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I'm running an acoustic/electric guitar into a small Fishman acoustic amp, and need a little boost sometimes. I've considered using an overdrive pedal I have, but I want to make sure it's okay to do that with an acoustic amp. I don't have any particular reasons for my worry, it just seems like an acoustic amp might not be built for those tones.

Could it cause damage?

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    Check your battery on the acoustics pre-amp to make sure its not low, and how do other electro acoustics sound on it? – Dave Engineer Apr 1 '15 at 15:52
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It won't cause damage. The main consequence of using electric guitar effects with an acoustic amp is the sound will be different.

An amp for an electric guitar actually changes the sound a lot, both the sound of the pedals and of the guitar.

An acoustic amp is more meant to be like a mini PA that cleanly reproduces the sound. Distortion pedals might sound a lot more shrill and scratchy on the high end since a high end roll off is typical of a normal electric guitar amp. Some pedals won't put out as much high end in the first place so they might sound the same.

Otherwise you'll be fine. Have fun!

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As Todd stated above he is correct in the use of pedals and amps, and the differences in acoustic amps and regular electric guitar amps. However, you can get away with it, it just may not have the sound you're looking for as Todd stated. But, you can use a Maxon OD 9 overdrive pedal, and it will have more bass response than the old Tube Screamer overdrive pedals.

I would check out different overdrive pedals if you can get access to some to play with. You might find one works best with your amp and guitar. I do know, of guitar player before I saw in Guitar World. He was strictly and acoustic rocker type of player. He'd fit his guitars with pickups as usual, and plug into a Ibanez Tube Screamer overdrive pedal. And the guy has some wicked tone! I believed he played through mostly Dreadnought bodied guitars.

But from what I heard of his music then, his tone was massive and sounded like a growly beast of a guitar and could pull all kinds of sounds out of it. Give it a try is all you can do. It won't damage your amp being an acoustic guitar into an acoustic amp. Just as Todd stated it might not be the sound you're looking for. But accidents can make the best situations sometimes.

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I was worried about this same problem. i had a small 10 watt Marshall Mg that I played with a les paul. It was good for quiet practice in my basement but i wanted bigger sound. However i didn't have big money to go spend on a tube amp or anything. What i did have was a Fender Acoustasonic 30watt amp. Even with an electric guitar plugged in it have a great clean sound and a nice array of digital effects.

After doing some research I bought the fulltone OCD overdrive/distortion. and surprisingly it sounded awesome once i plugged it in to the acoustasonic amp. Plaing around with it i got sounds ranging from john mayer blues tones to slash and even some heavier metal tones.

the most important thing is to realize that all amps are different and react differently to different pedals and effects. In my case i turn the treble on the amp all the way down because the pedal provides tones and also keep the bass on the amp down because the pedal boosts that too.

So long as your amp has a 3 band eq (bass, middle, and treble controls) and the drive/distortion pedal has good tone adjustment on it you can dial in the tone with any amp/pedal combo.

So to highlight points, it doesn't matter if your amp is tube or solid state, every amp sounds different with every other pedal, and the more tone adjustment you have the easier it is to get the tone your looking for. Oh yeah and the Fulltone OCD is a killer pedal.

Basically the only way to know how its gonna sound with your amp is to buy it and try it if you dont like it be clear on the return policy. but your amp wont explode.

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