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EQ settings for acoustic guitar through electric amp
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deathletter
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#1
1st March 2012
Old 1st March 2012
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EQ settings for acoustic guitar through electric amp

I know it's not ideal, but it's the setup I'm working with right now. My acoustic-electric guitar (Takamine EG530SSC) has an onboard EQ, and my amp (Ampeg R212R) has a 3-band EQ. I also have a 7-band EQ pedal.

Wondering what the best EQ settings would be to reproduce the acoustic sound best... could even use tips on just getting nice or interesting sounds out of this in general.
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1st March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathletter View Post
I know it's not ideal, but it's the setup I'm working with right now. My acoustic-electric guitar (Takamine EG530SSC) has an onboard EQ, and my amp (Ampeg R212R) has a 3-band EQ. I also have a 7-band EQ pedal.

Wondering what the best EQ settings would be to reproduce the acoustic sound best... could even use tips on just getting nice or interesting sounds out of this in general.
This is impossible for anyone to say, all pickups sound slightly different on different guitars. The best advice is to plug it in, and fiddle until it sounds good to you.
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2nd March 2012
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Do you have the means to record and playback?

Record a track of your guitar with a microphone.
Then record your pickup playing the same thing.

A/B them while fiddling with EQ (onboard and with your pedal) on the pickup sound until you've got the closest match possible. Since you can't listen to the recorded pickup and adjust the EQ at the same time try to rough it in with headphones before tracking, then compare the recorded versions, make tweeks, re-record, make more tweeks, etc.

But be aware that a piezo pickup does NOT sound like an acoustic guitar. It sounds like an angry hornet. So really, try to make it as inoffensive as possible.

If you are playing with a bass player or if you can't control open low E and A strings then roll off a little extra bass.
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2nd March 2012
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Originally Posted by M4-10 View Post
But be aware that a piezo pickup does NOT sound like an acoustic guitar. It sounds like an angry hornet. So really, try to make it as inoffensive as possible.
Given that, which is something through experimenting is (sadly) dawning on me, would you recommend electrifying my acoustic a different way? Say, with a nice mic + preamp, DI Box, or a soundhole pickup? Bearing in mind that I want to experiment with my various electric guitar effects pedals on my acoustic.
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2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathletter View Post
Given that, which is something through experimenting is (sadly) dawning on me, would you recommend electrifying my acoustic a different way? Say, with a nice mic + preamp, DI Box, or a soundhole pickup? Bearing in mind that I want to experiment with my various electric guitar effects pedals on my acoustic.
Though I am not a fan of Takamine guitars in general, their pick-up's are generally pretty fair, finding something better is a long process of trial and error, mic's are not a good option, particularly if you are using compression on the amp sound or playing live. You must have a friend or aquaintance who is a good guitarist, I would get them to help you set-up a decent sound.
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2nd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathletter View Post
Given that, which is something through experimenting is (sadly) dawning on me, would you recommend electrifying my acoustic a different way? Say, with a nice mic + preamp, DI Box, or a soundhole pickup? Bearing in mind that I want to experiment with my various electric guitar effects pedals on my acoustic.
You can actually have some success with effects on an acoustic's piezo pickup. As I've heard said, "If you don't like a sound you can either fix it or break it more."

I personally use a K&K Trinity pickup, which has a condenser mic and some undersaddle transducers. You can blend the two signals with the outboard preamp, or keep them separate.

The undersaddle transducers sound a little better than a piezo and like a piezo are nearly immune to feedback (unless you're doing it wrong). The microphone sounds like the actual guitar but is prone to feedback. To dial in the blend I like (about 70% mic, 30% pickup) requires some attention including low stage volume and possibly in ear monitoring or graphic EQ for the monitors (and for the mains if it has to be pretty loud). Not exactly plug and play. If I need louder I turn down the mic and turn up the pickup. In a bigger set up if I keep the signals separate until the mixer then I can put a mic heavy blend in the main PA and a transducer heavy signal in the monitors to get good sound for the audience and good volume in the monitors without feedback.

I also love to play on an SM57, but it also requires low stage volume, good guitar volume (no gentle fingerpicking) and possibly some monitoring tricks. Not appropriate for all situations. Look up Gillian Welch and David Rawlings live to see how it's done. Similar to the split signal I mentioned above, putting the mic in the PA and piezo into a monitor (or guitar amp) is a good hybrid method to get good tone and adequate monitoring.

If fidelity to your guitar is what you care about then nothing but a microphone will do (no matter what the advertisers of so-called "acoustic amps" say). How can a pickup that has nothing to do with the wood of the guitar's body truthfully claim otherwise?
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3rd March 2012
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I've heard great live guitar sound (through the PA... not through an electric guitar amp) on acoustic (bluegrass/alt-country band) where a ATM35 (a slightly large lavaliere-type element) was put in a tight-fitting, small foam sock and dropped into a Martin dreadnought through the top of the sound hole, suspended by the piece of gaff tape holding the wire to the top of the guitar. It looked a tad funky, but once it was EQ'd at the board, it was a sweet, hot acoustic sound.

Since you're wanting to run through pedals and other things (like a guitar amp) which are largely designed to distort the signal hitting them (pedals), or to "be" the sound of the signal hitting them (guitar amp), why not do a contact pickup (or use a Taylor, Takamine, Larrivee or other electro/acoustic guitar purpose-built for direct amplification), plug up, and find sound(s) you like. Back in the '60s I used to play a trombone through a high-impedence mic run through a fuzz/wah pedal and a Kustom naugahyde-covered guitar amp of some sort. I didn't do it for long (Reverend Dad wasn't into letting me sample rock'n'roll life, just then) but it got some crazy sounds.

My predilection tends toward a DPA 4061 gaff taped about 2" into the sound hole of a nice-sounding acoustic. Unless the stage volume level is nutty-hot, it pretty much amplifies what the instrument sounds like with pretty decent clarity and precision.
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3rd March 2012
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DPA 4099 for guitar is pretty good for live application.. If the stage is noisy I tend to use the pickup as well (blended with the dpa or any other mic on the gtr, usually a sdc or if avalaible a Milab DC-96B).
Another pickup system that sounds good (way better than piezo btw) is the Schertler.. Where you place it on the gtr has a big influence on the sound, but you could add this to any non-pickedup gtr..

I hope this helps,

Cheu
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3rd March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cheu78 View Post
DPA 4099 for guitar is pretty good for live application.. If the stage is noisy I tend to use the pickup as well (blended with the dpa or any other mic on the gtr, usually a sdc or if avalaible a Milab DC-96B).
Another pickup system that sounds good (way better than piezo btw) is the Schertler.. Where you place it on the gtr has a big influence on the sound, but you could add this to any non-pickedup gtr..

I hope this helps,

Cheu
I got to use the DPA 4099 for the first time last week, and it really is great. Compared with a good quality SDC it was very similar. I can't comment on it's feedback rejection qualities as this wasn't live, i'll have to check that out another time.

The guitarist (who owned the 4099 but hadn't used it before) liked the sound of it, however, he did comment that as good as the mount was, he didn't feel it would stay put unless he was reasonably careful, certainley not for diving around the stage.
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3rd March 2012
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DPA did a good job regarding feedback rejection (at least IMO), but if a stage is loud a pickup will be needed..
Actually what I do is using the pickup for sending the signal in the monitors, If the stage is really quiet I just use the mic..
For the mount I actually used it on a jazz doublebass and on a jazz gtr so not much movement was involved, so I can't comment..



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4th March 2012
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My suggestion would be to get an active DI like an LR Baggs Para DI or a Fishman Pro EQ. Spending some time working with the sound of the pickup through one of those fully adjustable DI's can make the guitar sound great.

In addition, using a nice small condenser mic for leads can also work well. I see a lot of acoustic guitar players and the LR Baggs unit seems to be the unit of choice for many of them. Blending in a nice condenser mic can create a very nice full acoustic sound.

I have never heard an acoustic guitar through an amp that sounded "real"..
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5th March 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deathletter View Post
I know it's not ideal, but it's the setup I'm working with right now. My acoustic-electric guitar (Takamine EG530SSC) has an onboard EQ, and my amp (Ampeg R212R) has a 3-band EQ. I also have a 7-band EQ pedal.

Wondering what the best EQ settings would be to reproduce the acoustic sound best... could even use tips on just getting nice or interesting sounds out of this in general.
Myself.. I would set the Tak's and amp's EQs flat.. then Use the 7-band EQ pedal to try and dial in an acceptable sound (keeping in mind the inherent quackiness of the piezo PU, as other folks have pointed out). I would start by rolling off some of the bottom.. then hunt for the most obnoxious midrange tones and notch them out... then finally add a touch of high end for some sparkle. YMMV of course and these all of course would just be a starting point
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