Best Acoustic Simulator Pedals [Buyer's Guide 2020]
Posted in Gear | Last Updated on May 1, 2020
You may need an acoustic sound; a sound you need only for a few seconds in that gig. So, why load another guitar and make the whole change to play a few seconds every time? Right?
Even for musicians who like to travel without much luggage, transporting an extra guitar to the concert because they need an extra acoustic sound would not be the most optimal option.
Then, the answer is straightforward, you can try to emulate the acoustic sound with the clean electric guitar, but these guitars cannot recreate these sounds correctly. This is why you may need a pedal to simulate the "wood" tones that you usually only get with an acoustic guitar.
These pedals are usually as big as the drum pedals, but some of them are smaller. And it's much easier to carry them around than it would be to go with an extra guitar.
Coming next, we will show you how to choose the best acoustic simulator pedal to get that classic sound without adding some extra weight to your current playing set.
The Hotone TPSWOOD is the most recommended pedal; it has different EQ modes, does not generate hum and has a wide range of ideal settings for singers and composers.
In short, it is an excellent pedal for both practices and presentations and to emulate an acoustic tone.
This model allows you to work with your controls to adapt the sound to space where you are going to play and how deep or bright you want the output to be.
Any low-cost option?
Sure, as mentioned above, the most economical and functional pedal is Tomsline AROMA AAS-3, despite his limitations, you can configure several tonalities, and it is ideal if you are going to use it to start working on your acoustic sound.
Yes, it's a low budget piece and has its flaws. However, the capacity and power of this pedal are pretty much good while having a considerably low price.
Keep in mind that no pedal will ever sound exactly like a real-life acoustic guitar, but these options are created to emulate it as close as possible.
We hope that these reviews help you to reach a decision on which acoustic simulator is the best for you! And wish you a great experience trying out your new gear!
Our Top 5 Choices for Best Acoustic Simulator Pedals
Hotone TPSWOOD Wood Guitar Effects Pedal
The Hotone TPSWOOD has a vintage design in brown tones, and its entire casing is made of metal with zinc alloy which guarantees that it is shockproof, therefore protecting its delicate internal circuits.
This pedal focuses specifically on a “wooden” tone; therefore, you get a nice and clean sound that is perfect for playing gospel, classic rock or anything where you need a sound with soft and bright tones - something that only a classical wooden guitar can bestow-.
The best thing is that it does not have perceptible hums when you connect it to an amplifier or when you use it with other pedals.
It also has options for piezo (P), Dreadnought (D) and jumbo (J) simulation modes, but the dreadnought configuration stands out for this model.
This configuration emulates the acoustics with larger bodies, which leads to a richer and more vibrant tone, which makes it perfect for situations where you need to produce a more surrounding sound -like playing in large rooms with poor acoustic, for example-
Its wide adjustable range is enough to convert the sound of an electric guitar into an acoustic guitar tone. But in the downside, this model has no space for internal batteries.
Besides, although it is an advantage that the pedal is easy to carry, it is smaller than any other model, and this can be uncomfortable if you use it in a pedalboard.
- Resistant thanks to its zinc alloy casing
- Emulate the "wooden" tone you get with acoustic guitars
- It has four configurations
- It weighs 190 grams
- It is a little smaller than most pedals, so you can "lose" it between the larger pedals in your pedalboard.
- Does not have space for internal batteries
This piece is an excellent pedal that allows you to generate an acoustic and very "wooden" sound, so it is highly recommended, besides it is not as expensive as others.
Boss AC-3 Acoustic Simulator Pedal
The Boss AC-3 it clearly the runner-up, it comes with a very compact housing and a powerful sound output, when using this model you will find out that each one of its simulation modes is remarkable.
Also, it has a wide range of tone variations where you can choose between 4 simulation modes, including Standard, Jumbo, Improved and Equipped with Piezo; the latter provides the great direct piezoelectric sound of "cut through the mix."
All of its modes offer great and clean tones with a minimum fuzz, plus you can add depth and sweetness to the sound with the built-in digital reverb.
As for the other three controls, they allow you to make additional adjustments to the top, reverb, and body of the tone, offering better control over your acoustic simulation.
Also, this pedal counts with two output ports, one to a standard guitar amplifier and another to a direct input device, such as a public address recorder. With the correct configuration, you can use these ports to directly divert other effects so you can go straight to the acoustic mode.
However, it is not perfect. Going with options other than individual sets, or adding high-level gain to your performance, generates a whistle when you play.
This model also demands many adjustments. You will have to adjust the EQ settings according to the room you are in if you are going to find the correct tone for each moment.
- Offers a variety of configurations
- Simulates the acoustic tone almost perfectly
- The Body and top configurations provide great control
- It has two output ports
- Built-in reverb, optimized for acoustic guitar simulation
- Cannot handle high gain without a slight buzz
- You need several adjustments every time you play in a different place
Would you use it to record? Certainly not, since it has that slight buzz with high gain, but in a concert, nobody in the audience will be able to notice the difference.
So, if you have a concert and you need an acoustic sound without an acoustic guitar, giving the Boss AC-3 a try could be a bright idea.
Caline Acoustic Simulator Pedal
Do not be fooled by the simple design of this Caline pedal; the brand maintains quite high standards regarding sound quality, and, despite its price, this model can guarantee good quality moments with your guitar.
On the outside, you will find a small beige wood-like box with the brand’s famous "golden halo." It is furbished in an aluminum alloy which offers extra resistance to scratches, though you would notice that the painting can be damaged easily.
In addition, all the knobs and the on/off switch are quite resistant, allowing the pedal to survive the roughest feet.
This model has three rotation controls to manipulate the variables of sound between volume, body and top and a switch to change the modality of acoustic guitar between piezo, standard and jumbo.
The “body” control knob is particularly useful, as it allows you to control the deepness of the sound by changing the size of the acoustic box that your electric guitar is imitating.
Its sound output is above average, the quality is quite resistant to high output levels, especially in the bass tones, and working with a true-bypass system allows it to keep the notes natural.
As for its connectivity, the CP-35 Golden Halo offers a standard of two outputs and one sound input. Besides, its design provides a tiny piece of equipment with a visible bright switch which makes it a good fit for any pedalboard.
- Resistant body structure
- Good sound output at a mid-low price tag
- Great size and mid-range connectivity for a pedalboard
- “Body” Control allows managing in detail deep tones
- The decorative painting is not resistant and will be lost after a few scratches
- Its treble can’t be taken all the way high without losing some effect
Overall, the Caline Acoustic Simulator Pedal is an excellent option for playing low-output music, and at stages such as recording rooms, or small stages, but as the power goes up, the effect goes down, making it unfit for gigs in larger rooms or outdoors.
If you play a style that requires most of the sound to hang on deep tones, this model can offer a great variety to make sure that you are comfortable with any setting; on the other hand, it wouldn’t be recommended for a full-treble pop stage artist.
As for its sound output, the quality is above average, and it has a high power; which, along with a nice amp or as part of a pedalboard set can make this pedal play at a mid-tier professional level for a below average price.
Joyo JF-323 Wooden Sound Acoustic Simulator
The pedal has a flap that stands out in its design, ideal for covering the knobs and protecting them after obtaining the appropriate configuration.
This cape protects them from wandering footsteps, plus it means that you won’t change the pedal settings by accident while playing.
It also includes several small knobs on its body, and with some twists and turns, you can make your electric sound feel like a high-budget acoustic guitar.
The device does not come with an adapter, but it produces a bright and similar sound to the wooden guitar while using the bass and keep the frequency response at optimum.
There are controls for bass, high and mid, so you can add bright and treble tones, as well as deepen the sounds for your performance with a decent variety.
It has an entrance and an exit port, so it is quite a simple piece of gear. Besides, it has nothing else from standard configuration, although there are many ways to set the pedal and achieve the acoustic sound you are aiming to get.
Joyo JF-323 is prone to produce a knocking when you activate or deactivate the pedal. However, this often has to do with the electricity of the place, since in many places, the knocking does not occur.
The downside of the pedal is that if you do not turn on the tone controls, the volume through the pedal itself is not very strong, so you should be aware of it; the sound is not as loud as the bypass signal.
- It has a protective flap that covers the knobs
- Creates a beautiful and deep acoustic sound
- An economical option for beginners
- Controls: High, Medium, Low and Volume.
- It has excellent low
- It does not come with the included adapter
- It only counts standard setting knobs
- Without internal battery
In general, the Joyo JF-323 offers a grave and serious, bright and clear sound while also efficiently protecting each control or knob of the panel to keep your configuration in shape when you manipulate the pedal.
The price of the product is really in line with its ability to simulate acoustic tones, and it can guarantee enough tone variation to follow almost any acoustic style you want to get from it.
Tomsline AROMA AAS-3 Pedal
The pedal offers the options for piezo, jumbo and standard configurations, and you can adjust it with a small switch on the top of its body.
It also counts with three knobs, which control the volume, top and body of the sound.
About its configuration, you will have to modify them a bit more when playing in standard mode since the accuracy of the sound is not as well aligned as for the other simulation options.
The pedal is solid enough, though maybe not as strong as some of the other options in the market. And you will have your acoustic sound as long as you do not generate too much gain or input volume.
However, the Tomsline AROMA does a great job simulating the acoustic style in the practices and recording rooms.
Besides, it has an uncomfortable detail for “live” interpreters; it makes a sound when you start using it, causing a very high click.
Despite this, there is a wide range of sounds that you can get from it, its sound is not exact, but it is very close to the acoustic tone of a guitar. And you can also generate the right tone when you add Delay to your formula.
This model has a low price and is good enough if you are looking for a cheap acoustic mini pedal to try out contemporary acoustic styles.
- It comes with three configuration modes
- Ideal for practice and beginners
- One of the most economical simulators available in the market
- True bypass
- Power supply: DC 9V adapter (not included)
- Makes a loud sound when you use it
- It takes your work to achieve the desired sound
The pedal is economical, the most economical of this list, so if you need a pedal for practice or you are starting to experiment with the pedals, you can get one without putting all your money into it, and it will very well allow you to experiment with some acoustic tones in practices and recording sessions.
Rowin Acoustic AC Stage
If you are a beginner, and you are looking for something with a low price and a small size, the Rowin AC stage may be an option to consider.
While it is not the most powerful or showy pedal on the list, this piece of equipment has almost all options, and a sound quality that is consistent with its low price.
As for its design, you cannot differentiate too much from an OD pedal, since this is made of a zinc alloy that guarantees a long life of the casing and resistance against knocks. It is decorated in a light blue color, simple enough, putting in part the economy and effectiveness over aesthetics.
This model by Rowin works with a True Bypass system and offer a realistic simulation of the acoustic guitar vivid sound, giving real deepness and a warm wooden feel to the sound output.
As for its tonal variation, it goes below the average line, offering low control over the body (the size of the imitated acoustic box) and volume of the sound resulting in fewer variations, especially in the trebles.
Other than that, the pedal does include the three types of acoustic box setting, count with only one input and one output sockets and is really small, making it a nice option to fit in a pedalboard.
Having it on a pedal might be the best idea, primarily because it won’t have a powerful sound output by its own without diminishing the simulation effect.
- Meager price
- Overall standard
- Small and visible, good for a pedalboard
- Beginners choice only
- Not an excellent sound quality at mid or high levels
- Not many tone variations
- Only one output monaural jack, not fit for recording
If you are a beginner on a low budget or you’re looking introduce out some extra acoustic sounds in your jamming sessions, this is a good and cheap piece of equipment that you can proudly take home. On the other hand, its lack of power and variations, and disability to work appropriately in a recording set would make it unfit for any professional or even semi-professional use.
How to choose a great pedal? [Buyer's Guide]
There are some things that you should pay particular attention to, but, as a priority, you should keep an eye on the type of simulator and the tonal variation of the pedal.
There are mainly three types of simulators:
The standard models emulate the sound of a standard acoustic guitar, but with a slightly lower tonal response that is limited to some musical tones –Which means that mid tones are going to be fine, but as you move towards deeper or treble sounds the quality will be partially lost-.
On its way, Jumbo models simulate (as the name implies) jumbo acoustic guitars, old models such as the Gibson SJ-200, which has deeper and broader sounds, so they are ideal for musicians who play music with a changing rhythm.
And, finally, the piezoelectric is the most expensive type because it is connected mainly to the sound that is generated when you hit the string of the guitar and converts it into a signal that is emitted to the pedal to change it to a more acoustic sound.
These have an advantage since they only take care of the sound of your guitar and you do not have to worry about noise or interference.
Take into account what kind of music you play and which simulator fits your needs.
Generally, these pedals have controllers for three or four tones, so you should focus on how efficient these are for each key or set.
The decision you make regarding the variety of tones will directly depend on the type of acoustic sound you want to achieve since this variation directly affects the sound performance of the pedal in its different configurations, which makes a big difference when you play out loud.
It is advisable that you look for pedals with many EQ options that allow you to obtain a significant number of variations and fine adjustments, in this way you are more likely to be able to configure the pedal for it to nail the exact sound that you want.
Of course, you can also get one without so many varieties of EQ, if you plan to modify it with an amplifier or a mixer.
In this order of ideas, if you are looking to have a better reverb control, try to buy a pedal that allows you to modify the reverb to obtain more natural, delicate and bright sounds.
It can be complicated to handle a pedal with reverb; however, most of the models have controls or knobs that allow you to adapt it.
That is why the more variety of EQ options the pedal has, the better.
Use the level, delay, tonality or modulation controls. This way you can set how much you want the reverb to last or what "color" you want the tone to have.
We listed below some pedals recognized by the community, each one of them has its advantages and disadvantages. So, based on what we stated before you can get the ideal product for you and your guitar.
Keep in mind that when it comes to the variety of tones, it all depends on how varied your interpretation style is. If you already have a set style, you can save some money by buying a pedal that fits with that style instead of one with a wider tone selection
A detail to consider if you have a variety of equipment in your pedalboard. Usually, having a small pedal is excellent, but you have to take into account how little it is.
In an open stage, it can be uncomfortable to use a small pedal especially when you have to turn it on and off in the middle of a song.
This would be for the convenience of each interpreter since several excellent pedals are smaller than others.
What you must remember is that it is an acoustic simulator, so you will not get 100% the sound of an acoustic guitar. These devices just get as close as they can to the natural wooden sound.
If you want to use it to play programs in your recordings, the pedal must have several configurations in addition to multiple output ports to experiment with.
On the other hand, if it is a pedal to use in practice or real life gigs, you can usually reduce part of your cost if you opt for a more straightforward pedal that fits with what you are going to do.
Every pedal on this list is unique and will do a great job simulating the acoustic tone at an individual rate. That being said, your selection will mostly depend on the type of simulation and the environment requirements you have for the equipment.
Determine if you expect a pedal that gives you a variety of configurations or if a standard configuration is enough to follow your playing style; you also need to know if the pedal is silent or if it generates any the buzz that can cause you problems.
In addition, it would also be important for you to figure out if the pedal fits the type of rhythm that you usually play and the environments in which you typically play in.
Take into account the number of pedals you have on your board or pedalboard and keep in mind that the quality of each piece of equipment will have an impact on the final result, your music.