AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Review

manufacturer: Boss date: 06/26/2009 category: Guitar Effects
Boss: AC-3 Acoustic Simulator
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.
 Sound: 7.3
 Overall Impression: 7.7
 Reliability & Durability: 8
 Ease of Use: 9.3
 Overall rating:
 8.3 
 Reviewer rating:
 8.1 
 Users rating:
 8.4 
 Votes:
 16 
reviews (3) 14 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9
AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Reviewed by: Ibanez RG350DX, on january 07, 2008
7 of 8 people found this review helpful

Ease of Use: The AC-3 has 4 modes; standard, jumbo, enhance, and piezo. It also has reverb/level, body, and top controls. It basically takes your guitars clean sound and makes it more clean and is a lot easier than trying to Switch from an acoustic to an electric for a solo or distorted part, the manual basically tells you basic info like how to get to the battery and gives you 3 presets and a couple blank spaces to right down ones you've found and liked. // 8

Sound: I am right now using a Epiphone Les Paul Custom and it's all being pushed through a 1968 Fender Princeton tube amp. Noise wise it's actually soft so you have to crank it up to hear the real tone that comes from the pedal especially if you plan on switching to a distortion pedal for a solo be concise of how loud you have your distortion pedal up because it'll grab you by the balls switching if your not expecting it which is a good thing but then it's really soft going back to it and harder to hear. The overall sound of it is amazing sounds like a real acoustic guitar if you know how to maneuver the settings right. I'm not big on playing othere peoples music but it definately works for what I play. // 9

Reliability & Durability: It's a battery killer so I would definitely recommend getting the adapter it'll save you a ton of money in the long run. I've used it during shows before I had a crackling noise but my chord had been handled bad by a friend and so some of the wires weren't connected. But overall I would trust this without a back up it has a heavy duty metal housing so it can take a beating. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of acoustic with distorted solos so this is an amazing match for my style of music. I have been playing for a little over a year and a half but I play any where from 3 to 5 hours a day. If this product was stolen I would be in a situation because I use it so often and I wouldn't be able to play right without it. My favorite feature is definitely the piezo effect it sounds the best for my playing but I use all the effects numerous times a day. This was really the only acoustic simulator pedal that had good reviews so I didn't really compare it too hard and it's a Boss pedal and every Boss pedal I played out did any other brand. So it wasn't a hard choice for me at all! // 9

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overall: 8.5
AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Reviewed by: Arthur1992, on october 03, 2008
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 109.99

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Ease of Use: The Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator is definitely easy to use and can deliver you some pretty realistic acoustic guitar sounds through your electric guitar. You don't really need any instruction on how to use it because it is recommended that you just play around with it to get that sound your looking for. // 10

Sound: I'm using an ESP K.H-202 Kirk Hammett signature guitar equipped with E.M.G 81's bridge and neck pickup. I have a Line 6 Spider III HD150 head with 4x12 Speaker Cabinet. While I may only use the Jumbo function and just played around with the settings, I easily got the very similar and almost exact sound of Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin. There are many other little guitar presets like standard, piezo, and enhance, but you cannot get the full acoustic sound with any of them but the jumbo unfortunately. This pedal does also have reverb for you own sound tweaking pleasure and to make some more realism into your acoustic sound. // 8

Reliability & Durability: This is definitely a reliable pedal. I had dropped it once and it still works fine. When I'm rehearsing with my drummer, I am always stomping on it and it takes the beating and I still get my tone. Paint could chip off though... I would definitely use this on a gig without a backup because it is seriously that good! // 7

Overall Impression: I play styles ranging from classic rock to heavy metal. I really love Metallica, so this pedal is good at capturing tones like Fade To Black or even Nothing Else Matters. I have been playing for 3 years now and this is something that I will never regret buying! I love the fact that it gives me the sound I want, but they could have added a bit more instead of packing it with, in my opinion, other useless acoustic settings. // 9

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overall: 6.8
AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Reviewed by: obeythepenguin, on june 26, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 119.99

Ease of Use: This is a very straightforward pedal to use. I've never had to look at the manual, although then again I never read those anyway. Volume and reverb do what you'd expect; the 'body' knob controls the bass sound, while 'top' affects treble attack; and 'mode' in essence approximates different-sized acoustics (including a piezo pickup setting). // 10

Sound: I suppose the right connotation, if not the most strictly accurate description, would be 'MIDI'. Really it's more the *suggestion* of an Acoustic guitar sound. In my setup -- MIM SSS Strat, Crate GLX30 amp -- the most realistic is probably 'Jumbo' mode, body and top at about half, maybe a hint of reverb. But even that's a very artificial sound. You'll actually get a more convincing Acoustic tone just running the guitar on a regular clean channel -- quite a few people have mistaken my Strat's middle pickup sound for an Acoustic guitar. This pedal is basically a fancy equalizer, and it's actually more useful that way -- you can fine-tune the bass and treble sounds, and even add a bit of reverb on cheap amps that don't have it built in (like mine...) Try using it with some distortion to thicken the tone. A couple notes. I've never run it loud enough to really hear the buzzing some people have complained about, but there is a slight hiss if you listen to it closely. I've also never tried running the line out through an Acoustic amp (because I don't have one lying around), which is what you're 'supposed' to do and which apparently gets a much better sound. // 5

Reliability & Durability: This pedal is quite solidly built, and I have yet to damage it. Purely from a reliability perspective, I'd happily gig with it without a backup. But it loses points because it will drain 9v batteries like... well, I can't think of a good analogy. Buy stock in Duracell or Energizer or something (alternatively you can just buy their convenient AC adapter). // 7

Overall Impression: It's a fun toy, but quite expensive, and certainly not worth the price unless you have money to burn. Personally, I don't use it much since I already have a middle pickup and two Seagulls, the latter of which get a much more convincing Acoustic sound (I would hope so, anyway, since they're actual Acoustic guitars -- yeah, sorry for the cheap sarcasm). In theory it's a quite interesting idea, and given time I'm sure it could improve, but for now it's mostly another cute gimmick for the Line 6 crowd. // 5

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