And no I do not mean getting the girl, although the sound of an amplified acoustic can be just as effective as any mating call one might discover on National Geographic. I am referring to acoustic pickups that be added into an acoustic guitar after the fact to give you that amplified tone for stage or recording. If it is indeed your goal to woo the opposite sex with your dulcet tones of wood and steel you have a few choices as to how to get the most of your existing guitar.
Fishman has been helping to bring the most out of guitars since the early eighties and their knowledge and respect in the guitar building world, translates over into the products they create. The Fishman Matrix Infinity is a completely redesigned active, end-pin mounted preamp, under saddle pick up combination. The Fishman Matrix Infinity was designed to enhance the sound of any acoustic instrument from Classical to Jumbo. It features a sound-hole mounted rotary control system to control both the volume and tone of the output and has switchable voicing to compliment any style of body size you wish to install the pick up in. And speaking of installation, this one is a solder-less connection with very straight forward installation. The theory is that you save the best for last but in the case of Fishman Matrix Infinity we may have just jumped off with the best first. The Fishman Matrix Infinity is an amazing piece of kit for a price that will work with any budget, any style, and any guitar you throw at it.
Fishman Matrix Infinity
LR Baggs Pickups
Lloyd Baggs began as a guitar builder in the seventies and has remained a name in the industry ever since his early days rebuilding old Gibsons and Washburns. LR Baggs as a company has thrown that experience into a pickups that will meet any budget and performance needs. The I-Beam Pick-up is a budget bridge plate transducer that provides the sensitivity and fidelity of top quality studio mics. This is a great pickup for those on a budget and who do not need or want a preamp or tone or volume controls, etc. The I-Beam Active Pick-up is the same transducer mic as the I-Beam Pick-up but adds in and end-pin preamp. The LR Baggs IMIX System is going to give you the most control by adding in a FET preamp/processor and the LR Baggs Element under-saddle pick up for dual source sound amplification. The LR Baggs LB6 pickup is an extremely stable under the saddle pickup that is built for high volume stage environments, if you are rocking it out in a band this is a solid and classic choice of pickup.
LR Baggs IMIX
K&K offers a variety of sound transducers for acoustic guitars. The K&K Pure Western is a straight forward as they come with a singular focus on presenting the amplified sound of your vibrating sound board as unfiltered as it can. For the player who has a specific sound in mind K&K steps it up with a few system options. The K&K Mini System adds a mic and a preamp to the sound transducers. The K&K PowerMix Trinity System steps up the preamp to a 3 channel PowerBlend Preamp and adds in an under-saddle pick up as well. The Quantum Trinity System takes it to eleven by adding two full independent channels to the preamp.
K&K Pure Western
If you read our post on amps, you know our stance on Schertler products. These pickups are going to run in the upper end of your budget but if you know what sound you are after and want to match the quality of your guitar with quality electronics then Schertler has some pickups to consider. The Schertler Bluestick UST is an under the saddle pickup that places the equivalent of a studio-grade condenser mic under your saddle. The Schertler Dyn-G is a dynamic transducer mic that goes on top of your sound board so no modification what so ever is required to your guitar. The Schertler Dyn-G is replicates the sound of a studio mic but without the onstage problems of bleed or feedback.
When it comes down to deciding which of the above is right for you there are a few things to consider:
- How much control do you want over the electronics?
- How much modification or installation do you want to make to your guitar?
- What playing environments are you going to be in?
As you can see from the options given you should be able to find the right pickup to fit any need and answers from the list above. Once you have answered these questions you can narrow down your choices of pickup and make your decision. What ever you decide these companies have provided the options for you to amplify your tone and send that call out into the wild, although I can guarantee that you will be happy with the sound that any of these choices gives you, we can not, sadly, provide any guarantee that your call will be headed by members of the opposite sex. We can only give you the tools and wish you the best of playing and the best of luck in your art of the pickup.