ToeKicker Acoustic Stompboxes: Bring A Beat To A Solo Gig

Posted by Steve Head on 6th Jan 2019

ToeKicker Acoustic Stompboxes: Bring A Beat To A Solo Gig

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When I began working on prototype Acoustic Stompboxes, I was trying to create a stompbox that had 3 basic Characteristics. It had to really sounded like a kickdrum, be easy to use, and be built like a tank. That’s it. I wasn’t trying to reinvent the wheel or create some technical wonder-box. I just wanted a stompbox that did what it was supposed to do and would last virtually forever.It took me almost a year of trial and error until I arrived at the ToeKicker.

The first criteria that I had was that it sounds good. I didn’t what it to sound like someone stomping on a block of wood. I achieved this through not only the design of the pickup, but also in the structure of the instrument itself. The pickup is a piezo pickup that I build in-house. I developed a proprietary passive circuit to accentuate the deep bass frequencies. The best sound is achieved via an equalizer but the pickup helps tremendously to achieve that deep bass thump.

I want to add something here. The amount of bass response that you get will always be affected by what you are playing it through. If you play through a small acoustic guitar amp you are not going to get alot of bass. That’s true no matter what you play through a small accoustic amp. However, if you are playing through a decent bass amp or PA, it’s going to rock the house.

The structure of the instrument is also key in the tone as well. It doesn’t sound like a block of wood because it isn’t a block of wood. Rather, it is built more like a drum. The top of the ToeKicker can be considered tobe the playing “head” of a drum and the bottom is a “Resonating Head”. With this design, there are resonating bass tones that the pickup sends down the line.

I also wanted it to be easy to use. I didn’t want to have to replace batteries, have settings, or have switches. The ToeKicker is passive so it doesn’t need batteries. It has a 1/4" output jack that you send directly to a bass amp or to the PA’s board. That’s it. Just EQ it to get the tone where you want it and your set.

The last thing that I required from the ToeKicker is that it be very durable. That is why I crafted it from Oak. Oak is very dense, has a very nice tone in this application, and looks good too. It is made from a 3/4" shell that is sandwiched between 1/4" heads. It is tough! If fact, if any ToeKicker ever fails…..I will repair or replace it for free. And that is for life.

So there you have it. That is the ToeKicker Acoustic Stombox. You check out Drumming Reviews write-up about the ToeKicker at

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