Sure you can run an electro-acoustic guitar through a regular amp, but you’re going to lose a lot of sound fidelity and you’re not going to be maximizing the quality of sound that can be produced by your beloved acoustic guitar. In this Fender Acoustasonic 15 review, we’re going to take a look at an entry level acoustic amp that’s ideally suited for home practice.
We’ll take a look at the features and discuss it’s pros and cons. This may be your first venture into acoustic amps, so we’ll provide a short introduction to what makes these amps special. Ready to find out more?
Background to Acoustic Amps
Acoustic amplifiers seek to enhance the natural sound of your guitar, as provided by the tone-wood, rather than altering it in anyway. Acoustic guitars tend to benefit from boosted low and high ranges with less emphasis on the mid range. Acoustic amps are dialed in to work with predominantly low and high ranges to produce a full yet crisp and clear sound.
Acoustic amps should faithfully reproduce the sound of your guitar, only really making it louder. Some acoustic amps come with subtle effects, such as reverb. Again the idea isn’t to drastically alter the sound, but effects can broaden the sound of your guitar. Some higher end acoustic amps may take advantage of modern technology and incorporate more advanced features, such as in-built looper functionality.
Acoustic amps tend to be designed to eliminate feedback. Acoustic guitars are designed to resonate, which in turn can create feedback when the sound is being amplified. Clearly that’s going to impact the output, so it’s an important feature of acoustic amplifiers.
Another feature of acoustic amps is that they usually feature dual input. Usually there’s an input for your guitar and another for a microphone. With dual inputs you can use an acoustic amp as a PA system, an amp for your guitar, or to play and sing at the same time.
Overview of The Acoustasonic 15
The Acoustasonic 15 is a good introduction to acoustic amps for those who are uninitiated. The unit is sturdily constructed with a closed back design. It’s finished with a textured vinyl coating and a black grill cloth finish covering the speaker. The Fender logo is in keeping with the rest of the design, which oozes a vintage style. The amp is very portable and small, weighing only 4.76kg.
The Acoustasonic delivers 15 watts of power output via a 6 inch Fender special speaker, which focuses on enhancing the high end. There are two channels, which can be used simultaneously. Each channel has it’s own dedicated volume control. Channel 1 is for a microphone. Connect to channel 1 using an XLR input. The mic channel is unaffected by EQ or effects.
The second channel is for an instrument, probably an acoustic guitar if you’re reading this. The second channel takes a 1/4 inch jack input. You can connect a variety of instruments, ukulele, keyboard or guitar. Channel 2 features 3 band EQ consisting of Bass, Middle and Treble control.
The second channel also benefits from a chorus effect. The intensity of the effect can be controlled by the dedicated knob to the right of the Treble control. At low levels the chorus effect will add some shimmer and thicken the sound of your guitar. Turned right up it’ll add a “wavy” tone to the output. You can switch the effect off completely by dialing the control all the way to the right.
Some people would prefer a reverb effect if they could choose only one for their acoustic amp. I think that’s a matter of personal preference, but you do tend to find reverb is the stock effect on acoustic amps.
Next to the chorus control knob is a 1/4 inch headphone jack. When headphones are connected the speaker is automatically muted. Of course, this doesn’t allow for silent practice if you’re using an acoustic guitar, but if you were to plugin a keyboard you could practice without disturbing anyone.
The amp also has a permanently attached cable tie at the back, which is great for keeping the power cord tied up and out of the way. Here’s a short video to give you a flavor of how the Acoustasonic 15 sounds.
The Acoustasonic 15 is predominantly a practice amp. You could use it to play in a very small venue, but your sound will start getting lost in larger venues. The EQ is good, but you have to be a bit careful not to overdo the treble as it appears to lean towards the higher end naturally.
There appears to be a little bit of volume mismatch. You get more volume with channel 2 than channel 1, something to bear in mind if you’re using it to play and sing at the same time.
It’s a great practice amp, but there’s no doubt that your paying a premium for the Fender name and the classic styling. The market is heaving with products around this power output, but you can get a SubZero 25 watt acoustic amp with the same features as the Acoustasonic 15 for around $30 less at time of writing.
Pros of The Acoustasonic 15
- Very Stylish
- Good Quality Output
- Well Built
Cons of The Acoustasonic 15
- Pay a Premium For The Brand & Styling
- Some Prefer Reverb Instead of Chorus
- Channel Volume Matching
The Acoustasonic 15 is a great introduction to acoustic practice amps. As you’d expect with a practice amp it’s compact and light but delivers a decent amount of power for it’s size. The Acoustasonic looks great, with it’s vintage styling. That’s something that’s not common to practice amps.
There’s pretty much everything you’d expect for a beginner, including an in-built chorus effect. Reverb is always nice for acoustic amps, but some people may well be happy with chorus only. The two channels enable you to play and sign at the same time. You’ll get away with using it in a very small venue, but the sound will start to get lost in bigger spaces.
You’re paying slightly more for the brand and the styling, but with the brand comes quality so it might be worth spending a few dollars more. Definitely a good option for those who are buying their first acoustic amp. If you want a quality acoustic amp to use for practice, the Acoustasonic 15 is well worth considering.
I hope you’ve found this review useful. Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. Alternatively you can get in touch using my contact page. Not sure which Acoustic Guitar to buy? Head over to our Acoustic section for more. As always, happy strumming!
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