Acoustic guitarists can seem shortchanged in the march to modernity through technology. The folks at ToneWoodAmps seem to be doing their best to change that. The ToneWoodAmp ($249 direct) uses a combination of DSP (digital signal processor) and a surface exciter to vibrate the back of an acoustic guitar, producing sound effects such as reverb, echo, delay, tremolo and more.
To use it, you need a pickup on your guitar. The output of the pickup is sent to the ToneWoodAmp and the sound comes out of the guitar’s sound hole. It lets you add effects without using an external amplifier. In other words, you can sit around the campfire, miles from an electric plug, and still add reverb, delay and other effects to your acoustic instrument. The ToneWoodAmp operates on three AA batteries for an average of ten hours. Batteries are easily replaceable through a battery door.
The device can also be used as a multi-effect processor when you amplify your guitar. You can connect the output jack to an amp or P.A. system and use the blend mode to dial in the amount of guitar and/or effect you want to send.
In addition to the ToneWoodAmp’s internal DSP, it can also connect with all iDevices, so you can use your iPhone, iPad etc. to experiment with an unlimited number of effects; even play Virtual MIDI instruments, all played through the body of the guitar and emanating from the sound hole. To do this you will need an iDevice adapter for an additional $9.95
The initial installation and setup of the ToneWoodAmp requires no tools and has no permanent impact on the guitar. After the initial install, detaching and attaching the ToneWoodAmp is simple. It can be installed on any flat or (slightly) arched-back acoustic guitar. Steel string guitars sporting magnetic pickups and both nylon and steel string guitars with under saddle Piezo pickups will work. If you get an X-Brace for each of your acoustic guitars ($29 each) you can easily move one ToneWoodAmp from instrument to instrument.
The ToneWoodAmp is not located in the center of the instrument’s back but more on the edge. In most seating situations it should have no contact with your body. The unit weighs roughly 8oz.
This is an overview, not a review. I haven’t tried it myself, but it looked interesting enough to let Guitar Moderne readers know about it.
Looks like a great gadget Is the Tonewood amp available in the UK? If so I want one!
My friends bought me one of these, because I do a lot of nonprofit concerts for veterans and people in hospital, so I can’t wait to use my own. My own copy is not arrived yet however I have used other people’s, and they are the bomb. The only thing I wish is that they had a reliable phone number for customer service, as opposed to only having simply an email online. Sometimes that’s just not fast enough..
Holy crap. That’s all I can say. Holy crap. I guess I can say this: since they recessed tge knows, made some of them triple turn just for safety, and improved it’s ability to be upgraded….holy crap. This is *THE* new innovation in Guitar technology,. These guys are absolute savants.
Acoustic players wishing to enhance the natural sound of their guitars with live effects usually need to succumb to a world of cords, amps and stompboxes to do so. Ofer and Helene Webman from Phoenix, AZ, have created a smartphone-sized box called the ToneWoodAmp– or Twamp for short– that brings the kind of effects enjoyed by electrical guitar players to acoustic pickers without needing an amp.
I have the ToneWood Amp (been one of the Kickstarter backers) and it delivers exactly what it promises. Quite amazing to have delay or reverb on your guitar – those are the effects that work really well in the acoustic only setting.
Build quality, installation etc. are all very good. Good fun to play with and recommended!