The Boss AC-2 is an attempt at trying to replicate that electrified acoustic guitar sound with an electric guitar. Does it do it good? Well it depends! Searching on the internet you’ll find out the worst reviews out there. That makes you think why is there so much negative feedback for an acoustic simulator, (and basically all ac simulators) so let’s clarify some things! First of all, it won’t replace your acoustic guitar and probably nothing will, not even with our modern technology (never say never). But what is an acoustic simulator exactly?
An acoustic simulator is basically an EQ so it would be wise to treat it as such. When you put an EQ pedal in your signal chain there is something you must do right, and that is to put the right settings. That’s how it goes with the Boss AC-2 as well. Put too much bass and it’s muddier than a field on a rainy day. Put too much treble on the other hand and it’s thinner than a thread on any day. But what if your amp or preamp already has too much bass or too much treble? Hmmm, how about we set the EQ settings of a nice clean amp to flat, as flat as possible. Let’s say a Fender Dual Showman. Yes that will probably do it!
The other important factor to consider is your pickups. This will not work with humbuckers and it probably won’t work with bridge pickups, and hardly will with neck pickups as well. So the ideal situation would be a single coil in mid position (or the middle position of a guitar with two single coils). Now let’s talk about the different modes as the Boss AC-2 features four that can best fit to your playing style and situation.
Best used for finger-picking, this is the sound of a dreadnought-type acoustic guitar that's widely considered to be a classic standard. It can also be used as a subtle acoustic effect that retains your electric guitar's middle frequencies, making it sound "semi-acoustic".
This is an acoustic guitar with a body that is bigger than standard, causing the bass sound to be more rich and powerful while. The root and composition sounds are well balanced in this mode, making it ideal for playing chords.
The best mode for playing solos. With a more responsive attack, this acoustic guitar type will retain more of its prominence and clarity in almost any situation. Even in band ensembles, this remarkably expansive sound is never buried amongst other instruments.
This simulates the sound you would get from a pickup installed on an electric-acoustic guitar. During the attack, a certain amount of compression will be applied.
So now that we know what each mode is representing, you can start by selecting the right one for your personal taste or situation. Besides the four modes, the Boss AC-2 features a LEVEL control which is best set to max for our needs, a Body control for bass frequencies and a Top control for higher frequencies.
In order to make the most of it and be able to capture it as a preamp, the TC Nova Drive’s output was connected to the normal input of a Fender Dual Showman Reverb with flat EQ Settings.
The tone captures for the Boss AC-2 Acoustic Simulator include:
SPECS TAKEN FROM THE INTERNET (Usually from the manufacturer’s page):