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Acoustic Guitar Amplifiers


mking

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If you're looking for consensus, you're in the wrong place mate!![lol]

 

Both brands you mention have great reputations and many fans here - I can't speak from experience but I'm sure someone else will chime in here.

 

I have a Marshall AS50R. Great all-rounder; loud enough for small gigs, 2 channel with reverb and chorus. Chinese built but well put together and very solid.

 

I've used mine live several times with the SWD and Tak 12er and have always been pleased with the sound.

 

Worth a look.

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Ditto that - no consensus on which amp is the right one. It's a matter of your budget, your ears and how much you plan to move said amp around. I have and really love the Fishman Solo.......great amp for the job, very portable (though it stays at home) and it works very well with my guitar/pickup combination.

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I have owned several over the years and have to say that from my experiance, Genz Benz Shenendoah series and UltraSound are two of the best acoustic manufacturing operations out there. I have a Genz Benz Shen 200 Watt Stereo Deluxe that kills on all of my acoustics but if I were getting one today, I would look at the Genz Benz Shenendoah Pro which features a tube pre-amp.

 

One of the nice features in the Genz Benz amps is the ability to turn the tweeters off for a darker tone or if you happen to be playing an electric guitar through the amp. I have done that with my electrics using a modeling pedal in front of the amp and running the electric into the pedal. If you were to leave the tweeters on and hit distortion.... poof goes the tweeter!

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I played through a Bose acoustic/vocal amp the other day and it was just plain KILLER! I was in L&M and a native fellow came in and unpacked a Digitech Vocalist Live 2 (I have one of these too) and hooked it up through the Bose and proceeded to play a strange kind of pan flute. The flute was two pipes, one drone and one with fingerholes. Well folks, he played with a little reverb and compression through this thing and my spine turned to jelly. He was asking me to help with his settings on the vocalist. Then he switched to guitar and played and sang and OMG! I know it wasn't just the amp and he was incredible, but the sound out of that Bose was something I've not heard before.

 

He bought the amp on the spot. He said he already had the Fishman system but this blew it away.

 

After he bought one and left the store, I played through the floor model alone with a Gibson J-185 ... magnificent sound.

 

This is what it looked like:

 

l1compactportable1.jpg

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I think thats the Bose Compact model

The L1 model II looks a little different, I think...

I'm thinking about the Fishmsnn Solo or the L1 Bose. Solo is much less expensive $1k vs. 2K+, but I use Fishmann PU So still thinking .....I'm not buying yet though still doing "back ground"...(6wks and waiting for theCustom shop "plug" in J-45)

Any body have thoughts about either or?

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I'm thinking about the Fishsman Solo or the L1 Bose......Any body have thoughts about either or?

 

Having owned and used both systems' date=' I'll take this bait! The Bose L1 is a fine system, no doubt. For the solo acoustic player/singer it has but two drawbacks, which may or may not matter to you and your particular situation.

 

[b']It has no onboard equalization.[/b] I speak of the Model I here. It has rotary-switch presets for various mics, pickups, etc. but that's not EQ in my book. For effective equalization you'll need something outboard in the signal path. Which leads us to the second.....

 

More to haul around. Granted, there's not a lot to it, but a system with a bass module is four bagged pieces, plus a sack full of cords, any other outboard gear you require and your instruments, stands, etc. Yes, it sure beats what we used to drag in and out of clubs for PA but it's still more than one trip to the car if you're solo. The Bose has tons more power than the Fishman, but for the solo act it's overkill. I used my single L1 Model I as PA for an entire band: 4 vocal mics and 3 acoustic guitars routed through a small Mackie board. Sometimes we miked the kick drum and snare as well. Performed flawlessly and was more than enough power for good size rooms. But that was a full band.....we're talking solo acts.

 

The Fishman Solo amp is truly a stand alone, all-in-the-box system for the working solo guitarist. It has onboard EQ (plus reverbs), phantom power, two independent channels, plenty of power and packs into one bag with it's own stand. Guitar in one hand, Solo amp bag in the other (with mic stand between the handles of the bag!) and it's one trip from the car, and one trip back.

 

Sound quality? Toss up. The Bose might have a bit more "shimmer" to it, something extra in the high mids, but the Fishman is not lacking at all. It has been said that the Bose has better dispersion of sound, but this is not necessarily so.........I think that depends a lot on the particular room you're in.

 

Cost? No contest. The Fishman is half the price and every bit as good a system for solo singer/songwriter types. For this application it's hard to beat the Solo in my opinion. But you know what they say about opinions...............

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I think thats the Bose Compact model

The L1 model II looks a little different' date=' I think...

I'm thinking about the Fishmsnn Solo or the L1 Bose. Solo is much less expensive $1k vs. 2K+, but I use Fishmann PU So still thinking .....I'm not buying yet though still doing "back ground"...(6wks and waiting for theCustom shop "plug" in J-45)

Any body have thoughts about either or?

[/quote']

 

Good replies above, but I would like to point out that the Bose L1 Compact is more like $1K, and not $2K. For example, see:

 

http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/L1Compact/

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I have and really love the Fishman Solo.......great amp for the job, very portable (though it stays at home) and it works very well with my guitar/pickup combination.

 

I have a Solo too and not to jump on this thread but Buc. I use input 1 for vocal with schurr 58mic and Imput 2 for hookup for guitar. knowing our guitars have different systems, about where are you setting for max volume without feedback??????

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I used to use the Bose L1 system and thought it was great, but it was a lot to carry around. I switched to the Fishman Loudbox Performer. It is a great sounding amp. It has plenty of D.I. options on the back, which allows me to use it as a monitor and run it to the board for larger shows.

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I have a Solo too and not to jump on this thread but Buc. I use input 1 for vocal with schurr 58mic and Imput 2 for hookup for guitar. knowing our guitars have different systems' date=' about where are you setting for max volume without feedback??????[/quote']

 

With my K&K PWM and a Feedback Buster installed, I run the gain on the guitar channel around 2 o'clock and the master up to 1 o'clock or so without feedback from the guitar. The soundhole feedback buster works like a charm and does not affect the acoustic sound that I can detect. I use an Electro Voice ND967 vocal mic and set the gain around 10-11 o'clock and with me directly between amp and mic at about 6-7ft distance it doesn't holler. I am rather limited for space here and the small room does not lend itself to sound dispersion. With room to offset the amp from my stance I expect it would allow more volume, but at home how much volume does one really need?

 

(ps.... Without the soundhole cover the room won't allow much volume without feedback.....around 10 o'clock master, 2 o'clock gain or so is the max if I ring out big cowboy chords. Gain down some will allow for more master, generally speaking. It's a balancing act I'm glad I don't have to worry about live anymore!)

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The Bose L1 Compact looks pretty nice at the same price as the Fishman Solo. The variable height for the speaker array is a cool feature. But I see upon further reading that it doesn't have user adjustable EQ onboard. It uses presets, just like the L1 Model I. I can only guess this was done to save on production costs to compete with the Solo. I would guess the presets are pretty generic in parameter to get at least a decent sound in most situations. I'm sure the Compact sounds great.....Bose makes very good stuff.......always has. But I also think that having presets for EQ is a compromise. A 00 Martin with a soundboard transducer is going to need different EQ settings than a big ol' Guild 12-string with a soundhole-mounted humbucker, for example. Yes? Once again, just my take on this particular feature (or lack thereof) of the Bose Compact.

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1) Roland AC60. I have used this and like all Roland's very quality sounding amp, solid build, and good looking.

 

2) SWR California. Friend had one of these and swore by it.

 

and this may be a thought...............

 

Tech 21 Bronzewood. Since this has not been mentioned I thought I'd throw it in, because of the Tech 21 sound quality of their electric amps. If ones around you may want to give it a try.

 

Good Luck and let us know what you get and give us a review.

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Thank you all for the info....I'm leaning toward the Fishman, mostly because I'm using the Aura Pro PU but I have seen several used Bose on CL and the price is very close to the SOLO still at least 6 months away from a buy...I shall let the decision cook awhile...[confused]

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