Effects pedals are a great addition to a guitar player’s equipment, adding a bit of colour to the sound produced by the guitar.
About Effects Pedals for Acoustic Guitars
Acoustic guitars create sound by the strings vibrating against a sound board, which then vibrates at the same frequency and amplifies the sound due to its greater size. While the strings are responsible for frequencies and harmonics, the structure of the sound board will also have an effect on the resulting sound, notably on its resonance and volume.
Effects pedals can be used with acoustic guitars, as with electric guitars, to create interesting tones. The choice of effects is broad, from subtle effects that slightly modulate and enhance the natural tone of an acoustic guitar to more flamboyant effects, such as a digital chorus.
When buying effects pedals for acoustic guitars, research the type and brands available, and explore listings to find good quality products at the best value.
Choosing Effects Pedals for Acoustic Guitars
Choosing effects pedals for an acoustic guitar comes down to various factors, such as budget and the type of effect required. Purchasing a range of pedals can add up, so looking around for the best deals can pay off. Research brands and individual listings, and always check seller feedback and information.
Types of Effects Pedal
There is a range of effects pedals available for acoustic guitars, including tuner pedals, preamps, loop pedals, delay pedals, reverb pedals, chorus pedals, overdrive and distortion pedals, and multi-effect pedals.
A good quality tuner pedal is an investment and an essential piece of kit. Most likely this will be the pedal that is most used. Many factors can affect tuning, such as instrument condition and weather conditions, so regular tuning is vital. Features to look out for include bright LED lights for optimum visibility and robust design. Chromatic tuners can accurately tune any note. With polyphonic tuners all the strings can be strummed together, and those that require tuning will be picked up on. Most tuners can be used for bass guitars, but there are some tuners that are designed especially for basses.
Preamplifiers, or preamps, are electronic amplifiers designed to transmit electrical signals for further amplification or modulation and to cut back on interference. Preamps will enhance the tone of acoustic guitars and result in a cleaner sound when amplification is used. As with tuner pedals, there is a good deal of choice, and some models are better than others, so it is worth doing a bit of research before buying. Models from top brands may be more expensive, but they are also likely to last and give years of good service.
Loop, or looper, pedals allow musicians to repeat elements and then develop them into layers with different backings. This can result in a variety of different textures, creating a rich and interesting piece. Solo musicians especially can benefit from loop pedals as they allow them to add elements such as percussion and keyboards. Loop pedals range in price, with more advanced models offering a greater variety of possible effects. Check how much recording time and memory the pedal has as well as the number of rhythm guides and additional features, such as playing loops in reverse, altering speed, altering pitch, and undoing layers. USB storage allows loops to be saved on computers as audio files. Loop and delay effects are often combined in one pedal, and this can be an economical way to purchase the two effects.
Delay pedals are versatile tools capable of creating various effects, such as slapback, echoes and other ethereal sounds. They were used to create early loops. Chorus and reverb effects are also delay based effects, and delay and reverb pedals are often found in combination. The different models out there offer a range of different delay lengths and delay modes, with more basic models generally offering two to three second delays and fewer delay modes, while more advanced models offer six, eight or more seconds of delay and numerous delay modes.
Reverb is a delay based effect that is popularly used to lend a warm twang. Types of reverb include hall, room, plate, spring and gated. Hall reverb is a common effect which aims to recreate the type of sound found by playing in a large hall, adding depth and texture. Room reverb is similar but less deep and with a shorter delay, which adds realism and intimacy. Plate reverb creates a large sound like hall reverb but is flatter in texture, which can often enable it to blend more easily. Spring reverb adds the sound of reverberating springs and is popularly used with guitars to create a lively and playful sound. Gated reverb is a quick, powerful reverb effect that is cut off instead of lingering.
Chorus pedals are also delay based. They create short delays in part of a guitar’s signal while the other part of the signal is not modulated, and can then further modulate the delayed part, leading to an impressive range of choral effects. The effects range in subtlety from slight shimmers to rich wavering effects.
Overdrive and Distortion Pedals
Overdrive pedals create a soft type of distortion. They work by clipping the guitar’s signal to create a warm, flat sound. Other types of distortion pedals can create rougher, harsher sounds.
Some pedals, known as multi-effect pedals, are capable of producing a range of different effects. These processors are generally aimed at the more serious musician and can be fairly expensive to purchase, but they are exceptionally versatile and have enormous potential to create interesting and diverse sounds and textures.
Generally tuner pedals are placed before distortion pedals, and closest to the guitar, but different musicians may place pedals in different positions. Overdrive and distortion pedals, which add volume, will also amplify the sound of other effects pedals. To minimise problems, distortion pedals are usually placed near the beginning of the chain. Modulating pedals, such as chorus pedals, are generally placed near the end. Delay and reverb pedals, which create ambience, are usually placed at the end of the chain.
Find Effects Pedals for an Acoustic Guitar on eBay
There are two simple ways to find effects pedals for an acoustic guitar on eBay. The first is to navigate using categories. Go to the eBay home page, and scroll over the All Categories tab to the left. This brings up a menu from which the Musical Instruments page can be selected. From the categories, either select Pro Audio Equipment or Guitars. Effects pedals may be listed under one or both of these categories, so it is worth checking both. From the Pro Audio Equipment page, a variety of effects pedals can be investigated. From the Guitars page select Accessories followed by Effects Pedals. The Acoustic Guitar option can also be selected as well as further criteria, such as brand, price range and item condition. The second way to find effects pedals on eBay is to search for them directly in the search tab at the top of any eBay page. Simply type in terms such as “effects pedals”, “effects pedals for acoustic guitar”, “delay pedal”, “overdrive pedal” or “tuner pedal”.
There are many different types of effects pedals available for acoustic guitars. Tuner pedals aid accurate tuning, with chromatic tuners tuning any note and polyphonic tuners able to tune multiple strings simultaneously. Preamps minimise interference for when the sound is to be amplified. Loop pedals allow repeats to be played and built upon, giving the possibility to create various textured melodies. Delay pedals give various lengths and types of delay, creating effects such as slapback and echoes. Reverb pedals add warm reverberations, creating ambience and spaciousness as well as lively and playful effects. Chorus pedals create a variety of choral sounds. Overdrive and distortion pedals create a variety of distortion effects. Some pedals are also capable of producing a range of special effects. Check guidelines about connecting pedals to a guitar, bearing in mind that pedals are often placed in certain positions to ensure their effects do not disrupt those of others.