The Best Acoustic Guitar Amps - Under 50W, 100W & 100W+

Acoustic guitar amps

If you have an acoustic guitar with pickups you need a specialized acoustic amp if you want to bring out the natural tone of your instrument.

Because acoustic amps aim to be transparent (they try not to color the sound) they are also good at amplifying vocals - this means that many of these amps are also designed to work well as small PA systems for a one or two person act.

Acoustic guitar amps also work well for other acoustic instruments using close mics or pickups such as violin or ukulele. I've even seen examples of hand percussion being mic'd and amplified via an acoustic amp and some people simultaneously put keyboards and guitar through some of the models with multiple channels.

Things To Consider When Buying An Acoustic Guitar Amplifier

Acoustic guitar amps are quite different in nature to electric guitar amps, so if this is your first venture into getting an amp for your acoustic instrument, please read the following carefully to help ensure you get the best possible amp for your needs.

  • Tonal Differences Between Electric and Acoustic Guitar Amps

    An electric guitar amp is meant to color the sound in pleasing ways and to be a significant part of your tone, whilst an acoustic amp is meant to reproduce the sound of your instrument as accurately as possible with as little coloration as possible - this is referred to as 'transparency'.

    Electric amplifiers allow you to really crank them up usually introducing harmonic distortion as they get really loud. Because this is unwanted in an acoustic amp they will typically limit the volume before any significant harmonic distortion is introduced which leads to an acoustic amp of the same power rating as an electric amp not quite sounding as loud. You will often see customer reviews in which a new acoustic amp owners says something to the effect, "it's not as loud as I expected" - which of course, is to be expected.

  • Microphone / XLR Input Channels

    If you are going to sing through your amp while playing then there are a couple of important issues to consider.

    Firstly, if you use condenser mics then you'll need to get an amp that provides phantom power (unless your mic uses batteries). Different amps provide different levels of voltage with the most common being 15V, 24V and 48V. Check to make sure the amp you want is compatible with the condenser mics you intend to use. If you only use dynamic mics like the SM58 then this isn't an issue for you. For more information on microphones see our guide to The Best Live Vocal Mics.

    Secondly, some amps have completely independent channels for microphones and instruments whilst others share features between channels such as effects and DI outs. Read the details of each amp carefully to ensure it has the channel configuration you need for simultaneously playing instruments and singing through it.

  • Feedback Detection / Prevention

    The threat of feedback is an ever present concern when using acoustic amps, particularly with acoustic guitars because they resonate so well. You can run into problems at high volumes and sometimes at lower volumes depending on the acoustics of the room you're playing in. The simplest solution is to adjust the EQ but getting an amp with anti-feedback features will make life easier for you in the long run. Different amps take different approaches to the problem but in general Notch Filters are more effective than phase switches.

  • PA via a Preamp as an Alternative

    Instead of using a dedicated acoustic guitar amp some guitarists plug into the PA system using an acoustic preamp. Note that due to the high impedance of pickups you can't plug directly into your mixing console without going through a preamp first, and you should use as short of a cable as possible from your guitar to the preamp. You can learn more about this in our guide to Acoustic Preamps.

Methodology

We looked at all of the acoustic amps specifically designed for guitar that were available at major online music gear retailers in the USA and selected the 24 most popular amps to process for their Gearank scores. This included the brands AER, Acoustic, Behringer, Fender, Fishman, Marshall, Peavey, and Roland and resulted in us processing over 3,800 distinct data points. Note that we did not include modeling amps that provide models of acoustic amps despite the fact that some retailers include modeling amps in their acoustic amp category pages. I then divided them into brackets according to their power rating and selected each amp that had a Gearank score of 90 or higher in each of the following power ranges:

For more information about this process see How Gearank Works.

The Best Acoustic Amps up to 50 Watts

At 50 watts and below these amps are good for practice and playing small venues like cafes - unless you mic them up or send output to a PA system they generally won't cut it on outdoor stages or larger indoor venues.

Marshall AS50D

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$400
Marshall AS50D 50-Watt 2 Channel Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp

The AS50D is a versatile and very popular 50 watt 2-channel amp that serves both as a guitar amp and a small PA system.

In smaller venues this is all you need for singing and playing, but at larger venues you can use it as your stage monitor and send either the line out, or preferably the balanced DI signal, directly to your mixer.

The inclusion of phantom power on the XLR mic input means you can use live condenser microphones in addition to dynamic mics.

Features

  • 2 Channels
  • XLR Mic Input w/ Phantom Power
  • Feedback Notch Filter
  • Line Out & DI Output
  • Effects Loop
  • Built in Reverb & Chorus

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 50 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: 2 guitar inputs + XLR & Aux
  • Outputs: Line out + Balanced DI
  • Controls: Input volume, Master volume, Bass & Treble (both channels), Speed, Depth, Balance, Reverb Level, Anti feedback frequency
  • Speakers: 2 x 8" Celestion 25W
  • Weight: 35.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 21.65" x 16.34" x 10.04"

Pros

It's difficult to say which aspect of this amp got the most positive comments in customer reviews because everything from it's tone to how well it performs when putting guitar and vocals through it simultaneously, and of course the value for money, are constantly praised. Both steel string and nylon string players love this amp.

Cons

There were no consistent complaints about this amp in customer reviews.

Overall

After reading through hundreds of customer reviews on more than 10 acoustic amps in this power range, I can say that this is definitely the amp acoustic guitarists like the most in the 50-watt and under category.

AER Alpha

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 40+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$899
AER Alpha 40-Watt Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp

AER has been one of the dominant brands in acoustic guitar amps for several years and the 40-Watt Alpha is their popular entry level amp.

Tommy Emmanuel is one of the most notable artists who uses AER acoustic amps, albeit with their much more expensive Domino 3.

Although you can plug both your guitar and mic into it, it's less useful as a small PA because it only has 1 channel meaning your effects loop is applied to both inputs. It does however provide 24V phantom power on the XLR input.

Features

  • 1 Channel
  • Built-in digital reverb
  • Parallel effect loop that blends with the dry sound
  • XLR Mic Input w/ Phantom Power
  • Both Line and Balanced preamp DI Outs
  • Effects Loop

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 40 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 1 with 2 inputs with individual volume knobs
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: 1 x combo 1/4" instrument input & XLR, 1 x 1/4" instrument input, 1 x 1/4" stereo jack for dual footswitch, 1/4" effects return
  • Outputs: XLR balanced DI before master volume after tone control without effects, 1/4" line out preamp output after master volume, 1/4" tuner out, 1/4" stereo headphone out, 1/4" effects send after tone control before master volume
  • Controls: 2 x Input volume, Master volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Effects return volume, Colour switch that activates the midrange contour filter &boosts presence and slightly cuts midrange frequencies on Input 2.
  • Speakers: 1 x 8" dual cone
  • Weight: 13.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.24“ x 10.43“ x 9.25“

Pros

A common statement in positive customer reviews is that it has excellent volume for a 40W acoustic amp. It is recommended by both nylon string and steel string guitarists and fingerstyle players and strummers. The general consensus is that it faithfully reproduces your guitar without unwanted tonal coloration.

Cons

The only consistent complaint in customer reviews is about the price - AER amps are not cheap. One notable point is that I didn't find many customer reviews recommending it for vocals.

Overall

If you want a high-end 40-Watt amp and you have the funds, then this is a great option. If your budget can stretch a little further then consider the 60-Watt AER Compact 60 Mk3 listed below.

Roland AC-33

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$399
Roland AC-33

Roland has a great reputation for making high quality transparent instrument amplifiers and produce some of the highest rated keyboard amps, and that experience translates well to their acoustic amps.

The 30-Watt AC-33 is a highly rated stereo 2-channel acoustic guitar amp that comes with the added bonus of being able to be run on battery power making it ideal for street performers.

One channel is dedicated to guitar and the other is for microphone input. It also has a built-in 40 second phrase sampler / looper..

It is also available in a Rosewood colored finish in addition to the black version pictured here.

Features

  • 2 Channels
  • Built-in tilt-back stand
  • Built-in Chorus and Reverb
  • Built-in 40 second Looper
  • Optionally battery powered
  • Anti-feedback function

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 15 + 15 Watts with AC power and 10 + 10 Watts using batteries
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: 1 x 1/4" Instrument, 1 x XLR Mic, 1 x 1/4" TRS Line, 1 x 1/8" Aux, 2 x RCA Aux. 2 x 1/4" Footswitch jacks for looping and effects
  • Outputs: 2 x 1/4" line level (Left and Right), 1 x Stereo 1/4" Headphone out
  • Controls: Instrument channel- Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Chorus Switch; Mic/Line- Volume, Bass, Treble, Chorus Switch
  • Speakers: 2 x 5"
  • Weight: 10.36 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12.52" x 8.78" x 9.57"

Pros

Many customers have praised the quality of the sound, and in addition to that the anti-feedback system, effects, and build quality were also well liked.

Cons

There were a few people who lamented the fact that there is no phantom power available on the XLR/Mic input. Several people also said it wasn't loud enough for outdoor gigs.

Overall

If you're a street performer/busker then this is a great amp for you, but it's also used for regular gigs in small venues.

Behringer Ultracoustic ACX450

90
GEARANK

90 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$230
Behringer Ultracoustic ACX450

The Behringer ACX450 is a 45-watt 2 channel combo amp for acoustic guitar. The first channel is for guitar/instrument and the second is for Mic/Line input.

It doesn't have all the features of more expensive amps, there's no phantom power, FX loop, headphone jack, DI or Line outs, but based upon the reviews it does a fairly good job of being a straight-up acoustic amp with a low price.

When you turn the FBQ feedback control on the LEDs on the graphic EQ sliders light up to show you which frequency band is feeding back allowing you to turn down the specific band causing the problem.

Features

  • 2 channels
  • 5 band EQ on both channels
  • FBQ feedback indicators
  • A separate built-in effects processor for each channel which includes Reverb, Delay, Chorus, Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo and more

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 45 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: No
  • Inputs: 1x 1/4" Instrument, 1 x XLR, 1 x 1/4" Line
  • Outputs: None
  • Controls: Both channels have gain control, 5-band EQ, effects selector, effects level, FBQ feedback switch, There is also a level control on the back for the CD input.
  • Speakers: 1 x 8" dual cone
  • Weight: 29.1 lbs
  • Dimensions: 17.9" x 8.3" x 16.3"

Pros

"Great value for the money" or words to that effect are common in positive reviews. Many owners also say it works well for both practice and performing in small venues.

Cons

The lack of additional features did cause several complaints but in my opinion these are unwarranted because this is a budget amp, not a high-end Fishman or AER - you get what you pay for. There were also a few people who said the mid frequencies could be crisper.

Overall

If you're on a beginner or have a limited budget then this is a good choice.

The Best Acoustic Amps 51 to 100 Watts

These amplifiers are in the range that are loud enough for many mid sized venues and for practicing with a full band.

AER Compact 60 Mk3

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 200+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$1199
AER Compact 60 Mk3 60-Watt Acoustic Guitar Combo Amp

The 60 watt AER Compact 60 Mk3 has 2 channels with the first a dedicated instrument channel and the second one switchable between instrument an mic input with phantom power.

AER amps are used by virtuosi such as Tommy Emmanuel, Martin Taylor and Yoshiteru Ito, and other well known artists including Luka Bloom, Eric Johnson and Colin Hay.

Features

  • 2 channels
  • Built-in digital effects including reverb, delay, chorus and flanger
  • XLR Mic Input w/ Phantom Power
  • Both Line and Balanced preamp DI Outs
  • Effects Loop

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 60 Watts with a 50 watt limiter threshold
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: Channel 1 - 1 x 1/4" instrument jack w/ –10 dB pad switch; Channel 2 - 1 x combo XLR + jack 1/4” switchable instrument or mic input with 48v phantom power; Effects return 1 x 1/4" jack; 1 x 1/4" dual footswitch jack
  • Outputs: 1 x balanced XLR DI out, 1 x 1/4" preamp line out after master volume, 1 x 1/4" stereo headphone out (mutes speaker), 1 x 1/4" mono effects send, 1 x 1/4" tuner out
  • Controls: Channel 1 - Gain, Color, Bass, Mid, Treble, Channel 2 - Gain, Bass, Treble
  • Speakers: 1 x 8" twin cone
  • Weight: 14.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 10.2“ x 12.8" x 9.25"

Pros

In his Music Radar review Mick Taylor summed it up as "Super portable, excellent sounding acoustic guitar amp that you can also sing through. Pro all the way." Those sentiments were echoed in many positive customer reviews.

Cons

It doesn't have feedback detection - you have to take care of that yourself using the EQ or via an acoustic preamp prior to the signal reaching the amp..

Overall

Fishman Loudbox Mini

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 500+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$330
Fishman Loudbox Mini

The Loudbox Mini is Fishman's smallest and best selling acoustic amp and the most popular one found during our statistical analysis of this category with over 500 ratings and references as at the time of writing.

It's a 60-watt amp with 2 channels - one for instrument input and the other for vocals with XLR input for dynamic mics (no phantom power).

The built-in reverb and chorus can both be used on the instrument channel with just the reverb available on the mic channel.

The instrument channel also has a phase switch to help prevent feedback.

Features

  • 60 Watts
  • Digital reverb and chorus
  • Feedback Suppression
  • 10 degree tilt on speaker baffle

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 60 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: Channel 1 - 1 x 1/4" input (active or passive pickups), Channel 2 - 1 x XLR/Mic, 1/4" & 1/8" aux inputs,
  • Outputs: Balanced Mix DI Out
  • Controls: Channel 1 - Phase switch, Gain, 3-band EQ, Reverb, Chorus; Channel 2 - Gain, 2-band EQ, Reverb
  • Speakers: 1 x 6.5" woofer + 1 x 1" soft dome tweeter
  • Weight: 19.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 12" x 13.7" x 9.7"

Pros

In his review for Premier Guitar, Charles Saufley said "the Fishman Loudbox Mini is an exceptional acoustic amp that sounds bigger, richer, and more expensive than its size or price would suggest". Customer reviews had similar sentiments with many saying they were very happy with their purchase and that it has a great clear and clean sound.

Cons

Many customer reviews pointed out that although it works well for small shows, it doesn't have the power needed to project at larger gigs or as part of a band unless you're using it as a stage monitor and DI with the signal being sent to the PA system. A few people said they've had problems with hum with one even lamenting that Fishman should have included a ground lift switch to help prevent it.

Overall

For solo work, practice, and small venues this amp works well and it's your best choice if you want to get a Fishman amp but have a limited budget.

Marshall AS100D

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 250+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$700
Marshall AS100D

The AS100D is the larger of the two amps in Marshall's Artist Series acoustic guitar amps with 4 channels, stereo output, and 100 watts of power (50 watts per side).

This one is designed for gigging and playing at larger venues.

In his review for Acoustic Magazine Guy Little said, "Whilst this is a great sounding amp, it’s definitely intended for stage use. If you want a nice tone for your guitar alone, around the house and practice room, this big lump of an amp is going to stretch your arm far more than is really merited. If, however, you want a good stage amp which can cut it even when you need two guitars and vocals, it might just be the amp for you. At a keen price, too!".

Features

  • 4 Channels
  • 2 Mic inputs with 15V phantom power
  • Feedback Notch Filter
  • Effective as a small PA
  • 16 digital effects built-in including reverb, chorus, flanger and more
  • Effects Loop
  • Left and Right Balanced DI Outs

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 100 Watts (50W + 50W)
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 4
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: 2 x Instrument, 2 x XLR/Mic with 15V phantom power, 1 x RCA Stereo
  • Outputs: Line out, Balanced DI out
  • Controls: 3 x Volume, 2 x Bass/Treble, Mid, Mid Frequency, 2 x Sweep for feedback control, 2 x FX Min, 2 x FX adjust, FX volume, AUX volume, Master volume
  • Speakers: 2 x 8" Celestion + 2 x polymer dome tweeters
  • Weight: 46.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 23.82" x 20.87" x 10.63"

Pros

Customer reviews consistently rave about the quality of the sound this amp produces - I even read one review where the customer said they liked it so much that they've purchased their 4th one!

Cons

There were a few people who complained about it only having 15W phantom power instead of 48V which means you're limited in the types of condenser mics you can use otherwise they might not sound as good as you're used to them sounding.

Overall

This amp performs well on stages and in the studio.

Roland AC-60

92
GEARANK

92 out of 100. Incorporating 300+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$499
Roland AC-60

This is a 2-channel stereo amp with a total of 60 watts power. As with the AC-33, one channel is for your instrument and the other is a Mic/Line channel.

The AC-60 is not simply a more powerful version of the AC-33 - it has a different feature set designed more for stage and studio use without the AC-33 features designed for buskers and street performers.

It has a dedicated subwoofer out which means with the addition of a subwoofer this amp should produce a solid sound with an acoustic bass as well - some people also use subwoofers with this amp for regular guitar because they like the sound of it.

There is also an identical but rosewood colored version with the model number: AC-60RW.

Dual XLR outs let you send a mono or stereo signal to a mixing console prior to the master volume when using the AC-60 as a stage monitor.

Features

  • 2 channels
  • Subwoofer Out
  • Anti feedback controls
  • Built-in Reverb & Chorus
  • Mute switch for silent tuning
  • XLR/Mic input with phantom power
  • Switch between magnetic and piezo pickups

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 60 Watts (30W + 30W)
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: 1 x 1/4" instrument switchable between piezo and magnetic pickups, 1 x combo XLR/1/4" with 48V phantom power, 2 x TRS 1/4" AUX in, 2 x RCA AUX, 2 x 1/4" Footswitch for effects and anti-feedback, 1 x 1/4" effects return
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4" stereo headphone jack, 1/4" TRS DI/Tuner out, 2 x XLR
  • Controls: Guitar channel - switch between Piezo & Magnetic pickups, Shape switch to boost low & high and cut mid frequencies, Mic/Line channel - 48V phantom power switch, Both channels - Volume, Bass, Mid, Treble, Chorus switch + Chorus control, Reverb control, Anti-feedback, mute button
  • Speakers: 2 x 6.5"
  • Weight: 21 lbs. 10 oz.
  • Dimensions: 10.56" x 15" x 10.69"

Pros

Not only do guitarists give this amp positive reviews citing the clarity and tone of the AC-60, but I've also seen violinists using both mics and pickups saying the same. Customer reviews also rate it highly when used both as a primary amp and as a stage monitor. It also received positive citations when also used for vocals.

Cons

A couple of people complained that the Reverb can't be applied to one channel only - it goes on both channels at the same time. Another person complained that the two XLR outs sum both channels meaning that you can't send guitar and vocals separately to a mixer but that is an uncommon setup that few people will need. A few people said it wasn't as loud as they expected - there are similar comments about most acoustic amps.

Overall

The combination of features and clarity of the sound make this a good buy at just under $500.

The Best Acoustic Amps Over 100 Watts

These are the high powered amps that can cope with just about any task you have for them. Fishman is currently the only brand that rated high enough in our statistical analysis to be included in this section, lower rated options include the Fender Acoustasonic 150, AER Domino 3 and Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1800.

Fishman Loudbox Performer

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 225+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$800
Fishman Loudbox Performer

At the time of writing this 180-Watt 2 channel offering from Fishman is the highest rated acoustic guitar amp on the market - it is also Fishman's most powerful acoustic amp.

This amp is very well suited for use as a small PA for solo and duo acts as well as for performing with larger bands.

Features

  • 2 Channels
  • Independent effects loop for each channel
  • Independent feedback controls for both channels
  • 180 watts
  • Bi-amplified with passive crossover for tweeter and midrange
  • Built-in effects including Reverb, Delay, Echo, Slap Echo, Flanger and Chorus
  • Balanced XLR D.I. outputs on each channel and main mix
  • 24V phantom power

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 180 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: Both channels- 1/4”/XLR combo with 10 dB pad; Rear panel stereo 1/4" & 1/8" AUX ins, 1 x 1/4" footswitch
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4" headphone jack, 2 x channel XLR DI out, 1 x mix XLR DI out
  • Controls: 2 x Gain, Low, Mid, High, Anti-Feedback, Phase switch, Effects selector; Effects levels and controls, AUX level and Master Volume
  • Speakers: 8” woofer + 5” midrange + 1” tweeter
  • Weight: 29.4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 18.2” x 15.8” x 11.5”

Pros

Many customers who reviewed the Loudbox Performer said this is the best acoustic amp they've ever owned. Reviewers have praised its sound when used with guitars, vocals, violins and even synths. Even a majority of the small number of negative reviews praised the sound quality. The fact that it is bi-amped with both channels being completely independent was cited as a reason many people bought it.

Sam Wise, in his Acoustic Magazine review, summed it up by saying "It’s rugged, professional, well-equipped, and it just works. We can do no more or less than to recommend it strongly to anyone who needs a dependable amp for live performance".

Cons

The only consistent negative, which was reported by a small number of people, is that the coating on the outside of the amp damages easily and eventually begins to peel off.

Overall

The issue with the coating aside, this amp gets about as close to being universally praised as anyone could expect.

Fishman Loudbox Artist

94
GEARANK

94 out of 100. Incorporating 350+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$575
Fishman Loudbox Artist 120-Watt Acoustic Guitar Amp

Like its bigger sibling above, the 120-Watt 2-Channel Loudbox Artist is bi-amplified with completely independent channels.

The main differences between this and the Loudbox Performer are the power rating and having a 2-way speaker system instead of 3-way.

The Decemberists' bassist Nate Query is one of the notable artists that use a Loudbox Artist amp, for his upright bass.

Features

  • 2 Channels
  • Independent effects loop for each channel
  • Independent feedback controls for each channel
  • 120 watts
  • Bi-amplified
  • Built-in effects including Reverb, Chorus, Flanger, Delay, Echo, and Slap Echo
  • Balanced XLR D.I. outputs on each channel and main mix
  • 24V phantom power

Specifications

  • Power Rating: 120 Watts
  • Amplifier Type: Solid State
  • Channels: 2
  • Master Volume: Yes
  • Inputs: Both channels- 1/4”/XLR combo with 10 dB pad; Rear panel stereo 1/4" & 1/8" AUX ins, 1 x 1/4" footswitch
  • Outputs: 1 x 1/4" headphone jack, 2 x channel XLR DI out, 1 x mix XLR DI out
  • Controls: 2 x Gain, Low, Mid, High, Anti-Feedback, Phase switch, Effects selector; Effects levels and controls, AUX level and Master Volume
  • Speakers: 8” woofer and 1” tweeter
  • Weight: 25.5 lbs
  • Dimensions: 13.5” x 15.5” x 11.5”

Pros

Just like the Loudbox Performer, many customer reviewers say this is the best acoustic guitar amp they've owned - a common citation was that this is the most 'natural' sounding amp they've had. Many customers say this is loud enough for mid-sized venues without having to use the DI outs to a PA. The sound was applauded with respect to both guitar and vocals.

Gayla Drake, in her Premier Guitar review gave the following verdict, "For a small-to-medium room where people shut up and listen, the Loudbox Artist is fantastic amp. As a DI out to a house sound system it works spectacularly as well, because it’s a great stage monitor. If you love portability, can use a little extra power and useful built-in effects, and like the versatility the Loudbox Artist is a great place to start your amp search—it’s good enough that it might just end there too". You can watch her video review below.

Cons

The only negatives reported were the same issues with the covering on the Loudbox Performer.

Overall

Along with the Marshall AS50D and the AER Compact 60 Mk3, this is the equal second highest rated amp we found during our research.

Comments

Where is the ZT Lunchbox

Where is the ZT Lunchbox Acoustic? Much more natural sound than the Fishman Mini, which it compares to in size, cost, and performance but not wattage. Wattage is subjective - it doesn't always correlate to volume.

The ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox

Thank you very much for asking about that Steve because you've given me the opportunity to explain what some people might have thought was an accidental omission on our part - it was not.

The ZT Amplifiers Lunchbox Acoustic failed to get past the first phase of our screening process because it had too many negative customer reviews, many of which complained about it not being loud enough for a 200 watt amp.

ZT Amplifiers chose to market the Lunchbox Acoustic using the higher Peak Musical Power rating of 200 watts instead of using the industry standard for guitar amps which is Root Mean Square (RMS). Had they chosen to promote it using a lower RMS power rating then it's reasonable to think that it wouldn't have attracted so many complaints about the lack of volume.

The net result was that the Gearank algorithm was only able to give the Lunchbox Acoustic a Gearank score of 78.

In the interests of transparency I have included the Lunchbox Acoustic in our public gear database so everyone can see its Gearank score along with all the other amps.

Hi John - at the current time

Hi John - at the current time we are only providing overall ratings with the Gearank algorithm, for now you'll have to evaluate the Lunchbox Acoustic amp the old fashioned way by reading what users have to say in the comments here or on websites such as Harmony Central and gearslutz.

Hi Darrel,

Hi Darrel,

The above report was not based upon personal preferences as your comment would seem to imply, rather it was based upon the criteria set out in the Methodology section above.

One of the criteria was that an amp had to be available at major online music gear retailers in the USA. At the time of publishing both this guide and this comment, Schertler amplifiers were not available at Guitar Center, Musicians Friend, zZounds, AMS, Sam Ash, B&H, or our sponsor Sweetwater.

It seems that in order to buy a Schertler amp online from within the USA you currently either have to go to an overseas music gear specialist such as Thonmann (31Kg/~68lbs shipping weight limit), or to a 3rd party seller via services such as Reverb, Amazon or eBay.

Before buying through any non-standard process, I would check with the manufacturer to see if I would get a valid warranty and where I would have to send the amp if it ever needed to be repaired.

BTW - if anyone does know of an authorized Schertler dealer in the USA, please leave a comment about them here.

It is very useful, but in my

It is very useful, but in my opinion would be better to have more precise gradation. If I can suggest groups could be divide to up to 30W, up to 80W, up to 120W and more than 120W.

Thank you dodo - we will take

Thank you dodo - we will take your suggestion into account when we update this guide - this kind of feedback is quite useful!

We didn't rate the Rivera

We didn't rate the Rivera Sedona dual electric/acoustic amps back when we first published this guide because there was only limited availability of them from US retailers at the time - possibly because they're significantly more expensive than standard acoustic amps.

But thanks for asking the question - we'll make sure to include Rivera Sedona in our music gear database when this guide is next updated - that may result in them being included in this guide given how highly they are spoken of by people that review or comment about their experiences using them.

You've missed quite a lot of

You've missed quite a lot of quality acoustic amps and the biggest speaker size you've reviewed is 8". An 8" speaker is never going to be enough for a large venue without DI no matter what your review says. An 8" speaker imo is a practice amp! You'll need a 12" or a 15" to play a big venue without DI. You simply can't get a proper bass response out of an 8" speaker. If you could then PA systems in clubs would have 8" speakers!

What about:

• SWR Acoustic Amps (California, Strawberry, Natural, Baja)
• Genz Benz - Shen 150LT and Shen 300LT - much more than 100W!!
• Acoustic Image TEN2
• Trace Elliot/Acoustic TA100 / TA200
• Carvin AG300

Saying that, all of those amps above are quite expensive. How about a Trace acoustic TA50R 'slaved' to a Carlbro Sherwood Classic 100w (15" speaker) - that rocks!

Or simply buy an acoustic preamp (pedal or rack) and plug it into a Mackie SRM450. That will blow away any amp in your review list......

In all the large venues I've

Thanks for your feedback JazzyJ.

In all the large venues I've worked in from indoor halls to outdoor amphitheaters, either as a performer or in the tech crew, no acoustic amp would have been sufficient on it's own. The standard practice in these situations is to either take a line-out (DI out preferably) or to mic the amp. In other words, in large venues the amp serves as an on-stage monitor where the PA and its Front of House stacks with large 15" and sometimes bigger cones being used to provide most of the amplified sound for the audience.

I'm pretty sure that most of the amps you mentioned were included in our survey, but didn't meet our availability criterion as mentioned in the Methodology section above or didn't have high enough ratings to be short-listed. We've since relaxed the availability rule a bit to include manufacturers like Carvin which mostly sell direct so they will be included in our short-list when we next update this guide. Some of the other amps you mentioned are mostly available second hand and people can look for them on reverb or ebay, but I'll make sure we check out the latest from those brands when we next update this guide.

Your idea about using an acoustic preamp in combination with a powered PA speaker is a good one - I see many acts in my area doing that or using a preamp and going direct to the PA these days.

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