If you play an acoustic guitar with pickups live, there are two main challenges: How do I achieve the pure acoustic sound and how do I avoid feedback in particular? Most guitarists go directly into the mixing console via a DI box. And this is exactly where the Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp comes in. On the one hand, it should bring across the most natural acoustic sound of the guitar possible and also eliminate any feedback that arises.
The AD-2 comes in typical Boss fashion, as we have known it since the seventies. A megarobust pedal in golden colour with the typical wide Boss switch. The battery is hidden under the large foot switch and can be accessed simply by unscrewing the knurled screw. Boss supplies a battery with the pedal. This is usually not the case with other manufacturers. Therefore, a clear plus here for the Japanese.
Alternatively, there is of course the possibility of connecting a 9 V power supply unit. The power consumption is about 55 mA.
You can find the input on the right side of the pedal. On the left side you have got two outpack jacks. The line out jack can be used for the direct output to your P.A. mixer. The output jack comes to work, if you plan to add other guitar effects in your effect chain.
How the Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp works
The guitar cable of the acoustic guitar is plugged into the input socket on the left side. I use the preamp at the beginning of the effects chain. If further pedals are added afterwards, the upper of the two output sockets should be used. Alternatively, it is also possible to go directly into the mixing console via the direct-out socket. This is done via a TRS (stereo) jack cable.
The AD-2 has got three knobs and with these knobs you can control your sound of your accoustic guitar.
The knob on the top left is the ambience knob. Boss describes this knob as a possibilty to add optimized ambience build for accoustic guitars. In the end it is a kind of reverb. You really have to turn it on at least to the 3 o’clock position to really hear any difference. To be honest, a good reverb pedal helps much more.
The Acoustic resonance knob is the knob which has the most influence on your sound. This control can be a curse and a blessing, in my eyes it depends mainly on the guitar. My rather inexpensive Ovation Celebrity has a much more transparent sound. My high-end Takamine, on the other hand, produces the complete opposite, especially if you turn the knob up too far. The guitar suddenly sounds very unnatural and dull.
The Notch filter knob can be very important in my opinion. It will help you to control the feedback. During a live concert it can save your life, if you are struggling with a lot of feedback. On the other hand, the Notch Filter interferes with the sound. If you turn the knob up too much, the sound quickly becomes muffled and dull.
Specifications of the Boss AD-2 Acoustic Preamp
- 3 controls: Notch Filter, Ambience, Acoustic Resonance
- Sturdy golden housing
- Bypass: Buffered Bypass
- Power consumption: 9V battery or mains adapter, approx. 55 mA
- Size: 73 x 59 x 129 mm
- Weight: approx. 0,45 KG
- Made in Taiwan
- Workmanship (lasts forever)
- Simple usage
- Good feedback control
- You have to turn on Ambience in full mode to hear a big difference
- Can be good or bad depending on your guitar (See text)