8 Best Acoustic Guitar Preamp | Expert Guide – 2023

A preamp is a device that amplifies the sound of an acoustic guitar before it is sent to an external sound system or recording device. These preamps come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and can offer a wide range of features and capabilities.

Whether you’re a professional musician or just starting out, finding the right preamp for your acoustic guitar can make a huge difference in the quality of your sound. In this article, we will explore the top options on the market and uncover the “Best Acoustic Guitar Preamp” .

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Our list includes preamps with a variety of features, such as built-in tuners, EQ controls, and phantom power for condenser microphones. We also considered the overall build quality and ease of use when making our selections. Have a look!

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Where to buy the Best Acoustic Guitar Preamps?

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

Try to look for famous brands as they are well known for making quality instrument accessories. The products of such brands also have some powerful acoustic amplification solutions that really help beginners. However, some manufacturers ship passive pickups. So, be careful of such products.

Moreover, you may also find the best acoustic guitar preamps in most online stores or websites. Stores such as Amazon or Shopify have top-notch acoustic pickups that include acoustic amps or preamps along with other acoustic-electric instruments.

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

An acoustic guitar preamp is an easy accessory. It is available everywhere and does not need much consideration when buying. However, if you want to perform live somewhere, you need to pay special attention to the preamp.

Some things or features of the preamp may affect your performance. 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

Here are some key factors that you should consider while buying a preamp.

1. Type

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

Moreover, some preamps are specifically for a specific type of guitar, such as preamps for bass guitars might be different from the preamp used for an electric guitar.

2. Your needs

The second thing you need to consider is if you need a preamp is your needs. Although preamps are a great tool, they’re not necessary. If you’re a beginner, you do not need to buy such quality instrument accessories.

However, if you’re a pro, feel free to select whichever preamp pleases you. Some acoustic guitar preamps come with many inbuilt features, the most prominent of which is a notch filter. The notch filters are used to filter out a specific range of frequencies from the music.

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3. Budget

Since acoustic preamps and tools are a strain when it comes to budget, go for those that cost low since it is only an accessory. Though you have to do some hard work, you will find an excellent acoustic preamp at a very reasonable price.

If you end up spending large amounts on just an accessory, that will be a very foolish choice, especially when you are a beginner acoustic guitar player. This by no means indicates that you have to settle for lower-quality products.

For professionals, we always recommend a high-quality acoustic pickup, no matter what the price is. Always go for higher-quality preamps with multiple functions if you are a pro guitarist and have to perform live on the stage.

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4. Functions

The basic function of any preamp is to increase the digital input of the sound so the main amplifier or speaker can read it and produce effective sounds. Simply it changes a low impedance signal to a high impedance signal to be read effectively by the amplifier to produce a more amplified sound.

While some preamps only have a few features, most preamps have at least four different switches and Notch 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 by your guitar. It increases the dB volume of the inputted microphone signal. It helps it reach the “line level.”

Line-level is the dB level or a narrow frequency range 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.

Some studio miked acoustic guitars do not need a preamp as they already have a pleasing tone due to their advanced gears and multiple instruments connected to each other for exceptional results.

However, some acoustic guitars need passive pickups or an acoustic amplifier to produce a natural tone.

1. L.R Baggs Para Acoustic D.I

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Features

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 dull-sounding pickups 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.

This user-friendly device is enclosed in a rugged metal casing with plastic control knobs. It is easy 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.

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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 us 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.

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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!

The L.R Baggs Para Acoustic D.I is the best acoustic guitar onboard preamp as it provides excellent tonal control and enhances sound quality. It is the best setup for an acoustic guitar.

It helps keep a well-balanced studio-quality clean and natural sound. However, the sound quality 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 reasonable price.

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

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Features

Known for their professional quality acoustic instrument pickups, it is obvious that LR Baggs realizes 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 controls, and DI Box functionalities function admirably together or when utilized sparingly.

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 output/ input ports are located 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.

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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 settings have bass, low-mid, high-mid, and Treble controls, while the same line also consists of a presence control.

Underneath are frequency controls ranging from 140Hz to 1000Hz and 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.

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The amp renders your acoustic instrument’s tone to create an authentically warm and high-quality sound. The preamp pedal and the EQ cluster work great with a variety of pickups and onboard electronics. Several pedals are combined to create this rather bulky yet impressive amp.

The device can cut bass to the desired level and add 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.

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3. Donner multi-purpose Alpha Acoustic preamp

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Features

Since donner is known for its high-quality equipment that is so affordable, you do not need to worry about spending large bucks to find a good deal anymore.

However, the low price does not mean that you will have to compromise on decency or get a weak and compressed tone. Donner alpha acoustic guitar preamp is an example of such a preamp with low cost and amazing features.

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

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

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.

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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.

The nature of sound will shock you in an 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 and the switches feel durable. Whenever in search of a reasonable acoustic preamp, you should remember Alpha Acoustic!

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4. Fishman Aura Spectrum D.I Acoustic preamp

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Features

If you’re looking for updated EQ controls with multiple features for excellent performance, the Fishman Aura Spectrum di is your pick. The tool is the complete performance tech for acoustic guitar players with a natural sounding eq section and much more to explore.

Fishman aura spectrum di preamp even has a preloaded image gallery for ease. It functions well with the soundhole pickup declaring it to be the top-quality acoustic guitar preamp pickup.

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.

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There are six 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. One chromatic tuner, an effects loop, and a high-quality balanced XLR D.I are also added for better performance.

The highlight of this acoustic guitar preamp Fishman Aura spectrum di is its all-new Aura image gallery software that has an infinite list of preloaded image instruments. You can use these pre-loaded images with any plugged or unplugged acoustic instrument.

These are recorded through sought-after microphones, giving excellent sounding tones all ready for you!

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The Fishman aura spectrum di 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.

Ever had a preamp that was perfect for playing pre-recorded tones that sounded trash when you used it for live performances? Well, that’s not the case here.

Fishman Aura Spectrum di, along with your mixers and powered monitors, provides a rather loud and powerful sound. The feedback suppressor eliminates any unwanted disruptions as well.

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5. Boss Acoustic preamp guitar pedal

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Features

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. Though it is an acoustic preamp, you can use it with electric guitars or any acoustic instrument.

The design, the functions, and the availability of multiple controls of them give you more reason to select this as your go-to pedal.

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If you’re looking for a small preamp that is easily portable since an electric 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 elegant design gives a feeling of a professional acoustic guitarist.

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.

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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.

Moreover, it adjusts the parameters inside to achieve perfect tonal balance. The Notch filter 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.

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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.

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.

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

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Features

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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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7. NUX Stageman floor acoustic preamp

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Features

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.

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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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8. Behringer V.I Bass driver

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Features

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!

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.

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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.

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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.

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

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FAQ’s

In this section, we will answer a few FAQs to clear your mind further.

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.
Unfortunately, some manufacturers produce passive acoustic pickups that need an active acoustic pickup system or a preamp to perform erroneously.

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 guitar tone or an acoustic instrument. However, these can affect the bass frequencies enhancing their clarity and quality.
You can easily distinguish between an unplugged tone and a fine-tune produced by plugged acoustic or electric guitars along with the acoustic preamps.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the best acoustic guitar preamp will depend on the individual player’s needs and preferences. However, the Fishman Platinum Pro EQ, the LR Baggs Align Series, and the Bose Tone Match are all excellent options that offer a wide range of features.

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It is important to consider factors such as ease of use, compatibility, and budget when looking for best acoustic guitar preamps. Ultimately, a good preamp can enhance the sound and versatility of your guitar, making it a valuable investment for any serious player.

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