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acoustic 370 head

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Golem II, Jul 15, 2002.

  1. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    Anyone here tried playing this head through a modern cabinet as opposed its old 18" folding horn counterpart? If so, can you describe the results? From what I've heard, this amp has an extremely distorted, low-fi tone, which I've realized might prove useful in some situations (namely, outdoor gigs with two 100-watt marshall stack guitarists.) So how would the amp sound through a much smaller cabinet setup, like a pair of Aguilar 1x12's?

    Also, is the distortion this head produces more of a result of the preamp, the power section or a combination of both? Does it have an FX loop or any line inputs/outputs so an alternate preamp or poweramp can be used if necessary?
  2. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    I tried one recently through a 2x15. It was hard to say whether it was good or not, since I was in kind of a hurry. I will say that it wasn't the same as the folded horn, but the amp I tried may not have been in top shape. I was an Acoustic user back when they were big, but I never cared much for anything beyond the big rigs like my 360. I had a 150 head running into my 2x15 for a while, but I dumped it.
  3. I had an Acoustic 360/301 setup in the 70's that I added a 2-15 SRO loaded extention cab. This setup sounded great! I always wanted to be louder though. It did not distort except a little when approaching clipping, but that sounded good, if I remember right.

    I think you could do well with modern cabs as long as you matched the impedence right.
  4. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    so, what are the main differences between the acoustic 360 and 370 heads, and the 360 and 361 cabs? Which setup was generally considered more "high end" when they were relatively new?
  5. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Acoustic 360/361 - 360 was a pre-amp head with four line outs. The 361 was a 300w powered bottom with a rear-mounted 18" speaker in a folded horn cab
    Acoustic 370/301 - 370 was a powered head with a 5-band limited range EQ. Also 300w (if I recall). The 301 was the same bottom as the 361 without the power amp.

    It's hard to say which was considered what, but the Acoustic 360 was used more frequently by known musicians (Jaco, John Paul Johns), and I preferred it to the 370 setup. My feeling was that the 360 pre-amp offered a better range of sounds.
  6. I'm pretty sure it goes like this:
    The 360 (the one I had), was a head with graphic EQ and had 240 watts. Tohether with the 301 cabinet which was a 1-18 folded horn,
    made the "Acoustic 361 setup" or "stack" if you will.

    I am confident that the above is true.

    The 370, which I believe came later was the preamp that matched to the 371 "powered " cabinet. I think the amp inside the 1-18 was 300 watts.

    According to may amp book, the later "garden varieties, like the 470 with graphic EQs and front mounted speakers abound and are a great buy if you want a molasses-thick sludge-rock tone to die for".

    Cool, Huh?
  7. Golem II

    Golem II

    Jan 4, 2002
    Macon, GA, USA
    Hmm... most of what I've read seems to suggest the opposite; that the 360/361 is a preamp with a powered cabinet, and the 370/301 is a head with an unpowered cab.
    ghostinthemach and Count Bassie like this.
  8. What you've heard is true, the 370 is a powered head, and is mated with a 301 (passive- no poweramp) transducer (cab). The 301 is a rear-firing, folded-horn w/ a single 18" driver. It originally came with a Cerwin-Vega L-187, I forget the power rating, but it was a 4-ohm speaker.

    The 370 will give you a pretty clean, round punch through all kinds of cabs, but you want to run it at 4 ohms as opposed to 8, if you can. Somehow, if you don't let out enough juice (running at 8 ohms), it distorts before you get enough volume; and then if you push it hard enough (at higher volume, say at 4 ohms) it'll give you lots of nice dirt. I asked Terry Buddingh about it, and he told me using a pick on your bass and playing the 370 through its folded horn would give up a "gnarly, old-school" kind of sound, and it does. Also, the graphic works great- and it's a limited range 'cause 's specific for bass guitar. This is from before the age of the "Bass Tweeter"...and the 'Bright' switch is Really Bright. It's a great head, if you don't mind some inconsistency harmonically, and if you like the distortion thing. I got one. I dig it lots, but I'm afraid I got to sell it, to be able to afford what I need. You want one?

  9. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    The 370 is a powered head...rated (as claimed in the owner's manual) at 205 watts RMS at 5% THD into 3.2 ohms (the impedance claimed for the 301) or 325 watts RMS at 5% THD into 1.6 ohms (two 301s). Compared to modern amps, it's more powerful than these numbers suggest (and the rules for rating amplifier output power are different now than they were in the '70s).

    The 370 head features two "monitor" outputs for driving a power amp (Acoustic also sold a power amp version called the Model 300) and even more cabinets. Claimed output ratings for the monitor outs are 250 mV @5000 ohms.

    Watch out for chassis polarity with respect to your power amp if your 370 has an ungrounded power cord. If the polarity switch is in the wrong setting your amp's chassis will be 120 Vac above your power amp's chassis...and that can't be good.

    The 360 was a preamp intended to drive the 361 powered cabinet. The power amp in the later was rated something like 200 watts according to the service manual that I have (but it's at home so I'm unsure of the exact number...I do recall that it was less than what my brain (and my ego) wanted it to be).

    I sold my 370/301 (aka 371) a couple of years ago but remembered it sounded quite good through an Ampeg 810. The output is capacitor coupled which could affect the amp's ability to reproduce transients. FWIW, Acoustic claimed the frequency response of the 370 to be -6 dB@50 Hz and 17.5 KHz.

    I had been using my Acoustic 450 head with a single EVM 15B in rehearsals and the band liked the sound of that rig better than my Pearce/PLX2402 Goliath II rig : - (
  10. Rickenbackerman


    Apr 17, 2001
    Laurel MD
    I had heard somewhere that the power section for the 370 is the same as used in the 361. Anybody know if that's a fact?

    I'd love to get my grubby hands on a 361 rig. It would make a nice friend for my '72 SVT. :)
  11. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I'm looking at the schematics as I type this and can tell you that it's a similar circuit, but not identical. The output transistors are the same but, the output cap on the 370 is 3800 uF rather than 1000 uF (for the 360) which in theory would help the low end a bit (on the 370).

    The 370's power amp also has a AGC (automatic gain control) circuit to limit the input voltage to the power amp. Steve Rabe told me that the concurrent guitar amp (at the time) the 270 didn't have the AGC but was other wise the same as the 370's.

    After my previous post I found a copy of the owner's manual for the 360/361. The power amp was rated 200 watts RMS into the single 4 ohm Vega 18.
  12. Hmmm. okay- been a while since I looked at the manual for the 370, sorry about the skewed info I handed out. Ayway, my 370 monitoring into a Crest FA901, into an EAW w/ JBL speaker sounded real cool- grumbly distortion with nice bottom.

  13. jamminji


    Mar 22, 2002
    I had the 360 rig back in the 70's. The power amp in the Cab blew so I took it out and used the cab as an unpowered cab with an external head (Peavey). I did not like the sound with the 360 pre-amp so used the pre-amp in the peavey head. That worked ok but what really got me was when I blew the vega 18'. I found a factory re-coned Electra-Voice EV18b (the $400+ one) After I put that in I truely realized what tone was!!!! I do not use the 360 much now (toooo big and heavy) But when I do... MAN OH MAN!!! Especially with my GK-2000rb bridged.

  14. stevekim


    Feb 11, 2000
    los angeles, ca
    i'm sorry for this shameless plug, but my acoustic 371 is for sale in the "for sale" section. ;-)

    thank you,

  15. That's awful! You SHOULD be ashamed. My 370 is for sale, too. Sorry.

  16. I stand correcting myself for having been incorrectly corrected: The 370 head by Acoustic Control Corp. was rated at 365 watts when running at 1.6 (or "2") ohms, at +/- 10% distortion. It's 320 watts at considerably less distortion. Nothing is rated at that level of distortion anymore, but that's the number. I don't know the ins and outs of it, really, but it's a loud, powerful sounding mother.

    No need to thank me.

    SwitchGear likes this.
  17. Gee, I just ran back to see what has been written, the last 4 or 5 entries, and I wasn't off-base at all, nor do I stand correcting. The 370 does 320 or so watts at 1.6 ohms, at 5% Total Harmonic Distortion- and 365 watts at 10% THD. Hey, it's a free forum. I have a copy of the owner's manual if anyone's interested.

  18. BillyB_from_LZ

    BillyB_from_LZ Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2000
    I'm not sure how FTC enforced ratings of the '70s compare to whos-watching-the-store? ratings of the '00s but those '70s era amps with true RMS ratings with a THD figure attached to them (and frequency response too I believe (although Acoustic doesn't specifically state this in the manual)) act like they're a lot more powerful than the ratings numbers would suggest.

    Heck, my Acoustic 450 head...rated 170 watts RMS in the catalog (probably at 2 ohms and 10% THD) can knock your head off running at 8 ohms into a single EVM 15B (in a TL606 cabinet). It has to be "rated" at probably less than 100 watts at 8 ohms yet it absolutely kills...simply amazing.

    Another interesting point is how expensive these amps were when they were new. If you move the $$$ forward to 2002 dollars, a 360/361 would be something like $5000 ($1249 in June, 1970). You can get quite a bass rig today for $5000. The 371 (370+301) was $1299 in March of '74. The 370 alone listed for $629 (3/74).
    Count Bassie and FingerDub like this.
  19. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Interesting about the prices. I got my 360 in '77 for $350.
  20. It turns out my head was the 370 + 301 cab. I had it backwards. It was 1/4 century ago. It seems I remember earlier on than that period.

    Must have been my diet.

    Hey Billy, I noticed the same thing. A 1970 VW Beetle went for $1,900.
    A 1969 SVT HEAD ONLY, listed for $1,450.

    Today, on a good day, you can probably walk out of GC with a Classic SVT for $1,200. That is, if you wanted to.

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