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Amplification? Acoustic Amp or Powered PA Speaker w/small mixer EQ and Reverb?

I recently posted a question about which acoustic amp should be considered (see What's the best acoustic amp for under $500?). I got a few responses, which I appreciated greatly. Thanks to those of you who took the time to respond. I took the advice and went to my local independent guitar shop Huber and Breese (Metro-Detroit, MI)(Sorry Guitar Center. I won't step foot in one) to try several out. The staff was great and did not push me to buy anything, but encouraged me to try several and then thoroughly confused me.

I was looking to buy a stand alone acoustic amp (probably about 50-100W) to play at small venues, because being the novice at these things, that's what I assumed one did. The sales rep said that might be great for me, but also suggested that I look into a powered speaker with a small mixer EQ with reverb. The Mackie Thump TH15A ($349) speaker he showed me, among several others, had considerable more power (400W) and it would be more versatile with multiple instruments and I could add another speaker if I wanted to for stereo.

I am not a touring musician or even a coffeehouse regular, although I do play the occasional one. I teach (elementary not guitar) and play at the school and church at least once a month as well in jam sessions with friends and other musicians. So perhaps the PA might be too much for my needs.

The cost is about the same, maybe even less for the PA speaker/mix option. The portability is better for the stand alone amp. What is most important to me, as I assume is true for you all, is the true acoustic sound I get naturally from my SWD Special unplugged. I have about $500 to spend.

With that said, what's your opinion? Powered PA speaker combined with a mixer with reverb or a stand alone acoustic amp?

Tags: EQ, amplification, amps, mixing

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Replies to This Discussion

I have small PA system on acoustic gigs.Two Mackie Thumps 12a and LD systems 8 channel mixer.

I have a GAS on this acoustic amp instead PA system:

Is this better than my PA system?

I have an idea to work with this Traynor amp and one active speaker Mackie Thump 12A.Am I wrong,or just stayin` with small PA?

Please,someone with any advice...

   I try to play unplugged as much as possible, even in coffee houses, but I can get pretty loud when I have to, but I have a Troubador 80 amp that I use and it plugs mic and guitar and I have found it to be more than enough for larger venues.  BUT, and here is a big BUT, I find myself inviting ohters to play  with me for certian gigs and wishing I had gotten a PA system, then I could have a couple of mics and instruments, instead of having 3 or 4 amps spread across the stage.  What ever you think you need get something bigger, because down the road you will need it, I would recommend a PA system package that would acommadate at least 6 inputs, thats what I wished I had bought.

This Traynor AM Custom is really unique in the offer of acoustic amps,and that`s the reason of my hesitate and interesting.

This is really kind of small PA,because you can use different effects on each channel,lots of power(225W)...

I need three channels on my performance;guitar,microphone and CD player(sometimes with karaoke background while playing).

I am wondering only,would be that the better option (with one active speaker on "Line out "when it`s needed) than mixer with two active speakers?

Anyone tried this TraynorAM custom 225W amp,flagship of the line,exactly same model?

People have nice experience with Traynor lower models,so I`m very interested in that kind of combination for one-man guitar band.

i think it's a question of convenience or versatility.  i have mackie thump th12a speakers and a mixer for group gigs or larger audiences, but if i'm going alone to a small setting i use a fishman loudbox mini.  If I'm amplifying i don't worry much about sound quality, if it sounds like an acoustic guitar and a voice i'm satisfied.  there's not much point in bringing in two speakers, stands, mixer, guitar, and all the necessary accessories for a small gig.  even if you minimize it all you're still having to carry the mixer and a speaker stand above and beyond, that's a second trip just for those.  

i would suggest something like a loudbox artist.  it has plenty of power, good effects, and good sound quality.  if you need more versatility use it as your powered speaker with a bigger mixer in front of it. 

I use a mini-PA setup - two passive speakers on stands and a rack for the preamp, effects unit and power amp.  It projects well and sounds great.  Versatile too.


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