Small Amp / PA


I'm mulling over a small acoustic amp / PA.  I currently have 2 electric amps (5E3 and PRRI), but would like to do more acoustic and as I do backing vocals would use it as a personal monitor.  So am looking at swapping the PRRI.

I play mainly in an acousticish band anyway, I usually play cleanish electric with this through my amp, which isn't micced up.  Vocals go straight to a single PA speaker (which is usually out front, so not great for monitoring, but volumes are lowish so it's not a massive issue).

So I'd like something to fulfil the following:-

-Good acoustic guitar sound (I currently use a Fishman UST and IR's through a Helix, but will change to either a Seymour Duncan Mag Mic or K&K mini)

-Good for vocals, nice monitor or small audience sound.

-Okay for electric guitar - I may on accation want to use the Helix through it.  I play mainly cleam, Jazz, Blues, Country, Reggae etc.

-Reasonably small, lightweight.  Versatile mounting / positioning.

So currently looking at:-

AER Compact 60 - Probably best guitar sound, most compact.  Expensive, not sure on vocal sound.
Bose S1 - All rounder, has vocal and guitar settings, versatile I/O.  More powerful than AER.
Yamaha DXR8 - Most powerful, but less acoustic guitar orientated.  Heavier but more robust.

Thoughts?
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Comments

  • John_PJohn_P Frets: 2349
    HK era amps are excellent imo  
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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 4153
    AER60 for vocals is superb. If you need more power - you need a PA ;)

    And AER has a DI Out XLR connection so you can still use it for monitoring.
    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 43195
    I would also recommend looking at the Acus One range - kind of like an Italian AER :).

    I've got the original 6 model (discontinued now I think) and to me it sounds better than the AER Compact 60 while being in the same general ballpark. I find it a slightly more natural and neutral sound, more like a small PA. I like the AERs too, but they can sound a bit 'overly enhanced', if you know what I mean...

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • TCatTCat Frets: 24
    heard a martin d18 through a fishman (performer ??…….the big one... I think 120 watt?? ) acoustic amp at a gig just a few days ago...…….I own a d18 and was impressed by the sound.....it captured what I thought were the perfect tones of my own guitar...…...trouble is, everyone's ears are different so I would try as many as possible. I have played a friends AER, and while OK, I didn't think it was twice as good as amps that cost half the price ??   Getting consistant high quality acoustic sounds is difficult...….take your time.
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  • menamestommenamestom Frets: 2850
    TCat said:
    heard a martin d18 through a fishman (performer ??…….the big one... I think 120 watt?? ) acoustic amp at a gig just a few days ago...…….I own a d18 and was impressed by the sound.....it captured what I thought were the perfect tones of my own guitar...…...trouble is, everyone's ears are different so I would try as many as possible. I have played a friends AER, and while OK, I didn't think it was twice as good as amps that cost half the price ??   Getting consistant high quality acoustic sounds is difficult...….take your time.
    Thanks.  I used to have a Fishman Loudbox artist that sounded good, but didn’t use it much at the time, so ended up selling it.
    The main issue with it was the covering which was like paper, marked/ripped so easy, but I believe they have changed it now.
    I tried an AER years ago and it was very clinical and showed up the pickup short comigns, I can imagine it would sound much better
    With a decent pickup and that clarity can work for you.  The Fishman was a little more amp like, but sounded good.
    Could look at another one of those.  I do like the stand mount and size of the AER though.  But double the cost…..
    ICBM said:
    I would also recommend looking at the Acus One range - kind of like an Italian AER :).

    I've got the original 6 model (discontinued now I think) and to me it sounds better than the AER Compact 60 while being in the same general ballpark. I find it a slightly more natural and neutral sound, more like a small PA. I like the AERs too, but they can sound a bit 'overly enhanced', if you know what I mean...

    I think I think I tried one of those years ago under a different name, sounded ace but no reverb.
    Not a show stopper though.  I actually prefered it to the AER, it was bigger and warmer sounding, but I put this partly down to my pickup (Fishman Matrix) needing some warmth as it was quite harsh.  With another pickup I'd try the AER again.

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  • Chris_JChris_J Frets: 115
    I also use an Acus. Mines an Acus One 6t, which I believe is still an available model.

    They sound great for instruments, though I've never put vocals through it. I have used an AKG 414 to mic my classical guitar and that sounded beautiful, so I would imagine it should handle vocals ok.

    I think it's rated at 120w so potentially higher headroom and more volume than the AER 60, but without doing a real comparison that's just a guess.

    Recently a friend used mine and had his 12 string in one channel, his 6 string in another and his mandolin in another. All of them sounded great. I happened to be on percussion that night.
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  • My vote would be AER but also consider the HK Lucas nano   https://hkaudio.com/produkt-kategorie/lucas-nano-en/
    www.maltingsaudio.co.uk
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  • thomasw88thomasw88 Frets: 1340
    I've been using an Ashdown Acoustic Radiator for about 10 years now.  Sounds brilliant, and never missed a beat.  Not sure what it would sound like with an electric guitar tho tbh.
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  • robwrightrobwright Frets: 626
    edited November 20
    I've got an Acus and its great but I would go for an active Alto TS210 for £200 and a small mixer with FX (Mackie ProFX4 for £100?). You can add another cab for a stereo PA if needed (or add to your current single cab PA setup), but it would give you more versatility than a dedicated acoustic amp (although a bit bulkier). And the Helix would sound great too!



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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 5455
    If you want the option of using it with the Helix and an electric, I'd go for a small active PA speaker over an acoustic amp. 

    Depending on whether you want the extra complexity, you could use the Helix as a preamp for the acoustic as well.  I've heard of people getting very good results using IRs with acoustics.


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  • TJT1979TJT1979 Frets: 44
    If you just wanted acoustic and vocals there are plenty of options. I presume you'd want the DI XLR out. Bugera AC60, the new Orange, AER, etc.

    Wanting it to work with an electric is tricky... guitar amps and speakers are very far from flat response and add strong colouring. Putting an electric through a much more hifi acoustic amp is likely to sound thin and overly bright.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 43195
    TJT1979 said:

    Wanting it to work with an electric is tricky... guitar amps and speakers are very far from flat response and add strong colouring. Putting an electric through a much more hifi acoustic amp is likely to sound thin and overly bright.
    You need to treat it like going direct to the PA and use an amp/speaker-emulating preamp, probably even if you're using a clean sound. I do like the sound of *some* electric guitars into full-range amplification, but for almost a pseudo-electro-acoustic sound. (Tends to work best with semi-hollows.)

    Even with amp-emulation, be careful - acoustic instrument amps are designed for clean signals which have a high ratio of peak to average power and neither the amp or the speaker may like being pushed harder with a more sustained overdriven sound.

    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone." - Walt Kowalski

    "Just because I don't care, doesn't mean I don't understand." - Homer Simpson

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  • JalapenoJalapeno Frets: 4153
    Heard of a UK maker this weekend - Mambo Amps, 10" Wedge combo certainly sounds superb in the hands of Jazz Guitar supremo Nigel Price. They do a 10" single speaker 4 channel uber portable PA (with battery if that's your thing).


    Imagine something sharp and witty here ......

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