Soundhole pickup suggestions

Discussion in 'Acoustic Instruments' started by tom grossheider, Aug 23, 2005.


  1. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Member

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    Trying to use a 70s Gibson J55 in a church setting and want to go direct with a soundhole pickup. Currently using a wireless microphone taped over the soundhole which works great except for the feedback from the monitor. Any recommendations for a good sounding reasonably priced pickup? Thanks.
     
  2. royd

    royd Member

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    The Sunrise is the best but perhaps outside of what you would consider reasonably priced.
    The very best of the lower priced soundhole pickups is the Baggs M1. They are very, very good.
    roy
     
  3. stephenT

    stephenT Silver Supporting Member

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    Plus one one what royd said, Sunrise then M1. The Sunrise works best with the Sunrise buffer box, another $130. Still it is the best out there.
     
  4. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions. A friend is sending a Fishman Rare Earth humbucking pickup to try out. I'll keep the Sunrise in mind too. Appreciate the info!
     
  5. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    It depends what you'll be plugging into.

    Of the cheaper ones, I've tried the Baggs and the Fishman (and older ones like the Seymour Duncan Woody and SA-1).

    If you're going directly to a PA amp with fairly low-impedance inputs (still 1/4" but 'Line' inputs, which most mixers and PA heads have, typically around 50Kohms), you need the Fishman as it's internally preamped. If you're going into an acoustic amp, or anything else with high-impedance inputs (500Kohms or higher), or are using an external preamp or active DI box, the passive ones will work well too.

    Personally I thought the Baggs was more punchy and earthy-sounding, and is quite natural but not quite as 'accurate' as the Fishman, which is clearer and more sparkly, but also very slightly metallic-sounding and artificial.

    I liked the Woody too, but it's in the lo-fi "sounds good but not really like an acoustic guitar" camp.
     
  6. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Member

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    Thanks for the info John. Will be going into a DI box the to a good board with competent sound techs. The Fishman should arrive tomorrow, I'll post how it turns out.
     
  7. LesPaulMan

    LesPaulMan Member

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    I tested a bunch, and decided on the Active version of the Baggs M1.
    It simply sounds great right out of the box.
     
  8. OOG

    OOG Member

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    2 words
    sun rise
     
  9. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Member

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    I'll check out the other suggestions, thanks! The Fishman humbucker sounded really good, especially for the price.
     
  10. dave251

    dave251 Member

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    I've been experimenting with a dual source PASSIVE system(essentially the same system I use in my guitars, except the piezo is oriented a bit differently)...here's three different guitars with it. A magnetic soundhole pickup(narrow humbucker) with a piezo bridge plate transducer.

    http://www.electrocoustic.com/magpi/magpi trio.mp3

    Rhythm guitar is a Washburn EA10 mini jumbo. First lead( after the duet) is a Taylor Big Baby, second an Aria MM20 "Selmer" style. The system brings out the totally seperate personalities of the three guitars.

    These are all plugged directly into the 1/4" input of my DAW....no eq or compression was used...a bit of 'verb though.
     
  11. 81Custom

    81Custom Member

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    the best way to amplify an acoustic sound, is with a high quality mike a foot in front of your guitar. All Pups mentioned here sound tinny, in comparrison. an acoustic guitar is designed to project sound, and that's where the best sound can be collected, not at the bridge, nor directly @ the soundhole. These pups will amplify your sound, but at cost to actual tone.
    Yeah... a mike in front of your axe can be annoying.... but it gives the BEST sound.
     
  12. royd

    royd Member

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    81,
    a microphone in front of your guitar can be the most accurate but even that involves issues of placement and the quality of the mike. And that is before feedback issues and the impact that using a stationary mike has on your playing and performing style are added into the mix. The reality is that all amplification of acoustic guitars represent a series of trade-offs between accuracy, complexity, cost, and feedback resistance. Each situation, each style, each budget, and each taste comes up with different trade-offs.
    I haven't played with a micophone in front of my guitar since the 70's... and while in recording I use very good condensors, I also still add the sounds of my live rig into the mix as well.
     
  13. tom grossheider

    tom grossheider Member

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    I don't disagree with that approach at all, and as a matter of fact it is my preferred method of achieving the desired sound. However, logistically in a live situation it does not work well (in church standing up in front of a microphone, and I don't stand still) so the other solutions would be the best compromise. Thanks for your thoughts.
     

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