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Unread 10-10-2016, 05:20 AM   #1
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Amp for small to medium congregations

Hi,

I'm looking to get my first amp for use with my acoustic guitar. It is also possible that I would put vocals through it, and maybe in time include a BeatBuddy pedal system. The settings where it would be used are mainly small groups 20-40 people, but there is potential that I might use it in settings of around 80-100 people, so might be useful to have capacity to be loud enough for such situations.

Any recommendations on what to get? How many watts would be adequate? At what stage do I need to consider a fuller sound system rather than just a solo amp?

Thanks in advance.

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Unread 10-10-2016, 02:40 PM   #2
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I'll answer a question with a few questions. Budget? Modern worship music with full band? Is there an existing PA? What's a Beat Buddy system?

I have an "Acoustic" brand AG30 amp that would fit the bill on the lower end of the budget. Now they changed the models and have an AG40 or AG20 at various prices. As for wattage ratings, they are so varied that it's not a good indicator. I have a Kustom PW 50 that is nowhere near as loud as a 50 watt amp. And Bose doesn't even have power ratings.

If you don't have a budget cap, I'd go for a Fishman Loudbox. The mini should be plenty for your needs. I've not heard a lot of good about the Fender acoustasonic as far as using it for vocals too.

I have a musician friend who gigs 3 nights a week and he loves his Fishman Solo 220.

If you use drop tuning, I'd go for something with at least a 10" speaker to get that nice low end bass.
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Unread 10-10-2016, 02:42 PM   #3
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Acoustic guitar that will be mic'd? Acoustic electric guitar? Vocals too? I'm conjunction with a PA? As a stand alone PA?
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Unread 10-10-2016, 03:46 PM   #4
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I've used a friend's Behringer ACX1800 which should do everything you're asking. You get a great sound from it, two channels (one of which you can use with a mic) and it's good XLR out (with ground lift) so you can run it straight into a mixer if need be. It's also not overly heavy.

You get a pretty decent sound out of it, several EQ bands and it has some basic FX you can add in (such as reverb and delay). If I had an excuse to buy an acoustic amp (I don't really need a dedicated acoustic amp in any context I play in) I would totally get one of these for myself.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 03:10 AM   #5
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Acoustic guitar that will be mic'd? Acoustic electric guitar? Vocals too? I'm conjunction with a PA? As a stand alone PA?
Thanks for taking time to reply - the email notifications went to my Junk Mail, so only saw them today.

The guitar I have is electric acoustic, so going straight into amp/mixer as the pickup is good enough (LR Baggs). There will be vocals, but also synth pads from iPad. BeatBuddy is a drum machine pedal. In time there may be a second vocals.

As for budget, I am thinking up to £1000. Ideally I want a system that is portable and able to work separate from a PA as there may not be one available.

Talking to some other folks, it has been said that something on the ground won't project well enough to the back for a group of 100 people who are standing and singing, so I am wondering about moving towards a mixer and powered speaker setup. Thoughts?
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Unread 10-11-2016, 03:48 AM   #6
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Mixer, speaker

I use a small PA system and it works great. I have a Yamaha MG8cx mixer and an MSR400 powered speaker. It sounds great for vocals and works well for guitar too. I have used it for 4 years for groups as small as 8 and as large as 250. The one speaker works fine if it's placed in the center of the sound field. If you're going to expand and add singers, you'll need a mixer at some point so I'd recommend going that way rather than a stand alone unit.

The models I use are no longer available but the new MG10XU mixer is around $200 and a DXR12 speaker is around $700 (US) and a good speaker stand is about $50.

Of course there are many options out there and I'm sure others will say Mackie makes a better speaker for a lower price, but I get so many compliments about my sound.

Good luck whatever route you go.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 05:07 AM   #7
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I use a small PA system and it works great. I have a Yamaha MG8cx mixer and an MSR400 powered speaker. It sounds great for vocals and works well for guitar too. I have used it for 4 years for groups as small as 8 and as large as 250. The one speaker works fine if it's placed in the center of the sound field. If you're going to expand and add singers, you'll need a mixer at some point so I'd recommend going that way rather than a stand alone unit.

The models I use are no longer available but the new MG10XU mixer is around $200 and a DXR12 speaker is around $700 (US) and a good speaker stand is about $50.

Of course there are many options out there and I'm sure others will say Mackie makes a better speaker for a lower price, but I get so many compliments about my sound.

Good luck whatever route you go.
Thanks, that's helpful. Do you think the DBR10 speakers are sufficient? It is a 40% price jump to go to the DXR10 speakers alone! Or a 63% jump to go to DXR12s. I had been thinking a DBR10 bundle at £700 - the same bundle for DXR12s is £1200.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 06:25 AM   #8
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Thanks, that's helpful. Do you think the DBR10 speakers are sufficient? It is a 40% price jump to go to the DXR10 speakers alone! Or a 63% jump to go to DXR12s. I had been thinking a DBR10 bundle at £700 - the same bundle for DXR12s is £1200.
I should add that for £700 I can either get one DXR12 speaker with cable, stand, cover...or I can get two DBR10s with cables, stands and covers. Is one speaker really worth two?
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Unread 10-11-2016, 07:34 AM   #9
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Thanks, that's helpful. Do you think the DBR10 speakers are sufficient? It is a 40% price jump to go to the DXR10 speakers alone! Or a 63% jump to go to DXR12s. I had been thinking a DBR10 bundle at £700 - the same bundle for DXR12s is £1200.
Have found a DXR10 bundle (2 speakers and accessories) for £1000 - supplier says suitable for up to 100 people. Does that seem accurate?

Last edited by swburton; 10-11-2016 at 09:33 AM.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 01:53 PM   #10
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The DBR10 should do just fine. Lugging the 12 around can be a chore. Yamaha makes terrific PA speakers and I've been looking at getting the DXRs if my MSR400s ever fail me. The DXR models seems to get a better review than the DBR but either way I feel you have a winner.
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Unread 10-11-2016, 01:57 PM   #11
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I should add, getting two 10s would be a great way to go so if you set up and need a monitor, one could be "main" and the other could be a monitor. Running a pair of 10s as mains would sound terrific and be more than adequate for 100 people. I use 2 12s in a church that seats 400 and there is plenty of power left.
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Unread 10-12-2016, 04:05 AM   #12
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I should add, getting two 10s would be a great way to go so if you set up and need a monitor, one could be "main" and the other could be a monitor. Running a pair of 10s as mains would sound terrific and be more than adequate for 100 people. I use 2 12s in a church that seats 400 and there is plenty of power left.
Thanks, those are really helpful comments and feedback.
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Unread 10-13-2016, 01:44 PM   #13
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You can get a Bose L1 for 750 quid.... guitarist uses one in our supernatural school also for vocals and dvd sound. I've seen him use it in much bigger settings and I've no doubt it would reach 100 people, especially since it is its own speaker stand... it that makes sense...
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Unread 12-21-2016, 04:32 AM   #14
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it depends on size of area that you need to full with sound. my little guitar amp which has 10 watt speaker full my small house with sound so at bed room level I rarely have it above one. I rule of thumb of a half a watt for square meter or yard. some figure out the area you need to full with sound and you can get how many watts you need.
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