|John Paul Jones rig|
The normal configuration was two of these monster amp/cabs with the preamp which was enough to power a coliseum. This was a huge amplifier that produced nearly 400 watts RMS.
The company went out of business in the 1980’s and the trade name was sold to True Tone Audio. Steve Marks founded SWR amplification and sold it to the Fender Musical Instrument Corporation. Fender then sold SWR to Raven amplifiers in the late 1990’s.
Acoustic made a come back in 2007 and in 2011 launched a revamped version of it's 360/361 amplifier. The 360 is the pre-amp unit and the 361 is a 400 watt powered speaker cab. It features an 18" bass driver and a HF speaker done up as a horn driver with a 2" coil.
Get a roadie, because this beast weighs about 150 pounds.
During the 1970's the Church I attended brought in a Gospel singer to perform. Her name was Lily Knauls. Ms. Knauls was one of the Edwin Hawkin's group that had a hit record at the time.
The group also backed up Melanie on her song, Candles in the Rain.
Acoustic Amplifiers aka the ACC produced the bass and a guitar.
In looking back on the company's history the bass and guitar production only lasted a few years, from 1972 through 1975. Both instruments were built in Japan and based on designs by Paul Barth.
Barth was the son of one of the National Guitar Company foremen. He was born in 1908 and by 1931 was elected to the board of directors of National Guitars and was with Ro-Pat-In string instruments, which became Electro String Instruments. He stayed on with the company until 1957. In later life he opened a small store and made guitar pickups. He made guitars and basses for other companies but under the name Bartell. Some of the electric guitars that Paul Barth made under the name Bartell look surprisingly like the Black Widows.
Both the Black Widow guitar and bass had a familiar body style similar to the Les Paul Junior only larger. The double cutaway horns had more of a flared shape. The bodies were made of maple and had a high gloss black lacquered finish.
Both guitar and bass had a German carve around the edges (as did Moseley’s guitars). The two octave necks were bolt-on, the headstocks were triple bound. The necks had a zero fret (as did Mosrite) and miniature dot fret markers. The strings went over a tune-able bridge and were held in place by a tailpiece that was set rather far back and was designed to increase sustain.
The fingerboard was made of rosewood. The scale length from the nut to the bridge was an incredible 27”. Although not uncommon for classical guitars, this was much longer than Gibson’s 24 ¾” or Fender’s 25 1/2” scale. Oddly enough, the Black Widow bass was short scale of 31” with 20 frets”
The bass came with one humbucking pickup that had 8 pole pieces and was mounted in the center of the body. The jack was mounted on the top of the body. The bass came in a fretted or non-fretted version (that had lines for position markers). The pickups output was higher than most produced during this era.
This snapped on to the body just like some Gretsch guitars. On the pad was the design of a black widow spider.
The guitars were ahead of their time and somewhat reminiscent of Schecter guitars produced today.
By 1975 the company went back to what it did best...produce amplifiers.