Product Review of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp

I had been eyeballing the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp online for quite some time. I was able to find one in a local music store so I brought in my electric/acoustic guitar and plugged it in. I was pleasantly surprised. Though it’s no “Genz Benz” or “Fishman” acoustic amp. The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp in my opinion is the best out there in this price range. Below is my review of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp.

So here I was in an upstate, New York music store and it just so happend that I had my Washburn EA-20 acoustic/electric guitar in my car with me. I saw that they had just gotten in a new Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp so I went back to my car to get my guitar. I know the owner well so we chatted for a few minutes.

I told him that I wanted to have a listen to the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp and let him know that I wanted to crank it to see just what it was capable of and if there were any feedback problems. (A common issue when amplifying acoustic musical instruments). Before we get into that, let’s go over the features of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp.

The Features

The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp features two channels. One channel is primarily for instruments and the other channel is for vocals or a second instrument. Each channel features 60-watts of “stereo” power. Sound is provided to the Behringer Ultracoustic AXC1000 Acoustic Amp via two eight inch, high-resolution speakers and a special high frequency driver. Each channel features it’s own volume control, a three band equalizer, and two feedback filters. The second channel features a mic preamp with balanced XLR input for low impedance microphones.

A tube emulator is included that adds warmth and presence to instruments and vocals. The Behringer Ultracoustic AXC1000 Acoustic Amp also includes a stereo 24-bit multi-effects processor with 24 algorithms and 99 presets and a parallel tuner output plus an adjustable, stereo aux input, stereo tape in and out, and a quad foot-switch for effects and channel switching.
The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp also has a MIDI connection for remote adjustment of effects.

OK, now that we have that out of the way, let’s get down to business. Now i don’t consider this a bad thing really but who in hell (or anyplace else) needs so blooming many effects in the mix of their acoustic instrument? I think that was a bit of overkill on Behringer’s part. I mean it’s like a deaf person buying a pair of headphones. What are they going to use them for? You’ll be hard pressed to find a practical use for most of the effects on the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000.

The Sound

So I plugged in my guitar to the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp and powered it on. I’ll add that the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp has somewhat of a vintage look due to the vintage-style meter that displays the amount of added warmth. I don’t see where that’s helpful in any way to the user but it does look cool. The sound that came out of the amp needed a bit of minor adjusting to fit my taste but it was still impressive. I noticed an attack control and found it especially useful when I was finger-picking and I do that a lot these days. I sampled through the array of effects rolling my eyes and settled on a preset that sounded as if it had a mild chorus and a medium reverb.

I was finger-picking a melody and the sound was pristine, full and I could easily eq the sound to whatever I wanted. I eased back the attack control and started strumming. I kept the same effects running. The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp filled the room with shimmering acoustic tones. I recall thinking that the sound I felt was as good as that of James Taylor. Full and rich and defined.

I had read in various reviews of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp problems existing with feedback and/or noise so I wanted to crank it to see for myself. Now I had the volume al the way up on my guitar as I always do. I cranked the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 and sure enough, there was feedback present. There were two feedback controls on the amp for each channel I used them but this amp was cranked and I mean CRANKED so they didn’t do much.

Then I lowered the volume on my guitar and feedback stopped. I sacrificed a bit of volume so I turned up the attack knob about 2 notches. No feedback. Keep in mind that when reading reviews on this product and others say that there is a feedback issue that it may be due to the quality of the electronics in their instrument and or how far away they are from their ampt. If you know how to properly EQ your instrument and tweak the amp, you shouldn’t have a problem with the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp feeding back. If you don’t know how to properly EQ your amp and instrument, take some time, read the manual, exparament and learn.

Each channel of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp also features a phase button with a status light allows for quick correction of phase issues often found when amplifying acoustic instruments. At this time, I was sold on the amp as far as use for my guitar but I was interested in the vocal channel as well as I do some occasional solo performing as well. Hey, I’m not as young as I used to be, the less stuff I have to lug around the better.

At this time, I asked the owner of the store for a microphone and stand to try out the vocal channel of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp. He let me use a Sure SM58 (same microphone I own) and a boom stand. I plugged the microphone into the XLR input of the vocal channel. Once again, I cranked the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 instrument channel and slowly turned up the vocal channel. At a lower volume, I adjusted the EQ on my vocal to suite my style. I then brought up the vocal to meet the level of the guitar.

I then went into my acoustic version of Jethro Tull’s “Locomotive Breath” and it filled the room easily. For the solo performer, the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp can easily fill any place from a coffee shop to a medium sized club. Don’t let the fact that you’re not going through a pair of 15 inch speakers give you the impression that It won’t be enough volume. At this point, I was 100% sold on the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp and I left the store with it.

Using it in performance my band mates were very impressed as the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp easily cut through the drums, bass and keyboards or second guitar and added some nice “color” to our sound. Let’s sum up this review with some pros and cons of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp.

Pros

With a street price of about $300 US I challenge you to find an amp with the features and power of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp for less than $400. Sure I’d rather have a “Genz Benz” but I know that I won’t find one for $300 US. The amp cuts through the mix in a superior fashion and with the attack control, you won’t sacrifice the cut through when finger-picking. Another great thing is that the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 has flat pieces of metal on each side of the amp enabling the musician to tilt back the amp.

This is found on most tube Fender amps but you don’t’ see it as much as you did years ago. Behringer earned some extra points with me for including these tilt pieces. The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp delivers clear and crisp acoustic tones and boomy vocals making it ideal for the band and/or solo performer.

Cons

As in all Behringer amps, the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp is equipped with plastic shafts that hold on the knobs. You can’t knock this thing around like you could the old Fender amps. I also would have liked to see the attack control in some way more digital to enable controlling via a foot-switch or MIDI foot board. I find myself having to go back to the amp to adjust the attack control when I do a song that requires finger-picking.

The Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp weighs 48.5 pounds and measures 24″W x 17″H x 13″D so I wish it had wheels. You can buy a kit and install the handy plug in wheels but void the warranty when doing so. If you want wheels, I recommend placing the Behringer ACX1000 on a flat dolly with wheels on it. (at least until the warranty is up)

For me, the good clearly outweighs the bad in the case of the Behringer Ultracoustic ACX1000 Acoustic Amp. I would gladly pay $500 for this amp and give it the same review.

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