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If you played both a strictly acoustic classical guitar, an electric guitar (say a strat), and also a keyboard (I play an upright piano now, but I'll be getting a keyboard when I move), and you want to amplify all three instruments without shredding your wallet, then how would you go about it? Can this be done without using three separate amps or a PA system?

I own an decent guitar amp, mics and a small PA system, so if I play with an bassist or drummer and I need to cut through, then yes I will absolutely use the PA. But I mostly play in my living room, so less is best and the minimalist in me is wondering, are there sub $350 combo amps that get good sound out of a strat but also have a mic channel with an XLR input so I can use a dynamic or condenser mic and get good sound out of a classical guitar as well? Or maybe the solution is the right piezo pickup and pre-amp for the classical guitar and something portable that amplifies both it and the keyboard.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have been playing electric guitar since before I was a teenager, so I'm comfortable with what is and isn't necessary, but I've only been playing jazz/blues on the piano for a couple of years, and less than that for the classical guitar, so I don't know the marketplace.

Best regard, joeb

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    Are you trying to get down to one amp, or would you be happy with two? A piano and a Strat really need different amps to sound at all good, but I suspect that you could use one amp for both guitars, with a piezo on the acoustic. – Bradd Szonye Sep 6 '15 at 0:44
  • Sorry. To clarify, yes getting down to 2 amps is fine. You're right in that 1 amp for both a strat and a keyboard won't do at least one of the instruments justice. Really I'm wondering how to amplify the classical guitar, and if that can be done with whatever means I have for respectively amplifying the strat and keyboard. For instance, an amp for both guitars, and then a powered monitor(s) that can handle the wider range of the keyboard. – joeb Sep 6 '15 at 11:27
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    The classical and keyboard have the same needs. The two guitars don't go together as well as the classical and the keyboard, which both need full range amplification. – Todd Wilcox Sep 6 '15 at 11:29
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    Ok so let the strat be and unite the classical and keyboard. Makes sense, thanks! – joeb Sep 6 '15 at 11:31
  • Why do you need any amplification at all to play classical guitar in your living-room?? – leftaroundabout Sep 6 '15 at 12:30
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I would use an electric guitar amp for the electric, because it won't sound right otherwise. Then I would get a pickup for the classical guitar and a two channel keyboard amp or keyboard amp and a small mixer or a small mixer and a powered speaker for both the keyboard and classical guitar.

  • I like the idea of a small mixer and a powered speaker, because I already have a guitar amp, and a mixer that's somewhat small, leaving only a pickup and powered speaker to get. Any recommendations for these latter two items? Oh, and I love the Bachelors in Math. It reminds me of college. – joeb Sep 6 '15 at 11:41
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You might be able to get two of three fairly easily. I've seen combos with a dedicated "acoustic" channel to get the cleanest signal (with some "tasteful" modeling controls for tone or EQ).

Or something like the Roland Jazz-Chorus JC-120 could cover the electric and the keyboard, but not necessarily be ideal for the classical.

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