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Guitar soundhole pickups

theleveller 11 Feb 10 - 03:46 AM
Richard Bridge 11 Feb 10 - 04:09 AM
Acorn4 11 Feb 10 - 04:29 AM
Mr Happy 11 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM
Silas 11 Feb 10 - 06:32 AM
mattkeen 11 Feb 10 - 07:14 AM
GUEST,erbert 11 Feb 10 - 07:38 AM
alex s 11 Feb 10 - 09:44 AM
Bernard 11 Feb 10 - 10:04 AM
theleveller 11 Feb 10 - 11:03 AM
Bernard 11 Feb 10 - 11:58 AM
GUEST,Les Harvey 11 Feb 10 - 12:27 PM
dwditty 11 Feb 10 - 12:44 PM
GUEST,Jonny Sunshine 12 Feb 10 - 09:22 AM
GUEST,Johnmc 12 Feb 10 - 01:24 PM
harmonic miner 24 Feb 11 - 06:37 AM
harmonic miner 24 Feb 11 - 06:40 AM
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Subject: Guitar soundhole pickups - opinions
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 03:46 AM

I'm sure this has probably been discussssed before, but with new models coming out I'd like to hear people's experiences.

I'm looking for a soundhole pickup for my new Avalon, for use performing and recording. I have a Seymour Duncan Acoustic Tube on my big Lowden and I'm very happy with that but, unfortunately, it's just too big to fit into the Avalon soundhole. I've considered Dean Markley Pro-Mag but have heard both good and bad reports of it, I've also heard good reports of the K+K Pure Western but it's not easy to find in the UK, I like the sound of the LR Baggs M1 but it's too expensive (I don't want to spend more than £100). So, I've pretty much decided on the DiMarzio Virtual Acoustic at £70.

Any opinions or thoughts would be gratefully received.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:09 AM

I have never yet heard a soundhole pickup (other than a microphone type which of course feeds back like the clappers) that made an acoustic guitar sound even vaguely like an acoustic guitar.

Surely the K&K is a set of little stick-on bugs that go on the inner bridge plate.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Acorn4
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 04:29 AM

I went to a guitar workshop at Gainsborough recently and the person who was running it had bought a pickup off the internet which worked on a sort of sucker pad arrangement that just fitted on the front of the guitar soundboard - it sounded really good and apparently only cost £3.50.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 05:03 AM

I've used the sucker pad thing successfully.

It's really a telephone pickup, I got it from Maplins electronics


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Silas
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 06:32 AM

I use a fishman and it is amazing - you do need a pre-amp though.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: mattkeen
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:14 AM

Rare Earth is ok


I have spent over £1000 on pick ups and different set ups (currentlt use a Highlandr mic and undersaddle set up).
The Highlander is pretty good - but no better than that

I think if I were to do it now I would get a Rare Earth but use a decent mic whenever possible


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: GUEST,erbert
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 07:38 AM

.. this is as good a reminder as any to ask a question that perplexes
me from time to time.

If pickups on electric guitars are conventionaly grounded to a metal part of the bridge
or tailpiece to minimise noise interference [ & risk of elecricution ?].

How is it ok that magnetic pickups can be just be temporarily fixed to the soundholes of acoustic guitars
without any need for similar grounding.

Does that mean, any electric guitar pickup that can be bodged to fit
a soundhole can be used, and the ground wire just taped off;
or even an electric guitar might work just as well if the ground wire to bridge became accidently unattached ?

The main reason I ask this, is I aquired a 'jazz' humbucker that screws to sides of the end of the neck
that I eventually intend fixing to a cheap archback. I'll need to feed the wires through an F hole
and drill in a jackplug, but not sure if I need to
take the humbuckers ground wire and drill another hole to solder it to the metal tailpiece ?

thanks.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: alex s
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 09:44 AM

Many top professionals use Fishman pickups.
I have them on a 000 Martin and an old Guild and I find them to be very effective - but watch out for too much bass.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 10:04 AM

I'd vote for Fishman, too - from the sound engineer's perspective as well as a performer.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: theleveller
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 11:03 AM

Thanks, folks - Fishman it is. Luckily a 'Catter has offered me an excellent second-hand one.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: Bernard
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 11:58 AM

GUEST erbert...

The point of grounding metal parts of an 'electric guitar' is earth bonding, a bit like water or gas pipes in a house. It's not primarily to reduce hum, though it can have that effect by reducing the flow of hum-inducing current.

The reason why you don't do it with an acoustic guitar is because there aren't any metal components likely to be a path to earth.

The danger is an electric current trying to ground itself through you rather than via a more direct path through the amplifier's ground - made worse if you are using a microphone grounded to its amplifier and a separate amplifier for the instrument, each with a 'different potential' (electrically speaking).

You become a capacitor, charge up with current and die!


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: GUEST,Les Harvey
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 12:27 PM

I can vouch for the fact that Bernard has got it spot on.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: dwditty
Date: 11 Feb 10 - 12:44 PM

If you play out live, save up for the Baggs M1 Active. Not only does it sound great (admittedly, no magnetic pickup produces the exact sound of the acoustic guitar, but these certainly do not quack), the volume control is extremely convenient - especially when playing with others.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: GUEST,Jonny Sunshine
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 09:22 AM

I got Fishman Neo-D humbuckers for my guitar and bouzouki recently, and I'm very pleased with the results so far. It's essentially a passive version of the Rare Earth (I prefer to use passive pickups with an external preamp for various reasons), and I'm pleased with the sound - plenty of zing in the top end, and not the clunky middly tones some magnetic pickups give you.

They cost around £70 each. I'd recommend having them wired to an endpin jack rather than the trailing lead they come with.


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: GUEST,Johnmc
Date: 12 Feb 10 - 01:24 PM

I'd like to ask what the main reason is for a preamp - is it to achieve volume or is it to improve tone? If it is loud enough without one, is it necessary ?


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: harmonic miner
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 06:37 AM

The Harmony Soundhole pickups have come a long way and many of them do now make a good imitation of an acoustic guitar sound. I suspect they use different magnets and windings to those on an electric pickup (or maybe I just believe the marketing!). Some of the now-standard undersaddle pickups sound a bit tinny or quacky

Some soundhole pickups like the Sunrise (used by Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson and others) and the Baggs M1 Active also pick up soundboard vibrations rather than just the strings. John Prine uses a Dean Markeley which I think is a purely magnetic one. Seems to use this on one guitar for fingerpicking and it sounded good when I saw him live. I have an Artec MSP50 which is very similar in construction to the single-coil Fishman Neo-D, but a fraction of the price. It sounds not at all bad when picking arpeggios, less so for strumming.

Preamps can increase volume but also match the impedance of pickup to that of the amp. I only vaguely understand what that means except that some pickups won't work so will with some amps withbut a preamp.
User reviews of all pickp types can be found here http://www.harmonycentral.com/user-reviews/


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Subject: RE: Guitar soundhole pickups
From: harmonic miner
Date: 24 Feb 11 - 06:40 AM

Sorry, delete the words ' The Harmony' from first line of my post above!!!


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