In matching the affect to the unaffected volume of my guitar,
i set the AM100's Level to about 1 o'clock.
For Enhance; anything beyond 1 o'clock was just too "extreme" for my
taste. This was the case through the amp and through the studio
monitors, but it was really pronounced through the PA speakers.
I left it right in the middle at 12 o'clock.
Resonance is a weird control. As i said above, its affect on
the signal is sortof along the lines of a parametric EQ. I swept
the Resonance while running through guitars initially, and then again
through all four Modes while testing. To my ears, it always
sounded best somewhere in the 11-12 o'clock range.
The MODE switch lets you choose from one of four acoustic models.
From the AM100 manual:
STANDARD produces a typical acoustic guitar sound. LARGE
delivers a large, more resonant acoustic. PIEZO simulates distinct
brightness of a classic piezo pickup. BRIGHT gives you a brilliant
and ultra-present sound, perfect for cutting through in a live
The Piezo Mode does an ok job of approximating a piezo pickup.
The other three Modes also do an ok job of approximating a piezo pickup.
All four sound a little bit different, but they all sound like
simulated piezos. The Bright Mode is just way too bright
and i doubt it would be useful in any type of live situation. If i
had to pick a 'favorite' Mode it would be Standard because it was the
So how does it sound?
Ok so hopefully nobody would expect an acoustic guitar simulator (for
electric guitar) to sound anything like an actual acoustic guitar.
This stompbox effect doesn't even sound as good as the worst acoustic
guitar pickup i've ever used [the Abilene PU100, in case you were
wondering]. But you have to keep something like this in
Behringer's AM100 sells for $30. It sounds just as good/bad as
the Boss AC-3 but costs seventy dollars less. In my opinion
the AM100 sounds as good as you would expect a $30 acoustic guitar
simulator to sound. I wasn't completely disappointed by it because
my expectations were realistically low.
The fatal flaw?
Well i set out to post a review of the Behringer AM100 and damnit i
think i did an OK job. But there is a problem and i'm putting it
at the end here because...
Well because this is the problem with Behringer's stuff: you don't
know if a product sucks or if the Quality Control inspector was just
asleep at the conveyor-belt that shift.
Everything is as i described, but there was a problem - a major
problem with the AM100 that i had for testing. When engaged, this
FX pedal made a completely audible hiss. It wasn't unlike the hiss
you get from a hi-gain amplifier while standing there with your guitar's
volume turned all the way down; just not as pronounced.
The hiss was definitely coming from the pedal; not the guitars or
cables (and certainly not the amplifier, mixer/monitors, or PA system).
Being that these tests were all clean, it was immediately noticeable to
I mean if you were playing along with the band then there's no
way you'd hear it, but if you were playing the intro to Wanted Dead Or
Alive then everybody in the bar would definitely hear it.
Whenever the effect was engaged, the hiss was there and could not be
I've got some experience with Behringer gear and i know that it's
possible that i just happened to get a lemon. But it's not mine to
return so unless i come across another one i won't know for sure.
I wonder what Walmart's return policy is...