The ToneDexter REALLY IS all that it's cracked up to be - and so is SHORELINE MUSIC!
In fact, there are two reviews in order here... One for the ToneDexter, and One for Shoreline Music.
There's really not much I can add to (nor take away from) what has been covered in the other 5-Star reviews here. They've NOT overstated the usefulness of this little magic box. I'm using it for violin/fiddle and acoustic guitar. I couldn't be more pleased. Works like a Charm! If you haven't already, take a close look at the features this baby offers.
2) Shoreline Music
I'm a brand new customer of Shoreline Music, so this was my first buying experience online via the Shoreline Music web site. Late one evening, I saw the ToneDexter being offered on sale as an Open Box, and immediately knew I had to buy it. I created an account and purchased it PRONTO, hoping nobody would nab it before I could get my account registered. As it turned out, the Open Box ToneDexter had already been sold and was no longer available, even though this not reflected by the online listing. I received an email right away the next morning from John (Shoreline's owner) letting me know what had happened - AND - he offered me a significant discount on a brand new ToneDexter by way of a very kind apology for the mistake (s*#t does happen, ya know). So, while I was very momentarily disappointed that I'd missed the Open Box price, that feeling was almost immediately replaced by the realization that my new relationship as a customer with Shoreline Music is one based on professional integrity! Thank you so much, John, for kindly rising to the occasion without me asking. It is such a refreshing experience and so starkly contrasted by much of what most of us encounter daily as "business as usual". I hope all of your customers are as pleased as I am! It's easy to guess that steadfast long-term customer loyalty must follow you naturally.
The device works well in improving the sound of a small body guitar with pickup. If you compare its price to a high quality preamp, it seems almost reasonable. it functions well as a tuner and mute switch, boost, etc. It definitely adds harmonic complexity and makes the pickup sound much more acoustic. Shoreline was very fast and professional.
ToneDexter is easier to use than you might anticipate. I've made three "WaveMaps" for three guitars and only repeated one of them twice. I bought a relatively inexpensive small diaphragm condenser mic (AKG P170) as the manual prefers that option but probably could have gotten away with borrowing a friend's mic as the process is fast and not very finicky. It takes a bullet proof (relatively feedback resistant and relatively sound man immune) under saddle transducer, in my case a Baggs Element, and brings it up to a best-in-class tone competitive with Aura or a high end dual source. For my K&K equipped guitar it perfects the pickup tone. However, if you've got friends who are perfectly happy with their guitar's pickups, it won't be amazing to them, even though to me it is a break through product.
As a acoustic DI or preamp, it has all the standard features (tone controls, notch, tuner/mute, boost) and the price of entry to one built this well is not far off the ToneDexter price. It seems like a very good value to me if you can afford one.
I have a nice collection of guitars, but I have always been unhappy with the way the piezo pickups sound- with their quack. I've got several different types of pickups- Baggs Anthem, Baggs Element, MiniFlex Mics, K&K. They all have some kind of odd sound that's not as good as they sound live.
The TD takes care of that quack. It's an easy pedal to use. I was already using it to train within 5-10 minutes of opening it. They did such a good job of making it user friendly. There are 22 slots you can use to store various settings. 21 are used for live performance settings. 1 is used for studio type work, where it does not have the feedback minimization. I have not used that yet. But I need this for live use, not for studio use.
I recommend trying a variety of mics in different positions. And the most expensive mics don't necessarily return the best sound. Some guitars liked the mic down by the nut. Some liked it recorded from the front. It's just random, in my experience.
Things you'll need: a decent set of headphones, a condenser mic, cables, guitar and the TD.
This pedal takes away that awful quack. Is it 100% as good as the natural sound? No. That's not realistic. But I would say it gets it to 85-90% of where I wish it would be. I have yet to see or hear anything that works better. The closest I have seen is the dpa clip on mic. I love that and I would say that this is just as good.
I would recommend the TD for anyone who wants to get a more natural sound, without the trouble of mic'ing a guitar. You cannot buy from a better place than Shoreline, either.
I used a km 84 straight in and it sounds amazing. I never plug my acoustic guitar in. Pick ups, even the best ones on the market have allways sounded terrible. Shrill highs, muddy woofie lows and almost no midrange. This box will store the sound of a condenser microphone and allow you to play through it hi z to a live mixer. It works really well on microphones that focus well in the mid range like the Neumann km 84. Perhaps an upgraded version will have a switch off for phantom power so you can store ribbon mics as well. I love this thing. It sounds amazing. I never use anything but microphones, in 30 years. I’m amazed.