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mbengs1

Please recommend an acoustic guitar pickup

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I need a pickup for my 12 string and classical guitar. Something good enough for recording. I don't have any experience with acoustic pickups. What will work well for this situation ?

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For RECORDING acoustic guitars you really should use a condenser microphone. A small diaphragm cardioid condenser mic it what's usually used for acoustic guitar, like a Shure SM81 or AKG P170. You can use a large-diaphragm condenser mic as well, but you may need to move the mic away from the guitar a few inches to reduce the "boominess" (too much bass) from the proximity effect.

 

Yes, there are pickups of various kinds for both steel-string acoustics and nylon-string acoustics. Most common is the "piezo" pickup which sense vibrations from the guitar's bridge. This is the only kind of pickup that will work with nylon-string guitars. Piezos are fine for stage performance, but I would not recommend them for recording, unless you're just doing demos. On steel string acoustics, piezo pickups can have an annoying midrange "quack". There are also magnetic pickups for acoustics, and there are also some high-end (expensive) acoustic guitar pickup "systems" that use an internal microphone and blend that with either a magnetic pickup or piezo pickup. These come the closest to having natural acoustic sound for stage performance, but they're expensive. I don't have any experience with amplified acoustics so I can't really give you any more specific advice.

 

I've seen people like Leo Kottke perform with a blend of mic and magnetic pickup, it may not sound like a "natural acoustic" but it works for him and his music.

 

Mics for recording, pickups for stage performance. Keep :music014: M!

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For RECORDING acoustic guitars you really should use a condenser microphone. A small diaphragm cardioid condenser mic it what's usually used for acoustic guitar, like a Shure SM81 or AKG P170. You can use a large-diaphragm condenser mic as well, but you may need to move the mic away from the guitar a few inches to reduce the "boominess" (too much bass) from the proximity effect.

 

Yes, there are pickups of various kinds for both steel-string acoustics and nylon-string acoustics. Most common is the "piezo" pickup which sense vibrations from the guitar's bridge. This is the only kind of pickup that will work with nylon-string guitars. Piezos are fine for stage performance, but I would not recommend them for recording, unless you're just doing demos. On steel string acoustics, piezo pickups can have an annoying midrange "quack". There are also magnetic pickups for acoustics, and there are also some high-end (expensive) acoustic guitar pickup "systems" that use an internal microphone and blend that with either a magnetic pickup or piezo pickup. These come the closest to having natural acoustic sound for stage performance, but they're expensive. I don't have any experience with amplified acoustics so I can't really give you any more specific advice.

 

I've seen people like Leo Kottke perform with a blend of mic and magnetic pickup, it may not sound like a "natural acoustic" but it works for him and his music.

 

Mics for recording, pickups for stage performance. Keep :music014: M!

 

Spot on

 

These are handy for the stage. You can use on in the studio too, but it's not in stereo, so you can't blend the original signal with the fake mic options.

 

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auraspectrumdi1_large.thumb.jpg.f3013beb192a8937af1bcd5d4d93f491.jpg

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I won't use steel and Piezo combinations. Steel excites Piezo way to much regardless of the packaging attenuation attempts. Piezo is that sensitive. Nylon doesn't affect it nearly that much so that's where I stay. I play a classical with a cut and electronics. Nylon's amplification through Piezo is mellow enough that it can be dragged through the usual effects without sacrificing the acoustic tone that steel strings suffer. I run the guitar through a wireless system to a Fishman SA220 and can't be happier with the sound. When I'm not doing that I'm practicing my plugged sound through a Vox (Clean) headset amplifier. It's rare that I'm unplugged. But, I'm a finger picker so that's where my experience lies.

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I can't add much to what's already been said. Use a good microphone aimed at the 12th fret. Unless you want the sound of an amplified acoustic--rather than a true acoustic sound--for some reason?

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I won't use steel and Piezo combinations. Steel excites Piezo way to much regardless of the packaging attenuation attempts. Piezo is that sensitive. Nylon doesn't affect it nearly that much so that's where I stay. I play a classical with a cut and electronics. Nylon's amplification through Piezo is mellow enough that it can be dragged through the usual effects without sacrificing the acoustic tone that steel strings suffer. I run the guitar through a wireless system to a Fishman SA220 and can't be happier with the sound. When I'm not doing that I'm practicing my plugged sound through a Vox (Clean) headset amplifier. It's rare that I'm unplugged. But' date=' I'm a finger picker so that's where my experience lies.[/quote']

 

I agree about steel strings and piezo. That has NEVER sounded good to me. Brittle and "quacky".

 

My 6 and 12 string guitars that I perform with/amplify have passive iBeam contact pickups installed on the bridge plates, run through an outboard preamp/DI box. It's still not as good a sound as a mic but it's better than a piezo, IMO.

 

I do have a piezo on my biscuit-bridged metal reso guitar (also passive, outboard pre/DI) and for some reason it works pretty well.

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I agree about steel strings and piezo. That has NEVER sounded good to me. Brittle and "quacky".

 

My 6 and 12 string guitars that I perform with/amplify have passive iBeam contact pickups installed on the bridge plates, run through an outboard preamp/DI box. It's still not as good a sound as a mic but it's better than a piezo, IMO.

 

I do have a piezo on my biscuit-bridged metal reso guitar (also passive, outboard pre/DI) and for some reason it works pretty well.

 

The newer stuff is better.

 

Here are some of my favs out there.

 

K&K

https://kksound.com/products/ultrapuresystem.php#simple3

 

Fishman

 

https://www.fishman.com/products/series/matrix/matrix-infinity-pickup-amp-system/

 

https://www.fishman.com/products/series/ellipse/ELLIPSE-MATRIX-BLEND-undersaddle-pickup/

 

https://www.fishman.com/products/series/aura/ELLIPSE-AURA-UNDERSADDLE-pickup/

 

 

My buddy uses DTars in his Martin D28. Sounds good.

https://www.seymourduncan.com/acoustic/wave-length-multi-source-system-steel?__uuid_ref=5d3d8050390b7

 

 

 

LR Baggs

https://www.lrbaggs.com/pickups/anthem-acoustic-guitar-pickup-and-microphone

 

I know this thread is not about mandolins, but when it came to getting a pick up for my Gibson F5G mandolin I went with the LRBaggs M Radius, which is a stick-on pickup, and very good when matched with there Venue DI preamp.

 

I have seen Sarah Hull a few times live and she did not use the M Radius.

 

[video=youtube;x1v05llOwBk]

 

Justin Townes Earle used a sound hole pick up the times I have seen him

[video=youtube;7MDvbIRrP0U]

 

 

In the studio, I still feel a medium condenser and a something like a Beyer M160 is really nice.

 

[video=youtube;aCy-GywAXwM]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCy-GywAXwM

[video=youtube;aivxxQLK9Qw]

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i have a fisman pre amp and Piezo in my electro acoustic and i`ve been going to some open mic sessions lately but i`m not happy with the sound at trimes so i fancy trying something like this Bill Lawrernce a-345c sound hole pickup it looks super easy to install so i could put it on any of my acoustics ,it`s also passive so no battery`s required ,only trouble is it has no tone control

https://www.altomusic.com/bill-lawrence-a345c-noise-canceling-acoustic-soundhole-pickup

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i have a fisman pre amp and Piezo in my electro acoustic and i`ve been going to some open mic sessions lately but i`m not happy with the sound at trimes so i fancy trying something like this Bill Lawrernce a-345c sound hole pickup it looks super easy to install so i could put it on any of my acoustics ,it`s also passive so no battery`s required ,only trouble is it has no tone control

https://www.altomusic.com/bill-lawrence-a345c-noise-canceling-acoustic-soundhole-pickup

 

Yep, I have to agree. Plus, feedback from a mag p'up is usually non-existent. The emulators makers are coming up with are also pretty good so even though you may not be actually amplifying your guitar's sound, the emulation isn't bad. I had a Neo-D permanently installed in a Walden acoustic some years back that never let that guitar's sound down.

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Yep, I have to agree. Plus, feedback from a mag p'up is usually non-existent. The emulators makers are coming up with are also pretty good so even though you may not be actually amplifying your guitar's sound, the emulation isn't bad. I had a Neo-D permanently installed in a Walden acoustic some years back that never let that guitar's sound down.

i dunno about emulators i was put off with emulator amps and rack systems ,there are always too many knobs to tweek and i always end up wasting lots of time with no good results many of the sounds can be a bit OTT ,i do know people who get great results with them .i work best with very simple stuff , it has to sound ok in the first place for me.

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Hey, if you get a passive, RedEye is a great preamp.

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i dunno about emulators i was put off with emulator amps and rack systems ' date='there are always too many knobs to tweek and i always end up wasting lots of time with no good results many of the sounds can be a bit OTT ,i do know people who get great results with them .i work best with very simple stuff , it has to sound ok in the first place for me.[/quote']

I'm pretty sure Idunno is referring to magnetic pickups emulating the sound of an acoustic guitar, not to some external box.

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Posted (edited)

I'm pretty sure Idunno is referring to magnetic pickups emulating the sound of an acoustic guitar, not to some external box.

 

magnetic pickups just amplify the sound of the strings, emulators emulate ,imitate, copy, reproduce, mimic, mirror, echo, follow, model oneself on, take as a model,so it`s up to you to go find out what he means ,seen has though you are making a claim .

Edited by catscurlyear

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magnetic pickups just amplify the sound of the strings' date=' emulators emulate ,imitate, copy, reproduce, mimic, mirror, echo, follow, model oneself on, take as a model,so it`s up to you to go find out what he means ,seen has though you are making a claim .[/quote']

There's more to an active magnetic pickup than just the pickup itself. The pickup's electronics also do a certain degree of signal processing, mainly EQ. Idunno has referred to this as "emulation" in the past. No mind reading or putting words in his mouth required. YMMV.​

​​​

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There's more to an active magnetic pickup than just the pickup itself. The pickup's electronics also do a certain degree of signal processing, mainly EQ. Idunno has referred to this as "emulation" in the past. No mind reading or putting words in his mouth required. YMMV.​

​​​

 

he didn`t mention active in this quote only you have mentioned active . Idunno`s quote i commented on is in three parts he starts talking about magnetic pickups ,then he goes on to talk about emulators ,then he goes back to talk about a Neo-D passive pickup ,it confused me at first too.

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he didn`t mention active in this quote only you have mentioned active . Idunno`s quote i commented on is in three parts he starts talking about magnetic pickups ' date='then he goes on to talk about emulators ,then he goes back to talk about a Neo-D passive pickup ,it confused me at first too.[/quote']

A magnetic pickup--in fact the majority of "acoustic" pickups--essentially reproduces the sound of the strings, not the sound of the guitar. The result is something that sounds more-or-less like an acoustic guitar, in other words, something that copies or "emulates" the sound of an acoustic guitar.

Here are some common dictionary definitions of "emulate": Merriam-Webster: "Imitate" Dictionary.com: "rival with some degree of success" Vocabulary.com: "strive to equal or match, especially by imitating"

Idunno referred to "emulation," not "emulators." That's what a magnetic pickup does, it emulates the sound of an acoustic guitar. Active pickups go further toward this goal but all magnetic pickups only emulate/imitate/approximate the sound of an acoustic guitar. Some have built-in microphones to add some of the guitar's actual sound but most don't. If you installed, say, a Fishman Rare Earth, in a parlor guitar and the same pickup in a dreadnought, if both guitars had the same strings and scale length, they'd sound exactly the same amplified, even though they actually sounded very different in real life.

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i can`t find any quotes on line anywhere (i looked for a couple of minutes then got bored) saying that a magnetic guitar pickup emulates the sound of a guitar the only quote i can find is yours .

off you toddle searching

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if you look at the 3rd post down with the picture of the Fishman pre amp thing and it says on it acoustic imaging ,that is an emulator which would perform the art of emulation of spectrum analysis produced one at a time by all those different types of acoustic guitars and when you flick the switch to for example Jumbo ,your average guitar is then supposed to emulate a jumbo guitar .

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i can`t find any quotes on line anywhere (i looked for a couple of minutes then got bored) saying that a magnetic guitar pickup emulates the sound of a guitar the only quote i can find is yours .

off you toddle searching

Oops! I reread the thread and Idunno was in fact referring to "emulators." In the past he has posted about magnetic pickups imitating the sound of an acoustic guitar and I must have conflated the two. My bad. I can only plead temporary insanity. Thanks for your persistence and for setting me straight. As for whether a magnetic pickup imitates the sound of an acoustic guitar, I'm not going to do much searching for something that ought to be obvious but here's a quote from Steve Beckwith of Beckwith Strings:

. . . the sound from a magnetic pick-up is the least likely to accurately reproduce the sound of the instrument. Some magnetic pickup may actually render the sound as a solid body electric! . . .

 

. . . Some have a built-in preamp and are marketed as “Active” magnetic pickups. Actives usually will tweak the tone giving the instrument a more “acoustic” sound.

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Posted (edited)

Oops! I reread the thread and Idunno was in fact referring to "emulators." In the past he has posted about magnetic pickups imitating the sound of an acoustic guitar and I must have conflated the two.

Can you back up your claim that,your quote " In the past he has posted about magnetic pickups imitating the sound of an acoustic guitar"

i don`t know why you had to quote Steve Beckwith ,he is only expressing an opinion of a sound ,it`s only the same as me saying my guitar sounds like sh-t .but i`m not trying to emulate sh-t

a magnetic pickup is doing the only job it can do - converting energy of the movement of the string into sound - it isn`t clever enough to go "hang on a minute i`m gonna emulate the sound of a jumbo ,it does not have that choice it is a very basic form of life but only while there is circulation of the string

Edited by catscurlyear

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Can you back up your claim that' date='your quote " In the past he [b']has[/b] posted about magnetic pickups imitating the sound of an acoustic guitar"

No. You know as well as I do the Forum search doesn't work. If you don't want to take my word for it, that's up to you.

 

i don`t know why you had to quote Steve Beckwith ,he is only expressing an opinion of a sound ,it`s only the same as me saying my guitar sounds like sh-t .but i`m not trying to emulate sh-t

a magnetic pickup is doing the only job it can do - converting energy of the movement of the string into sound - it isn`t clever enough to go "hang on a minute i`m gonna emulate the sound of a jumbo ,it does not have that choice it is a very basic form of life but only while there is circulation of the string

What a magnetic pickup is "clever enough" to do is convert "energy of the movement of the string" into something approximating the sound of a generic acoustic guitar. In other words, it "imitates," "rivals with some degree of success," and "strives to equal or match," the sound your guitar actually produces. No, it won't make your OM sound like a jumbo but it won't make your OM sound like your OM either. Instead, it will make any guitar it's installed in sound like "generic acoustic guitar." That sounds like emulation to me and it fits the definition. YMMV. You can take or leave it.

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No. You know as well as I do the Forum search doesn't work. If you don't want to take my word for it, that's up to you.

 

it.

no i didn`t know that, but i`m not the one who needs to search for something that may not exist ,if you don`t have proof of claim ,you lose.

 

 

What a magnetic pickup is "clever enough" to do is convert "energy of the movement of the string" into something approximating the sound of a generic acoustic guitar. In other words' date=' it "imitates," "rivals with some degree of success," and "strives to equal or match," the sound your guitar actually produces. No, it won't make your OM sound like a jumbo but it won't make your OM sound like your OM either. Instead, it will make any guitar it's installed in sound like "generic acoustic guitar." That sounds like emulation to me and it fits the definition. YMMV. You can take or leave it.[/quote']

 

again that is only your opinion .Find me any quote of any magnetic pickup manufacturer , who describe their magnetic pickups as emulators or emulating .

or just give up arguing and concede :deadhorse:and pay the fine :cop: for always having to have the last word. ha ha

 

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no i didn`t know that' date=' but i`m not the one who needs to search for something that may not exist ,if you don`t have proof of claim ,you lose.[/quote']

Translation: I was wrong once, therefore I'll always be wrong. Not unexpected.

 

again that is only your opinion .Find me any quote of any magnetic pickup manufacturer , who describe their magnetic pickups as emulators or emulating .

or just give up arguing and concede :deadhorse:and pay the fine :cop: for always having to have the last word. ha ha

Find a pickup manufacturer who will admit their product is crap or doesn't do what they claim it does. Yeah, that shouldn't be hard at all. Okay, you win and if you want the last word you can have it.

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Translation: I was wrong once, therefore I'll always be wrong. Not unexpected.

 

 

Find a pickup manufacturer who will admit their product is crap or doesn't do what they claim it does. Yeah, that shouldn't be hard at all. Okay, you win and if you want the last word you can have it.

 

Once ? ,i don`t know what you mean by that . anyway DeepEnd look at it this way,at least we didn`t even insult each other once i don`t think ,that`s a positive , although i`m sure some people would beg to differ.

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