Pickups for acoustics - advice?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Melted Wing, May 4, 2015.

  1. Melted Wing

    Melted Wing Member

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    Hey, got a couple of questions about acoustic guitar pickups. It's something I've only recently considering doing, always used electrics before, or electro acoustics on occasion.

    I'm into exploring different guitar sounds, textures and playing styles, and recently thought about using an electro acoustic with lots of fuzz in a grungy band I play guitar for. The band is pretty heavy, a lot of which comes from a huge bass sound, but I still tend to play heavy - I currently play mostly with an LTD baritone with lots of fuzz and an octave effect.

    But then I developed the idea a little and thought about using a battered old acoustic and buying pick ups for it.

    I wondered, what are the "heaviest" sounding pickups you can buy for acoustics? I'm talking about the ones you strap to the guitar like a capo. I've often used emgs for standard electrics and that's always done the trick. Are the emgs designed for acoustics the same kinda thing? I know I will substitute some of the heaviness I now achieve, but I wanted it to remain as heavy as possibly, while keeping the twangyness of an old acoustic.

    And I am going with old, knackered acoustics, at least for now. Just an idea that's been floating around in my head.

    Hope you can give me some advice, this is new territory for me.

    Thanks
     
  2. kludge

    kludge The droid you're looking for

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    If you're trying to play acoustic guitar with any amount of gain, feedback will be your mortal enemy. You can work around it, but keep it in mind.

    A magnetic pickup is probably what you're looking for. At the cheap end, a Duncan Woody would probably do the trick (and would be the place to start experimenting). At the expensive end, a Sunrise would probably be awesome. I'd steer away from the Baggs M1, even though I love them and use them myself, because they pick up a lot of surface/top noise that would be hard with gain and probably aren't as feedback-resistant. I think there's a Fishman magnetic that has a good reputation for sounding like a Sunrise, but I haven't tried it... maybe someone else can chime in.
     
  3. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    A friend of mine uses one of those Lace humbuckers you stick on top of the guitar (it's actually intended for Dobro) quite sucessfully for getting "electric" tones with an "acoustic" guitar - he's actually a member here - post your question on the Alt.Country mega-thread in the effects section here, he's on there all the time...

    http://www.thegearpage.net/board/showthread.php?t=1557699&page=46
     
  4. Melted Wing

    Melted Wing Member

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    RomanS - Thanks for that, but I would actually like to keep the acoustic tone, just fuzz it up with a load of gain. But I was imagining humbuckers would be good to give the sound more thickness.

    kludge - Thanks, I will check out your suggestions. I very often use feedback intentionally, but also have learned to tame it, I guess it will just mean tweaking things a little to work for this sound.
     
  5. ASATlove

    ASATlove Supporting Member

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    For Acurate acoustic sound, but something able to fuzz it up a bit, I would go with the K&K western mini. It is a little tricky to install, but gives a balanced sound as the passive "pickups" attach to the underside of the bridge. This tends to have see of an effect on how the top of the guitar moves and still allows to play unplugged. Add the preamp and the fuzz will grow thick.mcheck it out....
     
  6. RomanS

    RomanS Member

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    Actually, that's what my friend does - he's using the "regular" undersaddle pickup for acoustic tones, and the stick-on humbucker for electric ones, and he has pedalboard wired up so that he can seamlessly blend between those tones...

    He did a video where he explains his rig:



    EDIT: Actually, I forgot - in his new guitar he doesn't use the Lace stick-on humbucker, but some Fishman soundhole pickup - here's an older video with the humbucker:

     
  7. Steve Hotra

    Steve Hotra Silver Supporting Member

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    I use a K and K pure mini western and have run it though some OD pedals
    (Wampler Paisley and Sarno Earth Drive)
    It can work, and yet get some amazing incredible acoustic guitar tone.
     
  8. Melted Wing

    Melted Wing Member

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    Cool, thanks for all the advice guys.

    I'll let you know how I get on and probably return for opinions.
     

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