Best known in the ’70s for their big bass stacks on big stages, Acoustic shows they can play small ball, too.
Clip 1_dirty: No EQ or compression, overdrive engaged, overdrive at noon, overdrive level (clean/dirty blend) also at noon.
Clip 2_clean: No EQ or compression.
Small and versatile. Vintage highs with solid, modern lows. Great DI options for recording.
Volume control located in a slightly inconvenient spot. Not an ideal amp for louder applications. Overdrive section slightly dark sounding.
Ease of Use:
When a bassist sees the Acoustic logo and familiar baby-blue/black color scheme, chances are he or she will reminisce about the best-known player associated with the brand: Mr. Jaco Pastorious. The aggressive bridge-pickup midrange and signature growl from his fretless J certainly had help from the Acoustic head he was often seen plugged into. And let’s not forget the other ’70s greats associated with Acoustic, such as Larry Graham, John Paul Jones, and John McVie. With a rich history since the company’s humble beginnings on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles 50-plus years ago, Acoustic recently released a new line of budget-minded bass combos. We had the opportunity to check out the B100C: the 1x12, 100-watt model in the series.
A Good Wedgie
I nodded my head in approval the moment I pulled the B100C out of its box. Thanks to its cabinet design, the combo has the option of being positioned monitor-style or standing up in a traditional fashion. The design looks great and makes the amp easier to fit in smaller spaces and cars due to its decidedly less-boxy shape. A big benefit is the ability to position the combo in front of you onstage for those times when the FOH engineer doesn’t want any stage volume at all, which happens surprisingly often. I’d like to see more manufacturers make this a standard cabinet shape.
The B100C has front-panel features one would typically have to seek out in a higher price range. It has a 4-band EQ with controls for low mid and high mid, a blend control for the onboard overdrive section, and separate gain and volume controls. Another bonus is the frequency notch filter, which goes through a variety of preset EQ curves as it’s being turned clockwise.
The control functions slightly differently than the enhance or character knobs seen on other combos, which alter several frequencies at once. The Acoustic’s frequency notch filter grabs onto one frequency area and allows you to move that singular cut from the sub lows up to the very top of the highs as you turn the control clockwise. It’s a quick solution to EQing for players not yet comfortable with the finer details of a 4-band EQ.
While an aux in and headphone out are common features on amps of this caliber nowadays, it’s still nice to see them on the B100C, because they add to its versatility. Around back, the amp houses an XLR out that can be used pre or post EQ and has a corresponding output-level dial.
When I turned on the amp, I immediately thought it sounded just like, well, an Acoustic. By that I mean it has an inherent musicality in the high mids that is somewhat vintage sounding. This musicality turned fret noises and finger slides into something enjoyable and organic sounding—something I’ve found that a few companies in the vintage-sounding bass amp market have lost in recent years.
The amp delivers even more of a vintage rock ’n’ roll sound with the shape switch engaged, which made pick styles sound just right without any additional EQ needed. That said, I was also impressed with the way this amp sounded absolutely flat. I find that smaller combos and bigger amps alike often leave me wishing there was a little more bass in the sound with the EQ set flat. Acoustic got it right by designing this combo with correct low-end voicing.
I applaud the inclusion of the overdrive section on the B100C. It made easy work of dialing up anything from a slight speaker breakup to roaring super-fuzz-feeling tones ideal for indie rock. I personally prefer a brighter, more-distortion-than-fuzz sounding overdrive channel, and I found that some of the higher transients and overtones got lost with the B100C’s overdrive section. But if traditional, wooly sounding fuzz is your thing, this OD will be highly satisfactory. High points are due for the inclusion of a blend control to ensure a solid foundation is retained when engaging the overdrive.
Immediately to the right of the OD section is the volume control. It’s probably a correct placement from a signal-chain perspective, but I think it could be difficult to see in a dark club and more challenging to grab for a quick, mid-song volume change. If it was up to me, placing it to the right, at the end of the control section, or making the knob a different shape or color would address the volume control feeling somewhat hidden in the middle of the front panel.
When I played through the B100C at louder, full-band-rehearsal volume, I noticed that the 5th string caused a little speaker distortion at times, but this wasn’t really a surprise with just the single 12" driver. During my more thorough lower-volume testing, I enjoyed switching between playing styles and hearing the B100C retain the strong tonal character of the preamp, even when played quietly. There was no need to push this baby to make it show its true character, which is very handy when recording with a mic in front of the speaker.
The thought Acoustic put into making a modern, versatile line of small combos really shows in the big brother of the series. A beginner or intermediate player gets a lot of features and functions in this package. A pro gets a usable amp for low- and mid-volume smaller shows. The B100C is also a usable recording solution from both a DI and mic standpoint—all at a very attractive price. The vintage-esque good looks paired with modern amenities is a combination sure to win this small powerhouse a legion of happy bassists.
Watch the Review Demo:
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Outlaw Effects introduces their next generation of NOMAD rechargeable battery-powered pedal boards.
Available in two sizes, NOMAD ISO is a compact, versatile tool that offers the convenience of a fully powered board plus the additional freedom of not having to plug into an outlet. NOMAD ISO is ideal for stages with limited outlet availability, quick changeovers, busking outdoors, temporary rehearsal locations, and more!
NOMAD ISO builds upon the legacy of the ultra-convenient and reliable NOMAD rechargeable pedalboard line originally launched in 2018. The brand new NOMAD ISO editions feature eight isolated outputs (1 x 9V DC, and 1 switchable 9V/12V DC) for even more versatility and clean, quiet power. With an integrated lithium-ion battery pack boasting 12800mAh capacity, NOMAD ISO can fuel a wide array of pedals, and will last over 10 hours* on a single charge.
Each NOMAD ISO pedal board includes adhesive hook & loop pedal-mounting tape, eight (8) standard DC connector cables, and one (1) reverse polarity DC cable, giving you everything you need to build your ultimate "off-the-grid" rig. A rugged, road-ready padded gig bag with shoulder strap is also included, to safely protect your gear while you're on the move.
NOMAD ISO S: MSRP $309 / MAP: $249
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 5 ¼"
NOMAD ISO M: MSRP $349 / MAP $279
Dimensions: 19 ¼" x 11"
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Dunable announce new Minotaur model featuring Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners.
The Minotaur's DNA is rooted in their classic Moonflower model, which Dunable discontinued in 2017. However, they have long since wanted to create a fresh take on a carved top guitar design, and various attempts to rework the Moonflower led them to a brand new concept with the Minotuar.
Dunable's goal is to give the player a guitar that plays fast and smooth, sounds amazing, and gives maximum physical ergonomic comfort. The Minotaur's soft and meticulous contours, simple and effective control layout, and 25.5" scale length are designed to easily meet this criteria.
- 25.5" scale length
- Dual Humbucker
- one volume, one tone, push pull for coil splitting
- Grover Rotomatic Keystone tuners
- Grover Tune O Matic bridge with brass Kluson top-mount tailpiece
- jumbo nickel frets
- 12" fretboard radius
This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
Adding to the company’s line of premium-quality effects pedals, Missing Link Audio has unleashed the new AC/Overdrive pedal. This full-amp-stack-in-a-box pedal – the only Angus & Malcom all-in-one stompbox on the market – brings a new flavor to the Guitar Legend Tone Series of pedals, Missing Link Audio’s flagship product line.
The AC/OD layout has three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone. That user-friendly format is perfect for quickly getting your ideal tone, and it also offers a ton of versatility. MLA’s new AC/OD absolutely nails the Angus tone from the days of “High Voltage” to "Back in Black”. You can also easily dial inMalcom with the turn of a knob. The pedal covers a broad range of sonic terrain, from boost to hot overdrive to complete tube-like saturation. The pedal is designed to leave on all the time and is very touch responsive. You can get everything from fat rhythm tones to a perfect lead tone just by using your guitar’s volume knob and your right-hand attack.
- Three knobs to control Volume, Gain and Tone
- Die-cast aluminum cases for gig-worthy durability
- Limited lifetime warranty
- True bypass on/off switch
- 9-volt DC input
- Made in the USA