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Acoustic 150 or Vox Royal Guardsman Questions

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by register, Feb 13, 2003.

  1. register


    Mar 31, 2002
    Hi, I was wondering if anybody has any info on either using an Acoustic 150 (NOT a 150B from what I can tell) or a Vox Royal Guardsman head for bass? Just real useable info about tone, reliablity, volume, impedance would be great. Thanks a lot for reading!
  2. rumblethump

    rumblethump Supporting Member

    Mar 25, 2000
    Pioneer CA. 95666
    My only experience with Vox amps was a nightmare.
    Many years ago, late 60s I tried out with a band that had a sponsor who provided Vox amps to them.
    Within the first hour of the rehearsal 2 of 3 amps quit working. I ended up hauling in my showman and letting them play the rest of the audition through it with me. LOL Of the two, I would prefer the Acoustic. More power, very reliable, parts still available and if you decide to sell, you will probably get all your money back. If you have the chance, take your bass and try them both out. I owned a 360 and it still kicked butt after 30 years of use. I now play through an old 69 Sunn 2000S, tubes! Good luck, let us know what you decide on?
  3. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The Acoustic 150 is going to be O-L-D... Bear in mind that those amps liked low impedance loads to produce maximum power so it will probably be well under 100 watts at 8 ohms, maybe even at 4.

    It will sound good in an old school way, certainly not hi-fi. There will be no features other than volume, bass and treble (maybe a bright switch).

    It will be O-L-D which means that it could be near the end of it's life...or it's a well built piece of gear that could last forever...you never know.

    I wouldn't gig with it without a back up...

    Don't know anything about Vox'

    Check for user reviews on www.harmonycentral.com or www.bgra.net
  4. i own an acoustic 150... it's sound in general is sweet, bassy .. has a treble and bass eq, bright switch. It has tremolo, reverb on it and do not worry about running bass through it, the 150b and guitar 150 are exatcly the same except for the reverb and tremolo arent on the bass version. acoustic gear is extremely tough stuff.. mine is in perfect working condition after 30 years. This is one of the cleanest sounding amps ive ever seen. The tone of it will bethe same as your bass's tone... it sounds exactly like my p-bass played unplugged, except it adds a little bassy vintage tone to it. It can get a modern tone by tweaking it for a while.. but its not a very modern sounding amp, so dont be surprised if you cant get that grindey bwaaaaahg soundyou have in your head.
  5. Paul A

    Paul A

    Dec 13, 1999
    Hertfordshire U.K!
    Vox valve heads are O.K....ish
    Run a million miles from anything "Vintage" solid state though!

  6. morris1948


    Jul 7, 2009
    I have to respectfully disagree.

    I have several vintage amps that are solid state, and they still sound absolutely killer! Maybe you just had a bad experience with one or a few, but don't lump them all in together, just because of that. (plus, you'll be losing out on some really great amps as well.)

    But getting back to the 'Vox Royal Guardsman' - I have an all complete, original 1967 model, still in it's 'chrome cage', and with the original pedal as well. (I also have an AC-30 amp as well, but it honestly 'pales' in comparison to a Royal Guardsman!)

    All I can say about this amp (the Royal Guardsman) is that it's one 'monster' of an amp!! This thing is LOUD AS HELL (I mean LOUD) and the really cool thing about, is that it does 'so many' things in one.

    First, it's a 3-channel amp for starters. I normally use the first 2 channels for guitars, and the 3rd channel for bass guitar. (however, a lot of people use 1 channel for guitar, 1 channel for vocals, and then the 3rd for bass!) You can even use one of the channels for keys as well. It really is a 'versatile' amp all together.

    But just using it mainly for guitars or even strictly for a bass amp - the thing will absolutely shake the foundations of your house. And obviously, one of the 'signature' things most people play this amp for, is that 'tone from hell' - mainly it's distinctive 'Fuzz' tone. The 'Fuzz' it produces, is simply unbelievable. (and trust me, I've owned well over 20 'fuzz' pedals in my time, and none of them compare to the famous 'Royal Fuzz'. You really 'feel it' in your gut when you play it. (for one reference - if you dig that really 'grindy', dirty sound that dude from Alice in Chains gets, I hear he often uses a 'Royal Guardsman' for some of those really 'low', thick tones like that.) It really is hard to believe that an amp from 1967 can produce such rank, 'dense', thunderous sounds like that.

    And then of course, you have the classic VOX 'clean' tone, which is painfully 'clean' to be exact. Again, another great thing about this amp. You really get the best of both worlds when it comes to overall 'tone'. I know a lot of bass players that seek this particular amp out, just for the 'bass tone' itself. And it's easy to see 'why', especially when you start adding the trademark 'fuzz' to the bass. It's almost like a deep, dark 'grind' that you can only get from this amp. (Nearly every bass player I've played with, eventually wants to buy this amp off me after they've ran their bass guitar thru it:)

    But anyways, i don't normally do 'write-ups' on amps or guitars in these forums, I just mainly like to read others. But the Vox Royal Guardsman is certainly worth me writing about, because again, I've owned MANY amps in my days - some 'good', some 'bad', and some 'great' - but this particular VOX amp (in my opinion) will probably always be my favorite, hands down (unless they make another amp one day that can beat this one!) And trust me, that says a lot! But you definitely need the whole 'rig' (both head & original cabinet) to achieve it's maximum potential. I have heard one or two of the Royal Guardsman 'heads' ran thru other cabinets, and it's just not the same 'massive sound' or tone. There's definitely a reason why they paired these two monsters together.

    Anyways, I hope this helps with your original question. As far as 'buying' one goes - good luck. As you probably already know, they're very scarce on Ebay, and just tough to come by in general nowadays. From what I've heard, most people that have bought them up over the years, won't re-sell them due to their massive 'tone' & such - plus the simple fact that they're getting more and more hard to find, each year that passes. I wish I could help you out by selling you mine - but I just simply CAN'T part with it. (sorry :)

    However, I do know of a guy that's actually got 2 of them and I could ask him if he'd be willing to sell one to you. I doubt seriously if he will, but if you really want one, I could at least ask him for you. Feel free to let me know - my email address is morris1948@mac.com

    But if he won't sell you one of his - still, 'good luck' with finding one. If you do, you definitely won't regret it :)
  7. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    What price would a Acoustic 150 be worth? I ask because I've had one in the closet for 27 years now.I have no idea of it's worth.Anyone know?
  8. garmenteros

    garmenteros Bass Enthusiast Supporting Member

    Aug 24, 2008
    Dominican Republic
    I have one for sale (a 150b though) and I've seen them go anywhere between 250 to 350... its a buyers market though... not the best time to sell anything. I got my 370 on talkbass last january for 500$ and shipping. I sold another 370 I owned a couple of yaers ago for close to that as well.

    Acoustics are awesome amps, I can't say that enough...
  9. Billy K

    Billy K

    Nov 5, 2009
    North Bay Marin
    Well that gives me a idea . Mine has the letters from the front worn off.So in that shape it will be worth alot less. Works great though I may gift it to the guitar player I play with.