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Acoustic Control Corporation amplifiers

Contributed by Garrison Martin on Aug 18th, 2019. Artwork published in .
    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://acousticamplification.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

    Acoustic Control Corporation, started by Steve Marks in 1967, made sound systems, musical instruments amplifiers and a small batch of stringed instruments. The company found great success in the late ’60s and early ’70s, simply because there was a need for loud amplifiers. Acoustic in all its forms has used lowercase Venus breit fett as its wordmark. In some cases, the largely identical Annonce is used. The latter is a version of Aurora-Grotesk V and is distinguished from Venus by horizontal terminals in c or e.

    The company is probably best known for the Acoustic 361 bass guitar stack, featuring a solid-state 200-watt power amplifier and a single 18″ Cerwin-Vega loudspeaker, weighing in at around 150 pounds. Famous artists that used Acoustic equipment include Larry Graham (Sly and the Family Stone), Robbie Krieger (The Doors), John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), John McVie (Fleetwood Mac), and Jaco Pastorius. Founder Steve Marks sold the company in the early 80s and the brand went silent for decades.

    Acoustic has been brought back two times in the new millennium. Most successfully by Guitar Center in 2007 as Acoustic Amplification, where products are made in China and meant mostly for beginner musicians. The unrelated Acoustic USA was more shortlived but more dedicated to reproducing original ACC amps, built in the USA with endorsers like Flea from Red Hot Chili Peppers.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://thehub.musiciansfriend.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Badge with the logo in lowercase Venus, screwed onto an Acoustic A20.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://acousticamplification.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    A promotional poster (or catalog cover?) from June 1971. The typeface used here is Annonce.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: http://www.21hz-backline.de License: All Rights Reserved.

    Cover of the 1968 catalog. Judging from the c, this is Venus breit fett.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://www.notreble.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Jaco is considered by many to be one of the best ever bass players. Acoustic amplifiers are just as much connected to his memory as his 1962 Fender Jazz Bass “Bass of Doom.”

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://equipboard.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Flea, a big fan of Jaco Pastorius, is seen here “planking” on three Acoustic 361 stacks made by the shortlived Acoustic USA.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://www.notreble.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin was one of the original company’s biggest endorsers.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    License: All Rights Reserved.

    One of John Paul Jones’s Acoustic 361 bass stacks sold for £13,750 at Christie’s auction in 2008.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://acousticamplification.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    Product shots of Guitar Center’s Acoustic Amplification.

    Santana’s Acoustic amplifier and sound system backline is seen as Richie Havens performs to 400,000 people at the Woodstock festival in 1969.
    Source: https://acousticamplification.com License: All Rights Reserved.

    I was pleasantly surprised (and completely shocked) to find out that Guitar Center’s site for Acoustic Amplifiers uses an Annonce/Venus follower as webfont: It’s Improvenu Wide by Photo-Lettering, which is distinguished from the older bold wide grotesks by its rounded dots. The digital version was made in the 90s by Castcraft.

    Typefaces

    • Venus breit fett
    • Annonce
    • Improvenu Wide
    • Vogue

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