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View Full Version : Is there an amp that is good for both acoustic and electric?


crgraham32
05-09-2011, 09:29 AM
I have a Taylor 410ce and I am thinking about picking up a Stratocaster or a Telecaster. I would like to get an amp that would be usable for both. It doesn't have to be really big, it would primarily be used for practice, but I might use it for smaller performances every once in a while as well. Is there such a thing?

Gypsyblue
05-09-2011, 09:33 AM
I have a Taylor 410ce and I am thinking about picking up a Stratocaster or a Telecaster. I would like to get an amp that would be usable for both. It doesn't have to be really big, it would primarily be used for practice, but I might use it for smaller performances every once in a while as well. Is there such a thing?

I'm working on it with Bruce Collins of Mission Amps in Denver, Colorado. We've been working on the normal channel of a Fender Vibrolux Reverb Amp and trying to revoice it to sound great with my K&K pickups. It already sounds good with undersaddle pickups but it's not possible to get the sound I want with the K&K's. Surprisingly, it needs a lot more midrange. I originally thought less midrange but it needs more. I'm serious about this, BTW. Been working on it for a few months now.

GBC

Herb Hunter
05-09-2011, 09:42 AM
I'm only aware of one company that makes an amplifier designed to amplify both electric and acoustic guitars; it is Rivera whose three Sedona models are designed for both. They are expensive however.

http://www.rivera.com/index.php/products/combos/142

The demands of an electric guitar and a pickup equipped acoustic guitar are very different so with the exception of the Sedona, a majority of acoustic guitarists would only be satisfied with an amp designed specifically for a acoustic guitar amplification and most electric guitarists would only settle for an electric guitar amp.

Electric guitar amps have a limited frequency response, high distortion and are designed to add tone (color). An acoustic guitar needs a wider frequency response that is flat (uncolored), low distortion and a wider dynamic range.

crgraham32
05-09-2011, 09:42 AM
That sounds great!

I wonder if anyone has found an amp that is already out there that might work in the meantime? I don't have to have anything that is perfect, but I would like to be able to use it for both guitars and have it sound reasonably good.

mchalebk
05-09-2011, 09:43 AM
Most amps will not work well for both acoustic and electric. There are some amps specifically designed for both, but they tend to be pricey.

If you do want to make this work, I would recommend checking out some modeling amps/preamps. You can get a pretty darn good electric sound out of an acoustic amp with a modeling preamp (like the Line6 Pod). It doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for me.

Gypsyblue
05-09-2011, 09:45 AM
I'm only aware of one company that makes an amplifier designed to amplify both electric and acoustic guitars; it is Rivera whose three Sedona models are designed for both. They are expensive however.

http://www.rivera.com/index.php/products/combos/142

The demands of an electric guitar and a pickup equipped acoustic guitar are very different so with the exception of the Sedona, a majority of acoustic guitarists would only be satisfied with an amp designed specifically for a acoustic guitar amplification and most electric guitarists would only settle for an electric guitar amp.

Only diff really is the voicing of the tone stack and that acoustic guitarists like to hear a tweeter. A tweeter can be turned off and on and if an amp has two channels one can be voiced for acoustic guitar and one for electric.

It can be done...we're working on it. ;)

GBC

crgraham32
05-09-2011, 10:23 AM
Most amps will not work well for both acoustic and electric. There are some amps specifically designed for both, but they tend to be pricey.

If you do want to make this work, I would recommend checking out some modeling amps/preamps. You can get a pretty darn good electric sound out of an acoustic amp with a modeling preamp (like the Line6 Pod). It doesn't work for everyone, but it does work for me.

Which Pod and amp combo are you using? This sounds interesting to me.

bigsnaketex
05-09-2011, 11:08 AM
Now I'm not a PRO-fesisional Geetarist..........but I play a lot.

I have a Berringer 85 watt set up for my acoustic and mic but I plug my SG, Telecaster, Les Paul as well as my archtop into it and it sounds fine.

I'm sure it's not nearly as bright as a purely electric amp/head set up for electric guitars - but it does just fine for me!

So if you don't want to spring for both........get an acoustic amp and whale away!!

jricc
05-09-2011, 11:18 AM
Only diff really is the voicing of the tone stack and that acoustic guitarists like to hear a tweeter. A tweeter can be turned off and on and if an amp has two channels one can be voiced for acoustic guitar and one for electric.

It can be done...we're working on it. ;)

GBC

Cool, I'm pulling for you! Let us know as soon as you have it finished.

kscobie8
05-09-2011, 11:55 AM
I've used my Roland AC-60 with my 335 and strat copies with decent results. It takes overdrive and other effects pedals pretty well. So it might be worth a shot for you. If you have electric amp/effects modeler such as one of the Digitech or Boss units I would imagine you could get some really nice sounds going on the electric side. But I think I would lean towards starting with an acoustic amp. The nice thing about the AC-60 is that it doesn't have a tweeter, so with an overdriven electric sound you won't some of those shrill highs blasting through.

Just my .02. :)


Bel isi,
-kyle

mchalebk
05-09-2011, 12:12 PM
Which Pod and amp combo are you using? This sounds interesting to me.

I've got two different acoustic amps I've done this with, a Carvin AG100 and an AER Compact 60. Both work well. If also running to a PA, I prefer the AER because it has a line out that is pre-master (so I can turn the amp up without affecting the line out). If only using the amp, I prefer the larger speaker of the Carvin.

As far as which Pod, my answer will likely come as a surprise: the Bass Pod. Huh? I bought a Bass Pod because I had a bass with really low output and it didn't drive my amp enough (I was using the AG100 as a bass amp). While reading through the manual, I noticed that one of the amps they modeled was a classic Fender Bassman, which happened to be one of the most popular guitar amps of all time. I decided to try my electrics through it and got a really nice sound. I've thought about getting a newer Pod designed for guitar, but I don't play out with electric much and this gets the job done.

Funkmaster P
05-09-2011, 12:34 PM
I have been doing exclusively solo acoustic for several years, but my buddy needed a lead player for his group last week, so I agreed to play the date. I happened to have a Roland microcube lying around and also my Loudbox Mini, so I cobbled this rig together for the gig.

I was not prepared to be impressed by the sound at all, but I was. It had plenty of volume for my monitoring purposes, as I took the line out of the Mini to the board.

Other times, I have taken my solid body electric and plugged it directly into the LB mini and was blown away by the inspiring clean sound I was getting. The reverb, chorus and the generous low end made me want to play it for hours.

There have been a number of people that have said "never put an electric guitar through an acoustic amp, because it will never sound good". Up until now, I haven't put my $.02 in about the subject. I say listen to every setup you possibly can, including the ones people say won't work. You may very well be surprised. Good luck!

EverythingMusic
05-09-2011, 12:38 PM
This is going to sound odd, but check out the Fender Bassman TV amps. If I could only own one amp, that would probably be it.

Pnewsom
05-10-2011, 12:55 PM
You might be surprised, but my little Princeton(64' Blackface/White Knob) sounds fantastic for my acoustics, either with a Fishman Infinity or an M1 pickup. I use a Fishman ProEQ for best results, though straight in works well too. Any loss in the high frequency range seems to go un noticed, and the vibrance and thrust of leaning into a low wattage tube amp really seems to work with an acoustic guitar. I simply throw a mike in front(if needed) for some help from the pa. It has made me rethink the how to best amplify acoustic guitars.

It sounds spectacular with electric guitars as well.

steveyam
05-10-2011, 01:15 PM
It's a straightforward contradiction in terms. An amp for an electric is designed to add colouration and tone etc to enhance and amplify the sound of an electric guitar. An amp for an acoustic guitar needs to be distortion free, massive dynamic range, clean and have a flat frequency response.

There is an easy way to do it however. Get a Bose compact:

http://www.bose.com/controller?url=/shop_online/speakers/portable_amplification_systems/l1_compact/index.jsp

You can play the acoustic directly into it and it will sound amazing, and just get a modeller to use with the electric. The sound of the Bose is so flat (as in frequency response not overall 'tone' or sonic 'goodness') that it works just great with a modeller with amp and speaker sims dialed in. I suggest the Boss GT8 as these are available quite cost effectively S/H on Ebay, and they sound great. So, the Bose package is ultra light, ultra quick to set up, and has excellent spread.

Rick Jones
05-10-2011, 01:33 PM
If you can find a '70's Sound City valve PA head....the ones with one tone stack and 4 jack inputs....then you have an awesome amp for both.

They have huge, heavy Partridge transformers that give a very full range sound, and the valves give a great roundness to the clean sound.
If you push it with an overdrive pedal and an electric, you will be amazed how cool it sounds!

I actually use a Fender twin amp sometimes, not a twin, a 'twin amp'. I send the magnetic portion of my dual source into it, then take an xlr from the DI out in the back to the pa for even dispersal...then my K&K goes straight to the PA. Sounds huge!!

crowhue
05-10-2011, 02:13 PM
Now I'm not a PRO-fesisional Geetarist..........but I play a lot.

I have a Berringer 85 watt set up for my acoustic and mic but I plug my SG, Telecaster, Les Paul as well as my archtop into it and it sounds fine.

I'm sure it's not nearly as bright as a purely electric amp/head set up for electric guitars (http://www.gtrmusic.co.uk)- but it does just fine for me!

So if you don't want to spring for both........get an acoustic amp and whale away!!

I wouldnt have thought you would get much of an electric tone, particularly the natural broken up warm sound.

Junglejem
05-10-2011, 02:58 PM
I'm using a Phil Jones Bass AG300 Acoustic Super Cub with a Gibson J-200, a Rickenbacker 330/12 and a Fender Strat. The AG 300 is a two channel amp, one of which they advertise as being "voice for electric." I don't know. It is designed as an acoustic amp, but the electrics sound great through it, especially the Rickenbacker 12 string. It takes pedals well, and has some on-board effects.

BuleriaChk
05-10-2011, 03:05 PM
I recommend the Boss BR series multitrack recorders as a front end, especially the BR-800, which allows you to separate the rhythm track from the guitar/voice channels. Used with any PA or acoustic amp.

Lots of other features, but the guitar models in the BR-800 are from the GT-10, and are excellent. But you can get the BR-600 and the BR-900CD inexpensively on EBay (I have both available, if interested, each with 1 Gb (the max) flash cards. Drop me an e-mail at BuleriaChk "a" aol "dot" com... The guitar models are from the GT-6 (BR-600) or the GT-Pro (BR-900)