Acoustic Guitar Pickup Guide
An acoustic guitar is a great instrument for those quieter jams and songwriting moments but at some point you may well want to add a dedicated acoustic guitar pickup so that you can easily get amplified.
Amplifying you acoustic guitar can be a lot simpler than you may think - your decision will depend on your budget, style of play and how much modification you may or may not need to your instrument.
There are 3 ways to amplify your acoustic guitar with a pickup – a soundhole pickup, soundboard transducer or an undersaddle transducer.
The soundhole pickup is very easy to install and requires no modification to your guitar – it will simply slot into the soundhole of your guitar. Soundhole pickups are a great option as they are quick to fit, can be relatively cheap, require no modification and can be used in all of your acoustic guitars as they are not ‘hard wired’. Popular models include the Seymour Duncan Woody, Fishman Rare Earth and LR Baggs M1.
A soundboard transducer delivers a very authentic acoustic sound but will require some form of installation. It picks up the sound of the guitar by listening to the vibration of the bridgeplate. The LR Baggs iBeam has proved very popular.
Undersaddle transducers are by far and away the most common type, the pickup is fitted underneath the saddle of the guitar. The sound is picked up via the vibration of the strings through the saddle. The LR Baggs EAS System and Fishman Matrix Infinity are great options.
You can have passive or active style – passive pickups have no internal sound control whilst active types may have a preamp that will warm up the sound and depending the preamp may give you tonal controls like volume, EQ etc. Passive pickups can be used with external preamps to achieve improved amplified results, LR Baggs deliver ideal solutions at varying price points.
Our on-site technician can happily fit all types of pickups whether it be a simple fit or a more in depth modification – feel free to contact us for more info 01279 432900.
By Rob Evans
24th January 2013