Zoom have been giving us great quality guitar effects for some time now. They have not missed out on releasing the demand for good quality modelling of amps and effects in their multi-effects pedals and have delivered an ever growing and developing range of pedals to meet the needs of all guitarists and bass players. And that is where Zoom stands out from any other effects pedal manufacturers; they don’t leave anyone out, including acoustic guitar players. The A3 from Zoom is the latest in their range of acoustic guitar modelling in a pedal. Just because you choose to play an acoustic shouldn’t mean you miss out on the variety in tone that electric guitar players are privy to.
MORE THAN JUST A PREAMP
The basis of this pedal is to deliver a preamp for an acoustic guitar to run direct into a PA system. This means great quality pre-amplication, EQ, dynamic control and a balanced output for a long cable run to your mixer or powered speaker. There are plenty of acoustic guitar preamps that offer this, but none go to the extremes of the A3 in optional extras. To start with, you have three options for powering the device. You can run on batteries if you like, use the supplied 9-volt power supply or power it from a USB connection should it suit your setup better. You get a range of input options too. The pickup input allows you to select between magnetic, piezo or at inputs to match the impedance, or you can use a microphone and run in through the XLR connection if your guitar doesn’t have a pickup.
PLENTY OF VARIETY
What this is really all about though, once we get past the preamp stage, is the guitar modelling that Zoom have incorporated into the A3. We all love the sounds of different guitars for different purposes and can’t always have them all. But with the A3 you pretty much can play the guitar you are comfortable with and have it sound like something else. It’s quite interesting hearing it kick into the Upright Bass mode, then having the same guitar sound like a Resonator and then a 12-string. All the classic acoustic body types are there too, so you can get those subtle variations in tone without changing guitars. The only disconcerting factor is that you can hear your guitar acoustically as you play it, but what comes through the PA sounds quite different.
For more details on Zoom products, head to dynamicmusic.com.au.
Hits and Misses
Plenty of input and output options
Acoustic guitar modelling that sounds like the real thing
More options than I knew what to do with