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Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator  

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Boss

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!

 
Customer Reviews
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Review Snapshot®

by PowerReviews
BossAC-3 Acoustic Simulator
 
4.2

(based on 66 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (41)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (13)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (4)

89%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No (5)

        Most Liked Positive Review

         

        Very useful

        I bought this to stop switching guitars mid set. It has helped me a lot! I find it works best with single coil guitars or humbuckers w/ coil splitting to get more of...Read complete review

        I bought this to stop switching guitars mid set. It has helped me a lot! I find it works best with single coil guitars or humbuckers w/ coil splitting to get more of a "authentic" acoustic sound. The direct output works great with the PA system or with a acoustic amp. If you are using the PA you better have good monitors. I recommend using a separate amp. Overall it sound ok but the Piezo mode is no to impressive. For me the best modes are the standard and jumbo settings.
        I also recommend putting it first or second in the signal chain so that once activated it mutes everything else in the chain and you just get clean acoustic sound. This helps a lot when going from clean acoustic to lead guitar since you can have both pedals on simultaneously. All you have to do is disengage the AC-3 and you have your drive already present no need to stomp around.

        I use this a lot and I recommend it if you don't want to bring so much gear to gigs.

        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 66 customers

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        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 review

        (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Works Great Only When Using Both Outputs

        By blujonz

        from NY

        Pros

          Cons

            Best Uses

              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 review

               
              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 review

               
              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 review

                (1 of 1 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 review

                 
                5.0

                pretty good stuff

                By angelo

                from Montreal, QC

                Pros

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

                      Hello people... this is my take on the AC3. I use this pedal thru a PA system (Mackie mixer and powered JBLs tops and subs). The order of connection is AC3-Boss EQ GE7- Radial ProDI using a Telecaster with a Blue Lace sensor in the neck position. Although this pedal will never sound like a miced Taylor acoustic guitar, it does a good job at replicating the sound of a plugged acoustic. When you need that sound once in a while during your set, to me, its good enough. As for the hiss, I was previously using a cheap Behringer active DI and it was hissing. It was annoying but nothing you could hear during the songs. I finally decided to invest in a good DI and chose the Radial ProDI (which is passive). What a difference!!!! super quiet. I use the boss EQ to have better EQ control, not to reduce the hiss (if that could work at all). Also, the Lace Sensor pickups are noiseless. So in response to people saying the Ac3 is a noisy pedal, try it with noiseless single coil pickup if possible, buy a good passive DI and plug it thru the PA.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

                      Comment on this review

                      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      3.0

                      Like it, but don't love it

                      By dustable

                      from montery ca

                      Pros

                      • Acoustic sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

                          So, I've never used another acoustic simulator so I have nothing to compare this too, I can only give you my thoughts

                          Positive First: This does have a very acoustic sound, which is useful cause my band plays cover songs and you can shift back and forth seamlessly between electric and acoustic sounds without switching guitars. In fact it's next to the distortion on my pedal board so I can go straight form acoustic to crunchy in one stomp.

                          Now the negative: It has a very acoustic sound, but it does NOT have a beautiful sound. The biggest issue I have is even turned way up it cuts the volume of my guitar... so I both lose volume AND since the pedal is cranked the tone is just too sharp and there is lots of hiss.

                          Bottom line... it's a useful tool, but don't get your hopes too high for sound quality... and definitely don't try to use it in the studio... you're better off micing the cheapest acoustic in the world ;)

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • Yes

                          Comment on this review

                          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          4.0

                          Very useful

                          By Dr. A

                          from San Juan, PR

                          Pros

                          • Compact
                          • Easy to set up
                          • Line Out Direct To Pa

                          Cons

                          • Piezo Lacks Luster

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Practice
                          • Small gigs
                          • Worship service

                          Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

                          I bought this to stop switching guitars mid set. It has helped me a lot! I find it works best with single coil guitars or humbuckers w/ coil splitting to get more of a "authentic" acoustic sound. The direct output works great with the PA system or with a acoustic amp. If you are using the PA you better have good monitors. I recommend using a separate amp. Overall it sound ok but the Piezo mode is no to impressive. For me the best modes are the standard and jumbo settings.
                          I also recommend putting it first or second in the signal chain so that once activated it mutes everything else in the chain and you just get clean acoustic sound. This helps a lot when going from clean acoustic to lead guitar since you can have both pedals on simultaneously. All you have to do is disengage the AC-3 and you have your drive already present no need to stomp around.

                          I use this a lot and I recommend it if you don't want to bring so much gear to gigs.

                          Comment on this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Works Well

                          By RAS

                          from Castle Rock, Colorado

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Create Your Sound
                          • Good Realistic Sounds
                          • Plays Well With A Strat

                          Cons

                          • Play Guitar Gently
                          • Rough Playing Bad Sound

                          Best Uses

                          • Cosm Works Well
                          • Play Gently Great Sound

                          Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

                          This is a good pedal, but must be played gently. I play by ear and every little or large sound is captured. Play like a acoustic guitar, and sounds are true. COSM works well. If you kill it and play too aggresively, sound will degrade. I enjoy the pedal and would recomend it. Great BOSS sound and construction. A keeper.

                          Comment on this review

                          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          I Like It

                          By FINGERS

                          from Undisclosed

                          Comments about Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator:

                          I can see that this one won't get packed away. Even though it is not a perfect carbon copy of a real acoustic it does come close. and what it lacks there can be a + for new tonal ground. I think it's the Best boss pedal yet.

                          Comment on this review

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