Boost before acoustic pre-amp / DI

Discussion in 'The Stomp Box' started by telel6s, Oct 24, 2019.

  1. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm trying to do a clean boost on my acoustic pedal board before a pre-amp/DI. But what I've tried so far alters the tone too much for my liking to be used in the middle of a song.

    What I'm using:

    The pre-amp/DI is the Behringer ADI21 V-Tone (https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/ADI21--behringer-adi21-v-tone-acoustic-driver-di-pedal). I picked this up earlier this year on a whim when I saw a used on at Guitar Center. I like it -- it gives enough tone shaping as well as a nice clean balanced signal so I can send it to a mixer or directly into the back of a powered PA speaker.

    For the boosts, I've tried two so far. The first is the Mosky XP Boost (which is a knock-off of the Xotic EP Booster) (https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01D4FY0BC/?tag=tdpri-20.). Now I fully understand that this pedal is designed to color the tone as it's based on the preamp of old EP-3 echo machines. But when I use it with my electrics into a clean Princeton, and have the pedal's internal bright switch engaged, the change in tone is minimal. But with the acoustic set up, it creates a much fatter tone with less presence.

    Last night I replaced the XP with a Marshall Ed the Compressor. I turned the compression all the way off and just upped the level knob. With an electric guitar into a tube amp this gives a straight clean boost. With the acoustic, it again fattened things up. It was similar to what the XP boost did. I didn't A/B the two pedals but I liked the Comp better.

    Now, with both boost pedals I like the tone. It works great on songs where I'm finger picking or playing lightly for the duration vs. bashing out big strums with a pick. The problem is if I want to give a slight boost for lead or a quiet section in the middle of a song, the guitar sounds noticeably different - not just louder. I should add, I'm not going for a huge boost -- really just enough to get the more lightly played sections equal in volume to strumming. My acoustic has an active preamp but does not have a volume control.

    I have one more boost pedal I can try, an old Rocktron Austin Gold which is almost completely clean when the Gain is set to zero. I doubt this pedal would work long term since it always has a tiny bit of OD/distortion in it but should help test whether my issue is the boost pedal or how the Behringer pre-amp is reacting to the boost pedals.

    So now if you have read this far: Has anyone had issues running a boost before a pedal based preamp/DI? This could be acoustic but I'm curious if maybe the same happens with electric.
     
  2. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Why before? I just put mine on the board after the preamp and it works fine.
     
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  3. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    Good question.

    Answer: Pre-amp/DI uses an XLR cable to the board or PA speaker.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I kinda thought so. So here's something: Using my live acoustic board with the Ditto Loopers, mild OD, Effects, etc ....when I loop something, it plays back through the amp. So the sound that recorded includes my OD, Tremelo pedal etc.
    ..... maybe you are best to get a tiny amp... and use that line out instead?
     
  5. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Wait..... if you just DI>Boost... why not just adapt the Boost out to go to the PA/Board with a 1/4 to XLR adaptor instead of out of the DI ?
     
  6. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    Doesn't that mess with the impedance and kind of negate what the DI is doing? (that's a real question - I don't know enough about electrical engineering to answer it) I know from experimenting with the DI that if I use a regular guitar cable to go to the board or PA speaker, the signal level is practically cut in half. The DI does have a 1/4" out, but it is designed for a balanced signal. An unbalanced line works, but not nearly as well. I'm not sure if I even got balanced 1/4" cables if the signal would still end up being unbalanced due to the boost pedal in the middle. But, I can experiment with that since I do have two long balanced 1/4" cables for sending a line level signal off to two big powered PA speakers. Worth a shot.

    As for getting a different amp, then using it's line out: That makes sense but (1) $$$$$, and (2) I am able to run my whole setup off of battery power (mixer, PA speaker & pedal board) for doing farmers markets and other outdoor gigs. While there are battery powered amps (I actually tried a Roland AC-33 for a short time) they are more expensive than AC-only powered amps and didn't work as well for me as the battery powered PA speaker.


    Hmmmm, more random thoughts: a volume pedal - unfortunately I sold my VP Jr to a friend over the summer because I hadn't used it in over ten years. Or, similarly, a simple passive On/Off box with a volume knob. Switch on goes through the volume to attenuate the signal for "normal" playing; switch off bypasses the volume knob for full level that becomes the fingerpicking/lead level. I might even have enough spare parts hanging around to wire one of those up, including treble bleed caps.
     
  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm not sure either really, haven't tried that. But it seems to me you are getting the same DI signal but routed through your boost.
     
  8. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    After tyring to find the right verb, the right preamp, the right boost, the right DI...I picked up the TC Play Acoustic and haven't looked back.
     
  9. loco gringo

    loco gringo Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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  10. scottser

    scottser Tele-Afflicted

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    IMG_20190907_113701.jpg

    This is my acoustic board. If you want a clean boost before a pre-amp, use an eq pedal. The behringer is surprisingly good for a cheap GE7 rip off. I believe they are now TC Electronic now. Anyway boosting is as much about what you remove as add. An eq is invaluable Ino.
     
  11. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    My need to run off battery means I'd have to go with the BOSS VE-8 and it's 9v power supply (BOSS can use AA batteries or I can us an adapter to go from a 5v USB battery to the 9v input); TC uses 12v which is a pain &/or expensive to get a battery for it's use -- I had a TC Perform VG earlier this year (returned because the unit I got was defective) but it also needed 12v power supply which I couldn't make work reasonably.

    But, a unit like the Play Acoustic or VE-8 is a good idea for farther down the road.

    Unfortunately, a quick google search finds $240 as the cheapest used VE-8. That's too expensive right now. I had to purchase PA speakers and other gear this year to get my solo gigging off the ground. I'm happy to say I'm in the black so far this year, but wanted to actually pocket some money before I start spending on more gear. All the pedals I use for guitar I already had on hand, so I didn't consider them as start-up costs.
     
  12. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    No doubt that's a great piece of equipment, but not something that's going to help me at the moment. I'm happy with the sound I get out of my current set up; just trying to figure out a volume boost that doesn't alter the tone so much.
     
  13. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    This makes sense. Even if the straight boost is causing the preamp to shift tone, I cold probably EQ it into something I like better. Maybe set it up more like a treble boost. I know a friend has the BOSS GE7; maybe I'll borrow it to try out before buying my own (and I'm all about the inexpensive Behringer/Donner/Moskey/etc. pedals when they do the job).

    Thanks!
     
  14. Mark the Moose

    Mark the Moose Tele-Holic

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    Maybe an TC spark mini or an AMZ booster? Keeley has a booster that is supposed to be really flat.
     
  15. telel6s

    telel6s Tele-Afflicted

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    That might work. My concern is that the problem is actually in the pre-amp/DI I am using; that it's tone changes when I boost the signal. The XP Booster definitely has some tone shaping in it's circuit, but the Marhsall compressor is supposed to be flat when just using the Level knob but comp at zero -- and that's how it acts with an electric guitar into a guitar amp. So I think I'll experiment with putting one of the boosts I already have after the pre-amp/DI using balanced cables &/or using an EQ where I can boost the treble more than the bass and low mids. And while I'll spend the money if I have to, I'm going to experiment with some free or borrowed things first so I don't end up in a buy/return/buy/return cycle.

    But I am appreciating all the ideas and comments --- it gets me to think through things I probably wouldn't have on my own.
     
  16. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

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    If it's a true copy of the EP Booster, those boosts fatten the tone... they are not transparent. The problem isn't that it's changing your pre-amp tone, it's the boost itself changing your tone.

    A: Find a more transparent clean boost
    B: Set your tone up with the boost ON.... the quieter tone will then be thinner. IME... that's what I would be after, but that doesn't mean that is what you want.
     
  17. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    You could try using a volume pedal.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2019
  18. vgallagher

    vgallagher Tele-Meister

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    The LR Baggs Venue DI has an adjustable boost built in. A bit pricey but works really well.
     
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  19. Mikecito

    Mikecito TDPRI Member

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    Ge7 works fine for me. I Cut the low and raise some upper mids very slightly with a bit of a boost for solos. As long as you don't go crazy with the faders the noise isn't bad. I really like how quiet the switch style on the boss is. I don't want loud clicks in a quiet gig.
     
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  20. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    The redeye and tonebone have a good boost , but, those are at the end of the chain.
    Perhaps a comp or a spark for pre
     
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