January 18th, 2012, 04:47 PM
I've been wanting a something for practice situations, home play, and general smaller situation singer/songwriter deals, and in my hunt I've come to a crossing I was hoping I might get some opinions about.
(First off. MODs, if you feel this is better suited in the Amp forum please move it and I'm sorry)
Being a Fender guy, I am pulled towards a Passport or Acoustasonic but after reading some of the Acoustasonics limits (e.g. no master volume, no effects loop, just now coming with xlr out, etc.) and now I'm kinda put off on it. Anyone use any of the Passport variants? Opinions?
So I figured I'd come here and ask some opinions from any of you guys and gals who may be working with something that you like and that is affordable and still largely portable. Thanks for any help I can get.
January 18th, 2012, 04:53 PM
You are going to get more flexibillity out of a small PA, some of the acoustic amps have more specific guitar features like chorus, etc. and the size advantage. You can do a lot with a small acoustic amp. You can even stick a small unpowered mixer, a Yamaha, Behringer,etc. You can pick these up cheap, and turn the Acoustic amp into a small PA. You can even buy a second acoustic or other guitar amp and use them like powered speakers. Lot of flexibillity there.
January 18th, 2012, 09:41 PM
A third way is a mixer plus a powered speaker.
January 19th, 2012, 05:01 AM
Yep, for me it would be small mixer (ideally with three band EQ or even mid sweep and possible with built-in reverb) and a powered speaker. You can add a second powered speaker at a later date if you wish. This set up would be much more flexible than an acoustic guitar amp. I have both, and always go for the PA option unless space is very tight or I need minimal sound reinforcement.
With a mixer/speaker set up you can have a different channel for each guitar if you use more than one, setting the EQ individually on each channel, and plug in as many mics as you want too. Also I believe that a full size powered PA speaker with a 12 or 15 inch main driver will give you a better sound than most acoustic amps.
I know there are some great acoustic amps out there but bang for buck and with possible future scenarios where you need more options, I would go the PA route.
January 19th, 2012, 05:03 AM
+1 on mixer/powered speaker.
Allen Heath Z10FX is a great place to start. Buy one of the best powered speakers your budget will avail, add a second later.
January 19th, 2012, 05:56 AM
I have a similar situation to what you decsribe.
I sometimes want just a simple guitar amp, sometimes guitar amp +mic, sometimes something for small combo (3/4 instruments or mic's).
I decided to go for the small mixer+powered speaker set-up.
The pro's are that its flexible, expandable and has very good sound quality.
The only negative for me is that it might take a bit time to set up than just an accoustic amp.
I got a (bought new) Mackie SRM 350 and a (second hand) 1202 mixer.
I have used that for:
Mic direct into the speaker for vocals only (the SRM350 can do that, not all powered speakers can).
Electric guitar -> POD -> speaker as part of a band (only guitarists can hear its not a 'real' amp).
Mic + accoustic guitar -> mixer -> speaker for solo performances.
2 mics + 2 guitars -> mixer - speaker in small band (drums not mic'ed).
I've also used the 350 as a monitor in a larger band setting where a bigger PA was set up.
I recently got a pair of Behringer powered speakers as well, so that extends the set-up to be a full PA (not many inputs though). I've only used that a few times now and was impressed by the quality of sound from the Behringer speakers.
Not sure if that's right for you, but it works for me :-)
January 19th, 2012, 11:13 AM
Thanks everyone, I felt a little pulled to the PA as well. I was looking at the 350s and really like them but unless it's second hand and a deal at that I'll keep looking. While we're on Mackie, I came across this little SMR150. Seems small but has anyone used oned of these? http://www.amazon.com/Mackie-SRM150-Compact-Active-system/dp/B000OY5RC8
Good stuff, thanks for the replies. More welcomed.
January 19th, 2012, 11:22 AM
I would reiterate, the acoustic amp could be your powered speaker matched up with a non powered mixer. That would give you a lot of flexibillity.
January 19th, 2012, 11:37 AM
Sam you are right. I do that also. But I find that using a good quality powered PA speaker gives me better results overall, especially for the vocals.
January 19th, 2012, 11:38 AM
A mixer, an acoustic amp, and a powered speaker....or two...It's all good. A powered monitor would not hurt either....
January 20th, 2012, 02:30 AM
And look around at different mixers, the Mackie 1202 I have is great, but no built in effects. So adding reverb meands adding to the space needed, the mess of cables and time of setting that up.
A comparable price Yamaha I saw had buiit in reverb and compressors on the mic inputs.
January 20th, 2012, 01:45 PM
Paul in Colorado
January 20th, 2012, 02:03 PM
Until I got another pair of main speakers, I was playing in a three piece band with a Mackie 1202 mixer, a little effects unit and a 2 x 15 band EQ running into an RCF 1 x 12H powered speaker as our PA. We set up the speaker behind the drummer and up high enough it wouldn't blast the vocal mics. It worked like a charm and it was easy to set up and move around.