The 4 Best Preamps for K&K Pure Mini – Reviews 2024

best preamp for k&k pure mini, k&k pure mini preamp

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So you want a preamp for your K&K Pure Mini, right? Well, it makes sense. The Pure Mini from K&K Sound, after all, is one of the best pickups for a steel-string acoustic guitar. The balance and warmth of the tone are remarkable and it’s incredibly responsive to shifts in dynamic and articulation. This pure, authentic tone is also backed by a lot of power. The K&K Pure Mini is capable of producing a louder tone than pretty much any other acoustic guitar pickup out there.

To get the most out of these incredible pickups, though, you want to make sure you maintain that awesome signal the whole way through your chain. One great way to do that is to invest in a high-quality preamp. Even if you think your pickups sound fine without one, you’ll probably be amazed at the difference when you use one of the preamps below.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best preamps for K&K Pure Minis on the market:

Boss AD-10 Acoustic Preamp

This Boss model is the cream of the crop when it comes to acoustic preamps. It maintains the true resonance and warmth of any instrument’s tone, even if they’re not using the best electronics. Paired with a high-end pickup like the K&K Pure Mini, it can make you sound even better than you do without amplification.

From your first look at the Boss AD-10 (see full specs), it’s clear that it’s a comprehensive preamp. Along with the standard 4-band EQ it gives you a suite of on-board effects, including a looper and adjustable delay, chorus, and compression effects. The feedback control is also a nice touch, and it keeps your tone balanced across dynamic levels.

The Boss AD-10 is a pretty massive unit, and it’s on the pricey side. If you don’t have a lot of space or a huge budget, you may want to go a different route. If you’re looking for a feature-rich, professional-level preamp, though, in our opinion it’s the best preamp for K&K Pure Minis period.

Boss AD-10 Review With Surjo

LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI Preamp

The Para Acoustic from LR Baggs is a versatile direct in box and preamp. It’s great for acoustic guitar players because it will work with both passive and active pickups—no need to buy different equipment if you have both in your arsenal. It also has both XLR and ¼” outputs and will work on phantom power, so it’s great for sound engineers or singer/songwriters who want to use a preamp for both their mic and guitar.

In terms of sound-shaping features, the LR Baggs Para Acoustic DI (see full specs) is extremely comprehensive. The 5-band EQ has a tuneable midrange, a key feature for an acoustic guitar. It’s built to optimize your sound during live performance, with a variable gain and intuitive controls to give you an absolutely pristine signal. The feedback and phase inversion controls are very helpful, too.

For a preamp that’s priced comfortably in the mid-range, the Para Acoustic DI from LR Baggs is a very impressive unit with a host of professional-level features. It’s a bit of an investment, but it’s built to last through years of gigs and give you reliable performance every time.

Acoustic Preamp Shootout

Radial Engineering Tonebone AC Driver Preamp

Here’s another model designed for on-stage use. Its casing is both rugged and compact—easy to transport from gig to gig, and sturdy enough to stand up to the wear and tear. The ease of use is what we really love about the Tonebone AC Driver, though. You’ll be able to make your adjustments quickly and get right down to playing.

The face of the Tonebone is streamlined and easy to adjust on the fly. Along with the level adjustment there’s a knob for the low-cut filter and another for the notch filter, which targets specific problem frequencies to make sure your sound is great across the range.

The Tonebone AC Driver is also very versatile to different configurations. You can feed the signal directly to the PA or send it simultaneously to the PA and an on-stage amp or monitor. It also works well after other effect pedals in your signal chain. Thanks to the phase switch function, you never have to worry about feedback, no matter how you use it. For the money, this is among the best preamps for K&K Pure Minis period.

The Tonebone AC-Driver

Hotone Fat Buffer Guitar Preamp Effects Pedal

If you’re on a bit of a tighter budget, the Fat Buffer from Hotone takes a powerful preamp and puts it into an affordable and super-compact pedal. It has all the features you’d expect in a preamp pedal, including a low-pass filter and a gain boost—for a lot of players, just as much preamp as they need at an excellent value.

Design-wise, this follows in the same style as other Hotone mini pedals. We like the build overall. The gain knob at the top has an LED light—great for making adjustments in dark venues. It also has a buffer bar so you don’t accidentally move the knobs when you stomp it on and off. The casing is plastic but it doesn’t feel flimsy, with a smooth response from control knobs and footswitch alike.

The Hotone Fat Buffer is a no-frills preamp. It’s dedicated to maintaining your signal integrity and it does it well, with a powerful gain boost and effective tone controls. You’ll definitely be impressed with the tone quality you get for the money.

HOTONE FAT Buffer Booster

Choosing the Best Preamps for K&K Pure Mini

With a high-quality pickup like the K&K Pure Mini, the signal loss is relatively minimal. A preamp is less about compensating for weaknesses in the pickups and more about balancing and equalizing your overall sound. Many also come with extra effects for manipulating your sound without needing a whole rack of pedals.

If you already use a lot of pedals, a preamp is still a valuable tool. The longer your chain, the more your signal is likely to degrade before it reaches the speakers. A preamp can help prevent this signal loss, keeping your underlying tone pure no matter how many effects you use.

For a singer songwriter, a preamp is very helpful in balancing your guitar and vocals. If you’re plagued by feedback, using a notch filter can remove troublesome frequencies, preventing it at the source. Look for a model with both ¼” and XLR ins and outs.

Whatever you’re looking for in a preamp, all four of the models above will pair beautifully with a K&K Pure Mini. We wish you the best of luck in your search for the perfect preamp! Good luck!

  • Micah Johnson started playing music in high school, when he taught himself the bass to join his friend’s band. He added guitar and drums during his twenties playing in local clubs, and along the way, he picked up unique, hands-on experience from hand drums to studio mixers. On Song Simian, he aims to share this knowledge from 20+ years playing and recording music. When not in gearhead mode, he enjoys photography and travel.

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