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Acoustic Guitar Pickup

GUEST 01 Dec 08 - 01:48 PM
Joe Offer 01 Dec 08 - 08:41 PM
Beer 01 Dec 08 - 08:59 PM
Dan Schatz 01 Dec 08 - 09:10 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Dec 08 - 09:29 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Dec 08 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 01 Dec 08 - 10:16 PM
M.Ted 01 Dec 08 - 10:54 PM
Richard Bridge 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 PM
Cluin 01 Dec 08 - 11:26 PM
Jim Lad 01 Dec 08 - 11:37 PM
Cluin 01 Dec 08 - 11:47 PM
Genie 02 Dec 08 - 12:37 AM
M.Ted 02 Dec 08 - 12:43 AM
Cluin 02 Dec 08 - 12:45 AM
GUEST,punkfolkrocker 02 Dec 08 - 12:55 AM
Escapee 02 Dec 08 - 02:00 AM
GUEST,A 02 Dec 08 - 02:14 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Dec 08 - 04:03 AM
PoppaGator 02 Dec 08 - 04:31 AM
Zen 02 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM
mattkeen 02 Dec 08 - 06:22 AM
AKS 02 Dec 08 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM
Backwoodsman 02 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM
Richard Bridge 02 Dec 08 - 08:34 AM
Zen 02 Dec 08 - 08:36 AM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 02 Dec 08 - 08:51 AM
Cluin 02 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM
Nick 02 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM
Cluin 02 Dec 08 - 01:37 PM
dwditty 02 Dec 08 - 05:15 PM
Betsy 02 Dec 08 - 06:20 PM
Richard Bridge 02 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM
GUEST,Stringsinger 02 Dec 08 - 07:51 PM
Big Al Whittle 02 Dec 08 - 08:11 PM
van lingle 02 Dec 08 - 08:49 PM
mattkeen 03 Dec 08 - 05:06 AM
Richard Bridge 18 Dec 08 - 02:40 PM
Will Fly 18 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM
JedMarum 18 Dec 08 - 04:09 PM
JedMarum 18 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM
Richard Bridge 18 Dec 08 - 05:07 PM
JedMarum 19 Dec 08 - 12:57 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 19 Dec 08 - 03:42 PM
Will Fly 20 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM
mrmoe 20 Dec 08 - 08:37 AM
Richard Bridge 20 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM
Big Al Whittle 20 Dec 08 - 03:20 PM
GUEST,BILL 30 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM
Stringsinger 30 Dec 08 - 01:01 PM
Richard Bridge 30 Dec 08 - 04:30 PM
cptsnapper 20 Jan 09 - 09:21 AM
oombanjo 20 Jan 09 - 01:24 PM
Sandy Mc Lean 20 Jan 09 - 11:54 PM
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Subject: Acoustic guitar pickup
From: GUEST
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 01:48 PM

Any suggestions for a reasonably priced, easy to install pickup? I play in a small band--mostly blues and folk-- and want to plug in rather than use a mike. Buying an acoustic/electric is not an option.


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Subject: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Joe Offer
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 08:41 PM

Thread reopened - it was closed by mistake. We do not allow non-music threads initiated by Guests, but we do allow music threads. Whatever the case, you should use a consistent name when you post.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Beer
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 08:59 PM

Good question Guest. I am thinking of doing the same thing and was wondering what to do. I'm sure there will be some very knowledgeable responses that can help.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:10 PM

I've had very good luck using a little Sony ECM55-B lapel mic. It's designed to be a lavalier, and it's a very nice little condenser. They run about $250 new, and about $200 on Ebay. Clipped to the bottom of the sound hole, it is VASTLY superior to any of the sound hole pickups I've found. Barring investing in an L.R. Baggs with installation, I'd say this is a very good bet.

Dan


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:29 PM

way back when i was a teenage proto punk
i started out with a cheap italian acoustic from my mums xmas mail order catalogue
and fitted it with a schaller soundhole magnetic pickup
that did ok through a 120 watt amp
until i got my first proper solid body electric back in '76.

Now I've sort of gone full circle and fitted a budget Art of Lutherie
Solid Cedar top with one of these good enough quality low cost
acoustic guitar single coil pickups

Artec MSP-50

http://www.artecsound.com/acou/soundhole.htm


no fuss or complicted setup, works straight out the box
and sounds really good through a vox valvtronix amp..
evenlty balanced warm and 'natural' bluesy jazzy tone..
and even grits up really nicely with a little overdrive..
and as a bonus, virtually no discernable over-intrusive single coil hum


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 09:31 PM

harmony-central review


http://reviews.harmony-central.com/reviews/Acoustic+Guitar+Pickup/product/Artec/MSP50+/10/1


[seems we can't get more than one blue clicky per post ???]


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 10:16 PM

btw, i cant stand the dead synthetic sound of undersaddle piezo pickups,
so have also fitted one of these affordable artecs
in the soundhole of my Fender stratacoustic..
so at least i have the option of running both pickups at the same time
and balancing out the piezo and magnetic outputs through different preamps etc....
A very cost effective setup.
I expect i'll try one of those decent priced artec humbucking soundhole pickups next,
just to compare the sond to more costlier 'name brand' equivilents


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: M.Ted
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 10:54 PM

I used a Seymour Duncan Woody when I need to amplify an acoustic--they cost about $40, pop in and out in seconds, and sound pretty good. No doubt there would be a glaring difference between a magnetic soundhole pickup and and some elaborate system of miking, but, given the vagaries of feedback, ambient sound, and the myriad of adjustments that they require, on any given day, this thing is going to give you a much more consistent sound--especially when you're playing with a band.

Our own everliving troubadour, Rick Fielding recommended it to me back when he was still with us, and I have never regretted it. Plus, when I use it, it reminds me of him, so it's doubly blessed--


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:10 PM

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.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:26 PM

How comfortable are you with drilling holes in your guitar? Or do you want something less intrusive? How much are you willing to spend? Lots of options.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Jim Lad
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:37 PM

Looks like Cluin may be thinking of suggesting a goose neck mic which has been discussed here before and gets excellent reviews.
I've gone full circle myself and won't use anything other than a microphone.
As a matter of fact, the last instrument I had made for me, the guy refused to mount a pick-up in it.
Not much help to you, I suppose but good luck with your search..


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Cluin
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 11:47 PM

Under the saddle, piezos require a bit of drilling. So do some other installations, especially requiring preamps/on board EQs.

I took a Dremel to the side of my Guild to install a battery box for the preamp/EQ a few years ago. Got sick of having to take the strings off to change the battery through that stupid little oval soundhole. It's a thin body too. Best gamble I ever took.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Genie
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:37 AM

I heard someone recently (maybe at Getaway) talking about a good guitar pickup that sticks onto the body of the guitar - no need to drill holes or put something into the sound hole. (I find that soundhole pickups interfere with my picking and strumming, and I really don't want to tamper with my old Martin by installing an under-bridge pickup.)   
Anyone familiar with theses?   Got one to recommend?

Genie


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: M.Ted
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:43 AM

Thanks to Mr. Bridge for pointing out that my music sounded like crap--I can't imagine how I squeaked by on so many occasions without anyone noticing--

Perhaps our American audiences are less discerning than those that he is accustomed to, or perhaps the singer that I accompanied distracted them from my playing--

I was under the impression that Mr. Duncan's pickup was clean, crisp, and responsive over the full range of my instrument, and that it allowed me to play rhythm and blues and jazz accompaniments and still have the chords ring clear, rather than having them deteriorate into box noise, as so often happens when an amplified acoustic guitar is used alone.

I stand corrected.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:45 AM

With condenser mics (in front), smaller-bodied guitars work better. Not so boomy.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,punkfolkrocker
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 12:55 AM

really should go to bed soon..
bastard hard drive problems need sorting
before morning !!!

anyway, M.Ted mate.. i'm a Brit and no way are all of us rich elitist gear snobs..


but..

Genie reminded me December Sound on Sound magazine is reviewing this..

Schertler DYN-G Acoustic Instrument Pickup


..guess i'd better not mention
my purple glitter flake korean re-issue Danelectro Convertible..

which was actually one of the most expensive guitars I ever aquired...

shove it through a fuzzbox and it feeds back like a cranky old **** on hormone replacement treatment.. love it..
brilliant instrument for punk folk !!!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Escapee
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:00 AM

I use a DiMarzio Virtual Acoustic. It cost about $70.00(US) and has a volume control. It would benefit from a pre-amp, but there are no batteries to mess with. It's a nice, quiet humbucker and sounds pretty good. I use it on two guitars and it goes in and out of the soundhole easily.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,A
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 02:14 AM

I use a Fishman - cost £115 sterling (that was about seven years ago). I like the way it sounds.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:03 AM

"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."

Yes, rich gear snob, absolutely! The guitar cost £70, the preamp £20,and the undersaddle £10.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: PoppaGator
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:31 AM

I suppose different recommendations would be in order depending upon whether you (A))want your acoustic guitar to sound "natural" (i.e., like a miked or unamplified acoustic guitar, but louder and without having to hold it up to a microphone) or (B) want to "convert" your instrument into an electric (i.e., electic-sounding) guitar.

In other words, whether you want to enhance/amplify your solo (or small-folk-group) sound, or to function as part of a rock, jazz, or electric-blues band.

I have very little first-hand experience, but based on observation and listening, preserving an acoustic sound seems to be much more problematic than simply becoming more "electrified." I'd be interested in any future comments that address the problem of plugging in without drastically changing the mellow sound of a high-quality wooden box.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Zen
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 04:43 AM

I have fitted several instruments (guitars and mandolins) with Pick-up the World transducers... usually the PUTW 27 model. They comprise a slightly wider than usual polymer strip that sticks onto the bridgeplate inside the instrument rather than being the under-the-saddle type that tend to be liable to "quacking".

The sound is extremely natural to my ears, close to a mic sound, but the pick-ups do require a preamplifier (I have used both PUTW's own in-line model and a Fishman preamplifier... both worked very well). As far as I can remember, these are made by a Mudcat member who used to post here so there may be previous threads on PUTW.

Zen


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:04 AM

I have a Fishman active UST in my Lowden. It's OK, but it suffers from the usual UST drawbacks.

I had a K&K Pure Western Mini bridgeplate transducer (passive) fitted in my Martin which is far, far better - very 'natural acoustic' sound, no quack, plenty of gain - I seldom need to use my Baggs Para Acoustic box, usually just plug straight into the desk for a great sound. About £100 fitted, at Vintage Instruments, Norwich. Never regretted it.

And I agree with someone else's comments about using EQ boxes such as the Baggs or Fishman, they often need a lot of work to get the sound 'just right', and it's easy to bugger your sound up instead of improving it. IME and IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: mattkeen
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:22 AM

Of all the pick ups i have heard the most natural sounding was the Fishman Rare Earth
And I don't believe you will need to drill any holes to us eit


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: AKS
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:14 AM

AKG C411 would probably be your choice...

AKS


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:31 AM

I would recommend the I-beam as being the only one that works reliably without feedback, bark, quack, hum or distortion and yet is very easy to install and needs no holes drilled at all (though a tail pin jack is better than a trailing lead if you can run to that). There are better pick-ups but this is the most bomb-proof and unrivalled for price quality and ease of use.

Richard said they're quiet. Yes the passive ones are (though maybe loud enough for your purposes), but not the active. The amp is built into the end pin (so you do need that one hole) and the result is unerringly superb. Recommended to me by Chris Newman, I had one in the No 2 Martin for years (still in it, I assume) and always got great results through PAs big and small and even backline amps on occasion.

http://www.lrbaggs.com/html/products/systems_ibeam.shtml

Tom


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Backwoodsman
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:52 AM

Tom, the I-Beam would have been my other choice. I decided on the K&K because of price and recommendation, and because I didn't want to have to faff around with a battery clip (or Bagg) inside the guitar. I have to admit that the K&K is slightly susceptible to feedback, although I seldom work at high volumes, so it's hardly a problem.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:34 AM

Tom, I accepted a recommendation to have an I-Beam put in my late wife's Hagstrom J-45 and even if I want to practice amplified at home it won't go loud enough without feedback and the sound is diffuse wooly and unclear. It's an active one with the stealth volume control so it wasn't cheap!

I tried B-bands and they were unreliable, and the only was to get a decent sound out of my Martin OM-1 was very careful off-board blending of the UST and AST(but one goes like the treasures in my mandolin, go figure!)

I used a Shadow powerbridge with a Fishman preamp in my daughter's Sigma and that sounds pretty good.

The Fishman in my borrowed Lamaq sounds rubbish, but the Fishman setups on the Taylors that I looked after for a while for a friend sounded good but a bit electric.

The Schaller bottletops I've tried sound awful AND feed back. The Ashworth stick-on sounds less awful but still not all that and also feeds back a lot.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Zen
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:36 AM

...recommend the I-beam as being the only one that works reliably without feedback, bark, quack, hum or distortion and yet is very easy to install and needs no holes drilled at all

The I-beam is certainly very good but the PUTW that I referenced above is certainly in the same league, if not superior, with similar features. I have tried both and mention the PUTW as it is less well-known (it is a small company)

Zen


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:51 AM

Hi Richard - that's very strange, the I-beam is usually very reliable. There may be two reasons. The first would be some fault in the unit itself, which is unlikely as there's not much to go wrong, just a transducer in a case and the pre-amp (though that could be dodgy - is the power form the battery getting through properly? I don't have any with the volume control, but maybe there could be a crack in the resistor, or perhaps a dry joint?

The second possibility is more likely - that the i-beam is not seated properly on the bridge plate. You could check this by removing it if you wanted to. Do you have the special jig that comes with it? For locating the i-beam under the bridge? And do you have some spare double-sided tape? (It has to be the stuff they supply I think - normal tape is not sticky enough). If so you should be able to take out the i-beam by rocking it very gently until it comes loose. Then remove the tape, apply new and re-fit. Does the Hagstrom have a peg bridge (sorry, not familiar with that model)? I-beams can be fitted to floating bridge guitars (and Richard Bridge guitars, obviously), but they're much harder to fit, as you can't apply force to the jig by heaving on the bolts through the peg holes, to seat it firmly on the bridge plate. The other issues might be a bridge plate that's not completely planed flat, or one that's too small for the i-beam - it has to make good contact along its full length.

The I-beam is so clever because, being a transducer, it faithfully reproduces the vibrations of the sound board without the feedback issues associated with open mics (which amplify the sound travelling through air), or the thickness of magnetic pick-ups, or the lack of contact of 'contact' bugs - yet because it's not trapped between bridge and saddle it doesn't bark or quack, is not prone to damage through compression, and also does not interrupt the transmission of vibrations from string to saddle to bridge to soundbaord (top).

It sounds to be like yours needs looking at.

Tom


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 01:25 PM

"I'd be interested in any future comments that address the problem of plugging in without drastically changing the mellow sound of a high-quality wooden box."


That IS the Holy Grail of amplified acoustic-electrics, PoppaGator. We all want to be able to produce that beautiful acoustic sound we're used to in our homes, only louder... as loud as we can get for the situation. Trouble is, there is no one solution. Every guitar is different.

The best alternative is to play infront of a condenser mic. But that presents problems, especially feedback and positioning concerns. And it doesn't always work. When it does though, you can't beat it.

Best plugged-in acoustic guitar I ever heard was a Martin played by Ian Tamblyn. I asked him how he got that sound. He used a hypercardioid mic mounted on the inside back of the guitar. Said he learned about it from Neil Young.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Nick
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 01:26 PM

I have a Fishman Neo-D (cheaper than the Rare Earth) which sounds OK but I can't say I really like the sound of acoustics with pickups generally. But it sounds a bit like an acoustic guitar in the clip further down this. Richard's heard this before I know and didn't go 'ohmigod that guitar sounds like shoite' - but he might just have been being polite :)

It makes a noise a bit like this: Tune : and that's plugged straight into the PA. It needs a pretty high setting on the amp so I presume it could really do with some sort of preamp (suggestions?); guy I play with has a Martin with nice onboard electrics which sounds good.

When I saw John Etheridge play recently with Sweet Chorus his guitar seemed to be an interesting combination and had a nice sound. I think it had a combination of onboard electrics and a mic (which looked a bit like one of those ones that people clip to their tie) which was attached to the soundboard of the guitar a distance from the soundhole. The sound was good.

Dougie Maclean I recall from his website did something a little similar and on his live album I think the guitar sounds good.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Cluin
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 01:37 PM

Yep. Dougie uses a sony Lavalier mini-mic mounted on a wire hanger thingy which holds the mic out in front of the soundhole. He gets a great sound out of it too. And he switches it easily between guitars.

I think it would take some getting used to. It looks like it would be in the way when you're strumming. But I've never seen that he hits it. You can bet I would.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: dwditty
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 05:15 PM

I have used the Fishman Rare - both the one with the internal condesor mic and with out. Excellent sound in the studio, but not particularly well suited for live performance, as you often need to cut the mic off to prevent feedback. I started using the LR Baggs M1 Active for live gigs, and it is great. I almost always get compliments from the sound guys. The volume control comes in very handy, particularly when playing with others. The Rare Earth and the Baggs run about $250 US I think.

I would avoid the Dean Markley Woody - it makes the guitar louder, which can serve a purpose - particularly at a very low price, but it really changes the sound completely.

dw


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Betsy
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:20 PM

Fishman is as good as anything , Soundmen don't seem to have a problem with them- battery needs to be changed though though so carry a spare !


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:24 PM

Thank you for the ideas Tom. I will take them up with Brian Rodgers (who is a well respected guitar tech and who recommended and fitted the i-Beam) when I get a chance.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,Stringsinger
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 07:51 PM

I use a Rare Earth boosted by a Sunrise Pre-Amp along with a standard mic on a stand.
This is good for solo work or small combos of instruments. In an electric band, this wouldn'
t work.

Frank


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:11 PM

I have k and k's fitted in two faith Jupiters and they have been pretty good. I got them fitted by Alan Marshall though - he of Northworthy guitars and he knows a lot about guitars.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: van lingle
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 08:49 PM

Seymour Duncan Perfect Timbre is the best pickup I've used. It super glues to your bridge plate, has an onboard preamp attached to the neck block and puts out very natural sound at reasonable volume levels without feedback (I always use a sound hole cover). I've been using it in my old Lowden for about 12 years and never had a problem with it. I've heard it out in the audience a number of times and it always sounds like a good acoustic guitar. I think it costs about $125 nowadays.Good luck.
(I did use a Sony lapel mic once on a local TV show before a small audience in a studio and the sound quality was amazing.)


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: mattkeen
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 05:06 AM

Unfortunately its still really a question of getting a sound that is OK and not horrible.
None of them produce a really good natural sound.
I have settled on a hIghlander under saddle + omni mic blender rig.
Its ok

Best sound I heard in recent years is Chris Wood using a mini OMNI DPA mic clipped near the bridge of hos Oddy guitar - I can't afford another £400 experiement though!

PS The DPA's are the same as the little mics sports presenters sometimes have taped to their faces


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 02:40 PM

Following TB's helpful suggestions above, I planned to take the Hag to Brian. Today I picked her up, and the I-Beam did pendulum impersonation on the internal lead!

A quick trip to Brian later and I now have a nice sound and reasonable volume too. Consider me re-converted to the I-Beam, and if you want more volume you can always try the I-mix.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 03:59 PM

I have a limited edition Martin XC1T which, when I bought it a year ago, was factory-fitted with a Fishman Ellipse internal mic/underbridge piezo system. At several points in the last year, I kept getting a crackle from the piezo - sometimes when I just tapped the bridge area.

Having finally got pissed off with this, I took i into my local guitar emporium last week to be looked at by Graham Wheeler who, many years ago, did setups and similar work for Clapton and Andy Summers. Graham removed the Fishman and pronounced (a) the motherboard to be crap and (b) the under-bridge fitting was inadequate.

Having tried several electro-acoustic guitars in the shop - and wanting an acoustic sound, but loud, I plumped for the Baggs I-Beam.

* It gave me the acoustic quality I require (for playing in our ceilidh band)
* It's loud
* It has a volume control inside the soundhole (just like the Fishman)
* It fits the existing guitar with no drilling

I collect it on Saturday and will gig it on Saturday evening


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:09 PM

There are some great pickups on the market these days. I would avoid the mics because they can be difficult to manage.

They each have their advantages - the under saddles can be best compromise; good sound (if somewhat "quacky" as reported above) the I-Beam can beautiful, especially if blended with an under-saddle (LR Baggs makes a beauty like this) and I love the sound of the sound-hole magnetic pickups - but they DO sound electric (no surprise). A lot of fine finger style guitarists blend the magnetic pick-up with a floor mounted mic (for the highs) and this can produce a lovely sound.

BUT - having said that, the best modest price solution that works well on most guitars and is a pretty mature (well developed) product would the under saddle types from; PickUpTheWorld, Fishman or from LR Baggs. I've used all three of these and all three of these companies have a variety of excellent products.

I am especially fond of the LR Baggs i Beam and under-saddle blend. It's cheap, versatile, easy to use and has a truly remarkable sound.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 04:11 PM

Sounds like I'm in agreement with Richard Bridge.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 18 Dec 08 - 05:07 PM

Except that, being a poor lawyer, I don't call it "cheap"!


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: JedMarum
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 12:57 PM

LOL - well I don't actually find it cheap! I guess I'd hate to have to buy one right now - the ones I am using were built into the guitars. BUT I am considering upgrading the under saddle in my Jumbo (which sounds fine) to the I-Beam blend, like I have in my Dreadnought. But price is keeping me from making that step, since the Jumbo pickup works OK as is.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 19 Dec 08 - 03:42 PM

I recently sent an inquiry on behalf of a friend to Steve at Jammit Music (worth exploring this site, BTW) in Brantford, Ontario. My friend was looking for a budget pickup for his Simon & Patrick 12-string. Here's the reply in case it's relevant to the current situation:

I've got a decent Schatten Duallie pickup starting at about $60. Installation alone for a 12-string, 'cause they always need work, will run you around $50 plus strings. It's all about correct internal placement with pickups, especially economy models. Other mid-level products, Martin, EPM, Schatten, L.R.Baggs, that have a good balance of sound and price run from $149.95 to $189.95 installed, though it might be an extra $5 or $10 for the 12-string material costs.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Will Fly
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 07:13 AM

I picked up the Martin this morning - fitted with its new Baggs I-Beam (replacement for the old Fishman Ellipse) - and just had to give it a blast in the shop before bringing it home. Great sound. With no EQ set on the amp, it gave an excellent acoustic sound, and I could drive it up to a gigasquillion watts if I wanted to (though I don't).

Looking at the Fishman out of the guitar, it actually appears quite cheap and nasty, and techie Graham was not impressed with it. Price for the Baggs? £150 - though I got a decent discount from John, my friendly shop owner...


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: mrmoe
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 08:37 AM

I have installed K&K westerns in both a Gallagher and a Larrivee....they seem vastly superior to any under saddle pick ups I've used....none of that "ust quack"....they're passive, but have a reasonably high output....


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 02:25 PM

I thought K&K were stickons, not undersaddles.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 20 Dec 08 - 03:20 PM

K and K are like five little contact mikes, you might put one of the contacts in the area of the bridge.

I think they see where is best with blu-tak and then superglue it in - so there is very close contact with the wood.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: GUEST,BILL
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 11:47 AM

HAVE TAKEN BRIDGE APART ON MY TAKAMINE G IN ORDER TO LOWER ACTION A LITTLE.CAN SOMEONE TELL ME POSITION OF THE 3 STRIPS IN BRIDGE AS FELL OUT WHILE TAKING APART.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Stringsinger
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 01:01 PM

Hey, you're not going to get a natural sounding guitar sound with a pickup period. The best result is a good condenser mic that reads the signal from the outside of the instrument which is the sound the guitar makers had intended for an acoustic instrument.

Otherwise, there are trade-offs. I can tell when someone is playing acoustic with a pick-up.
There is a kind of snap that they get when playing at high levels. I hear it on Pat Donahue's guitar on the Prairie Home Companion. I find it disconcerting.

This whole electronic mess is completely overdone and misleading. Electronic is electronic.
I have not heard an acoustic instrument played as it was intended to sound with any pickup including Schertler, Seymour Duncan, piezo, magnetic, tack-ons or even built in mics.

Even Joe Pass recorded an album with his unamplifed arch top guitar because he was going for the natural sound of the instrument.

Go with a high-end condenser for the best results.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 30 Dec 08 - 04:30 PM

Hi Bill

Are you talking about the white bone bits (saddles) or the flat strips underneath them?

There will be one white bit with a rounded end that is lower than the others. That should fit the treble side of the saddle slot.

The other two bits will go in the longer slot, the rounded ends at the end, and the lower one in the middle and the tallest one on the bass side.

If they fell out they are too loose. Shimming them to fit just right is a specialist job. Luthier. I recommend Brian Rodgers in Walderslade, Kent.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: cptsnapper
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 09:21 AM

Amongst other work that he's done to it I've recently had a Fishman passive pickup fitted to my Thornbory guitar by Richard Bartram & I must say that I'm delighted with the result. But what's sauce for the goose etc. etc.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: oombanjo
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 01:24 PM

I took my Docherty ooo Brazilian over Electro music and asked Stewart if the guitar were his what would he put in it. He said that it would be a Highlander iP-1 as this is what Martin Simpson uses in his Sobel and he likes that sound.


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Subject: RE: Acoustic Guitar Pickup
From: Sandy Mc Lean
Date: 20 Jan 09 - 11:54 PM

I use a Schaller Western II, a dynamic three mode soundholer with a volume control. I think it's about as good as any soundhole pickup that I've tried.

Schaller


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