If you've spent a good deal of hard earned on your acoustic-electric, a
cheap acoustic amp is probably all you can afford (which is, I presume,
why you're here!).
Acoustic guitar amps, more so than electrics, should
transparent enough to feed through the full tonal character of your
guitar and provide enough volume for live shows.
That's what I've looked for, and that's what I've found with the below
budget bests, supported by user reviews and comments. Surprisingly, you
don't need any more than $200 for either, and frankly, spending any
more (unless you're playing huge opera halls, un-mic'ed) is unnecessary.
45 Watt Cheap Acoustic Amp
If you're a solo singer/player, and/or you like to colour your sound
with effects and plenty of EQ variation, you'll appreciate the
flexibility of this Behringer acoustic amp. Great for small shows, and
well equipped with dedicated dials for simultaneous guitar/vocal
45 Watts / 8" Speaker / 2 Channels / XLR and Standard Inputs / 4 Band
EQ per Channel
/ Feedback Detection System / 24-bit FX processor with 16 Presets per
Channel / Footswitch to Activate FX / stereo RCA Input (CD-IN)
Starting with the rich feature set - 2 channels (one for your acoustic,
another with an added XLR input for your microphone), 4 band EQ, FBQ
which kills unwanted feedback (often a huge problem for
electro-acoustic players) and onboard digital effects loaded with 16
presets covering reverb, chorus, delay etc.
Each channel has its own dedicated effects control, meaning you
can warm up the guitar with some chorus on on the 1st channel
while sprinkling some delay on your vocals on channel 2.
The only thing missing is a line-out jack, but it's recommended that
you mic up this amp if you are running through a PA or recording to get
the most authentic acoustic sound.
It's loud for a 45 watter and you'll have enough un-mic'ed power for
small venues, even playing alongside a band. The dual input will allow
you to put on a belting "one man show".
Like any great acoustic amp, the Ultracoustic doesn't colour or
tone. It cleanly and clearly reproduces the natural sound of your
acoustic, with very little noise and no break up distortion at higher
volumes. The EQ and effects give you plenty of flexibility over your
tone, so it's not difficult to find that sweet spot.
Overall, unlike so many other cheap acoustic amps, the 450 doesn't hide
any lack of decent raw tone behind its flashy onboard FX, rather the FX
are there to add that little extra, complimentary zing when you need it.
A lively finger pickin' demo using a mic'd up ACX450 with a touch of
chorus. Very sweet, deep and natural acoustic tones...
30 Watt Acoustic Guitar Amp
Not so fussed about onboard effects and other bells and whistles? Just
want an amp that is crystallinely faithful to the sound of your
acoustic's pickups? Also think that rugged good looks are a bonus?
30 Watts / 8" Speaker / Bass / Treble / Shape Switch (mid scoop) /
Headphone Output / Line Input / FX Send & Return / Unbalanced
Line Out / XLR Direct Out
A far more basic amp than the ACX, but that hasn't stopped it from
becoming a best seller. There's a more traditional effects loop and
single channel configuration, with an XLR output for larger, PA powered
shows. There's also a post-EQ and FX line out (unbalanced)
for recording using your settings.
Along with the standard EQ, there's a shape switch which cuts the mid
frequencies and boosts the bass and treble for a "scooped" sound.
This is another clean and full sounding amp, meeting the essential
criteria acoustic guitarists look for. It lets each guitar's
personality shine through, without any hiss, pops or distortion at
cranked volumes and responds to finger picking beautifully.
It does seem like the operational simplicity of the AG-30 has meant
more time and money spent on maximising the quality of its electronics
and tone. Even the finest sounding pickups are completely unrestrained
and more revealed to their fullest, raw potential than merely
This is definitely the choice for guitarists who have spent that little
bit more on their acoustic and need an amp that is pure and transparent
enough to preserve its organic tone and give it the live volume it
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