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  1. #1

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    Is there a difference among these for the purpose of jazz guitar amplification? Are there differences in their designs in so far as it affects their tone?
    By jazz amp I mean the specific category of SS amps that are branded so, like ZT's, Henriksen's, Mambo's.

    No wonder why Joe Pass plugged directly into PA and got awesome sound (most of the times).

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    To my ear and in my limited experience ...

    PA's sound sterile. I wish I could explain it better than that. That said, I've played a few gigs with a KB150 (adding reverb in front of it) and found it ok.

    Acoustic Amps vary. I used the Roland (the AC60, iirc) and couldn't get a sound I liked. It seemed to be designed to make strumming a dreadnaught sound bright. Useless to me. Too icy. But I used another .. can't recall the model, which sounded okay.

    Jazz amps maybe voiced a little darker, but there are a lot of variables. I've heard great tones out of a wide range of amps. For what I do, I find a certain level of unpredictability. I played in quintet yesterday in one room and with a different quintet today in a different room today. Same gear. I was irritated by the sound I was getting yesterday and totally comfortable today. With that much variation due to the room, my mood or sunspots, I'm reluctant to give amp advice, not that I let that stop me.
    Last edited by rpjazzguitar; 01-21-2020 at 05:50 AM.

  4. #3

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    In transition so in my living room I currently have set up:

    Acoustic Amps:
    - Acus 350 (also good for voice)
    - Schertler 150

    Guitar Amps:
    - Quilter 200 to 2X12 Celestion closed cab
    - Roland Artist Blues Cube

    PA:
    Yamaha DRZ10 driven from a preamp with a Strymon Iridium in the loop

    It's really subjective, but to my ears electric guitars and archtops with electric pickups sound better through electric guitar amps. Both the guitar amps I'm currently running sound great with an archtop or semi-hollow. That being said, an archtop -> amp model -> acoustic amp sounds pretty good and you get some of the acoustic quality you might otherwise miss.

    Still trying to get the PA speaker to not sound sterile. Seems there's a pony in that picture somewhere. Haven't figured it out yet. I can get chime. But not warmth.

    As for 'jazz amps', I so need to get around to selling my Henriksen. Kinda sorta hate the midrange thing.

  5. #4

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    PAs and acoustic guitar amps generally have tweeters, and the tweeters are often pretty hot rather than having a flat frequency response. Also, the preamp inputs of PAs aren’t voiced for magnetic pickups.

    I’ve experimented with a powered monitor as a slave for my solid state jazz amp (an old Jazzkat). I connected it to the XLR out from the Jazzkat. I had to dial the treble way back on the monitor to reduce the tweeter signal for a more neutral response. I decided if my main amp ever failed that would be an acceptable backup.

  6. #5

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    Acoustic amps are like mini PAs, going after accurate sound reproduction, but with some guitar targeted features like more specific eq, reverb, input impedance etc. SS jazz amps go after the classic guitar amp sound, they are more colored and so have greater sound differences from brand to brand.

    My thoughts on what to use: Basic reason to use an amp is if you like the amps sound, and the luxury of controlling your stage monitor yourself. PAs are great with the stereo seperation they provide, but someone has to carry them! These days you can use a pedal and make a PA or an acoustic amp sound like anything really. BUT, if you want the real, real deal, you still have to use the real gear..

    I have a small tube amp, an SS amp, an acoustic amp, a simple analog amp simulation pedal, and a digital multi effects. Love them all cause they all do something the other ones can't. - Come to think of it, i even have a small PA, but no desire to carry it on gigs, playing and doing sound too is usually not worth it. Archtops and acoustics sound superb through it at home, but still with a dedicated guitar gear through it it sounds a lot better, be it an eq, multieffect, preamp or amp..

  7. #6

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    I'd say the three things that distinguish an electric guitar amp from either a PA or an acoustic amp are:

    - Input impedence (high for magnetic pups, low for mics and piezos; many PAs and acoustic amps have high impedence inputs, which is part of why they kinda work)
    - Tone stack (complicated subject, but our ears are trained to hear just a few variants found on classic guitar amps as right, and all others as "not like an electric guitar")
    - Speaker (guitar speakers attenuate high frequencies a lot)

    It's hard to generalize about "jazz amps" because some shade into the acoustic/PA zone and some don't. But look at those three parameters to judge how guitar-y an amp is.

    And then look more deeply at the pre-amp/tone-stack to see whether it behaves like a Fender, or an Ampeg, or a Polytone (to oversimplify) to figure which specific flavor of guitar amp it is.

    John

  8. #7
    We can even add SS bass amps to the mix as they also seem to have less colored, clean headroom focused designs. With more wattage and different speakers of course.
    Last edited by Tal_175; 01-21-2020 at 01:49 PM.

  9. #8

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    Our group has a nice Bose system that the keyboardist uses but I’ve never plugged into it. Our acoustic bass player did for a long time and sounded great I thought, but recently he has gone over to a DI with a powered speaker, for more control over his sound.

    I usually use a Fishman Artist. It has a switch for inputs—high vs low impedance, i.e., magnetic vs piezo—and an adjustable tweeter. I haven’t found the tweeter to make much of a difference for magnetic pickups, but it is important for acoustic piezo pickups. I really appreciate the sound of an archtop through this amp and haven’t found anything I like better. The weight is reasonable (25.5 lbs or so) and the sound is LOUD.

    I also have a Fender SCXD that I use on occasion. I use the clean channel mainly, not much for an overdriven sound. It sounds pretty nice, and the effects are worthwhile. In the settings where we play I can’t tell much difference in the sound compared to the Artist, and it is a bit heavier and not as much clean headroom, so usually I carry the Artist around.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Spook410
    In transition so in my living room I currently have set up:

    Acoustic Amps:
    - Acus 350 (also good for voice)
    Never seen that one before, looks promising. Is it louder than the Schertler?
    Last edited by Woody Sound; 01-21-2020 at 11:43 AM.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    We can even add SS bass amps to the mix as they also seem to have less colored, clean headroom focused designs. With more wattage and different speaker of course.
    I'd say this is kind of a hidden secret in guitar amplification. Bass amps and more so speakers sound great with guitar!

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    I'd say this is kind of a hidden secret in guitar amplification. Bass amps and more so speakers sound great with guitar!
    The speaker in the Quilter MP-HD is actually a "bass speaker."

    Celestion BN12-300S (8) - 12 inch Bass Guitar Speaker

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Never seen that one before, looks promising. Is it louder than the Schertler?
    Acus 350 is a 350 watt 2X8 plus tweeter with mixer that's similar to a Schertler Roy (or the previous version SR Jam400). The Schertler 150 is a 150 watt 1X8 plus tweeter. Roughly comparable to a 200 watt Schertler Jam200 though my version is an extension speaker without the mixer. They are really good hi fidelity rigs for flat tops and voice. Warmer than the PA speakers I've used. A Schertler Roy would be a bit more powerful than the Acus and that's what I would get in this capability range.

    Thing is.. Acus, which is made up of many of the same players that used to make the SR line, is made in a small Italian town that used to be the source for the Schertler Jam series before SR and Schertler went their separate ways. Their gear sounds great but they are not well supported in the US. I bought a second one last fall, a $1K rig, that arrived not working via Amazon. I tried to get support and they were simply missing in action with no support network in the US and no response from Italy via email. So I had to return it. I've heard similar stories from others on the Acoustic Forum.

  14. #13

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    In my extremely unscientific trials, I think you could get away with using a PA is you're playing through a floater. That somehow works better than set in pickups. That acoustic sound helps. I've gotten perfectly lovely sounds going into my pa that way, especially if you incorporate some nice preamps or a decent eq.

    I came close to getting a schertler but went a different way at the last second because I wanted battery power, and needed more options. They are a little easier to find than acus stuff in the states. Though I asked them about a pickup that's no longer in stock and they said they'd ship it from Switzerland for like $50

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    I came close to getting a schertler but went a different way at the last second because I wanted battery power, and needed more options.
    So what did you go with?

  16. #15

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    I stared at the acus one street for a while since I figured it was more or less the same thing, but I ended up getting a carvin stagemate 600, a line array, little pa kinda thing.

    Then they promptly went out of business like the next day, making me look like a damn jackass. Very happy with it, but I'm working without a net because they won't support it any longer, nor do they still have any of the components or accessories, so I can't expand it any further (it's modular).

    Very pleased with it and all the features and flexibility it offers, but still a tad miffed about the carvin thing. Not sure if that would have changed my decision, though. Not many other battery powered, 30 lbs, six channel anythings out there at any price. it's a Bluetooth speaker, karaoke machine, e drum amp, bass amp, acoustic guitar amp, vocals, keyboard and all that. Sad that it went away.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    I stared at the acus one street for a while since I figured it was more or less the same thing, but I ended up getting a carvin stagemate 600, a line array, little pa kinda thing.

    Then they promptly went out of business like the next day, making me look like a damn jackass. Very happy with it, but I'm working without a net because they won't support it any longer, nor do they still have any of the components or accessories, so I can't expand it any further (it's modular).

    Very pleased with it and all the features and flexibility it offers, but still a tad miffed about the carvin thing. Not sure if that would have changed my decision, though. Not many other battery powered, 30 lbs, six channel anythings out there at any price. it's a Bluetooth speaker, karaoke machine, e drum amp, bass amp, acoustic guitar amp, vocals, keyboard and all that. Sad that it went away.
    Yeah that whole Carvin thing sucked, they really screwed their customers. They went belly-up, then promptly reorg/reopened under a different suffix, and said "Sorry we won't service or provide parts for anything made before our reorg.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    Not many other battery powered, 30 lbs, six channel anythings out there at any price. it's a Bluetooth speaker, karaoke machine, e drum amp, bass amp, acoustic guitar amp, vocals, keyboard and all that. Sad that it went away.
    Use this with the amp of your choice

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/CPAP-Supp...rgen/755422072

  19. #18

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    Yeah, the carvin thing didn't sit well with me. It's one thing to discontinue everything. It's another to say that everyone's on their own. Still, it's a great product, but buyer really beware. It's not like you can just take it to the local amp guy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Woody Sound
    Use this with the amp of your choice

    https://www.walmart.com/ip/CPAP-Supp...rgen/755422072
    that's pretty neat. Under five lbs! I wonder if that works come through as promised. I did a deep dive into portable battery solutions when I was shopping. I didn't want to do the whole usb thing or marine battery thing, so this would have been a welcome solution. I exchanged some emails with goal zero about their product line but never got a straight yes /no answer. Something about tube watts vs solid state watts vs actual watts and all that. Pushed me toward a battery powered amp and here we are.

    I still wonder about it because the battery life on the carvin isn't that great. Maybe a few hours at most.

  20. #19

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    Lithium battery inverters work great on Class D amps. There have been posts on this in the past that discuss it in more detail including the simple math to figure out how long you can expect one to run your gear.

  21. #20

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    That's great to hear! They might not have the juice to reliably run traditional amps, which was the problem for me back then. I didn't want to settle for a toy amp but real amps hate batteries.

    But now that I have a class d one, I'm all ears. Especially if these can power some pedals, too.

  22. #21

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    I ran a Quilter MicroPro on a gig for 4 hrs with this battery pack and it only dipped one bar by the end of the job. Don't know how it would do with a tube amp, because of my 10 or so amps, none right now are tubes. (But all SS are not necessarily Class D.)

  23. #22

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    My es175 sounds oddly great through a PA. I would be quite happy Joe Passing it.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by feet
    That's great to hear! They might not have the juice to reliably run traditional amps, which was the problem for me back then. I didn't want to settle for a toy amp but real amps hate batteries. But now that I have a class d one, I'm all ears. Especially if these can power some pedals, too.
    I posted this a while back in another thread. The pedalboard and the amp go into a 2-way adapter, then into the Battery pack. Runs all night no problem.

    PA vs Acoustic Amp vs Jazz Amp-beaudens2-jpg

  25. #24

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    Hey, that's pretty sweet. It's a thought for another day, but maybe I can get something like that to augment mine. Or just rip the battery out entirely to save all that weight. It's one of those Marine batteries. So I'm still a little dubious, but this is worth further investigation.

    Are you doing anything special with that? Travel, busking or whatever?

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    My es175 sounds oddly great through a PA. I would be quite happy Joe Passing it.
    Likewise with my 175 and my hi-fi AI Corus III combo. I think the 175 in its tank-like case weighs more than the amp! Or feels like it.