Built in pickup vs mountable pickup on an acoustic

SirSpamAlot

Member
Messages
223
I'm looking to buy an acoustic guitar (mainly looking at the Seagull S6),
and I was wondering if it's worth shelling out the extra money for a version with a pickup in it, or if i'm better off buying some kind of mountable pickup for it instead.
 

phazersonstun

Member
Messages
3,123
I'd go for the electronics built in every time.
After market sound hole mounted removable pickups are magnetic, usually passive & sound much less convincing than a quality built in piezo PU / preamp system.

Another concern for live use with a sound hole PU is feedback.
You can't put a feedback stopper in your sound hole if there is a pickup there.

There is one magnetic sound hole pickup system I've seen that smartly addresses this issue by combining the 2 pieces but its still magnetic & passive.
 

Dereksslide

Member
Messages
3,298
Get whatever guitar you want and then stick a K and K sound Pure Mini in it. Can be removed if you sell the guitar and want to keep it and doesn't tie you in to some ugly black panel on the side that can't be replaced when it breaks.
 

johnh

Member
Messages
4,751
I think that the big advantage of fitting your own pickup is that you can choose the pickup - there are fantastic, very high quality offerings from Baggs, Fishman etc. This is what I did with my Martin 000-18. I disagree with the above poster I'm afraid. The LR Baggs soundhole pickup is one of the most natural sounding acoustic pickups I've ever heard. I've seen many famous pros use them. I picked the Fishman pickup, and again, it sounds fantastic.

The big disadvantage (in my opinion) of fitting your own pickup is that you can't hear in advance exactly what it will sound like. If the pickup is already fitted, then you can audition the guitar in a store and hear exactly what it sounds like through a PA. When fitting your own pickup, there is always a feeling that you won't be exactly sure if the pickup and the guitar compliment each other perfectly until you have the work done.
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
42,304
I have both. Assuming you know how to hear and choose a quality, good sounding unit, my vote is go for the electronics built in and be sure the side mounted preamp includes both a tuner and a notch filter. It makes life simpler. If, on the other hand, you don't trust your hearing and judgment, get a removable pickup. And by the way, these days, even some cheap guitar that aren't much to write home about for their pure acoustic tones can sound pretty damn awesome plugged in.
 

drbob1

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
28,889
The problem with most sound hole pickups is that there's a cord running down the front of the guitar, getting in the way. You CAN install an endpin jack and plug them in internally, but it makes them less portable (you can't really just pull the endpin jack out and return it to stock because you've left a bigger hole behind-unless someone out there makes an endpin with a super large base?) Some of them DO sound incredible, easily as good as under saddle pickups like the LR Baggs Anthem that's becoming somewhat of a standard for touring artists.
 

RTR

Member
Messages
3,513
Get whatever guitar you want and then stick a K and K sound Pure Mini in it. Can be removed if you sell the guitar and want to keep it and doesn't tie you in to some ugly black panel on the side that can't be replaced when it breaks.
This ^^^^ I have one in my Tacoma DF21 and love it, hot enough to go direct in a good PA system too.
 






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