Pigtronix Launches Bob Weir Signature Acoustic Preamp

Published 5 years ago on July 6, 2018

By Jonathan Graham


Pigtronix Brings Acoustic Guitar Tone to Life
with Bob Weir Signature Preamp Pedal

Bob Weir’s Real Deal Acoustic Preamp by Pigtronix provides crystal-clear, super-loud acoustic guitar tone while faithfully maintaining the organic wooden sound of the instrument like no other pedal has ever done. “A real acoustic guitar has three-dimensional depth. The only way to capture that is with a microphone,” says Weir. “We’ve figured out how to cut out 90% of the feedback that comes with the microphone—while keeping the depth and dimensionality at appreciably high volume levels. We think you’re gonna like this.”

Bob Weir and long-time Grateful Dead tech guru and Weir’s personal front-of-house engineer , Mike McGinn, developed the principle behind the Real Deal in an effort to crank Bob’s acoustic guitar loud enough in the live mix while retaining the natural, unplugged sound of the instrument. The technology they developed to achieve this goal involves using a pair of complimentary filters to split the acoustic guitar signal into low and high frequency bands, with independent preamp gain applied to each signal path. A mastering stage then combines the various inputs into a single mono output, resulting in a powerful world-class acoustic guitar tone.

Bob Weir challenged Pigtronix to design a pedal to perform this unique type of processing using a low-noise, all-analog circuit, to deliver the ultimate live acoustic guitar sound. The engineering challenge involved with developing this pedal to create a realistic and amplified acoustic guitar sound in this way is no joke! First, the cutoff points of the two filters would need to be precisely matched and calibrated to avoid undesirable dips or bumps in the frequency response at the pedal’s output. Second, in order to optimize the acoustic sound from venue to venue and for each different guitar, the cutoff point where the two filters overlap also would need to be variable across a huge frequency range.

As a solution, Pigtronix created a totally unique tracking filter. It allows the musician to adjust the cutoff point of both filters with a single knob, sweeping over a full decade of frequency range from 300 Hz to 3 kHz. This analog filter array—at the heart of the Bob Weir’s Real Deal acoustic preamp—uses Pigtronix custom-made optical components and 18VDC power to achieve the ultra-low noise and high headroom required when processing acoustic guitar.

Bob Weir’s Real Deal acoustic preamp is universally compatible with any type of acoustic guitar pickup—from a simple, passive piezo element to complex active systems that use internal microphones, contact elements and/or magnetic pickups. A source switch determines whether the high and low bands are fed by independent sound elements (such as a mic and piezo installed in one guitar) or a single pickup that is then split and sent through both filters. Single-source mode has the additional benefit of allowing the Real Deal to be used to process the sound of an electric guitar or any other instrument. An additional TRS balanced input, equipped with switchable 48V phantom power, allows external microphones of all types to be incorporated as well.

"Bob Weir's one-of-a-kind sonic ambition has challenged the Pigtronix sound design team to reach beyond the realm of conventional guitar effects,” says Pigtronix president David Koltai. “As an artist and a mentor, Bob has inspired our most cutting-edge work for over a decade. Pigtronix is honored to have been selected to develop Bob Weir's Real Deal Acoustic Preamp, fulfilling the promise of an analog future where acoustic guitar can be made to sound intimate and wooden even while cranked up to rock concert volume levels." 

In presenting Bob Weir’s Real Deal acoustic preamp, Pigtronix is honored to make a contribution to Bob’s continuing legacy of sonic innovation. This legacy dates back to the late 1960s, when the Grateful Dead and their associates revolutionized the technology of live sound—re-defining the rock & roll concert experience. Over 50 years later, and in partnership with Pigtronix, Bob Weir is still innovating.


  • Single (TS) or dual-source (TRS) input
  • Balanced (TRS) input for external mic
  • Low-noise 24db / octave optical filters
  • Crossover sweeps from 300Hz to 3kHz
  • 60db gain on microphone channel
  • Phantom power & phase inversion
  • 18VDC power supply included

The Bob Weir’s Real Deal acoustic preamp retails for $279 USD and is now available from Pigtronix retailers.

Official web page:


Jared James Nichols “Blues Power” Les Paul Custom Available Worldwide via Epiphone
Blues-rock guitar sensation Joanne Shaw Taylor announces February 2024 UK Tour
Kramer announces faithful reissue of the groundbreaking Baretta model
Chris Martin Celebrated the 190th Anniversary of C. F. Martin & Co. with an Event in New York City
Top magnifiercross linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram