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  #1  
Old 03-28-2008, 09:52 AM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
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Default $500ish amps

Ultrasound AG-50DS4
Fishman Loudbox 100
Genz Benz Shenandoah 60
Hartke AC150

I'd been secretly researching amps until the other night when the Mrs. asked if I could borrow an amp for a violinist whose coming in May to do a couple shows here in town and needs one for his instrument and his voice.

"Well, you know I've been wanting an amp for myself..."

So I'm going to take my Larrivee parlor with the new K&K mini to GC and listen to the Fishman, and I think I've seen a dusty old Ultrasound in the local acoustic music store, but the Benz and the Harke will go unplayed.

Because I have cats, the later two (with the metal grills) are actually kind of appealing. Anyone care to comment on them?
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  #2  
Old 03-28-2008, 11:12 AM
KyCabnetMkr KyCabnetMkr is offline
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I've played a Taylor GSe thru a Fishman loudbox 100 and wasn't entirely impressed with the plugged in tone. It could've been the ES, but I'm definitely more pleased with my Ultrasound AG50DS2 and the only way I'd ever get rid of it would be if I were finding a Pendulum SPS-1 on the cheap! I have played thru other Genz Benz amps and didn't find it too incredibly appealing to me. But as always, play thru each amp as much as you can and you'll probably find your ideal plugged in tone. Also, I have a cover for my AG50DS2 that I think I picked up off guitar adoptions and that has kept my amp looking very good for a couple years now.
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  #3  
Old 03-28-2008, 05:42 PM
buzzardwhiskey buzzardwhiskey is offline
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Default Wow - I learned a thing or two

I guess maybe I'm a bit snobbish. I see all the new acoustic amp manufacturers like Fishman with their cool new ideas and I think, "Wow, they must really be onto something"!

So I took my little Larrivee parlor with it's K&K mini and pure preamp down to the GC and spent some time with four amps. Here's my surprising (to me) write-up:

Fishman Loudbox Performer: I must say, I wanted to like this one the most. To me, it looks really cool. But that's not what happened. Frankly, I never did get a good sound out of it. It always sounded drum-tight, pinched and feedback-ready. It fed-back a lot! No warmth. This was my first mid-price amp and I was thinking "well, maybe my little guitar just isn't going to be a good candidate for amping".

But I did move on...

Roland AC 60: I have a tiny bit of experience with this one. A friend has one to amp his Larrivee jumbo. So I kind of liked the idea of getting one too. But no go. Again, I couldn't get a nice tone going. It was very "dark" and muted. It didn't feedback, but it just didn't inspire at all.

So I moved on again...

Marshall AS100D: I was against this from the start. A Marshal acoustic amp? Isn't Marshal all about head bangers? I was wrong. This was very easy to plug in and get good sound quickly. No feedback. The effects were the best of the set. But I did recognize that the sound was maybe a little colored. I don't know if it was too warm - but I can see how others might.

And then finally...

Fender Acoustasonic SFX II: Ooops... Play baby play. I just wanted to sit there and jam. Smooth, effortless sound pressure with no feedback. Great clarity with good warmth and dynamics. The effects are not as good the Marshall, but they're OK.

Anyway, there it is. I didn't have time to drive over to the other store for some time on an Ultrasound or Genz Benz, but I look forward to it.
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  #4  
Old 03-28-2008, 06:20 PM
BuleriaChk BuleriaChk is offline
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Try the Behringer (ACX450, etc.) acoustic amps (under $300). Very nice amps, compare favorably with amps twice the price....
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2008, 01:04 PM
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I just picked up an Ultrasound AG-50DS4 from a fellow AGFer for $350, in perfect shape, and am very happy with it! Great sound, light weight, easy to use, and when I need more decibels, I can always plug it into to other equipment. I like it better for my purposes than anything else I've tried, and that's been a lot. (Especially good at that price!)

cotten
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Old 03-30-2008, 08:03 AM
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Nelson Nelson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cotten View Post
I just picked up an Ultrasound AG-50DS4 from a fellow AGFer for $350, in perfect shape, and am very happy with it! Great sound, light weight, easy to use, and when I need more decibels, I can always plug it into to other equipment. I like it better for my purposes than anything else I've tried, and that's been a lot. (Especially good at that price!)

cotten
My Ultrasound is an older AG50DS2 but as far as tone and basic features it's identical to what Cotten just bought. I flat out love it. The cleanest, most transparent tone of any amp on your list that I've played.

I've tried the Fishman, the Roland, the Marshall, and the Fender. Ultrasound is simply the best of those amps as far as tone and transparency. I've not had any volume issues because like Cotten, when I want more juice I am usually at church or in a larger setting where I can go from the amp to the house.

Also, in those settings I'll often break out my Ultrasound DI Plus direct box. Same tone and transparency as the amp but in a 3lb size. It has everything the amps have as far as control and featues except no EFX. Just an efx loop. This little box actually has more headroom than their amps.

You're going to be imressed with how well these amps are built and how good your guitar will sound through it. I play both an ES and non-Es Taylor through both my amp and DI Plus. They do a great job.
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  #7  
Old 03-30-2008, 08:59 AM
Rreitzel Rreitzel is offline
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I have to chime in about the Ultrasounds. Play through one and hear for yourself.
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2008, 03:31 PM
Muzikman Muzikman is offline
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anyone tried a CRATE CA125DG TELLURIDE 2X8" ACOUSTIC GUITAR AMPLIFIER?
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2008, 06:17 PM
davidnkatensue davidnkatensue is offline
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SWR Strawberry Blonde...

http://www.swrsound.com/products/sea...tno=4460400010

Have you considered this? I recently purchased one and I really think it sounds great. These can also be had for about $500. Just a thought.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2008, 08:04 PM
biggs2 biggs2 is offline
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I have an SWR California Blonde II, a big brother to the Strawberry Blonde. Both are great amps and have a very unique, and IMHO, had an "older" amp sound. Some even say that the tweeter may be a bit harsh. What I really like about an SWR is the ability to dial-in a desireable tone. I have 5 different guitars with 3 different preamps, including a classical guitar with a built-in tube pre. I also have with two mando's that I mic through this amp. Is it the most natural sounding amp? Probably not. But I think it is one of the most versatile amps.

Both the SWR Straberry Blond and the Cali Blonde deserve a look. Good luck in your search.
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  #11  
Old 03-31-2008, 08:36 PM
bbasile777 bbasile777 is offline
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I have the Genz Benz Shen 60. I give it a thumbs up for sound. It has several effects, chorus, reverb sounds, halls, delays, chourus. I like the headphone feature.

There are 2 channels. But you cant seperate the effects for each channel.
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  #12  
Old 04-01-2008, 09:17 AM
steamfurnace steamfurnace is offline
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I have been playing electric rhythm guitar in a classic rock band for quite a while now. I just booked my first solo acoustic gig for May. Most of my amplification gear is for electric, so I'm wondering if I should pick up one of the above recommended amps to use with my Taylor 414ce, or can I get by with my Yamaha EMX880 pa head, a chorus pedal, and My Carvin speakers? It's an outdoor covered patio area, seating about 50-75 people.
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  #13  
Old 04-01-2008, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamfurnace View Post
I have been playing electric rhythm guitar in a classic rock band for quite a while now. I just booked my first solo acoustic gig for May. Most of my amplification gear is for electric, so I'm wondering if I should pick up one of the above recommended amps to use with my Taylor 414ce, or can I get by with my Yamaha EMX880 pa head, a chorus pedal, and My Carvin speakers? It's an outdoor covered patio area, seating about 50-75 people.
How much stuff do you want to haul to this gig? To me simpler is better.
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  #14  
Old 04-01-2008, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steamfurnace View Post
...can I get by with my Yamaha EMX880 pa head, a chorus pedal, and My Carvin speakers? It's an outdoor covered patio area, seating about 50-75 people.
I think you can most definitely get by with what you have, quite nicely. But what Nelson said about keeping things light and simple is true for many of us. The deciding factors are your preferences and your pocketbook.

cotten
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2008, 07:07 AM
steamfurnace steamfurnace is offline
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Thanks for the replies. I agree, the less I have to haul, the better for this old back. Do you think one of the Carvins on a stand will be sufficient? Each cabinet has a 15" woofer and a horn tweeter.
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