I have a Variax 700 acoustic that I'm quite happy with. It is a nice playing instrument, feels good to hold live, and provides a lot of good, flexible sounds.
I'm wondering what's the best way to connect this to an amplifier. Here's my guess from best to worse.
1. POD HD
Probably best because it would have higher bit depth and sample rate than the other solutions, and maybe better D to A converters. But the A to D converters are in the guitar - so that's a constant.
One drawback is that there's no amp models for acoustic guitar. But that can be worked around with effect choices.
2. Direct to PA (or other analog amp)
This uses the D to A converters and preamps in the guitar. Not sure how these compare to either the POD HD or X3 since we don't have the specs. But at least the signal chain is shorter - generally a plus. Compression, EQ and other effects can often be quite good in a modern digital mixer, providing most of what would be needed.
3. POD X3 Live
This seems to loose quite a bit of the high end compared to direct to a PA- perhaps because of a lower sampling frequency that might be more appropriate for electric guitar. Hard to tell without the specs. But its pretty obvious to the ear.
That said, the vintage preamp tends to give the variax acoustic a nice warm tone, even though the sparkle is a bit missing. This is also pretty convenient live.
Anyone got another opinion, recommendations or observations?