View Full Version : Acoustic vs Electric Amp

Dec-06-2004, 10:13am
Hi guys,
I posted this in the equipment section initially but someone suggested that I run it by you guys too. Please let me know your thoughts...

When I first started playing mando (about a year and a half ago) I had an acoustic mando w/ a pickup. So, I got an acoustic amp for when I wanted to plug in. Since then, I've upgraded my acoustic mando (no pick up anymore) and got a solid body electric. My question is, what exactly is the difference between an acoustic and an electric amp? I feel like I should go out and get an electric amp now but that's a lot of $$$ (and I've already invested around $600 for the acoustic amp). However, I know if I try to trade in my acoustic I'm not going to get much for it.

Oh well, please let me know...thanks!!

Dec-06-2004, 10:30am
It really depends what kind of sound you want out of your instrument. If you want to move in the direction of tones that people generally associate with electric guitars, you're going to be much happier with an electric amplifier. I gig (with a drummer) using a great Fender amp that cost me less than half of what you spent on your acoustic amp. Depending on your needs as far as volume goes, and what kind of tone you want, you should be able to find something that's pretty affordable.


Dec-06-2004, 11:55am
I have a little fender Tube amp('classic/collectable'; vibro-champ) that sounds good with magnetic pickup,>> for sale $300 obo,<< i dont use it much anymore ,one can #Mic it for more loudness,or play it as a practice amp.
now I play acoustic (schertler PU) thru my smallish PA ( I like it ,so far,#over #an acoustic amplifier , because I have spare channels for use by others) I play, mostly, at a saturday afternoon get together, #and the electric, when i play it, goes thru a DSP stomp box with all the usual eFx in one thing, [several companys make these].

Dec-06-2004, 1:00pm
Hey Chris, what e-mando are ya sportin'?
The Fender VibroChamp would be a cool little vintage amp for you.

Dec-07-2004, 11:21am
Hi Lee,
It's a Earnest 4 string. I like the idea of a tube amp. I think I'll have to check some of those out!!

Thanks for the advice!!

Dec-07-2004, 12:41pm
Another amp to check out is the Fender Deluxe Reverb reissue. It has one channel with no effects and the other channel has footswitchable reverb and tremolo. You can put a switchbox before the amp to switch betwen channels if you wish. This amp uses a tube rectifier which provides a more squishy feel (technically called "tube sag")which helps eliminate some of that pingy-ness from the short scale mandolin.
I just grabbed one last night from my local store, used for $500. Very nice amp.

Dennis Schubert
Dec-07-2004, 12:43pm
A little Fender tube amp is the ideal for many folks -- that's why they hold their value. Another angle would be to get your hands on an inexpensive tube pre-amp (ART, Blue Tube, etc.) and run your signal through that to get natural tube coloration at line-level. Priced in the $50 range. Run that inton your acoustic amp, which would be serving the role of a mini-PA. I have used this with electric guitar, when using a clean solid-state pedal steel amp, to avoid carrying two amps to one gig.

Dec-07-2004, 12:44pm
I did a Google search and found the Ernest website. Very cool; which one did you get??

Dec-07-2004, 3:36pm
I went w/ the Junior 'junior'. It came out really nice!! Joel makes one great emando and he was great to work w/ too!!

Dec-07-2004, 4:23pm
With a Seymour-Duncan coil tapped humbucker on there (and since you've already invested serious money) a quality tube amp is your only choice. Generally, it's a good plan to find an amp with a clean tone that makes you smile at a volume you find usable. You can experiment with a bunch of stomp boxes for distortion or if the amp has a master control and a volume control you can make the amps natural distortion set in at a lower volume. Caution; amps can be addictive like mandolins.

Dec-08-2004, 10:10am
With an instrument like that, you're really gonna love a tube amp. I still get chills when I bear down with the pick a little bit, and hear that smooth, natural distortion sound. Nothing like it...


Dec-08-2004, 2:41pm
Just when I thought I satified by MAS for a while I get hit with...AAS!! This is madness!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Thanks for the great advice guys!! I'm definetely going to go w/ a nice tube amp!! I can't wait to plug this sucker in and turn the distortion up to 10!! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif

Dec-28-2004, 7:42am
For awhile, I continued to use a Crate Acoustic DSP solid state amp that I originally got for my Fishman pickup acoustic fiddle. But it wasn't bringing what I wanted to either the Godin A-8 mando or Fender electric mando. When I got my mandobird, from the classifieds right here on the Mando Cafe, I finally busted for a Fender Twin Amp, all tube. It's like night and day.