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Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator   

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BOSS is pleased to offer another "Authentic BOSS" Compact Pedal; the AC-3. How many times have you been onstage or in the studio with your electric g...Read More

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Instant acoustic!

BOSS is pleased to offer another "Authentic BOSS" Compact Pedal; the AC-3. How many times have you been onstage or in the studio with your electric guitar, and wished that you'd brought an acoustic along? For musicians who travel light, hauling an extra guitar isn't practical. The AC-3 gives electric guitarists an acoustic effect with a tap of the pedal.

BOSS's COSM Acoustic-Modeling technology is beautifully showcased in this small but powerful pedal, which simulates an acoustic guitar much more precisely and realistically than previous technology has allowed. Derived from BOSS top-of-the-line AD-8, the AC-3 pedal simulates the sound of an acoustic guitar with incredible precision.

Four simulation modes are provided: Standard, Jumbo, Enhanced, and Piezo-equipped; the latter supplies that famous "cut through the mix" direct piezo sound. Previous compact acoustic-guitar modeling-pedals were promising, but now the bar has been raised with Boss AC-3.


True acoustic sound in a pedal from the masters at Boss! You'll be glad you put it in the cart!

Reviews
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Review Snapshot

by PowerReviews
BossAC-3 Acoustic Simulator
 
4.2

(based on 71 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (43)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (15)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

85%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

No Pros

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

No Best Uses
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Works Great Only When Using Both Outputs

I play in multiple cover bands. I'm the only guitarist in most of them. In those situations, this pedal works great. Make no mistake, we're not talking about replacing anyone's precious acoustic....Read complete review

I play in multiple cover bands. I'm the only guitarist in most of them. In those situations, this pedal works great. Make no mistake, we're not talking about replacing anyone's precious acoustic. But for that quick change from acoustic to lead tones (e.g. Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See") it's great, and I get lots of compliments.

The key is you must use both outputs and the Line Out must go to a PA channel, powered monitor or acoustic amp. It's the only way the COSM emulator will sound anywhere near an acoustic. If you can't do this, don't bother, it will sound horrible through a guitar amp. Simple as that. But what's cool is when you use both outputs, it acts like an "AB box" in that your signal will go to the PA/monitor when engaged, and to your amp when disengaged. This allows you to pre-set your amp to a solo channel right after accompanying a verse on "acoustic" (think "Can't You See" again - I also do this for "Wonderwall").

I've had this pedal over 2 years now and I gig regularly. It's stood up to constant stomping (like a Boss does) and its tone is convincing enough for audiences, and does have an "acoustic feel" when you strum. Other guitar players that have heard me play have bought one after hearing it. Like I said - both outputs with Line Out to PA… or don't bother.

I did have trouble on some house PA systems with the pedal sending a noisy and/or ground loop signal to the house. I bought Radial's JDI passive DI box to correct this and it worked beautifully. So now, I'm sure to send a clean, balanced signal and doing that made the pedal sound even better (more definition).

Hope this review helps…. and no, I don't work for Boss although it would be cool if they comp'd me a pedal for this review!! : )

Peace.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Simply A Failure ...

Really, I'll say it again. Look at the other ratings, and please look for this issue online. I
I'm very disappointed in this unit. I just sent it back for a full...Read complete review

Really, I'll say it again. Look at the other ratings, and please look for this issue online. I
I'm very disappointed in this unit. I just sent it back for a full refund today. There is an incredibly loud "hiss" that is always present. You can reduce the "hiss" if you turn the volume on your guitar down to about 5, and dial back the "TOP" knob on the AC-3 to almost zero. However, when you do this, you loose any resemblence of a true acoustic guitar sound.

I have a Standard American Strat, a Delux American Strat, and a Delux American Tele. They all had the same result. I only play through monster cables (no shortage of quality there), and through the required Boss 9v adaptor. I tried all my guitars, different cables, and differnt adaptors. Same result.
Do you homework on this before buying it. You'll see comments like mine all over the internet.
Honestly, I wouldn't use this in a live, studio, or practice scenario even if it were give to me for free.

Reviewed by 71 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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5.0

A Must Have

By Rodeo

from Idaho

About Me Professional Musician

Ask me a question

Verified Reviewer

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Excellent Sound Quality
  • Good Selection Of Effects
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio
    • Performances
    • Professional Recording

    Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

    Love it. Use it all the time. A must have on your pedal board.

    Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

     
    4.0

    Eliminate Hiss Using Line Out

    By korayalpaslan

    from Turkey

    About Me Professional Musician

    Pros

    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Events

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      Folks,

      I had the same hiss issue with Boss AC-3 and here is the ultimate solution:

      Connect your pedal line out to a DI with an amp sim; could be H&K Red Box 5, Joyo JDI-01, Behringer Ultra G, Palmer Junction, Radial JDX Direct-Drive etc...

      My personal choice is Palmer Junction DI with 'Bright' setting. Use an XLR cable from the 'Balanced Out' to PA or sound card.

      If you want to have total control over the acoustic simulated tone on stage, use an EQ right before the AC-3. If you have a plug-in running on your computer, keep in mind; you might want to set the 'Reverb' on AC-3 to zero and use that effect after the EQ plug-in.

      Hope this helps, cheers.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Returned - Tone Sucking

      By GC

      from NY

      About Me Experienced

      Verified Buyer

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      Was hoping to use this for an occasional acoustic sound while gigging without having to bring yet another guitar. The hum this pedal generates is ridiculous. I inserted a digital in unit which solved that problem. Unfortunately, the pedal when not activated sucks the tone out of the guitar worse than I've ever experienced. Doesn't matter where I have it in the pedal chain. Had to return it. Very disappointing because the acoustic sound is pretty decent.

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      LOVE IT!!! BUY IT!!!

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      I have played for 30+ years. Many different styles. This pedal should be in your board. Made very well and will last forever. The sound is awesome. Allows you to adjust to different types of Acoustic Guitar Sound. Reverb too. Not to complex to use either. I enjoy this pedal and you will too.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      Acoustic simulator

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      Best version yet. Sounds good enough (acoustic). Much faster than switching guitars. My setup sounds best with single coil pickups or split humbuckers. I hope to send the line out to an acoustic amp later.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Wish I had bought this YEARS ago!

      By Karl

      from Pierce, NE

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Extra Output
      • Voice Selection

      Cons

      • none

      Best Uses

      • Performance

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      I play in a Praise Band at our church, where a lot of the songs start out acoustic, then build and rock out at the chorus. As I am currently the only guitar player in the group, I've had to pick & choose which guitar to play....not anymore!! What sold me was watching the video demo on the BOSS website. If you run the line out separately through the system, it acts like a bypass & you can leave your other pedals (overdrive, distortion, delay, etc.) set for your electric sound.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Works Great Only When Using Both Outputs

      By blujonz

      from Westchester, NY

      Ask me a question

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      I play in multiple cover bands. I'm the only guitarist in most of them. In those situations, this pedal works great. Make no mistake, we're not talking about replacing anyone's precious acoustic. But for that quick change from acoustic to lead tones (e.g. Marshall Tucker's "Can't You See") it's great, and I get lots of compliments.

      The key is you must use both outputs and the Line Out must go to a PA channel, powered monitor or acoustic amp. It's the only way the COSM emulator will sound anywhere near an acoustic. If you can't do this, don't bother, it will sound horrible through a guitar amp. Simple as that. But what's cool is when you use both outputs, it acts like an "AB box" in that your signal will go to the PA/monitor when engaged, and to your amp when disengaged. This allows you to pre-set your amp to a solo channel right after accompanying a verse on "acoustic" (think "Can't You See" again - I also do this for "Wonderwall").

      I've had this pedal over 2 years now and I gig regularly. It's stood up to constant stomping (like a Boss does) and its tone is convincing enough for audiences, and does have an "acoustic feel" when you strum. Other guitar players that have heard me play have bought one after hearing it. Like I said - both outputs with Line Out to PA… or don't bother.

      I did have trouble on some house PA systems with the pedal sending a noisy and/or ground loop signal to the house. I bought Radial's JDI passive DI box to correct this and it worked beautifully. So now, I'm sure to send a clean, balanced signal and doing that made the pedal sound even better (more definition).

      Hope this review helps…. and no, I don't work for Boss although it would be cool if they comp'd me a pedal for this review!! : )

      Peace.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

       
      4.0

      Good pedal, just play it carefully

      By Valdomero

      from San Jose, CR

      Pros

      • Good With Soft Picking
      • Nice Cleans

      Cons

      • Can't Strum Hard
      • Catches Too Much Buzz

      Best Uses

      • Band practice
      • Training

      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

      This pedal is really nice, contrary to what must say. Regardless of your pickups and guitar, it WILL sound like an acoustic, my guitar is an Ibanez with EMG's yet the pedal manages to clean it up. This pedal picks up every detail in your sound, including fret buzz sadly. The only way to get away with dead low action is to use a noise gate with this pedal. You can't also strum too hard with your volume way too up or the pedal will be nulified. My bandmates like it, and I like it. It's not the best pedal for cleans out there, but it does its job really good, just try and get one used if you aren't too sure wether to buy it or not.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Not quite what I was looking for

      By Walt

      from Billings, MT

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Built well
      • Simple Controls

      Cons

      • Artificial Sounding
      • Strange Tone

      Best Uses

        Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

        My experience was that this pedal seemed ok with a single coil pick up, using my strat, but sounded pretty terrible if I used a guitar with humbuckers. The tone is too twangy and bright, even if the top the control is dialed down. If you dial it up hang on…Ovation on steroids! In the end it took a clean sounding electric and made it sound like a strange sounding clean electric. Best results were using the line out function to go directly into the pa with the acoustic production from the pedal. If it was in a effect chain it was bad.

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Save The Acoustics!!!

        Pros

        • Less Gear To Carry
        • Typical Boss Quality
        • Wide Tonal Choice

        Cons

        • Not An Acoustic Guitar

        Best Uses

        • Live gigs
        • Rehearsal
        • Studio

        Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

        So you have a really good acoustic guitar (or several acoustics if you are a gear junkie) and you are a musician who gigs regularly, why would you want to expose your good acoustic to the random elements of gigging? If you are a touring musician with your own crew, bring whatever you want, but if you are playing club dates, this pedal is a really good option instead of trashing your acoustic guitars. Bad enough your good electrics take a beating, but hey, a solid slab guitar is just more durable. Plus, if you are carrying a ton of gear, why carry another guitar?? The Boss AC3 is no replacement for a real acoustic, but a practical pedal for those who want or need an acoustic sound that is better than decent quality. What I like about the pedal is that it has a wide range of acoustic guitar types and tones and I can quick change sounds live. I also like that I can use my other pedal effects with my AC3 and get unique sounds that I couldn't get with my acoustic guitar with an electric (Piezo) pick-up as acoustic pick-ups aren't set to push the same type of sounds as electric pickups. The downside of using an AC3 is if you finger pick and like the feel of finger picking an acoustic, you lose that on your electric, but if you don't care or don't play a style that requires extensive finger picking then this pedal is a good option. The pedal is typical solid Boss quality and the price isn't a killer for a new pedal and I've seen these pedals used on a pretty regular basis. Everyone once in awhile I take an acoustic out, but I find more often than not I just use my AC3.

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Comment on this reviewHelp Icon

        Displaying reviews 1-10

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