Baby acoustic amp recommendations?

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SnagsSnags Frets: 291
This should probably be in Amps, but I thought it might be better targeted in here :)

Normally at home I just play acoustics ... acoustically.  When I play in public (mostly church) I DI into the desk. So I've never bothered with amps specifically for the acoustics.

Now I'm starting to play around a bit with simple effects on the acoustic, and whilst I can do that via headphones, it seems a shame for Mrs Snags not to benefit from my experiments, so I'm thinking about a small, discrete, inexpensive acoustic amp primarily for home use. If it happened to have an XLR out then I might use it as a combined monitor/DI source but that's not critical.

If I was likely to do little pub gigs or anything I'd spring for a Loudbox Mini, but that feels a bit OTT for current needs (and over justifiable budget, really). Are things like the Carlsbro Sherwood 20R worthwhile, or is it a case of needing to spend above a certain floor if you're going to bother at all?

More than happy to go secondhand, subject to the usual issues of location/collection etc.
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    The Sherwood 20 probably isn't that bad - I haven't actually played one, although I'm familiar with the bigger models - but like all very cheap acoustic amps it probably won't sound that great because it won't have a proper full-range speaker system with a tweeter. It just has a single speaker, which even if it's claimed to be 'full range', still won't have the top-end response you need to make an acoustic guitar sound natural - if you can stretch to something even slightly larger which has a 2-way speaker system, it will sound much better. Even a speaker with a 'whizzer' cone would help, but I can't find any pics of the ones Carlsbro use - Fender do specifically mention that for their Acoustasonic 40, but that's probably outside your budget.

    If you don't mind something a bit physically bigger, you can actually pick up the old Marshall AS50R (or if you're lucky, AS50D which has better reverb) for around £100, or sometimes even less. It's not the best-sounding acoustic amp in the world, but it's a big step up from the typical 15-20W ones.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 291
    edited May 19
    Ta.  The budget is artificial - I'm in the happy position that I could drive over to the local shop and pay over the odds for a Loudbox Mini this afternoon if I wanted/need to. However, I'm not sure I can really justify dropping the fat end of £300 on something that will only be used very rarely at home. It would arguably be more sensible to pick up a Tone Wood

    I've been looking out for a pre-loved Loudbox Mini and similar, but they seem pretty thin on the ground, and to still command close enough to the new price (compared to a web purchase) that I'd end up bunging the extra on top for new anyway.

    I could square away <£100 easily, and wouldn't carry much guilt for £150-£175 (new or secondhand). Once it starts tipping £200 I get a bit twitchy just on not taking the piss out of the domestic budget.

    ETA: thanks for the tip on the Zoom A2.  Got one off Ebay that arrived yesterday. Looks like it's going to serve the purpose admirably, and will doubtless be a gateway drug to expensive pre-amp/DI/loop units :)
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    Whereabouts are you? There's a second hand Loudbox Mini in the shop I work for in Glasgow...
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 291
    Hertford - just north of London.  Have a good friend who lives Glasgow way, but unlikely to be seeing him any time soon.
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 291
    Oh you bastard :) I really, really can't justify an Artist. Far more oomph then I'll ever need (and potentially therefore tricksy to get working at the more modest volumes I'm after).
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  • TheBigDipperTheBigDipper Frets: 871
    Snags said:
    Oh you bastard :) I really, really can't justify an Artist. Far more oomph then I'll ever need (and potentially therefore tricksy to get working at the more modest volumes I'm after).
    Actually, you'd be surprised. I used to own an Artist, and I felt it sounded better at domestic levels than at full chat. And it has headphones output (which I don't remember ever using). It also made a very acceptable monitor for digital modellers.

    £330 isn't much for that, is it?  :)
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 291
    <Fingers in ears>
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  • martmart Frets: 2718
    Snags said:
    <Fingers in ears>
    You’ll need a more powerful amp to be able to hear your guitar if you keep your fingers in your ears. :)
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  • Santona1937Santona1937 Frets: 3
    mart said:
    Snags said:
    <Fingers in ears>
    You’ll need a more powerful amp to be able to hear your guitar if you keep your fingers in your ears. :)
    you do have to be a bit wary that calluses do not scrape the inside of your ear canal,  thus diminishing hearing, and thus requiring a  bigger amp!
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  • Flanging_FredFlanging_Fred Frets: 1606


    Are you still looking?  Ive been thinking about moving on my Trace Accoustic TA35cr which seems like it might suit your needs.

     I was thinking of only asking £75 for it.  Its pretty heavy for a small thing though so im not sure what postage would cost ATM.

    Let me know if it's of any interest.

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  • KebabkidKebabkid Frets: 1373
    edited June 2
    I use a Roland Microcube on the Acoustic setting as my acoustic guitar preamp.

    You can use the amp at home as it's only 2W and loud enough but for live use, I take a line-out to the PA and it's great and can even double as a spare amp if you're using the other models. It has an ok reverb and delay on it but I think the other fx are slightly over-cooked. Oh, and having heard the latest Microcubes (GX version), I don't think they sound the same or as good as the older ones and that would be the one I'd opt for and they can be had used for @£50


     www.cairoeast.co.uk - Madness Tribute band (Bass Player) and guitarist elsewhere
    Feedback - http://www.thefretboard.co.uk/discussion/57885/
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  • SnagsSnags Frets: 291
    Thanks both.  @Flanging_Fred PM incoming
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 31628
    If I remember rightly, the reverb on the TA35 is a traditional spring unit. This is a good thing, because the most common fault I've come across on the otherwise bigger/better TA50 and TA100 is that the Alesis digital reverb unit sometimes fails, and can't be repaired or easily replaced.

    For £75 it's a bargain. [NoaffiliationwithFlanging_Fred] :).
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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