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Acoustic B200 1x15 combo

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dustin Teel, Jan 18, 2012.

  1. Dustin Teel

    Dustin Teel Guest

    Jun 2, 2011
    I recently ordered this amp and it showed up yesterday. I've been jamming on it ever since and figured I would leave some remarks for any of you who are considering a 1x15 combo amp. This is new territory for me, as all I have ever used are 10s and 12s of other brands, so it's been an interesting experience.

    I downsized because it has gotten to the point where my big rig (Hartke 5500 with Peavey TVX 412) is just a bit much for some of the gigs we have been playing. Even with the EQ set flat and the volume on 1, this rig is pretty thunderous. I wanted more control. Also, I'm lucky enough to have a guitar player who doesn't play all that loud and is in good control of his volume. I like to think we are a heavy, rockin' band, but we are very "bearable" to listen to. We try to sound good without splitting eardrums. We play mostly 90s alt rock and originals.

    Enter the Acoustic 1x15. The combo lists for $330ish on the net. I paid $180 for it at GC, because it had a small scuff on the bottom right of the tolex. The combo is 200 watts, has 1x15 driver, tweeter, 6-band EQ, speaker extension jack, controllable DI, and effects loops. It's rather heavy at 70ish pounds. I will be adding casters.

    Now, the important stuff: how it sounds. I plugged in my Spector, set all the knobs (other than volume) at noon and starting jamming and tweaking as I went. It actually didn't take me long to find "my sound". I cranked the pre-gain, cut some treble, and slightly boosted the low mids and this achieved a great, low-fi growly rock n roll tone. One of the first things I noticed about the amp is how low the 15 would go. I cranked the lows to the point of clipping just to test its capabilities and it passed with flying colors. Stuff was rattling off of shelves in my house and my head was vibrating so hard that it made the hairs in my nose tickle. Which led me to another realization: for a single driver and a mere "200" watts, this amp is incredibly loud. I owned the much more expensive GK MB210 which is more cone area and (supposedly) more wattage. The B200 would literally eat an MB210 alive. Given the same circumstances, if both amps were side-by-side and cranked to their potential, I believe you would have a hard time even hearing the MB210 over the B200.

    Another important thing I noticed, which I believe may be relevant to using one large driver vs. a square of small drivers, is that the sound of the amp was relatively uniform regardless of where I stood. Obviously the notes were most intense when kneeling ear-level directly in front of the driver, but just walking around the room and playing, the notes maintained a level of uniformity with which I was very impressed.

    The tone of the amp actually reminds me of Ampeg, with a bit of Acoustic's own "flavor" added in. The inherent "growl" sounds smoother than a slight overdrive or fuzz - it's got some sexy mojo to it. It's more of a low purr that thickens your tone. Overall, I didn't find it to be all that colored - the natural tone of my Spector shined through. I've heard some say that it has a nice classic tone, which it can certainly achieve, but naturally the amp sounds more modern to my ears. It does, however, have a distinctly vintage (early 70s) look to it. Which I am absolutely in love with.

    Now, with all this good stuff, of course there are a few drawbacks. The first is the lack of quality in regards to anything other than the head and driver itself. Cheap tolex, cheap grill cloth, cheap metal corners, etc. This amp seems like it would get rather beat up rather quickly were it on the road, so I plan on taking very good care of it. Also, the tweeter has a slight sizzle to it (I'm not a tweeter user, so this doesn't affect me) and the fan is kind of loud (you couldn't hear it at a bar gig, though). I figured I would mention this stuff because it seems to really matter to some bassists, not so much to myself. I believe Acoustic may have been a bit overzealous with the built-in limiter - it seems like it actually kicks in before the 15 is going to distort. That's not a big deal to me though because 1) extra protection is better than no protection and 2) you have to get the amp pretty ridiculously loud to cause this.

    Overall, this amp is one of the best investments I've ever made. I shopped around before I bought it, and it has comparable tone and superior volume to the Markbass, Ampeg, GK, Fender, Hartke, and Peavey 1x15 combos that are all more expensive. I would recommend this amp to any bassist for any genre of music, especially rock.

    I will be taking it to practice tonight and gigging it in about two weeks - I will leave more feedback soon. I also plan on getting the matching 1x15 cab to add to it to complete my first 2x15 rig.

    If you are looking for an affordable, deep, loud, 1x15 combo with gigging capabilities, the Acoustic B200 is one of the most serious contenders on the market.
  2. Craig_S

    Craig_S Banned

    Oct 15, 2008
    Metro Detroit
    Just bought a B200 to leave at the rehearsal space. I too am pleasantly surprised by it. It sounds pretty darned good to me. I don't think I'll be selling my MarkBass rig, but this is a good little rig for someone on a budget.
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    I've had my B200 for almost 4 years now. I got it when I worked at GC so the price was right. At the time, I didn't own an amp at all, and a customer talked me into auditioning for his band, so I had to grab something quick. The B200 was perfect for this.

    I don't use the tweeter at all. After about three weeks with the amp, I was using an overdrive pedal (with the tweeter on, BAD idea!!) and Freud the tweeter. Luckily the warranty on these things rocks!! I took it back and got a new one. Lesson learned.

    My settings are pretty much flat, with the exception of running the highest treble setting all the way off. The notch I keep around 2:00, and my sound with my P-basses is very punchy with the tone rolled off, and a decent slap tone when I dime the tone knob on my basses.

    This is the perfect amp for its size. I'd eventually like to add the second cabinet, but so far I haven't had a situation where I've really needed it. I go back and forth with effects, sometimes I use a pedalboard with about 6 pedals, sometimes I run straight into the amp, and honestly, I've found that my tone ends up better without effects.

    All things considered, the B200 is a great value for the price. I'd buy another if this one died.

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