Acoustic Guitar Pedalboard

After doing the whole DIY piezo pickup installation in a few acoustic guitars and the purchase of a DI box, I have started to think about putting together a small effects board for my acoustic.

I’ve chatted in the past about doing the same thing for my bass, but that will be a different post in the future.

So I ask you, dear internet, what do you put in your acoustic guitar signal path?  A tuner? Reverbe? Overdrive? Distortion? Delay? etc. Do you have an acoustic rig like nate at Let’s Play Guitar with Sonic Maximizer, distortion, boost, and analog delay?  It seems to me that a tuner could be in the signal chain, but for live performance, a headstock tuner would be even easier to use. But you may want some sort of kill switch or volume control so you can tune silently.

I saw Rob Dickinson on tour supporting his solo album and he had three pedals on a small wood plank going into a DI box.  He sounded great!

And hopefully you watched to at least the 2:59 point, but especially the 5:09 point, when he kicked in the distortion. Live it was such a boost to the overall emotion and power of the song. He did the same thing on Heal, but it was a bit more limited.

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5 thoughts on “Acoustic Guitar Pedalboard

  1. I’ve never thought about an acoustic pedal board before. What a great idea! For starters, based on what I like to use when recording acoustic guitar, a compressor, chorus, delay and reverb. No tuner required because my Takamine has one built into the on-board preamp.

  2. The choice of pedals would definitely depend on the gig (or recording session). A tuner for sure and maybe a good preamp (assuming you don’t have one built into the guitar). For effects, probably delay and reverb as noted above. The right chorus could give you a twelve-string simulation. Not a huge fan of distorted acoustic guitar, but then again it worked for Keith Richards on “Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” so maybe it’s worth a try. A volume pedal might also be fun.

  3. damacleod – I’m now looking forward to hearing what you put together for your “acoustic rig” in the future!

    nosguitar – Having just entered the acoustic/electric world I still feel completely lost when it comes to preamps. I understand the logic of how they work and what they do, but actually using them, I’m still a complete newb. As for distorted acoustic guitar, I am also not generally a fan, but seeing Rob Dickinson really opened up the concept of effects and acoustic guitar.

    Thanks to both of you!

  4. I’ve got an acoustic board that I use every week. I’m usually leading from acoustic, so it’s just got the basics that I like to get a good acoustic tone: Fishman Aura pedal -> Compressor (Strymon OB.1) -> Tuner -> DI. It makes a huge difference in giving me a consistent tone to always play with the same effects, which isn’t something I’d do all the time if it was a hassle to setup. The OB.1 gives me a boost if I’m doing fingerpicking stuff and need to stand out, and it really makes a difference when it takes me a fraction of the time every week to setup and tear down, especially when I usually do so 2-3 times every weekend.

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