Acoustic pickup woes; High E string too soft

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by Cowboy, Sep 29, 2008.

  1. Cowboy

    Cowboy Member

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    Any suggestions? This is on an inexpensive but rather nice Ibanez acoustic-electric guitar with an underbridge pickup that I bought for traveling, but the high E string is so soft amplified, that I may not be able to use it. :warning

    Any ideas/remedies? :confused:

    Thanks!

    Best,
    Cowboy
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2008
  2. texasdave

    texasdave Member

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    others will jump in here in a hurry, but the first and easy things to check for are:

    underside of saddle not flat... find a good straight surface and see if the saddle looks very flat...if it's rounded or lifting up on the high E end, you're probably staring at the problem.

    Second thing I'd look for is sawdust or grit in the slot under the transducer. If you can CARFEULLY lift it out a bit and see what sort of shape the slot is in...

    Those are things you can check at home... if you're not comfortable sanding the bottom of the saddle flat, haul it to a reputable repair guy and let him see the problem... 90% of the time it's a matter of consistent pressure on the transducer...

    Good luck!
     
  3. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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    I'm not sure but I just saw Rusted Root the other night, and they use magnetic sound hole pickups. He even uses overdrive for his acoustic guitar. It was a great live sound. He also had a small rack next to his guitar rig.

    dk
     
  4. dk123123dk

    dk123123dk Member

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  5. jpfeiff

    jpfeiff Member

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    ^^^^What he said^^^^!
     
  6. WailinGuy

    WailinGuy Member

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    I was going to post a new thread, but I did a search and saw this one. I have the opposite problem: I recently purchased a used Martin 000 style cutaway with a Fishman Blender system. I use it with the internal mic completely turned off. The low E is slightly louder than the rest of the strings, no matter how I set the EQ and notch filter sliders. I'd be interested to hear if the culprit is likely to be the same (saddle bottom is not flat and/or slot beneath transducer is not clean).
     
  7. VintageToneGuy

    VintageToneGuy Member

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    I purchased an Alvarez MC90C three weeks ago locally and when I got home I realized that the high e had almost no amplified volume at all. The above suggestions were offered and what I think it was, was that Alvarez uses the same preamp \ pickup system on their acoustics and their classicals. The problem could be that the acoustic bridge slot is a little shorter than a classical and the pickup ribbon probably wasn't under the high e like it should have been.

    Long story short, I took the guitar back and got a refund. Decided that, as much as a new guitar costs, I didn't want to have to mess with repairs right off the start.

    vtg
     
  8. Bob V

    Bob V Member

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    From what I understand undersaddle pickups have changed as far as how finicky they are to install and how carefully you need to locate the hole for the wire (which sets up where the pickup sits along the saddle channel). Older, or first generation, under- saddle transducers were more prone to uneven string to string balance, and the newer ones are supposed to be more consistent. If you had an older one, then sliding the transducer one way or the other along its length will better line up the strings with the six hot spots in the pickups. None of that applies if the pickup was of recent vintage.

    The only other thing to say is that texasdave has already told you what you need to know. Consistent saddle pressure depends on a few things (1) the saddle itself is flat along its bottom edge, and sometimes it can get to be curved a little when sanding it by hand to bring the action down, (2) the saddle slot itself can be uneven where the transducer sits, or (3) the bridge material might be inconsistent in its density, which is why Fishman recommends synthetic saddles (Micarta, Tusq, Corian) rather than natural cow bone. By the way all these things affect the unamplified tone as well, but it's exaggerated when plugged in.

    Hey, every guitar can benefit from a professional setup, so this is probably no exception. Have it looked at, it's probably a simple fix.
     

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