Acoustic amps and cabs (The ones Jaco used)

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Blackbird, Sep 9, 2000.

  1. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I read somewhere that some corporation is bringing back Acoustic amplifiers, etc. I have an opportynity to buy an older Acoustic rig (Head & Cab) for around $450 and I can probably make 'em go down to $400 if I pull out the "good customer" card. I haven't tried it out yet, but I was wondering if you amp expert types can give me the lowdown on the Acoustic brand and if it's worth getting. I know Acoustics have been discontinued for at least a decade and technology has changed somewhat. Thanx for any info.

    Will C.:cool:
  2. JimM


    Jan 13, 2000
    Northern California
    I think thats great since I have an Acoustic 136 with a blown speaker and shot transistors that was "guaranteed for life"to the original owner.Think they'll honor that?Hee hee.
  3. 4String_Ninja


    Aug 14, 2000

    I own an old 1971 Acoustic 360 (THE ONE that Jaco used!) It's a great amp because of it's "off the wall" design (and I do mean literally "off the wall"). The way it works is fasinating. The 18" driver is pointed backward in the middle of this monster cabinet (48" high!). I mean this cab looks like an 8x10 cab, but anyway, the speaker fires backwards and hits the back of the cab which is shaped to where it bends the sound up, down and around the cab which causes the sound waves to finally to exit through the front of the box. It almost acts like a giant port hole. But the sound is way cool. This thing gets loud too! Great tone, great amp. GO FOR IT, THEN GO NUTS!

  4. Hey 4String_Ninja, I got a 370 head, with 301 bottom, and I got 'em off of ebay for $600 together, although, a hell of alot mroe with shipping :p seeing as the damned things weight something like 150 pounds together.. Still waiting to get them in the mail.. I think I could see them things on my porch from my HS 3 blocks away if I had line of sight? :D Damn skippy!

    So, I'm intreguided.. I've never played 'em but my dad (drummer/bass/guitar/keyboard player) played through em back in the day with some band or another, and he loved 'em.. He can't stop telling me about how cool the folded horn design is :p so, what do you think of the behemoths?
  5. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    I see we meet again Big Wheel!(my Godin post).I have had about 6 different Acoustic brand amps over the years.The only one to buy,at this point in time is a 360.Its not just the cab.thats makes the tone.The actual amp is in the bottom,and the"top" is a pre-amp.This was the only one this way.
    I say "this point in time"because none of the other Acoustic amps are special,and are easily surpassed in reliability,tone,and transportability,by other brands.
    Although they were "garuanteed for life"the other models had weak pre-amp sections,they burnt out.And from an investment point of view the 360 is the only one worth fixing/maintaining.
    By the way is Big Wheel,taken from"sweet home Alabama",or "Proud Mary"or elsewhere?
  6. gweimer


    Apr 6, 2000
    Columbus, OH
    Count me in on the Acoustic 360. It was my mainstay during my "pro" years, and it was a killer amp (sorry I sold it). For those of you who don't know, the folded horn was designed to allow lower end frequencies to more fully develop prior to leaving the cabinet (a low freq tone like 100hz takes something like 20+ feet to fully develop it's tonal quality). I also believe that I saw that Acoustic is only reissuing the 360 (and it's been almost 2 years since I've started seeing the ads - so where's the amp already!!!), and I thought I read that the cost was going to be around $1200. The only problem with having a 360 now is finding a room big enough to play in!
  7. Al Steen

    Al Steen

    Feb 1, 2000
    My buddy had a 360 and I had an SVT so of course we used them together! :D
    Whaddya mean there's plaster falling from the ceiling
    Now that's a bass rig .. Al
  8. billbassbuilder


    Aug 30, 2000
    Yeah, no doubt about it, the 360 is the only one to get. Most of the others were not worth having. An interesting note, one of the engineers working for Acoustic at the time was a guy named Steve W. Raabe. You may know him from that other amp company he started (He used his initials for the name) SWR. It's interesting, when someone is good at something they just keep coming up with good ideas. He's now got Raven Labs making high end direct boxes and stuff. It's kind of like Leo Fender, it still amazes me that a radio repairman came up with instruments and amps that are all standards, (Strat, Tele, P and J Basses, Music Man Stingray, Twin and Vibrolux amps not to mention the myriad of tweeds).
  9. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    >Yeah, no doubt about it, the 360 is the only one to get. Most of the others were not worth having.

    Well I disagree. I own a 370 and the matching 301 cabinet. I bought the head on Harmony Central for $200 and got the cabinet from Big Daddy's Auction for $100 (add another $50 delivery for cabinet) for a total delivered price of $350. I also own the 360 preamp which I occassionally hookup to the 370.

    The nice thing about the 370 is that it will work fine with any modern cabinet. So for those who perhaps want the sound/vibe of the Acoustic amps without having to lugg 200lbs of equipment, it's a nice solution. The amp is plenty loud, has a 5 band eq, bass, treble, midrange and a bright switch.

    As for reliability, I've yet to meet someone whose had problems with their Acoustic amps. I had one back in the early 70's never had a problem with it. They were extremely popular in my area and I never heard of anyone having problems with them either. Pretty much the anecdoytal evidence that I've heard is that they were/are indestructible.

    BTW, Samick, is the company who owns the Acoustic name and they have reissued a modernized version of the 360. There was a right up in BassPlayer Magazine about it a couple of months ago.

    If anybodys specs or anything let me know by e mail. I have several Acoustic catalogs and owner's manuals. I'll be glad to look and see what I can find.
  10. MrGump


    Apr 20, 2000
    As of 8 months ago I sold off my last Acoustic.It was a 136.About 100watt combo with 1x15 in a reflex cabinet.When I got it the pre-amp was fried and only one input worked.I spent $75 getting it fixed.The tech who fixed it for me has done thousands of dollars of work for me over the years,and Im sure he did it cheap.
    I got it back used it for a couple of months as a rehersal amp.And got rid of it cause it sounded so dated,and the speaker was tired.
    Currently a drummer friend of mines son(who is begining bass),has a later model,of about 100 watts and 1x15.I believe its from the"collaboration" series.I SAW it crap out on him at a gig,about a month ago.He had it fixed by my tech.Who told him"These old transistor amps are like a pandoras box".Sure enough ,not long after that it developed an intermittent loss in volume and an occasional hiss.And will be serviced again
    I just looked at an old Acoustic catalog I have,and I believe it to be a B-1 head,with a TC-115 bottom.
    Anyone ever have a BC-2or a BC-4 head?

    [Edited by MrGump on 09-14-2000 at 08:21 PM]
  11. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    >I SAW it crap out on him at a gig,about a month ago.

    I was talking about the 370's and 360 - I'm not as familiar with the other models. In any even, its not surprising that a 25-30 year old amp has the occassional problem. But I don't see how on the whole that would make 'Acoustic' per se, unreliable? As I said before, the anecdoytal evidence I've heard from many, many users, as well as my own experience, indicates that for the most part, the 370 and 360 were extremely reliable, durable amps. I'm no tech but those who are tell me they're easy to fix and maintain.

  12. Craig H

    Craig H

    Mar 23, 2000
    Kansas City
    I used to have a 370 head. I used it with a Peavey 1820 cab. Talk about a back-breaker! I sold it to finance my SWR rig. I played the 370/1820 rig for 10 years with no problems. (And, yes, there are times when I wish I still had it! ;))

  13. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    >I used to have a 370 head. I used it with a Peavey 1820 cab. Talk about a back-breaker!

    You're right Craig, the head alone is like 50lbs.
  14. Al Steen

    Al Steen

    Feb 1, 2000
    I still have a 370 that I've used for years. It's louder than snot, absolutely reliable and If I could find another I'd prolly buy it. We use it for anything. Right now we use it for PA monitor and it runs anything we plug into it.

    I had a 136 a while back and it just never cut it. It was OK for small Jazz combo sh*t but that was about it :(

    Jim on the other hand had a 150 with a 6x10 and it just killed with his 62 sg special! Brother, what a sound!!!! .. Al
  15. newburyohio

    newburyohio Banned

    Feb 15, 2002
    This is a late add on.......

    I Have a 370 head that I bought new in 1975? Don't remeber exactly, have the original paperwork somewhere. Never liked the folded horn. Couldn't get far enough away from it in small clubs to hear it. Mainly used 2 single 15 cabs loaded with 15" Ev from Sound Factory in Kalamazoo. Very tight, punchy sound. But the amp is noisy by todays standards at low volume. But it goes loud!

    I used that rig on and off the road for 10 years without a problem, and it still works today. Had a 360 rig for a couple of years, sold it in 1989. Took up too much garage space.

    Ah, those were the days.
  16. gfab333


    Mar 22, 2000
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Great amp back in the day (1970s). today, it's somewhat of a relic, since it's pretty lacking in the highs. The folded horn cabinet is still something to behold. The sound truely developes about 15-20+ feet in front of the cab. Back in the disco days, I used an Acoustic 301 (same as the 360 cab, but no power amp) with a GK 400B, and the guys in the back of the club always said that I was a little too loud. That folded horn cab put out some serious bottom. the 18" driver had little highs though.

    If you have the room to spare, and would like to own one of the greatest amps of the past three decades, buy it!
  17. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Mine was an Acoustic 150 with built in tremelo and reverb. It had a power cord about 30 feet long! I got it used and cheap and got a few good years use out of it, you can't beat that!
  18. Aaron


    Jun 2, 2001
    Bellingham, WA
    I never liked Acoustic Amps, the ones i played sounded really harse.
  19. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    I bought a new 320/408 back around 1981.
    Jaco briefly used this model (along with his trusty 360's) on a few tours.
    You can see it on the Shadows And Light video.
    It was a great amp, the speaker box held four 15's and kicked, I wish I still had it.