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 Amps revisited 
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Post Amps revisited
So, I mostly play at home using a QSC 12" powered PA speaker. It has 2 inputs and individual volume controls. It has no special fx, and I would only need that on the bass side anyway, because I use the Roland VG-99 for full effects on the melody side.
I intend to try a few open mic this winter, and perhaps even find a gig in one of the local restaurants... like some background pub music, bar area stuff for a few hours... entertain the diners waiting for their tables, hanging at the bar and drinking, etc.

Anyway, I think I have it narrowed down to one of the following;
Fishman Loudbox (120?180?), ACUS amp or Fender.

There was a comparison online between the AER and the ACUS, and I prefer the tone of the ACUS. But as beauty is in the eye of the beholder, so too is music in the ear of the musician. I realize everyone has a different sound they want to hear.I did not care for the AER and so ruled it out (I also think it's way more expensive). I really liked the sound of the ACUS, but I have not been able to compare that tone to the Fishman or Fender.

I think they are all around the same price range give or take. They all have different features. Since I have no way to check out the sound on all of these, I thought I would ask you folks since I know some of you use these amps.

Also, my background as a drummer hinders my knowledge about amps. I know cymbals! I don't know if the Stick would sound good through an amp meant for an acoustic guitar. I hear talk about a 'pre amp', about attaching a mixer, about a 'Line6', etc. I am lost lol!

I need simple! Stick, VG-99, plug and play. I need light weight, easy to carry, very portable, but also a big enough sound so I could theoretically play it in my band. My bandmates appreciate the Stick, and I am going to be playing a few songs while the bass player sits in on my drums. The rhythm and lead guitarists are all for it. So I guess I need something that will cut through the band and be heard... or possibly hook it up through the mixer board and go FOH for the sound, using the amp as a monitor??

As I said, this is all new territory for me, so any help trying to work this through would be appreciated. Ideally I want one amp that can handle the whole works. I'd like to keep the price tag under or up to $700 if possible. At my novice level I don't really think I need a high powered or expensive amp. Something that will play well on stage, with a band, and also as a stand alone at a pub, farmer's market, etc., and of course makes the Stick sound a lot better than my playing lol!
Thanks for your thoughts......

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Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:16 pm
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Post Re: Amps revisited
What were you using at your gig, the one where you posted your video? I thought that sounded pretty cool...

I like my Boss GT-100's through a Roland Jazz chorus, or a Fender Bassman, or a pair of each... Although I have to say I am quite happy with the Boss GT-100's through a PA system too, I have played that way too and it sounded pretty good! I also sometimes use a couple of line6 M pedals in place of the GT100's (cause there is way less crap to haul around)

I dunno, man. I bet you sound great with whatever you decide to go with! :D

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Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:34 pm
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Well I’m sure others have more experience but here is what I went with after a year of playing this incredible instrument. Just a little background for my reasons of purchases...

I am formally a guitarist. I loved using my fender cybertwin because of the ease of use and built in effects that are so easy for me to use and understand. I’m 51 and only play about 5 shows a year. Haven’t played professionally since my 30’s really. I play just for my love of music. So while putting together my Stick rig I have been very conservative. This year while playing out I’ve went from putting my stick straight through a house PA system with a little reverb from the board. Then used an effects pedal board on the melody side though the house PA. And now after purchasing an amp will be using it onstage at the shows because I simply wanted to hear myself when playing with a bands. All my gear is for minimal price, ease of use and minimal weight to carry. All that and flexibility for whatever show and wherever I want to play.

I use a Zoom g5n effects pedal board. Easy to use (for me), multi effects with looper and drums built in. I don’t use the looper or drums but there if I ever wanted them. A price tag off 300.00 for pretty much any effect you want or need for melody side.

My newest purchase is a behringer ultratone kxd15 keyboard amp/pa. Got it on sale at GC for 350.00, same price as the kxd12. The only thing it lacks is individual channel tone controls (which I love having) but does have an overall eq system. I’m quite happy with it for the price and what you get. 4 stereo channels, mic input and aux inputs for MP3 player or whatever. Of course the amp itself is not giving you stereo sound without another cab, but cans send stereo to the house system via its stereo outs. So with it I get a wide range of things I can do. From simply practicing at home, a small setting gig with Stick and vocals to a big show using it as an amp to just hear myself. Plenty of power to hear myself on stage with others.

This just setup just had the right pricetag and balance of everything for me. I am not gonna say it’s my dream rig but on the other hand I think I got a lot of bang for the buck and have a sound I am happy with and don’t have to kill myself carrying e million heavy things to a show. But then again gas musicians are we ever 100 percent happy with our gear or sound! Lol! Especially trying to find equipment that works well for this crazy instrument.

So there is my two cent! I love the versatility of my rig if nothing else!

Jeff


Sun Oct 08, 2017 8:23 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Thanks for chyming in gents! I think the discussions on amps on this forum have reached saturation limits lol, not many comments! I did a search on several words and read a lot of posts about the Fisher amps, the Fender amps, etc. I did a lot of research online yesterday (hours!), and came down to 3 that I liked the best: Fisher Loudbox Performer, Fender 200 and ... Carvin AG300. Not much discussion on this forum about Carvin but in other searches these were rated extremely well.

I have given this a lot of thought and perhaps the best solution is to stay with the QSC's and get a small mixer. My VG-99 gives me all the effects i need on the melody side so I only need something for the bass side. A 4 channel mixer might be the best option so I don't get something that I don't really need. Overkill maybe, with an amp rather than just staying with the QSC's?

In my thought process... the QSC's are damn powerful, and I believe are designed to sound good from lows to highs and everything between. My melody side sounds awesome with the effects from the VG-99. The bass side also sounds awesome, but no effects cuz I cannot run both sides thru the VG-99.

So, instead of duplicating what I have with an amp, i think a small mixer might be the better choice. Granted, the QSC's are heavy at 40 pounds (vs these other amps at 25-30#), but I think I can use just one QSC as a stand alone, rather than lugging two of them if I ever do any solo gigs.

Scott: Thanks for your thoughts! I am trying to keep gear down to a minimum. All these choice with amps, pedals, mixers, etc., is giving me a headache lol! Who knows if I'll ever get out and play on a regular basis. If I do it's way down the road. The gig I did with the band, I ran the VG-99 direct thru the FOH PA system, thats why i am really considering going with just a small mixer, the QSC's sound great with an entire band, so I think they would suffice quite well.

Jeff: Your rig sounds great! Exactly what I intend to do, i.e.: getting effects on my bass side, because the VG-99 does a fantastic job on the melody side. I appreciate your input, every little bit helps. Oh, btw I'm 66!! So the only drawback for me is the QSC's are pretty heavy, but I can still handle it lol. And as I said, I don't have any great aspirations of doing solo gigs frequently at this point. I am going to be doing more with my band, but I can run through the PA as I did before. Using a small mixer ahead of the PA will give me the chance to add effects to the bass side.

Thanks guys, now I need to see about a good small mixer. I think that is the way I am going to go, unless someone responds and says it just won't cut it! As I said, being a drummer has left me with minimal knowledge about amps, PA's, mixers, etc. Although I own a big Yamaha mixer, and 2 QSC's... purchased several years ago when I was gigging with a full set of custom e-drums. But that phase of my musical life has passed. Now I play acoustic drums, and occasionally still use my Zendrum (electronic percussion), but I am spending most of my time practicing the Stick!

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 6:58 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Yeah, I think that lots of the guys here do the mixer/PA thing and it sounds pretty good, plus if one is into pedals (Gene and Boaz :D) one has a lot of options as far as effects routing.

The gear quest is fun, haha

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:52 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Carvin does make excellent amplifiers. I haven't used the AG300 or any of their combos, but their standalone bass heads have been a regular part of my bass rig for years. I use the B800 model, which has been superseded by the B1000 model at lighter weight (i.e. class D power section). It only has a single input channel, but the tone is clear and crisp, and the EQ allows for many usable tonal variations. Also, Carvin has an excellent warranty and great service. I think you'd be well advised to pair one of these with a small mixer for multiple channels.


Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:05 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
I am using studio monitors for home but want to get some QSC K12.2 s soon like in the next few weeks. I have a Keith Mcmillen Kmix which I love. It has 8 in s and 10 outs is midi and can be used as a standalone mixer or as an interface for recording. It has 12 spots for presets so I can configure 12 differnt mix types It has 3 Aux sends which works for me. What Ilove most about it is no Knobs to break off. I can put it in a bag (it the size of a large ipad ) Im sure there are better mixers out there. The eq settings are very good. i prefer to use the computer interface to tweal things but you don t need to.

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 11:46 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
tubby.twins wrote:
Carvin does make excellent amplifiers.

Yes, that's what I picked up when I researched them on a few forums. Made in CA, and been around for years. If I didn't have the QSC K12's I would go for this. The AG300 has the oomph like the QSC's, and built in FX. Thats why I am looking for a mixer with built in fx.
Jayesskerr wrote:
Yeah, I think that lots of the guys here do the mixer/PA thing and it sounds pretty good,
Yes Scott, I think that makes sense the more I look. The QSC's are highly regarded. I have great tone, plenty of headroom and it handles my bass notes well. I have the VG-99 for the melody side so fx would be for the bass side only, thus a small mixer with onboard fx is what I am looking at. Behringer was recommended and they have a few smaller boards (5-8 inputs) with onboard fx.
Thanks guys!

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Mon Oct 09, 2017 5:04 pm
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Jayesskerr wrote:
Yeah, I think that lots of the guys here do the mixer/PA thing and it sounds pretty good, plus if one is into pedals (Gene and Boaz :D) one has a lot of options as far as effects routing.

The gear quest is fun, haha


The more I play Stick, the more it seems that a FRFR/mini PA setup is really where it sounds at home, to my ears. Really need to have a tweeter to fully appreciate the unique character of the instrument. Standard guitar cabs, even for the melody side, just lose a lot of the detail of the tapping.

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Tue Oct 10, 2017 12:58 am
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Post Re: Amps revisited
Re: Carvin, they're going out of business. Their Facebook page has the announcement, and the web page is having a 25% off clearance sale, all sales final.


Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:52 am
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