Reproducing the delicate tone of an acoustic guitar onstage can be challenging. Pickups have a tendency to make the sound flat and lifeless, while microphones often introduce feedback. Zoom's A3 provides the perfect solution. This compact pre-amp/effects pedal provides everything you need to restore and enhance the natural tone of your instrument, or even transform it into a different-sounding one altogether. Powerful remodeling features combined with great-sounding effects and advanced features such as feedback suppression, auto-chromatic tuner, 3-band equalization and a Clean Boost foot switch make the A3 the complete sonic toolbox for acoustic guitar.
Dozens of ways to restore and reshape the sound of your guitar
The A3 provides remodeling presets for 16 different body types/shapes and 28 world-renowned acoustic guitars, allowing you not only to restore the true sound of your guitar but to simulate the tonal characteristics of other instruments as well. In addition, there are 40 onboard DSP effects, each carefully crafted to enrich the tone of acoustic guitar. For ease of use, these are organized into the following categories:
Body and model types
You'll find many popular acoustic guitar bodies and types here, from Dreadnought to Jumbo, from Round Shoulder to Square Shoulder, and from Single Cutaway to Resonator. Also included are emulations of Martin 00 and 000 models, resin-body guitars such as the Ovation Adamas, and both twelve-string and nylon-strings—even upright bass. All A3 models accurately recreate the tonal differences between instruments, down to the bracing and type of wood from which they are made.
Dynamics Effects / Filters
Shape and tame your sound with 10 compressors, equalizers, exciters, and wah effects, along with Zoom's Noise Reduction (ZNR) algorithm, designed to remove noise during pauses while still maintaining your instrument's natural tone.
Add the shimmering silkiness of phasing, flanging, chorus, tremolo, vibrato, detuning, and pitch shifting with these 9 effects.
The A3 provides 5 different kinds of delays, including reverse, multi-tap, and self-oscillating delays.
A dozen adjustable rooms, halls, arenas, plates, and springs that allow you to add depth and spaciousness to your sound. The A3's cutting-edge DSP microchip performs 32-bit floating-point calculations, giving it the ability to create sophisticated studio-quality effects such as the realistic simulations found here.
Three different microphone models: emulations of the popular Shure SM57, AKG C414, and Neumann U87.
NOTE: Manufacturer names and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. The names are used only to illustrate sonic characteristics and do not indicate any affiliation with the Zoom Corporation or Zoom North America.
Full-featured and easy-to-use
The A3 offers a super-low noise floor and provides separate input jacks for both pickup and microphone, with dedicated gain controls for each, as well as a master level knob and a wet/dry balance control. A three-way Pickup Select switch allows the A3 to be used with piezoelectric, magnetic, and passive pickups, and the phase of the mic input can be reversed. You can even apply phantom power (+24 or +48 volts), enabling the use of condenser microphones.
There are dual line-level output jacks for connection to a PA; headphones can also be connected here for private monitoring. In addition, a balanced XLR output with a Ground switch enables the A3 to be used as a direct box.
The A3's intuitive graphic interface allows easy navigation and makes creating and editing effects a breeze. You can use up to 3 effects simultaneously and arrange them in any order you like. There are 20 patch memories where you can store your custom edited and chained multi-effects. An Auto Save function ensures that edits you make are automatically saved, and you can create a list of up to 26 patches to cycle through as you step on the foot switch—handy for live gigs or whenever you want your effects in a certain order.
The onboard chromatic tuner supports a variety of standard guitar tunings, including drop tunings, and you can opt to either bypass all effects during tuning or to mute the outputs so that you can tune in silence. Lastly, a Tap Tempo feature enables you to to set delay times and modulation effect frequencies in real time to the rhythm of the song you're playing.
The A3 is packed with advanced features for the acoustic guitarist. Three-band equalization allows you to shape your sound to compensate for the acoustics of every environment, and an Anti-Feedback circuit automatically detects ringing and eliminates up to three frequencies simultaneously, with minimal effect on tonal quality. A Clean Boost control with adjustable tone enables you to add up to 12dB of extra gain at the touch of a foot switch—useful for those moments when you need to step into the spotlight and feature your instrument—and there's a low cut filter for the removal of rumble and other low frequency noise. Last but not least, there's a USB port for connection to your computer for firmware updates.
The A3 runs on just 4 AA batteries—either alkaline or rechargeable NiMH—or you can use the supplied AC adapter. Battery life is up to 8 hours with alkaline batteries, allowing you to use the A3 with confidence from rehearsal to the main stage. An "eco" function automatically turns the pedal off if unused for extended periods.
Features at a glance
- High quality preamp can be used with both pickup and mic
- Super-low noise design
- 3-band graphic EQ
- Acoustic modeling for restoration of body tone even when using a pickup
- Remodeling presets for 16 body types and 28 popular acoustic guitar models
- 40 effects specially crafted for acoustic guitar, including compression, equalization, modulation, delay, and reverb
- Up to 3 effects can be used simultaneously, in any order
- 20 memory locations for the storage of user-created patches
- Backlit LCD with contrast control for easy viewing in low-light environments
- Patch cycling
- Automatic feedback detection and elimination
- Clean Boost foot switch for up to 12 dB of additional gain
- Onboard chromatic tuner supports all standard guitar tunings, including open and drop tunings
- Tuner range of 435 - 445 Hz
- Tap Tempo for synchronization of delay times or modulation rates
- Auto Save function for automatic saving of all patch parameters
- Standard ¼" pickup input with three-way pickup compensation switch
- Combo XLR/TRS Mic/Line input with phantom power and phase reversal
- Input sensitivity, balance and master level controls
- Dual ¼" output jacks for connection to PA and headphones
- Balanced XLR output with ground lift for DI connection
- USB port for firmware updates
- Rugged die-cast body ensures roadworthiness
- Small enough to fit in your guitar case or gig bag
- Easily integrated into any existing pedalboard
- Runs on 4 AA batteries, with alkaline battery life of up to 8 hours
- Supplied AC adapter
- Here's what comes included with the A3:
- Operation manual
- AC adapter (Zoom AD-16)