Summary: There are a lot of choices when it comes to getting the best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar, and we’ve found the highest quality pedals that produce the best sounding results. The best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar that are pedals are the Fishman Aura, Aphex Acoustic Xciter, Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver DI, and Carl Martin 3-Band Parametric EQ, with the Fishman Aura being the overall best.
If you can’t afford the highest-quality acoustic guitar or microphone, you can still improve the quality of your current acoustic guitar sound by using the best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar, which are a very affordable option when it comes to producing a quality acoustic guitar sound. If your acoustic guitar has a piezo pickup (electric-acoustic guitars do), simply plug your guitar into an effects unit (adding it the recording chain) when recording. While these effects won’t make your cheap acoustic guitar sound like an expensive one, they will greatly improve your acoustic guitar sound, making it a whole lot better than before.
We’ve found the four best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar that are pedals which sound great and deliver the highest quality recordings. Sounding much better than using inexpensive microphones or the piezo pickup directly, each of these pedals will produce a strong sound that will greatly improve your acoustic guitar recordings. Here is our best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar review…
Fishman Aura Review ($200)
Description: Aura Acoustic Imaging Technology. Easy setup. Eliminates stage noise. Eliminates expensive mic setups. 16 Images.
When it comes to the best sounding effects for the acoustic guitar that are pedals, the Fishman Aura is the overall best one. Since it’s a line of pedals rather than just one model, you get to choose the one that’s specifically tailored to your type of acoustic guitar (dreadnought, nylon string, jumbo, concert, 12 string, orchestra, resonator). Combine that with the fact that the Fishman Aura uses what the company calls Acoustic Imaging (recreating classic mic sounds) instead of standard digital modeling, and each of the different kinds of guitars simply sound amazing when run through the pedals, with all the positive qualities (deep low-end, strong mids, airy high-end) brought out. Plus, there are 16 settings, so you’re bound to find one that greatly improves the sound of your acoustic guitar to your liking. You’ll want to get multiple pedals if you have different kinds of acoustic guitars, but most people usually only record mainly with one or two types, so it shouldn’t be too much of a money issue, especially when the improvement in sound is this great.
Pros: Amazing sound tailored to specific kind of guitar. Lots of settings. Easy to use. Large variety of models. Attractive design and solid metal construction.
Aphex Acoustic Xciter Review ($140)
Description: Features patented Aphex Aural Exciter and Optical Big Bottom technology. Designed for acoustic instruments. Active/passive switch. Lo Tune, Lo Blend, Hi Tune, Hi Blend controls. 1/4″ input jack. 1/4″ output jack. XLR DI output. 9V battery or AC adapter powered.
The Aphex Acoustic Xciter does what the name says, and it does it very well. The Big Bottom process produces a deep low-end and the Aural Exciter process makes the acoustic guitar sound bigger and stronger, with an airy and bright high-end. The four knobs (two for low-end, Lo Tune and Lo Blend, and two for high-end, Hi Tune and Hi Blend) make it super easy to adjust settings. Just be careful not to have the Exciter at too extreme of a setting as the sound can become hard and fairly harsh to the ears.
Pros: Easy to use. Strong and bright sound with deep low-end and airy high-end. Solid metal construction.
Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver DI Review
Description: Active tone controls with 12dB of cut or boost. Sweepable semi-parametric EQ. 1/4″ 4.7 megOhm instrument level input. 1/4″ and XLR outputs with selectable levels. Parallel, uneffected output to run a dry signal to a separate channel.
The Tech 21 SansAmp Para Driver DI is a solidly-constructed pedal with a good warm sound. While it seems to favor bass guitars (and thus the low-end), it works well with an acoustic guitar if you don’t need a shimmering high-end but instead want a beefy low-end and mids. The semi-parametric equalizer is powerful and you have lots of control in shaping the sound, especially the mids.
Pros: Good warm sound. Lots of control. Strong low-end. Solid construction.
Cons: High-end is lacking.
Carl Martin 3-Band Parametric EQ Review
Description: Designed for use with acoustic instruments such as guitar, violin, and harmonica. Real 3-band parametric EQ. Balanced line driver. Integrated regulated power supply. XLR and 1/4″ outputs.
The Carl Martin 3-Band Parametric EQ is a solidly-constructed pedal with a warm and full sound. The parametric equalizer is powerful and you have lots of control in shaping the sound, especially the mids.
Pros: Warm and full sound. Solid construction. Lots of control.
Cons: A bit of noticeable hum on more extreme settings.