The acoustic guitar amp is an unusual beast.
The most ideal designs generally combine the powerful, clean performance of a professional sound system with the tone shaping capabilities, effects, and portability that guitarists demand.
While several guitar amp companies and sound system companies offer good acoustic guitar amps, only a handful of companies have true expertise in both areas, and one of those companies is Carvin Amplifiers. The AG series from Carvin Amplifiers offers a variety of acoustic guitar amps ideal for small venues such as restaurants, coffee houses, clubs, and small auditoriums.
The AG200 is Carvin Amplifiers “in between” model, which offers powerful output and versatile features in a compact, all-in-one combo format.
The AG200 features a 200-watt power amp (or 250 watts at 4 ohms with an 8-ohm extension speaker cabinet connected) and a two-way speaker system consisting of two 6.5-inch full-range speakers and a high-frequency tweeter. The control section offers three independent channels, two of which featuring inputs optimized for piezo or magnetic pickups and a hi-Z input switch. Each channel also offers balanced XLR mic inputs (channels one and two also can provide 48V phantom power to condenser mics and a gain switch), and channel three provides a 1/8-inch stereo line level input. Each channel has its own volume, hi and low EQ, and two-way effect level controls (for adjusting the level of effect 1 or 2), while channels one and two also have parametric midrange EQ with an adjustable peak frequency range between 100Hz and 2kHz.
A pair of digital DSPs provides echo, reverb, and chorus effects for individual channels as well as the overall output mix, and an effect loop allows users to patch in external effects. Effects can be switched on and off with an optional footswitch controller. Other pro features include an XLR direct output with level control, 1/4-inch tuner/headphone output jack, and a USB charging port.
The sound quality of both the AG200’s amplified acoustic guitar signal and effects is simply pristine. The guitar’s tone is full, rich, and natural sounding, and the amp can get quite loud without a trace of distortion. The midrange EQ allows guitarists to dial in warmth and definition while avoiding the less pleasant “quack” attributes of some piezo pickups. Thanks to its built-in tilt-back stand and pole mount for suspending the cabinet from a speaker stand, the amp can be placed anywhere the user wants for optimum sound dispersion.
LIST PRICE: $799
MANUFACTURER: Carvin Amplifiers, carvinaudio.com
•A 200-watt amplifier and two-way speaker system provides impressive volume output and warm, natural acoustic guitar tones.
•A pair of digital DSPs offer echo, reverb, and chorus effects for individual channels (one effect per channel) as well as the overall mix.
THE BOTTOM LINE Carvin Amplifiers guitar amp and sound system expertise result in a compact acoustic guitar amp with warm, natural sound that delivers the punch and power of a full-sized sound system.