I’ve reviewed guitar products for more than 25 years, and during that period I’ve encountered only a handful of products designed for acoustic guitar that were truly innovative.
And of those products, even fewer were actually the kind of thing that a player would regularly use. The ToneWoodAmp is not only innovative and useful, but it’s also incredibly cool and affordable, and it may even change the way acoustic players perform and record.
The ToneWoodAmp is not a traditional amplifier but rather a unique multi-effects processor that attaches to the back of an acoustic guitar (acoustic-electric or pickup-equipped) via a magnetic brace that is placed inside the guitar and held in place with non-invasive double-sided tape. The pickup’s output is plugged into the ToneWoodAmp main unit, which produces its effects by vibrating the guitar’s back and using the guitar’s resonant chamber to amplify the effect-processed tones.
The ToneWoodAmp unit is about the same dimensions as an iPhone 7 Plus but thicker. The unit provides three multi-function rotary controls for adjusting effect, parameter, and amplitude settings. Effects consist of hall, room and plate reverb, delay, tremolo, leslie, auto wah and overdrive, and each effect has three adjustable parameters.
The guitar’s pickup plugs into a 1/4-inch input jack and there is a 1/4-inch output jack for amplifying the sound externally with an amp or sound system. An 1/8-inch insert jack allows users to connect the ToneWoodAmp to an iOS device for additional processing or even adding virtual instrument sounds, and two USB jacks are provided for firmware upgrades and future applications.
Installation is extremely easy and takes only a few minutes. Hearing processed effects coming from an acoustic guitar’s sound hole is a mind-blowing experience, and the sounds are uncannily warm and organic. Plugged into an external amp, the effects remain equally impressive, and the main unit allows users to adjust the balance of dry and processed signals.
STREET PRICE $249
MANUFACTURER HONZ Technologies LLC, tonewoodamp.com
THE BOTTOM LINE
The ToneWoodAmp is a truly revolutionary product that completely redefines the meaning of “unplugged” by providing incredibly cool effects processing that are amplified by the acoustic guitar itself.