Orange Acoustic Pedal: What is it?
The acoustic guitar (opens in new tab) player’s pedalboard (opens in new tab) is always an intriguing space. There are some choices that are stick-ons for certain performers – the looper pedal (opens in new tab), perhaps a reverb – and others such as the overdrive pedal (opens in new tab) are gaining traction among more adventurous players.
But the evergreen choice, the preamp and DI box, is all about the fundamentals of amplified acoustic guitar tone; how best to render your instrument’s tone in the most natural way possible.
That is what the Orange Acoustic Pedal is designed to do. It’s a DI box and preamp pedal in one, with a design inspired by extant technologies found in Orange’s Acoustic Pre TC preamp and Crush Acoustic 30 acoustic guitar amp (opens in new tab).
Orange has cherry-picked a set of features including a JFET-driven preamp and presented them in a compact pedal that will troubleshoot amplified acoustic tone (opens in new tab) in complex signal paths, control feedback, offering tone-sweetening EQ options for when you need to go directly into a PA.
Orange describes the EQ as “surgical-yet-flattering” and promises a low-noise operation from the JFET circuit. There are 1/4” and balanced XLR outputs, a buffered effects loop, with the enclosure’s fascia housing controls for a three-band EQ, plus Notch, Q Factor, and Volume, plus an XLR phase button.
Orange Acoustic Pedal: Performance and verdict
The success or failure of this sort of pedal rests upon its appeal to the pragmatist, and on that count, the Orange Acoustic Pedal does not disappoint. Okay, the psychedelic design makes the text under the controls hard to read but we soon get the hang of what’s what.
Key to the EQ’s efficacy as a troubleshooter of errant frequencies and feedback control is its Notch and Q Factor controls, which are in cahoots with the midrange dial. Effective across 68Hz to 1.2kHz, the notch filter will help you weed out feedback, while the Q Factor’s adjustment of the size of the midrange frequency band helps you fine-tune the EQ. At wider settings, this is a great tool for making sure the mids are where you need them to be.
• EBS Stanley Clarke Acoustic Preamp (opens in new tab)
A powerful tool for bass players and acoustic guitarists alike, this is an exceptionally well-executed preamp pedal that could scarcely be more practical whether used live or in the studio.
• Boss AD-10 Acoustic Preamp (opens in new tab)
The AD-10 offers Boss’s Acoustic Resonance tech to restore tonal sizzle lost with pickup systems, while a four-band EQ and variable low-cut filter further the tone-shaping potential.
Being able to nix feedback issues or nasty mids in seconds flat makes short work of dialling in a usable sound, while the bass and treble controls are pleasingly transparent, adding low end or brilliance to taste, and not being heavy-handed about it.
Incorporating your pedalboard is a cinch thanks to the effects loop and Orange is true to its word with regards noise. There’s nary a hum to be heard, and you have ample headroom thanks to the 18V DC power supply, which is included with the unit.
It is strange that there isn’t a footswitch on the enclosure or a mute button, but you’ll probably find that this will be an always-on unit when gigging.
MusicRadar verdict: The Orange Acoustic Pedal is an affordable and practical DI and preamp for acoustic guitar players that doesn’t take up too much space on your ‘board and, best of all, doesn’t take up too much headspace with its fuss-free operation.
Orange Acoustic Pedal: The web says
“We hooked it up to our AER Compact 60, turned the volume up and listened hard. The claim that the pedal operates at an extremely low noise level is spot on; we couldn’t detect any additional hiss creeping into our signal. Our test guitar was a Fylde Goodfellow with no onboard preamp controls and so this was a perfect companion.
“Bass and treble did exactly what you’d expect with transparent clarity, and the notch-filter and Q controls were easy to dial in, too. It took us a matter of moments to come up with a fully usable sound and from thereon in we could forget about the pedal and get on with the job in hand. Bravo, Orange!”
Guitarist (opens in new tab)
“Why should electric guitar (opens in new tab) players have all the fun? The Acoustic Pedal brings out harmonic content and adds gusto, gain, and sustain. My favorite thing was to crank up the bass a bit, leave the treble pretty much alone, and dial in the middle range using the parametric equalizer to jazz up a given guitar in just the right frequency range.”
Guitar Player (opens in new tab)
Orange Acoustic Pedal: Hands-on demos
Orange w/ Doyle Dykes
Orange Acoustic Pedal: Specifications
- TYPE: Acoustic JFET preamp and DI
- FEATURES: 3-band EQ, Buffered effects loop, balanced XLR Output with Phase Reverse Switch
- CONTROLS: Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Q Factor, Notch, phase switch
- CONNECTIONS: 1/4" I/O, balanced XLR out, Send, Return
- CONTACT: Orange Amps (opens in new tab)