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Pickups for Acoustic Guitars

Instruments and Gear
JustJeff  
29 Nov 2010 14:07 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
I don't know how many of you know pickups for acoustic guitars but I thought I'd ask.

The sound I'm looking for is a very authentic, full bodied acoustic sound. I don't want a tinny, whiny sound like some pickups produce. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas of where I should look. Money is NOT a concern, so please any suggestions are welcome.

My limited amount of research hasn't really pointed me in any good direction. I just want to add a pickup to my Larrivee so that I can plug in :) I do have to bring it to someone so that I can enlarge the hole to plug in, so that's whhy money is not an issue.

Any help?
macandkanga  
29 Nov 2010 14:48 | Quote
Joined: 03 Oct 2008
United States
Karma: 21
I would start by finding artists recordings that you like and looking into how the acoustic track was recorded. I know that most guitarists that record an acoustic track record in a booth with a mic. I know you're probably not interested in that! But maybe try to google it. Also, try this site: http://www.dougyoungguitar.com/pickuptests/
future_god_of_the_axe  
29 Nov 2010 22:30 | Quote
Joined: 29 Nov 2008
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 4
Your best bet would be a piezo pickup, you can get them at radioshack. you glue them to the inside of your guitar on the sound board close to the bridge. it picks up the vibrations in the wood and turns them into electric symbols/electric sound. for an acoustic with a full sound, i would pick up one with the greatest frequency range/Hz they have. The sound also depends on where you place the piezo, so i would suggest pressing it on the outside of the guitar until you find the sweet spot. another cool thing is that they're cheap (like under ten bucks), so if you end up not liking it, you can just scrap it.
JustJeff  
30 Nov 2010 08:29 | Quote
Joined: way back
United States
Lessons: 2
Karma: 21
Thanks future_god_of_the_axe and macandkanga

After listening to some of those recordings, I've gravitated towards the K&K pickups, but I don't know what the difference is between an active and a passive system. Is that the same as the difference between active and passive electronic components?

How much do you think I'll be charged for getting a pickup installed, if they have to readjust the size of the hole for the pickup plug?

oh and just a reminder, this will most likely be for a solo situation... since I don't really play that often with other people. So it doesn't need to be a super strong pickup that will stand up to the bass and drums, just something that will amplify the sound so that it is louder.
Phip  
30 Nov 2010 10:14 | Quote
Joined: 23 Dec 2007
United States
Lessons: 1
Karma: 45
Moderator
Hey Jeff,
I just googled the K&K pickups. Very interesting!
Ok, first to the difference between active and passive.
Active is powered (battery) and has a preamp and volume and phase controls. You will have (IMO) more control over the eventual sound with an active system.
Passive means no powered components. This system would take the natural sound from within the belly of the guitar and pass it to your amp. (question....what if it does not provide a strong enough output to your amp? in this case you'd then have to add a preamp to the thing and so would have been better off with the active system). I saw that they have a tapered adaptor for the passive system that would fit right into your existing pin hole. As far as cost, well, I suppose that is going to vary. You might be able to do it yourself (you are studying engineering aren't you?). If you decide to pay someone make sure you get someone who has done this type of thing many times. You don't want someone in there guessing.
Phip


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