Author Topic: Electro-acoustic - Amp buying conundrum.  (Read 1009 times)

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Offline flickstrum

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Electro-acoustic - Amp buying conundrum.
« on: May 31, 2019, 08:48:39 pm »
Hi everyone,

Is it possible to use my electro-acoustic guitar like an electric guitar? Is there a unit/gadget that will enable me to amplify and apply effects without buying a big-a** amp that takes up space?
Ideally looking for a guitar to headphone arrangement with something that will apply the effects.

My guitar has a batter level check indicator button, so Im guessing it has a preamp?


Offline Majik

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Re: Electro-acoustic - Amp buying conundrum.
« Reply #1 on: June 01, 2019, 10:48:33 am »
Yes, but with caveats, depending on what you are trying to achieve.

For instance: I currently have my Electro-acoustic connected to my Katana 100 which has a specific setting specifically for amplifying electro-acoustic guitars which sounds pretty good. But there's nothing stopping me from dialing in one of the electric-guitar settings. I tried it just now and did a few power chords and a bit of pentatonic noodling and it works "fine".

However, it really doesn't sound quite like an electric guitar. I think that's because the piezo pickups in my guitar have quite a different tonal characteristic from normal single-coil/humbucking pickups. The same will apply for microphone pickups.

So you can do this, but if you are trying to emulate the sound of, for instance, a higher-gain lead electric guitar, it's not going to quite be the same. It may, however, be close enough for you.

Of course, this was a relatively large amp, which wasn't what you asked for, but the same will apply to any headphone based system: unless it's specifically designed to take an electro-acoustic guitar input and EQ it in some way to make it sound like (for instance) a humbucking pickup.

So if your aim is to get your acoustic to sound more like an electric then your best bet IMO is some sort of multifx unit as these will have a bunch of tone-shaping capabilities as well as a headphone output. Some of these may have specific settings for this application, although I've not, personally, come across any which do.

For instance, the popular Boss GT-1 pedal has a "Guitar Simulator" capability which will, amongst other things, allow you to make your Single-coil electric guitar sound more like one with humbuckers, and vice versa. You can also make a solid-body electric guitar sound like a hollow-bodied electric, or make your electric guitar sound like an acoustic. There is, even, a setting to make a piezo-equipped guitar sound more naturally like an acoustic guitar.

But there isn't a setting to make a piezo pickup sound like an electric guitar. I suspect this is because these pedals are aimed at electric guitar players.

On the other hand, if you are not specifically looking to try to emulate the electric guitar sound, but just want to experiment with tones and effects on your acoustic guitar, with headphones, then any multi-fx unit will do the trick. There are some which are specifically designed to work with acoustic guitar, such as the Zoom AC-3, Boss AD-10, etc.

Note that acoustic guitar fx processors tend to be quite limited in the range of FX they support, as their main role tends to be to make an electro-acoustic sound more "natural".


Guitars: PRS Singlecut S2, Fender Tele Lite Ash, G&L Legacy Tribute, Freshman Apollo 2 OCBX, Gibson SG Special P90
Amps: Bugera G5 Head, Boss Katana 100
All sorts of other stuff.

Offline Rossco01

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Re: Electro-acoustic - Amp buying conundrum.
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2019, 12:44:03 pm »
Hi Flickstrum there are quite a lot of "acoustic" amps out there so you just need to google. I went on the search myself for something recently and ended up with Laney A Fresco which works great with my electro acoustic, has two inputs (so I can use a mic too) and works off battery or mains. They do quite a few versions and I picked up the out going one at around £120 (the new I think had double power).

I bought it for some solo stuff I'm planning to do busking etc.
Epiphone Masterbilt DR500MCE, Yamaha Pacifica 112V, HB Tele, Fender Mustang 1v2, Katana 100, Trio Plus, Boss GT1
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