Amp buying guide: acoustic amps

19th Dec 2012 | 09:30

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
Acoustic amps
You'll still need to plug in to play unplugged

Whether you're playing acoustic in a band or going down the singer-songwriter route, taking control of your tone should be your top priority.

Acoustic amps don't have quite the same profile as, say, the Les Paul-powering Marshalls of this world, but they do a job that's just as important. Finding an acoustic sound that cuts through a band mix, or suits your particular playing style, is a crucial part of developing a live sound.

To help you make the tough choices, we've picked five of our favourite acoustic amps on the market , ranging from under £250 to over £1000. There's something here for every acoustic player no matter the sound or the budget...

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
Vox AGA30
£239/$387 (approx)

With more limited headroom than many acoustic amps, this might help the recording acoustic player wanting a dirtier voice as an antidote to the often over-pristine sounds of the modern steel string.

TYPE: Solid-state acoustic combo

OUTPUT: 30 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x6.5”

WEIGHT: 6.5kg/14.3lbs

Full Vox AGA30 review

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
Carlsbro Sherwood II 30R
£289/$465 (approx)

The Sherwood exhibits an older-sounding, more narrow frequency response that might help to create rootsier acoustic tones. Overall, it’s a credible amp for small gigs and practice sessions.

TYPE: Solid-state acoustic combo

OUTPUT: 2x 15 watts

SPEAKERS: 2x6”

WEIGHT: 15kg/33lbs

Full Carlsbro Sherwood II 30R review

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
Fishman Loudbox Artist
£649/$1050 (approx)

This is an attractive package aimed squarely at the small venue musician. But hooked up to a PA, the sky’s the limit. It’s highly intuitive in use and the dual effects offer more than enough for most acoustic players.

TYPE: Solid-state acoustic combo

OUTPUT: 120 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x8”/1x1” tweeter

WEIGHT: 11.6kg/25.5lbs

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
Trace Acoustic TA200
£1,225/$1987 (approx)

Here is a quality-sounding amp with more than enough performance features and effects with excellent feedback rejection and the power and spread to fill a small venue before you need to hook it up to a PA.

TYPE: Solid-state acoustic combo

OUTPUT: 200 watts

SPEAKERS: 4x5”

WEIGHT: 9kg/19.84lbs

Full Trace Acoustic TA200 review

Amp buying guide: acoustic amps
AER Compact XL
£1,249/$2025 (approx)

A supercharged Compact 60, the XL adds bulk, weight, and a substantial cost, but it just keeps giving you clean power after the 60 reaches its limit. The XL ensures you’ll be heard: clearly.

TYPE: Solid-state acoustic combo

OUTPUT: 200 watts

SPEAKERS: 1x8”/ 1x1” tweeter

WEIGHT: 10.6kg/23.3lbs

Full AER Compact XL review

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