I've been using a small 4 ch mixer into a powered speaker on a stand (Peavey makes a variety and are pretty rugged). The best part is full frequency rangge as opposed to a guitar or bass amp. I've got each channel preset for different instruments but you could use a belt pack preamp with eq and volume comtrol quite effectively. Best of all it costs less than a decent stage amp.
Like Steve, I go pretty much straight to the PA.
Usually, at rehearsals it ends up being more important to work on the arrangements and notes than getting the exact sound out of the box.
(unless you play electric guitar, in that case it is imperative that you diddle with every knob on your amp constantly all through the rehearsal, to the annoyance of everyone in the band, in search of the perfect sound that will never be achieved in a 12 x 8 rehearsal space at any volume.
Guitar players, please don't be offended, this is only said in fun.
Boy, DP, I spilled coffee on my keyboard laughing at your response! Guitarists are interesting characters in any band... acoustic or otherwise. Gotta have'em in my opinion.
I appreciate your input regarding rehearsals, and at gigs, I really like Steve's idea of the mixing board and belt control hoochie. I'm going to investigate that avenue. It's not that I don't like my Roland amp, it's just that not every accordion or mic'ing scheme sounds the same and having the contols on my hip would seem like an excellent workflow.
Now, about that 12 x 8 rehearsal space... Since the drummer has every tom, cymbal and cowbell ever made mounted on his rack kit, the guitarist has two boards of special effects pedals, and standing too close to the bassist's Gallien-Krueger cabinets will cause internal bleeding, I try to keep my accordions on top of the fridge -- but I try not to obscure the view of my Rosie Ledet posters! Hey, at least I've got the best view AND all the beer! Whoops, gotta run -- the cops are here again...
Of course, you can always do what Bruce Daigrepont does and forego a guitar player completely, But then you need a fiddle player like Gina Forsyth.
I think that there was a time when I was spending
as much time trying to figure out how to mic my
accordions as was learning how to play them!
To make a long story short, I've found that the
'directly into the PA/mixer' works best for me.
I use a 6 channel Behringer mixer for rehearsal
and a couple floor wedges that I no longer use for
Since I've placed mics inside my Cajun boxes, I
like to use an EQ before going into the board.
(I have a couple lying around the rehearsal room.)
I use a much more elaborate setup for live
performance which was thought up by 'DP Mandell'.
But, I still go right into the PA, no stage amp ..
Hope that helps?
usually guitar and bass amps don;t sound that good
an exception [which i have not tried, it just
seems like this would work] would be
an 'acoustic guitar amp'.
i go to the p.a., rehearsing or playing for real
Big Nick ~ That sho'nuff helps! BTW, I love your website (and your scrubboard player.) Your music rocks too, mon ami!
In my experience, guitar amps don't sound good. They tend not to have enough range for an accordion. A keyboard amp is better. I have a big old Peavey that I used to use, but it's so big, I tend not to haul it around any longer. Should probably get rid of it. I do have a Carvin acoustic guitar amp that I use occasionally. Sometimes I use it as a stage monitor because I get better control than I would if I only used the PA monitors.
But, having said all that, the reality is that the vast majority of gigs, I just go into the PA and rely on the PA monitors. They are all there anyway, they sound good enough, and it minimizes the amount of junk to haul around.
For rehearsals, using the PA works for me too. I only use internal mics any more.
I found an awesome solution to my quandary. Since I rehearse with several musicians in different situations, I purchased a Roland AC-60 acoustic amp. Holy catfish, this thing is amazing! What a rich and authentic sound it produces. It can be used as a stage monitor too, so I got a tripod speaker stand to put it on. It has some amazing technology built-in... no feedback. The entire amp is about the size of an Opelousas air-compressor! And the lows rumble while the highs sizzle. It's incrrredible. Did I mention with NO feedback!? It's the best "AMP" I've ever found for a Cajun box (internally mic'd and externally.)
I highly recommend this product to anyone wishing to jam or rehearse with a band in a casual setting or would love a little ear-level monitor at a gig (give your knees a break!)