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Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal Reviews

3.5 stars based on 14 customer reviews
Questions about the Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal?

Questions about the Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal?

Or call us at (800) 222-4700

  • Roldan
    from Guadalajara, JAL MEX October 29, 2008Music Background:
    Music student

    No other as good as AC-3

    In the matter of getting the unique and best sound out of guitar, there is one point in which hands need extra help. I have found AC-3 not just a practic pedal with 4 strong and seriously real acoustic modes. In addition, it's amazing the body and definition guitar can get from this box.
    I have learn that in the process to be a good guitar player is a must to find and decide which sound contributes to the music concept and style. If Playing demands some nice acoustic tone, BOSS AC-3 WILL NEVER FAIL.

  • Joe Toups
    from South Louisiana August 23, 2016Music Background:
    Semi Pro

    Useful pedal

    I found that this pedal works best with a full range PA speaker. Sounds better through a QSC K8 than a guitar amp. The built in reverb is great, With a little tweaking, it is a neat tool for gigs.

  • Alex
    from Berkeley, CA May 10, 2016Music Background:
    Hobbyist with some forays into recording

    Interesting, versatile pedal

    I decided to get one of these since recording acoustic guitar (and having it sound good!) is a real struggle and I figured this would be cheaper and easier than trying to buy a matched pair of microphones and set them up properly. It sounds pretty much how I expected it to, not a perfect emulation but it has an interesting sound of its own. I have been able to get a pretty decent acoustic sound, especially with the aid of a few VSTs. However, I have had the most fun just using it to alter the sound of my electric guitars - you can get some interesting glassy tones as well as a lot of warmth from the "body" setting, and the reverb adds a lot to the tone. It's a bit expensive for what you get, but once you experiment with it you can really use it for some interesting stuff.

  • Ryan Mowdy
    from Planet Earth February 2, 2015Music Background:
    Keep Forgetting

    Can't wait to try it on my new amp!

    Okay so why have this pedal, when surely we all have acoustic guitars? Well there could be mic'ing issues, acoustic issues, all sorts of reasons. The bottom line is having this pedal does not remove all acoustic guitar playing and they are mutally inclusive. That being said, its really a gas (as our british fellows would say) to use my les paul black beauty or my fender strat and make it, in a sense, sound like a gibson hummingbird or so we'd hope so. Anyhow if you need an emulated sort of acoustic guitar effect, look NO FURTHER this IS IT. I am getting a new amp tomorrow so I can't wait to see how my 57 fender 2x12 reissue (hand wired baby!) sounds with my Black Beauty.

  • Barry
    from Marietta, GA. December 7, 2014Music Background:
    Serious Hobbyist

    Well Pleased ....

    I got into a mess with our church trio performances by having to do too much between songs.. switching between electric and acoustic guitars being an issue. So I thought to give this this pedal a try. I read a lot of reviews on the internet and you would do well to review them too. This unit WORKS. However you have to understand if you are playing acoustic-electric you are sitting on top of that sound hole in the guitar. This pedal is NOT going to sound like that! I have this pedal sounding pretty much exactly like my acoustic guitar would sound OUT OF THE SPEAKER when using the BOSS AD-3 pedal through my PA system. In other words, it worked for me in the context of my playing. I now no longer NEED to switch guitars between songs. But you really need to understand the limitations and also what influences your result ... your electric guitars PU's, using the neck PU and utilizing coil splitting (I am using an Epiphone ES339 Pro for this) and NOT humbucker. My band mates gave it a thumbs-up. If you are needing a 'real' acoustic for those 'special' songs, this IS NOT going to get that vibe. If you are wanting to get pretty much in the ballpark for a great majority of songs and not wanting to haul that acoustic around, etc. then definitely give this pedal a try!

  • -JB-
    from Claremont,NC November 29, 2014Music Background:
    pro musician/recording engineer

    using my Boss AC-3 acoustic simulator

    I never thought I would find something to change the sound of my Epiphone electric to that of an acoustic guitar,but finally did.It has proven to be an asset in my studio,and I am glad to say I would recommend it for any recording studio....

  • Rob
    from Westfield, MA May 23, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    BOSS AC-3 Review

    Before I bought this pedal I had read reviews that ripped it apart. I know a sound engineer that explained that one of the hardest sound recreations is taking an electronic sound and trying to simulate a non-electronic sound. The only way to get 100% realistic sound of an acoustic guitar is to buy one.

    That said I feel this pedal does an excellent job. The catch is you have to follow the directions. I have two guitars a 2012 Les Paul std and a 2013 American Deluxe Strat. The Strat with the selector in position one is the ideal sound which the directions suggest. The Gibson does not sound as well as the Strat with this pedal but if you set the pedal as noted in the directions for Hummbucker pick-ups it's not bad but not as good as the Strat.

  • Customer
    from October 30, 2013

    Boss Acoustic Simulator AC-3

    I'm not sure why this pedal seems to get bad reviews. The YouTube videos do not do it justice.
    I will say if you have HOT pickups it doesn't do as well as say stock Fender single coils. But either way if you need an Acoustic-ish tone it'll probably get the job done. I'm running the Line Out directly into our PA and the G.Amp Out into my rig. I can engage the pedal and get an acoustic tone through the PA and I'll have a hotter lead tone dialed in on my rig ready to go. Example.... We play Wanted Dead Or Alive. I can play the intro and verses through the AC-3/PA and when the lead comes up I just dis-engage the AC-3 and I have my lead tone loud and hot.
    Does the job for me. I use it with a Charvel SoCal and also with a Fender American Standard Strat.

  • Ryan Mowdy
    from Oklahoma City, OK May 10, 2016Music Background:
    wizard of oz

    Some good points some not so good points

    Okay folks, first off, no more reverb plugins (i.e. my Van Amp reverb box) you can use this for reverb. Granted its not plate, chamber, ambience, etc., but still it adds a lot of wetness or a little if you so desire. Secondly the acoustic simulator as it were is somewhat lacking. Frankly I cannot tell any difference at all. I'd love to try an ES-335 with this and see how that goes. Keep in mind I'm using Strats, Les Paul's, PRS's, and other high end guitars (at least 2500 dollars and up). My other pedals are a comp pedal, mod tube screamer (two of them), parametric eq, wahzoo pedal, digitech whammy pedal, and thats about it. i try to keep my rig really simple as much as possible and please use 9 volt batteries. don't go through the trouble of using a power supply unit. if one gets disconnected you lose your whole signal. not fun at gigs. anyway, as far as acoustic "simulation" goes, this thing pretty much just doesn't hit the mark. the older ones ARE MUCH BETTER. Unfortunately someone took mine without asking. Anyway happy jamming.

  • Vern - Desert Skies Music
    from Alamogordo, NM USA September 14, 2007Music Background:
    singer songwriter, semi-pro musician, live sound engineer

    Simple solution

    I purchased this to give life to the stock sound of an Ibanez AE410 semi-hollow acoustic electric w/under saddle piezo pickup. It works well for this application. It sounds best put through "line out" into a PA but gives a nice effect to an electric guitar through a guitar amp. The best way to employ this device is attached to both outputs - PA and amp.

    It is easy to grasp setup and quick to establish a decent acoustic effect. Active electronics onboard the guitar make for a poor sound through the AC-3. The most convincing tone is by an unamplified signal (to my ear.)

    This device was worth the money and has breathed new life into a nice but rarely used instrument. I think the AC-3 makes for an unusual guitar FX as well (as opposed to an acoustic simulation.)

  • Roy
    from Texas May 3, 2016Music Background:
    Professional

    Acoustic Simulator

    The only reason that I'm rating this at a 3.0 is because I personally have not had enough time to get all of the different sounds that are possible with this gear. The small amount of time that I have spent with it I really like what I'm hearing and I'm sure as soon as time prevails it will be exactly what I've been looking for. However, nothing can replace the actual sound of an acoustic guitar, but this is exactly what you need if you have to switch sometimes between electric sound and acoustic sound. I play guitar in my church and I don't have enough time to switch from electric to acoustic and vice versa, therefore, this is the next best thing. Again, I feel that this will complete what I'm looking to do the more I'm able to work with it over time. Now that I think about it, I'm going to contact my support rep and see if he can help me work on tweaking this device. I should not have forgotten that the staff at Sweetwater is always there to help me, and rest assured, that know what their doing.

  • Sandman
    from usa December 5, 2009Music Background:
    30 yrs gospel jazz rock blues

    worht the money

    i have the ac-3 and have used it on numerous occassions when i 1st purchased it i had to try several guitars to get the type of acoustic sound i needed and found tht strats (love the guitar ) but doesnt make an good acoustic tone ive found that my gibson simihollow body works the best for sound with the high turned to medium u have to play ard with the tones a bit but definitly worth the money

  • eddie sands
    from Florida May 31, 2017

    Simulating a Bad Fret Job

    I have owned this pedal for 2 months now and must admit it is terrible. What an awful sound it produces. On my Fender Telecaster FMT which is a great playing guitar, it sounds like I have a bad fret job. The pedal produces a terrible harsh metallic sound that does not sound remotely like an acoustic guitar.

    I frankly don't know how to describe it other than it is awful.

    Don't buy it, save your money, get an acoustic guitar and call it a day.

  • Gary Denson
    from Texas March 20, 2014Music Background:
    Hobbyist

    Disappointed

    This is absolutely the worst "acoustic simulator" I have ever heard. And Boss is normally one of the best you can get in anything. I went to the examples they have on the Boss website and man< it sounded GREAT. That is what sold me. But the unit I was sent does not come close to an acoustic sound. So, you guys at Boss PLEASE work on this one. I know you can do better. It is really not even useable. Yep, its that bad.Save your money folks.

Questions about the Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal?

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