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Acoustic amps

Discussion in 'Amps, Mics & Pickups [DB]' started by fuzzy beard, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. I know a lot of upright players like the Acoustic Image amps. But has anyone tried any other acoustic amps? Fishman? Fender acoustisonic? peavey? and ???

    If so what did you think?



    I'm just wondering if theres a poor mans acoustic image alternative.lol
  2. Don Sibley

    Don Sibley

    Jun 27, 2005
    Fort Worth, TX
    I think most people on a tight budget head for the Gallien-Krueger or Genz-Benz combos. Most get usable results.
  3. point taken. I was just wondering if anyone has tried it though.

    Also i think it offers the same option as the A.I in the fact you could blend a mic and pickup out of the same amp.
  4. Ric Vice

    Ric Vice Supporting Member

    Jul 2, 2005
    Olivette, Missouri
    I played through a Fishman Loud Box, and felt that it was designed as a acoustic guitar amplifier. So it doesn't work as a Double Bass amplifier.

  5. Wallyphonic


    Jan 21, 2007
    SWR california blonde works great for bass and it has two channels for blending. My only problem with it is that it's a little heavy and it sometimes has too much bass. It would benefit from a high pass filter.
  6. rickwolff

    rickwolff CGJ Emeritus (Certified Gear Junkie) Retired??? Supporting Member

    Not looking to hijack the thread, but for blending a mic and a pickup I would be much more inclined to do that with a good 2 channel pre-amp designed to handle a mic (which offers other significant benefits along with the two channels such as HP filter, good EQ, impedence matching etc). I have not been blending a mic recently but have been blending 2 pickups - Lifeline and The BAND through the EDB-2 and have been very happy.

    I would also be very interested in knowing if the ABox is available yet throught Gollihur (Mark?) and what anyone has experienced with that. That box was designed specifically for blending of a mic and a pu for DB.
  7. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    AI, SWR and AER are the only mfrs currently offering "acoustic" amps designed for bass. The others are designed for acoustic guitars. mandolins, violins, etc.
  8. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    Just to answer your implied question, we do have them in stock, and customer response has been pretty favorable. Don't want to seem like a shill, so I'll let others speak about it, or anyone can contact me off the board if you have specific questions.
  9. Mark could you link a box info here?
  10. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC

    This pro-grade preamp allows you to combine the realism of a high-end microphone (condenser or dynamic) and a piezo/passive transducer. It's also among the only preamps with these features that has been designed specifically around the needs of double bassists!

    Each channel features its own semi-parametric EQ, allowing you to dial in specific frequencies to boost or cut (a key feature for both tone-shaping and feedback resistance!) and independent volume controls for the DI output and amp output allow you to adjust your volume onstage without throwing the soundman a curveball.

    Manufactured in Italy with quality components like Neutrik jacks and an integrated toroidal power supply (no wall wart plug!), this is one seriously well-designed piece of kit. And with a small footprint, and a weight right around 2 lbs., it travels light.

    The Acoustic Box Live is clearly designed to give you the features you really need, without a lot of extra stuff you don't.

    The microphone channel includes standard 48v phantom power, to coax the best performance out of your microphone by powering it efficiently. It also provides a notch filter, a very useful feature for locating and "dialing out" troublesome feedback frequencies. Its semi-parametric equalizer control can be adjusted from 100Hz to 1.8 KHz, so you can tweak the midrange to get just the right tonal character. And the shelving low-pass filter reduces the mid-high frequencies by up to 6dB, a design feature that the manufacturer suggests can substantially reduce feedback from the mic at higher volumes (as when playing with a drummer) without compromising the sound quality.

    The pickup channel features a 5 megOhm impedance, which buffers the high impedance of piezo-based pickups, a key feature for getting the fullest, best tone from them. It also has a semi-parametric EQ (360 Hz - 4KHz) for dialing in your pickup's "sweet spot." And if the microphone and pickup aren't blending quite "right," the phase switch on the mic channel can help align the phase of the pickup and mic better - and might help with feedback as well.

    Each channel has its own level control, so you can create just the right mix of microphone and pickup. The blend you've created is then sent to the "master section," where you have further control over the overall tone and volume. A very powerful three-band Master EQ provides more opportunity to fine-tune your sound, and a master phase switch can help you get the right phase alignment between onstage speakers and your instrument (more tonal and feedback help!) A master mute switch, for when you need to take a break (or silently tune) and separate volume controls for the amp output and the XLR Direct Output (for sending your signal to the house sound system - you can lift the ground if you have noise problems) round out the controls...

    More info and photos: Vintage Revolution A-Box Live
  11. Wow. Ty!!
  12. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
  13. neddyrow

    neddyrow Support Staff for My Better Half Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    Thanks for the info on the acoustic box live, mark!

    I am looking at the acoustic box and the flex preamp to run my mic and pick up through to my focus SA. Can you give me a side by side comparison of the 2 units? I love acoustic image stuff but it seems the acoustic box can do all I need for a little cheaper. I also like the non-wall-wart plug that the Abox has. I did t know how much those plugs would annoy me!!
  14. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    The Acoustic Image is more flexible; meaning, the Acoustic Box Live is "stripped" of all the stuff you don't need, as long as all you're doing is blending a mic and a pickup on a double bass. It can ONLY do 1 mic and 1 pickup (not other combinations of pickups/mics) and the EQ's, while tailored for bass, are not as full-ranging (or as plentiful) as those the Acoustic Image Flex pre.

    The Flex has two channels that you can use a mic and a pickup, two pickups, or two mics on. You can actually use up to 2 of each, as the separate 1/4" and XLR inputs are buffered - so you can use both inputs on both channels simultaneously -- though you don't have separate input gain controls or EQ sections for each, so this "extra input functionality" would really only be handy on something that had an onboard pre and/or volume control. The Flex has a four-band EQ for each channel, built-in effects, and separate per-channel effects loops.

    Basically, the Flex is more fully featured, and probably a bit better, spec-wise (things like noise ratio, etc.). But if you don't NEED the extra flexibility, and all you want is a dedicated unit to blend a mic and a pickup, the A-Box is perfect.

    Hope that helps!
  15. neddyrow

    neddyrow Support Staff for My Better Half Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2011
    Cortland, NY
    That was very helpful....thanks, Mark!!

    I am now leaning towards the Abox. It has everything I NEED though the flex has a few things I WANT. Can anyone help me with buying accordingly? :)
  16. Mark Gollihur

    Mark Gollihur Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jul 19, 2000
    Mullica Hill, NJ
    Owner/President, Gollihur Music LLC
    With the Acoustic Image, you get Rick Jones. Meaning, 5+ year warranty, well-deserved stellar reputation, over a dozen years of making upright bassists happy. An American-Based manufacturer who can be reached, with positive results, when (if!) you ever have a problem.

    With Vintage Revolution, I've not had any issues - I will say that they're responsive, and they did send a replacement for the bad unit I had (which may have been damaged in shipping, we're not sure). But they're in Italy, so after-purchase ship-backs are more costly. But it's a very solidly-made, great sounding box, and people love it so far!

    (Disclosure - I sell both units, as you likely know. But there's almost no difference in margin, so it doesn't matter to me which unit a person buys.) :)
  17. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    If you go cheap you can get portability or you can get power but you can't get both.
  18. MatClark


    Mar 16, 2014
    I've noticed I seem to get a better sound playing with a small mixer through a good, lightweight powered PA cab (RCF Art412) than through my AI Ten2. Chain is Realist-> Paraacoustic DI->mixer->speaker. Or mic->mixer-> speaker. To me the sound is more robust and direct, with less of the hollow, woody sound I sometimes hear in the AI combo, despite tweaking. I hit on this setup more or less by accident, and haven't tried it at a gig yet. I was thinking I'd use it the same as I have the Ten2; either as my only amplification for a small gig, or as a stage monitor, with FOH signal out of the mixer.

    Does this make sense to folks? Have others tried it? Is there some drawback I'm missing?

    It seems it would fit the "under 30 lbs" criteria, and be somewhat less expensive than the AI route.
  19. I don't think there's anything on the whole of TalkBass that is less "one size fits all" than the "Amps, Mics & Pickups" subject of this subforum. So no one is going to have a "right" answer for you. I think a lot of the powered PA speakers are great these days, so if that's working for you, great. On bass guitar, I've pretty much stopped hauling cabs altogether, and just use my Genz Benz Streamliner 900 as a preamp through a passive mixer into whatever powered cabs the band is using, which are usually sufficient.

    Upright bass is not so easy. There are so many variables - the bass itself, the strings, the pickup, how the pickup is mounted, the preamp, the cabinets and how all of the above interact with the room so far as boominess and feedback are concerned. I've used the Genz Benz Shuttles (including into FOH through the very good DI), the Radial PZ-Pre (great little device) into the FOH, the Fishman Loudbox. I just got an Acoustic Image Coda Series 4 through Gollihur (thanks, Mark) and practiced with that tonight, using it as both my preamp for the FOH and as my monitor. Going to gig it that way tomorrow night. The second channel does the same for mandolin, which is very convenient.

    Wake me up when someone gets a definitive answer to these questions! In the meantime, it's fun to experiment and try for the best possible sound.