Portable Acoustic Guitar Preamp – The Nux PA-2
Affordable Acoustic Guitar Effect Processor
The Nux PA-2 was launched in 2013. It is the counterpart of much dearer acoustic preamps such as the zoom A3 and the new G – natural from TC electronic.
Each guitar effect is limited, and depending on your need, some might fit you better than others. Personally, I had a Zoom A3 not too long ago, and I sold it on eBay because I wasn’t using it enough. I’m an electric guitar player, and at the time, I was using it rarely. I felt it was a waste of money to have such a top unit sleeping on a shelf being used once every blue moon. It was also difficult to use, and the sound was too artificial for my taste. Electronic devices lose value almost instantly and within a few years I’ll wouldn’t have been able to resell it for $50.
Since then, I started to use my acoustic guitars more often, and I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the sound I get plugging my acoustic guitar directly into the soundcard. I felt the need for an external tool that was affordable, easy to use and, of course, that sounds good.
>>> Acoustic Guitar Preamps <<<
After many searches online, I decided to give the Nux PA-2 a try. There is almost no review on YouTube, the only detailed video available up to this day is mine. 🙂 I already knew Nux well since I already had two of their stomp boxes: the Time Force and the Mod Force at the time I was enquiring about that acoustic preamp. I wasn’t taking much risk because first the device is cheap, and two, I could resell it easily on eBay for the price I paid for it in the event I would not have been entirely satisfied by the preamp.
In the first video, I played it using backing tracks, and some people asked me if I could make a video to demo how it sounds alone, and to explain the effects individually. Even if the first video is extremely recent (less than a month), I decided to make a second one. I added the two songs from the first video at the end.
The first song is a blues in F featuring two nylon acoustic guitar tracks backed up with a double bass and drums. In the second song, I play two guitar tracks using my custom Stratocaster featuring a Graph Tech piezo bridge and an onboard acoustic preamp. I also used a simple backing track from Band in the Box.
Please do yourself a favor. Use a quality headset or plug your computer into a real sound system if you want to fully appreciate the Nux PA-2. Laptop speakers are atrocious.
>>> Piezo Transducer pickup <<<
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I usually connect the Nux PA-2 directly into my soundcard, and for the review, I didn’t add any other external effect or plugin to it.
I use it in the studio only, but the PA-2 is the only device I know that is portable. This EFX is the perfect tool to go camping. You can plug in an auxiliary device to play along, and this freedom of movement lets you practice your guitar anywhere. You can also play live and connect it to a PA system through the mono line output.
The sound is great if you take the time to work on your settings. Factory settings are fine, but like almost every multi-effect, they sound excellent until you try to play with other musicians. Then, you have to edit everything because the effects are set too high and they leave no room for the other instruments. Factory settings are made to impress you but are rarely usable as they are. It’s a good start to make your sound, but they need to be edited.
I bought the Nux PA-2 Acoustic Guitar Preamp on AliExpress. I paid 35€; shipping included. AliExpress is good, but depending where you live, it might take quite a while for you to get it. I typically have to wait six weeks to receive orders from China. If you are in a hurry, you can find it on eBay or Amazon. Keep in mind that Chinese sellers from AliExpress are also selling on eBay and Amazon. Doublecheck the seller’s location before ordering.
>>> Acoustic Guitars<<<
Here is a selection of links where you can order the Nux PA-2 Portable Acoustic Guitar Preamp.
Order the Nux PA-2
- Nux PA-2 @ AliExpress
I attempted to produce the video as complete as possible, but if you have questions or personal comments to add, feel free to use the comment form below.
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I am Hervé Senni, a pro musician and performer, Composer and arranger for quite some time. My main musical instrument is the electric guitar. I am also a bass player, mandolin, Ukulele player. I also invented string instruments.
Over the years, repairing and improving electric guitars that did not have to be upgraded converted me into a self-taught luthier.
This post is also available in: French
Makes me want to start playing my acoustic guitar again. Would this unit though even work with a normal acoustic guitar or do you need an amplified acoustic guitar though to use one of these right? I have always wondered about ways I could actually get better playing guitar. I’m going to have to view your video again when I can get higher quality sound so that I can really appreciate the quality. It was a great blues song by the way.