8 Best Acoustic Guitar Preamp – 2021 Buying Guide

acoustic guitar preamp

Are you tired of hearing flat tones when you decide to amplify your music or play on a speaker? The solution is getting a preamp.

The basic purpose of a preamp is to retain the quality of the sound your guitar produces when played through a processor. A preamp even adds to the quality of the sound by enhancing its texture.

With the sea of various preamps, it is impossible to detect the best acoustic guitar preamp. In my article today, I will help make the work a little easier for you.

Although most people believe that preamps are an accessory only needed by electric guitars, acoustic musicians use it as well to enhance their sounds.

Let’s get on with the article to find out which preamp suits you the best.

Best Acoustic Guitar Preamp

    
LR Baggs Para Acoustic D.I.LR Baggs Para Acoustic D.I.

  • Sold By: Total Vitality Store
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Color: Brown
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L.R. Baggs Venue DI Preamp L.R. Baggs Venue DI Preamp

  • Sold By: LR Baggs
  • Item Weight: 3 pounds
  • Color: Brown
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Donner Multi Effect Pedal Chain Preamp Donner Multi Effect Pedal Chain Preamp

  • Sold By: DonnerDirect
  • Item Weight: 1.56 pounds
  • Weight: 320g
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Fishman Aura Spectrum DI PreampFishman Aura Spectrum DI Preamp

  • Sold By: ltdService
  • Item Weight: 1 pounds
  • Color: Silver
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BOSS Acoustic Preamp Guitar Pedal BOSS Acoustic Preamp Guitar Pedal

  • Item Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Color: Brown
  • Battery type: Alkaline
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L.R. Baggs Session DI Preamp L.R. Baggs Session DI Preamp

  • Sold By: LR Baggs
  • Item Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Color: Brown
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NUX Stageman Floor Acoustic Preamp NUX Stageman Floor Acoustic Preamp

  • Sold By: GSM Sales
  • Item Weight: 1.43 pounds
  • Dimensions: 5.51 x 5.39 x 2.72 inches
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Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI Behringer V-Tone Bass Driver DI

  • Sold By: LR Baggs
  • Item Weight: 12.3 ounces
  • Color: Brown
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Where to buy the best Acoustic Guitar Preamp?

An acoustic guitar preamp is a general accessory used by most acoustic players. It can be found at any music store near your home. However, to look for the best acoustic guitar preamp, it will be necessary to visit large stores with good brands.

Buying Guide – Things to consider when buying an Acoustic Guitar Preamp

buying guide

Preamps are an easy accessory. They are available everywhere and do not need much consideration when buying. The size, of course, matters a lot since you have to carry it around. The numbers of switches also are essential since the more, the merrier.

Let’s see what more has to be considered.

Key considerations

1. Type

The first thing you need to consider is the type of preamp. There are various preamps designed for various purposes. These include tube preamps, solid-state preamps, hybrid preamps, and channel strip preamps. Each has a distinct function and is used for various purposes.

2. Your needs

The second thing you need to consider is if you need a preamp. Although preamps are a great tool, they’re not necessary. If you’re a beginner, you do not need to buy such an accessory. However, if you’re a pro, feel free to select whichever preamp pleases you.

3. Budget

Since acoustic tools are a strain when it comes to budget, go for preamps that cost low since it is only an accessory. If you end up spending large amounts on just an accessory, that will be a very foolish choice. However, this by no means indicates that you have to settle for lower quality products. Always go for higher quality preamps with multiple functions.

4. Functions

While some preamps only have a few features, most preamps have at least 4 different switches and notches to elevate the quality of the music you produce. So, always look for more functions.

What is an Acoustic Guitar Preamp?

A guitar preamp or a preamplifier is a tool used to enhance the quality of the sound produced from your guitar. It increases the dB volume of the inputted microphone signal. It helps it reach the “line-level”. 

what is an acoustic guitar preamp

Line-level is the dB level that all tools, including studio EQ and compressors, work with. This helps to equalize the sound with the corresponding tools to produce a much better output.  

1. L.R Baggs Para Acoustic D.I

lr baggs para acoustic di

Its studio-quality execution, ground-breaking tone forming EQ, and unshakable dependability are the reason why L.R Para is known as the best D.I. It is crucial for innumerable performers around the globe. 

This tool improves any acoustic pickup for a fuller and more unpredictable sound. The Para DI highlights a 5 band EQ with a tuneable midrange and score, variable addition control for detached or dynamic pickups, and a top-notch DI.

Design

This user-friendly device is enclosed in a rugged metal casing with plastic control knobs. It is eBay to use hence does not require hours of effort trying to understand its manual. All you need to do is experiment with the settings until you reach your desired result, just like any other EQ/tonal device.

The raised knobs are easy to identify due to the brown lettered labels on the white background block. The knobs have small black marker positions for easy handling and positioning.

Control knobs 

The device comes along with four distinctive controls installed with careful consideration for efficient use and optimum results. The knobs include the tuning knob, the notch control knob, the bass control knob, and the treble control knob. All four are essential for the proper functioning of the amp.

The notch control knob enables the user to select and cut a specific frequency. This results in feedback. The tuning knob has four primary positioned letters – G, A, D, and B. These help the user identify actual frequencies.

The bass control knob gives the ability to add bass to whichever sound we desire. The treble control provides an extremely high-end result. This basic control gives your music the utmost clarity even when using the bass control simultaneously. 

All these functions, when combined produce a high-quality resonate sound.

Performance

An insert cable connection that produces an effects loop for outboard effects is also inserted. It is a stereo plug with a Y cable and two mono plugs. This acts as an unbalanced direct output for routing to additional amps or effects.

There is an invert switch as well that allows the change in the type of signals. This affects the pressure of the loudspeakers. This helps minimize the low-end feedback.

The amp is powered by a 9-volt battery or a phantom battery through a cable as well!

Sound

The L.R Baggs Para Acoustic D.I is the best acoustic guitar onboard preamp as it not only provides excellent tonal control but enhances sound quality as well. It is the best setup for an acoustic guitar. It helps keep a well-balanced studio-quality clean sound.

The sound quality, however, changes a little when transmitted through the amp due to old-school technology. To control the feedback, one will have to compromise the original character of the sound. Apart from it, it is a good amp for a decent price.

Pros
  • Clear sound
  • Non-equalized DI box
  • Adds depth to a passive pickup
Cons
  • Does not support plug-in charging

2. L.R Baggs Venue D.I acoustic guitar preamp and D.I

venue di acoustic guitar preamp

Known for their professional quality acoustic instrument guitar pickups, it is obvious that LR Baggs realize how to make your acoustic guitar signal sound incredible. This is so shown by their element pressed unit, preamp, tone forming and DI confine usefulness, each of the best quality. 

While one might consider this to be stuffed up, the preamp, EQ and DI Box functionalities function admirably together or when utilized sparingly.

Design

The second you unpack Venue DI, you will understand that it’s no little gadget. The chassis is built in such a way that it encompasses various controls while securing them simultaneously. The entirety of the output/ input ports is situated at the back and sides of the preamp. 

When talking controls, there is an input and output control, the standard, as well as an FX loop and XLR output. This way you don’t need to stress over ground loops. LR Baggs truly dealt with each detail, consequently guaranteeing that you have all of the instruments you require to dial in an ideal tone. As far as durability is concerned, the aluminum body protects it from most damage.

Control knobs

I won’t be wrong to call this gadget a true multi-tool, because LR Baggs has included every feature possible to create the best control system possible. The 4-band EQ has bass, low-mid, high-mid, and Treble controls, while the same line consists of a presence control as well. Underneath are frequency controls ranging from 140Hz to 1000Hz as well as a gain knob. 

The setup also comprises a functional tuner as well as a VU meter that helps you set your gain levels. The control system, although consisting of a lot of controls, is pretty easy to use. Whenever in doubt about your music, the brightly lit control panel is going to shine your way through.

Performance

The amp renders the tone of your music to create an authentically warm and high-quality sound. The Pedal, as well as the EQ cluster, works great with a variety of pickups and onboard electronics. Several pedals are combined to create this rather bulky yet impressive amp.

Sound

The device can cut bass to the desired level as well as adds air to it due to the treble. The sound produced is indeed clear with the natural tones shining through. It can even be used for direct recording since it does not alter the original sound. This makes it the best preamp for recording acoustic guitar.

Pros
  • Versatile features
  • Add volume boost
  • A large number of control units
Cons
  • Too expensive

3. Donner multi-purpose Alpha Acoustic preamp

multi purpose alpha acoustic preamp

Since donner is known for their high-quality equipment that is so affordable, you do not need to worry about spending large bucks to find a good deal anymore. The low price, however, does not mean that you will have to compromise on decency. 

Design

The compact convenient size makes the device easily portable, a must-have element when it comes to guitar preamps. To know whether the device is on, LED lights have installed that show the working status. 

The true bypass switch helps to let your instrument pass a signal through the non-electric bypass line which helps to produce a transparent sound. The body is made from aluminum that protects the device and elongates its lifeline. 

Control knobs

The device has a total of 3 control modules that include Reverb, Chorus, and Preamp. When used together, they create a multi-dimensional sound that is out of this world! However, each of them has an individual footswitch that makes the settings much more accessible.

Performance

The preamp module helps with tonal enhancement. This includes a bright warm chorus mode that creates a natural and transparent environment. The reverb mode gives a sense of spaciousness and natural decay, connecting your sound to the earth.

The 9V Jack is used for optimum power supply. 

Sound

The nature of sound will shock you in the most ideal manner conceivable – this thing is ethereal. It has a cradled sidestep that will ensure your sign doesn’t lose any of its characteristics. The assembled quality is astounding too and the switches feel durable. Whenever in search of a reasonable acoustic preamp, you should remember Alpha Acoustic!

Pros
  • Good built and great sound quality
  • Variety of effects
  • Accurate and user-friendly controls
Cons
  • XLR output tends to develop feedback

4. Fishman Aura Spectrum D.I Acoustic preamp

aura spectrum di acoustic preamp

If you’re looking for an updated EQ with multiple features for excellent performance, the Fishman Aura Spectrum is your pick. The tool is the complete performance tech for acoustic players. It even has a preloaded image gallery for ease. It functions well with the soundhole pickup declaring it to be the best acoustic guitar preamp pickup.

Design

The compact device can do wonders for its size. The all-metal construction protects the tool from any possible dents and scratches. The silver body features shiny silver controls all over the device with small neat labels for ease of use. 

Control knobs

There are 6 control knobs in total, featuring a 3-band EQ and a one-knob compressor. The tool also includes an automatic feedback suppressor with up to 3 notches. For better performance, a chromatic tuner, an effects loop, and a high-quality balanced XLR D.I am also added.

The highlight of this product is its all-new Aura image gallery software that has an infinite list of preloaded image instruments. These are recorded through sought-after microphones, giving excellent sounding tones all ready for you!

Performance

The preamp has 16 user-configurable image locations to choose from. It also has a USB interface for image downloading from the preinstalled software – Aura Image gallery. To avoid disruptions of any kind, the feedback-fighting phase switch is included. The chromatic tuner also has a mute option for the utmost convenience. 

Sound

Ever had a preamp that was perfect for playing pre-recorded tones however it sounded trash when you used it for live performances? Well, that’s not the case here. Aura Spectrum, along with your mixers and powered monitors provides a rather loud and powerful sound. The feedback suppressor eliminates any unwanted disruptions as well. 

Pros
  • High-quality anti-feedback feature
  • Reliable and durable pedal
  • Improves sound quality
Cons
  • Aura imaging lacks parameters

5. Boss Acoustic preamp guitar pedal

boss acoustic preamp guitar pedal

The next on my list is the BOSS acoustic preamp guitar pedal. BOSS has made a name for itself in the preamp line and it will be pretty evident why it did so. The design, the functions, and the availability of multiple controls, all of them give you more reason to select this as your go-to pedal.

Design

If you’re looking for a small preamp that is easily portable, since a guitar setup already has too much weight, here is your product. The compact design of the preamp has dimensions small enough to fit on the pedalboard easily. 

The instrument and line-level output switches are present on the top with clear labels along with the adjustment knobs. The pedal can be recognized from far due to its signature rugged BOSS construction. 

Control knobs

The BOSS AD-2 Acoustic Preamp pedal quickly intensifies the quality of your music and erases any disruptions. The Acoustic Resonance control analyzes your guitar’s input and delivers an ever so natural output. It adjusts the parameters inside to achieve perfect tonal balance. 

The Notch control spots and eliminates any nasty feedback that might disrupt your beautiful music easily and effectively. Lastly, the Ambiance Control knob elevates your music to that of studio quality, removing the flatness, and adding more texture and a new life to your tunes. The feature, while doing so, does not cloud the original tones.

Performance

I know you’re tired of glitches while working. But don’t you worry anymore for the BOSS AD-2 can work flawlessly even in live sessions. The ¼” TRS line-level output sends the processed signal to the amplifier at full power. 

Sound

While most preamps suck the rustic acoustic accent out of your music, the resonance of BOSS AD-2 aims to add the acoustic character back into your music. It warms the tones and cuts off the sharpness for more mellow sounds. This is indeed the best acoustic preamp pedal.

Pros
  • High-quality reverb and notch
  • Dedicated TRS balance
  • Does not affect the original tone
Cons
  • Weaker inbuilt

6. L.R Baggs Session D.I acoustic guitar preamp and D.I

session di acoustic guitar preamp

LR Baggs comes with yet another banging product, the Session DI acoustic preamp. The tool is easy to use with user-friendly controls that cover a series of complex processes. Along with the help of saturation, multiband compression, and selective resonance filtering, the Session DI helps you produce fantastic music. 

Design

The body is a mixture of various materials to achieve top durability. It is made from aluminum, steel as well as ABS plastic. The case is custom made for easy carrying around. 

It has an all-in-one tone-enhancing preamp and DI pedal. Although the structure and functions are optimized for guitar, they work great with all other acoustic instruments like Banjo as well.

Control knobs

While the majority of the Session Acoustic DI is committed to improving great sound, the guitarists at Sweetwater wanted to observe the helpful devices installed that let you put an end to criticism. 

Talking about input, there’s additionally a Garret Null step channel locally available the Session Acoustic DI, which cuts out the particular resounding frequencies that regularly cause inconvenience. If that is insufficient, there’s a stage flip switch you can kick in as well. LR Baggs put a straightforward ground-lift switch on the opposite side from the highpass channel, letting you cut out murmur and buzz.

Performance

As an idea, multiband pressure is pretty basic. The outcomes are noteworthy, permitting you to genuinely get control over your elements, without crushing the life out of your tone. However, it does require a little programming to achieve a great result.

The LR Baggs Session Acoustic DI’s Comp/EQ handle takes all the pain and mystery out of multiband pressure. As you increment the dial, a pre-customized 3-band blower goes to work and streamlines your guitar. It does so without discoloring your tone, permitting you to dive in with all the force you need, without over-burdening your gear.

Sound

Although the acoustic guitar is an instrument that does not require much saturation, when saturated, it gives a harmonious and warm tone to your otherwise flat music. You just need to dial on the saturation toggle and give your sound new colors.

Pros
  • Add warmth to sound quality
  • Successfully inserts depth
  • Compact and easy to carry around
Cons
  • Slightly expensive

7. NUX Stageman floor acoustic preamp

nux stageman floor acoustic preamp

The next on my list is the NUX Stageman floor acoustic preamp. NUX undertones you, hence it has added in all the features to create the perfect preamp. From its beautiful design to its classic functions, there will not be one flaw in the product.

Design

The vintage cream-colored enclosure is a mix of different knobs and toggle switches. The bottom row comprises a gain knob and a simple three-band EQ. The top one has a chorus and reverb as well as scoop and notch toggle controls.

It even includes toggles for piezo hidden at the top end as well as magnetic pick flavors and a ground switch. The surface also has a TRS effects loop insert and a micro-USB port for firmware updates.

Control knobs

There are various effects and each effect is designed to be controlled by only one knob. The chorus and reverb knob is to be tweaked from a range of 0 to 10 to achieve a perfect balance. The chorus switch, however, is controlled by foot and has a freezing feature until you further need it.

Performance

It has a highly sensitive 3-band EQ with a MID scoop toggle switch. Along with the clarity of the notch filter and the input gain control, the sound delivered is all-natural. 

Sound

Delivering a double-tracked harmony, the chorus is light and sounds heavenly to the ears. With just a simple twist of a knob, you can change the rate, speed, and depth. While most preamps tend to distort the sound when maxed out, the NUX preamp delivers a usable sound even when functioning fully. 

Pros
  • Great sound and EQ selection
  • A large number of features
  • Sturdy quality
Cons
  • Low-quality activation controls

8. Behringer V.I Bass driver

behringer vi bass driver

The BDI21 is a highlight in the preamp’s line. It resembles having a truckload of vintage tube amps directly at your toes! The Blend control permits you to blend the measure of tube emulation with the bass signal. With this preamp, you will be able to produce high-end magnificent tunes!

Design

You might be in for a little surprise with this one. The outer boxes are made of plastic instead of regular metal. However, that does not mean you will have to compromise on the quality of the product. The plastic is durable enough to last you for at least 8 years.

Control knobs

It has a dedicated range of controls that strive to make your experience better. It has a Treble, Drive, Bass, Level, and presence dial. It helps you achieve warm and vintage tones with your acoustic sound. The DI box can even be used for recording with tube emulation. Any additional noises are eliminated by the ground lift switch.

Performance

This top-notch product adds bass to the sound while guaranteeing zero disturbance. The knobs are easy to rotate and locate. The box is lightweight and portable yet gives a powerful performance. This is the best preamp for acoustic guitar that delivers the result that it promises.

Sound

The preamp has a great Class-D amp tech that gives power to your sounds. It does not emit any heat hence does not require cooling technology. The lightweight product produces an extremely powerful sound with a lightness to it.

Pros
  • Versatile design
  • Massive sound
  • Compact design
Cons
  • Slightly expensive

FAQs

1. Do I need a preamp for my acoustic guitar?

No, you do not need a preamp necessarily for your acoustic guitar. Preamps are originally used to boost the sound your guitar produces before sending it off to an amplifier. The main purpose of this is to distort the sound or produce feedback, making it sound more rustic. Unless you aim for such a tone, you do not need a preamp.

2. Does a piezo pickup need a preamp?

The piezo pickup already creates a variety of frequencies hence a preamp used to boost sound isn’t necessary. You can, however, use it for a much-enhanced sound.

3. What is the purpose of a preamp?

The purpose of a preamp is to convert a weak sound signal into a strong sound signal that is strong enough to be processed further. Sending your sound without a preamp into an amplifier or speaker can distort it or make it sound bleak.

4. Does a preamp improve sound quality?

A preamp does not have much effect on the frequency of the sound. It only works to change or enhance the texture of the tone. 

Conclusion

So, here was my list of the best acoustic guitar preamp boxes that will help you elevate your music experience up a notch. 

Although a preamp isn’t a necessity, it is vital to create warm and in-depth tones that will give life to your flat sounds. I hope you were able to find the product of your preference amongst the ones I compiled for you. 

If this article was helpful, let me know in the comments below, as always, I would love to hear what you think.

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