The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #116640   Message #2505521
Posted By: Richard Bridge
01-Dec-08 - 11:10 PM
Thread Name: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
Thank you Joe for the undeletion.

All the stick-on things are crap in a band - too much feedback - even the expensive stuff like I-Beam. I-Beams sometimes sound quite like a guitar, so long as you can put up with a quiet guitar.

All of the magnetic things that go in the soundhole are crap (assuming you want your guitar to sound like an acoustic guitar, which presumably you don't if you are playing a Fender Stratacoustic through a Vox amp). They sound at best like magnetic things stuck in a soundhole, often with added hum. I once tried a "Woody" in a Lowden at the old Acoustc Center in Wapping and it would have made you cry to hear a Lowden sound like that. The ones with a microphone in sound less worse if you use the microphone - but then they feed back like the clappers.

Cheap undersaddles sound like Donald Duck being hit.

Try the Headway snake - not all that cheap but the less expensive side of dreadfully dear, and a nice sweet sound - the only pickup I have that gets people saying "what is that pickup, it sounds like liquid gold?" But that's in a Mugen THE-78 which is pretty sweet and round-sounding anyway.

Run into the PA rig, not a stage amp unless you can put up with carrying an old all-valve PA head - heavy, unreliable, and valve replacements can be expensive - plus some hi-fi style cabs.

The various things like the LR Baggs Paracoustic controller or cheaper graphic equalisers are usually a waste of time live - far too many opportunites to get the setup wrong and ruin the guitar sound - I've seen pros do it badly twice and make a lovely Martin and a lovely Fylde each sound like socks with a head cold.

Probably cheaper to buy a cheap electro guitar though. I keep an old Morris that I fitted with a Samsung preamp and a generic undersaddle, all as cheap as chips off ebay - it's my "camper" and an ex-pro friend of mine wanted to borrow a guitar for an acoustic (well, plugged acoustic) gig last month played every guitar in the house and borrowed that.