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Amps for acoustic guitar

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I recently purchased a lovely little Faith parlour guitar (see the 'guitars' section), and am now interested in getting a suitable amp to play it through. In the shop I got to use a Marshall A100 (I think that's what it's called) which was very impressive, and were I gigging regularly it would be near the top of my list.

I'm not though - it will be mostly playing at home, possibility of the occasional small-scale gig, also possibility of the odd bit of teaching. Needs to be fairly compact and (preferably) fairly light but good quality, full-range sound. Effects (reverb, chorus as a minimum), but probably won't need a mic input. Don't mind paying a few bob, but boutique is probably a no-no.

Suggestions welcome. What are folks out there using?

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Thanks for that Pete.

Yes, it really does need to be as light as I can get compatible with a decent sound unfortunately. I have a history of back problems (o.k.(ish) ATM but always liable to flare up) and carting heavy equipment around isn't really an option. Actually I'd have loved to take home the Marshall A100 combo I tried it out on in the shop - I was little short of astonished how good it sounded - but it was just too big & heavy (not to mention OTT for my needs). There were some nice looking AER acoustic amps on display, but due to time constraints I didn't get the chance to try them out. If anybody has one or has used one I'd love to hear about their experiences.

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I like the 50w version of the Marshall amp. Esp if they still have the analogue chorus and reverb on them. I've got an old AC50 and I think the analogue effects are warmer and more pleasant than the digital ones on the AC100. Mind you, it was some years ago I compared. So they may be much better by now. The Marshalls are good little amps.

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Whoops, AS50... I see that they're now digital effects. At £250 from GAK and others they're pretty good value, IMHO.

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Thanks for the input so far guys. The Marshall did come across as an excellent amp, but at 21Kg it's just too heavy. The AS50D looks a bit more realistic in the weight stakes; I think I'll give it a run at the emporium.

The AER would be a better fit for my requirements I think, and the reviews are very complimentary - pricey though! A bit more than I would ideally want to pay for something that wouldn't be working for a living is my initial thought. They have them in stock at PMT though so I'll give it a go as well.

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Maybe the Roland has a chance after all at a mere 10Kgs. It just feels heavier if you carry it on a shoulder strap!


I've A-B'd one against an AER Compact 60 (we had one of each in the band) and the AC-60 seems to have more power and more usable features for half the price.

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If you can find one, a Trace Acoustic cube is nice sounding for acoustic. It has reverb and a notch filter, and can be mounted on a Mic stand for use as a personal monitor at head height.

They are quite rare though!

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Thanks for the input guys. Interesting alternatives. As you might expect I've listened to a lot of youtube comparisons of most of the models folk have suggested using my fairly pricey in-ears.

There is a cost/quality tradeoff at work here. As a former player at performance level I still have certain expectations as to the sound I'll be happy with; on that score the AER is comfortably the most natural sounding of the amps I've heard to date (and at around 6 kilos is bang on for weight). It's just a question of whether I can justify the very substantial cost given the likely use it will get.

Hmmm... I feel some quality time at my local guitar emporium could be in my near future.

Edited by leftybassman392

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Hi there, I've had several acoustic amps in my time, here are my thoughts.

Marshall AS50R (older analogue reverb) and AS50D (digital reverb) I prefer the newer AS50D as I felt it was a cleaner sound and reverb. Very nice amps, very reasonable price and often come up for sale second hand.

Marshall AS100: More inputs, very loud but I found it much too bright and couldn't tone it down. It's also very heavy and cumbersome:

Ashdown Acoustic Radiator 1: Quite small and light, quite a nice sound. You might find one used...

Laney A1: Didn't like the sound of it and didn't keep it.

I've tried the AER amps and thought they were way overpriced but they sound good. I've tried the Roland ones too and found them quiet and too polite sounding.

The best of the bunch for me is the AS50D. It's an excellent price compared with most other acoustic amps. It's not super light but has a very good sound.

If you're playing in an acoustic group, the other option is to invest your money in a nice portable PA such as the HK Audio Nano 300 or 600 series.

I haven't used acoustic amps for a while, there may be better options available these days.

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On 11/19/2017 at 23:19, chris_b said:

Three of the guitarists I play with use an AER Compact 60 when they're playing acoustic.

That's what i would recommend

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34 minutes ago, FuNkShUi said:

That's what i would recommend

That's what I bought! xD

Went in to the shop with a specific agenda to A/B test a number of amps using mainly my new Faith Mercury but with my trusty (if battered) Takemine EN10 as a second string. The Takemine was actually a good test guitar, being IME pretty hard to get a really good amplified sound from.

I have to say that the AER stood head & shoulders above everything else I tried (some of which was not that far short of it in price). No contest to my ears - in fact some really quite pricey amps were very disappointing, although in fairness one that I tried - a Fender Acoustic SFX - was unexpectedly good (if a bit gimmicky).

After an hour or so of testing I walked out of the shop with a cutesy little Compact 60 clad in a plush looking natural oak wrapping, for which I paid £890 all in. The oak is apparently a limited edition finish that normally costs more than the standard black tolex - which I would have been quite happy with - but it was the only compact 60 in stock so I got it at the regular price.

I'll have a bit of a play with it over the next little while and will report back in due course. Pics shortly too.

While I'm here, if anybody has or knows of a decent studio I can use to record some bits at a sensible price then feel free to let me know. I live in the Solihull area but can travel.


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