Review: Boss Acoustic Singer Pro

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The first models in the new Boss Acoustic Singer line are available, and they include the Acoustic Singer Live and its big brother the Acoustic Singer Pro, which is designed to be an acoustic amp/vocal P.A., with an effects processor that includes a looper and harmonizer. I tested the Acoustic Singer Pro in several situations using a variety of Taylor guitars and a Sennheiser Evolution e835 vocal microphone.

The Acoustic Singer Pro looks a bit like a hi-fidelity stereo system from the ’70s. It has wood paneling, a tan grill, and a slightly recessed brownface control panel—all packed into something that would pass mom’s test for what is allowed in the living room. Approximately the size of a rectangular milk crate, it weighs a very manageable 32 pounds.

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Sonically, however, the Singer Pro is large and luxurious, delivering 120 watts into an 8" speaker and 1" tweeter configuration. Unlike some acoustic amps designed for purists seeking a super- flat, ultra-focused sound, the Singer Pro sounds smooth and silky with a lustrous finish. It’s dynamically responsive with a shimmering top end, but overall, this amp is less like, say, a Porsche that hugs every turn and lets you feel every bump, and more like a sedan with sweet suspension floating over the highway.

The most direct route to different tones on the Guitar channel comes via the three stages of Acoustic Resonance. Press the button once (green LED), and the Singer’s already rich tone deepens. The next press (orange) yields a mid-top accentuation. The next level (red) is quite bright, but there’s also a Tweeter Attenuator button that rolls off any setting into jazzier territory. I dug that.

I found plugging a guitar into the Mic channel to be more midrange forward—more Porsche-y, to keep that analogy going. Thrill-seekers that live to rip around tight corners may actually dig that more, while strummers and singer-songwriters will revel in the profound depth that the Guitar channel adds to open chords and supportive rhythm figures.

While its look may exude vintage class, the Singer Pro’s features are state of the art. The Guitar channel sports a feedback fighter, two types of chorus, reverb, and a looper. The Mic channel has a useful feedback fighter as well, and then there’s delay, echo, reverb, and a harmonizer derived from the Boss VE-8 Acoustic Singer pedal. The Singer Pro amp delivers a big, warm vocal signal, the harmonizer sounds quite realistic, and it does a fine job delivering sensible harmonies at high settings.

In the awesome category, the amp allows you to loop vocals as well! The looper is basic, so even with a Boss FS-6 footswitch (not included), you’ve got to be careful about double-pressing to stop, and dealing with the short burst of loop audio that plays until it realizes you’re holding from a stop to clear it. Unfortunately, you can’t add echo from the Mic channel to your guitar, but its chorus and reverb effects are full sounding and usefully configured.

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Actually, the whole amp is ideally suited for practice or performance. Its Auxiliary input is welcome for backing tracks or playing set-break music from a smartphone, and the direct USB out is handy for recording. For live gigs, I dialed in my vocal and guitar signals on the amp, ran direct signals with effects into the first two channels of the P.A., and enjoyed a warm sound though the system. I highly recommend purchasing the Boss FS-6 footswitch to control the looper and harmonizer during performance, and also the Roland GA-FC foot controller if you desire maximum functionality—such as turning the chorus and delay on and off. All said, the Acoustic Singer Pro delivers on its all-in-one promise and definitely facilitates performing as a one-man band.

Acoustic Singer Pro

Price: $699 street
Channels: 2
Controls: [Mic Channel] ¼"/XLR Combo Input, Phantom Power On/Off switch, Pad button, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Anti-Feedback Notch, Delay/Echo, Reverb, Harmony On/Off and Type buttons, Harmony Level. [Guitar Channel] ¼" Input, Pad button, Acoustic Resonance button, Volume, Bass, Middle, Treble, Anti-Feedback Notch, Chorus (Type 1, Type 2), Reverb, Looper Engage/Stop buttons, Tweeter Attenuator button, Mute button, Master Volume
Power: 120 watts
Extras: XLR Mic/Mix line out with Out Select switch (Mix/Post EFX, D.I.), XLR Guitar/Mix line-out with Out Select switch (Mix/Post EFX, D.I.), ¼" Phones/Rec Out, ¼" TRS Foot Control (Looper/Chorus), ¼" TRS Foot Control (Harmony/Mute), ¼" TRS Foot Control GA-FC, USB 2.0 Rec Out, mini Aux Input with Level
Speakers: 8" woofer, 1" dome tweeter
Weight: 32 lbs
Built: Malaysia
Kudos: Everything a singing player needs in one rich-sounding, portable package.
Concerns: Basic looper and harmonizer functionality makes you want more.