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Orange Acoustic Pedal Review

With an easy to use DI/preamp unit that features a wealth of EQ and tone-sweetening possibilities, this pedal shows that Orange is keen to ensure electric players don't have all the fun.

Orange Acoustic Pedal
(Image: © Orange Amps)

Our Verdict

The Orange Acoustic Pedal is a convenient control unit aimed squarely at the acoustic rocker, and it hits the bull’s-eye as an all-in-one floor unit with a relatively small footprint and an agreeable price.

For

  • Bold amp-like tone with flexible EQ and I/O.
  • It's a relatively compact pedal.

Against

  • No bypass or mute.

Orange is renowned for its robust British tube-amp sound, and the iconic U.K.-based manufacturer continues to make inroads into the acoustic electronics market with the Orange Acoustic Pedal. 

This design basically takes what Orange accomplished with its complex and compound Acoustic Pre TC preamp and Crush Acoustic 30 amplifier, and boils the essentials down to a straightforward stomp box. The Acoustic Pedal is a single-ended Class A preamp featuring a parametric midrange with notch filter, a balanced XLR output, and a buffered effects loop.  

The Acoustic Pedal looks quite different from its competition. While most acoustic electronics manufacturers go for a brown, wooden aesthetic, Orange displays its signature color in the form of a psychedelic swirl surrounding six jet-black knobs on a cream-colored box. Traditionalists may scoff, but acoustic rockers will surely like it, as I did. 

Orange Acoustic Pedal

(Image credit: Orange Amps)

I also appreciated the simple setup. The manual is literally a folded pamphlet, and reading isn’t crucial unless you’ve never worked a parametric EQ with a notch filter and a controllable Q. Those are offered for the midrange, which is the money zone for a quality acoustic-electric tone. 

The notch selects the frequencies affected by the middle control in the range of 68Hz to 1.2kHz. The Q factor controls the width of the band. Set narrow, it’s super handy for homing in on a specific frequency range for a sharp boost, or to mitigate a nagging feedback issue. When widened, it’s ideal for shaping the mids. The control knobs are user friendly – that is, they don’t work too dramatically. 

For example, the increase or decrease in volume is subtle as the knob turns smoothly, making it easy to dial in the desired amount. However, I found it rather weird not to have an on/off or bypass. In fact, I can’t remember any similar pedal not having a foot switch. That made A/B comparisons to the original signal cumbersome. 

Orange Acoustic Pedal

(Image credit: Orange Amps)

I suppose Orange figures the player is simply going to have it on all the time. Given that logic, it should have a mute button for when you take breaks or change guitars. (I wound up using a mutable Boss Chromatic Tuner pedal for that function.) 

The Acoustic Pedal’s core tone is downright amp-like. It sounds and feels almost like playing through an acoustic-friendly tube head and a cabinet. That means it does indeed “color” the tone, and to my ears in a good way. 

Why should electric guitar players have all the fun? The Acoustic Pedal brings out harmonic content and adds gusto, gain, and sustain. My favorite thing was to crank up the bass a bit, leave the treble pretty much alone, and dial in the middle range using the parametric equalizer to jazz up a given guitar in just the right frequency range.

My main test guitar was a Taylor 514ce, and I ran it through the Acoustic Pedal with a series of L.R. Baggs Align pedals in the effects loop and the amp output feeding a Fender Acoustic Junior GO, plus an XLR out running to a Baggs Synapse Personal P.A. The Acoustic pedal gave the amp more bravado, and the effects loop worked well and didn’t add noise.

The balanced signal feeding the P.A. was nice and hot, so I hit the pad on the Synapse to rein in the level. Headroom was sky high, thanks to the 18-volt power supply.

The Orange Acoustic Pedal is a convenient control unit aimed squarely at the acoustic rocker, and it hits the bull’s-eye as an all-in-one floor unit with a relatively small footprint and an agreeable price.

Specifications

  • PRICE: $169 street
  • CONTROLS: Volume, bass, treble, middle, notch, Q factor, XLR phase
  • CONNECTIONS: Input, output, FX send & return, XLR balanced out, center-positive 18-volt DC adaptor input
  • FEATURES: Low-noise JFET preamp circuit, buffered FX loop, 18-volt power supply
  • BUILT: England
  • CONTACT: Orange Amps