Acoustic brand amplifiers have been around since the late 1960s when Steve Marks and his dad founded the company from their shop on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, California. They made huge amps that were popular with major artists of the time, and have sort of plodded along since then, and they currently sell mostly low-end amps that are not a whole lot different than everything else on the market. Today we are looking at their G10 Lead Series amplifier, the smallest model in a new line-up that extends up to the G120 DSP (which is a 120-watt amp with four 12-inch speakers).
The Acoustic G10 is described by the company as being“ideal for solo practice or small band rehearsal.” I guess this is mostly true: it is fine for solo practice, and would work for a rehearsal – if you put a microphone in front of it and put it through a larger amplifier. This is a budget model 10-watt solid-state amp with an 8-inch speaker, so you just are not going to be able to move that much air and have it sound nice. Not that this is a bad unit, but you have to know your limitations.
This is a very portable unit, measuring 14’ by 7″ by 14″, and weighing just a touch over 14 pounds. The G10 is very simple to use, and it has two switchable channels that both sound pretty good. The lead channel provides volume and gain, and the rhythm channel has a volume control. They both share a 3-band EQ with a mid-range shift switch. Also on the control panel is a single input, the channel switch, a 1/8-inch aux input, and a 1/8-inch headphone out. This makes for a pretty awesome practice amp set-up. That is about it, except for the power switch on the front and the IEC power socket on the back. There is no footswitch or jack for channel switching, no effects, and no aux speaker out.
Build quality on this thing is good. The vinyl is neatly applied, and the wiring is tidy. The pots have a rather cheap feel to them, but this is not surprising as this is a cheap amp. There is a bit of hiss to it when it is on without the guitar being played, but it is not really noticeable once you start playing.
The sound of this Acoustic amp is pretty solid, too. The clean channel is warm sounding until you crank a lot of volume through it, then it breaks up in a really bad way. The lead channel has a very useable gain, and sounds really awesome with my Les Paul. This thing is more than good enough for the casual bedroom or garage player.
The Acoustic Lead Series G10 is a solid practice amplifier, and it is worth the money but I do recommend that you shop around a bit. The list price on these is $129.99 (really?) with a street price of $59.99, and I saw stacks of them at Guitar Center on Black Friday for $40. You are not really going to get a decent practice amp for much less than that…