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What are some really good sounding acoustic guitar pick up system?
Old 23rd June 2019
  #1
What are some really good sounding acoustic guitar pick up system?

I've always been frustrated trying to get a good live acoustic guitar sound and I have invested many hundreds of $ thru the years and still have never been happy with the sound. So, here I go again trying to improve things. Can somebody recommend 3 or four different pick ups or pick up integrated systems etc for a really natural, no hassle, acoustic guitar live sound with minimal feedback risks?
Old 23rd June 2019
  #2
Gear Head
 

The tonedexter is a pretty amazing box. Train it by playing into a decent condenser, then it creates a Tone Map (impulse response) and your pickup sounds like the mic. Feedback is easily controlled.

https://audiosprockets.com/
Old 23rd June 2019
  #3
Lives for gear
 

I’ve never heard a pickup system that sounds like a miked guitar on its own, nor have I liked the internal mics. I suggest using your existing pickup system and plugging into a purpose built processor (by Fishman, Grace, etc...).
Old 25th June 2019
  #4
Gear Head
 

Here's a quick and dirty comparison using a Martin D-15 (the all mahogany one) with old strings, dry signal: tonerite processed "mic" sound, the sound of the pickup only, and the sound of an AT 4051 SDC.

Definitely not scientific, and I am no guitar player, but it should give you an idea of its capabilities. Important to note that I am using firmware optimized for higher range instruments (I use it for fiddle), and that I didn't tweak any settings or EQ. I suspect it would sound better if I used the firmware optimized for guitar, and if I spent more time dialing things in. Nevertheless, it still sounds like a mic instead of pickup.
Attached Files

pickup only.mp3 (622.9 KB, 514 views)

4051.mp3 (622.9 KB, 515 views)

tonerite.mp3 (622.9 KB, 512 views)

Old 25th June 2019
  #5
On the advice of Jeff Severson (one of the world's best finger picking instrumentalists) I've decided to go with a Seymour Duncan Mag Mic. It blends a sound hole magnetic pick up with an omni condenser mic. I'll report back on what I think.
Old 25th June 2019
  #6
Lives for gear
 
mbvoxx's Avatar
Fishman or Baggs
take your pick, they both sound great.
I prefer a plug & play pickup with no Vol or Tone adjustments. Just send the signal to the PA, set & forget.
Old 25th June 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
On the advice of Jeff Severson (one of the world's best finger picking instrumentalists) I've decided to go with a Seymour Duncan Mag Mic. It blends a sound hole magnetic pick up with an omni condenser mic. I'll report back on what I think.
That's certainly a great-sounding one if you don't need rock-band stage volume (and aren't surrounded by a rock band). An you can always kill the mic in a loud situation -- it won't sound as acousticky, but with all that other stuff going on it won't matter as much.

I use a Baggs magnetic -- forget the model -- which has a slightly woody jazzbox sound on its own, but really shines combined with a mic, even your basic 57 or 58.

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 25th June 2019 at 08:04 PM.. Reason: going, not gong
Old 25th June 2019
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob Coates View Post
On the advice of Jeff Severson (one of the world's best finger picking instrumentalists) I've decided to go with a Seymour Duncan Mag Mic. It blends a sound hole magnetic pick up with an omni condenser mic. I'll report back on what I think.
I have a Mag Mic in my '64 Guild D-40. As soundhole pickups go it's really good but it still does have that mag pickup tonality. The controls allow blending the mic in with the pickup, but the pickup remains the dominant source.

OTOH, in my '59 J-200 I have an LR Baggs Anthem system, which, although a bit pricey, is really good. It combines an internal PZM mic for the mids and highs with a special undersaddle piezo for low frequencies only - the two pickups feed a miniature crossover. That way, with the piezo handling lows you don't get the the LF feedback woof that is problematic with other internal mic systems while still getting the tonality of the mic where it counts. Has to be professionally installed. There's a crossover control for the balance between the two pickups and a volume control. The more expensive version also has a polarity control. This is the system chosen by Gibson for their top of the line acoustics. If it's good enough for Emmylou Harris it's good enough for me.
Old 26th June 2019
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 

I just picked up a LR Baggs Lyric and a LR Baggs Venue DI.

I have high hopes for this rig, but I just haven't decided which guitar gets to try it out yet. Have an HD28, a Yairi 9-string, and a couple of older Yairi's to choose from and I am having a difficult time making up my mind which one is gonna' get the goods.
Old 26th June 2019
  #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bstapper View Post
I just picked up a LR Baggs Lyric and a LR Baggs Venue DI.

I have high hopes for this rig, but I just haven't decided which guitar gets to try it out yet. Have an HD28, a Yairi 9-string, and a couple of older Yairi's to choose from and I am having a difficult time making up my mind which one is gonna' get the goods.
The Lyric is more or less the mic part of the Anthem. Should sound good but you may have a pit of a problem with low end feedback.
Old 27th June 2019
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Cole Clark’s 3-way system is the best I’ve personally used, but still open to the idea of something even better.
Old 27th June 2019
  #12
Deleted df98c51
Guest
Seymour Duncan Acoustic Tube SA-1.

The Mag Mic SA-6 is awesome too.
Old 28th June 2019
  #13
Gear Nut
 
weave's Avatar
On my Martin 000-15M I have installed a LR Baggs M1 sound hole pickup. All my other acoustics had transducers installed when I got them.

Except my 1968-ish Gibson B-25. I have a Woody soundhole pickup that I’d like to use (trying to not have to drill holes in the guitar) with it, but I hate the 15 foot cord on it. I have seen gizmos that allow you to put a female jack on a dangler that fits on to your strap button, but I haven’t been able to find one without buying a cheap pickup. Does anyone know where to find these?

Example : Amazon - Amumu NEO-SP30 Passive Neodymium Magnetic Soundhole Pickup for Acoustic Guitar

I have also seen nice leather ones, but that would be even more expensive as I have only seen them packaged with even nicer pickups. Looking for the dangler, but willing to buy the jack too.

Any help would be awesome.

Last edited by weave; 28th June 2019 at 03:37 PM..
Old 28th June 2019
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Bstapper's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by weave View Post
On my Martin 000-15M I have installed a LR Baggs M1 sound hole pickup. All my other acoustics had transducers installed when I got them.

Except my 1968-ish Gibson B-25. I have a Woody soundhole pickup that I’d like to use (trying to not have to drill holes in the guitar) with it, but I hate the 15 foot cord on it. I have seen gizmos that allow you to put a female jack on a dangler that fits on to your strap button, but I haven’t been able to find one without buying a cheap pickup. Does anyone know where to find these?

Example : Amazon - Amumu NEO-SP30 Passive Neodymium Magnetic Soundhole Pickup for Acoustic Guitar

I have also seen nice leather ones, but that would be even more expensive as I have only seen them packaged with even nicer pickups. Looking for the dangler, but willing to buy the jack too.

Any help would be awesome.
The link didn't work - but I suspect any such cabling with a cheap pickup isn't going to last long. There are two main reasons I'm going with the Lyric - only requires the endpin hole, which can easily be fixed and not seen if it ever needed to come out, and the noise canceling nature of the boundary microphone system which is something I have the skill to control in a live setting.

Even if using a soundhole pickup I wouldn't sweat putting an endpin jack on any acoustic. If you ever wanted to revert to a standard endpin it will be a simple task to fill the hole and install the endpin so that you would never know there has been a modification.

I'm vehemently opposed to the whole cut a chunk out of the side of the guitar for a preamp system mojo. One day in the future that is going to be a sad state of affairs that is looked back on unfavorably. I would much rather deal with the hassle of an external preamp than to cut a chunk out of the side of a guitar and replace the wood with a mass of electronics that will be obsolete someday.
Old 29th June 2019
  #15
I use an older B-Band system with a special CMOS Analog Devices opamp fitted. The element is a capacitor, not a piezo crystal. It sounds very natural and no piezo "quack".
Old 2nd July 2019
  #16
Lives for gear
 
Mylithra's Avatar
 

I tried a lot of different systems but the Fishman Aura has been the best sounding thing I could find. I did have to try a lot of different images to find the ones I liked to use live. Its not as good as a mic in front of an acoustic, but its not outboard and cumbersome like the ToneDexter (I have that one too and it was a pain to get dialed in, then having to set it up each time I wanted to use it.) Get a good guy to install it. It has to have a hole cut in the side of the guitar. The guy I had do mine was immaculate (if you live in the San Antonio area and want his name, PM me). Looks factory installed.

It was the best combination of performance and convenience.
Old 5th July 2019
  #17
Just got the guitar back after having the mag mic installed. Woah! What a great acoustic sound! Best I've been able to get so far. A little prone to feedback with a lot of the mic blended in but to my taste, I only need a tiny bit of the mic blended to make it sound very natural.
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