Woody Blue

Based on Acoustic® 360


No Master –> Should be set as 10


Chief proponents: Larry Graham, John Paul Jones, Jaco Pastorius

The volume of guitar amplifiers was on a hyperbolic curve throughout the entire 60 decade (Everly Brothers in 1960 and end with Jimi Hendrix in 1969), the volume differential is huge. The Ampeg B-15 was simply not designed to win a head-to-head collision with a Marshall stack set to “kill.” Something had to be done on behalf of bass players everywhere.

In 1967, enter the Acoustic 360, a 200-watt, solid state head designed to drive the 361 cabinet, a rear-firing 18” speaker enclosure modeled, I believe, after the Panzer tank. The 360/361 absolutely towered over the B-15, physically and sonically, and got the bass world ready for the Woodstocks, Altamonts and giant festival concerts to come.

Tone, punch, clarity, and volume.

One of the coolest features is the Variamp Control: 5 section EQ,

position 1: 25 175 Hz,

position 2: 75 150 Hz,

position 3: 150 300 Hz,

position 4: 300 600 Hz,

position 5: 600 1200 Hz.

The Variamp has a cut / boost control, straight up is out of circuit. A tremendous amount of tone shaping!

* Bright switch
* Volume control
* Treble control
* Bass control
* Fuzz tone control,
* Electronic tuning fork: 5 ½ octave tone generator, its weird

In December of 1967, the Acoustic 360 actually helped The Doors get arrested for noise violations and put them – and the amp – on the cover of Life magazine. This notoriety had a very predictable response, which is that it made the amp a must-have for serious rockers who would love to be arrested by The Man for bass notes alone.

Not that this was an easily accessible piece of gear. The suggested retail price of the 360/361 package back in 1967 was $1250.00, which in 2014 dollars comes to USD$8,850.00 Not. A. Typo. There is not, to my knowledge, another bass amp that costs nine grand, unless you’re cutting an SSL console in half and dragging that around, which is actually a pretty awesome idea.

Nevertheless, price be damned, the best bassists of the era knew that this was a killer amplifier. Larry Graham himself used these towering stacks for the thumb, the stank and the funk. Led Zeppelin’s virtuosic bassist John Paul Jones had to keep up with Jimmy Page, for the love of Pete, and with the Acoustic 360 .Jaco Pastorius saved all his money (legend has it, sleeping on the beach when his bandmates on the road slept in hotel beds) and eventually purchased an Acoustic 360, which gave Jaco’s fretless J-bass that instantly-recognizable bump in the upper-mids that provided him bassdom’s most enduring, original voice.

Acoustic USA in 2011, launched its website and introduced a new version of the 360/361 bass amplifier as well as various speaker cabinets and a power amplifier.