The ToneWoodAmp is the best $250 a guitarist can spend - here's why
- ToneWoodAmp loaned me their product to review - it's a small device that attaches to the back of an acoustic guitar to provide effects and amplification without plugging into a conventional amplifier.
- The ToneWoodAmp cost $250 and can take acoustic guitar playing to a new level of enjoyment.
- The device won't damage a guitar and also includes a range of technologies that are useful for recording a performance.
- I think the ToneWoodAmp is just about the best $250 an acoustic player can spend.
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Gradually, however, the music business and performers figured out how to take the feedback that's inherent when amplifying a hollow box of wood and develop pickups and built-in electronics that enable acoustic to survive on stage.Advertisement
Acoustic guitars have come a long way over the past 50 years. It used to be that one needed to wield a large instrument to achieve enough volume to overcome banjos, drums, washboards and whatnot in bluegrass bands. Hence the now-legendary Martin dreadnoughts and later, Gibson jumbos.
A newer innovation, however, does away with amplifiers (and interfaces with sound systems), allowing acoustic guitarists to use the resonance and vibration of their instruments to create interesting tonal soundscapes unplugged.
One of the more innovative products is the ToneWoodAmp, a $250 device that can turn any acoustic guitar into an amplified instrument capable of using various effects ranging from reverb to overdrive. The company loaned me a unit to test out, and over the course of a few months I put it through its paces.Here's how it went:
I don't own an acoustic-electric guitar. I have a 1970s-vintage Yamaha FG-170 that, believe it or not, I picked up at a yard sale for $5. I've played guitars that cost thousands of dollars, but this guy does it for me.
For players who don't own acoustic-electrics, ToneWoodAmp sells a package that includes a Fishman Neo-D humbucking pickup — a terrific pickup that was modified specifically for the ToneWoodAmp. This adds about $50 to the price.Advertisement
It's relatively simple to install the ToneWoodAmp. I'll run through it.
The ToneWoodAmp runs on three AA batteries, its only weakness.Advertisement
The interface isn't entirely intuitive, but it's simple to use and offers a ton of versatility.
The ToneWoodAmp also functions as a DI and multi-effects processor.Advertisement
The effects are cool on their own and also great when run through an amplifier.
For $250, the ToneWoodAmp is one of the best purchases a guitarist can make.Advertisement
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