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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...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

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 73 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (43)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (17)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (5)

87%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Compact (4)
  • Responsive (3)
  • Versatile (3)

Cons

No Cons

Best Uses

  • Outdoor events / games (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (7)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Experienced (3)

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 73 customers

Displaying reviews 1-10

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4.0

Not for electric guitars :)

By Marcin Julius

from Kraków, Poland

About Me Experienced

Pros

  • Compact Design
  • Responsive
  • Versatile

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Events
    • Performances

    Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

    So I bought one used, it was very cheap and I realized why. People expect great acoustic sounds from their electric guitars and this is the point where you'll be disappointed. Electric guitars, especially with high output humbuckers will never have the sound of a acoustic guitar...

    But my plan was different. Nowadays I play a lot on my electro accoustic guitar, most of my musical projects require this instrument. As I played mostly on electric guitars in the last 20 years, my equippment is optimized for that, tube amps, electric guitars, etc... I needed a good solution to make my acoustic guitar sound right with amps designed for electrics And this device does the job, easy to dial in, no need to buy an acoustic amp ;)

    Of course the ideal solution is to buy and AER and plug a good Furch to it, but belive me, this thing sounds much better than most acoustic amps, especially with a tube amp you can make a very deep warm sound.

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    4.0

    Hmmm...

    By PJ

    from San Juan Capistrano, CA, USA

    About Me Experienced

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Compact Design
    • Excellent Sound Quality
    • Responsive

    Cons

    • Poor Sound Quality

    Best Uses

    • Amateur Recording
    • Events
    • Home Studio

    Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

    This is an interesting item. I recommend the pedal, but you do have to experiment with your own guitars and rig.

    I tried running three different types of instrument through this pedal ( archtop, acoustic, strat,) using both acoustic amp and Marshall solid state amp, all set on clean channel with no gain or chorus. I tried the pedal on all settings, and adjusted the gain from high to low. Everything sounded compressed and, well, like an electric guitar. So, I set up a return. However, I tried one last time with my inexpensive Yamaha acoustic, through my acoustic amp. I set the pedal to Jumbo with 2/3 gain, and WOW. I hit pay dirt! Talk about a natural, huge, and super-responsive sound ! I was floored ! It sounded like a Gibson jumbo. The only thing is that it is so responsive to the strings that I have to be carful on my attack to avoid squeak. Now I don't have to invest 2 grand in a really good acoustic guitar, because the acoustic sound I want is better than I could hope for.

    Anyway, I cancelled the return, and am keeping this wonderful little gem (even if it is only good for my acoustic guitar.)

     
    5.0

    A Must Have

    By Keith

    from Idaho

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    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.

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      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.

        (2 of 2 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.

        (2 of 2 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

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Acoustic simulator

        By Strongarm

        from Dothan, AL

        See all my reviews

        Ask me a question

        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

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Wish I had bought this YEARS ago!

        By Karl

        from Pierce, NE

        See all my reviews

        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

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Works Great Only When Using Both Outputs

        By blujonz

        from Westchester, NY

        See all my reviews

        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

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Good pedal, just play it carefully

        By Valdomero

        from San Jose, CR

        See all my reviews

        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

        Displaying reviews 1-10

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