BOSS AC-2 Acoustic Guitar Simulator

Price Paid: 


This is the older model AC-2. The newer AC-3 is about the same but also adds reverb to the pedal. 

There are four modes of acoustic guitar simulation: Standard, Jumbo, Enhanced, and Piezo.

There are two outputs - one to go to an amp, the other (E.G.) is a line output you can use to run through a PA (which should theoretically be less distorted than a guitar amp and bypass the rest of your effects).

The Body and Top are basically bass and treble controls, and the Level lets you match the volume to your main electric guitar signal.

Ease of Use: 
5 (easy)

If you play a live set that only has a few acoustic guitar moments, and you don't need a particularly rich, authentic acoustic sound, this pedal lets you leave your acoustic guitar home and achive a decent acoustic/electic Ovation-like live sound using your electric guitar. 

The Body and Top controls let you tune the sound to taste.


You're not going to be getting the rich sound of a nice dreadnought -- much less a jumbo, mic'd with a condenser mic.  What you're getting is sonically much more like a plastic bowl-backed Ovation electric/acoustic.  If you know that going in, and your set isn't primarily acoustic, living with that sound rather than toting an acoustic guitar to a gig is a reasonable trade-off for me. Especially if you can get the pedal cheap/used.

Putting the AC-2 before your distortion effects doesn't completely shunt them off when running through the amp-out. That is if your boost pedal is engaged, and you engage the AC-2, it doesn't completely remove the distortion from the boost pedal. So going from pure acoustic to a boost-engaged lead tone requires turning OFF the AC-2, and turning ON your boost. Ideally, this shouldn't be.  Maybe the AC-2 does better at the end of the chain? I haven't tried this yet because it seems counter-intuative; and then the AC-2 would have to be shunting the boost-engaged signal at the input side.  I have no reason to think it will do a better job of it at the end of the chain.

In a live performance setting, I would probably opt for running through the PA. To do this, you aprently have to swap the output paths from the way you run it through your amp. Send the OUTPUT to the PA, the E.G. out to the rest of your pedals. Again, counter-intuative, but this is how you can bypass the other pedals in your chain.

I had read on other reviews that the best acoustic mode is the Enhanced mode, and I have to agree.  The other modes just sound weaker.  I was hoping to get something nice out of the Jumbo setting, but I couldn't make it sound better than Enhanced.  I don't know why a piezo setting is included or desireable -- the AC-2 already makes your electric sound like an electric/acoustic with a piezo anyway. So of the 4 available modes, only one feels usable.

For the $40 I paid for it, it will do enough of the job I want it to do in live setting. No way would I shell out the $129 new price for the AC-3 which is the same pedal plus reverb.

Your mileage may vary.

Sound Quality: 
Customer Support: 



It's a Boss pedal, with the associated reliability.

Overall Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)