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Old 06-23-2018, 12:01 PM
Ed-in-Ohio's Avatar
Ed-in-Ohio Ed-in-Ohio is offline
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Default EHX Soul Food as Acoustic Preamp

So, I am rebuilding my electric guitar rig after deciding to get back on the "electric horse', and my first pedal acquisition was the Electro-Harmonix (EHX) Soul Food. Based on the much coveted KLON Centaur, EHX calls the Soul Food an "overdrive and clean boost". The street price for these new is about $80.

The Soul Food has three controls: volume, drive, and treble. With an electric guitar it works beautifully as either a clean boost (no or low drive + high volume), or as an overdrive (more drive and adjusted volume).

The clean boost application of this pedal is so smooth, fat, and transparent, I wondered how it would perform when used as an acoustic preamp. So, I tried both my K&K equipped Regal and my DiMarzio Angel equipped 000-15 through the Soul Food. The results were exceptional! Wonderful, rich, full tone. Additionally, the treble control on the Soul food allowed me to really bring both guitars into tonal balance with a tweak (especially on the Regal where the treble boost balanced the low end from the K&K).

I think the Soul Food functions so well as an acoustic preamp for a few reasons:
  • It has an input impedance of 1MΩ.
  • It's clean boost is quite transparent and provides high headroom with the drive off.
  • It is a very quiet pedal with true bypass.
So, if you're looking for an inexpensive acoustic preamp solution, this might be a pedal worth trying, especially if you are also an electric player who could use an excellent clean boost or overdrive pedal.

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Old 06-25-2018, 10:47 AM
jricc jricc is offline
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The Soul Food is a good pedal. Ive only used it for a clean boost for electric, but am going to try it with my acoustic. Thanks for the tip
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Old 02-21-2019, 10:17 PM
kingsinger kingsinger is offline
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Just wanted to thank you for this suggestion. I had a good a few weeks ago where I didn't want to take my whole acoustic guitar pedal board. Took the Soul Food instead. Plugged into the passive DI at the event. My guitar with a JJB Prestige 220 had plenty of level and sounded as expected.
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Old 02-23-2019, 07:36 PM
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vindibona1 vindibona1 is offline
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Me too... I've got a Soul Food but never thought of using it as a preamp. I got mine for $50 befor the price jumped to $65 adn now $80. But if now they are $80 I'd say spring for a L.R. Baggs GigPro preamp mini preamp. For another $20 they have treble, bass, gain, volume, phase (I think) and can clip onto a guitar strap or belt. I usually have a music stand in front of me so I just clip it to the shelf on the stand.

But I think I'll try my Soul Food next week, even if I revert to the Baggs.
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Old 02-23-2019, 08:57 PM
Petty1818 Petty1818 is offline
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I am a bit surprised that this worked out. The soul food has a bit of a mid push to it. I know the klon often has the “transparent” thing attached to it but it’s not really. It definitely pushes the mid range. The soul food has a very congested mid. I owned one and it just didn’t sound great so I am surprised it worked with the k&k which often needs a mid cut. I found it to be a noisy pedal when engaged as well.
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