Two channels, each with Notch,
Phase, and Shape functions
BY GAYLA DRAKE PAUL
Built-in digital effects
Way back when dino- saurs roamed the
coffee houses, Trace Elliot
made one of the very first
acoustic guitar amps. They
were small, easy to use,
had a vocal input, and
let you cover a small-to-medium room without
breaking a sweat.
Fast-forward a couple
of decades: There are a
lot of acoustic amps for
those that ply their trade
in small theaters, clubs,
coffee houses, and the
like. But Trace has jumped
back in the fray, with the
same striking looks as the
original, but loaded with
oodles more features and,
in the case of the TA200,
packing power to spare.
You Can’t Judge an
Amp By Its Cover
When I picked up the
TA200 for this review, I
was rather daunted. “It’s
huge!” I cried woefully,
looking at the case. I lifted
it, expecting to have to lug
it out to my car, and was
very pleasantly surprised—it’s not heavy.
In fact, it weighs a comfortable 20 pounds.
For an amp that pumps 200 watts through
four 5" Celestion speakers, that’s incredibly light. And when I unzipped the top of
the rather plush and sturdy fitted-canvas
cover, I found a modest-sized, attractive
black cabinet with a familiar curved front
and black metal grille.
Sporting radioactive-green accents, the
TA200’s front panel has two channels,
one with an instrument input and one
with a combination XLR 1/4" jack. The
instrument jack is a smart stereo input,
so if you have a stereo pickup and you
Four 5" Celestion
use a TRS cable, the jack splits the stereo
signal between Channel 1 and Channel 2.
However, if you need to use Channel 2 as
a mic input, it turns the stereo signal into
a mono signal. Very clever.
The front panel gives you the usual set
of Gain, Lo Trim, Hi Trim, Notch, the
effects' Parameter and Setting controls,
plus a 6-band EQ and a Master Volume.
There are also several LED indicators
that relay information about the amp’s
functions. Conveniently, the Trim controls
all have a center detent setting you can
feel. When the trim controls are set to the
detent position and the Shape control is
off, the frequency response is flat.