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 ARCHIVED TOPIC: banjo amplifier (which one?)

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kirbonite - Posted - 11/27/2008:  16:00:18

I was just wondering what amplifers those of you with pickups use.

I bought a pignose acoustic used but it has a horrible buzz. Is it better
to have and acoustic pickup for banjo or will an electric guitar amp work
as well. I will mostly be playing through a PA but would like to use the amp
as a monitor while I practie.



steve davis - Posted - 11/27/2008:  16:07:00

I have 2 wonderful old tube amps.A 1968 Fender Vibrolux and a 1961 Ampeg b15n bass amp.
I have the Jones pickups in my 2 banjos and use my amp as a monitor and board signal through a red box (Direct Box).
I love the Fender which was my dad's amp for his pedal steel,but lately I've been using the Ampeg more as the banjo tone through it is very,very good.


1four5 - Posted - 11/27/2008:  16:22:09

I can only relate my actual experiences, using a Gold Tone SMP pick-up.

Roland micro cube---pretty good "acoustic" option. The other guitar effects sound just like that, guitar.

Roland JC120---made for electric guitars, not banjos, unless your running your signal through other tone altering equipment first, or you are not trying for authentic acoustic tone.

Rloand Cube 60-- same "acoustic" setting the micro cube has, and works good.

Straight to powered mixer-- yuck

To powered mixer through Boss "acoustic simulator" effects pedal-- my second favorite.

Roland AC60 acoustic guitar amp-- My favorite by far. Also has a second channel with XLR input and phantom power if you decide to mic your banjo (or voice), and also an effective feedback killer.


Edited by - 1four5 on 11/27/2008 16:23:23

kirbonite - Posted - 11/27/2008:  16:48:32

the roland cube is one I'm I'm glad to know it works good. I like that it has battery powered option

farley - Posted - 11/27/2008:  21:24:22

Hi Kirby,
An amplifier you may want to try before you buy is a Crate CA-125 DG, acoustic amp (available at Guitar Center, and at Musicians Friend). One of the main reasons to buy an acoustic amp is the feedback suppression, and you get more with this amp than any other on the market, it can get loud, and still sound like your banjo too. If you listen to the song clips on my homepage, they were recorded with this amp, then directly out into the studio mixer.
They are great on stage, we use the line-outs into the mix and the amps for ourstage monitors. I have a band that plays LOUD...Very LOUD. We use drums, and electric guitar, rock n' roll music, with a banjo, and I've tried nearly every pickup/amplifier system, and this is the best I've used. Farley

kirbonite - Posted - 11/28/2008:  07:04:06


I've heard goog things about that one., I'm also looking into
the behrigher amps. they have a lot of positive feedback
and are priced lower. they also have a mic input and tube
simulator. either way, I'll be better off than I am now.

I enjoyed your band a lot btw.. Kirby

1four5 - Posted - 11/28/2008:  08:08:06

Thanks for reminding me of the Crate farely. Our lead guitar player uses the 30 watt version (Taos) and what an sweet little amp. I've played my banjo through it, and although it's sound was close to the AC60... that little 30 watter had a LOT more volume and head room.


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