With a very effective EQ, rugged construction, and features like the body contour control that will help you manage the most harrowing feedback and garbage-PA situations, the compact Acouswitch IQ DI a powerful, performance tool.
If you play enough gigs with an acoustic guitar—even if it’s just a part of your set—it won’t take long to understand the merits of a DI. Even a very basic one can be a bit like having your own little sound engineer in a box. A good one gives you the means to handle the excruciating variables of playing a coffeehouse one night and a rock box the next, and optimize the sound of your instrument for either situation.
The German-built Acouswitch IQ DI from Ruppert Musical Instruments falls into the very good category. It’s built as solid as an old Mercedes, has a very effective EQ, and boasts features like the body contour control that will help you manage the most harrowing feedback and garbage-PA situations. But it can be a lot more than a tool for acoustic-crisis management. It’s built to open up performance possibilities too. This ability to expand your acoustic sound palate and help you avert disaster makes the Acouswitch IQ DI a pretty powerful tool.
Low Profile, Brawny Build
The IQ DI is one of those pieces of gear that feels thoughtfully designed at every turn. First, it would be hard to make a pedal that does as much as this one any less obtrusive. The whole thing isn’t much wider or thicker than a paperback, yet it’s home to two channels (through which you can run separate instruments), eight I/Os, nine knobs, three footswitches, and two mini toggles. And all of it feels built to space-program tolerances.
The real marvel, though, is how integrated it all feels. The knobs are all recessed into a raised, almost roll-bar-like section on the pedal’s surface, which ensures you won’t break any off or accidentally change settings. (That said, given how stubbornly the knobs turn when you want them to, you’re unlikely to have any such mishaps.) The control layout also makes the pedal surprisingly easy to navigate.
I tested the IQ DI with an L.R. Baggs Element-equipped Martin 00-15 running through a Mackie PA, and in both solo and small-band settings, the IQ DI was invaluable for tailoring the Martin for a given song or setting. The Element is a pretty transparent and accurate system that rarely needs much help in a quieter, solo setting. But it can sometimes add a lot of low-end overtones to the little Martin’s sound, and I wanted to experiment with adding a little more high-mid content to the guitar’s mellow, mahogany voice.
With the Acouswitch IQ, it was an entirely painless process of isolating the desired frequency with the MF (mid frequency) control and boosting it with ML (mid level) control. Unlike a lot of DIs and EQs with semi-parametric capabilities, the IQ’s mid-boost section had an actual range rather than just working in an on-or-off manner. There are no dB increments marked on the enclosure itself, but with a range of +/-18 dB, there’s lots of room to feel through the EQ process intuitively.
If your preferred EQ settings tend to induce feedback, particularly in the low end, the body contour control—which is effectively a notch filter that works within the 45 to 500 Hz range—is pretty effective at reigning it in. But it can also help bolster the low end. And in solo settings, when combining a boost in the body contour level and a boost in the midrange, the Martin took on a more booming dreadnought-like presence without sounding dull, woofy, or inducing feedback.
The IQ also features a serial effects loop and a switchable effects loop (the loop switch doubles as a boost when you have no effects in the loop). But it’s the latter that’s the most fun to work with and what makes the IQ more versatile than a simple, passive DI. Along with a phaser, I placed a digital reverb and reverse delay with long settings in the loop, and set the mix control on the IQ for a slight boost in the effected signal. For a solo performance, this setup enabled a dramatic, swirling texture over a passage where I also dropped the tempo—all by pressing a single switch on the IQ. Needless to say, there are far more practical and pedestrian applications for the mix loop. But the radical shift in color I could achieve with a single switch in this setup (with no perceptible additional noise) was far more effective musically—and less stressful—than tap dancing around three effects while I kept up a fingerpicking pattern.
It’s hard not to appreciate the thoughtful design behind the Acouswitch IQ DI. Where a lot of DIs can have a sort of unapproachable appliance- or hardware-like functionality, the IQ invites interaction and tinkering, and feels like a more integrated part of your performance. The control layout is smart—even if those knobs can be really hard to turn with a light touch—and the compact, low-profile design makes it feel natural and out of the way at your feet.
There are more affordable DIs than the Acouswitch IQ. At about 600 bucks, it probably approaches the cost of some of the guitars in your stage rig. So it may come down to the frequency with which you gig that makes the purchase worthwhile. And if you do gig regularly, the simplicity, rugged construction, and sonic flexibility this unit affords may well make it worth the investment.
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.