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Gear Review: GMF Ai1 Acoustic Pre-Amp/DI

Gear Review: GMF Ai1 Acoustic Pre-Amp/DI

Sending your dry guitar signal to a sound man is a bit like that team-building exercise where a blindfolded individual is instructed to fall backwards into a group of people who might (or might not) catch him or her.

GMF's Ai1 offers guitarists more control over their DI tone, with a preamp and headphone amp to boot. If GMF sounds like a new brand to you, the CEO also happens to be the founder of Ultrasound Amps.

Let’s take a look at the controls: Treble, Bass, Level and Gain. Toggle switches include a Ground Lift, Phase In/Out and a Shape On/Off. Shape is a mid-scoop when engaged. The ins and outs are ¼-inch jacks, a balanced XLR out, ⅛-inch headphone jack and a pair of stereo RCA in/out. The Ai1 can be powered by 9-volt battery or a power supply.

With the RCA ins and the ⅛-inch headphone jack, I was able to jam along with music on my phone. Measurements are roughly 4-by-4-by-2 inches, which fits comfortably into most gigbag or case pockets.

Let's go to the audio clips!

For all the clips below, I used a Taylor 314 I borrowed without asking. Thanks, Dad!

Clip 1: Is the Ai1 straight ahead with a little onboard EQ’ing.
Clip 2: The same as Clip 2, but with the Shape function on.
Clip 3: Some fingerpicking to show off the Ai1’s clarity without harshness.

Web: gmfamps.com
MSRP: $199

You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at thisguyonbass@gmail.com.

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