The AD-8 is THE all-in-one solution for any live acoustic guitarist. Don't give in to the flat, dull sound of your guitar pickup anymore! Get an AD-8, and be amazed at how good your guitar sounds. You'll swear you were playing through a quality condenser microphone. Say goodbye to that embarrassing, dull tone and plug into an AD-8. You'll fall in love with playing acoustic guitar all over again.
Boss AD-8 - An Acoustician's Dream
Sweet little unit! Awesome presets and seven tonal control plus reverb, I love that you can "write" four different settings into memory. I have settings for 6-string strumming, 6-string fingerpicking, 12-string and a classical (nylon) guitar. Switch between them with one stomp! All have rich and realistic sound. My only complaint is that it does not draw power from the board (XLR phantom) like the L.R.Baggs DI box does, but 6 "AA"'s seem to last several gigs, so no complaints.
Really great unit - exactly what I needed
Normally I do a lot of homework before making equipment purchases, but I was stuck between this unit and a competitive offering made by another manufacturer. I contacted Sweetwater to discuss my dilemma and my Sales Engineer listened to my needs and definitely steered me toward the right unit.
I use the Boss AD-8 to process the signal coming from my piezo bridge equipped solidbody electric guitar. I layer piezo and magnetic signal paths when playing live and needed something to give the piezo signal some more dimension and frankly a more convincing acoustic sound. The modeling and fidelity of this unit far exceeded my expectations. As a matter of fact, upon plugging this into my QSC K10 powered PA speaker, I immediately heard a level of fidelity from this unit that I never thought I'd hear from a manfacturer of primarily electric guitar effects; hi-fi to say the least and very, very quiet. After some time with the modeling and eq settings, I had a far thicker, more convincing acoustic sound coming from my piezo bridge than I ever thought possible.
If I were to make some criticisms however of the Ad-8, it would be that the unit should either have a built in chorus or at least an effects loop. Those additions would make this the perfect acoustic guitar processor. Even with those minimal shortcomings, this unit delivers in the tone department.
If you happen to also be looking for the best way to amplify acoustic guitar tone loudly and cleanly, such as in a fairly loud band, then go with a powered PA speaker, and take a close look at the QSC K10 (also suggested by my Sales Engineer). That thing keeps up with my tube amp without breaking a sweat, and has headroom to spare. Look for that review shortly!
OVERPRICED UNDER PERFORMER
I have had this thing for about six weeks now and have continued to experiment with it long past the time when I could have returned it in the hopes of learning something about it that would make it more usefull than it actually is. I have a small studio and often record people who have a really inferior guitar with a crumby pickup that they insist on using. It will do wonders in situations like that but if you have a decent
guitar, and one can be bought for less money than this preamp costs it will generally sound better direct to the board or with a generic direct box than with this unit. I might still use this on ocassion but I have other preamps that were much cheaper that actually sound better in most situations.
A bit boomy...
I like this box in general as a direct box and the reverb I can add. I have 3 guitars. The Larrivee L3 (rosewood back/sides, spruce top) is a classical body style and I can get a pretty good sound with that. It has a B-Band bridge and mic pickup with preamp. I believe that this box was meant to tak ein a piezo pickup and enhance it. My Larrivee is a little hard ot get just right. I have not tried the Martin HD28 yet but I bet it will be a little hard to get a good sound. That guitar is all rosewood and already full body sound. Believe it or not, I got an amazing sound form my Martin Backpacker. This Boss ad-8 should be advertised wiht that little guitar. The sound was just great - you can actually get great bass tone out of that guitar wiht the help of this box. You can actually consider taking the backpacker out to gigs now - possibly even replace your full size guitar. Think I'm joking? Take your backpacker to your local mucic store where they'll let you try the AD-* and plug in. You own't believe what you hear. My final word until I play some more is that preamped guitars will have a lieelt trouble getting the right sound form this box. Piezo pickups will just blossom into great sound. That's how the advertise it though so piexzo's will sound best I guess.
Let's face it, live acoustic guitarists have often suffered from less-than-stellar sounds from the pickups in their guitars. If it were possible, I would want to play my Martin through a microphone every time. I used to think that getting that kind of tone in a live environment was impossible. Not anymore! I checked out BOSS's AD-8 acoustic guitar processor myself, and I'm sold!
I wanted to hear exactly what the AD-8 does to the sound, so I decided to record directly from the balanced XLR outputs of the AD-8 into Pro Tools through my Mbox. To get an accurate understanding of the product, I played a small progression or riff twice, once with all the processing bypassed (simulating the sound of just the pickup itself) and once through the AD-8's processing. I was blown away. It sounded like I'd stuck a condenser microphone in front of my guitar! None of that flat, dull sound that comes from plugging directly into the system. The AD-8 added depth and warmth to my sound, and the reverbs sound awesome, too.
The AD-8 doesn't just give you one great guitar sound. You can choose from six different high-end acoustic guitars! Whether you're playing a solo set, a small acoustic ensemble, a worship team, or an all-out rock band, you need to be able to tailor your sound to the situation. The AD-8 allows you to save four presets of your settings, so you can quickly switch from the warm, round sound for your solo ballad to a nice, bright tone for playing rhythm behind a full band, all with a simple press of a pedal.
With a built-in tuner and anti-feedback control, this is the only piece of equipment you'll ever need for your acoustic guitar. Take control of your sound! No more relying on the sound guy to make your guitar sound right. You have all the control, and I guarantee the AD-8 will make you fall in love with playing acoustic guitar all over again.