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Roland AC-33 - 30-watt Battery Powered Portable Acoustic Amp - Black Reviews

4.5 stars based on 23 customer reviews
Questions about the Roland AC-33 - 30-watt Battery Powered Portable Acoustic Amp - Black?

Questions about the Roland AC-33 - 30-watt Battery Powered Portable Acoustic Amp - Black?

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  • from Chatsworth, Ga. May 2, 2017Music Background:
    45+ years as a pro musician

    Buskers Dream

    I busk all the time in Chattanooga, Tn. This little amp is absolutely perfect for this. It is a lot louder than what you might think from it's size....more than enough for busking. It even sounds great with backing tracks through the Aux In. The bass and drums come through nice and clear with no distortion, even at full volume. At full blast, you can easily be heard over 300 feet away.

    At around 10 lbs, and a little bigger than a lunchbox, you couldn't ask for anything more portable. It's amazing where all that great sound comes from. You get around 8 hours playing time with a full charge of rechargeable AA Batteries. I bought a portable power source that runs it for around 50 hours before recharging.

    The sound, especially with an acoustic guitar, and vocals through any decent mic, I can only describe as pristine, studio-quality. But it also handles aggressive electric guitar riffs smartly. I run a TC Helicon VoiceLive GTX processor through my AC-33, and it doesn't break a sweat, even with a Stratocaster on full burn. Sweet, or nasty, the AC-33 handles whatever you put into it. I even play coffeehouse gigs with it (50+ seating), and never have any complaints about not enough volume. In fact, most of the places I play appreciate the volume level...not too loud, but just right.

    Other great features are the built-in looper, anti-feedback, and beautiful Chorus and Reverb. The only negatives I can think of is that Roland failed to make it Bluetooth compatible, and they do not make a case for it that I am aware of. Lastly, it would've been nice to have a stand mounting bracket on it, although they can be easily added. I put one on mine, to mount on a Proline Speaker Stand.


    Outstanding sound
    Runs for around 8 hours on batteries


    No bluetooth (are you listening, Roland???)
    No case made specifically for it.
    No mounting bracket for a speaker stand.

    It's hard to see where you could go wrong buying one of these. It's worth every penny, and then some. Mine has paid for itself many times over.

  • from New Hampshire March 9, 2016Music Background:
    Gigging prof

    Roland AC-33... JUST BUY IT!

    Yup Blown away. Just buy this little monster. If you are an acoustic player, weather playing at home for fun, or out gigging, this is the perfect amp. Light weight, battery operated if desired can't even get my point across as to the value of this amp. All I can say is buy it. Sweetwater (needless to say) is a great company and I only do business with them. Patrick is the KING!

  • from Bedford, NH February 15, 2016Music Background:
    gigging musician 30+ years


    it's fairly simple, if you have an electric acoustic guitar, and you want to amplify it... buy this little gem of an amp. Everything that has been written about it is an understatement. This thing just blew me away. super light, batteries don't cut down the power as much as it indicates, and it just immediately inspired me to make new beautiful music. Way to go Roland and of course to Sweetwater for offering it.
    AAAAAAA+++++++++ all the way

  • from October 17, 2015Music Background:
    40 Years of Entertaining as a Semi-Professional Vocalist/Guitarist

    The Roland AC-33 has got to be the Best in it's Class!!!

    WOW, I am blown away by Roland (Once Again) and the superb service from my Sweetwater sales engineer, Jorge Padilla! I have always been a fan of Roland and have purchased many of there products over the years and it looks like there will be many more years to come. The Roland AC-33 is an amazing little (30 watt on AC / 20 watt on Battery 8AA) portable acoustic guitar & vocal amp that has to be the best in its class for every guitarist/keyboard/entertainer/vocalist. The tone, effects, inputs, outputs, size and light weight make it a favorite for me. I've own the original Roland Street Cube for some time now but I will now prefer using the Roland AC-33 over it because it will meet my needs more in acoustic guitar playing and singing. I have tested this little amp with an Acoustic and a Electric guitar and both come across with a warm clean tone that might also suite a jazz guitarist, if interested. I watched all video's on YouTube on this amp and needed to know if the line outputs (L/R) would run to an external powered speaker without canceling the main speakers on the amp. I never saw one but was pleasantly surprised at how both can work simultaneously with each other together. Yes, the feed gets sent completely to the other speaker and now I can use the amp as my monitor and the output powered speaker as my main cabinet if I need to do a bigger functions. (Note: Using the headphone out the on the AC-33 will cancel out the main speaker but this is ideal for practicing without disturbing others) You can also use the mini jacks and RCA's on the back, at the same time too....I have my keyboard plugged into one and my iPad backing tracks in the other while playing guitar and singing through the other two main input channels....Very Very Clean and Very Very Cool! Later on I will go with a little mixer plugged into the RCA's and just run all my other stuff through that instead and get a better EQ on the keyboard & backing tracks. The possibilities are endless and by using your imagination you can find the right set up for this baby and do many kinds of gigs. I Love It and Thank You again Jorge Padilla at Sweetwater for all your help in getting this to me as fast as you did. It only took 2 days to Bermuda after the sale went through...Amazing!!! I'll be back soon for a few more goodies and the catalog and candies in the box was a nice treat to send with my purchase. It was wonderful dealing with you and thanks again....Kevin Ingham

  • from Santa Barbara, California July 14, 2015Music Background:
    Gypsy Rumba Guitar


    For a few years I have been using a Boomerang Looper during performance to enhance the depth of the show. I perform Rumba Guitar - much like the Gipsy Kings - and the music needs backup guitars.
    I owned a Crate Limo for my battery powered amp, and although the very functional, the tone was always so bad with my Flamenco guitars. Goodbye bad tone, hello Roland AC-33!
    Finally, Roland was smart enough to produce a battery powered ACOUSTIC amp with a BUILT IN LOOPER! This amp sounds lush, weighs in at a bit over 10 lbs, and with the extra FS-6 pedal, it is a one handed load in. Couldn't be happier.
    The only con I see so far is that it takes 8 AA batteries to go mobile. I bought rechargeable's, so no problem there.
    Of course Sweetwater has the best service on the planet, so any issues, just give them a call and it is done. A no brainer if you are a busker or need amplification for gigs without power.

  • from TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS March 15, 2014Music Background:



  • from Boulder Co June 11, 2011Music Background:
    I've played the radio since I was three years old.

    A great sounding amp now travelling all over the world with the street musician

    WE looked for a long time and this amp beats them all. WE also think Sweetwater is the best music company we have found to date.

  • from Boyne City, MI March 5, 2011Music Background:
    Semi-Pro Musician

    Great amp

    I purchased this amp and love it. I run rechargeable batteries and they last at least eight hours. I play a 1934 Gibson Roy Smeck and use a Schertler pickup that I attach to the top. The sound is nice and natural. The amp has paid for itself as I play Farmer's Markets in my area and sell CD's. It was always difficult for me to sell my product as it is a CD of traditional hymns and I don't do the Christian music thing. This is something that was almost impossible to promote until I got the AC-33. I also have a Schertler Unico and I use the soft case for the Unico to haul the AC-33 and a stash of CD's. So I can easily haul my guitar, amp, CD's w/ display case and a chair in a single trip. Life is good. I would question if the AC-33 would suffice in a small club atmosphere.

  • from North Mankato, MN. December 13, 2010Music Background:

    Excellant Amp:

    I've been playing guitar on and off for over 50 years and now that I'm retired I decided to get back into it. I purchased a Takamine EG260C and a Roland AC-33 amp, both from Sweetwater and have been extremely pleased. The Takamine plays like a dream, and the amp is just what I wanted. I love the Roland battery power option, in fact I run it on batteries more than plugged in, it,s just so darn handy to grab and setup any where with plenty of power either way.
    I want to thank my service rep, Josh Estock, and Sweetwater for the excellent service. I will definitely be purchasing from Sweetwater again.

  • from Eugene, OR October 22, 2015Music Background:
    Jazz guitar and vocals

    Great little amp, this is ! For both vocals and guitar : )

    Love this amp, I have an AC-60 in my studio and another AC-33, using both for local and more long distance traveling. The AC-33 will pack up in a carryon for air, it'll work on batteries alone, you can plug your headphones into the 1/4" input (through a 1/4" plug) and practice with your guitar and mic right in your hotel at 2am if you want to : ). What's new is the looper = pretty cool. The sound is quite terrific, for either practice, jamming with friends or gigging in a small listening venue. I usually use my 60 for the latter, but have used this one on the spur of the moment in a coffee house with no prob at all. Love this thing !

    I carry this one around in the amp case provided with that 60 and that's cool, with a lot of room for other stuff. Would like Roland to come up with something similar for the smaller models. Or Sweetwater - find one elsewhere that'll work for this - makes sense given what one tends to use it for - mobile : ) Thanks !

  • from January 23, 2015Music Background:
    35 years, bands and otherwise, blues, rock, acoustic... U name it!

    Absolutely... Just buy it!

    Ok so.... You're looking for a small acoustic amp that you can take with you and run on batteries.... There is... Not a lot to choose from (more now than ever really but let's talk price point) but enough that we all spend way too much time researching the purchase... Fair enough.

    If you have ever owned a Roland ac-60 or similar you already know how great these amps sound. Compared to the pat F brand they are miles ahead. Compared to the Fish brand and depending on your tastes Roland stands up just fine... BUT now you are looking for a lower wattage, battery powered amp.... Suddenly the playing field is different... Or is it?!

    Not really. This amp still sounds great. It doesn't sound big but for the size of the drivers and the wattage it sounds great. I agree with those who say it could have a few more features... A tuner would be kinda nice, adjustable chorus, multi effect etc.... But for some of these options you are into a non battery amp... Why... I don't know, it's just the way things are. I love Traynor acoustic amps... If they made a chord less I would buy it but... I also have a very healthy respect for Roland and the AC-33 measure up on all fronts.

    If you are demo-ing the amp don't sit two feet away from it. Give it 10 + feet. Sit back and enjoy what it can do. Up close it does not seem loud enoug to project over a cup of coffee let alone in a coffee shop but believe me it is.
    The tone is not that of a 100w 12" driver but for the size it is great. Let me say I have been playing for 35-ish years (OMG!) and I am a bit of a tone hound... I know when something doesn't sound right... This amp, for its size, sounds just fine. I've had better but they did not meet my current needs... Sound and portability...
    If you are playing any kind of rock and are considering this, walk away... Why leave a bad review because you bought something that does not suit your style... I mean really!!

    Long story short... If you are looking for acoustic-style amplification that has almost all the features you could want (ins and outs, effects Ect) I really don't think anything in the price point compares.

    Enjoy it!

  • from Fort Worth, TX March 8, 2013Music Background:
    Enthusiastic hobbyist

    AC33 - Roland Portable Acoustic Amp

    I love this little amp. I've run my uke and a vocal mic through it for small rooms and it's been a hoot. I've only used it up to 4 hours using just the batteries, but it never let me down. And of course the service at Sweetwater is unmatched!

  • from United States September 19, 2012Music Background:
    Gigging Musician, Home Recordist, Singer/Songwriter

    Excellent Acoustic Battery-Powered Amp

    Recently I was looking for a battery-powered solution for busking and small gigs where I don't want to lug my entire rig. I tried an AC-60 in a store and fell in love with its tone, but that model only runs on AC power. After some research on battery powered amps, I decided to give the AC-33 a try, and I love it.

    I am a solo performer and play only acoustically, so this amp was a home run for me. My Taylor 814ce sounds articulate and smooth running through it, even on battery power. The reverb and ambience are rich and detailed. The looper is a great feature for a solo artist, so be sure to pick up a switch pedal.

    Would it be nice if they put reinforced corners, a pole mount, and a metal grill on it? Sure. But these aren't deal breakers for me. Tone is king, and this amp does not disappoint.

    Some have mentioned it isn't as loud as other battery powered amps, and it may not sound loud when you are standing behind it, but for the people out front it projects well for its size. It's a perfect solution for small gigs or places that have no power available (street performing, weddings, etc.) For its designed purpose, this amp is quality.

    Highly recommended.

  • from So Cal September 24, 2010

    great little amp

    Just arrived today, what a great a little amp. I amazed how it sounds just running on batteries. Even though it doe not come with a case I found the Arriba AC-130 works very well, it is padded fits perfect on tw sides, and with the extra few inches in the third side I put my power supply

  • from Ann Arbor, MI May 10, 2010

    Great amp - could use a few minor changes

    I replaced my Roland Cube Street with this amp. Why? This amp is slightly smaller and weighs a bit less than the Street. This matters to me because I pack this amp in my suitcase when I fly to gigs. I am only allowed 50 lbs. per bag and each ounce adds up quickly.

    I also chose this amp because it is a dedicated acoustic amp. I use it to amplify my piezo equipped tenor ukulele and lap steel guitar. For the uke the amp is amazing - it sounds acoustic, just louder. For the lap steel (single coil magnetic pickup) it sounds "pretty good". I wish the amp had a gain control on one of the channels to add a bit of dirt to lap steel sound to fatten it up a bit. I don't want heavy-metal distortion, just a touch of beef.

    Negatives. Since I travel with this amp I wish it had a metal speaker grille and protective corners - like the Cube Street. I wish it had a carrying case like the street (rip off price but a good case none the less). Besides those few minor negatives I am very impressed with the sound and power of this amp.

  • from Connecticut April 10, 2010Music Background:

    Roland AC-33

    Plain and simple. A great amp with incredible rich acoustic sound and features for such a small amp. I absolutely love this amp. Buy it ...you will not be dissapointed!

  • from Santa Barbara CA, USA February 2, 2010Music Background:
    Flamenco Guitarist

    Excellent Acoustic Amp (nylon string Flamenco)

    All of the following is a first impression, but I think it will be substantiated over time, YMMV...

    I've had this amp for 5 days now, and it is one of the best I have heard for my application. (I also have a Fishman SoloAmp and an LR Baggs A-ref, which are also excellent.) This amp has as good sound quality as either of these, but in a smaller power range/ configuration....

    The sound is rich and detailed, and the Reverb / Ambience and Chorus are excellent. The Anti-Feedback works as expected, for the one test I did..

    There are only two minor gripes (neither of them deal-breakers for me, considering all the features this amp has...)

    1. There is no pole mount (what were they thinking? The KC-110 has one). That this amp is only for street husking. I'll have to make one out of a piece of plywood and a mount....

    2. The Reverb cannot be controlled independently for each channel. Sheesh - it would have been so easy....

    If it hadn't been for these factors, I would have given it a 10...

  • from Michigan December 13, 2015Music Background:
    A veteran cosmic rocker from the before times....

    Roland AC-33 for the seasoned musician (us older guys)

    For those of us who have survived to a ripe old age and are still playing guitar, this amp is ideal. These days I play for pool parties, campfires etc., and this amp fits the bill. Does the job it is intended to do and does it very well indeed. I've been using mine for 1 1/2 years now, and I love it.....I think it's on the pricey side (the reason it didn't get 5 stars), but I don't regret dropping the cash for it...... :}

  • from New Orleans, LA December 21, 2011Music Background:
    Pro Musician (Violin, Guitar), Recording Engineer

    Useful amp, where's the bag & extra battery pack?

    As a user of the AC-60 for several years, I purchased this little brother AC-33 to handle gigs that require battery power, like weddings in parks. I like the amp. The sound is good and loud enough for my needs when running battery powered. The looper is cool, although I don't use it. However, I do miss some of the features that came with my AC-60. Can't Roland make a gig bag for this, even if it's sold separately? In New Orleans, transportability is everything, we're the land of the mobile musician, walking several blocks to gigs often; the bag on my AC-60 has served me well for this, and I use it with the AC-33 too, although it's not a perfect fit. And the battery pack design seems well set up to handle quick convenient replacement by simply switching out cartridges- only problem- Why can't I buy an extra cartridge? Also, I miss phantom power and a mic/line switch for the gain on the mic channel. As is, with a Beta58 mic for vocals, it seems like the only useable gain range is between 8 and 10, everything else is barely audible. If you need a compact battery powered amp, this is great, but if battery power is not necessary, I would highly recommend getting an AC-60 instead. Or get both, like me!

  • from LA, CA August 7, 2011Music Background:
    Classical Guitar, Worship Leader, Guitar Instructor, Live Sound

    Roland AC-33

    I just got this amp because it was on a special blowout and I've been looking at getting one of these little rolands for a while. I play classical and worship style acoustic, sounds amazing with my Martin, only wish it had +48V for my Rode NT-5 to use with the classical guitar.

    I'll be using this amp mostly to add a little boost to my worship leading (guitar and vox) in intimate settings and when i have classical gigs to give a little more presence to my playing, granted I get a phantom power box. Just using it with my steel string and singing into a 1960's dynamic vocal mic and I dont want to put my gear down. for the weight, the power, and the portability this amp is a MUST have for anyone that does solo gigs in smaller places.

    Speakers are nice since they are full range though if you run a direct input you will notice that they favor the high's, somewhere around 1KHz and up could use a little less gain, but what else can you expect from a small amp. It's loud, and clear, and will be a real life saver in natural settings that need more volume!

  • from Hawaii April 22, 2015

    Roland AC -33

    I've owned this amp now for a couple of years. I Like Roland products and felt this was a good purchase. Those expecting earth shattering volumes don't understand acoustic amplification. It's not supposed to drown out the guitar like a full electric, it's supposed to enhance the sound of the guitar. You are supposed to hear both for the depth that it provides. That said, several things bug for the price point and many are not acoustically related. You can barely carry the thing, the handle is so shallow, that anyone with larger hands will just have to tote it. It comes without a cover and the skin of the amp is fragile to a fault, especially the faux wood one. I ended up buying a larger beer cooler to put it in and carry it.

    It's good for what it is, a battery powered and mains powered amp, I've never even put batteries in it due to hearing one with and I would rather have the power. Like another poster posted, don't sit directly over or infront of the amp, feedback issues WILL ensue regardless of the feedback control mounted on the amp. Sit or stand a good 10 to 15 ft. away to get the full ambience of the amp and it's features.

    In the end, the amp is only as good as the preamp in your guitar. IF that is weak, expect the same. I paid too much for it as I got it very soon after it came out, and I bought it in Hawaii where I live. At the price point it is now at, there are others that can compete well.

  • from Concord, CA February 24, 2012Music Background:


    Apparently you have to have batteries installed in order for it to work. I didn't see that in the instructions.
    It sounds good.

  • from Norwich U.K. April 3, 2010Music Background:
    semi-pro folk & rock rhythm/fingerstyle guitarist/singer

    roland ac-33

    I'm not a busker and I don't play loops. Just to say that if it runs on AAbatteries, it cannot be a 30 watt amp, maybe 10...? So, very over-rated power-wise, I'd prefer it to have a beefy 12 volt rechargeable battery. It looks & sounds good, and it is small and light, though the strap handle is too small. My Crate Limo at 2/3 the price is easily twice as loud. but the Crate IS big and heavy, and doesn't have the looper...

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