The Zoom AC3 is your all-in-one acoustic preamp effects pedal. For the live (or studio) guitarist it's an invaluable piece of kit thanks to its ability to morph and improve your sound in many ways:
- Compression - Ultra-smooth to bring out the best in your fingerpicking and keep the dynamic even.
- Reverb - Different reverbs available on-board including hall and room verbs for different sounds.
- EQ - 3-band EQ to shape your guitar sound.
- Tuner - To make sure you never sound out of key!
- Boost - The boost will enable you to go from strumming to fingerpicking without losing volume.
- Effect - Easily turn modulation effects on and off - including chorus and delay!
Target Guitar Sound
One of the most powerful things about the AC-3 is its ability to make your current acoustic guitar sound like a completely different body shape altogether. You can easily change this by choosing the setting for your current guitar (like a dreadnought for example) and then adjusting the target guitar sound to be completely different like an OM or jumbo even!
If you've played acoustic guitar live then you'll know that feedback can be one of the most difficult issues to deal with but the AC-3 has an automatic anti-feedback switch will prevent the guitar from creating any unwanted noise! This means you can focus on the gig at hand.
Here's what Zoom say about the AC3 Acoustic Guitar FX Pedal
Like its little brother, the AC-3 Acoustic Creator is an enhanced direct box with essential DI features that help you achieve great tone no matter where you play. The AC-3 is equipped with an effects generator, stereo outputs, and a compressor. With these features plus the same high-quality preamp and 3-band EQ as the AC-2, the AC-3 is an all-in-one acoustic toolkit that’s perfect for live performance and studio.
The Essential Acoustic DI
The AC-3 puts essential DI features right at your fingertips. Its high-quality preamp boosts your signal and helps restore your true acoustic sound. Plus, its 3-band EQ lets you quickly make the perfect adjustments to refine your tone.
To add depth and color to your tone, AC-3 also features the best effects we’ve ever designed for acoustics. Choose from 9 different effects such as delay, chorus, and reverb, each of which has with adjustable parameters for fine-tuning your sound.
Dial In Your Source...
With 16 source guitar presets, the AC-3 recovers the sonic characteristics of a variety of guitar types and body shapes. You can choose from dreadnought, upright bass, nylon strings, 12 string, and more.
Simply select your guitar of choice, then choose piezo or magnetic pickup. From there, the AC-3 is ready to reproduce and amplify your guitar’s tone with complete accuracy.
The AC-3 also comes with 15 additional target guitar* presets that you can use to more accurately match your guitar’s tone. For example, when using a Martin D-18 dreadnought, you can choose the Dreadnought source guitar preset and the D-Eighteen target guitar preset to more closely match the unique sound of your instrument. Or if you’re playing a square shoulder guitar, choose the Square Shoulder source preset, then use the Humming Bird target preset to recreate your tone more accurately.
*Not all target guitars are available from all source guitars. For instance, when plugging in a Resonator, you would turn your target guitar to “Off.” Please see page 10 of the operation manual for compatibility.
Ultra Smooth Compression
Whether you’re lightly strumming or playing with a little more intensity, the AC-3’s single-knob compressor is one of the finest you’ve ever heard. Zoom's single-knob compressor makes it easy to smooth out and control your guitar’s dynamics for a full, balanced sound. Plus, the compressor’s LED indicator makes it simple to adjust dynamics parameters during a live set.
Stereo Outputs Times Two
The AC-3’s balanced XLR mono/stereo outputs with pre/post control allow you to connect to any PA mixing board or studio console. It also includes two ¼” outputs for simultaneous mono/stereo connection to amps, headphones, or audio interfaces. This allows audiences to hear the full character of stereo or delay effects.
Cut Feedback Automatically
The AC-3 is equipped with an anti-feedback button which can also be activated with Zoom’s FS-01 footswitch (sold separately). This automatically locates and eliminates problem frequencies—an essential for live performance.
To eliminate unwanted hum or buzz from mics or speakers, the AC-3 includes a ground/lift switch that interrupts ground loops between equipment.
Thanks to the AC-3’s all-in-one design, you can record the rich, acoustic sound you love without the need for heavy post-production processing.
Watch the clip below to see Kyle Bolden record directly from the AC-3 to his computer DAW.
The AC-3's Volume control automatically controls both the preamp’s input gain and output level, taking the guesswork out of adjusting sound levels to match.
Tune on the Spot
The AC-3’s built-in tuner with its large LED meter lets you easily see when you’re in tune.
Up to 9 dB of Additional Gain
You can also add up to 9 dB of gain with the tap of your foot using the AC-3's boost function, allowing you to switch from strumming to finger-picking without ever missing a note.
Three Ways to Power Up
Two AA batteries provide up to three hours of continuous power. Alternatively, you can use the included Zoom AD-16 AC adapter for plug-in power, or the micro USB port to bus power the AC-3 via your computer.
- 16 source guitar type/body presets for accurate tone re-creation
- 15 target guitar type/body presets for tonal refinement
- ¼” input
- Two XLR balanced outs
- Two ¼” outputs for mono or stereo connection to guitar amps, headphones, and audio interfaces
- High-quality, low noise preamp
- 9 effects with adjustable parameters
- Piezo/magnetic input pickup select
- Built-in compressor
- 3-band equalizer
- Input and output gain/sensitivity adjustable via single volume knob (patent pending)
- Clipping indicator
- Anti-feedback control
- Boost switch for up to 9 dB of additional gain
- Built-in chromatic visual-LED tuner
- USB connection for firmware updates
- Dual output jacks for connection to guitar amps and mono or stereo PA systems
- Three power options: 2 x AA batteries, the included Zoom AD-16 power adapter (9V DC in), or bus power via micro-USB port