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Thread: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

  1. #1
    Registered User Pick&Grin's Avatar
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    Default Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Hey all,

    Looking at buying a Fishman Loudbox Mini. Been using a Crate CA30DG for a few years, but plugged into my friend's Mini and the sound was great! Before I take the plunge, are there any other comparable amps you'd suggest I consider? I play a wide range of music, from old time and Celtic to bluegrass and rock. Usually play small-to-midsize venues

    Thanks, as always!
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    This is one of those times I'd say, if you like the mini, buy the mini. Just like mandolins, higher up the food chain starts costing money.

    I am very happy with my Carvin AG 500. Alas, they called it quits a year or so ago.nif you find a used one, buy it. Three way cabinet makes it more like a powered speaker and I can play bass, guitar, Uke,mandolin and sing through it.

    The main knock I have on a mini is a not so good vocal tone. Otherwise not much would be better at that cost.
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  4. #3
    Registered User Mandobart's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I also really like my Carvin AG300 sound. I did have a technical problem that appears to have been fixed. The features I like best on my Carvin are:

    1. Can mount it up on a speaker pole
    2. 3 inputs
    3. High impedance select on 2 inputs - don't need a preamp
    4. Three-way cabinet - essentially a powered PA speaker with a lot more functions
    5. Can play a bass through it
    6. 250 W with an extension speaker, 200 W without
    7. ~35 lbs
    8. Only about $600
    9. Sounds great!

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    Registered Muser dang's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I recently saw they had a battery powered version of the Fishman, the Loudbox Mini Charge.

    https://www.fishman.com/charge/

    Anyone actually seen one of these? Not trying to hijack your thread but thought it might be something to consider.
    I should be pickin' rather than postin'

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  8. #5
    Registered User Pick&Grin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    The Carvin sounds great guys. Sadly, a bit above my price point, at this time; I'll keep it in mind for future, tho!
    Yes, I saw that charge. Great idea and also wonder how it pans out.
    Collings MT-O Sunburst (2014)
    Kentucky KM630 (early 1990s Korean) w/ K&K Twin Internal
    Vega K-Style Mandolin Banjo (1917)
    Vega N-Style 17-Fret Tenor Banjo (1922)
    Deering Goodtime 2 5-String Banjo w/ Resonator

  9. #6

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I tried 3 different amps and the LB sounded better. I started with the mini but for rock thing with full band I returned it for the LB artist. The mini just wasnít loud enough to keep up with the guys Iím playing with.

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  11. #7
    Hands of Pot Metal
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Marshall AS50?
    Play it like you mean it

    Not all the clams are at the beach

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  13. #8
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    If you like the Carvin keep your eye out for a used one, they are not making them anymore.
    THE WORLD IS A BETTER PLACE JUST FOR YOUR SMILE!

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  15. #9
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I like my big brother to the mini, the Fishman Loudbox Artist. Best sounding acoustic amp I have ever used. Light and compact as well.

    Hasn’t Carvin ceased production of all their amps?

    Music Go Round has an AG100D right now for 249. Little brother to Mandobart’s AG300, only 100 Watts, but pretty much same features.
    Don

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  17. #10
    Quietly Making Noise Dave Greenspoon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    My Laney LA 65D sounded great with everything but my Rigel. Perfect features, sounds great. Love my Loudbox 100; great sound and features. One question is your use of effects. Do you need an fx loop? The mini does not offer you one.
    Axes: Rigel A Natural #1774 w/mods, Jerman custom 5 string electric, Eastman MD-515 & El Rey, Grandmom's solid-mahogany teens bent-top, Baglamas 002
    Amps: Fishman Loudbox 100; Rivera Clubster Royale Recording Head; Laney Cub 10 & Cab, Peavey Studio Pro

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  19. #11
    Registered User Pick&Grin's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Greenspoon View Post
    Do you need an fx loop? The mini does not offer you one.
    Good question, Dave! As of now, I don't think I need one, but maybe that's just out of ignorance . In addition to my old time playing, I'm in an indie band and it may be useful for that. Again, I'm really ignorant here, but could I plug into pedals and then from there into the mini?
    Collings MT-O Sunburst (2014)
    Kentucky KM630 (early 1990s Korean) w/ K&K Twin Internal
    Vega K-Style Mandolin Banjo (1917)
    Vega N-Style 17-Fret Tenor Banjo (1922)
    Deering Goodtime 2 5-String Banjo w/ Resonator

  20. #12

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    consider a Bose L1 Compact system. I know it's a little more money (around 1000), but you can use it for a wide range of applications from solo gigs to acoustic ensembles. It has been fantastic for our trio. You would have something that would be very flexible for a wide variety of uses. And vocals and instruments sound great.

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  22. #13
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Plus one for the Fishman Artist. I started with a Mini but the tone, volume and controls on the Artist are superior, and they don’t cost that much more, maybe $100.

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  24. #14
    bass player gone mando
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by multidon View Post
    I like my big brother to the mini, the Fishman Loudbox Artist. Best sounding acoustic amp I have ever used. Light and compact as well.

    Hasnít Carvin ceased production of all their amps?

    Music Go Round has an AG100D right now for 249. Little brother to Mandobartís AG300, only 100 Watts, but pretty much same features.
    I join in recommending the Fishman Loudbox Artist. Workhorse acoustic amp, amazing set of features, great DI out so you can use it by itself or to feed the PA. I've used it not just for mandolin but for upright bass, and for mics of course as well. Probably used it for at least 50 gigs now and never anything less than the right tool for the job.
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  26. #15
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I use a Loudbox Mini for small venues. It also works as a single monitor when I am playing into a larger PA.The weight is what sold me. It really would not be sufficient for a room of any medium size by itself. The Artist model as recommended above would be more of up to the task of larger rooms. The cost with amp cover will be around 600.00$. That's in the neighborhood of 2/3 again the price of the Mini model but worth the wattage increase from 60 to 120 watts. Not to mention all the other bells and whistles. The Roland AC 60 also deserves a look see. I have used one once and was struck by it's tome and volume. R/
    I love hanging out with mandolin nerds . . . . . Thanks peeps ...

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  28. #16

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I use a fender acoustasonic sfxII 160, brown tolex version

    56 lbs! This is the real drawback. Really! I use a dolly for more than a parking lots distance.

    Ive always preferred an amp thats a bit too big , bigger speakers and cab, for fuller rounder bassier sound, rather than small. Cabs mean weight, but typically bigger sound.
    Reasonably featured, but only one xlr. Have to balance vocal and instrument channels via gain, then master volume.

    Depends on the environment, a lot. Outdoors seems to suck away sound.

    These are pretty affordable used, due to the new sexy revised molded curvy wood eames- chair style cab and gossamer speaker cloth version. Guts are identical.

    I also have a roland cube 80 x too. Neat little jazz guitar amp, and mando. Roland voice is like the old jazz chorus amp. Very very nice warm clean channel.

    Easier to schlepp, smaller closed back cab, 25 lbs, roughly, one input, fairly natural voice for amplified acoustics, great sound, superb effects and foot control options and loud too. Also cheap used.



    The fender is like a mini PA, for one player.
    Great room filling sound, clear, full, even enough for a not too heavy drummer.
    Decent effects.
    I use mine with my rigel, and a baggs di. This amp takes away the shrill boxy piezo sound. This is why I chose it. Ditto the roland.
    The fender has a Foot pedal control over effects and a mute. Mute is nice.
    Last edited by stevedenver; Apr-04-2018 at 8:24am.

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  30. #17

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    There's a Loudbox Mini posted in the Classifieds today

    I've had a regular Loudbox, which I liked a lot.

    You might also look at Roland amps; they have a variety of sizes, wattage, features, etc. I have the smallest, an AC33 I think, which is also battery powered and worked great when I played outside at a farmers market with no power available.

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  32. #18
    mandolin slinger Steve Ostrander's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I didn't realize the Loudbox Artist was that much more than the Mini. I bought both of mine used.

  33. #19
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I have had a Roland AC-60 for a while.. not made by a company thaat also makes the piezoelectric pickups, but it does have an input switch,
    on the instrument channel for piezo/magnetic.. Mic channel has 48v phantom power..
    powersupply transformer makes it compact but heavy.

    Padded gig bag , included, is a good thing ..

    back panel has an efx loop and can DI to the house board to be your monitor,

    & 1,1/2" pole socket to be a PA speaker- though the knobs being on the top
    would be a bit hard to reach then,

    it can be power amp & speakers for a submixer for more channels, Or preamp for a bigger basic amp..

    & top end for a powered subwoofer.. etc..



    ...
    Last edited by mandroid; Apr-04-2018 at 3:15pm.
    writing about music
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  35. #20

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by mandroid View Post
    I have had a Roland AC-60 for a while.. not made by a company thaat also makes the piezoelectric pickups, but it does have an input switch,
    on the instrument channel for piezo/magnetic.. Mic channel has 48v phantom power..
    powersupply transformer makes it compact but heavy.

    Padded gig bag , included, is a good thing ..

    back panel has an efx loop and can DI to the house board to be your monitor,

    & 1,1/2" pole socket to be a PA speaker- though the knobs being on the top
    would be a bit hard to reach then,

    it can be power amp & speakers for a submixer for more channels, Or preamp for a bigger basic amp..

    & top end for a powered subwoofer.. etc..



    ...
    This is what I use for small gigs. I've utilized it with a mixer and two condenser mic's to power a full bluegrass band for an outdoor gig. Furthermore, this one now comes with rechargeable battery power.

    I use a Bose L1 for larger gigs. Simply the best!

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  37. #21
    Registered User Steve Lavelle's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I've been using powered PA speakers with a Radial Tonebone pz preamp. At Christmas, I upgraded to a Presonus Air10. I also have a Behringer B210D that I used for awhile, but found it wouldn't work when I played with a drummer. Presonus has much more headroom, and a very clean sound.
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  39. #22

    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skunkwood View Post
    I've been using powered PA speakers with a Radial Tonebone pz preamp. At Christmas, I upgraded to a Presonus Air10. I also have a Behringer B210D that I used for awhile, but found it wouldn't work when I played with a drummer. Presonus has much more headroom, and a very clean sound.
    Presonus products are First Rate! Excellent choice! A Great Louisiana, USA company to patronize!

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  41. #23
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Took my recently bought, Roland Mobile AC to an electric (guitars) jam , yesterday evening ,

    it sat on the table top next to me ..

    worked well.. I got there and back on my bicycle..
    writing about music
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  43. #24
    Registered User Tomando's Avatar
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    I tried my Loudbox mini at a very noisy bar, it was not happy when cranked up to max. Otherwise fine though. I went for the sa330, aka the “Fishstick”. Granted, more $$, but much nicer sound quality. Very portable too. Good luck with your choice!

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  45. #25
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    Default Re: Favorite Acoustic Amps?

    Best amp I’ve ever owned is an Acus One 8. Preferred it far more than an AER compact 60.

    Robbing e

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