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Acoustic 2x10 Neo Review

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by ZiggyDude, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    Wel, another of my reviews that some love and others say are far too long winded...

    For quite some time I have been looking for a 2x10 cab. In some ways I am not really sure why – I don’t know how often I would use it. I knew from Ed Ocean’s post on the Acoustic Control forum that Acoustic Amplification (Guitar Center) was to be bringing out a neo 2x10 and I was pretty sure that it was going to be with the diagonal speaker placing that is now becoming more and more popular with more modern designed units. So, I passed on a used GK Goldline at the local GC and waited till the Acoustic Neo came out.

    According to the GC website the dimensions of the 210Neo are 28 3/8 H x 25 W x 20 7/8 D. This would provide sufficient cabinet volume for a nice deep tone and still be small enough to tote about easily. I also like the idea that the cab was taking advantage of the diagonal speakers to make it tall enough that you could hear some of it while playing and not have it all blow by your feet.

    Well – one snowy evening my wait was rewarded and the 210Neo appeared sitting on top of its 1x15 cousin. I stopped dead in my tracks. It was TINY! The GC employee and I just kept looking at the dimensions on the website while measuring the 210Neo. No resemblance. The actual dimensions are approximately almost 24” H, 20’ W, maybe 15 D. These are approximate as we did not have a ruler and were using sheet paper as an estimate. The best way to describe the cab is to take the Acoustic B450 and chainsaw the head off.

    I normally like to test something against another well known item to achieve a reference point. In this case there was a used USA made Ampeg SVT 210 sitting about. I dragged the two together and popped an Ampeg head on top. The tests were done by simply switching the speaker cord back and forth. I used a Music Man Stingray HS 4 string. Just finger playing – no pick or slapping. I recorded the session with my Zoom H2 as a way to “Keep Notes”.

    The Acoustic sports two spring loaded handles on the side. It is VERY light and smaller than one would expect. It has one tweeter. The back of the cab has two round ports and an on/off switch for the hi horn. Construction seems solid enough but has some tacky screws visible holding on the decorative plates. There were no visible flaws in the finish that were readily apparent. It is 8 ohms with two inputs. As usual – GC has the shade of blue wrong.

    In testing the cab I was looking at these main things:
    - Overall tone
    - How much deep resonance could it put out
    - How loud could I get it before it “Farted” (power handling)
    - Flexibility of use
    Needless to say we are all different and what one person looks for may not be of consequence to another. For me, power handling of a 2x10 is a key issue since we are talking about a small cab and the need to project good tone at a sufficient volume. A cabinet that has better bass response, sounding “Deeper” if you will, without requiring changes in input will have an advantage. The more you dial in bass from the amp or guitar the more you are stressing the speakers. Something has to generate the low frequencies and having the efficiency of the cabinet do it results may result in a more efficient rig with better power handling.

    OK – now to the brass tacks – the tone. It has a nice clarity in the treble and snappier notes played. Articulation is good. It is lacking in low end rumble. I tried laying the cabinet on its side to increase the amount of coupling with the floor but this yielded minimal if any results. As I worked the cab I found myself dialing in more and more low end from the head. I also went through the settings on the StingRay and found the more “bassy” ones to see how they sounded.

    The Ampeg SVT 2x10 is more your standard design. It has 2 USA made Eminence speakers and the cab is rated at 200 watts RMS. There are two ports in the back. The horn has a dial to adjust the desired amount of high end.

    In comparison, the Ampeg was much deeper sounding. Tone settings that resulted in sufficient low end bass with the Acoustic resulted in very heavy but clean rumble from the Ampeg. We were talking serious thunder. When pushed both the Ampeg and the Acoustic started to fart at about the same volume – though the Ampeg did it more gracefully. The Ampeg could also put out tons more low end rumble before farting. In short – it will fill a room better.

    I would like to mention again that I was doing pick and finger bass. I have no idea how well the Ampeg does with slap. If anyone has that experience – please pile on and give your opinion. But in this comparison – the Ampeg won the fight.

    My opinion on the Acoustic 210Neo
    - Light weight
    - Small size for small cars
    - Articulate tone

    - Lack of strong low end response
    - The small size will make it difficult to stack with other cabs of the standard 24x18 footprint
    - Overpriced for the performance
    - Horn is either “On” or “Off”
    - No Speakon jacks
    - Cheap looking construction
    - Lack of specs for the cab (frequency, power RMS/Program/Peak, etc)

    I was disappointed with the Acoustic. They really missed their price point on this. At $399 I expected more. Their standard 4x10 sells for $299 and I occasionally see it on sale for $249. The power handling of 400 watts is almost certainly “Program” and not RMS – which would partially explain at what volume it broke up. Granted the neo is lighter – but for the price the MarkBass sitting in the background at $599 started looking good. Not only that but a friend pointed out Avatar has neo 2x10 is $319 and that has real Eminence speakers. The Ampeg 2x10 neo sits in the same store for $299. The 210Neo suffers from cabinet design that really could have used greater volume. Taking a look at what is out on the market with the diagonal speaker arrangement can attest to this.

    Once again I wonder just how well Acoustic has thought this out. As an example, with their standard speakers this would have been an exceptional extension speaker for the B450. That combo puts out far more power then the 2 tens in it can handle. This cab would fit perfectly underneath and expand you to a 4x10 (or use the 1x15 they now have in the same size cab) and generate 600 watts. They probably could have hit a price point of $199 for it and these things would fly out the door.

    Will Acoustic sell some 210Neos? Probably. There are enough people out there with bad backs and small cars that might need the portability. But overall – and in my simple opinion - they really missed the mark. Going with a better cabinet for the neo or using the wittle cab as an extension would have provided GC with a better product.


    Listed on Guitar Center website
    28 3/8 H x 25 W x 20 7.8 D

    Actual (Estimated)
    24 H x 20 W x 15 D

    B450 (GC Website)
    26.8 H x 19.8 W x 15.2 D
    girllustrator likes this.
  2. KramerBassFan


    Jan 3, 2009
    Very interesting read.



    Oh, and free bump.
  3. Is the Ampeg you are refering to the micro VR series?
  4. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    North central Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    If so, those are not neodymium drivers. The SVT-210AV is a lightweight cab, for sure, but Ampeg didn't use neo magnets in that particular model (though they do now offer neo-based 2x10, 4x10, and 1x15 models).
  5. Volume4


    Sep 15, 2009
    Long Island
    Hmm, great review.

    I don't think the OP was talking about the neo Ampeg or VR....just that he used the SVT210 as a reference point.

    At $399 I don't see the appeal anyway. With tax thats considerably more than an Avatar Neo 2X10" shipped....which on paper has very nice specs for the price.
  6. i got a giggle trying to imagine a graceful fart.
    in seriousness, though, this was a clear, concise review. if you get a chance to try out an avatar 2x10 neo i'd like to see what you think. i'm a big fan but havent compared it to too many other 2x10s
  7. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    What was the actual weight? The MF website says it's 77 lbs.
  8. Axtman

    Axtman Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2008
    Seattle, Washington
    I have played the new Acoustic amps and I too was not impressed. I got the impression that there stuff is for beginners not serious gigging musicians.
  9. Volume4


    Sep 15, 2009
    Long Island
    Avatar has their Neo 2x10" listed at "aprrox 44 lbs"
  10. honestjohnny


    Nov 24, 2006
    Yes, but if the combo's dimensions were listed incorrectly then the weight might have been. And it sounds like it was, because the OP says the thing is light.
  11. Thats disappointing, my friend is very happy with his acoustic b100. to be honest i think you missed out on the goldline 2x10 i love mine, i was intending on getting a second but they discontinued them. :bawl:
  12. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
    Hi Guys (and any Gals)

    Thanks for the positives.

    This was against the old SVT210 cab. And it basically took the "Modern" neo to pieces.

    The Acoustic was very light. That was why I said that they will probably get sales to the bad back crowd (no diss intended).

    I later bought that Ampeg by the way. Case closed.

    Acoustic really does not take their research past a brain trust in some office building. They need folks like us to learn what to do. They botched this and both the mini - though the mini is still a pretty fun item. The 2x10 neo is a loser.

    Not that I have opinions.........

    - Ziggy -
  13. kharmakazee1


    Mar 12, 2009
    Just purchased the B450 because I was looking for a high powered combo to use with my ZETA. While doing the Demo thing I noticed the 210NEO and saw that it was tagged at $275 while it's 15" counterpart was priced at $349. I can't honestly comment on what you heard but I know from my experience that the B450 placed atop the NEO210 (which by the way matches up perfectly) can produce enough low end on about 2 master volume with the Combo EQ set flat to make you need a change of underwear. I purchased the rig and have since replaced my MARKBASS/AGUILAR with it. I have a killer small 2X10 combo for the acoustic gigs and a MONSTER stack for the rock band. Throw in the fact that GC always has something going on where you can get an extra 15% off and the total out the door price was less than $850.
    Sorry but I IMHO it wasn't ACOUSTIC that missed the boat here.
  14. shoot-r


    May 26, 2007
  15. The mini is cool, I use it for practice and small, when a single 10" isn't enough I pair it with a 15" and a different head. I also love the ampeg mini stack, but it isn't worth $500 to me. $100 more gets me this:


    How loud did you get before it farted out?
  16. the gold lines are crazy heavy and mine lasted about 15 months. I think the avatar is your best bet. very interesting, I've noticed companies up the quality of their products and then try and make more expensive models.
  17. I checked and the Avatar 210 is about $80 bucks cheaper than the Acoustic. I might get it to pair with my Acoustic 260 head. I did try the 450 combo and it was crazy loud. It loved a P Bass and didn't fart out. I was impressesed by it, anyone who wants the 210 cab should just get the 450.
  18. ZiggyDude


    Jun 8, 2005
  19. kharmakazee1


    Mar 12, 2009
    Thought I had it perfect......I have the 450 for doing ANY smaller venues to semi-large venues and the NEO to ADD for when it's necessary. I would be curious to know what type/size rooms you are talking about playing with "only" these other NEO cabs you have reported on. My band plays the Larger Venues in Dallas/Ft. Worth and they are all quite large stages that play to anywhere from 500 to 2500 people. I doubt very seriously with the size of stage that I play on you could even still hear a single 2x10, forget about if it has decent Bottom or not. Add that to the fact that these are 8ohm cabs and you can see that they are designed to be paired or used as add ons and not stand alone. To each their own I suppose, just know that the new Acoustic set-up just tore the doors off Dallas' TOP Dance Club and it did it with the Pre on 12oclock and the master only on 3! Tone, growl, and balls for days and never "farted" and I'm hitting it with a couple of sets of overwound Klein P pickups. For what it is.....a very lightweight, add on, and only $275....the NEO delivers above and beyond!

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