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AD-2 or Session DI - Experience?


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As written in an earlier discussion, I usually connect my Gibson acoustic guitars directly to the mixer via a Radial DI box (passive). This sounds good enough for occasional use of the acoustic guitar in the band with decent PA systems. I am not a singer/songwriter or fingerstyle guitarist who depends on a very fine, high-resolution guitar sound.
Nevertheless, I have recently had bad experiences with PAs and very simple mixers, through which even a Gibson with LR Baggs VTC and especially LR Baggs Anthem pickups did not sound good. Typical piezo sound with annoying frequencies or with the Anthem just thin and tinny.
Therefore, I went in search of an effect or preamp to improve the sound. I would like to enter below the price segment in which, for example, the LR Baggs Voiceprint DI lies and have read and watched many reviews and YouTube videos on the BOSS AD-2 and the LR Baggs Session DI. Ultimately, they seem to specifically compress the guitar signal and add harmonics through distortion. A notch filter is never wrong, of course, although I wonder if you don't play too loud when you need it. But some electric guitarists are just half deaf ...
My question to you is whether you have experience with the BOSS AD-2 or the LR Baggs Session DI in live use at sessions/open mic events/band gigs in small settings and possibly with old and terrible PAs and one can really give the poor acoustic guitar back some of its beautiful natural sound - of course within the technical possibilities. 
Especially the LR Baggs Session DI is quite expensive and the BOSS AD-2 box currently has 15 weeks delivery time in Germany. With the BOSS AD-2 I somehow miss that you can not adjust gain / volume in the direction of the mixer.
In addition, LR Baggs describes in the systems that the signal comes somehow pre-compressed and amplified from the guitar, just to not have the piezo quack. Would this pre-treatment of the signal harmonize with the sound enhancement devices inserted behind it in the signal chain?
Thanks for the answers!


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I use a Boss AD-10, and have done since they were released. It is SUCH a useful piece of kit, and is so fully featured. It has all of the features of the AD-2 and so much more. I haven’t done a gig without it in the four years or so since I bought it, and it has solved so many of the problems I’ve faced in the past with EQ, feedback and much more. It’s a one stop shop and a real solution for any acoustic player who plugs in. Well worth the upcharge over the AD-2, and I prefer it by a long way over the Session DI. Build quality and tone is superb. Definitely investigate the AD-10 before you buy anything else!

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I've used the AD-2 and really liked it.  Jinder is right that the AD-10 is a much more advanced and fancier pedal, but if you are going for a pretty straight forward sound (i.e. you're not using the chorus and other stuff) I think it's great.  Obiously, much cheaper, too, and if you're surrounded by a band they're probably filling up a lot of the sonic space. Just my 2 cents.

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12 hours ago, Murph said:


I used to be that guy...

🙂 - Yeah I cam imagine that you are the guy! For most of the songs on our setlist I´m playing an SG, ES335 or LP through a Fender Deluxe to put the lead guitarist in his place. It´s only Rock´n´Roll. But -  Pinball Wizzard, Whiskey In the Jar and some other tunes sound good with an acoustic in the band.

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Jinder, egoidealmusic,

Thank you very much for your contributions! Are helpful to me because I got information about the Boss effects from you and you also have them in practice. I could remember Jinder using a BOSS effects unit but didn't remember on the AD-10 or the AD-2.
The AD-10 is really loaded with everything you need for amplified use an Acoustic on stage. I'll try to test it, the delivery time is also currently almost a quarter of a year. I'm going to the Thomann store soon and hope that they still have an AD-2 and an AD-10 there to try out. 
At the AD-10 I like as Jinder writes that you have everything in one device. It is already enough the effect board for the electric guitars, which I also still have with me, there would be a box for the acoustic handy. The quality of BOSS effects is set, I bought my first chorus and DS-1 in 1987, they still work perfectly.

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I used the session DI for several years live, and then moved onto the Venue DI for tuning and boost options. I love them both and never go without the Venue on acoustic.

For live stuff, the Venue is a little more practical. The xlr plug is on the back, the pedal as a whole is flatter, and it also offers a 1/4" out with its own volume control. There is a mute/tuner button and level indicator which is superbly helpful.

I should add that, unlike the session, the Venue cannot be powered with phantom power. You'll have to have the battery or power supply.


But the session is an excellent tool, and I would buy another one without hesitation if I needed another DI!

Edited by Mr.Woody
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  • 8 months later...

Quick update: Have since tried the BodyRez pedal, has not worked for me at all, sound was too "boomy", also sounded artificial but different artificial than the piezo pickups.
Have then bought the BOSS AD-2. This works on my Gibsons with L.R.Baggs VTC pickups quite well, with L.R.Baggs Anthem it does not bring much. The Notch Filter is very helpful, something of the reverb to it fits and Acoustic Resonance I turn up highest to 10 o'clock. This makes the guitars sound a bit more natural on the PA. The BOSS AD-2 pedal also provides a very useful level to the mixer, you do not have to turn up the gain so far there.
And yes - over a microphone in front of the guitar it just sounds better, a miracle electronics box I have not found yet.


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