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View Full Version : Best acoustic guitar amp under $500.00


joey777
08-29-2006, 05:29 PM
I am looking for an amp for acoustic guitar. The amps I have been looking at are:

Ultrasound AG-50DS3 Acoustic Amp
Roland AC-60
Genz Benz
SWR CAL

I really don't need two channels but really not a problem. I would mainly be using this for home use and recording. I need a amp that is dead quite that has a pure acoustic sound with a nice bottom end.

cpmusic
08-29-2006, 05:31 PM
I'd go with the Ultrasound. The others are good, from what I hear, but I think Ultrasound has tonal transparency down to a fine art.

MikeGates
08-29-2006, 05:55 PM
I've seen quite a few ads for Ultrasound amps in the classifieds. Maybe you'd like one down there. Give it a look.

schizorage
08-29-2006, 06:32 PM
Marshall AS50R
Roland AC-60 (are they 4 or 599 now?)

Those are the only two acoustic amps ive played that I liked... i own the former.

I also played an SWR Strawberry Blonde, but that's outta your range.

joey777
08-29-2006, 07:11 PM
I would spend the extra cash for a better amp but it would have to be MUCH better. I would love to get a Rivera Sedona from what I hear but thats too much money for what I have in mind.

CamelbackCinema
08-29-2006, 11:25 PM
I vote Roland AC-60. For less than 500, you get 2 channels, 60 watts, tilt stand, amp cover, phantom power, boss effects and ability to put on PA stand. Amazing value. After the Roland, I whole heartily put faith in Ultrasound products.

ljguitar
08-29-2006, 11:47 PM
...I need a amp that is dead quite that has a pure acoustic sound with a nice bottom end.
Hi Joey...
The best amp I've ever played was an AER - the model that is about $1500. It was awesome. I own two UltraSound amps - an AG-30 and an AG-50.

An amplifier which meets all your requirements
-home use
-only one channel
-some recording
-dead quiet and a good low end
is the humble UltraSound AG-30. When I only need a single channel, this is what I carry. It is a great stage amp as well, and I've used mine in the middle of bands with the volume control on 6 (it goes to ten).

Also, the UltraSounds are one of the only amps I've ever owned that 6 is louder than 5, 7 is louder than 6, 8 is louder than 7 - all the way to 10. I've never pushed it to distortion, but I have pushed it to my pain threshold...once.

joey777
08-30-2006, 10:41 AM
Thanks guys for your input. Does the AG-30 have the same circuitry like the AG-50DS3 without the 2 channels? I know the AG-50DS3 also has 16 digital effects. Are they worth the extra money or is it better to use external effects?

Herb Hunter
08-30-2006, 11:06 AM
While I don't understand why one would need an acoustic guitar amp at home or for recording, given the price limit you stated, I'd prefer one of these to a guitar amp: Carvin PM15A powered speaker. 2-way with 15" speaker. 3 dB down at 60 Hz. 350 watts of biamped power. Well below $500.

http://www.carvin.com/products/single.php?ItemNumber=1540A&CID=APS

The Carvin S400D, also below your price limit, is an interesting alternative.

http://carvin.com/products/single.php?ItemNumber=S400&CID=SYS1

joey777
08-30-2006, 11:55 AM
Hey Herb...I sometime use a guitar amp for recording with a mic for a different sound instead of going direct. Also I may take my amp out once in a while and weight is a factor. Usually I use the house PA and a smaller amp for a personal monitor. I see your point about getting more for your money but I have to have a quite amp and I am not so sure about the Carvin. Really can't demo a Carvin before you buy. I did played though a Carvin AG-100G before and the transformer went bad in a few days. I guess that could happen with any brand. Do you have personal experience with the Carvin Pa 1540a you suggested?? Is it quite?? It does seem overkill for my needs.

ljguitar
08-30-2006, 12:05 PM
Thanks guys for your input. Does the AG-30 have the same circuitry like the AG-50DS3 without the 2 channels? I know the AG-50DS3 also has 16 digital effects. Are they worth the extra money or is it better to use external effects?
Hi Joey...
Same designs.

I don't think the extra money for effects is warranted, but I don't use effects. If you are one to use effects, the internal ones sound fine.

sharkydude50
08-30-2006, 01:57 PM
+1 for the AG50DS3.

joey777
08-30-2006, 04:06 PM
Hey Larry.. I usually don't use effects but once in a while a little reverb is nice:)

Herb Hunter
08-30-2006, 04:26 PM
Hey Herb...I sometime use a guitar amp for recording with a mic for a different sound instead of going direct. Also I may take my amp out once in a while and weight is a factor. Usually I use the house PA and a smaller amp for a personal monitor. I see your point about getting more for your money but I have to have a quite amp and I am not so sure about the Carvin. Really can't demo a Carvin before you buy. I did played though a Carvin AG-100G before and the transformer went bad in a few days. I guess that could happen with any brand. Do you have personal experience with the Carvin Pa 1540a you suggested?? Is it quite?? It does seem overkill for my needs.

I own a Carvin mixer, two Carvin power amps and, until I gave it to my nephew, a Carvin DC200 guitar. The poweramps and mixer are very quiet. You could call them and ask what the signal to noise ratio is for the PM15A. Also, they have a ten day return policy.

joey777
08-30-2006, 09:31 PM
Thanks Herb

joey777
09-03-2006, 10:47 AM
Anyone using the Fishman amps?

Lake
09-03-2006, 11:39 AM
I have a crate ca 60 and I think it makes lot of "hissss". Your amps are clear as hi-fi or makes to much hiss too? I like the AER but itīs much more expensive.

joey777
09-05-2006, 02:13 PM
Does nobody use Fishman amps? I am leaning towards the Ultrasound amps but would like any comments on the Fishman line bad or good.

james55
09-05-2006, 02:27 PM
My Ultrasound AG50DS3 does have a slight hiss at higher volumes, but I believe it is due to the ES on my Taylor 814CE and not the amp.

heros57
09-07-2006, 06:16 AM
Trace Elliot,TA-100r . Equally good for vocals and guitar. Alot of in and out options , alesis effects , phatom power , and the only amp I know of that can be bought used at 1/3rd of the street price for a new one. I'm talkin a killer sound ,more like a small pa than an acoustic amp . It's not uncommon to find one in mint condition for 3 to 4 hundred while new , your looking at around $1000.00 ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,FWIW..........Don

Thin Crust
09-07-2006, 03:53 PM
There's an Ultrasound in the classified section that's a steal!

Raystrack
09-13-2006, 07:45 PM
I have played several over the years including the Marshall range and the old Brit's favourite - Trace Elliott.

I have settled on a Laney A1 65w combo. A friend has the AER 60 and is pretty miffed because mine sounds as good at half the price Ģ200 ($377). It has several nice effects on board plus notch, three band eq and compression: also a second channel for microphone for small gigs.

http://www.mveducation.com/invt/28170/

The above add is for specs only, being an educational supplier.

joey777
09-16-2006, 10:35 AM
I don't think the Laney has a foot switch to turn on and off the effects does it? I think they are either on all the time or off. Am I wrong?

JOE

guitarded6
09-16-2006, 11:47 AM
I recently moved from a Genz Benz Shenandoah to AER... whatever you get now is only going to be temporary... I loved the GB... the AER is the only way to go

woodyboyd
09-16-2006, 04:09 PM
Behringer ACX1000 $259.00

I know your thinking...Joke.

do the A/B

do the math

no joke.

smorgdonkey
09-16-2006, 04:12 PM
Why not use a couple of powered monitors and a stereo output of some sort?

Example:
Yamaha MS10 (pair)
Rockman stereo chorus/delay

...old and good...

joey777
09-17-2006, 06:00 AM
Good point smorgdonkey. I may go that way. Looking into every option so I don't have to buy twice. But will probably go a little bigger than the Yamaha's.

smorgdonkey
09-18-2006, 01:36 PM
will probably go a little bigger than the Yamaha's.

Probably a good idea...then it would translate into a great live rig as well if you are so inclined! More $$ probably though...hey...spend now or spend later right?

jamison162
09-18-2006, 09:31 PM
Behringer ACX1000 $259.00

I know your thinking...Joke.

do the A/B

do the math

no joke.

Yeah, I was blown away by a Behringer "V-Tone" modeling amp.
Cheap, piece 'a crap...but dang it sounds good. Pretty much nails my Classic 30 tone. Cleans are so, so.

mojito
09-18-2006, 09:43 PM
My Ultrasound AG50DS3 does have a slight hiss at higher volumes, but I believe it is due to the ES on my Taylor 814CE and not the amp.


I have the AG50DS2 that I use with my Taylor 614CE ES equipped and have never noticed any hiss at all at any volume. I use the balanced XLR cable, is that what you are using too?