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Trace Acoustic TA200 Amp Review

Trace Acoustic TA200 Amp Review

Tone Tinkering
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.

The Verdict
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.
Buy if...
you want a high quality, great sounding amp with lots of built in effects in a convenient, painless package.
Skip if...
you aren’t into effects.

Street $1250 - Trace Acoustic -
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