House Concert P.A. Setup

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Included is a photo of my duo setup with Greta Pedersen for house concerts and other smaller venues.



 Mark: 3-4 guitars

Collings SJ

      Goodall CJ

      Gibson L-5

      National Resophonic

   Greta: guitar and uke

      Collings OM

      Woodley White baritone 


      2 AERs

      2 Fishman amps

   Vocal mics:

      Sennheiser e835


Since the AERs are so great for amplifying vocals, we run one vocal mic into each amp. Greta’s guitar goes into the second channel of one, and uke into the second channel of the other. Both instruments are mounted with K&K pickups. Since she sometimes does not play, only sings, and sometimes I only play and don’t sing, the idea is that we will not overload any amp.


I run a guitar through each Fishman amp. Each guitar has a stereo pickup system (K&K and Sunrise), so I use both channels of the amps and balance the signals. I completely unplug one guitar when I use the L-5, which is mono. Surprisingly, these acoustic Fishman amps are rated #2 in quality for jazz guitars, like the L-5, because there is no distortion, the tone is so clear and there is a wide range of EQ and effects, if desired. I love the battery operated amp! 


I often bring my National Resophonic Tri-cone along and play slide in open tunings. Since the resonator has no pickup, I use a mic on a short boom attached to the vocal mic stand, (I didn’t have the Tri-cone at this particular gig so it’s not in the photo.) I prefer an SM-58 to the common SM-57 for a mic on an acoustic guitar — more warmth.


Important: We aim the amps AWAY from the audience, bouncing the sound off the wall behind us. That produces a considerably more homogenous sound in the room, and no audience members are overwhelmed by a closeby amp being aimed right at them. The link above is to a earlier article of mine about where to aim your amp in small venues!

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