boost or volume pedal for acoustic guitar

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by EVT, Jul 4, 2006.


  1. EVT

    EVT Member

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    Hi,

    I'm looking for a boost or volume pedal to use on acoustic guitar. I don't want it to alter the tone, I just want it to get louder. I strum and fingerpick, and when I fingerpick it isn't as loud as when I'm strumming. So while I'm playing a song, I would like to just hit the boost right before I fingerpick. There are a lot of boost pedals for electric guitars, but I don't know if they would work well with an acoustic.

    thanks,

    evt
     
  2. Realfi

    Realfi trying to re-MEMBER Silver Supporting Member

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    I've been experimenting with some potential solutions to the same issues.

    The volume pedal idea may work but depends on what's coming out of your guitar and the volume pedal itself with regard to impedance, level etc. I recently tried using an Ernie Ball volume pedal after my passive LB6 before my para DI but it affected the tone really badly. When I get the chance I'll organise to try one in the Para's loop with a Y cable to see if that works better.

    As far as the clean booster option I've found an Xotic RC Booster is transparent enough to use on acoustic guitar & with it's versatile EQ you're able to tweak things quite nicely.
     
  3. guitarpkr67

    guitarpkr67 Supporting Member

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    I have one of the old DOD BiFet preamp pedals. I'll give it a try and let you know how it works. I've been meaning to try it with my acoustic anyways.
     
  4. Realfi

    Realfi trying to re-MEMBER Silver Supporting Member

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    I have a feeling that when they came out they were actually intended for acoustic use...or that the brochure at least mentioned them being useful for boosting piezo style pickups.

    I have some recollection of that from when I used to sell them anyhow.
     
  5. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I can tell you an MXR Micro Amp in front of the ParaDI sounds awful...
     
  6. EVT

    EVT Member

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    What about an acoustic sansamp? If I have it off, and then just turn it on when I want to fingerpick, but I would think it would also change the tone of the guitar though.

    I ran into the Barber Launch pad
    http://www.barberelectronics.com/LaunchPad.htm which looks interesting, and the BBE Boosta Grande
    http://www.americanmusical.com/Item--i-BBE-BG--m-2_51_292_584.html

    But I think these pedals are made for electric guitars, I don't know if they would work well with acoustics.

    hmmm... Any other suggestions?

    thanks,

    evt
     
  7. Den

    Den Member

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    Take a look at the Zoom A2 or A2.1u (which includes a pedal that can be set to control volume). Either of these will do exactly what you describe without altering your tone ... and can do much, much more to improve it or add effects if you choose.

    I have a patch set up with a boost as well as some with slight delay, chorus, etc. The pedal I usually set to control volume. There's also a surisingly good tuner and feedback suppressor included as well a lot of other useful features.
     
  8. EVT

    EVT Member

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    Hi,

    I don't know about this particular one, but I don't really like mulit-effect pedals. I'm not into the sounds I've heard out of them in the past. And, I just want that one thing (volume). In the past I've had a couple of multieffects, and I don't like when you switch through different sounds in them, certain sounds will blast your ears when you turn it on.

    I'm not shooting it down, cause I really don't know this particular one and haven't tried a multieffect for acoustic, but on electric I wasn't into them. Digital kind of harsh sound, brittle (on ones I've heard and tried).

    It looks cool though. I just don't want to change my guitar's sound at all. I just want a boost of volume.

    evt
     
  9. Den

    Den Member

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    I understand your aprehensions about multi-effects ... many of us have experienced the same thing in the past. However, if this unit caused a harsh, brittle tone, I certianly wouldn't have recommended it. The ADA conversion and sampling on this unit are in another league from past multis. The main point is that for the $$$, it's an excellent solution that will do exactly what you want ... and can do much more if you choose.

    I have never even considered something like this in the past, but on another forum I found pro-sound guys who do lots of live acoustic work raving about it. I tried one from a dealer offering a 60-day money back guarantee and was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked.

    Forget that it's a multieffect for a minute, and see if it works for what you're looking to do ... you might be surprised as well. Good luck.
     
  10. EVT

    EVT Member

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    thanks Den,

    I'm going to give it a shot. I'll probably check out the cheaper one (A2).
    Have you tried both? They seem like they're similar except for the added pedal on the side right?

    evt
     
  11. Den

    Den Member

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    The A2.1u includes the pedal which can be set to control volume or any number of other parameters as well. It also includes an XLR out so it serves as a direct box ... as well as a USB connection and software for recording. I think it's a great value for the $$$. It's at least worth a look.
     
  12. James

    James Member

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    A great, but long out-of-production box is the Whirlwind Commander. It's got a clean boost with a level knob for up to 20db of gain and an effects loop that you can use as a tuner send.

    Oh and it has a DI built in.

    Perfect for acoustic guitar set-ups! Love 'em.

    :RoCkIn

    James
     
  13. Tim Bowen

    Tim Bowen Member

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    I've been using a BJFE Sea Blue EQ and/or a MXR Micro Amp for boosting my Larrivee D-03 at acoustic-electric jobs, although neither is exactly *transparent* (no circuit that I've heard is). Can't speak to how the MXR plays with the Para, but for slightly boosting single note leads and arpeggiated passages, I think it does a fine job. It's less friendly when strumming chords, but then I don't require boost for such. I own/have owned quite a few quality boosters, and the inexpensive Micro Amp has been first call for me for acoustic-electric guitar (given aforementioned applications) for several years. That said, I've not yet taken my recently acquired RC Booster out to an acoustic job, but I should do that.

    As for matching levels of flatpicked passages to fingerpicked stuff, I prefer a compressor with lots of headroom [to a booster], (and no, a super squashing ROSS clone is not the ticket!). I've had great success with a Menatone JAC compressor, which is relatively "flat", other than the addition of slight presence to the high end. I've not played a Barber Tone Press, but that might be a contender as well.

    I used a SansAmp acoustic DI for a while, but never warmed up to that circuit's EQ voicing. I found that I got better tones by bypassing the EQ section and simply using the unit as a straight DI, which sort of defeated its purpose as a multi-function box.

    Actually, as tricky as live acoustic-electric guitar tone goes, I find that it's a piece of cake as compared to mandolin, an instrument whose frequencies don't take kindly to being boosted at all. Live mandolin tone is my current dilemma.


    _____________________________________________


    Per Den's informed recommendation on another forum, I'm awaiting arrival of a ZOOM A2.1U. Den, I've already picked your brain on this, so I hope I won't be wearing out my welcome with a few more questions! -

    In setting up your basic tones, are you using any of the "acoustic models", or are you building EQ from scratch?

    The product page mentions that "mute tuning without sound output is also possible." Wondering if you might expound on this - can the tuner be set up for automatically silent tuning, or does a.) a specific patch need to be created, or b.) the expression pedal need to be specifically assigned as a volume controller?

    Regarding delay, is 'mix' the only parameter that's assignable to the expression pedal, or are 'repeats' an option as well? Also, can delay and reverb be combined within patches, or do they have to be used independently?

    Thanks very much in advance, looking forward to giving this one a whirl.
     
  14. EVT

    EVT Member

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    I picked up the zoom a2 at sam ash... I'm returning it tomorrow. I didn't like it. I still felt that it had that zoomie digital kind of sound that I'm not into. I liked the sound going direct into my roland AC-60 acoustic chorus amp.

    I have a LRbaggs para acoustic di which sounds nice, but I still wanted to be able to boost. I have a barber tonepress on the pedalboard I use with electric guitar. I am going to try it out, it's an excellent pedal.

    evt
     
  15. guitarpkr67

    guitarpkr67 Supporting Member

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    I was able to try out my DOD bifet preamp at practice the other night and I thought it sounded pretty good. I would engage it when I would have a solo. It's worth trying out and it can be had at a reasonable price.


    -Brenton
     
  16. Den

    Den Member

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    Sorry to hear you didn't like the Zoom. I've gotten many compliments on my tone ... nothing digital about it. I use only a hint of effect now and then and a little EQ. Actually, a slight bit of the D-28 model blended in gives more of a warmth and "woodiness" to the tone as well.

    If you're judging it based on the pre-sets, you'll definitely not like it ... they're mostly way over the top. The key is to start out with a clean patch (which should leave your tone exactly the way it is right now), and then build from there, even if it's only a volume boost.

    Are you sure you have the output settings right? In the "Global" control section, there are 7 choices for various types of pickups and and three settings (with additional adjustment) to optimize your tone based on the type of amp or PA you're running to. Unless this area is first set up properly, you won't get the best tone from the unit. Unfortunately, this is not a simple plug-n-play, but once dialed in, is an excellent piece.

    In the meantime, I love the Barber Tone Press. It can be set up as a great clean boost ... However, I'm not sure how it might color your tone with an acoustic. Good luck.
     
  17. waxnsteel

    waxnsteel Member

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    Try a Carl Martin compressor if you get a chance.
     
  18. TwinandTwang

    TwinandTwang Member

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    I saw Rich Brotherton (with Robert Earl Keen) use what looked to be a TC Line Driver (?) clean boost type of pedal that he switched on for solos when he played his Martin.
     
  19. Realfi

    Realfi trying to re-MEMBER Silver Supporting Member

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    I used to have one of them....never should have sold it.

    Great boost for acoustic, noise gate, DI built in, good buffer when bypassed.
     
  20. msp

    msp Member

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    i use a sansamp para driver di as a boost and an goodrich ldr2 potless volume ped for my acoustic shows

    i have a friend who uses a klon as a boost for his taylor guitar

    for me a boost in volume only causes feedback issues so i usually barely boost the volume and reshape the eq for a more nasal type quality for solo'n it cuts through better for me but obviously sounds less natural (but thats ok for solo'n)
     

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