The Best Acoustic Preamp Pedal Guide

The Highest Rated Acoustic Preamp Pedals

Disclosure

We recommend all products independently of 3rd parties including advertisers. We earn advertising fees from:
• • • • •
Sweetwater
• • • • •

Amazon

As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases.
• • • • •

Acoustic preamp pedals are used to make acoustic-electric guitars sound more natural, and they do so by adding back body resonance, which are often lost in piezo pickup systems.

Some of them also provide tone shaping, volume boost, effects and more, making them a great tool for those who want more control over their amplified sound. Some even let you color your tone, including changing acoustic resonance to mimic different acoustic models.

Here we present you with the highest rated acoustic preamps based on the most recent review and rating data up to April 2022 (more about this in the methodology section).

If you want to send your signal directly to a mixing desk then you'll need a preamp to act as a DI box and transform your signal to the desk's required levels. Note that this guide is about external preamps, not the onboard preamps that are mounted inside guitars and other instruments. If you have an onboard preamp in your guitar you can plug it straight into an acoustic amplifier but many find the improvements of these dedicated preamp units are just too good to go without.

This April 2022 edition welcomes two newcomers into the guide, the JHS Clover and the Zoom AC-3, both of which received high enough ratings to be included among the best acoustic preamps that you can buy in the US today. There is also a new Author's Pick section that spotlights an acoustic preamp that I recommend.

Best Acoustic Preamp Pedals

Author & Contributors

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

Author's Pick

Here I spotlight an acoustic preamp that deserves special recommendation for its high fidelity sound, simplicity and reliability.

Fire-Eye Red-Eye

91
GEARANK

91 out of 100. Incorporating 125+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$225
Fire-Eye Red-Eye Acoustic Instrument Preamp DI

Fire-Eye is a boutique brand that many pro musicians are swearing by, and the Red Eye preamp is an excellent showcase of the brand's build quality, audio fidelity and reliability.

This is as streamlined as it gets, with limited controls while still getting the job done well enough to merit a special spotlight in this guide.

Even though it has fewer features compared to other options, its simplicity and sound clarity make it appealing to those who want to focus on performing instead of tweaking.

The few controls it has include useful features like a Boost button with volume control for emphasizing certain musical lines. It also has a treble control that can raise or tame highs as you prefer.

Features

  • Profile: Single Pedal
  • Controls: Boost Footswitch, Ground/Lift Switch, Boost Level Knob, Treble Knob
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Effects Loop)
  • Output: 1 x 1/4" (Effects Loop), 1 x XLR (Balanced Out)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Sold Separately), 9V Battery, 48V XLR Phantom Power
  • Dimensions: 1.25" x 2.25" x 4.25"
  • Weight: 0.625 lbs

Pros

This preamp continues to receive high ratings, and sound fidelity is its most cited positive trait. More importantly, it gives you great quality sound without much tweaking, which is why it is very easy to recommend. This sentiment is shared by many users, including experts who describe it as an easy to use yet 'Professional' quality preamp. The boost button came in for a lot of praise by finger pickers and those who like to switch between playing rhythm and solos on their acoustic guitar. The simplicity of its controls also translate into consistent and reliable performance, which is a big factor for those who have regular gigs.

Cons

While most love its simplicity, there are a few who wish for other features like volume control and a basic on/off switch.

Overall

If you're looking for a no-nonsense preamp and DI with very good clarity and transparency, then put the Red-Eye at the top of your shopping list.

Budget Option

Here's a very respectable option for anyone who doesn't want to spend the usual $200 or more to get a good preamp.

Boss AD-2

88
GEARANK

88 out of 100. Incorporating 275+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$114
Boss AD-2

There's no denying Boss' dominance in the compact pedal market, and the Boss AD-2 is an acoustic preamp that showcases their best traits - reliability, quality and affordability.

It's housed in the company's familiar and sturdy stompbox form factor, featuring three knobs that are easy to operate.

But don't make the mistake of assuming that this is a simple pedal, because the Acoustic Resonance knob adjusts multiple parameters via a digital processor that results in a more natural acoustic tone.

The ambience feature is also a nice plus, adding reverb to improve the sound of your guitar.

Add to that the pedal's Notch filtering and you have a nice acoustic preamp package that's very reasonably priced.

Features

  • Profile: Single Pedal
  • Controls: Ambience, Notch, Acoustic Resonance, Engage Footswitch
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (TRS Line Out)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Sold Separately), 9V Battery
  • Dimensions: 2.3" x 2.8" x 5.1"
  • Weight: 1 lb.

Pros

Market response is quite positive with many pointing to its overall build quality as its main edge. It is often commended for its good balance of flexibility and intuitive controls, which means you get good mileage out of the price, without drowning you in too much control parameters. It also helps that it's affordable, compact and in a shape familiar to many guitarists, making it easy to acquire and integrate into existing pedalboard setups.

Cons

The most common complaint is its lack of an XLR output, but it does have a balanced 1/4" TRS line out that can be plugged into PA systems.

Overall

The Boss AD-2 is highly recommended for those with budget constraints, and it can also be a good spare preamp for those with more expensive units.

Highest Rated Acoustic Preamp Pedals

These are the preamps that have received the highest ratings - see How Gearank Works for further information about Gearank Ratings.

LR Baggs Para DI

97
GEARANK

97 out of 100. Incorporating 600+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
LR Baggs Para DI Acoustic Guitar Preamp
At publication time this was the Highest Rated Acoustic Guitar Preamp.

What sets the LR Baggs Para DI apart is its versatile 5-band EQ with tunable notch and midrange bands, which allows for extensive tone shaping that you won't usually get from a preamp.

The EQ is often used for subtle adjustments to fix venue related sound issues, while others use it to improve the overall sound, making it sound fuller and more realistic.

Other practical features include feedback control via phase inversion and the option to power the unit via a 9V battery or via phantom power.

Its compact form factor and straightforward design makes this preamp viable for floor or desk setups.

Features

  • Profile: Single Pedal (No Footswitch)
  • Controls: Volume, Low, Notch, Mid, Pres, Treble, Notch Variation, Mid Variation
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR (DI Out)
  • Powered By:48V Phantom Power, 9V Battery
  • Dimensions: 1.9" x 3.6" x 5.6"
  • Weight: 0.9 lbs.

Pros

LR Baggs is well known for the quality of their gear, and the Para DI is a great showcase of what their brand is all about. Reports of it significantly improving overall sound continue to pour in, coming from satisfied guitarists, and musicians who play violins and other pickup-equipped acoustic instruments. Many are impressed with how the preamp brings out sonic details that they did not hear with their previous preamp. In addition to sounding better, many also claim that it makes them play better, which makes sense since good tone is known to inspire better playing. It continues to rate highly for its great overall sound and functionality.

Cons

Some users mentioned that they encountered feedback issues during the first few uses, until they learned to better utilize the notch filters. Others pointed out that the learning curve for maximizing its potential is a bit steeper than expected.

Overall

If you're a multi-instrumentalist that plays various acoustic instruments, and you're willing to put some time in fine tuning your EQ and notch filters, then the versatile LR Baggs Para DI is highly recommended.

JHS Clover

Electric Acoustic Preamp Pedal

95
GEARANK

95 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$199
JHS Clover Electric Acoustic Preamp Pedal

The JHS Clover is an all-around preamp / boost pedal that can work with acoustic, electric and even bass guitars.

It expands on the FET preamp of the 80's Boss FA-1, as used by U2's the Edge, offering more tone shaping, and output options.

It features a rotary switch that lets you choose between three EQ modes: Full EQ, No Mid, and No EQ. These EQ modes affect the 3-band EQ knobs that come with the preamp.

The No Mid setting is closer to the original FA-1 pedal as it disables the MID EQ control. The other modes are self explanatory, Full EQ engages the 3-band EQ knobs, while No EQ disables all three for a strictly preamp only functionality.

Further tone shaping is possible with its side-mounted switch for engaging Low-cut functionality.

Finally, this pedal gives you two output options, a regular 1/4" and a balanced XLR output.

Features

  • Profile: Single Pedal
  • Controls: Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, EQ Mode, Ground/Lift
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR (Balanced Out)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 1.6" x 2.6" x 4.8"
  • Weight: 0.59 lbs.

Pros

The JHS Clover is sought after mostly for its boost capabilities, hence the reason why most of the reviews are from satisfied electric guitar players. Interestingly this boost functionality is also appreciated by those who play acoustics, which works great with its easy to use EQ functionality. Users love how easy it is to setup, and how quickly they can get a good sound with just this pedal. Versatility is also a major factor for multi-instrumentalists who use it with different instruments without issue.

Cons

There are no consistently reported complaints from owners. Some consider the Clover to be a bit above budget for a preamp/boost stompbox, but it does have unique functionality working with both acoustic and electric guitars.

Overall

The JHS Clover is a good versatile preamp to have if you play both electric and acoustic guitars.

LR Baggs Session DI

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 150+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$249
LR Baggs Session DI

LR Baggs bags another spot on our recommended list with the Session DI, a compact acoustic preamp that comes in a familiar single-pedal form factor.

It features intuitive control knobs that let you adjust selective resonance filtering, multiband compression and saturation, all of which are tweaked to work well with acoustic guitars and other pickup equipped acoustic instruments. These features allow for complex tone shaping with minimal knob tweaking.

Other controls include volume and gain knobs, as well as a phase button and a mute footswitch.

Finally, there's a colorful VU meter on the face of the unit that lets you monitor and optimize your instrument input level.

Features

  • Profile: Single Pedal
  • Controls: Volume, Gain, Notch, Saturate, Comp EQ, Phase, Mute Footswitch, Ground/Lift
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR (Balanced Out)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Sold Separately), 9V Battery
  • Dimensions: 1.75" x 4" x 6.25"
  • Weight: 0.77 lbs.

Pros

There's just something about LR Baggs' preamp design that makes them sound really good, and this continues to be the majority opinion that persists well into 2022. It is commonly used to improve the sound of what otherwise would be a thin sounding acoustic instrument. Even those with already good sounding instruments use it subtly for added warmth. Its compression and saturation also receive a lot of commendations for its studio level quality, especially when considering its compact profile.

Cons

As expected from a premium brand the price for this small pedal can be a bit daunting for some and others have said they would have preferred a few more features to make it worth their money. And while the clarity and warmth of the pedal makes it ideal for fingerstyle playing, some tweaks are necessary for it to work with strumming and other styles.

Overall

If you're looking for a quality preamp that's easy to use, compact and versatile, then get the LR Baggs Session DI.

LR Baggs Venue DI Acoustic Preamp DI Box

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 425+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$299
LR Baggs Venue DI Acoustic Preamp DI Box with EQ and Tuner Pedal

The LR Baggs Venue DI is a dual-stompbox style preamp that offers more controls compared to the Session DI.

It still retains a pedalboard-friendly profile with intuitive control layout similar to other multiswitch guitar pedals.

The preamp section features adjustable gain, and works well with both passive and active pickups. It also comes with an adjustable boost function for sections where you want more oomph.

Along with the preamp, it comes with 4-band EQ with tunable low-mid and high-mid bands for tone shaping. And it houses its own fully isolated audio transformer-coupled DI box functionality.

Feedback control is done via Garret Null notch filer and phase inversion.

Other features include a built-in chromatic tuner with mute/tune function, a 4 segment clip meter for optimizing gain settings, and a 4 segment battery level meter.

Features

  • Profile: Double Switch Pedal
  • Controls: 2 x Footswitches (Boost, Mute/Tuner), Bass, Low Mid, Hi Mid, Presence, Treble, Volume, Notch, 2 x Tune Knobs, Gain, Phase, Batt Check, Boost Knob, Ground/Lift
  • Input: 1 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4"(Return)
  • Output: 1 x 1/4", 1 x XLR (DI Out), 1 x 1/4"(Send)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Sold Separately)
  • Dimensions: 1.5" x 7.6" x 7.5"
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

Pros

Sound quality is the biggest strength of this pedal; almost all users are pleased with how it improves their acoustic sound. Many appreciate the volume boost switch, which is great for solo parts or for emphasizing certain phrases when performing. Tone shaping is another key factor to its success in the market, commended by acoustic guitarists and even violinists.

Cons

Price is a bit over-budget for some users, but this isn't much of an issue given that this pedal houses preamp, EQ, DI and tuner functions. There are a few who aren't too happy with the built-in tuner, which they describe as slow or sometimes inaccurate.

Overall

If you're looking for a one stompbox solution that can handle most of your stage needs then do check out the LR Baggs Venue DI.

Zoom AC-3 Acoustic Creator

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$300
Zoom AC-3 Acoustic Creator - Enhanced Direct Box

More than just a regular acoustic preamp, the Zoom AC-3 expands your sonic options by letting you morph your sound into a wide variety of acoustic models.

It lets you pick from 15 iconic acoustic guitars, including D-18, OM28, Hummingbird, 00-21, J-45, Super Jumbo and more. And to do this, you first have to set the "Source Guitar" that matches what you actually use, then set the "Target Guitar" to your preferred acoustic models.

These presets gives you a sound that's similar to how these popular guitars sound when miked, essentially giving you various miked sounds without having to actually use a mic.

Other tone shaping options that you can use include 3-band EQ, compressor and a selection of chorus, reverb and delay effects.

Performance friendly features include anti-feedback control, 9dB boost, onboard tuner, DI out functionality, and stereo output.

Features

  • Profile: Multi-Switch Pedal
  • Controls: Target Guitar, 3-Band EQ, Source Guitar, Volume, Reverb (Mix, Tone), Effect (Type, Time, Tone, Level), Compressor, Pickup Type, Boost Level, 3 x Footswitches (Tuner, Effect, Boost)
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 2 x 1/4", 2 x XLR (DI Out), 1 x 1/4" (Anti-Feedback Footswitch)
  • Powered By: 9V Power Supply (Included), 2 x AA Batteries (Up to 3 Hours)
  • Dimensions: 2" x 6.2" x 4.2"
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs.

Pros

Most users are pleased at the sounds they are getting from the Zoom AC-3, including those who own expensive acoustic-electric guitars. They describe the sound as more natural sounding and lively, compared to just the piezo pickup sound. Many also appreciate how this pedal reduces the unwanted quack and squeal sounds usually associated with piezo pickups. Despite having expanded tone options, many users find that it is easy to tweak to get good sounding presets. There is also plenty of positive feedback referring to its built-in effects and boost feature.

Cons

Some users find the feature set to be a bit overwhelming for what they do. If you want a transparent plug-and-play preamp then this is not for you.

Overall

The Zoom AC-3 is a good buy for those who want a versatile all-in-one pedal for acoustics, complete with acoustic-body modeling, effects and DI-box functionality.

Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 175+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$370
Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre Acoustic Preamp DI Box Pedal

Radial continues to do well in the preamp market thanks to the quality of products like the Tonebone PZ-Pre, a feature packed multi-function preamp for acoustic instruments.

It has expanded tone shaping options, while retaining Radial's acclaimed preamp and DI quality, known for high fidelity audio.

Its two channel preamp design with pre and post EQ allow for precise control over your sound for both the FOH and your monitor.

It has a long list of satisfied owners, including big name endorsers like James Taylor, Jerry Douglas, Keb Mo and many more.

Another noteworthy feature is its piezo booster, which can be applied independently on the two channels.

Note that this is the newer facelfted version of the Pz-Pre, which carries over the Loop On feature that was introduced a while back.

Features

  • Profile: Multi-Switch Pedal
  • Controls: Boost, Low, Freq, Mid, High, Notch, Level-B, Level-A, Polarity, Footswitch, Notch Q, Low Cut, 3 x Footswitches (Mute, Boost, Toggle)
  • Input: 2 x 1/4", 1 x 1/4" (Return)
  • Output: 1 x 1/4" (Amp), 1 x 1/4" (Send), 2 x XLR (Pre/Post EQ), 1/4" Tuner
  • Powered By: 15V Power Supply (Included)
  • Dimensions: 2" x 8" x 4.25"
  • Weight: 2.7 lbs.

Pros

The Tonebone PZ-Pre continues to rank high, thanks to its versatile input/output features and great sound. It is perfect for singer-songwriters or musicians who switch between two or more instruments in live performance. Many owners have commended its tone shaping ability, with some noting that even by simply following suggestions from the manual, they were able to get great sounds. James Dunkley of Sound on Sound agrees with market sentiment, stating that "The PZ Pre is not just a versatile problem solver: it is capable of bringing out a variety of flavours in your instrument. You can get very specific with the mid‑range control and still have the ability to boost or cut the low and high ends for more general tone‑shaping." Since this pedal is from Radial, don't expect much coloration, so it won't necessarily make you sound "better", but will simply make sonic details clearer.

Cons

Since it focuses more on transparency instead of modifying your sound, it can't really save an instrument or rig that doesn't already sound good in the first place. And this is most probably the reason for some of the few negative ratings that the unit has received, which is unfair considering that this pedal works wonders for majority of its users. Another issue that came up is the unit's price and bulk, but since it gives you 2 channels, tone shaping and complex DI Box features, that's easily forgivable.

Overall

If you're looking for a powerful transparent DI Box solution for your acoustic guitar or other acoustic instruments, then the Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre is definitely worth checking out.

Grace Design ALiX

93
GEARANK

93 out of 100. Incorporating 30+ ratings and reviews.

Street Price: 

$765
Grace Design ALiX

The Grace Design ALiX is a premium instrument preamp with expanded EQ controls and studio-quality quiet signal path.

Its focal feature is its versatile and natural sounding EQ section, which lets you adjust highs, lows, and mids via parametric knobs, precisely where they are needed to be adjusted, and it does all of this while maintaining an intuitive layout of knobs.

Other features include 3-input impedance for matching the output of your pickup, DI output with source and output level controls, and it has a built-in variable boost function with a dedicated footswitch.

Features

  • Profile: Double Switch Pedal
  • Controls: Gain, Notch, Low, Mid, High, Mid Frequency, Boost, Mid Q, Amp, Ground/Lift, Amp Out Level, Input Frequency, 2 x Footswitches: Boost, Tuner/Mute
  • Input: 1 x 1/4"
  • Output: 1 x 1/4" (Amp Out), 1 x XLR (DI Out)
  • Powered By: Standard IEC AC cable, Additional 9V 500mA
  • Dimensions: 3" x 6.2" x 5.5"
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs.

Pros

Open and naturally clean sounding, that's how most owners feel about the tone they get with their ALiX. It is a favorite among those who own expensive acoustic guitars, but it is also well received by musicians who play other acoustic instruments. Doug Young of Acoustic Guitar Magazine was impressed, saying, "for anyone looking for a single-channel preamp of the highest quality for live performance or as a studio DI, ALiX would be hard to top". Build quality is consistently praised in reviews, owners feel that the quality of the unit is more than satisfactory given its premium price tag.

Cons

There are no consistently reported negatives by owners - the main downside of ALiX is its premium price tag, which is not for the faint of heart.

Overall

If you have the money to spend and want nothing less than a premium preamp for your acoustic guitar, then check out the Grace Design ALiX.

Things to Consider when Buying an Acoustic Guitar Preamp

Your Pickup Types

  • Active Piezo/Transducer Pickups

    Acoustic-Electric guitars that have inbuilt battery powered preamps are mostly of this type. You can get by without a preamp pedal (unless you want to plug straight into the mixer) but many players use them to shape the tone and get rid of the dreaded 'Quack' sound that piezo's tend to produce.

  • Passive Piezo Pickups

    These are the kind that attach to an acoustic instrument to pick up the vibrations without built-in electronics. These can be used with acoustic guitars, banjos, cellos, violin/fiddles, mandolins, contrabass, bouzoukis, lutes and many more. They need higher impedance inputs to produce a decent sound. At least 1M Ohms is required and 10M Ohms is recommended which is more than most amps or standard guitar pedals are designed for. Passive pickups usually need to be plugged into a preamp to provide the correct impedance levels to most acoustic amps, mixing desks and PA systems.

  • Magnetic Pickups

    These behave much like the pickups found on electric guitars and you can plug them straight into ordinary pedals or an amp. As a result they can sound a bit more like an electric guitar and many players choose to use a preamp to emphasize the acoustic sound of their guitar.

What You'll be Playing Through - Amp or Mixer?

  • Mixing Desk / XLR Connection

    This is where acoustic preamps are essential and where their tone shaping shines. Firstly you'll need a preamp to at least act as a DI to connect to the XLR inputs of typical desks. Acoustic Preamps are much better suited to shaping the tone of acoustic instruments than the options on a mixing desk. They also allow you to bring out the sound of your instrument best using your familiar preamp settings rather than relying on last minute tweaking on the mixing console.

  • Acoustic Instrument Amp

    You don't strictly need a preamp if you already have an onboard preamp or a magnetic pickup, but you can still use one to shape and improve your tone as many professionals do. A preamp is a must if you have a passive Piezo pickup.

Tone Shaping

Ideally, preamps are meant to just amplify the natural tone of your instrument, but real world scenarios require you to tweak the sound to get the better results. EQ and other tone shaping options are good features to look out for, since they allow for sonic flexibility, be it for adding subtle warmth, or for dramatically improving the sound of your instrument. Boost is another practical feature that gets kudos in reviews, especially useful for dynamic playing styles.

Feedback Suppression

There's nothing more annoying than having to deal with unwanted feedback in the middle of performing. While proper positioning and distance from speakers can help alleviate these issues, feedback suppression that is built-into preamps can be a big help. Look for those with automatic notch filtering, which suppresses frequencies that feedback usually occurs on. Others give you more control over notch filtering, allowing you to zero in on offending frequencies. Phase button and ground/lift are also features that can help with feedback and unwanted noise as you play.

Active Di Box vs Acoustic Preamp Pedal

Strictly speaking Active DI's (not passive) are preamps and they fulfill the same basic functions however they don't usually come with acoustic guitar friendly options like tone shaping and feedback suppression.

Best Acoustic Preamp Selection Methodology

The first Edition was published in 2016 and the current Edition was published on April 6, 2022.

We started by looking at all the acoustic preamp pedals that are readily available from United States retailers which have been designed for use on stage. We then placed those with the most promising reviews and ratings on our short-list for further examination. This resulted in a short list of 33 preamps, and you can see their ratings in our Music Gear Database.

We collected over 6,400 relevant opinions from forum discussions, reviews, ratings and recommendations, including the most recent ones up to later April of 2022, which we processed with the Gearank Algorithm to produce the rating scores out of 100 you see above. We chose those with the highest ratings to recommend and analyzed their reviews to report on what users like or dislike about each one. For this Edition, we've added an Author's Pick section, which features an acoustic preamp that deserve special recommendation.

For more information about our methods see How Gearank Works.

About the Author and Contributors

Here are the key people and sources involved in this guide's production - click on linked names for information about their music industry backgrounds.

Lead Author & Researcher

Alexander BrionesAlexander Briones

I've written about and researched music gear for many years, while also serving as a music director at my local church, in addition to teaching guitar, bass and mentoring young musicians.

I usually plug my Martin OMCPA4 straight to a Boss RC-300 Loop Station, which is primarily a looper but also serves as my all-in-one acoustic preamp and effects processor. It is a bit bulky though, so at times I just plug into dedicated preamps that are provided by the venues I play, like the SansAmp Para Driver .

Contributors

Alden Acosta: Product research.
Jason Horton: Editing and Illustrating.

Media

Main/Top Image: Created by Gearank.com using photographs of the LR Baggs Para DI, Radial Tonebone PZ-Pre and Fire-Eye Red-Eye.

The individual product images were sourced from websites, promotional materials or supporting documentation provided by their respective manufacturers.

Comments

You totally missed the boat !

You totally missed the boat ! NOE of the preamps you reviewed are any good. The best of the best is the BBE Acoustamax and you didn't even review it. Dumb. I've used most of these and the LR Baggs is garbage.

Do you have any experience

Do you have any experience with the cheap chinese pedals like the Joyo AD-2 or the Harley Benton? Thanks

Today we removed the

Today we removed the following acoustic preamp from the recommended list above due to it having been discontinued but you can still read our analysis of it: Boss AD-8.

Are these preamps necessary

Are these preamps necessary if I’ve got a processor like the Boss VE-8?

The Boss VE-8 has built-in

The Boss VE-8 has built-in preamps for both acoustic guitar and condenser mics so you don't need an additional acoustic preamp.

Do you know of an alternative

Do you know of an alternative to the K&K Trinity preamp? The K&K stereo (2 channel) preamp only takes a 9 volt battery (no AC or 48V option) and requires a DI box between the preamp and a PA (board/interface). So I'm looking for something that it accepts a TRS (stereo) signal and then allows for shaping of each channel independently. Plus if the alternative has an XLR (DI) out.

I did some of the work on

I did some of the work on this guide and I don't recall seeing anything that resembled your requirements from any of the major manufacturers.

tonebone, input one is a

tonebone, input one is stereo
dtar
aer dual mix
felix grace design
quantum k&k
orange acoustic preamp
headway
there is a lot out there of what your looking for

Fire-eye Develoment Redeye.

Fire-eye Develoment Redeye. Pros all over Nashville are using this. Solid company, rock star preamp. Super simple but clean with TONS of headroom. And, XLR phantom power and 9v to boot. Built like a tank. They have a 2 channel version also.

Thank you very much for

Thank you very much for reminding us about Fire-Eye.

Originally they didn't meet our availability criteria because they're not sold through any of the specialty major music gear stores, however we've since relaxed our rules to include brands that only sell direct or via Amazon so I've added the Fire-Eye Red-Eye at the top of the list.

Headway EDB2 is long enough

Headway EDB2 has been long enough on the market to give it a mention.

Do you know anything about

Do you know anything about the boss AD5 ? Could it be used with a BBE acoustimax or does it have to be separate?

This week, I called Fishman

This week, I called Fishman and asked specifically about the Fishman Aura vs. Fishman Platinum. I liked the tuner better on the Aura, but wondered about my onboard electronics on my Taylor 814. They said the all-analog Platinum Pro EQ would be just as effective and possibly better for me. I explained that I missed the old Fishman Prefix Blender system in my old 2000 Taylor 714. I got the impression that the Aura doesn't always mesh well with the Taylor pickups. Thoughts? I wish I could have compared them side by side...

The LR Baggs Session DI

The LR Baggs Session DI initially had a spot on this list with its Gearank score of 86, but it was replaced by the better ranked LR Baggs Para DI.

From the data we gathered, the Session DI's compact size and deep tone shaping controls were well loved by users. Although there were some that complained about the complexity and the price tag.

Still, it's an easy recommendation if you prefer the stompbox form factor, and want a good handle of your amplified sound.

I've read a lot of great

I've read a lot of great things about the the Fire Eye Red-Eye, unfortunately it did not meet our criteria for availability, where it should be available from major music gear retailers.

Why did you not include the

Why did you not include the LR Baggs para DI? It would have been a good review with the LR Baggs para DI in the test.

We have updated the list to

We have updated the list to include the LR Baggs Para DI, indeed it deserves a spot on this list.

The LR Baggs Para DI

The LR Baggs Para DI currently has a Gearank score of 92 (I just updated it today) which means it will very likely be included when we do our next update of this Gear Guide which is scheduled for later this month.