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View Full Version : Which acoustic amp?



Landshark
09-18-2010, 06:49 AM
I have amps (Mesa, Fender) for my electric guitars but was thinking of getting something more specific for playing my ukes with. What is everybody using, I was wondering about the Fishman Mini Loudbox and/or Roland AC33? Any thoughts?

ricdoug
09-18-2010, 07:22 AM
I own a lot of amps (around 60), for various applications. I like the battery powered amps, because they can be used anywhere:

http://www.ukuleleunderground.com/forum/showthread.php?5333-Battery-powered-ukulele-amplification...

I own and use the AC-33. It has a built in 40 second looper, which can make you sound like a whole band. It runs an amazing amount of time on 8 AA batteries. I use rechargeable NiMH batteries in mine. It has two seperate instrument and microphone channels, each with their own controls. There is also a jack on the back with it's own volume control for playing tunes or backup tracks from an MP3 player or CD player. Add to that reverb, ambience and chorus effects. The kickstand aims the amp up, so you can monitor the sound. It has a switcheable anti-feedback circuit. If you've ever used an AC-60 or AC-90, this is identicle in function and controls. Ric

mm stan
09-18-2010, 07:47 AM
I like my cheapo honeytone.....it does the job!!!
Best bang for the buck!!!! for me at least......

harpdog
09-18-2010, 08:56 AM
I have a Loudbox - the first 250 watt version. Sounds great.
I like the sound of Rolands very much.
Since you already have a Fender, an Acoustasonic might be your horse - they have a string dynamics control that really works well with nylon stringed guitars - I'd have to think it would be great with a uke.

Landshark
09-18-2010, 09:57 AM
Thanks for the great info and link

experimentjon
09-18-2010, 11:06 AM
Dang, Ric, that's a ton of amps.

I find that the AC60 that Ric mentions works well for ukulele. MGM uses one too is most of his videos. And MGM has a TON of ukuleles, so it probably is a good unit that works for him. Personally, I think that it's a very versitile unit that can be used as a mini PA too with 2 channels. Relatively lightweight, portable, and with Roland reliability. But if the AC33 has the same anti-feedback feature, AND a Looper, AND runs on 8x AAs, AND has 2 channels, that amp sounds like a dream.

Nuprin
09-18-2010, 11:40 AM
I have an AC33 and I love it. Before buying I brought my Kamaka into the store to try out the different acoustic amps they had. The Bose systems sounded the best but I wasn't prepared to drop $1000. The AC90 and AC60 sounded great, but again, were a little more than I wanted to spend. So, I ended up trying the AC33, Fender Acoustisonic 30, and some Ibanez Troubadours. I thought the AC33 sounded the best with the Acoustisonic a close second. The Troubadours fell far behind.

ricdoug
09-18-2010, 08:03 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eexHpYbT1S0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hK9b-7t5XW4

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i76TKnZPJ28

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VgIjzrMj-D8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yhapuW413Y

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AcKfB7ludlg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M73I-UQdFuk

ricdoug
09-18-2010, 08:30 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M73I-UQdFuk

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98e_3kA6TrI

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9pODd8K22M

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3B9WLQP73GY

Landshark
09-18-2010, 09:11 PM
Thanks, for all the info, just ordered a Roland AC-33

beergeek
09-18-2010, 10:36 PM
Just to chime in.....you won't regret it. I tried the Cube Street and it just didn't cut it. The AC33 is a sweet little amp with just enough power to be dangerous ;)

bazmaz
09-19-2010, 12:59 AM
Marshall AS50R soloist - you wont find a much better gigging amp - 2 channels - one for instrument, one for microphone

BlueInGreenUkulele
09-19-2010, 01:27 AM
I have the AC-33 and love it. You will not be disappointed.

Rzr
09-19-2010, 01:34 AM
Thanks, for all the info, just ordered a Roland AC-33

If you don't like it I'm looking for a cheap used AC-33.

ricdoug
09-19-2010, 08:23 AM
Marshall AS50R soloist - you wont find a much better gigging amp - 2 channels - one for instrument, one for microphone

The Marshall and others listed here are nice amps for acoustical and vocal instrumentation. The Roland AC-33 is only 10 pound. It has a small footprint so you can pack it in your luggage when you're travelling abroad. It can run entirely on batteries, so you can perform in places where there's no AC power available. It has 3 channels - one for instrument, one for microphone and one for an MP3/CD player. All 3 channels have their own controls. I own other acoustic amps, but the setup and teardown time with the Roland AC-33 are quick and easy. You can also use it as a stege monitor and plug the line out into the mains of a house P.A. system. What this does for you is it allows you to be completely in charge of the sound of your instrument and vocals. Ric

ricdoug
09-19-2010, 10:29 PM
http://www.musicradar.com/news/guitars/namm-2010-roland-introduces-ac-33-acoustic-amplifier-232239

NAMM 2010: Roland introduces AC-33 acoustic amplifier
First AA battery-powered portable stereo amp

Press Release, Thu 14 Jan 2010, 3:26 pm GMT


Roland AC-33 acoustic guitar amplifier

View in gallery
PRESS RELEASE: The popular Roland AC acoustic amps gain a new member with the arrival of the AC-33 Acoustic Chorus Guitar Amplifier. Designed for both high-quality sound and supreme portability, the AC-33 is the world's first AA battery-powered amp designed specifically for the acoustic guitar.

It features instrument, XLR microphone, and AUX inputs, along with built-in digital effects, an anti-feedback function, an onboard looper and an integrated tilt stand for enhanced sound projection.

With the ability to run on eight AA batteries (including NiMH rechargeable types) or AC power, the AC-33 is the perfect amplifier for acoustic performers on the go. The high-efficiency 30-watt stereo amp and dual 5" speakers provide excellent sound coverage for any intimate performance, including restaurants, coffee houses, open mic nights, street busking and more.

The multiple audio inputs allow the AC-33 to function as a portable PA, amplifying a guitar, vocal, and backing track from a music player all at the same time.

The AC-33 comes equipped with Roland's famous stereo chorus effect, as well as easy-to-use reverb and ambience effects. For worry-free playing in high-volume situations, the unique anti-feedback function automatically detects acoustic instrument feedback and eliminates it before it starts.

The onboard looper allows users to record and play back up to 40 seconds of on-the-fly musical backing, with the ability to capture unlimited "sound on sound" style overdubs. The looper and effects can be controlled with optional foot switches.

The AC-33 is scheduled to ship in January.

Landshark
09-24-2010, 05:15 PM
The Roland AC-33 showed up today, i am thrilled thanks so much for the advice. I also ordered a Arriba AC-130 case http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41Rnc3LMZ6L._SL500_AA300_.jpgseems about as close as I can find to being the right case for the amp. 13"X13 X9.5, fits great side to side and top to bottom, there is about 3.5 inches of space front too back, the case comes with a padded divider, those extra inches hold the power supply, folding stand and Uke strap, there is also a front pocket for my cords. It is padded all around, no shoulder strap but I guess you could have one added if you want. Until there is something better this case seems pretty good for the amp.
http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DqAaIlnFL._AA300_.jpg

Lexxy
09-24-2010, 06:57 PM
Hey Bob,

How much did the AC-33 cost you? I saw it at a local store, going for about 749 aussie dollars :/

ricdoug
09-24-2010, 07:09 PM
AC-33's go for about $400 bucks USD, in the United States.

Enjoy your new AC-33, LandShark and keep us up to date on your impressions of this phenominal amp. Also, thanks for the advice on the Arriba AC-130 case. Ric

tooney
03-12-2011, 03:19 PM
I have an AC33 and I love it. Before buying I brought my Kamaka into the store to try out the different acoustic amps they had. The Bose systems sounded the best but I wasn't prepared to drop $1000. The AC90 and AC60 sounded great, but again, were a little more than I wanted to spend. So, I ended up trying the AC33, Fender Acoustisonic 30, and some Ibanez Troubadours. I thought the AC33 sounded the best with the Acoustisonic a close second. The Troubadours fell far behind.

Nuprin, I'm so glad I found this post of yours. By any chance do you remember what the acoustic differences were between the AC33 and the Acoustisonic? I've heard the Fender but not the Roland, and would like to get some thoughts from someone who's heard both. Thanks!

ricdoug
03-12-2011, 09:22 PM
I've played both the Acoustisonic and the AC-30 side by side, tooney. The guitarist in one of my bands uses the Acoustisonic. We both see the Acoustisonic 30 and AC-33 as equal sonically, but the AC-33 as more versatile with the extra built in effects (the AC-33 allows you to combine more than one effect), looper and battery power option. Both have an anti-feedback circuit. The AC-33 is considerably lighter in weight, at only about 10 pounds as compared to the Acoustisonic 30 at 34 pounds. You wont go wrong with either amp, sonically. Ric

tooney
03-13-2011, 12:07 AM
I've played both the Acoustisonic and the AC-30 side by side, tooney. The guitarist in one of my bands uses the Acoustisonic. We both see the Acoustisonic 30 and AC-33 as equal sonically, but the AC-33 as more versatile with the extra built in effects (the AC-33 allows you to combine more than one effect), looper and battery power option. Both have an anti-feedback circuit. The AC-33 is considerably lighter in weight, at only about 10 pounds as compared to the Acoustisonic 30 at 34 pounds. You wont go wrong with either amp, sonically. Ric

ricdoug, thank you for that comparison. While my plan is to really just have this for home use I hadn't thought about the weight if I ever decided to haul it around. That could be an important factor. Not to complicate this further (and I did kind of post this question in another thread), but I was also looking at the Kustom Sienna. It sounds very nice in that youtube video (guitar, not uke unfortunately). Do you have any thoughts on how the Sienna compares to these other two?

Plainsong
03-13-2011, 12:18 AM
I wasn't really impressed with the Sienna when I had it. It was alright, nothing remarkable. And it's huge and heavy.

Pippin
03-13-2011, 01:15 AM
The AC60 is the one to beat.

tooney
03-13-2011, 01:45 AM
Ah, but the AC60 is rather expensive. I've not been able to find a used AC33 either, unfortunately. If I could keep this to less than $300 it would be ideal.

strumsilly
03-13-2011, 03:37 AM
I too am looking, thinking about buying used. The Crate CA6110DG Gunnison Acoustic Guitar Amplifier hasn't been mentioned.anyone play through one of these? how does it measure up?

OldePhart
03-13-2011, 08:53 AM
I own a lot of amps (around 60), for various applications.

:bowdown:

Holy cowpatties - I used to modify, design, and build tube guitar amps and I thought my collection of about a dozen amps was excessive.

tooney
03-13-2011, 01:02 PM
Well, we went to Sam Ash and picked up a new Acoustisonic 30 DSP for a bit less than what seems to be the best online price. We heard it against the used one that we heard yesterday, and realized the used one was quite a bit noisier, and the Reverb and String Dynamics dials didn't seem to work. Of course it didn't hurt that we also bought a Boulder Creek Riptide Tenor with preamp and tuner! :D (We got a break on the uke too.)

ricdoug
03-14-2011, 03:17 PM
You'll be happy with that choice, tooney. For the $300 buck spending budget you stated, the Acoustisonic 30 was a good choice. Ric

ricdoug
03-15-2011, 07:56 PM
:bowdown:

Holy cowpatties - I used to modify, design, and build tube guitar amps and I thought my collection of about a dozen amps was excessive.

I knew a Texan from another hobby that designed awesome hand wired 5 watt tube amps:

http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20050506171752/http://www.texastubeamps.com/

Somewhere I have a link to video of his amps at an amplifier show. Ric

OldePhart
03-16-2011, 12:16 PM
I knew a Texan from another hobby that designed awesome hand wired 5 watt tube amps:

http://replay.waybackmachine.org/20050506171752/http://www.texastubeamps.com/

Somewhere I have a link to video of his amps at an amplifier show. Ric

Cool. It's a lot of fun. I've only got one of my own amps left - a little 5-W single ended amp with high-gain front end. The biggest amp I ever designed was a 15-watt EL84 amp, though I've tweaked plenty of bigger amps. My main reason for getting into designing and building amps was to try to get really good cranked tone at low volumes, though. I wish I had the vision to keep the fun in building because I've had a lot of requests for the amp. I built a pair for a friend of mine and everywhere he goes people are bugging him, "where can I get one of those."

He thinks I should go commercial, and get someone else to do the close work, but like most musicians he's just not really aware of what it takes - besides, that would be turning a fun hobby into work. Most of the people asking about his amps would turn and run the moment they found what it would cost them to buy them... LOL

John

Plainsong
03-16-2011, 01:33 PM
Cranked tone at a low volume sounds like a holy grail type idea to me. It's the kind of idea your neighbors will thank you for. (Though we can't compete with our very shy great blues playing neighbor next door. You only hear him if you're in the hallway, and he always hears when we comment "Wow!" and stops playing. Hmpf.)

Michael_
03-16-2011, 11:49 PM
I use an AER Compact 60:
http://www.thomann.de/de/aer_compact_60.htm

Hi-Tech from good old Germany. 60W, 7.5kg. Easy to carry for gigs, very true sound. When not on stage, it stands next to my couch and I listen to my playing through headphones.

joeybug
03-17-2011, 02:32 AM
I'm totally new to this Amp thing, I don't have AAS and I doubt I'll get it (though I do have another Amp in my sights). Anyway, I have a Danelectro Honeytone, love it, small thing, portable, but man is it loud and it cost me 30 which is about standard at least over here...the one I have my sights on is a Vox AC30, mostly because of the ability to play mp3 as background when playing and I wanted an Eleuke for that and the headphone part (the Honeytone does that part for me) but they don't sell them here (or they do in the EU but not the kind I wanted) so..that's just my :2cents: