Six of the best – Acoustic amps

Modern acoustic performers need great sound and onboard effects in a portable package. Here’s our pick of the best solutions…

Ashdown Woodsman Parlour

Ashdown1 copy

Price £149

Ashdown’s Woodsman amps are housed in attractive cabinets and combine modern features with prices that won’t be beyond the reach of entry-level players. The Parlour is the smallest amp in the range, with an eight-inch Celestion driver and 25-watt mic and guitar channels, each with volume, bass, mid, treble and reverb controls. The feature list is rounded out by phase reverse and feedback-combating notch filters. At 4.25 kilos, it’s a lightweight, portable amp for open-mic nights and small gigs at a price that makes it a serious contender.


Laney A1+


Price £299

The A1+ is a great value-for-money option for the gigging acoustic player. You get two identical instrument or mic channels with EQ sections, phantom power and a separate aux input, all of which can be used simultaneously. Laney says the A1+ has increased headroom from its 80-watt power section and improved frequency response thanks to the high-quality dome tweeter and eight-inch bass driver. There’s an anti-feedback section, 16 digital effects types and balanced XLR DI output. The tough tilted-back wedge-shaped `Kickback’ cabinet and built-in pole stand mount make this a versatile onstage performer.

Yamaha THR5A



Price £144

Yamaha’s THR series amps take space-saving to the next level, and are ideal for the acoustic player who wants to practise and write songs on the move. The THR5A is designed specifically for electro-acoustics and has emulations of different mic types, such as condenser, dynamic and tube, enabling it to recreate a versatile range of steel-string and nylon tones. The effects section covers reverb, chorus and compression and it can double as a dock for your mp3 player or an audio interface, which makes the THR5A a useful tool for recording too.

AER Compact 60 3


Price £749

This third incarnation of AER’s popular little acoustic amp has separate channels for guitar and vocals, meaning it’s ideal for singer-songwriters playing smaller venues. Despite weighing just 6.5kg, the Compact 60 packs in an eight-inch twin-cone speaker, delivering a plentiful 60 watts of solid-state tone. Take into account a digital effects processor with two reverbs, delay and chorus and it’s easy to see why this has become a go-to choice for acoustic players seeking great sound in a small package.

Fender Acoustic SFX


Price £565

Fender’s handsome-looking new acoustic amps are lightweight, compact combos designed to deliver a clear acoustic sound. The SFX has two channels, each with an 80-watt output, and offers Fender’s Stereo Field Expansion technology, along with onboard reverb, delay and Vibratone effects. The carry handle also acts as a cradle for mobile devices and there’s an aux input, feedback-reducing phase switches, line output and two-button effects bypass footswitch. The smooth wooden exterior, aside from looking
a million dollars, is designed to optimise sound projection.

Trace Elliot TA200


Price £799

The TA200 boasts a highly impressive spec list and crams four five-inch Celestion speakers into a still fairly modest profile that’s easy to transport. It throws out 100 watts per channel, giving it the feel of a miniature PA system. The selection of effects is impressive, too, offering stereo chorus, flanger, phaser, tremolo and various delay types, and you get Trace Elliot’s Shape circuit and auto-compressor, plus a six-function footswitch. Lo-trim, hi-trim, gain and notch filter controls and six-band graphic EQ make this a must-try selection for any acoustic performer.