You are here

Audio Sprockets ToneDexter

Piezo Pickup Preamp & Microphone Emulator
Published September 2018
By Bob Thomas

Audio Sprockets ToneDexter

This ‘trainable’ convolution‑based device promises to make your piezo‑pickup signal sound like your own miked‑up instrument.

My first attempts to amplify acoustic instruments on stage used stand‑mounted mics, but my frustration at being unable to move more than a few inches from the mic led me to explore the dark arts of piezo pickups, on‑board mics and external preamps. Combining a pickup signal with one from an on‑board mic when on stage requires a blender‑type two‑channel preamp. Although analogue blenders are still available, the two dedicated digital acoustic instrument preamps that came to market have disappeared without trace or replacement. Both units used digital technology to dispense with mics entirely. They attempted to transform the sound of an undersaddle piezo transducer (UST) into a selection of emulations of specific miked acoustic guitar setups. The initial success and eventual failure of both units hinged almost entirely on how closely the response of a user’s guitar and pickup corresponded to that of the guitar and pickup used to create each transformation — a situation that was probably doomed before it began.

Until the recent arrival of the Audio Sprockets ToneDexter, it seemed to me that the concept of digitally transforming the output of a piezo pickup into a miked‑guitar emulation had had its commercial day. But my pessimism was misplaced, because the...

You are reading one of the locked subscriber-only articles from our latest 5 issues.

You've only read 10% of this article, so to continue reading...

Option 1: Buy and download this single SOS article in Adobe PDF format

  • Buy this article now and immediately download the PDF file to your computer.
  • Single article PDFs look identical to the printed magazine layouts (but exclude advertisements).
  • Note: Some shorter articles don't always have a PDF version.

Option 2: Buy the Full Issue PDF **NEW**

  • From the January 2018 edition onwards, it is possible to buy a Full Issue PDF 'replica magazine' (with adverts) for the price of a handful of single PDF articles, and instantly download it. More info...

Option 3: Buy a Digital subscription from our shopstore

  • A Digital sub can be bought from our online ShopStore and used immediately, or contact our Subs staff to discuss an upgrade price to add Digital access to your existing Print subscription.
Published September 2018