Review: Acus One 8 acoustic amp

RobbieJRobbieJ Posts: 9Member
I hope this may be the best place to find this review, as the amplification sub section seems to be littered with spam at the moment. I just wanted to add a short, initial review of my new Acus One 8 acoustic amp, which I bought from rguitars.co.uk just a few days ago. A brief overview of the basic specs: This is a 200 Watt bi-amplified solid state amp, with 4 channels and an 8 inch woofer and a tweeter. It looks for all the world like one of those wooden veneered hi fi speakers from the 90s (think Castle).  I think the wooden clad version is extremely attractive.   Two channels have XLR and jack inputs, the third has a line input, whilst the 4th has phone inputs.  This arrangement suits me to a tee, as I shall go on to explain, offering enough flexibility to cover most bases whilst also being very easy to set up and use straight away.  There is also a built in reverb effect unit, though this is about all I can tell you.  It has 8 presets- what those presets are is anyones guess, but they actually sound pretty good. My own live set up consists of two acoustic guitars (both Brook Tavys) and a Weber Octave Mandolin.  All three have passive k&k pickups. I also use a Headway EDB-2 preamp, and a couple of strymon pedals, including a big sky reverb.  Now, this brings me to a possible oversight, and also a very ingenious solution.  There is no effects loop on the amp.  Most acoustic amps that pass themselves off as 'professional' pieces of kit seem to have an effects loop, and personally I always like to have any effects kept well away from my guitar's direct signal chain.  However, be not afeared, there is a solution by making use of that channel 3 with the solitary jack input.  I use the line out from the EBD-2 into my Big Sky (I use the XLR out from the EDB-2 into channel 1 to get a pure signal).  I then plug the output of the ig Sky into channel 3.  I set the mix control on the Big Sky to max, and control the amount of reverb with the channel 3 volume.  I find this gives me the best control over the reverb I've had in a long time, and it sounds awesome! I have tried all my instruments going straight into the Acus sans preamp, and the sound is just as good. I just find it easier to use the EDB-2 for muting purposes, more focussed EQ, and I do find it gives an added 3 dimensional quality to the sound. I have to say this amp's sound is awesome.  I enjoyed it as soon as I plugged it in.  When it arrived at work, all I had to test it was an old Taylor 312 with a Vanden rare earth magnetic pickup, something which has always sounded a bit pants in all the amps I've tried it with.  The Acus immediately made the guitar sound warm and organic. This evening I have had chance to use the amp for the first time in a gigging situation.  Most of my gigs happen to be in churches.  You see, I am a church musician, and I play finger style arrangements of mostly contemporary christian hymns.  I play with a choir and a flautist.  Tonight my sound was just wonderful.  The sound was extremely well balanced between bass, mid and treble frequencies.  It was loud without being overwhelming. And talk abut punchy!  The amp was on the floor behind me, not my preferred positioning I have to say.  However, even the priest came over to me as I was finishing practising and just said "wow, is that sound coming from such a small box?"  He loved it. Now, lets put it into context.  This amp replaced probably one of the most desirable acoustic amps on the market, a Rivera Sedona Lite, all valve affair.  I got it for a very good price, which is one of the reasons why I bought it, and I have to say it did sound awesome.  But, after tonight I am absolutely sure the Acus sounds as good, if not even better.  It just seems to suit my finger style technique more.  It also responds absolutely brilliantly to player dynamics.  A valve amp tends to compress dynamics as an inherent part of its design, but the hi fi quality of the Acus means that you can go from pianissimo to fortissimo and the amp is there with you every step of the way, also responding very quickly to changes in timbre.  Harmonics really ring out, but not in an unnatural or overwhelming way. I think over the years I have tried everything.  My first amp was a Trace Elliot TA 30 back in the 90s (totally unusable outside the living room really).  Then I owned an LR Baggs acoustic reference.  I've played through several AERs, usually other people's at gigs.  At work I have to play through a Tanglewood T6 (Aer lookalike).  And like I said, my previous amp to this was the extremely heavy Sedona Lite (misnamed methinks!)  This Acus surpasses al of them.  It has a breathtakingly clear, punchy and balanced sound, and is astonishingly beautiful. Well done Acus.  And of course its hand built in Italy as well, which in an age where almost everything seems to be built in China, must count for something.  Oh, and I happen to think it is absolutely brilliant value for money- cheaper than AER, but in my opinion simply better in almost every way. Robbie Edit By Guitars.co.uk... Acus Amps For Sale By Dedicated UK Specialist

Comments

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    hi Robbie, hows things ?

    200 watts holy mackerel, you got some big gigs planed ?

     

    glad your happy with it.

     

    any 'feedback' bustin facilities on it - notch filter etc ?

  • RobbieJRobbieJ Posts: 9Member
    Hi Georgie, long time no hear.  How are things with you?  I've probably written quite a few more things since we last spoke.
     
    Got an album of my arrangements/ originals coming out soon.  I know the amp is quite high wattage, but I usually find this doesn't mean much in reality.  You just get a nice clean sound.  I like the fact I'll have power in reserve for the times I am playing with others.  In my folk band for instance I'm playing with unamplified Sax and trombone, so my Octave mandola has a lot to compete with.
     
    How are things with you?
     
    Robbie
     
     
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:

    hi Robbie, hows things ?

    200 watts holy mackerel, you got some big gigs planed ?

     

    glad your happy with it.

     

    any 'feedback' bustin facilities on it - notch filter etc ?

     

  • RobbieJRobbieJ Posts: 9Member
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:

    any 'feedback' bustin facilities on it - notch filter etc ?

    I forgot to add Georgie- yes, there is a resonant filter on the amp that can knock out some troublesome frequencies.  Not sure what its centred around without looking at the manual.

     

    Robbie

  • geoguitargeoguitar Posts: 252Member

    Ah, good to hear your still writing and enjoying your guitars Robbie and your new very capable `Amp’.
    I’m writing a fair bit in the ‘digital realm’ and got a couple o’ projects on the go though I don’t like deadlines that go with taking these on, laziness perhaps ?.
    I’m playing a bit of guitar after a lay off, and restoring an ol’ French violin which has required a fair bit o’ research, v enjoyable.

    a wee band yi might like,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKjixV1U4Y

  • RobbieJRobbieJ Posts: 9Member
    Originally Posted by geoguitar:

    Ah, good to hear your still writing and enjoying your guitars Robbie and your new very capable `Amp’.
    I’m writing a fair bit in the ‘digital realm’ and got a couple o’ projects on the go though I don’t like deadlines that go with taking these on, laziness perhaps ?.
    I’m playing a bit of guitar after a lay off, and restoring an ol’ French violin which has required a fair bit o’ research, v enjoyable.

    a wee band yi might like,
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKKjixV1U4Y

    Aaaah!  The Gloaming- one of my absolute favourite albums this year.  Also discovered Braebach as well, whom I very much enjoy.

     

    Good to hear you are still writing.

     

    Robbie

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