The Washburn Guitars Forum

Washburn Acoustic Guitars Forums => Acoustic Guitar Players Post Comments & Questions => Topic started by: YerDugliness on April 26, 2017, 01:07:49 PM

Title: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on April 26, 2017, 01:07:49 PM
OK, guys 'n' gals, I have decided that I have enough juiced acoustic guitars that I really do need to get an amp.

I have "chatted" with the technical support department of a few online music equipment retailers and they have all told me that what I want just doesn't exist...so here is what I was hoping for (doesn't sound too unreasonable to me, but what do I know...obviously NOTHING, that's why I am asking for advice):

I would like a single small amp so that I won't need a trailer to do solo gigs.

I would like for the amp to have separate inputs for a microphone and for a single instrument (one of my juiced acoustic guitars or my Epiphone ES335 copy, called a "Dot")

I really prefer the sound of Class A (Tube amps) over Solid State, so I'd like for the amp to be a tube type.

I don't need a large speaker, so a small speaker (6.5"-8" would be fine, I think) seems advisable. I am not going to be playing large venues, just small bars, that sort of thing. The larger bars have a PA system into which I can and do already plug in.

You'd think I had asked for the moon and the stars to hear the advice I got from online retailers.

What do you all use? I can't imagine I'd ever want to use distortion or pedals or any of that stuff...just make my guitar and my voice loud enough to be heard over the din.

So...what are you using, folks?

Thanks in advance for whatever advice you can offer!

Cheers!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: evenkeel on May 01, 2017, 07:43:01 PM
For most acoustic players a tube amp is a non starter.  The tubes will colour the sound.  You can't get around that.  Most acoustic players want the amp to do nothing, just make the natural sound of the guitar louder.  A tube amp just will not do that.  They are just not designed for amplifying acoustic guitars.

So having said that, I can't suggest any tube amp.  If you can get beyond the tube amp requirement a simple, very natural sounding amp with a 1/4" and XLR input, a few nice effects is the Fishman Loudbox series.  I use the Fishman solo amp 220.  It's sort of a poor mans Bose.  Stick array, easy to set up, great sound.  And a bonus, Fishman has great customer service.  But it's overkill for what you want.  The smaller loudbox series will do the job very well, but it will not be a tube amp.
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: YerDugliness on May 01, 2017, 08:22:52 PM
Thanks, Keel! The reps online never explained it that well. You are right, I'm only interested in more volume and the solid-state combo amps all have multiple special effects features, which did not interest me. Having been an audiophile most of my adult life, where Class A equipment is the "holy grail", I assumed it would produce better results than solid-state gear.

I will check out your suggested gear...thanks for a great explanation!

Cheers!!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: DaveTrees on May 04, 2017, 07:19:24 PM
Many moons ago (early 80s) I used to use a Roland JC60 with both my EA44 Monterey and for electric guitar.  Great amps, and worked really well with elect/acoustic .  Really clean tone, and a hint of the built in chorus was really nice too.

I note that Roland now make an "AC" series specifically for acoustic guitars as well.  I haven't used one, but if they are anything like the quality & tone of the JC series they would be worth checking out.
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: evenkeel on May 05, 2017, 11:43:28 AM
I'll also add a thumbs up for Roland equipment.  I have a small Roland Street Cube I use for farmers market gigs where electricity is not available. It uses 6 AA Batteries and will last 6-7 hours at modest volume levels.  You can also operate off standard 110 power.  It has a 1/4" and a XLR input.  Some surprisingly good effects, reverb, chorus, etc.  Simple EQ controls.  Very nice piece of equipment.

FWIW Dugly a few simple effects are a good thing.  Just a three EQ controls; low end, mid and treble, plus a bit of reverb go a very long way. 
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: Tony Raven on May 06, 2017, 03:10:51 PM
Behringer B205D --

(https://static.bhphoto.com/images/images500x500/1267647362000_679354.jpg)


I have one, ten feet away. I bought it for the reasons you list. Also works great for blasting tunes.  :D
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: YerDugliness on May 06, 2017, 09:51:15 PM
I have been looking at Behringer electronic crossovers...want to tri-amp a set of large, high quality loudspeakers, so I know already that I like the Behringer products. Thanks, Tony, I will check it out!

Cheers!!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: evenkeel on May 08, 2017, 09:43:54 AM
The Behringer Tony suggests looks like a nice, small PA/monitor.  One small caveat, you will not be able to adjust the EQ for guitar/voice independently.  For example, if you want a mid range scoop for the guitar and a bass boost for vocals you're out of luck.  May or may not be an issue for you.  Just something to consider.
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: cedwards on May 11, 2017, 01:04:50 PM
I've had a lot of trouble with Behringer mixers - 1202FX. To my mind, the quality just isn't there. i tend to side with the Roland Street Cube recommendation. Good quality gear.
Title: Re: Asking for recommendations for acoustic amplifier
Post by: YerDugliness on May 16, 2017, 03:18:03 PM
DAMN!!! I had typed a lengthy update and all of a sudden the computer blanked out for a second and it was all lost...let's try again!

Well, it's all over with (for now), guys 'n' gals. I made a trip to the closest music store (which is 90 miles away in this sparsely populated area of the mid-west), just to get a $10 harmonica for one of my students here at school, and when I asked about amps the owner of the store showed me a whole stack of stuff. I looked it all over and pulled out a Fender Stage 112SE (it says PR203 on the back of the cabinet) Obviously the 112 means one 12" speaker (it has a HUGE magnet, and is heavy but not so heavy that I cannot carry it for short distances).

The front panel contains 1/4" inputs for two channels (one is called "Normal" and the other is called "Drive"), a foot switch, as well as 1/4" inputs/outputs labeled "pre-amp out", "power amp in", and "line out". The "Normal Channel" has a volume control, a treble control, a mid control and a bass control as well as a push switch between the mid control and the bass control labeled "Mid Shift". The "Drive Channel" has a gain control, a contour control, a treble control, a bass control and a volume control, as well as a push switch between the bass control and volume control labeled "Drive Select". There is also a "Reverb" control. It also has the foot switch in the cabinet.

OK, so my first thought is that I got in WAAAAY over my head, considering what I had hoped to get, but for $250 how could I go wrong?  In the end, I took the advice of every one of you who said not to try to use tube gear, and that was the main reason I went solid state. I also bought a mic, so we’ll see if one of the two inputs will tolerate a mic.

The owner of the store said the amp was the property of an old lady whose husband had died. He had used the amp for stage work. With the exception of a slight bit of rust on one of the chrome corner protectors, it looks like it just came out of the box this morning. It was obviously well cared for! When I asked if the lady whose husband had died had any other items she might want to sell the owner of the store said there were hundreds of items at the house, so I left a business card and asked the owner to contact the lady and see if she would consider letting me come look at the items to see if I had any interest in any of them. I am thinking about starting to offer beginner/intermediate guitar lessons and who knows what I might find there?

So...any thoughts, folks?

Cheers!

Dugly 8)

Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: Tony Raven on May 18, 2017, 09:30:25 AM
Is there a model of Cube that's able to meet the specification separate inputs for a microphone and for a single instrument? Though I'm a Roland fan, I've lost track of their amp models.

Is the Fender combo going to work with a microphone AND a guitar? I had an old guitar amp that'd do that, but then again it was MADE with the intent of running two inputs; most "two input" amps are A-or-B, period, no AND.

Besides, the setup was always at the ragged edge of squeal; guitar amps aren't optimized for microphone input, & a lo-Z (low impedange) mic would need an inline transformer.
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 18, 2017, 09:51:38 AM
I haven't really tried to find the limits of the amp, Tony...but I did plug the mic into the "clean" input (not the one with both "Gain" as well as "Volume", which I expect will be the one to use for effects..but, again, what do I know. I did manage to download and print a manual for that model, but it isn't much help.

I do believe that both the guitar and the mic will function together. The mic did work well, but IIRC I use the input with the greater impedance...but, again, I'll have to check that out and come back to this thread once I know for sure....I'm posting from work right now.

I'll also get the info on the mic....what the impedance is, that sort of thing.

Cheers...I'll be posting again once I get home from work and try the amp and mic together.

Dugly 8)

Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 19, 2017, 10:22:33 AM
Yes, the mic and the guitar both work simultaneously. I even reversed the inputs to see if that made any difference and it doesn't, so the mic will work with either "channel" and the guitar will work with either "channel". I was a bit surprised because the impedance of the two channels seems to be so different...and I have not tried either of my "electric" guitars, yet, just my Takamine and my Washburn A/E's. I did try out some of the tone controls and they do seem to make a difference in the "quality" (perhaps that should be "accuracy"??) of the guitar's sound...there is nothing that can improve my voice, though, so that's about all I can say about that!

I am still not hearing any difference when I try to add "reverb"...perhaps that will require the foot pedal? I never thought I'd need or want an amp, so I am learning all about this through trial and error as I am nearing 70 years of age (although, when asked about my age, my answer is always "Well, the protoplasm may be approaching 70, but the spirit is 32!!)....what a time to start  :o

Onward!!! Through the fog!   :P

Cheers, Tony!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: evenkeel on May 21, 2017, 01:23:12 PM
The fender amp you bought will work, but with some limitations.  Couple of observations.

Both inputs are 1/4".  The preferred option is a XLR input for the mic and a 1/4" for the guitar.  Some PA's and amps now use a combo jack that can accept a 1/4" or a XLR.  With only 1/4" jacks as an option you will have a tough time finding good quality mics.

Another limitation is the reverb control.  It controls whatever is coming out of the amp.  You cannot adjust for each channel.

The amp you purchased is really for use as a combo guitar amp, not a small PA.  It's not really set up to handle vocal and guitar.  It will work, but with pretty severe limitations.

I hate to further rain on your parade but you also overpaid.  That amp can be bought for something in the $125-$150 range.  Here is a local Cl ad for one.  Sorry Dugly.

https://baltimore.craigslist.org/msg/6092689790.html
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 21, 2017, 05:43:04 PM
Damn!!! 3rd try to respond, each time Washburn "fails to respond" and when the thread re-appears the reply has been wiped out. This is getting quite frustrating! I really am quite done trying for today, will give it a go tomorrow again  >:(

No cheers this time!!!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: evenkeel on May 22, 2017, 08:05:17 AM
Before you hit reply try highlighting the entire text, then copy (Control C).  If you get the "fails to respond", you'll at least not loose what you wrote.
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 22, 2017, 02:13:12 PM
Before you hit reply try highlighting the entire text, then copy (Control C).  If you get the "fails to respond", you'll at least not loose what you wrote.

Yeah...that works on a computer, but mine is crashed so I am doing the old "Hunt and Peck" thing with my iPhone...one finger and one letter/digit at a time. It's been an ongoing issue, though.

What I had tried to post was that it doesn't surprise me that I got a "less than desirable" product and overpaid for it...I had no idea what price would be reasonable because here in this desolate area there are no opportunities to comparison shop. Within a 100 mile radius there are three towns that would be large enough to support a music store...I saw "would" because at one time all three had music stores, but now there is only one, the store where I bought the amp. There is a music store in a town 175 miles east, but they service ONLY the marching band market. Other than that it's either Wichita (240 miles east) or Denver (300 miles west). The round trip costs of traveling those huge distances (when all I really went shopping for was a 10-hole blues harmonica) would drive the price of a used amp up to the point that "overpaying" like I did would have been the end choice, anyway. This area of the U.S. really IS desolate and the best way I can accentuate that is to mention that the nearest WalMart is 100 miles away. Yep, most people have one within 10 blocks of their house, but it takes a 200 mile round trip to go shopping at Wally-world in these here parts..... :o

Craig's List????? Not a chance, not here, not on your life.....unless you look for Craig's List in Wichita...then we're back to a 500 mile round trip journey to get anything, again. Amarillo, maybe....220 miles south. Going north there is probably not much before you get to the Canada border.

Anyway...for now this is much more amp than I will ever need. My main goal was to avoid having to buy two amps, one for vocals and another for my instrument...mission accomplished...maybe????? I did plug the Peavy mic into the two outputs and it may not be the best option, but how would I know?  I do get vocals from both channels and I can get both guitar and vocals at the same time, although I am still not knowledgeable enough to use the controls...and, of course, add in the controls on the guitars themselves and you can see how confusing it can be to someone who has had ONLY acoustic guitars all of his life...and, of course, nobody else with whom to play in the area, so nobody to help me understand how to set the controls.  There are some recommendations in the manual I downloaded, but they are all for solid-body electrics (of course, Fender would recommend their own brand of guitars), so if you have any one of about half a dozen strats you can find recommended settings for those.

All is not lost, though...I am plugging away and have finally gotten some "decent" sound out of my Epiphone Dot. The WGO26SCE doesn't sound quite right yet, no matter which channel I use...but being still somewhat overwhelmed with the multitude of controls on the amp (not to mention all those on the guitars) I am taking that "discovery" process slow. My 2005 Takamini LTD does sound pretty decent. I wouldn't know good vocal quality from this amp it it bounced off the wall and slapped me in the face, though.

It'll be a long learning process...but, as you can imagine, the "entertainment" options here are few and far between, so there is nothing to distract me from the task, so I shall plug along (no pun intended).

Cheers, Keel! Thanks for the help (seriously...I mean that sincerely...this has been a frustrating endeavor and your advice has been well appreciated, and followed to the best of my abilities).

Cheers!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: evenkeel on May 22, 2017, 04:02:33 PM
Good luck with it all Dugly.

If you decide you want to try a few other options here are some good pieces of equipment that will work well.  I would not hesitate to buy this kind of stuff online.  It's pretty cookie cutter and any of these options will perform a lot better than what you have.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fishman-Loudbox-Mini-PRO-LBX-500-60-Watt-Acoustic-Amp-FAST-FREE-SHIPPING-/252940063353?hash=item3ae4671279:g:G3wAAOSw-3FZGeJr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-Cube-ST-Cube-Street-Battery-powered-Guitar-Combo-Amplifier-Black-New/331794821593?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211623%26meid%3D341f478c37264cf3991836f5def0d812%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

FWIW I own a street cube and use it for farmers markets gigs when electricity is not available.  It works really well.  Great sound, good effects and runs a long time on 6 aa batteries.  Also runs on standard 110 volt.

For a bit more you can get a bigger version, also battery power as an option.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-AC-33-Battery-Powered-Acoustic-Guitar-Amp-Used-/182585690873?hash=item2a82f48af9:g:xYsAAOSwX9FZIat4

and one more good option from Peavey.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Peavey-Ecoustic-E208-Acoustic-Guitar-Amplifier-2-Channel-30-Watt-2-x-8-Combo-Amp-/201811902772?hash=item2efced4134:g:NugAAOSw3v5YsLtl
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: DaveTrees on May 23, 2017, 04:52:55 AM
Dugly, you seem to have forgotten Rule #1 of guitar amplifiers .....

... WHEN IN DOUBT, TURN EVERYTHING UP TO 11 !!

You're welcome  8)
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 23, 2017, 12:15:58 PM
LOL!!!! I guess I never did know Rule #1...but I won't forget it now!

I did figure out that I need a heavier pick to get a decent tonal balance...my light gauge picks do not produce enough of a "treble" signal, for lack of a better term, when I play it in a manner similar to which I play my acoustic guitars; however, when I play one of my electric guitars (an ES335 copy by Epiphone, called a "Dot") focusing more pressure on the treble strings the tonal balance improves.

It is going to be a long avenue of discovery ahead, I can tell that...but I'll always remember to turn it up to 11!


Cheers, Dave!

Dugly 8)
Title: Re: Amp now bought, asking for suggestions re: NOW what?????
Post by: YerDugliness on May 23, 2017, 12:28:34 PM
Good luck with it all Dugly.

If you decide you want to try a few other options here are some good pieces of equipment that will work well.  I would not hesitate to buy this kind of stuff online.  It's pretty cookie cutter and any of these options will perform a lot better than what you have.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Fishman-Loudbox-Mini-PRO-LBX-500-60-Watt-Acoustic-Amp-FAST-FREE-SHIPPING-/252940063353?hash=item3ae4671279:g:G3wAAOSw-3FZGeJr

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-Cube-ST-Cube-Street-Battery-powered-Guitar-Combo-Amplifier-Black-New/331794821593?_trksid=p2045573.c100505.m3226&_trkparms=aid%3D555014%26algo%3DPL.DEFAULT%26ao%3D1%26asc%3D20150817211623%26meid%3D341f478c37264cf3991836f5def0d812%26pid%3D100505%26rk%3D1%26rkt%3D1%26

FWIW I own a street cube and use it for farmers markets gigs when electricity is not available.  It works really well.  Great sound, good effects and runs a long time on 6 aa batteries.  Also runs on standard 110 volt.

For a bit more you can get a bigger version, also battery power as an option.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-AC-33-Battery-Powered-Acoustic-Guitar-Amp-Used-/182585690873?hash=item2a82f48af9:g:xYsAAOSwX9FZIat4

and one more good option from Peavey.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Peavey-Ecoustic-E208-Acoustic-Guitar-Amplifier-2-Channel-30-Watt-2-x-8-Combo-Amp-/201811902772?hash=item2efced4134:g:NugAAOSw3v5YsLtl

Thanks, Keel! I like the option of battery power, there is a local water recreation site near my home that does not have any regular form of electricity, so a battery powered amp would allow me to perform in what is a quite nice natural ampitheater-like geological formation. I have often thought that might be fun! Lots of high school and college kids frequent the place, so there would be  ready audience on almost any weekend! A friend had a "Pig-nose" amp (does that sound right?) that was rechargable, but I have lost touch with the guy and in all honesty would prefer to buy new, anyway.

Cheers!

Dugly 8)