LR Baggs Venue DI has proven to be one of the most practical and effective acoustic guitar pedals on the market. This thing basically does it all. Today we are going to take a closer look and show you just how good it really is. Lets get right into it.
The moment you unbox Venue DI, you will realize that it’s no small device. Compared to most of its competition, it comes across as chunky. The chassis is designed in a way that offers enough space for the multiple controls built into it, while protecting them at the same time. All of the inputs and outputs are located at the back and sides of the preamp. Speaking of which, you have the standard input and output, but there is also an FX loop as well as an XLR output that’s connected to an audio transformer. This way you don’t have to worry about ground loops. LR Baggs really took care of every single detail, thus ensuring that you have all of the tools you need to dial in a perfect tone. In terms of build quality, this thing is a tank. With an aluminum chassis, it can take a beating.
The control panel looks rather busy. That is because LR Baggs has included a variety of features that make this preamp a true multi-tool. First we have a four-band EQ with Bass,Low Mid, High Mid and Treble controls. There is also a Presence control in the same cluster. Underneath, there are frequency specific controls for 140Hz, 200Hz and 1kHz, plus a Gain knob. LR Baggs has included a proper tuner that actually works, as well as a VU meter that allows you to precisely set your gain levels. Overall, this pedal is extremely easy to use thanks to the way everything is laid out. The same applies even in low light conditions due to the way notches are printed on the control panel. On a similar note, the tuner display can even be a bit too bright. However, brighter is always better with these things, so we’re not complaining.
When put to actual use, LR Baggs Venue DI shows why it’s one of the best preamps on the market. First of all, the sound it produces is warm and rather authentic. The way it renders the natural tone of your guitar is impressive to say the least. Then we have the EQ cluster, which has got to be among the most precise you can buy. The pedal works great with a variety of pickups and on-board electronics, so compatibility issues are non existent. Aside from its raw sound, Venue DI comes on top thanks to more subtle features. For example, that VU meter is a priceless tool when you have to dial in gain values to match the venue you’re playing in. In essence, this preamp combines several effects pedals into one awesome package. Usually such builds are questionable, but LR Baggs did an impressive job with this one.
This preamps contains enough features and flexibility to be the only piece of gear you could ever need on stage. Not only is it versatile, but the quality of everything it does is on a very high level. If you are looking for a true force-multiplier, this is definitely it.