Acoustic amps… they don't get many players excited do they? But choose the right one and it's a game-changer if you play live and with other musicians. Boss is at the forefront of the game for us; its Acoustic Singer Live wowed me in a group test a few years back for its sound and features. Now Boss plans to deliver again with the AC-22LX. And its cheaper than that amp.
At $399 / £359 the 10-watt AC-22LX can be powered by batteries (eight AA) or included mains adaptor and could sit in a sweet spot for acoustic guitar players looking to play live and want an amp to serve them in the long term. It's a compact stereo combo that showcases Boss Air Feel technology. Say what? "Air Feel breathes life into the dry, sterile sound of standard acoustic instrument pickups, recreating the detailed tones captured by stereo acoustic microphone setups in world-class studio settings," says the company.
Many have attempted this idea of making a piezo-fitted acoustic guitar sound more like the perfect, but impractical scenario of a guitar captured with stereo condenser mics and we can't wait to hear Boss's take on it after our experience with the Acoustic Singer Live breathed new life into our old dreadnought with a Fishman Sonitone system. "Air Feel erases these limitations," Boss says of the challenges facing piezo players, "bringing authentic studio microphone sound to acoustic amplification for the first time.
Air Feel offers five modes with four of these virtual stereo mic capture modes that are accessed via the amp's front panel; XY, AB, ORTF, and mid-side.
The additional features are certainly not slacking with three-band EQ, reverb and combined reverb/chorus effects. singer-guitarists are served well too; the amp's mic channel supports an XLR vocal microphone with selectable phantom power, two-band EQ, and its own independent reverb. Impressively, players have 15 onboard memories for specific song/instrument presets that they can call up.
This is further enhanced with the AC-22LX Editor (macOS/Windows/iOS/Android) for control over presets and parameters without even touching the amp.
And there's more; the AC-22LX includes a Rhythm Box feature with percussion and drum set sounds that use Boss's spatial technology. In addition to 15 onboard patterns, players can customise their rhythms with 119 variations in the AC-22LX Editor.
Boss has considered a lot of needs here; with USB connectivity, performers are able to send the AC-22LX’s sound output to a PA system, recorder, or livestreaming app. The analogue line output supports mono or stereo operation and that USB connection includes a Loopback function for monitoring sounds from a laptop, so you can be your own sound engineer if required.
The AC-22LX can support up to two footswitches to start and stop rhythms, control the onboard looper and more. Wireless connectivity with the app requires the additional purchase of Boss's Bluetooth Audio MIDI Dual Adaptor – with this you can stream and play along with music from a mobile device too.
That aside, you're getting a lot with this amp out of the box. We're looking forward to trying it out for ourselves soon.