Re: Tower style PA (Fishman/Bose) Vs. Combo Amp (Fishman Loudbox
Pretty much to endorse what Tim says, above. We actually use two SA220's and have no problems at all in typical venues with audiences up to 300-400 people. This is with acoustic guitar, mandolin, plus fiddle and other things on occasions. For smaller gigs, in tight spaces, we find one unit more than adequate. I would not recommend them for a rock outfit - but for very clean and accurate sounding acoustic music at respectable (not overpowering) levels, they are very good indeed. The SA220's have a pair of 1/4" jack sockets on the front that works well with both passive and active (they have a -10db pad) pickups. You can certainly use external preamps if you wish. The Para DI in particular does offer some very good EQ possibilities, and we use a Fishman Aura Spectrum on our Martin OM-42. The XLR's have +48v phantom available so are fine with dynamic and condenser mics. If you need more inputs, no problem, you can feed a mixer into the rear 'AUX IN' socket. They are very portable, and fast to set up and break down. This is a good feature, especially at the end of a long night.... for us, the really big 'plus' is that we pretty much hear exactly what the audience does and do not need a separate monitor chain. This is again very useful if you are doing your own sound. We do also use a much larger system for really big gigs, but 90% of the time we just throw the SA220's in there and are very happy with the result. We get a lot of compliments on how good the sound is from guest musicians, too. Several have gone away saying they intend to buy one for themselves.
Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern
Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
Jim Triggs 23 F5, Northfield Big Mon #127
Silverangel custom 'A'
'39 D-18, 1950 D-28.