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  1. #1
    Hi all. I have an AER Alpha that I use with my Godin Grand Concert Duet Ambiance (always a mouthful). I've also run my electric guitars into it on occasion when playing clean. I have a dirt box that I use on occasion and it sounds - well - odd through the AER. I was looking at the Little Jazz as something I could use with my electrics for a little distortion here and there (with a pedal). We are talking Genesis, Frisell, and some smooth jazz stuff - not Slayer or Acca Dacca. That said, no one stocks the Little Jazz anywhere near me and I can't try one out. Has anyone given one a whirl with their pedalboards and liked the results? Or, maybe I should just look into getting a dirt box that sounds better with the AER and use it for both acoustic and electric playing. Ideas? Thanks!

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  3. #2

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    I use the LJ with a Boss ME80 for almost everything.

    The LJ is voiced dark, I think. I'm very happy with it for the sound I want, but I'm not sure it's especially versatile.

  4. #3

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    I guess that the „weird“ sound of the AER with overdrive is due to the fact that you have no speaker emulation, so all the unpleasant high frequencies aren’t cut. The Little Jazz speaker will probably cut them, but I have no personal experience.

    The Joyo American Sound does a decent job with my acoustic amp (Marshall AD 50) so it may be worth a try. Costs around 60€.


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  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by SandChannel
    Has anyone given one a whirl with their pedalboards and liked the results? Or, maybe I should just look into getting a dirt box that sounds better with the AER and use it for both acoustic and electric playing. Ideas? Thanks!
    I did try an OD through a LJ and didn't like it. Maybe it's just me, but i never like a pedal od through a clean amp. In my experience: buy an amp thas has a gain/master volume or a two channel amp that has an OD. I tried the Soul Food through the LJ and was not happy. I bought the Koch Jupiter and played the OD channel and was immediatly happy.

    I tried a very simple Orang Crush 20 through the OD channel next to the soulfood through the LJ and preffered the Orange (which costs pretty much the same as the soul food alone!). And the Orange is a very basic amp aimed at beginners.

  6. #5

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    The AER is designed as an acoustic amp; it may well have a full-range or twin-cone speaker. Fine for acoustic instruments, but not especially suitable for jazz unless it's gypsy jazz.
    That said, I'm not sure a distortion box is going to sound very good through any small, moderately priced and moderately powered SS "jazz' amp.

  7. #6

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    I do a lot of gigging with my AER Alpha. It needs a bit of manipulation for electric jazz guitar. I have a Joyo American Sound preamp pedal and that works very well for steering the tone into electric guitar territory. When using overdrive, an EQ-pedal after the OD is a must, to cut off unwanted high-frequencies.

    Although, I also do plug straight into it, when I have a gig I know I’ll only be using a straight foward clean jazz sound (whatever that is, haha). I plug into the first input, up the mids and turn down the treble. The good thing of the Alpha is that it has a built in limiter/compressor that gives it a ‘tubey’ feel and behaviour when you up the volume. I like using my Boss FRV-1 reverb pedal, since I don’t care much for the on board reverb.

    Two weeks ago, just before they closed all bars again because of COVID19:

  8. #7

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    SandChannel,
    This has nothing to do with your question, but I want to mention something about the Godin Grand Concert. My son was about to buy an AER for his Godin Grand Concert. He's never been satisfied with the tone he got from his Fishman Loud Box Mini or any other amp he tried.

    To make a long story short, on a whim he plugged into a friend's powered speaker. That was it. He found the sound he'd been looking for for over 3 years. He ended up buying an Electrovoice ZLX powered speaker for $350 instead of the AER and he's happy as a pig in slop with the tone he's getting. Now he's looking for a good reverb pedal. Any suggestions on reverb pedals?

  9. #8

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    The AER Alpha is in fact just a powered speaker or a mini-PA in a smaller package....

  10. #9

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    The AER alpha is an excellent acoustic amp that doubles as an acceptable electric guitar amp for jazz.

    There was a time when there was nothing else like it on the market, but over time this has changed, with both more jazz guitar specific amps of similar portability and even more portable micro set ups.

    That said, I think the Alpha will always have a place in my gigging line up because it does amplify certain guitars very well. For example, my old ES175 sounds great DRY through the amp, which shouldn’t work, but it does.

    Secondly singers really like the Vocal channel. So if you want to gig with singers, it helps to have one.

    For drive I would recommend using some sort of preamp. The American sound does the trick, I use a SansAmp FlyRig. I also like using a ART valve pre.

    If you put a drive straight in it tends to sound fizzy as the AER has a lot of high end compared to a trad guitar amp, but I’ve got some interesting sounds with it.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Jay
    The AER Alpha is in fact just a powered speaker or a mini-PA in a smaller package....
    Actually, I’m not sure it is. As far as I can tell the preamp does quite a lot to the sound - for instance piezo equipped acoustic guitars sound great through it, but it really doesn’t seem to get on very well with condenser mics.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack E Blue
    ...Now he's looking for a good reverb pedal. Any suggestions on reverb pedals?
    JHS/Milkman F-Stop Reverb and Tremolo. Get it from Distinctive Guitars Milkman Sound F-Stop Reverb / Tremolo .

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Actually, I’m not sure it is. As far as I can tell the preamp does quite a lot to the sound - for instance piezo equipped acoustic guitars sound great through it, but it really doesn’t seem to get on very well with condenser mics.
    Sure, the preamp colours the sound and it is voiced in a certain way I guess, probably less neutral than a powered speaker. Never tried a condenser mic, but it works great with any dynamic mic. Singers quite like the AER.

    But it has a much wider frequency range than an electric guitar amp, so I tend to see it more as a small PA-speaker.

  14. #13
    I'm a big fan of my AER. I found that most dirt boxes sound pretty bad with it, but alas, that was never its goal. I was thinking that the Little Jazz might do better with some dirt. I like smaller amps, because my back never cared for larger ones. I don't use dirt all that often, so it is not pressing, but I think I might try to find a DV Mark somewhere and run my pedals through it.

  15. #14

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    If i would go for a dv mark again, i would prefer something like this. Two channels.

    Gitaarversterker top Dv mark Micro 50



  16. #15

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    I think the Aer is on a different level compared to the DV Mark, both sound and construction wise. But tastes vary, and the DV Mark is a fine amp, and much cheaper.

    The Aer can sound great with distortion, but it needs amp/speaker simulation in the chain, the same way a PA would, otherwise it sounds too harsh because of the full range speaker.

    Here's some sounds i got out of the Aer, recorded with a simple camera mic or direct.

    Using a Line 6 Pod XT

    Using a Blackstone overdrive

    And a Boss gt-1, the whole film soundtrack was improvised and played live through the Aer, so lots of sounds there.

  17. #16

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    What do you think about this sound? good, bad, mediocre, correct?


  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marcel_A
    If i would go for a dv mark again, i would prefer something like this. Two channels.

    Gitaarversterker top Dv mark Micro 50


    I was wondering have you tried it? I saw a YouTube sales clip within Italian guitarist play through the Micro 50, Micro 50 metal and Micro 50 jazz. I thought he used round strings but the Jazz sounded perfectly jazzy! So I thought it more suitable


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  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    I was wondering have you tried it? I saw a YouTube sales clip within Italian guitarist play through the Micro 50, Micro 50 metal and Micro 50 jazz. I thought he used round strings but the Jazz sounded perfectly jazzy! So I thought it more suitable


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    All Micro 50 versions have the same clean channel. I've been using them a lot for jazz, as I prefer a darker basic sound over the brighter tone of some well-known American Class D amps. The "Lead" channel on the blue (Mk II of the original) and black (Metal) versions is a digital add-on missing entirely from the Jazz version, which is often more expensive than the other two and weighs the same. I've got the Mk I in personal use and an M for cab testing and demo purposes. Only psycho-acoustics would speak for the less versatile Jazz version. BTW, these are Micro 60s now. A cosmetics and marketing trick, as they all pump 50W to 8 ohm and 60W to 4 ohm.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    I was wondering have you tried it? I saw a YouTube sales clip within Italian guitarist play through the Micro 50, Micro 50 metal and Micro 50 jazz. I thought he used round strings but the Jazz sounded perfectly jazzy! So I thought it more suitable


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    no i didn't.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stbatz
    What do you think about this sound? good, bad, mediocre, correct?

    I don't think the recording does full justice to the guitar sounds. But it conveys a great and enjoyable moment of excellent playing before an enthusiastic audience.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gitterbug
    I don't think the recording does full justice to the guitar sounds. But it conveys a great and enjoyable moment of excellent playing before an enthusiastic audience.
    It's about how an AER Alpha sounds in a gig with a semi-hollow guitar, in my opinion it's ok but not great

  23. #22

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    The key to warming up an Aer is to have the preamp gain set as high as possible before clipping. It makes a difference, but it still is an acoustic, and not a tube amp type, sound.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    The key to warming up an Aer is to have the preamp gain set as high as possible before clipping. It makes a difference, but it still is an acoustic, and not a tube amp type, sound.
    Hot preamps. I used this on my pa as well and the lunchbox specifically instructs you to do this.


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  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stbatz
    What do you think about this sound? good, bad, mediocre, correct?

    To me the bold man’s guitar sound much better although with this sort of playing anything sounds great to start with!


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  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stbatz
    What do you think about this sound? good, bad, mediocre, correct?

    I'm reluctant to criticize tone, because, often enough, my ears adjust and I start to like it better.

    That said, this seems harsh, or something, compared to the kind of sound I like. If I was getting that tone, I'd pick a little softer, roll off some highs, double check that I'm on the neck pickup and think about a different amp. Or, I might wait and see if it starts to sound better.

    I don't think you can get that sound out of the LJ. My impression is that the LJ softens the sound a bit, which I like.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    I'm reluctant to criticize tone, because, often enough, my ears adjust and I start to like it better.

    That said, this seems harsh, or something, compared to the kind of sound I like. If I was getting that tone, I'd pick a little softer, roll off some highs, double check that I'm on the neck pickup and think about a different amp. Or, I might wait and see if it starts to sound better.

    I don't think you can get that sound out of the LJ. My impression is that the LJ softens the sound a bit, which I like.
    yes i agreed

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eck
    To me the bold man’s guitar sound much better although with this sort of playing anything sounds great to start with!


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    i agree

  29. #28

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    This is not an Alpha it is a Compact 60 but it sounds good for me, beyond the excellence of the remembered and beloved Rick Stone