Amplification options for the singer-songwriter, duo or small band lineups have often been few and far between in the lower price bracket. Typically, you are stuck with a dedicated PA and mixer with an expensive acoustic guitar amp (or heaven forbid, an acoustic into an electric guitar amp). As a dedicated acoustic guitar amp with a mic input, Ashwood's Woodsman Parlour looks to give the blues, folk and country crowd a compact combo for jamming, rehearsing and even small gigs.
Coming in at a very manageable 5kg, the Woodsman is statesmanlike with its textured covering, vintage styled grill cloth, angled rear control panel and cream/white controls. Rated at 25 watts, this Woodsman is designed as a two channel amp (guitar and mic) for an acoustic set. With a single 8” speaker, the combo design is compact and easily manoeuvrable. On the control panel, there is a mic channel with input and volume control, channel one for instrument input with your usual volume, bass, middle and treble topped off by master reverb and volume dials.
As an acoustic amp, the single 8” combo responds surprisingly well with decent volume and clarity. The EQ section allows for tone shaping and I’d imagine that in conjunction with your onboard guitar EQ it will yield more accurate tweaking. The mic and aux inputs allows you to easily pump in vocal or backing tracks -- indispensable for solo and duo acts. Having a master volume gives you some control over the individual balances while the reverb is handy for adding some body to the overall tone. I could see the Woodsman Parlour being an easy to use rehearsal or small gigging amp for those that can’t afford/don’t have access to/can’t be bothered with complex or large sound systems.
Ashdown are perhaps best known for their bass gear and have built a name for solid gigging amps and cabs. It’s nice to then see some guitar focussed items and I’m interested to see how far the company heads in this direction. While the Woodsman Parlour is realistically aimed at home use and restrained jamming, it is a neat guitar-mic combo that lets you hone your vocals and guitar setup before moving into bigger gigging sound reinforcement. It's compact, easy to use, looks good and comes at a nice price – great stuff Ashdown.
Hits and Misses
Compact with a range of inputs
No EQ on mic channel can be limiting