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AER Alpha In Various Settings

Dr. HallDr. Hall Green Bay, WisconsinNew
Hi all, I've read some comments on the forum here that AER amps don't do well with humbuckers, and I've got to disagree based on numerous recent experiences. I bought an Alpha as my small venue / practice / back-up amplifier to my regular Gallien Kreuger bass micro combo that I typically use with my archtops for the nice full low end. I know: expensive back-up amp, but read on. I played a recital with one of my students last weekend in a 200-seat hall. My student opted to use my GK with his Les Paul (ugh, still haven't gotten him to spring for a hollowbody yet) instead of dragging his big Fender tube job in. So I was left with the AER Alpha. Could it cut it I wondered. Well, we played modern jazz stuff, duo guitar format, me on my archtop with a humbucker, him on the Les Paul. The AER not only held its own during the recital (set on about 5 gain and 5 master vol.) but also sounded cleaner and fuller than the GK. That's been the way it is of late: unless I need a really loud electric jazz sound in larger combos with drums and every electrified to the teeth, I've been using the AER Alpha. I've been using it extensively with my Gitane DG-320 for a while now on acoustic gigs and loving it. I've even used it on several duo gigs with either two guitars running through it (including two archtops with humbuckers) or with guitar and a vocalist using a Shure SM-58. It has performed admirably, with both guitars or guitar and vocals being nice and distinct, and it can reach some pretty loud volumes without breaking up--200-seat hall I remind you. Just thought I'd share my experience in case anyone was thinking of buying an Alpha and felt some trepidation about the seemingly low 40 watt output and the one channel-two-input format. From my experience, the amp works well for acoustic guitar with piezo pickups, microphoned vocals, and archtops with humbuckers and has plenty of volume for most of the gigs many folks will ever play.


  • MichaelHorowitzMichaelHorowitz SeattleAdministrator
    Posts: 6,015
    The AERs do pretty well with humbuckers...but if you compare to better sounding (but bigger) amps like Schertler, GypsyKat, or the Evans then you'll really hear the difference. The AER has a harsher high end and a muddier low end then these other amps. But still sounds good and much easier to carry around!

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