Tools for the Task: Acoustic DIs/Preamps
Acoustic DI options to help you conquer venue variables.
You canâ€™t overestimate the importance of a solid DI for the gigging acoustic guitarist. Room acoustics vary wildly, so having control over your signal is pure gold. Luckily, the market is rich with options. We spotlight a handful of them here.
Session Acoustic DI
This compact and easy-to-use DI includes analog saturation to enhance warmth and harmonic content, a proprietary anti-feedback notch filter, compression/EQ, a variable high-pass filter, and a VU meter to optimize gain visually.
Platinum Pro EQ
Designed for the rigors of the road, this discrete class-A preamp boasts adjustable volume boost, 5-band tone control, sweepable notch filter, adjustable compressor, and an integrated chromatic tuner.
This single-input preamp/DI offers selectable input impedance, XLR-output level control, 3-band EQ, a bright switch, up to +21 dB clean gain, and high-visibility LED backlighting.
This compact yet rugged unit features 3-band EQ, an instrument/frequency-range control, ground lift, selectable input impedance, and an XLR adapter for converting the 1/4" output to a balanced out.
SansAmp Para Driver DI, Version 2
Version 2 of this tone-shaping DI boasts two new features: a rumble filter for removing unwanted subsonic frequencies, and an air button that adds top-end clarity and sparkle to acoustic instruments.
Pure XLR Mach 2
Features include a proprietary high-power 3-band EQ and a single-band parametric EQ that provides +/-15 dB between 150Hz and 700Hz (with adjustable notch width). A voltage doubler provides 18 volts of power for improved clarity and headroom.
A good option for guitarists alternating between acoustic and electric, this 2-channel DI permits individual gain settings for each instrument. Other features include 4-band EQ, switchable loop, switchable boost, and a tuner out with a mute function.
AA Acoustic Preamp
Based on the preamp in Ashdown’s acoustic products, this pedal features an adjustable notch filter, a selectable pre-shape EQ control, 2-band EQ, and input and output level controls.
This 2-channel preamp/DI features discrete class-A piezo boosters, myriad connectivity options, and an ultra-quiet preamp circuit suitable for a wide range of pickup systems. New this year: a side-access switch for constant operation of the effect loop.
The all-analog Ai1 fits in a case or gig bag and features active tone controls, a shape switch, a phase switch, and a slew of output options (headphone, balanced XLR, unbalanced line, and stereo RCA).