The Trace’s onboard effects are controlled
with a Parameter rotary encoder and push
switch, and a Setting rotary encoder and
push switch, meaning you use the same
two knobs to choose your effect, turn it
on and off, and control the parameters.
Pressing the Setting knob sets a tap tempo
if you’re using delay. On/off and tap tempo
are also controlled with the AFC-6.
There are several effects to choose from,
including Reverb, Stereo Chorus, Stereo
Flanger, Phaser, Tremolo, Analog Delay
simulator, quarter-note mono digital delay,
three 16th-note mono digital delay, and
Stereo Ping-Pong delay (which bounces
the repeats from left to right). The effects
are pretty simple to modify and store. To
change them, turn the Setting knob to
where you want it, and it will be automatically
stored when you turn the unit off.
Forceful and Forgiving
It’s pretty easy to get a good basic
guitar tone once you plug in. Armed
with a Boucher Spruce Goose 000, I
didn’t have to do much to get a satisfyingly
rich and yet brilliant sound. I
dialed in just a taste of reverb, and
right there, I was pretty happy.
The TA200 gets loud, which is great. I
would feel comfortable with it in a fairly
big room full of people, maybe a mediumto-
large sized coffeehouse. At higher volumes,
I’m happy to say it doesn’t set your
teeth on edge, and there doesn’t seem to be
any unwanted boost to the highs and highmids.
When you get back a few feet, the
TA200 has plenty of warmth and character,
and lets the whole range of the guitar sing.
As a stage monitor, this amp could be
incredibly effective as well. You can choose
whether to send the signal out to a mixer
pre- or post-EQ, so you can send a flat
signal to the house and dial in whatever
makes you happy onstage.
I played with the effects for a while and
found some interesting sounds to explore.
The effects are not always transparent,
though you can dial in more natural
sounds with the Parameter control. The
dotted-eighth-note delay was really fun to
play with, though the chorus lent a bit of
midrange. The flanger and phaser seemed
to impact the basic tone least.
Feature packed, lightweight, and perfectly
portable, the TA200 is a solid choice for
small-to-medium rooms. It sounds rich and
full, and the reverb is non-intrusive and
natural sounding. If you require a lot of
effects, then this amp makes that easy as pie,
with two dials and a footswitch. The cover
is fantastic, and it’s included with the price,
as are the footswitch and cable, which is
almost unheard of these days.
There’s a lot more competition in the
acoustic amp market than when Trace built
their first acoustic amps. But Trace packs a
lot of functions and power into the TA200
that are certain to make this amp a contender
for any performing acoustic player
that looks beyond simple guitar and amp
tones to make their musical statements.
you want a high quality, great
sounding amp with lots of built
in effects in a convenient,
you aren’t into effects.