Reviewed: NUX Stageman Floor Acoustic Preamp + DI

Pro Music Australia | promusicaustralia.com.au | Expect to pay: $239

The Stageman Floor is part of the Verdugo line of stompboxes from Chinese company NUX (pronounced new-ecks). Its central purpose is brusquely conveyed on its surface; the pedal functions as a compact acoustic preamp which doubles as a DI. With a myriad of controls, functions and effects, this pedal seeks to tick all the boxes on an acoustic guitarist’s wish list.

The Stageman Floor is tonally based off the preamp section from the NUX Stageman AC-50 Acoustic Amplifier. At first glance, you’re greeted with a plethora of knobs and toggle switches, housed on top of a vintage cream-coloured enclosure. The bottom row of controls is simple enough, including a knob for gain and a simple three-band EQ. Peek at the top row, however, and things start to get interesting. Tucked away in the top left are controls for chorus and reverb, and scoop and notch toggle switches on the right. Hidden on the pedal’s head are toggles for piezo or magnetic pickup flavours and an extremely welcome ground lift switch. Other ports on this exhaustive list include a TRS effects loop insert, micro-USB port for firmware updates, an XLR DI out, an auxiliary input and a 3.5mm headphone output jack.

 

Engaging the preamp with a Faith Guitars Venus Electro was soothingly pleasant. While it certainly didn’t emulate a mic’d up acoustic guitar, the Floor Stageman was still able to capture the natural warmth and crisp highs of the Venus. The scoop toggle switch worked wonders for a great rhythm tone after removing some of the dominant middle frequencies. The notch switch was an interesting addition; after adjusting the frequency with the notch knob, you’re able to muffle the clacking attack produced by nails or a guitar pick striking the strings – perfect for a touchy PA system.

 

The three-band EQ had a sweet range across the entire sonic spectrum. Low notes were instantly beefed up when the bass was increased, and my guitar chimed and sparkled when increasing the mid and treble controls. Even when turned up to full, the tones produced were surprisingly usable – the EQ never seemed to be overly harsh or overbearing.

 

 

Onto the effects: the chorus is wonderfully light, and adds a beautiful double-tracked harmony at the lower settings. As you turn the knob up, multiple parameters are modified at once, including rate, speed and depth. Even when maxed out, the tone produced was still fairly usable – a similar sentiment shared with the EQ section. The reverb performed adequately, although it wasn’t anything to write home about. But when used in conjunction with the chorus, a brand-new layer of tonal depth is immediately conjured. The footswitch that activates the chorus even doubles as a freeze control when held down, which – you guessed it – allows you to hold a ringing chord indefinitely.

 

On the opposite footswitch is a rather rudimentary looper, which allows for 60 seconds of recording and an unlimited number of overdubs. Activating and deactivating the function requires both footswitches to be awkwardly stepped on at once. While it performs as advertised, I’d still recommend using a dedicated looper pedal for live use.

 

At the end of the day, it’s pretty hard to complain about this pedal, considering the amount of value you’re getting here. The Floor Stageman is a solid pick for any acoustic guitarist looking for a great-sounding pedal/DI that covers all the necessary requirements for both recording or gigging.

Hits and Misses

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Great sound and EQ section

Excellent number of features

Good build quality

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Awkward looper activation controls

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