Best sounding Acoustic/Electric?

jrintheemaking

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Hi,

I wanted to get everyone’s opinion as to what they think the best acoustic sounding acoustic/electric is (e.g. Gibson ES, Rickenbacker, Gretsch, etc). I’m not really interested in how it sounds plugged in (although that could be a plus). I am mainly interested in how full it sounds acoustically, and how it could pass as a tried and true acoustic when mic’d (so nothing too thin sounding). I would mainly use this guitar for recording purposes only so hollow/semi-hollow is not an issue.
For those curious, I have a pretty elaborate pedal board. I like recording the dry signal (mic’d acoustic), and sending the wet signal (electric) and process it through the pedal board with such pedals as the Microcosm for accompaniment.
I currently have a a late 60s Gibson ES-150 and it sounds great acoustic. But I was curious to see what everyone else digs.

Thanks
 
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JL_LI

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True hollow body guitars are hard to find. You’ll probably only find a carved top and a floating pickup in a collectible. If this is for jazz, I’d bring a Telecaster with a 4 way switch for series and a good used hollow body to mic that’s been set up for jazz solos, not strumming.
 

KC

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why not a good acoustic guitar? I have a 000-18 that sounds instantly great in front of a microphone. For playing out I have a K&K pickup in it and a Redeye preamp that sounds full and natural through a decent PA. I guess I don't understand what problem you're trying to solve.
 

jrintheemaking

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Why not mic-ing a real acoustic ( whether it has a pickup or not ) vs. an unamplified semi-hollow/hollow electric? Just curious


I like recording the dry signal (mic’d acoustic), and sending the wet signal (electric) and process it through the pedal board with such pedals as the Microcosm for accompaniment.
 

jrintheemaking

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why not a good acoustic guitar? I have a 000-18 that sounds instantly great in front of a microphone. For playing out I have a K&K pickup in it and a Redeye preamp that sounds full and natural through a decent PA. I guess I don't understand what problem you're trying to solve.

I have acoustic guitars. But for this purpose, I like recording the dry signal (mic’d acoustic), and sending the wet signal (electric) and process it through my pedal board with such pedals as the Microcosm for accompaniment.
 

Obsessed

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I think for the best balance of great electric and acceptably good acoustic, you have my favorite dream guitar for that purpose. However, you might consider the thicker Gretsch jazz boxes, but I have not touched one of those for over 15 years now and don’t care for their electric sounds.
 

Chiogtr4x

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why not a good acoustic guitar? I have a 000-18 that sounds instantly great in front of a microphone. For playing out I have a K&K pickup in it and a Redeye preamp that sounds full and natural through a decent PA. I guess I don't understand what problem you're trying to solve.

I own a Blueridge 000/OM-28 style w/ the K&K pickup w/ built in Preamp module- fantastic!
( plugged in or not)
very open sounding pickup- loud, but it doesn't sound like you are even amplified!
 

bottlenecker

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Are you talking about archtops with magnetic pickups? For acoustic and electric from one guitar, I prefer any number of carved top archtop acoustic guitars with a dearmond guitar mike floating pickup mounted.
 

jrintheemaking

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Are you talking about archtops with magnetic pickups? For acoustic and electric from one guitar, I prefer any number of carved top archtop acoustic guitars with a dearmond guitar mike floating pickup mounted.


I haven’t thought about that route and I have never used the dearmond pickup. However, for my purposes I don’t think think it would work.
The wet signal is important for my purposes too. I have a long EFX chain, and traditionally acoustics sound like garbage going through it.
 

bsman

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I wonder about those Godin "5th Avenue" models. While I've not played one, they seem to be rather like an archtop acoustic in construction and might punch above their weight, acoustically...
 

Chuckster

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For what you are seeking, I would not recommend Rickenbacker.

I have a 360-6 and a 330-12, and neither one sounds great unplugged. Not much different than the sound of a solid-body unplugged.

Other previous suggestions of a pure acoustic or a deeper Gretsch/jazz box would deliver a much better sound than an unplugged Ric.
 

jrintheemaking

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For what you are seeking, I would not recommend Rickenbacker.

I have a 360-6 and a 330-12, and neither one sounds great unplugged. Not much different than the sound of a solid-body unplugged.

Other previous suggestions of a pure acoustic or a deeper Gretsch/jazz box would deliver a much better sound than an unplugged Ric.


How do you like the neck on both of those guitars. I’ve been interested in a Ric 12 for awhile, but I’ve heard unless you have smaller hands, the 660 12 is a better way to go as the neck is bigger. Thoughts?
 

jayyj

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I really like Rickenbackers unplugged! I love that you can still here that inherent Ric sound from them. I've never wanted to mic one up though. I have tried a mic on a 335 a few times, they can sound ok with a pencil condenser pointed straight at the F hole.

If we're talking full on electrics that happen to sound good unplugged as well, my best is a '58 Gibson ES225T - it's really powerful with a nice throaty rasp to it that makes it a lot of fun to play unplugged. My Byrdland is pretty good as well but despite a solid top is not quite as lively as the 225.

I also have an old Epiphone Granada, the one that originally came with a huge moulded plastic pickguard with a Melody Maker pickup in it, but mine was missing the pickguard when I got it so I ditched the magnetic pickup altogether and went with a Baggs Element in the bridge - that's a lot of fun to play, and a great stage acoustic.

 

bottlenecker

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I haven’t thought about that route and I have never used the dearmond pickup. However, for my purposes I don’t think think it would work.
The wet signal is important for my purposes too. I have a long EFX chain, and traditionally acoustics sound like garbage going through it.

What do you mean "acoustics"? Comparing an archtop to a flat top is like a watermelon to a banana.

A legit archtop with a dearmond floater happens to get a very good electric guitar sound.
 

jrintheemaking

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What do you mean "acoustics"? Comparing an archtop to a flat top is like a watermelon to a banana.

A legit archtop with a dearmond floater happens to get a very good electric guitar sound.

I’m happy your set-up works for you and you like the Dearmond floater pickup. But that’s not what I’m looking for and it isn’t in line of the input I was seeking in my thread. Thanks anyway.
 

Chuckster

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How do you like the neck on both of those guitars. I’ve been interested in a Ric 12 for awhile, but I’ve heard unless you have smaller hands, the 660 12 is a better way to go as the neck is bigger. Thoughts?

Not gonna lie, it's narrow and tricky for some people.

I've played a lot of Rics and yes, the 660-12 is wider and easier... in my opinion. Others may chime in and claim otherwise.

I don't have too much trouble with it because I have fairly skinny fingers and have been playing narrow Yamaha acoustics for most of my life.

The best way I can describe playing a 330-12 is, it's almost like learning a new instrument. There are subtleties and techniques that you'll learn with time. Again, just my opinion.

Good luck with your search.
 

srolfeca

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I've tried hanging a mic in front of various non-megabuck hollow-body electrics, and found that a.) they don't sound that great mic'd, and b.) more importantly, a good full-sized archtop electric already feeds back like an SOB in the venues where I would normally run my pedalboard- and that's before you start trying to mic it up.

My solution to the problem has been to go in a different direction: Put a piezo bridge on a good semi-hollow guitar, and then apply treatments to the piezo signal to make it sound better.

Version 1.0:
  • Parker Night Fly
  • Stock onboard Fishman piezo system run into a Baggs external preamp, various effects into a Fender Acoustasonic 30.
  • Magnetic pickups went to a Line 6 Flextone XL run in stereo, with the second power section feeding a Peavey Classic 30 cab (no amp, just the box), loaded with a matching Line 6 Flextone driver.
  • A Fender Acoustasonic sat between the Flextone, run in mono straight up the middle between the stereo modelled channels.
Version 2.0:
  • Ibanez Talman semi-acoustic.
  • Duncan humbuckers replacing the stock electronics.
  • GraphTech piezo system.
  • Zoom acoustic FX unit, subsequently replaced with a Yamaha Magicstomp.
  • Same amp setup as Version 1.0.
  • The stereo Flextone setup for the magnetic pickups was subsequently replaced by a lightly-modded narrow-panel 5E3 tweed deluxe that I built from a kit.
Version 3.0 and current:
  • Squier CV mahogany Tele Thinline
  • Best Guitar Parts roasted maple neck, 50's carve, 1 3/4" at the neck for a more acoustic feel.
  • Wylde Bill Lawrence microcoils and a 4-way switch.
  • Brenner Piezo One acoustic bridge saddle
  • Stereo output, with the piezo channel either buffered into an FDeck HPF piezo preamp, or direct into my Line 6 HX Stomp along with the magnetic pickups.
  • The Stomp runs separate left and right effects patches, with a Martin D18 IR on the Right (piezo side) and the vintage tape saturation effect for more body.
  • Depending on the situation, the Left (magnetic pickup) side of the HX Stomp goes either to my Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, or to a Headrush FRFR108 and FOH. I have different patches for the front end of the Fender vs DI/Headrush).
  • The Piezo side of the HX stomp always goes to another Headrush (and DI to FOH if required).
I loved v1.0 and v2.0. Electric tones run in stereo, with a fairly dry acoustic sound up the middle in Mono, is incredibly flexible.

That said, version 3.0 has turned out to be the best electric/acoustic blend I've ever had. It has elements of regular stereo voicing about it- by tweaking how I pan elements of my patches left and right, I can float dreamy-sounding reverb and delay trails from the electric out through the full-range speaker.

But on the other hand, it also does the Wet/Dry thing extremely well, which has opened up whole near possibilities. Blending two different electric tones, one through the open-back Fender and the other through the ported Headrush, makes for some HUGE tones.

As with v1.0 and 2.0, an expression pedal or two make for great ambient, atmospheric sounds with a lot of movement in them. All this from a very compact, loud, and incredibly lightweight setup. Set up takes seconds, and there's never any bother with trying to mic bleed, or hassles with FOH.
 

jrintheemaking

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I've tried hanging a mic in front of various non-megabuck hollow-body electrics, and found that a.) they don't sound that great mic'd, and b.) more importantly, a good full-sized archtop electric already feeds back like an SOB in the venues where I would normally run my pedalboard- and that's before you start trying to mic it up.

My solution to the problem has been to go in a different direction: Put a piezo bridge on a good semi-hollow guitar, and then apply treatments to the piezo signal to make it sound better.

Version 1.0:
  • Parker Night Fly
  • Stock onboard Fishman piezo system run into a Baggs external preamp, various effects into a Fender Acoustasonic 30.
  • Magnetic pickups went to a Line 6 Flextone XL run in stereo, with the second power section feeding a Peavey Classic 30 cab (no amp, just the box), loaded with a matching Line 6 Flextone driver.
  • A Fender Acoustasonic sat between the Flextone, run in mono straight up the middle between the stereo modelled channels.
Version 2.0:
  • Ibanez Talman semi-acoustic.
  • Duncan humbuckers replacing the stock electronics.
  • GraphTech piezo system.
  • Zoom acoustic FX unit, subsequently replaced with a Yamaha Magicstomp.
  • Same amp setup as Version 1.0.
  • The stereo Flextone setup for the magnetic pickups was subsequently replaced by a lightly-modded narrow-panel 5E3 tweed deluxe that I built from a kit.
Version 3.0 and current:
  • Squier CV mahogany Tele Thinline
  • Best Guitar Parts roasted maple neck, 50's carve, 1 3/4" at the neck for a more acoustic feel.
  • Wylde Bill Lawrence microcoils and a 4-way switch.
  • Brenner Piezo One acoustic bridge saddle
  • Stereo output, with the piezo channel either buffered into an FDeck HPF piezo preamp, or direct into my Line 6 HX Stomp along with the magnetic pickups.
  • The Stomp runs separate left and right effects patches, with a Martin D18 IR on the Right (piezo side) and the vintage tape saturation effect for more body.
  • Depending on the situation, the Left (magnetic pickup) side of the HX Stomp goes either to my Fender Tone Master Deluxe Reverb, or to a Headrush FRFR108 and FOH. I have different patches for the front end of the Fender vs DI/Headrush).
  • The Piezo side of the HX stomp always goes to another Headrush (and DI to FOH if required).
I loved v1.0 and v2.0. Electric tones run in stereo, with a fairly dry acoustic sound up the middle in Mono, is incredibly flexible.

That said, version 3.0 has turned out to be the best electric/acoustic blend I've ever had. It has elements of regular stereo voicing about it- by tweaking how I pan elements of my patches left and right, I can float dreamy-sounding reverb and delay trails from the electric out through the full-range speaker.

But on the other hand, it also does the Wet/Dry thing extremely well, which has opened up whole near possibilities. Blending two different electric tones, one through the open-back Fender and the other through the ported Headrush, makes for some HUGE tones.

As with v1.0 and 2.0, an expression pedal or two make for great ambient, atmospheric sounds with a lot of movement in them. All this from a very compact, loud, and incredibly lightweight setup. Set up takes seconds, and there's never any bother with trying to mic bleed, or hassles with FOH.


Thanks for your input. It’s always neat to hear how people go about things. I had a couple of those Power Teles, they’re the Nashville ones with the Piezo. It’s not really my thing, but I recognize the appeal.
I used to have a Supro Martinique. I totally regret having to sell it at the time. The piezo sounded killer
 




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