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Any acoustic amps in any update? Or acoustic options?

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one of the problems i find is that going even into a return with no effects, the sound is a little thinner than if i plug straight to the powered speaker i'm using. It seems to rob a little of the acoustic's body/tone just plugging in thru the helix. Going into the guitar input makes a much big difference , the tone becomes unpleasant. Saying that, i have been able to dial in some nice sounds with quite a bit of effort, but i wonder if the unit isn't hobbled somewhat by the inputs in regards to acoustic instruments..

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one of the problems i find is that going even into a return with no effects, the sound is a little thinner than if i plug straight to the powered speaker i'm using. It seems to rob a little of the acoustic's body/tone just plugging in thru the helix. Going into the guitar input makes a much big difference , the tone becomes unpleasant. Saying that, i have been able to dial in some nice sounds with quite a bit of effort, but i wonder if the unit isn't hobbled somewhat by the inputs in regards to acoustic instruments..

Have you played with the input impedance?

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I don't know if an official acoustic amp would solve this but I have a JTV Variax and I find the acoustic sims to  be a bit anemic. They work and are convincing but I would love something that would give them more fullness or body, for lack of a better word. I've tried all of the EQ and mic preamp options. And many of the Guitar/Bass amp options. I have an old Variax and I had an X3 which had alot more mic preamp options. I had a Variax/mic preamp combo for the old acoustic sims that sounded fantastic to me so I know Line 6 can do it.

brueski... try this Variax acoustic preset from CustomeTone. It is the best I've heard yet. There's like 8 EQ blocks! LOL.

 

http://line6.com/customtone/tone/1283667/

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Have you played with the input impedance?

i think i just had it set to auto, i'll fool around a bit more with it. thanks

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Hi Peter, sound very interesting to me what you suggested.

 

I have a JTV89 and a Yamaha RGX721GD, considering I'm playin' them through a Peavy Classic 50 all valve power amp and a Laney 2x12 cab, the acoustic sim from JTV is ok for me (refining sound with EQ and COMP) , but I tried the Yamaha with different IRs and found no way to sound acoustic-like.

 

I will try your signal chain but I'm asking myself why I didn't think that by myself cause it's a very logical path for emulating acoustic sound using IR and an electric guitar   :)  :)  :)

 

 

You will NEVER get all the way there running acoustic guitar through an electric guitar amp, though. I promise you. You need FRFR or an acoustic amp or PA or something at least.

 

Also...

 

NEVER plug an acoustic guitar into Helix's "Guitar" in. Use "Aux in" if it has a preamp built-in to the guitar, and use a Return if it's passive. Thank me later.

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What I'm curious about is are folks on this thread using acoustic electric guitars or are you using a Variax or an electric with a Ghost System or L.R. Baggs piezo system.

I think that with acoustic electrics, it's hard to tell what kind of sound you're actually getting unless you record it.

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What I'm curious about is are folks on this thread using acoustic electric guitars or are you using a Variax or an electric with a Ghost System or L.R. Baggs piezo system.

I think that with acoustic electrics, it's hard to tell what kind of sound you're actually getting unless you record it.

 

 

I use 4 guitars with Helix. (also a bass, but that's for another day.

 

One (not very often) that's an acoustic guitar with a pre-amped prefix piezo.

 

wechter_web_2014_zps45b01f6b.jpg

 

here are the others. They all work with a TRS - dual TS cable.

 

family_shot_2015_zpstptheasa.jpg

 

The one in the middle is my number one. It has stereo output. One output is passive electric and the other is a pre-amped L.R. Baggs piezo. It has "real" acoustic strings and bridge, though, so it sounds just as much like an acoustic as the Wechter does.

 

The electrics on either side have UN-pre-amped powerBridges in them.

 

The "real" pre-amped acoustics work fine in the "Aux" input, but the ones without preamps work poorly there.

 

And since I don't want to re-patch my audio cable each time I switch guitars, I decided to use the Guitar in for the electric side and Return 1 for the acoustic side, since both the powered and unpowered piezo work with it.

 

I use the "Aux" in with a mono cable for the acoustic and write patches just for it.

 

What's cool is that I could, if I wanted, hook up one of the hybrids, the acoustic, AND a Variax (if I had one) at the same time and switch guitars just by switching patches.

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I use 4 guitars with Helix. (also a bass, but that's for another day.

 

One (not very often) that's an acoustic guitar with a pre-amped prefix piezo.

 

wechter_web_2014_zps45b01f6b.jpg

 

here are the others. They all work with a TRS - dual TS cable.

 

family_shot_2015_zpstptheasa.jpg

 

The one in the middle is my number one. It has stereo output. One output is passive electric and the other is a pre-amped L.R. Baggs piezo. It has "real" acoustic strings and bridge, though, so it sounds just as much like an acoustic as the Wechter does.

 

The electrics on either side have UN-pre-amped powerBridges in them.

 

The "real" pre-amped acoustics work fine in the "Aux" input, but the ones without preamps work poorly there.

 

And since I don't want to re-patch my audio cable each time I switch guitars, I decided to use the Guitar in for the electric side and Return 1 for the acoustic side, since both the powered and unpowered piezo work with it.

 

I use the "Aux" in with a mono cable for the acoustic and write patches just for it.

 

What's cool is that I could, if I wanted, hook up one of the hybrids, the acoustic, AND a Variax (if I had one) at the same time and switch guitars just by switching patches.

Cool, man. Are those Tom Andersons? I like their look.

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Sorry, but I totally disagree. For acoustic guitars, what processing is happening at the power section level that can't be done far more effectively in the preamp section? Yes, the Acoustasonics reduce the quack... via the preamp section - not the power section. The quack has to be handled at the input by the preamp. Anything being done to condition the final output of the power section is still being done at a preamp level voltage - before the final output stage so the reality is that it's still happening at the preamp.

 

I feel I need to bring attention to the the latter half of your post, which is pretty much dedicated to... Preamps - not power amps and speakers.  Because for acoustic guitars, the preamps are where it all happens.

The power section does effect the the over all sound. It has to do with how the speaker loads the output of the power section. The resistance combined with the response of the speaker for one. The response time of the the power section as well. Power sections of acoustic amps are not razor flat. Different designs sound different that is just a fact. If what you are saying was true then there would be no need for load boxes and no need for different mics for that matter because thats what a speaker is essentially, a mic in reverse. The power section is just as important as the pre amp section it has a sonic imprint on the sound passed through it. Important to note that I am not arguing with the guys that do the preamp to the board thing just saying that it's not the way everyone goes about their ac setup. The components that go into an amps power section change the sound the same as the components that go into a microphone. Would you argue that microphones all do essentially the same thing therefore there is no need to model different designs?

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It makes sense, and I had an acoustasonic as a matter of fact.

 

But it's typically not what your audience hears anyway, as it's usually serving as a stage monitor.

 

And in my experience, I can get a better sound for my audience using IRs and the Vintage Mic Pre and a little comp and eq than I ever could get CLOSE to with acoustic preamps/amps.

 

That said, the next best experience I've had was with an old Yamaha AG Stomp (I bought it new in the late 90s). I tried to make IRs of what the "mic modeling" does to the sound in there, but it doesn't translate well. 4 bands of sweepable EQ, nice Yamaha reverb and very good compression.

 

It's the one piece of outboard gear I will not sell even though I rarely use it now.

try an amp dialed in with a mic mixed with your helix direct sound and favorite pre. use a phase adjustment tool like the little labs or radial unit. Its much more convincing to my ears and pleasing. I am saying this as preference, I like the sound of a well made acoustic amp combined with a direct sound. To me it sounds much more full and resonant. Not saying that the di sound can't be good or pleasing either, it's just very different. I have listened to your playing through the helix and the crowdster and I love what your doing with it. I am simply advocating for an acoustic amp as being a valid option and the power section of those amps is a big part of that sound.

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What I'm curious about is are folks on this thread using acoustic electric guitars or are you using a Variax or an electric with a Ghost System or L.R. Baggs piezo system.

I think that with acoustic electrics, it's hard to tell what kind of sound you're actually getting unless you record it.

 

Although I use a Variax as well as currently a PRS with my Helix I don't use the Variax for acoustic guitar. I use actual acoustic guitars with piezo pickups. I have heard some people get some fairly convincing acoustic tones out of the Variax but I still find the Variax acoustic sound substandard for strumming. The Variax acoustic models can sound quite good on finger-picked, arpeggiated passages.

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Although I use a Variax as well as currently a PRS with my Helix I don't use the Variax for acoustic guitar. I use actual acoustic guitars with piezo pickups. I have heard some people get some fairly convincing acoustic tones out of the Variax but I still find the Variax acoustic sound substandard for strumming. The Variax acoustic models can sound quite good on finger-picked, arpeggiated passages.

Yup. Strumming is where they all fall apart for me too. That's when that camel hump in the midrange comes up with piezos. On a real acoustic it actually dips a bit in the middle and the highs and lows come up - the exact opposite of the piezos. This what makes me think that a multiband compressor would really help because you could really clamp down on those mids.

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i wonder would a workaround may be, a bit of trickery with the control pedal- to drop the mids when strummimg but then restore them when picking- maybe by assigning a volume knob from the parametric eq to the control pedal

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i wonder would a workaround may be, a bit of trickery with the control pedal- to drop the mids when strummimg but then restore them when picking- maybe by assigning a volume knob from the parametric eq to the control pedal

Not a bad idea!!

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try an amp dialed in with a mic mixed with your helix direct sound and favorite pre. use a phase adjustment tool like the little labs or radial unit. Its much more convincing to my ears and pleasing. I am saying this as preference, I like the sound of a well made acoustic amp combined with a direct sound. To me it sounds much more full and resonant. Not saying that the di sound can't be good or pleasing either, it's just very different. I have listened to your playing through the helix and the crowdster and I love what your doing with it. I am simply advocating for an acoustic amp as being a valid option and the power section of those amps is a big part of that sound.

 

 

Most of the situations I play in, a mic in or on my guitar is super-impractical.

 

And if your situation calls for it, and the acoustic amp is actually what your audience is hearing, go for it.

 

I simply find that using an IR in Helix through the PA is way way way better than what I used to get in that situation.

 

The power amps in those acoustic amps aren't "voiced" for acoustic guitar, though, I'll wager. They're just basic solid state power amps.

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I'd like to see an acoustic pre-amp/Amp.  I have a piezo bridge in one of my guitars which sounds quite good, but I'd like to put it through a dedicated acoustic amp and maybe an IR to see what I can get.

 

There's no reason for not producing one as far as I can see.  For the money, I am actually surprised there isn't one on there ...

 

Dr Spankle

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I'd like to see an acoustic pre-amp/Amp.  I have a piezo bridge in one of my guitars which sounds quite good, but I'd like to put it through a dedicated acoustic amp and maybe an IR to see what I can get.

 

There's no reason for not producing one as far as I can see.  For the money, I am actually surprised there isn't one on there ...

 

Dr Spankle

 

I'm curious, have YOU tried the signal chain of "Acoustic IR" -> Vintage Mic Pre -> para EQ -> Studio Comp yet?

 

If you haven't you should, and if you've ever used an acoustic amp very much (I did, for YEARS) or the acoustic amp model that was in HD 500...

 

...you might decide that this is a million percent better.

 

I'm bowing out now...

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Not the same as a multiband compressor, but you may find a chain of EQ > compressor > EQ useful. Boosting a frequency before the comp and possibly cutting it after has the effect of compressing that frequency more.

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Most of the situations I play in, a mic in or on my guitar is super-impractical.

 

And if your situation calls for it, and the acoustic amp is actually what your audience is hearing, go for it.

 

I simply find that using an IR in Helix through the PA is way way way better than what I used to get in that situation.

 

The power amps in those acoustic amps aren't "voiced" for acoustic guitar, though, I'll wager. They're just basic solid state power amps.

Yes in a live situation a mic on guitar is very difficult to manage with the feed back issues in small venue and worship type situations. I was suggesting a mic on an acoustic amp however mixed with the direct. I speak from an engineers view point on this. The best results have always been this combo for live and recorded situations for me and quite a lot of others I have worked with over the years. This is especially true for all acoustic electric bands which there are quite a lot of here in the north west. acoustic jam bands are not uncommon here. lol all that high end quacking can send people down the street to next venue really quick. Again your situation seems a lot more mellow with the various clips I have listened to. That bright clear tone with delay and synth totally suits what your doing and I quite enjoy it by the way.

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The power amps in those acoustic amps aren't "voiced" for acoustic guitar, though, I'll wager. They're just basic solid state power amps.

Exactly. In order to "voice" a power amp, you have to do it as a circuit before the actual output stage of the power amp. So essentially, it's just a preamp stage. From a manufacturer or designer's point of view why not just include this voicing circuit as part of the final output stage of the preamp? There will be zero difference in sonics but it makes manufacturing easier as you can just use any "off the shelf" power amp design. It negates having to design a new power amp that will have zero advantages and possibly higher cost. Lower cost, more customers.

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Helix is not just about tone, its also about convenience, and easy live workflow. This is where I think a dedicated acoustic guitar preamp would be useful. Yes, with a combination of EQs you can find the right frequencies and boost/cut your way to a good sound. But acoustic instruments are more sensitive to the environment in which they are played, the amplification system they are going though and where you are standing relative to walls, monitors and FOH speakers. There are lots of dedicated acoustic guitar preamps on the market, and what they have in common is someone has gone through the research to find the typical frequencies, Q, slopes, etc. that work well for an acoustic guitar and make it easy to quickly adjust the tone and phase for a particular guitar and situation. The LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI is a great and simple example.

 

So although you could achieve the same results with EQ, something like the Para Acoustic DI might be more convenient, making it easier and quicker to dial in tones. There are other things that are unique for acoustic guitar too like EQ notch filters for feedback control and shape switches for various pickup types. 

 

Ultimately acoustic IRs make these acoustic specific preamps less critical, but they could still be useful.

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You will NEVER get all the way there running acoustic guitar through an electric guitar amp, though. I promise you. You need FRFR or an acoustic amp or PA or something at least.

 

Also...

 

NEVER plug an acoustic guitar into Helix's "Guitar" in. Use "Aux in" if it has a preamp built-in to the guitar, and use a Return if it's passive. Thank me later.

Sorry if I didn't specify but my Yamaha is an electric guitar, I'm simply trying to make use of IR to "acoustic-ize" it a little bit in a couple of preset. 

And I still haven't found satisfaction about it but I surely need to experiment more.

Thanks anyway for the advice

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Sorry if I didn't specify but my Yamaha is an electric guitar, I'm simply trying to make use of IR to "acoustic-ize" it a little bit in a couple of preset. 

And I still haven't found satisfaction about it but I surely need to experiment more.

Thanks anyway for the advice

 

 

There are some IRs out there that are designed specifically to help you with this, 3 Sigma has some.

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Just wanted to say thanks, I play mostly acoustic and in the course of this morning have been able to learned how to set them up, get the IR's for my tenor, mandolin & acoustic....now banjo IR's there is a niche market.......I'm basically going IR (sigma 3), mic pre, para (a pedal which I actually used for years) and then comp....Peter Hamm! lovn your work!

 

Endless fine tuning awaits.....  

 

Thanks again all!

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You will NEVER get all the way there running acoustic guitar through an electric guitar amp, though. I promise you. You need FRFR or an acoustic amp or PA or something at least.

 

Also...

 

NEVER plug an acoustic guitar into Helix's "Guitar" in. Use "Aux in" if it has a preamp built-in to the guitar, and use a Return if it's passive. Thank me later.

 

I have a Helix LT and the is no aux in.

 

Should I plug my Ovation acoustic electric that has a pre amp into the guitar in or one of the returns?

 

Thanks.

 

Bob

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Your Ovation AE will likely sound better connected to the Helix LT's FX Return. However, you should certainly try using the Guitar In, and explore how that sounds. Go with what works best. In case you did not already know, the Input Block may be reassigned to use the FX Return.

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I'm curious about the reason why to plug a passive acoustic in the Return and not Guitar In (while it's clear about the Aux for active ones). I'll try for sure, but I'm intrigued to know the technical reason: impedance? headroom? I suppose the regulation f the Return would be Line, right?

 

Thanks a lot

 

L.

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I'm curious about the reason why to plug a passive acoustic in the Return and not Guitar In (while it's clear about the Aux for active ones). I'll try for sure, but I'm intrigued to know the technical reason: impedance? headroom? I suppose the regulation f the Return would be Line, right?

 

Thanks a lot

 

L.

 

 

I'm sure there's a technical explanation, but a passive piezo sounds broken and thin in the aux input, okay in the guitar input, and best in the return. It should sound the same in guitar and return, but for some reason, to my ears, it doesn't, but it's been a LONG time since I compared.

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I used to support the addition of acoustic amps to the model range - for acoustic guitars like steel strings, classical nylon etc. 

 

But have now changed my mind. 

 

The purpose in my mind - of a good acoustic amp - say like the AER - is not so much to ADD colour - "tone" - via more harmonics, "warm" tube transfer-characteristics etc -  but rather to merely present the tone inherent in the original instrument clearly - overcome some of the tonal EQ issues when amplifying a steel string in rooms with varying acoustics.  And then finally - the biggie - usually overcoming the inherent sound of PIEZO's  since  for most of its time the amp is being plugged in directly into the acoustic guitar. And then make all this become.... LOUD. 

 

 

So what would one need to achieve this ? 

 

1)     A powerful CLEAN NEUTRAL UN-COLOURED AMP. What is most "clean" in a helix patch ?  the total absence of ANY amp block. period. And just put the HELIX through a neutral un-coloured stereo power amp. Arguably this would be solid-state since they arguably can be designed to be the most clean of all amp types. And at the same time not draw huge power - as do class-A tube amps. ( of course solid state amps can be class A too )

 

2) a set of tone controls - i.e. EQ preamp stage - that doesnt "colour" the guitar sound - except to take away any coloration of the PIEZOs - and maybe add back the natural sound of the hollow acoustic resonator. 

 

3 ) a decent speaker system with a fuller range - FR. Or something close. 

 

 

The solution for this is not a new dedicated amp-model block - but instead merely a good preset that has NO amp or even PREAMP in the chain - just one or more EQ blocks, some impulse responses - at least TWO:  

 

  one to remove the piezo artefacts and reintroduce the real acoustic sound of the guitar body itself.

 

the others  to EQ the final sound for the room or taste of the performer - and for the speaker cabinet being used.  It could be a "combo" cabinet or simply a PA monitor - or actually the PA itself in many situations !  

 

We already have all this out there !

 

So what i'd rather have Line 6 do - or a third party - is come up with a collection of HELIX presets along with a set of suitable IR's  DEDICATED to steel strings. 

 

And..... clearly in my case -  also a separate presets collection - dedicated SPECIFICALLY to the acoustic models  in the Variax JTV range. 

 

Something like this did exist - and was i recall put together by the Line 6 team for Variax acoustics in the Pod HD 500.

 

Maybe just time for L6 to do the same for  the HELIX.  

 

 

No new amp model required :)

 

POSTSCRIPT - it is possible i guess that there might be a better EQ block design tailored to the characteristics of an acoustic guitar that would more easily get a good acoustic sound.  But this would be a new HELIX EQ model - NOT a new "amp" model. And maybe to have some kind of guitar-body-type  selector option in it - so one could select the type of guitar - parlour, nylon, Dreadnought etc..  and the EQ would automatically adjust..

.................  but then again - merely giving us separate presets - one or more for each different kinds of guitar body would achieve the same ends... so.. dunno

 

I do not use an amp, cab, or preamp with my acoustic or my piezo equipped electric. I just use 3Sigma IRs a compressor, just enough reverb to add a bit of depth, and i add a parametric eq to rid of pick noise. 

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I'm now using an iRig Acoustic Stage sensor on my steel string so manage to avoid the PIEZO-THING  altogether. 

 

The tone is very natural with this special MEMS sensor. And thus like the above poster i don't have any need for an "acoustic amp" model.  

Or any IR to cancel out the piezo nastinesses. 

Just judicious EQ, processing etc is fine.

 

Only downer with the iRig Acustic is the really thin flimsy cable connecting the MEMS sensor attached to the guitar.

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Your Ovation AE will likely sound better connected to the Helix LT's FX Return. However, you should certainly try using the Guitar In, and explore how that sounds. Go with what works best. In case you did not already know, the Input Block may be reassigned to use the FX Return.

Thanks for the reply ML.

 

I've tried both the guitar and return and notice little difference in the sound.  It seems when turning down guitar input impedance setting down to 1 M Ohm the sharpness of the highs are attenuated somewhat.

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Also bear in mind that if you were to use a wireless unit such as the Relay G10, the impedance load seen by the next unit in the signal chain (Helix, a Pedal or the input of an Amp) and how it would react would no longer be to that of the guitar's preamp electronics. Rather it would be seeing the G10's receiver base output level values. 

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Also bear in mind that if you were to use a wireless unit such as the Relay G10, the impedance load seen by the next unit in the signal chain (Helix, a Pedal or the input of an Amp) and how it would react would no longer be to that of the guitar's preamp electronics. Rather it would be seeing the G10's receiver base output level values. 

Wow...I never thought of that...I am using a G10.

 

Thanks ML !

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Happy to help. Give it a try and see if it works for you.

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If you're planning to buy Helix just for acoustic guitar (and you have a good guitar and pickup), instead I'd consider spending the money on a ToneDexter and add any other FX pedals as needed. The ToneDexter will get you as close to a studio guitar sound as I've heard, straight into a board or PA. It includes a quality preamp and saves your personal acoustic IRs to firmware. I had been using the IRs in a Fishman 16, but this is way better. More holistic and holy.

 

But if Helix is your thing or you double on electric, @PeterHamm hits the nail on the head in this thread re: presets for acoustic guitar. Those Martin 3Sigma IRs sound great with my Alvarez Yairi.

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