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RV-related and other recreational activities => Making music on the road => Topic started by: Tom on November 09, 2015, 08:39:53 PM

Title: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on November 09, 2015, 08:39:53 PM
I'm in the market for an amplifier for my acoustic instruments (guitar and ukes). I've come to understand that I need an acoustic amplifier, not a guitar amp or a bass amp.

I don't plan to perform in a large auditorium, so this is mainly for practice and small-venue use.

I'm currently looking at:

The Behringer AX900 (http://www.amazon.com/Behringer-ACX900-BEHRINGER-ULTRACOUSTIC/dp/B000LARZVQ/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1447110188&sr=8-12&keywords=acoustic+amplifier) and the Fender Accoustasonic 90-90W (http://www.amazon.com/Fender-Acoustasonic-Acoustic-Guitar-Amplifier/dp/B00EQD71B8/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1447110188&sr=8-11&keywords=acoustic+amplifier).

Edit: Oops, meant to ask for comments/suggestions.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: oldwasichu on December 04, 2016, 08:45:32 PM
Tom, not sure if you are still looking, but I would recommend that you check out the Fishman Loudbox Mini.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 04, 2016, 11:39:29 PM
Thanks Dave. I didn't get around to buying the amp (got distracted by other things/needs), so your timing is good.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: SeilerBird on December 05, 2016, 05:55:41 AM
I am sorry but I do not understand the difference between a bass amp, a guitar amp and an acoustic amp. I own two amps. One is a very confusing Spider Jam by Line 6:

https://www.amazon.com/Line-Spider-Jam-Guitar-Amplifier/dp/B000VJZOLK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1480938327&sr=8-1&keywords=spider+jam

The other is a very simple Acoustic B20 amp that cost $120.00:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001R2MBSE

I never use the Spider Jam, too confusing. The Acoustic is simple. Just plug in, turn on and turn up the volume. The Spider is way too confusing. Since I don't use it often when I do try and use it I am just plain lost. It has every bell and whistle imaginable but I only use an amp to amplify. I don't need the built in tuner, beat box or a million different settings.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 05, 2016, 06:43:14 AM
Best I can tell is that bass vs guitar amp is a frequency response difference, and combo includes a speaker, although some/many of the first two include a speaker. Maybe someone  more knowledgeable than I will help clarify.

Edit: Read somewhere that an acoustic amp includes a tweeter, suggesting that a guitar amp doesn't  ???

Need to make an exploratory trip to Guitar Center.
 
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Don & Carol on December 05, 2016, 07:48:46 AM
I use a Fender Mustang II  for both electric and acoustic guitars.   It sounds great, Has a  few bells and whistles,  but what ever is plugged into it, sounds fantastic.   You can check them out at Musicians Friend online and also by going to YouTube and search Fender Mustang Amps.
http://shop.fender.com/en-US/guitar-amplifiers/contemporary-digital/mustang/

Don
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: SeilerBird on December 05, 2016, 07:53:00 AM
Best I can tell is that bass vs guitar amp is a frequency response difference, and combo includes a speaker, although some/many of the first two include a speaker. Maybe someone  more knowledgeable than I will help clarify.

Edit: Read somewhere that an acoustic amp includes a tweeter, suggesting that a guitar amp doesn't  ???

Need to make an exploratory trip to Guitar Center.
Yes but at our age we can't hear a tweeter anyhow.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Larry N. on December 05, 2016, 10:24:21 AM
Yes but at our age we can't hear a tweeter anyhow.
If you're playing just for yourself, that's great. For others...???
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: MrWizzard on December 05, 2016, 02:24:33 PM
Acoustic guitars do better with amps made specifically for them. I have a 50 watt Marshall acoustic amp I really like. Fender makes a good one as does Fishman. Sometime you can find used Genz-Benz acoustic amps (they don't make them any more  :'( :'() on EBay.

I have no experience with the Behringer amps. Hit Guitar Center and your local independent music stores and try out a few before you buy. Many local stores will match, or at least come close to online and GC pricing.

Looking around the guitar store is the best part!!!

p.s. For online I like EBay and reverb.com, I've had good luck with both
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 09, 2016, 05:39:37 AM
Like a kid in a candy store, I wandered around an almost empty Guitar Center yesterday. Checked out guitars, amps, keyboards and drums. Found something for my Santa list; Roland makes a great drum kit (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Roland/TD-25KV-V-Tour-Drum-Kit-1428935656461.gc?pdpSearchTerm=roland). Now I just need Santa to talk nice to Mrs Claus. If that doesn't work, a Fishman combo amp (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fishman/Loudbox-Mini-PRO-LBX-500-60W-1x65-Acoustic-Combo-Amp.gc) will have to suffice, or maybe this (http://www.guitarcenter.com/Fishman/Loudbox-Artist-PRO-LBX-600-Acoustic-Combo-Amp.gc).

I reluctantly left around noon before they shut down the freeways for the motorcade.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: SeilerBird on December 09, 2016, 05:54:51 AM
I have played the V drums several times in stores and they are very impressive. Very pricey too. If I was professional and going to gig then that would be the one I would choose, otherwise I would just pick one of the sub $500 sets.

If I were to buy an amp right now I would go for this Roland battery powered amp. 50 watts and battery powered with an angled front. Wow.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Roland/Cube-Street-EX-Battery-Powered-Stereo-Guitar-Amplifier-1393862859726.gc?pfm=item_page.rr2#productDetail
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 09, 2016, 06:24:51 AM
Just a 'wish list' item; It's highly unlikely I would buy this or any other drum kit. I was a wannabe drummer when I was younger, but finances meant I 'played' saucepans and tin cans. Meanwhile, I can't help drooling over kits like the Roland, especially since I can put on headphones and nobody hears how badly I play.

That Roland amp looks like a nice piece of equipment. I won't be buying until we get back to home base in CA, because they have HOA rules in our community here in the MidWest.

I did buy something at GC yesterday - a pack of picks. The guy smiled when I handed him the pack and said "the last of the big spenders".

Meanwhile, with 9 ukes, 3 guitars, a banjo (actually 2), and 3 keyboards, I have plenty of musical toys to keep me continually learning and practicing.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: SeilerBird on December 09, 2016, 06:55:16 AM
I have a package of picks on order from Amazon that should arrive any day. I have lots of picks but they are all stiff for playing lead. I needed some thinner picks for use on the ukulele. I just discovered a bunch of videos on YouTube that are really good for someone like me to play along with. They are produced by Ukulele Underground and are called Ukulele Play Alongs. Very well done and accurate chords.

https://youtu.be/vfP2uyhtvbk
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 09, 2016, 07:19:32 AM
When I got home yesterday, in my mailbox was a pack of picks I'd forgotten I'd ordered from amazon  :-[   They were all for guitar. I don't use picks to strum the uke, although I'll occasionally use a thumb pick to 'pick' individual notes.

Ukulele Underground has some interesting stuff, although I hadn't visited for some time.
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: spacenorman on December 30, 2016, 11:43:55 AM
I'm in the market for an amplifier for my acoustic instruments (guitar and ukes). I've come to understand that I need an acoustic amplifier, not a guitar amp or a bass amp.

I'd consider expanding your search to include looking at powered PA speakers.  Unlike instrument specific amps (i.e., bass amps, guitar amps, etc.) - powered speakers are designed to provide a more "transparent" sound (i.e., not colored to augment/enhance the characteristics of the instrument it's designed to support).   The resulting sound tends to be "cleaner" - which isn't a bad thing when you're talking about acoustic instruments.   Most will sit on the floor in a "wedge" monitor position - or can be placed on a tripod speaker stand (great if you play standing ... or need to project your sound at all).   Finally, you can easily add a small mixer (< $100) so that you can amplify more than one source (i.e., an "electric" instrument (i.e., something with output, a couple of microphones (if you use an acoustic instrument and simply mic it) - and a vocal mic.   If you keep your eyes open - many of those small format mixers will have built in effects (i.e., reverb, delay) so you get use of those features as well.   
Title: Re: Looking for an amplifier
Post by: Tom on December 30, 2016, 12:23:25 PM
Thanks Norman. I'm currently in no hurry, and still browse when I visit stores.

FWIW I have a Fender stereo PA system (http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/fender-passport-deluxe-pd-150-portable-pa#productDetail) 2 x 75W, with a built-in mixer, 3 XLR, 1/4" & RCA inputs plus mic input, but it lacks bass. I currently use it only to play audio from my own DVDs/videos for groups.

Quote
many of those small format mixers will have built in effects (i.e., reverb, delay) so you get use of those features as well.

Thanks, those features aren't on my must-have list.