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which pick-up for acoustic guitar?
Old 26th January 2007
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

which pick-up for acoustic guitar?

hi
i want to play my acoustic guit(steel-strings) through my fender.
which pick-up can you recommend?budget 100-150$
i'm looking for that particular old sound...
thanx
gem
Old 26th January 2007
  #2
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scrubs's Avatar
 

What, "particular old sound," are you looking for? Can you point us to a specific recording? In the "old" days, acoustic guitars were mostly miked, even live. The most ubiquitous acoustic pickup is probably the Dean Markley Pro Mag, which is pretty cheap. Not sure if that's the sound you're looking for.
Old 27th January 2007
  #3
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

i want the acoustic guiatr to sound like a mixture
of a acoustic and electric. not to much highs.
slightly distorted...bluesy...

what is an alternative to dean markley pro mag?
Old 1st February 2007
  #4
Old 1st February 2007
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

thats my direction.
thanx
Old 1st February 2007
  #6
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doorknocker's Avatar
I recently bought an L.R Baggs M1 and sold it after using it on one gig. The problem was that I'm pretty much looking for a 'natural' acoustic guitar sound and the only way to get it is to use a mic, no matter what.

The M1 seems to be great for the electric/acoustic thing though and the Lanois clip is very nice.


There are a few things to watch out for though:

- The M1 is very sensitive and picks up not only the sound of the strings but also any percussive effects. If you hit the pickup with your fingers/picks/strings it will pop in a very annoying way. This may or may not be a problem depending on your playing technique.

- The M1 has a lot of hi-end, so if you don't want that in your sound then you need to use some serious EQ. I tried the M1 with my Gibson LG-2 thru a AER acoustic guitar amp and the sound was VERY piercing and glassy. But the LG-2 has an almost banjo-like (in a good way) hi-end anyway so it might be less pronounced on other guitars.

- The M1 works great when you install it with the supplied endpin jack. You can also use it with the supplied Mogami cable without doing any modifications to your guitar (like Mr. Lanois does on his J-200 in the clip) but since the cable plugs in on the bass-string end of the PU you need to either take off the strings to plug/unplug it or else be stuck with a 'cable tail' that is coming out of the soundhole.

- Of all the systems I've tried over the years, I still liked the Highlander one the best. Actually I might tyr that one again on my LG-2 some day.
Old 1st February 2007
  #7
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

hi doorknocker,
have you had an active version?
they say it picks up more sound from the body.

what is your alternative pick if you would use one.?
Old 1st February 2007
  #8
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woomanmoomin's Avatar
 

You could get nice smooth bluesy distortion with a P90 type single-coil pickup mounted across the soundhole. Maybe combine that with a piezo contact transducer with a decent output level and mix the signals together at your amp or in your deck. (The classic transducer would probably be the Barcus Berry Hot Dot, but I think there are newer ones with much better output.)
Old 1st February 2007
  #9
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doorknocker's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by gem View Post
hi doorknocker,
have you had an active version?
they say it picks up more sound from the body.

what is your alternative pick if you would use one.?

Hi gem,

I had the passive version of the M1 and a Baggs Para DI too. Again, I didn't spend too much time fiddling with the setup, it was more a gut-level reaction of 'No, that's not the sound I'm looking for'.

I think the P-90 type PU that was mentioned would be a great idea, especially if you're looking for a bluesier, warmer sound.
Old 1st February 2007
  #10
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doorknocker View Post
Hi gem,

I had the passive version of the M1 and a Baggs Para DI too. Again, I didn't spend too much time fiddling with the setup, it was more a gut-level reaction of 'No, that's not the sound I'm looking for'.

I think the P-90 type PU that was mentioned would be a great idea, especially if you're looking for a bluesier, warmer sound.

can i buy just any p90 or is it a special version with cabeling and soundhole
version?
Old 1st February 2007
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

As far as acoustic tones, I had good results with the Fishman Rare Earth Blend. It's a combination sound hole magnetic pickup and microphone. Cost's more than $150 though.

Link

http://www.fishman.com/products/details.asp?id=46
Old 2nd February 2007
  #12
Gear Head
 
heylow's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by gem View Post
i want the acoustic guiatr to sound like a mixture
of a acoustic and electric. not to much highs.
slightly distorted...bluesy...

what is an alternative to dean markley pro mag?

Seriously....try the DiMarzio DP139 Acoustic Reference. It's a really great pickup....very flattering in a pseudo-jazz blues kinda way....super warm but very defined. Made to sound good with "acoustic" strings...bronze/phoshpor bronze. The pole pieces are all adjustable for a custom sound.

You can kinda hear it here.

I have a Sunrise that I use in another guitar but there is something really cool about the DP139 that I have not heard another pickup do. For what you described above, I can't really see you going wrong with it.

They might be a little tough to find but I just ordered a second one from here for $85.00.

Good luck...hope this helps.


heylow
Old 2nd February 2007
  #13
Gear Maniac
 
gem's Avatar
 

thanx man great site.
dimarzio sounds nice.






Quote:
Originally Posted by heylow View Post
Seriously....try the DiMarzio DP139 Acoustic Reference. It's a really great pickup....very flattering in a pseudo-jazz blues kinda way....super warm but very defined. Made to sound good with "acoustic" strings...bronze/phoshpor bronze. The pole pieces are all adjustable for a custom sound.

You can kinda hear it here.

I have a Sunrise that I use in another guitar but there is something really cool about the DP139 that I have not heard another pickup do. For what you described above, I can't really see you going wrong with it.

They might be a little tough to find but I just ordered a second one from here for $85.00.

Good luck...hope this helps.


heylow
Old 2nd February 2007
  #14
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woomanmoomin's Avatar
 

All depends what you want. Fishman Blendy stuff is great... Di Marzio too, I expect... by I'm not sure there's anything to beat a P90 for bluesy grit, because of the way it attenuates the trebles. It's not too hi-fi to be sexy, that is.

Anyhow, I'm guessing that just about whatever you choose, you're gonna need someone to install the thing, so ask their advice. You should be able to get a P90 mounted on a steel plate across the soundhole pretty easily. I don't know of any P90s ready-mounted to be screwed into or onto acoustics, but there probably are some, as I've seen a few production semi-acoustics around with P90s (e.g. resonators designed for bottleneck/slide/blues).

The beauty of the P90 option is that you can also have a transducer at the bridge, so you can mix between them and more or less do anything from pure hi-fi transducer acoustic to Chicago-ish electric blues. I know the Fishman option is also a very flexible one, for similar reasons, but it sure as Hell ain't made for dirt. It's a world-beater at different shades of hi-fi. I think the blend is between mic and transducer, both very high-quality. Don't know about the Di Marzio, but if you really want grit as part of the package, I still suggest you at least ask around about getting a P90 fitted. They are the bomb. I want their babies.
Old 5th February 2007
  #15
Gear Addict
 
joninc's Avatar
 

props for the rare earth series - i have the humbucker one in my acoustic (took out the highlander) and i love. i play through fender amps a lot and even DI'd i prefer it to piezo/bridge ones. got mine used for $175 i think. a few of my buds have the single coil version which also sounds great.

i have noticed over the years that it really does have a lot to do with technique and style tho. players who strum with a light touch seem to fair a lot better with bridge p/u than those of us who like to dig in. you'll get more definition in the top end on a bridge p/u but it can get harsh fast so you have to play really light. the soundhole p/u are smoother and more foregiving. they are more electric sounding and vibey.

the sunrise w/ their pre also sounds great.
Old 5th February 2007
  #16
Here for the gear
 

B-Band UST or A2.2 XOM

I use B-band UST (under saddle transducer). It's a ultra thin tranducer film and the install requires no soldering and usually no adjustment of the saddle because it is such a thin film. I love the way they sound... not too tingy like most under the saddle pick ups.

you can also get the AST (acoustic soundboard transducer) and use that as a stand alone or cross over mix (A2.2 XOM) with the UST. The two blended together is an incredible acoustic sound without using a microphone... the AST gives you a lot of top end.

That said, the UST alone is great.
Old 11th March 2007
  #17
Lives for gear
 
Mike Jasper's Avatar
I play a lot of open mics. I shouldn't, but I like it. Three songs and out. My kind of performance.

I've been using The Element by Baggs. It isn't a natural sound, it's a percussive cut-through-the-crowd sound. Works for me.

As for natural pickups, my buddy has Sunrises on his Gurian guitars and they sound great.

Jasper
Old 11th March 2007
  #18
Gear Guru
 
FFTT's Avatar
 

I've heard good things about the original Sunshine Pickup, but have no idea which model that might be these days.

A mic is always the most accurate if you can control feedback.
Old 8th April 2007
  #19
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midnightsun's Avatar
 

Sunrise Pickup

Sunrise is a great pickup for an almost electric guitar sound. Then ad a piezo pickup. With a stereo cord you can then blend both pickups for a nice sound at almost any volume in almost any room.
Old 30th June 2009
  #20
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