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Modern equivalent to an Acoustic 360?

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by smythe5, Mar 3, 2016.

  1. smythe5


    May 11, 2010
    I have been recently really getting into the totally unique sound of Acoustic 360 amps from the 70's. Instrumental to the tone of Jaco, John Paul Jones, Bobby Vega and many others. But it makes me curious, is there a modern amp that can achieve something near the tone of those old Acoustic amps? And what of Acoustic amps nowadays? Are they any good anymore?
    spaz21387 likes this.
  2. musicman666


    Sep 11, 2011
    Maybe its my phone but I could not find any detailed info about their products. The website could use some work.
  3. Hamish MacCleod

    Hamish MacCleod Supporting Member

    Jul 13, 2014
    South America
    I have no relationship to this person/website but he has some youtube clips that sound good of a pedal that cops a 360 sound: viva Analog -
    DirtyDuke likes this.
  4. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    I don't know how you can say the old Acoustic has nothing to do with the new one.There must be
    some kind of relationship.
  5. The relationship is a licencing of the name. No other connection.
  6. primusfan1989


    Jan 17, 2005
    new jersey
    Have you ever played through 360 pre+powered cab before? They're not that great, the hum when idling, the low end is pretty shapeless, there are better options today.
  7. brbadg


    Nov 10, 2006
    Oh,kinda like the Supro thing.The Supro amps are good.Haven't heard too much about the bewer Acoustics though.
  8. They are cheapo GC house brand.
  9. The modern equivalent is the Acoustic USA 360.
    Based on the original and updated by the original designer.
    If what you want is a new 360, it does that very well.
  10. Michedelic

    Michedelic MId-Century Modern

    Not to muddy up the water, but in addition, in the late 90's or 2000's the Samick company briefly had a line of "Acoustic" bass amps that faintly resembled the cosmetics of the classic company products, more so than the GC related gear. Beefy looking stuff, I can't vouch for the quality of the heads as I never got around to trying one out. I saw this gear at NAMM, but I'm not sure how much of it got to market. Speaker wise, they concentrated on 8x10" and 4x10" front firing cab design, and I don't think, IIRC, they had a horn loaded 18. Which brings me to another point; I'm asking the OP if he is clearly familiar with the concept of horn loaded 18" bins, and what they sound like in the real world. If you are playing small places, the 360 rig may not be to your liking. When the 360 appeared circa 1968, it was a novel answer to the problem of bass amplification in larger halls and auditoriums, as crowds for rock events started getting more numerous, and large scale PA systems were still being sorted out. It was a solution to a problem that existed then, but not so much now. The sound coming out of a 360 cab is optimum the further away you get owing to the throw of large low frequency sound waves; standing next to it, or on a smaller stage, it doesn't necessarily sound all that great. In the studio, we don't necessarily know what amps were used, or how they were mic'd up. Consider this as well...if you are taken with JPJ's sound on the first LZ album(recorded in the UK, Oct., '68) in particular, that is definitely not a 360 as he didn't take possession of the amp until the US tour of the late spring, 1969.
  11. bucephylus

    bucephylus Supporting Member Commercial User

    Aug 18, 2002
    General Manager TecPadz LLC
    Have you played through the 360? On gigs? Did you hook up a quality mid driver to the biamp out, if you didn't like the (lack of) modern tones?

    Sorry, but for my tonal purposes, I would just completely disagree with your overly broad statements. I gigged the 360 at clubs, Holiday Inns etc for the better part of 5 or 6 years. I think it's an awesome rig, and NOT superceded by the newer technology in any way, IF it's voice works with your bass. I say IF, because one size does not fit all. The 360 is the thing for old school J Bass vibes. It works pretty well with the J placement soap bar basses. It is not optimal for the P vibe. The SVT 810 is better IME for the P vibe.

    BTW, I never had hum issues, except from single coils. I also strongly disagree about the low end being "shapeless." Mine was anything but that. Very deep, and guttural with a well defined clank is the way I would have characterized it.

    I eventually sold the 360 due to vehicle restrictions. These days I gig Berg cabs, which are great. But, I will always miss my 360. YMMV

    Edit: A little more to my comments on J vs P tones...

    Here is the J:

    Here is the P:

    Two competent club type players. You can pretty clearly hear how the low end is anything but "shapeless" with the J. If I were a P player, I might conclude that the low end indeed is "shapeless." NOT the amp for the P bass. But, the total package for the J, IMO/E.
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2016
  12. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    I have a 69 360/361 and it is one if not the best sounding tone I own. Loud, punchy, low and cuts like a knife. With either my P or J. Then if you get it in a band mix it really shines. I will never part with it.
  13. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    nothing modern will touch it tone wise. and anybody with negative comments and you have to stand this many feet away blah blah b.s. can move along. finding a 360 is gonna be expensive. A Acoustic Control Corporation (ACC) 371 bass system would be easier to find and is built and sounds very similar. composed of a 370 bass amp and a 301 W bin. It don't hum. it's a lot of bass. it don't break. and it don't shutdown in " protection mode" in middle of show. and sounds just fine when stand in front of it.
    jj4001, B-string and 10cc like this.
  14. SanDiegoHarry

    SanDiegoHarry Banned Supporting Member

    Aug 11, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    The best thing about those old Acousic amps is that they were pretty loud. Their "unique tone" was minimal - they were pretty dead sounding, if you ask me (And YES, I've played / gigged with them back in the day). Modern amps sounds MUCH better, but if you want that big, loud "thump", then just turn your treble down and bump the low-mids.

    ....aaaaand I'll now get flamed by the cult of the old and crappy...
  15. seamonkey


    Aug 6, 2004
    The schematics and service manuals for the original Acoustic 360/361 are all over the webs.
    The service manual goes into full circuit theory. Waveforms included. I wish more makers would bother to explain their circuits as much as this one is documented.

    Because these schematics are around there are reproductions of the pre-amps, some in pedal form, some total virtual. IK Multimedia has the 360 Bass which is modeled from schematics, and with software there's a free eval period. There are several other virtual VST that do an 360

    The circuit theory is interesting, the variamp is a notch filter. Not hard for many amps to copy.
    The fuzz is controlled by a relay to be in or out. When it, the signals goes through 2 amps. One slightly over-driven and one highly over-driven. The knob lets mix how much of one or the other you want. This is good old solid-state overdriven amp tone that many fuzz boxes of the era were known for, except this lets you mixed between slightly overdriven to fully.

    Quite clever for the time.

    These days, A lot of new modeling amps, like the TC would be easy to duplicate the sound. And without the side artifacts of hum etc.

    I'm sure this amp is used by many of the modelling amps as one of the reference models.
    10cc likes this.
  16. BogeyBass


    Sep 14, 2010
    my 370 preamp is no where close to a 360. but yet they sound very similar. using a acoustic "preamp" don't make it sound like a acoustic. just like using a fendwe tone stack don't make it sound like a fender.

    the topology of the output amplifier and the big old 18" w bin have a lot more to do with the sound than a simple emulation of ancient multi band eq. a emulation won't touch it. and I don't need a emulation lol to get zeppplin bass tone. it can be done studio wise without a pretty picture of a 360 on a computer screen.
    live on stage with a cranked 360 into a 18" w bin ain't gonna be touched with a stupid little pedal into a 2x10 markbass lol.
  17. 10cc


    Oct 28, 2013
    That's right
  18. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    I have one of those and it's a very good pre.
  19. john m

    john m Supporting Member

    Jan 15, 2006
    The name is spelled the same-

    The tone is very different. I'm talking about the ones sold by GC :dead:

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