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Author Topic: Acoustic Guitar Amp vs Vocal Amp  (Read 11897 times)
ark
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« on: August 16, 2008, 09:49:38 PM »

I was told by a salesman in the local Guitar Center that an acoustic guitar amp was probably not suitable for use as a vocal amp because they are designed for different purposes. I had not thought about that before. I can see if one has dialed in Effects of some type, eg, reverb, that would likely not work well with voice. Effects aside, are there other considerations that make the acoustic guitar amp not the best for voice -- intended frequency range, for example?
Thx,
Al
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sdelsolray
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2008, 09:55:06 PM »

Most acoustic amps are designed for both acoustic guitar and vocals.  A few are not.
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flatlander
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2008, 11:14:55 PM »

There's folks on here that keep up with amps better than I do but I can say there seems to be quite a few acoustic amps out there
and some not too pricey that would work fine. It seems most have an xlr input for mics and on seperate channels so you can EQ voice seperately. The reverb would be a good thing for vocals to your taste. I don't put reverb on my acoustic myself. Hopefully the eq could be controled at chan level. Do a little research on web and you'll have no problem finding something to meet your needs.
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2008, 11:34:10 PM »

I know this is a gross generalization, but I wouldn't put too much stock in the advice you'd get from someone at a Guitar Center. While GC can provide some great prices on items, they're not the go-to place for experts.

That being said, I'm no expert either. However, like the others have pointed out, many acoustic guitar amps include a separate channel specifically for vocals. Now, I wouldn't plan on playing guitar and singing through one acoustic amp in anything bigger than a really small room. It might be pushing things a bit for the amp and not sound the greatest.

You know, like so many things, it all depends on what your intentions are. Why are you amplifying things?

Just for practice? Then go ahead.

An intimate performance in a small, and relatively quiet, room? Go for it.

A performance in a bustling coffee shop? Mmm...no, probably not going to cut it. Might need to mic the amp or just run vocals and guitar through a PA.

In a bar with a band? Most definitely not. Vocals and guitar through the house PA would be best.

I have an SWR California Blonde II. It has separate inputs/channels/EQ's for guitar and vocals. I use it mainly for rehearsal with my band. I use it on stage sometimes if monitoring is bad and run a direct line from the back of the amp into the house PA. I never run vocals and guitar through it in a full band performance. I've used it at informal solo acoustic gigs. It's a great amp, but these things are not built to replace a PA system.
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ark
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« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2008, 01:53:00 AM »

Thanks all for the info. Your advice is generally what I had always assumed, although I had not given it much conscience thought.

I've been looking for a small acoustic amp with both a 1/4" and XLR input (with 48v phantom power). Cost limit is about $300 which significantly limits the field ( at least for new amps). I may end up with a Crate CA30DG which has two 1/4" inputs.

I also saw a 30W amp at GC by Acoustic, the AG30, I think. According to the GC folks, Acoustic has been mainly known for bass amps, but is getting back into the regular guitar amp business. I've tried to find their web site, but no luck so far. Trying to search on Acoustic, the company, vs the general use of the word is a bit of a challenge.
 
Thx again for your ideas,
Al
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bayoubengal
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« Reply #5 on: August 17, 2008, 02:02:01 AM »

I don't want to speak for flatlander, but he recently bought this and has been happy with it:

http://www.bobbrozman.com/ra400.html  (Bob Brozman reso-acoustic 400)

It is designed by Bob Brozman for both vocals and acoustic and/or reso guitars. It has three XLR channels and up to eight total channels (you share some channels with two 1/4 jacks). 400 watts of power that is designed to fill up a 300 person room. It is pricey though ($1750 if you get it through Brozman).

He talks about his experiences on another thread. I'll try to find it.    
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« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2008, 02:06:29 AM »

Here is that thread I was discussing:

http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=21650.0
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« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2008, 03:26:58 AM »

I didn't mention it cause it sounds like way over kill for what they are trying to do. I wouldn't even recommend until they learn more
about amps, PA's ect. Too much money when you've got things to learn about.
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« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2008, 07:13:24 AM »

Flatlander, you're right. I missed the $300 limit described earlier.  blush
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« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2008, 05:26:04 PM »

Another possibility is Carvin's acoustic amp with three channels and considerably more power. It can be found for about three biils.

I play with a violin and cello, and have used a Fender Passport 150 watt system in a room with up to a hundred people successfully (background music). Again, used being in the three bill range.

Just some alternatives.
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« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2008, 04:47:12 PM »

Also as alternatives:

Keyboard amplifiers.  They usually have a mic input (not phantom power however), and have nice and flat frequency response.

But they don't come in brown vinyl with tweed speaker cover cloth - which is what seems to distinguish acoustic guitar amplifiers apart from keyboard amplifiers.
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 01:40:33 AM »

If price is a consideration, you might look around on the used market for a pre-dsp Fender acoustisonic 30.  It's got both xlr and 1/4 on separate channels, footswitch and line out inputs, a very clean sound.  It's portable, and I got mine for $175.

Good luck in your search.

DDD
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« Reply #12 on: August 23, 2008, 09:35:58 AM »

Not to confuse the issue anymore than needed but for acoustic and vocal multi use products some of the best sound reproduction is really much more affordable in the PA/Monitor products available now. Many are basically fully self contained Pa's with very wide frequency coverage and most are EQ able that rivals performance of acoustic amps at 2&3 times the price.

Many if not most, acoustic players are going to run through the house board when possible and if their amp is used at all, it is usually for monitoring. Today's powered PA speakers can represent a much better buy if the player is looking for clarity and function (pay attention to the low freq response range with these). Here is a good example (Yamaha MSR100), you mentioned GC, they stock these as well as many other brands, unfortunately you need to compete with the boom boom of the live sound room to actually try 'em. They may move one into the sound booth if you are insistant.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Yamaha-MSR100-8--Powered-Speaker-102466851-i1152891.gc

OMO 

I just sold my Fisman Loudbox performer and ordered up 2 of the Tapco Thump speakers that'll run thru my K&K/XLR to my Mackie mixer and out to them.

http://www.tapcoworld.com/products/thump15a/index.html


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