I was debating whether to try a simulator or use my Ovation for gigs. Well problem #1 was that I couldn't find the Ovation stand (like Alex Lifeson) so I gave the simulator a try.
I tried the Zoom but did not care for it. The box was somewhat cheesy and might break after multiple stomps.
I've heard the Rockman before and it sounded good but I believe that in 2003 production had stopped. Well I tried the Boss and it sounded okay with different variations (acoustic guitar modes).
Model Year: 2003
Price: $79.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
Both AC/DC operation with four different controls to alter your sound.
It does the trick live but cannot replace an acoustic plugged in. I also found that it sounded better using an electric guitar with humbuckers as opposed to single coils.
You pretty much set it and forget it. You will need to dial in settings from room to room depending on the size.
Boss Bomb style box. What else can I say?
As a Acoustic Simulator I think this is a perfect pedal
I didn't look at any other pedals because I know I'm getting quality and tone from BOSS
Model Year: 2003
Price: $79.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Guitar Center
I was looking for a device to use in live settings that could give me an acoustic feel on the songs we play that feature acoustic guitar. This pedal is perfect for this type of applacation.
The quality for a live setting is very good. I use this in my pedal board with my Fender Strats, Marshall and Fender amps. Switching between distortion, clean and now acoustic add so much to my sound
This like all BOSS pedals is very easy to use and dial in very good acoustic tones
I chose this pedal because I play alot of acoustic music but have been enjoying my Strat alot lately and wanted to just keep playing without switching guitars. For that reason, as my review said, its not the best. I have learned to make the best out of a 90 dollar purchase though and found many uses for the tone shaping abilities of this pedal. I prefer the Enhance or Piezo modes with the body and top both on around the 2-3 o'clock position, actually, with the body just a little bit higher than the top.
That's my 2 cents.
Model Year: 2002
Price: $89.99 (new)
Where Obtained: Musicians Friend
There are a handful of features on this pedal, more than the basic boss pedals (3 knob jobs). There are (to my recollection) 4 guitar style settings: Standard acoustic, Jumbo acoustic, Enhance, and Piezo pickup style, these are all fairy self explanitory except enhance which is a more brilliant sounding acoustic, very full sounding. The tone honing dials are Body and Top. Body is more of a meaty brilliance and top is more of the bridge strumming sound, more cutting. These two dials give you lots of control when used together for the overall tone out of your guitar.
The description for this pedal is something to the effect of:
Why switch guitars in the middle of a show to play an acoustic song, just crank up the AC-2 and turn your electric guitar into a fully fledged sounding acoustic guitar.
I used it with my Fender Strat. No matter how I changed the settings, on both the pedal and the guitar it amounted to nothing more than allowing me to get great tone out of my guitar. If this pedal was called the Boss Tone Enhancer TE-1, then I would have given this a 4-Very Good rating. I get excellent sweet syrupy tone from my strat, which is sometimes difficult due to the cutting sound the strat is designed for (specifically the angled bridge pickup designed to pick up the cutting sound of the smaller strings near the bridge). So that makes the pedal still useful for me, but to say that my strat sounds anything like an acoustic guitar with the pedal turned on is just silly.
I will add that my Chet Atkins SST (the old Dave Matthews guitar), which is described as an acoustic electric, gets excellent acoustic simulation. While it is described as an acoustic electric, it is still very much an electric guitar. Dave had his specially tweaked and is very different than the standard Gibson C.A. SST. However with the AC-2, you will be able to achieve a wide range of acoustic tones with a Chet Atkins SST.
As of now, those are the only two guitars I have tested with the Boss AC-2 and my recommendation is: If you desire fat tone out of your electric guitar, you may want to give the AC-2 a try. And if you have a Chet Atkins SST, the AC-2 provides a small toolbox of settings that will drastically enhance the sound of the fairly limited SST. Therefore, my rating is a 3-Average.
Boss Pedals are about the easiest to use pedals out there. I will however recommend using the Boss 9v power adapter. It is more expensive than many others but many other store bought power sources put static, an annoying hum and lower the sound quality drastically. Another option for powering Boss pedals is to use the Dunlop Juice power brick or the more popular Voodoo Lab Pedal Power power brick.
Boss pedals are the most durable pedals I have ever used, this is a common opinion of most guitarists. Boss pedals are also some of the most commonly seen when watching major rock acts - that should tell you alot right there. Boss is also a sub company of Roland, well known for their modeling technologies. Tip top pedal, also comes with a warranty which I never send in ;) but you could if you wanted to.
I think this is a must for anyone who cant bring an acoustic with them to a gig, or just needs to change from an acoustic sound to an electric one with the press of a button.
Model Year: 2000
Where Obtained: friend
I has volume, body, top, and acoustic type controls.
It is powered by a 9v battery or a 9v 500Ma adapter.
It has two input channels.
This is the ultimate acoustic simulator. I have yet to see anything that could match the quality of the sound that is produced by this pedal. You can get sounds from anything like a standard acoustic, even to a resonator sound.
It may take a small while to get what you want, but once you do, theres no going back
Once you've heard it, you'll want it. Once you've got it you won't want to gig without it. Leave your acoustic at home where it won't get sat on, mishandled or otherwise abused.
Model Year: 1998
Where Obtained: Rose Morris, London
Typical boss build/ sound quality. Select from 4 Preset sounds including jumbo, for a er, jumbo acoustic sound, standard enhanced and piezo, as in piezo electric pickup.
Fine tune the sound with the additional Top & Body controls which allow you to alter the sounds prescence/brightness and boominess/boxiness respectively.
Dual output allows a seperate channel for the acoustic sim mode and the straight through, so you can wire in different effects for your acoustic/electric sound.
Will genuinely make any electric guitar sound like an acoustic, and saved many a gig i tried to play with a very dodgy sounding semi-acoustic, not mentioning any particular tanglewoods- er, I mean makes.
Switching is totally silent and means that if your a bit of a metaller you can play those touchy-feely finger picking interludes without having to drag another guitar along to your gig.
I haven't managed to break it yet, these BOSS pedals are built to gig, much more durable than a plastic cased unit and fairly impervious to having beer, sweat or blood spilt on them.
If this pedal were lost or stolen, I would run out and buy another. It would probably be difficult to make this sound more like an acoustic than an acoustic. However, even though it is a little less than "perfect," it is still WAY better than needing a different guitar and amp than my electric, especially when one of the options for an amp isn't "PA."
Model Year: 2001
Price: $80.00 (new)
Where Obtained: Musician's Friend
The controls are Level, Body, Top, and Mode. The pedal runs off a standard 9v transistor battery or a 9v, 300ma adpator. The effect is mono, although it could be split out through a stereo chorus pedal. Circuitry is all solid state. Wish it had 3 or 4 memory slots for different guitars.
You've seen this before: it has Level, Body, Top, and Mode. Level of course, is output level. Body seems to go from small to large in a clockwise direction, in terms of brightness and resonance. Top, likewise, adds bottom to less bottom to the sound. Mode (Standard, Jumbo, Enhanced, Peizo) seems to go bright, less bright, fuller, brighter). I play this through a solid body strat, a hollow-body Epiphone Casino, and a chambered DeArmond M-77 LP style guitar with double humbuckers. The best accoustic sound is obtained through the casino (which is closest to an acoustic anyway). None of the three sound bad, although the required settings are different for each.
Using this pedal is much more convenient than having to rely on the availability of an accoustic guitar amplifier or an available PA channel. The sound is not as good as a mic'd acoustic or the average electro-acoustic, but it ain't bad, considering the alternatives. With all three guitars and a bit of "fiddling", I was able to get a "convincing" sound. There is no perfect replacement for an acoustic, but I believe this is as close as you can come electronically.
Like all Boss Pedals, this is a metal "TANK". The only question is how long will the "on/off" switch last; but if this is like my other Boss pedals, the answer is "almost forever."
There's alot you can do with this unit. It is probably teh only reason I havet spent 400 dollars on an acoustic guitar. You gan really sond acoustic with it. This is one pedal that actually works as well as it claims it does.
Model Year: 1999
Where Obtained: Duncansons Music
Several surprising features.
Sounds just like the real deal!
As always, be careful and you have nothing to worry about.
I tried the Rockman (which is good for acoustic/electrics) and it sucked. There are no other single pedals that can simulate the acoustic guitar, and this one does a fine job of it. I would probably buy this effect again, but it could have a few more styles of acoustic guitar settings (a classical guitar or 12 string setting would be impressively nice). My favorite aspect is the 2 output jacks since I use a pitch shifter to capo or detune my guitar for some parts, but is a little slow to turn of the pitch shifter in some songs (especially while turning on distortion at the same time). With separate outputs I can leave the distortion on the electric signal and process the acoustic signal different, while switching between them with only the AC-2 footswitch.
Price: $89.99 (new)
Where Obtained: Musician's Friend
2 output jacks allows you to send an unaffected signal through your other pedals, when the acoustic sound is off (very good if you use a pitch shifter (to capo) on the acoustic sound, but not on the electric sound). Unfortunately, the pedal cannot send both acoustic and electric sounds at the same time (different routing and splitting, can accomplish this though).
Very good for electric players who need an acoustic sound during small parts of songs, or want to fatten up the sound with a lite acoustic sound with the main signal (like progressive rock and top 40 kinds of songs). The pedal doesn't sound like a Martin with any of the settings, but what can you expect for about $100 bucks (cheap Martin's are 5-10 times as expensive). The sound is better than having a piezo pickup installed on your favorite axe, and you can get 3 or 4 sounds that you like out of the pedal. The effect sounds a little better on my solid state amp than my old tube Fender, since it doesn't pick up all of the high pitched nuances of the simulated acoustic. This sounds much better than the Rockman Acoustic Guitar pedal, which is just a big EQ pedal. The Rockman also doesn't have the jangly-acoustic sound that the AC-2 effectively mimics.
Easy. Plug in. Tweak the knobs. Play the gig. You shouldn't have to mess with your guitar knobs either to get a good sound (just use a single coil p-up with the tone control on 10). It even sounds okay with a humbucking pickup in the bridge, but not quite enough bass to sound as good.
Boss pedals are tanks. All you have to worry about is if your connecting cords can handle the stomping.
I originally wanted something that would allow me to play my electric exclusively but switch to an acoustic sound if need be. If that's what you're after, I'd recommend keeping your acoustic handy. It'll work fine if your normal set had only a couple acoustic numbers and you didn't want to haul an extra guitar rig, but for anything more, it just doesn't do it. Alternatively, if you use it as I do with an acoustic, it's a great little device that fits nicely in your case. I looked at the Zoom simulator (504?) but after reading several bad reviews and fearing that my size 12's would do a number on the plastic case, I chose the Boss.
Where Obtained: Ebay Auction
Controls are pretty easy to manipulate. Mode-wise, you get to choose either jumbo, standard, enhanced or piezo. Runs off a either 9v battery or your run of the mill AC adaptor.
Essentially, as the name indicates, it's designed to allow an electric guitar to simulate an acoustic guitar. The key word here is simulate
. By no means will this turn your Stratocaster into a Taylor. But, with a little tweaking you can get a pretty decent acoustic-like tone. With an electric, it sounds best if you use your neck pickup, and preferrably a single coil. I personally use this between my acoustic/electric and a direct box...does a pretty decent job as a pseudo-preamp and fattens up my tone nicely. Rating wise, I'm giving it a "5" for the way I use it...I have tried it with my electrics and going that route, I'd give it a low 3.
Doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that knob 1 = volume, 2 = bass, 3 = treble and 4 = acoustic type. Like any other toy, I played with it for a while to try out everything, but when business got serious, I was able to get a tone I could be happy with in less time than it takes me to set up my entire rig.
It's a Boss. Any other questions?