Originally Posted by deathletter
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?