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NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 08:36 AM
so im also considering getting a separate acoustic amplifier. all i know of, really, are the ones that ive seen at the local GC. fishman (awesome), crate (aight), roland (awesome).

basically, the level im trying to get to is something that will go well with my yamaha stagepass 500 PA system. eventually, i want to use the PA solely for vocals, while all the instruments are individually amped.

the PA system is a 500w (250x2) system. so i was thinking of something along the lines of a roland AC-90 (45w x 2 with 2x8" speakers and 2 tweets), or fishman loudbox performer (130w tri-amped).

was wondering if i should just stick to those two badasses or is there something out there along the same price range but better reviews. right now leaning more toward the fishman.

russ_buss
05-15-2008, 08:43 AM
i have a california blonde that i think sounds really really good. it has an XLR mic input so you can use it for instrument and vocals at the same time. perfect for coffee house sized jams.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/SWR-California-Blonde-II-Acoustic-Instruments-Amp?sku=481996

another option is the fender acoustasonic which i've also played before at a GC. a very nice amp.

http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Fender-Acoustasonic-SFX-II-Acoustic-Guitar-Combo-Amp?sku=480724

NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 09:09 AM
only thing that gets me bout those amps is how heavy they are. both over 50lbs. im not a weakling girly man or anything. but im usually the one that sets everything up for the performance. so the less weight i have to lug around before having to play an instrument the better hehe.

i think i need to roll by the GC and take another look at the fenders.

UKESTAR
05-15-2008, 10:10 AM
Look at the Roland acoustic. They have them at Guitar Center. Pretty pricy at arnd. $500, but people rave about them.:rock: I spoke to a guy who uses them at coffee shops etc and says it easily fills the whole room with many people talking over it...

Good luck Nuker

russ_buss
05-15-2008, 10:20 AM
only thing that gets me bout those amps is how heavy they are. both over 50lbs.

oh so true. i have to waddle like a penguin to carry it around.

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 10:35 AM
you should consider at least looking at the Ultrasound line of amplifiers. they've always received very good reviews and have some higher powered models.

www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/acoustic-guitar-combo-amps?N=100001+338500&src=3WWRWXGG&ZYXSEM=0

Thing to remember for acoustic instruments though, is an amp will never measure up to a PA. they're more portable but limited in terms of dispersion and power. and most amps that have respectable swat are going to be 40-60 lbs. at least. Depends on your needs... if it's a small venue then an acoustic amp is fine.

bands with electric guitars rely on amps because a) e-guitar amps are waaaay louder than acoustic amps, and b) e-guitar amps are responsible for the tone and sonic character of the guitar. Voice goes through PA.

In the acoustic world it all goes through the PA.

NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 10:40 AM
you should consider at least looking at the Ultrasound line of amplifiers. they've always received very good reviews and have some higher powered models.

www.musiciansfriend.com/navigation/acoustic-guitar-combo-amps?N=100001+338500&src=3WWRWXGG&ZYXSEM=0

Thing to remember for acoustic instruments though, is an amp will never measure up to a PA. they're more portable but limited in terms of dispersion and power. and most amps that have respectable swat are going to be 40-60 lbs. at least. Depends on your needs... if it's a small venue then an acoustic amp is fine.

bands with electric guitars rely on amps because a) e-guitar amps are waaaay louder than acoustic amps, and b) e-guitar amps are responsible for the tone and sonic character of the guitar. Voice goes through PA.

In the acoustic world it all goes through the PA.

so what you are saying is i should be happy running my uke/guitar through a DI into my PA and expect pretty much the same performance (after enough fine tweaking) as i would by running a separate acoustic amp?

if thats the case, then my search is over and im good to go! haha.

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 10:48 AM
well, nuke, it's nice to have an amp for the flexiblity if you have some place small to play, and it's just you, and you don't feel like lugging the PA.

but IMO a PA is the tool to use when playing an acoustic instrument and/or singing. bigger sound, more dispersion, more flexibilty.

hey, it's always nice to have another toy if you really want an acoustic amp. I'm just not convinced you'd be gaining anything.

funkycarnivore
05-15-2008, 10:57 AM
I have a Genz Benz Shenandoah Jr. that's comparable in price with some of those amps. It's a pretty nice amp, and I know a lot of solo acoustic guitarists are using it. I think Carvin makes something too.

Lanark
05-15-2008, 11:03 AM
I suppose it also depends on the size of the room you're needing to fill. In a smaller acoustic venue or coffee shop there really isn't any need for serious wattage.

(Hell, even playing in a loud rock and roll band in clubs with a 100watt amp I was hardly ever allowed to get the thing above 4 1/2...)

You could always get a smaller watt amp and mike it through the PA.. Give you a bit more separation with the vocals if that's what you're after. Be much easier to lug a 10 or 15 watt amp around. Ten watts is plenty loud.

You could even go half and half and give yourself a mix of the miked acoustic ukulele with a bit of the the miked amplified version behind you to fill it out.

NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 11:04 AM
well, nuke, it's nice to have an amp for the flexiblity if you have some place small to play, and it's just you, and you don't feel like lugging the PA.

but IMO a PA is the tool to use when playing an acoustic instrument and/or singing. bigger sound, more dispersion, more flexibilty.

hey, it's always nice to have another toy if you really want an acoustic amp. I'm just not convinced you'd be gaining anything.

yah i guess since i already have the PA i dont necessarily NEEEEEED an acoustic amp. but it is nice to have.

i need to get on a game show and win about $50k. then everything will be allllll guuuuuuud.

Howlin Hobbit
05-15-2008, 11:30 AM
If you check out this entry in my blog (http://howlinhobbit.com/blog/pivot/entry.php?id=290) you'll see what I use for a PA. The main part of it -- the "amp" unit -- is no heavier than a mid-sized guitar amp.

It's not an acoustic amp, but it is a nice, portable sound reinforcement system.

LagunaUku
05-15-2008, 11:31 AM
Here's a small but well reviewed acoustic amp I just ordered: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/product/Behringer-Ultracoustic-AT108-Acoustic-Combo-Amp?sku=480781

It might be a bit small for what you're looking for, but you can't beat $60. If your'e interested, I'll let you know how it plays out (pun intended) when it's delivered today

Big Bob
05-15-2008, 12:46 PM
I have a guitar research acoustic amp AC30 R from Sam ash. It's just great for what we call "kitchen parties "here in eastern Canada.It has more bells and whistles than I will ever need and frankly I don't fully understand all the buttons and switches that are on it.Oh and If I remember correctly It was around $150 .And it's easy to carry around.My 2 cents worth!!

NukeDOC
05-15-2008, 01:31 PM
most of the use i would be trying to get out of this amp would be at restaurants, coffee houses, and backyard parties. but i still want the power to be able to play at the intermittent school-size auditoriums and halls. so somewhere around 100W was what i was looking for. and the sound quality from the roland and the fishman just blew me away. i still have to test out the fender. i didnt really like the martin that i tested. maybe it was the settings, but it sounded a little muddy to me.

the roland and the fishman just blew me away. it was like someone was playing exactly what i was playing, but right in front of me, and much louder. and if i need to get even more volume, i would still have the option of mic'ing the amp or using the outputs and running it through my PA. then i could actually turn the amp around and use it as a monitor.

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 01:32 PM
nice little rig, Hob. thanks for the link to your useful blog.

I think you're right (in your blog) when you point out that many people buy more than they need. I know I did - but OTOH my setup has come in handy for two large parties (one of which was outdoors and actually would have benefited from something even bigger than what I have).

I'd also point out that many people underestimate what will work. Those cute lil' amps don't fill medium rooms. They have a purpose but that's not it.

Your rig has the added capability of a satellite cab which would make a world of difference once the room gets bigger and the little mixer for phantom and additional inputs. Like you say, it's in the "sound reinforcement" category, not an acoustic amp.

Nuke - excellent point re: using the amp as an onstage monitor. That is, in fact, what many people buy them for. You go direct into the amp then DI out to the PA and then can control your sound from the stage.

Lanark
05-15-2008, 04:44 PM
most of the use i would be trying to get out of this amp would be at restaurants, coffee houses, and backyard parties. but i still want the power to be able to play at the intermittent school-size auditoriums and halls. so somewhere around 100W was what i was looking for...

The thing about wattage is that it doesn't work like 50watts is twice as loud as 100. (It actually works out to something like 8 decibels difference). With a decent PA (which it sounds like you've already got) and a good sound engineer (you) you could easily get by with 25 or 30 watts. I've done that right next to full drum kit in a noisy rock club. The PA ought to cover most of the heavy lifting.
You seriously wouldn't need 100watts of power. It'd just be overkill. Especially for an acoustic instrument.

brokenwing
05-15-2008, 04:59 PM
The thing about wattage is that it doesn't work like 50watts is twice as loud as 100. (It actually works out to something like 8 decibels difference). With a decent PA (which it sounds like you've already got) and a good sound engineer (you) you could easily get by with 25 or 30 watts. I've done that right next to full drum kit in a noisy rock club. The PA ought to cover most of the heavy lifting.
You seriously wouldn't need 100watts of power. It'd just be overkill. Especially for an acoustic instrument.
Actually, a 100 watt acoustic rig isn't even close to a 100 watt e-guitar amp. A 100 watt e-guitar amp will kill anything within a 100 foot radius. It will move furniture. peel paint. Not the case with acoustic amplification.

It has to do with OHMs (impedance). Acoustic PAs and amps have a much broader frequency range than e-guitar amps. You can't compare the two with wattage - only with SPL (sound pressure level). I've got two active monitors at 550 watts each and my nephew's 40 watt Fender Blues Dlx is louder.

TokyoUketarist
05-15-2008, 09:45 PM
I recommend a Roland JC-120 you can't go wrong it is the best sounding clean amp. It's a guitar amp but it has the best stereo chorus ever made. All the pros(guitar players) have one. You can get a used one pretty cheap too.