncing off of nearby walls. It may sound beautiful at 10 feet, but a complete mess at 30 ft.. This is one reason testing in a store is not conclusive.

    Properly aimed PA speakers on a pole can reach tons farther is my point here. I used to use amps all the time, but it always confused me that people couldn't hear well just a little distance away, when it sounded so clear playing next to it.

    Now I use 2 cabinets in which I've installed an EV speaker with a big magnet along with a lightweight Yamaha powered mixer head (20lbs). Not really much more weight than an 100 watt amp when I'm using the head and 1 speaker, but the sound is incredibly better and can be directed more usefully.
    I've been doing gigs (solo guitar) on our Main St. for the monthly artwalk in town, and have been interested to see how far I can reach with my system, and have been getting reports that I was being heard clearly a block away.

    Make sure that its not just you hearing clearly but the guy in back, too.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •