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Help me get a better (louder) live tone (monitoring solution)

Hi folks

Here is the situation: I play lead guitar in a gypsy jazz band (2 guitars and 1 upright bass).
We mostly play weddings, we don't have a PA (each musicician has his amp), and we don't have a sound man. We often play outdoors, and I need to be (very) loud. I need to hear myself, and be heard, and still want the acoustic tone.

During the last 10 years, I've tried lots of different pickups and preamps, with more or less success, trying to find a good balance between a good acoustic tone and a loud voume without feedback.
I'm quite happy with my current solution, a piezo type pickup with a fishman Aura Spectrum.
It sounds very good at what I consider low and medium volume. If I want to play louder, I start facing the same problems, I need to eq quite a lot to avoid feedback, and all the frequencies start to sound like a mess...

Now, the only thing I haven't changed in all these years is my amp, a Roland AC60, which I use both as a monitoring solution for me and the crowd. So I'm starting to think that I'm asking too much from this little amp. It's right behind me, so might be the reason why I get feedback.

So I was thinking of:
- replacing my Roland AC60 with an AER or something else (but I'm not sure this will really solve my problem; besides I don't wnt to spend too much, and the AC60 stil seems to be a good reference.

- replacing my Roland with a column system like the dB technologies

- adding a small wedge monitor to my Roland, so I can use the wedge to hear myself, and the Roland for the crowd (or vice versa)

What would you recommend?
Thank you for reading, and thank you for your help!


  • I did this by cutting a soundport on my guitar.
    But it's probably not something you're looking to do.
    Sounds to me like the entire band needs a PA. My old band used a Bose L1, it worked great for variety of gigs; bars, weddings, outdoor shows... That way we could use our amps as monitors, keep them below feedback level but plenty loud to hear yourself. Depending on the situation, we'd place the Bose either behind or in front of us, mostly behind us. I remember that once or twice we ran into situation where we had to lower the volume because of feedback.
    AC60 is the great amp, I wouldn't touch that. General things you can do is like you said place the amp in front of you, beside you, even behind you but angle it away from you, the best you can do so that the guitar can't "hear" the amp and start the loop. Place the amp on one of those isolation pads to recouple it from the floor, they do improve the sound to my ear as well. I don't know if your Fishman has a notch filter, my LR Baggs does and it helps with feedback. Phase switch sometimes does the trick. Lowering the bass. You could try to put in the EQ pedal in the chain and try to lower offending frequencies. My guitar usually feedbacks as a howling sound which I think is low mid frequencies, 250-500Hz.
    That's all I can think of...
    Every note wants to go somewhere-Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • For higher volumes blended PA gives more control.

    BUT if you have the amp beside you then you wont get such a direct line to a feedback loop
    The Magic really starts to happen when you can play it with your eyes closed
  • pdgpdg ✭✭
    There are also "personal monitors" that attach to a mic stand and are close to your ear.
  • DeuxDoigts_TonnerreDeuxDoigts_Tonnerre Lawrenceville GA USANew Altamira M30D, Gitane DG-250M
    Matt67, I would suggest adding a monitor wedge (powered or unpowered) to your Roland AC60. The more speakers you have pumping out your sound, the more coverage you will get. Even if you are not turning your volume up any louder, more people (including yourself) will be able to hear you better.
  • ronzo4600ronzo4600 PNWNew Eimer's, Hahl, Holo and Busato
    I've found the Phil Jones AG-300 to be the amp for me. It's a little pricey, not as loud as the AER but works well with many different types of pick ups, mikes and transducers. The best part is the two upward firing speakers which eliminates the need for a wedge or stage monitor. Unfortunately it does not provide phantom power but other than this small issue, it's a really nice amp and does the job. If you don't need phantom or would use a stomp box for same, I'd suggest checking it out.

  • kungfumonk007kungfumonk007 ✭✭✭✭
    I had the same problem. My solution was to only play events that were conducive to the actual volume levels and sound of a gypsy jazz band. Even with a pa on a professional stage with a "professional" sound engineer they would just eq all the tone out of my guitar to get more volume even though I specifically put in my tech rider they MUST NOT DO THIS and they just have to turn the levels down to the lead guitar as we are not a stupid rock band who thinks volume = talent. Stupid audio engineers would always assure me they knew better, wouldn't listen to a thing I said and then after making me sound like ass for a whole concert tell me they made me sound great. Do I sound bitter?

    Solution - change the events you play.
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