In addition to being a private violin teacher, Alecia started writing music-related articles 3 years ago and has been enjoying this experience greatly. Loves quilting and scrapbooking in her free time.
Marcus has a vast experience in digital audio and sound design. Thanks to his knowledge, he actively helps musicians with technical problems, improving their audio quality and even promoting their tracks so that thousands of listeners could enjoy some really good music.
Last updated: February 11, 2021
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Some people prefer the natural-sounding effects of an acoustic guitar to that of the electric one. However, you don’t have to buy a whole new guitar to replace your electric one when you could buy an acoustic simulator pedal.
There aren’t many top devices that you can choose from in this regard. Nevertheless, some do stand out as the best acoustic simulator pedals depending on the person using them and their needs. Among them are the 15 simulator pedals that we reviewed. Our top choice is the BOSS Electric Guitar Pedal (AC-3). This device will allow your electric guitar to sound like four different acoustic guitars that you can even use on stage. As such, there is no need for you to carry up to four or five guitars when you go to perform. Other great products are listed below, of which you can find an option that is just right for you.
Our original list comprised of many more products, and some were eliminated because of a few flaws here and there. Also, extra features served to boost up rankings. This was a time-consuming exercise with the fruits being a table ranking said devices along with a buying guide and detailed reviews to boot. All of these are highlighted below.
The top-rated product of the day is the BOSS Electric Guitar Pedal (AC-3), also doubling up as the editor’s choice. The device is rather small and consequently makes a rather suitable alternative to carrying around a few guitars. All you really need is this device to make it sound like you are playing different instruments while you are only playing one. The four modes captured in it include Jumbo, Enhanced, Piezo, and Standard, which you can toggle between by twisting a knob on the device.
Other vital controls include the presence of top, body as well as reverb/level knobs. Where bass tones are concerned, you can shape them using the body button or as many guitarists would like to call it the bottom end. You can also shape the top end by using the dedicated knob. As a plus, you get a built-in reverb. Where you want to add a more spacious feel to your music, then you will appreciate the ability to turn this feature on and off.
Another thing to appreciate about this device is the metal construction. To use it, you would require an alkaline battery or a direct connection to power using an AC adapter. The line-out jack is what you would use in case you were connecting to other sound equipment like a public address system or an amplifier. On the other hand, the guitar amp output will give you the guitar’s original sound. It is also possible for you to plug in both of these at the same time.
A device that is even easier to control than the BOSS Electric Guitar Pedal (AC-3) is the MOOER Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal. Of course, if you compare the two side by side, you will notice this has a smaller body and, consequently, fewer controls than its counterpart. A look at the pricing points of both devices will also reveal that you can get this MOOER device for roughly 40% of what you would need to spend to get the BOSS AC-3.
So what features can you expect? Modes present in the device are three in total, namely Piezo, jumbo, or standard. If you have ever played a jumbo acoustic guitar, you will appreciate the levels of energy that the instrument emits. As a precursor, you have to use more energy to play them due to the vast hollowness familiar to jumbo guitars. Setting the jumbo mode will result in intonation of a similar nature. The same goes for the Piezo and standard modes that produce different types of sounds.
You get input for your guitar and output jacks to relay the sound to other devices that convey your sound to the audience. Additionally, you will need a power supply close to the device so you can attach the AC adapter. Where durability is a concern, you have nothing to worry about. The full metal body will serve to keep the integrity of the simulator pedal even though accidents are a rare occurrence.
What we liked:
Simple to use controls
Relatively light and compact
At just under 50 dollars device is relatively affordable
Where cash flow is a problem, but you still want to get top-notch quality, the Koogo Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal is your best bet. The three modes will give you various sound options to choose from that you can then couple with the controls to provide you with the ideal sound experience. These controls include volume, body, and top. Similar to the Joyo JF-323 mentioned below, this device has a zinc alloy chassis, albeit a bigger one than its counterpart. The LED light indicator is also a critical similarity between the two devices.
Also, the AC adapter 9V DC (center minus plug) is a requirement for anyone hoping to make full use of this device. If you buy this device, you will learn to appreciate the True Bypass often found in more expensive high-end models.
What we liked:
LED indicator to show working condition
Simple control setup
Comes with guitar picks
What could be better:
For some users, the sound produced by the device seems muted regardless of settings
Another device to look out for is the TOM’SLINE Guitar Acoustic Effect Pedal. Design-wise this is a theme that you are going to see with a lot of other options. There are controls for volume, body, and top that are clearly labeled and easy to understand. Adjusting these knobs will have a somewhat limited effect on what the end product sounds like. As mentioned before, top and body will adjust what you would call the treble tones and bass tones, respectively.
An impressive feature of this device is the True Bypass nature. Also, what this means is that you get no sound distortion when the device is off. Additionally, you get a metal exterior that holds the innards of the machine together. This rugged case is necessary since you are going to be resting your foot on the device a lot.
Another noteworthy aspect is the compact body. It can, therefore, be carried along with your other music equipment without too much hassle. Powering the device will require you to stick close to a 9V DC power supply, as that is what is compatible with the electric guitars acoustic pedal simulator.
What we liked:
Lightweight and compact
Three easy to use knobs
What could be better:
Some users have complained of a metallic hissing when using the device
For a budget of about 50 dollars, you have the option to choose between this and the previously mentioned MOOER Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal. Out of the two, the MOOER seems to be the more popular purchase by previous customers. However, this doesn’t mean that this CNZ Audio AC Stage acoustic amp simulator pedal doesn’t have its upsides. For one, the metal construction is almost like a requirement for anyone who wants their pedal to last.
The mode selection is limited to three from the Piezo to the standard and jumbo outputs. The last two will give you the same sound that you would expect of a standard or a jumbo acoustic guitar. To access any of these three modes, all you have to do is toggle the switch.
This product will cost you upwards of 60 dollars, which is surprising considering the size of the device in addition to the modes present. This is arguably one of the smallest tools on our list, and it should sit comfortably in the palm of your hands. Also, it is a light piece of equipment that you can easily carry in your pocket. As seen from the image provided above, there is a single input as well as output. You can connect the device to an amplifier or a PA system, depending on the scenario.
The full name of the gadget is the Joyo JF-323 Wooden Sound Acoustic Simulator. Nevertheless, the construction isn’t wooden. What you do get instead is a zinc alloy chassis. Unfortunately, you can only mimic the sound of a standard acoustic guitar with this installation. This is why there is no switch for modes on the body of the device. Nevertheless, there are controls for the high, mid-tones as well as bass so you can find the right mix for the sound output you want.
Also, to protect these controls, there is a flip cover on the device. As such, you should tune the controls to the sound you want then flip the cover back up, so there is no damage and no influence on the controls by outside factors. Additionally, the device features an LED light to show you when it is on. Another impressive feature is the True Bypass for less sound distortion. You will, however, still need a DC 9V adapter to make the tool work.
What we liked:
Compact and lightweight
True Bypass included
Easy to use controls
What could be better:
It only consists of the standard mode.
Things to Consider
The way to not make mistakes in your buying decision is to have a concrete idea of what you want. As such, you need to be aware of what features and design aspects are the markings of a top product. For that reason, our team has compiled the following buying guide so that you can comfortably select from the options provided above.
Advantages of an acoustic simulator pedal
An electric guitar when plugged in sounds different from a jumbo acoustic guitar, which in turn sounds different from a standard acoustic one. This means that if you wanted to produce three or more types of sounds, you would have to purchase different guitars for the job. As you can imagine, that is quite a costly affair.
On the other hand, you could opt to buy an electric guitar then couple it with an acoustic simulator pedal. An advantage of this is that it should cost you way less in terms of expenditure. Also, you never have to worry about lugging around heavy pieces of equipment when you have one of these gadgets around.
Features to consider when choosing an acoustic simulator pedal
Of course, you will want quality in whatever you end up buying so that it lasts long and does an excellent job of whatever it is supposed to do. Popular models have all the top features required to not only produce the right sound but also be easy to use. If you are in the market for one of these tools, the following are the features that make compelling arguments in favor of buying one device or another.
The various modes available are for the different acoustic guitar types. Standard mode is a first given the popularity of the standard acoustic guitar. Of course, the sound will be identical to that of the standard acoustic guitar when you turn on this mode. The Jumbo mode will emit sounds similar to that of a jumbo acoustic guitar. These are generally larger than their standard counterparts and end up taking a lot more energy to play. The sound emitted is also different from that of the standard variation.
The Enhanced mode will enhance the sound produced by the guitar and give a clear cut sound that will be easy to hear even when other instruments are playing. Nonetheless, this is not a standard feature and hence is left out in a lot of the cheap acoustic simulator pedals on offer. You can only find it in one or two outstanding options. The Dobro is a unique acoustic guitar that has a metal resonator. This is in contrast to the soundhole of standard acoustic options. If you want to activate such a sound experience, you will have to use the Piezo mode provided in your acoustic amp simulator pedal.
You will also appreciate having total control over the sound output, and this is where the controls of the device come in.
Essential elements include the top end, where you will be able to tweak the treble and mid-tones. Next up would be the body. This knob or button gives you leeway to customize the bass output of the instrument.
Reverb controls are also not standard in a lot of these devices, but there are some notable exceptions. These controls will give the impression that there is an echo for each tune you play. As such, this can end up giving more ambiance to your performance. Additionally, a volume button or knob is more or less a necessity and can help you control output levels per your situation.
The variety of tones
The EQ range of these devices is also something that you should check for. You want a crisp, clear sound while playing, and if your acoustic guitar simulator pedal is not capable of handling the range, the sound will come off distorted. As such, you want a device with as wide a range as possible. Also, the reverb mentioned earlier may add a pleasant effect to the music you are producing.
Size and weight
Most of these gadgets are lightweight and compact. Some of them can even fit in your trouser pockets without much hassle. You have to remember that you are trying to eliminate the extra weight of guitars by buying one of these tools. As such, it wouldn’t make sense to buy another piece of heavy and bulky equipment. Also, it would be nice if the gadget could fit snugly in your guitar case or bag, as that would mean you never have to forget it while going to band practice or performing on stage.
Another critical component of a quality tool is a long life. To achieve this, the component materials need to be top-notch. This is where metal and zinc alloy construction comes in. Where necessary, you can choose a product with a cover such as the Joyo JF-323 that guarantees the longevity of some of the less durable components. These are the buttons and knobs that could quickly get damaged.
When looking for any product, you have to see if the warranty terms are good enough to convince you to buy the item. Warranties are an indirect indication of quality as they assure you of replacement or repair catered for by the manufacturer during the warranty period. As such, they prevent you from incurring losses in the purchase of a particular product.
There is no exact order that you have to place your pedals to get the desired result. You can experiment with a few of the pedals you have to see what works best for you. Also, there are a lot of pedals out there that you can include in your line-up. Without knowing which ones you have, it would be difficult even to suggest which ones should go first and which ones last. However, you can line up your tools according to type, so you don’t get mixed up.
Start with dynamics, filters, pitch shifters, and volume pedals. The next items on the lineup could be gain based pedals. After that, you can put modulation pedals followed by time gadgets as the last option.
This is why you need an electric guitars acoustic pedal simulator. With the right gadget for the job, you can make the electric guitar sound like a jumbo acoustic, a classic acoustic, or even a dobro acoustic. Devices like the BOSS Electric Guitar Pedal (AC-3) even give you more sound options.
The BOSS Electric Guitar Pedal (AC-3) is the most popular acoustic simulator pedal for a reason. People prefer a lot of features packed into one gadget, and this tool delivers on that front. Perhaps a deterrent from buying this is the price point. Nevertheless, more and more people are willing to pay more if they get sufficient value out of the deal.
A second pick for many is the MOOER Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal. This compact device has even been compared many times to the AC-3 by BOSS. Despite not having the same features, some aspects of the device are on par. This is inclusive of the sound quality and the true bypass. Also, at 50 dollars, this device is more affordable than the AC-3.
Speaking of affordability, the Koogo Acoustic Guitar Effect Pedal is one of the cheapest ones in line. Nevertheless, the value for money exceeds what you would expect at that price range. An extra feature is the AC STAGE analog signal sound conversion. With the above three choices as your first picks, you can’t go wrong. Then again, it’s also hard to go wrong with any of the options mentioned provided you know what you need in an acoustic amp simulator pedal.