An acoustic Guitar is a hollow-body guitar which does not need external amplification and the sound of its strings is amplified by its hollow-body design and built-in pickups. In cases, where the acoustic guitar has required external amplification, like for live shows and recordings, the results in the past have not been good. If an acoustic guitar is plugged to an amplifier, it throws out a screeching sound with a lot of noise and humming, and masks the guitar’s clean tone. This is because the output from the acoustic guitar was weak and could not be processed correctly by the amplifier.
The answer to this problem is a “preamp”. The Preamp is a device connected to the guitar and the actual amp. We know how to choose the best acoustic guitar preamp. Its main job is to boost the vibrations and sounds coming out of the guitar so that when they reach the amplifier, they are in the standard format and can be amplified without being noisy or distorted. Not sure about which preamp is good for your acoustic guitar? Worry not, as we bring to you our pick for the 7 best acoustic guitar preamps.
our best acoustic guitar preamp picks
Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp Pedal
Specs, features, and benefits
Boss products are inevitable in a Top pedals list, and here we are – The Boss AD-2! Packed in the sturdy standard Boss box, with three control knobs, and two outputs, the Boss AD-2 is very famous pedal among the acoustic guitar players.
The pedal has these three controls: Ambience, Notch, and Acoustic Resonance.
The Ambience control knob is actually a reverb control and has a specially designed reverb effect that will suit your acoustic guitar, and not make it cloudy.
The Notch control will easily remove all of the feedback problems you experienced in the past. And the Acoustic Resonance is basically a carefully design EQ tone control, that lets you easy-tune your sound.
It has two outputs, which means that you can go into an amp or directly in the PA system, both ways you will sound great. The Line Out is actually a DI out. On the footswitch, the pedal has a mute option, which you can activate with holding it down for two seconds. The pedal can run on a 9V battery or on a 9V DC power adaptor.
Fishman Aura Spectrum DI Acoustic Pedal Preamp
The first acoustic guitar preamp on our list is the Fishman Aura Spectrum DI. The acoustic guitar pedal preamp offers a huge range of modeling features that can help alter your sound. This preamp also features useful EQ knobs that offer a lot of versatility.
One great thing about this Fishman preamp is that it features presets for many things. Presets range from 12 string guitar to bluegrass to orchestra settings.
L.R. Baggs SESSION-DI Acoustic Preamp
And we are back to L.R. Baggs. Their Session DI looks quite similar to Venue DI, but differs from it in features. The interface we have here seems to be quite simple to grasp. It has 5 knobs, a single footswitch and a couple of buttons and slides. The Volume knob modifies the level of the overall output; the Notch is a filter which balances out the feedback; Gain manages how much gain will be added to the sound and is indicated with a VU meter. Now, the Saturate and Comp EQ knobs are the key components of this pedal. The former thickens up your acoustic sound, makes it warmer and sweeter, while the latter offers a three band compression which equalizes the low, mid and high frequencies. Additionally, Session DI has a phase switch that modifies the low-end characteristic of the sound and contributes to feedback control. The left side of the pedal features a Ground Lift switch, while the right side has a High Pass Filter slide that allows you to choose between different frequencies (40, 80, 120 and 200Hz). This unit is definitely one of the best acoustic guitar preamps, so go for it!
LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI
The LR Baggs Para Acoustic preamp is a multi-purpose device which provides the best features of the preamp, EQ and DI, all packed into one small gadget. The LR Baggs is a great companion for professional musicians while they perform live. This great looking preamp comes equipped with a chromatic tuner for ease of use, a feedback suppressor which ensures you get a clean sound, and a phase inversion to keep everything in sync. The best acoustic guitar preamp comes in many shapes and sizes. It also includes LED meters which help you check the levels at which you are playing and are useful in a live performance along with a volume boost button. The LR Baggs can be powered either by an AC adapter or a 9-volt battery and is one of those products which deliver on what they promise. This preamp can be used and modified as per the musician’s requirements and helps you get the perfect sound you desire. A great buy if you are serious about music and clean tones. A sure fit in the 7 best acoustic guitar preamps.
BBE Acoustimax Acoustic Instrument Preamp with Sonic Maximizer
The BBE Acousticmax is a versatile preamp and DI box that can serve touring musicians with any acoustic instrument in their hands.
The box contains these features:
- Three-band EQ with sweepable midrange and notch filter
- Sonic Maximizer for adding fullness to the sound
- DI out; FX loop port, line out, tuner out
- Ground Lift, Phase shift, -12db PAD, Pre/Post DI
The BBE Acousticmax is built like a tank, and it comes for a pretty affordable price. The sound you will get with this unit plugged in is just amazing!
BBE Acousticmax has two footswitches, one for the Sonic Maximizer, and Mute.
Radial Tonebone Acoustic Preamp
The Radial Tonebone Acoustic preamp is one of the most popular preamps among professional guitarists. This is because the Radial Tonebone is a 6-in-1 gadget with functionalities of a preamp, DI, Feedback reduction, an EQ, a booster, and the ease of plugging two guitars at the same time. This is a lot to get from a single device! This preamp comes with pre and post EQ outputs, effects loop, and can be combined with other pedals Its feedback reduction feature helps in reducing the feedback to a great extent and gives out a strong sharp tone. The preamp comes with a 15v power supply option which is not a standard among preamps. Also, the preamp does feature the setting which allows two guitars to be plugged at the same time, but there are no separate EQs for the guitars. This means that the EQ setting for one guitar would need to be applied on the other guitar as well which might not always be appropriate. The Radial Tonebone Acoustic with its great features is one of the most expensive preamps in the market but it justifies its cost by the amazing sound it produces and the multitude of controls and effects it provides. This one finds its way into the 7 best acoustic guitar preamps list.
LR Baggs Venue Full Isolation DI
Another great preamp for acoustic players is the LR Baggs Venue DI. This is a professional acoustic guitar preamp that offers an impressive combination of the preamp, EQ, and DI box features.
The DI has a 5-band EQ, a feedback suppressor and phase inversion features. This DI has a useful volume boost switch that can really make the acoustic guitar pop when playing chords and is great for adding a bit of extra oomph to solos.
The LR Baggs Venue DI can be powered by an adapter or by a battery. The preamp also has useful LED meters that can help you check your levels when on stage with no problem.
Overall, the LR Baggs Venue DI is a really great preamp that will help you get the most out of your acoustic guitar.
Conclusion - Choose your best acoustic guitar preamp
Congratulations, my friend, you have made it to the end. I hope this journey was not too boring and gave you exactly what you were looking for when you clicked on the article. I tried my best to give you all the information you will need on your way to finding the best acoustic guitar pedal and preamp. The list above contains some of the best deals that are available on the market and I am sure your chosen one is there too. Other than that, there is not much left for me to do. I truly believe that you have what it takes to be the shining star of acoustic guitar. Good luck!