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Soundhole pickup suggestions?

Discussion in 'Acoustic Heaven' started by don, Apr 10, 2021.

  1. don

    don Tele-Meister

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    I've got a 1957 Epiphone Texan that I would like to use for recording at home. I don't have an ideal situation for using a microphone so I'm thinking of a soundhole pickup that would not require any mods to the guitar. It has a nice natural sound so something that would not color the sound too much would be awesome. This is mainly for chord work not fingerpicking or flatpicking. I know the soundhole pickups are much less than ideal -

    IMG_5571.JPG IMG_5569.JPG
     
  2. DougM

    DougM Poster Extraordinaire

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    At the store where I worked, we sold a ton of the Dimarzio Virtual Acoustic. It sounds really great and is affordable to boot. DP138-large.jpg
     
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  3. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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  4. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you completely sold on a soundhole pickup? I install a lot of K&K bridge plate piezo transducers - they are non invasive and sound fairly good.
     
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  5. srblue5

    srblue5 Tele-Holic

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    I use a Fishman Neo-D humbucker but I wouldn’t say it’s a very natural acoustic-type sound. It definitely sounds more like the DeArmond sound hole pickups from the days of old but I like that sound personally.
     
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  6. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    I have used the Lace California sound hole pickup upon occasion, and I must say that I like it a lot.

    I'm not finding much use for it lately though.

    Do you want me to send you this one?
    You could try it out and see how you like it.

    I could have it in the mail to you some time tomorrow, if that sounds like something you'd like to fool around with in your recording.

    :)

    CAL_ACOUSTIC_PLUG_1024x1024@2x.png
     
  7. Sparky2

    Sparky2 Friend of Leo's

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    And I must say, I like sound hole pickups better than bridge piezo pickups.

    Warmer, and less brittle.

    ;)
     
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  8. Chiogtr4x

    Chiogtr4x Doctor of Teleocity

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    I still have my old ( maple veneer-covered) $35 Dean Markley ' Pro-Mag' soundhole pickup from the late '80's!

    It's in my tote bag as a backup should my guitar's pickup/preamp has an isssue, or for someone sitting-in.

    It has a good, warm sound, but is passive, so you gotta crank it.
     
  9. JSMac

    JSMac Tele-Holic

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    I’m need one too so I’ll follow this thread.

    I mostly need to plug into a looper and a small tube amp. I bought a cheapo stick-on transducer but would like something a little better.
     
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  10. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Friend of Leo's

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    I’m also watching
    I have a Martin I don’t want to alter.
     
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  11. mojavedesert

    mojavedesert Tele-Meister

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    I bought one of these, easy to mount. Light weight, looks cool, I blacked out the text. I got the telecaster bridge mount and the p90 mount and I think it comes with a standard humbucker mount. You can swap out really good pickups and find what you like. I have a telecaster bridge scatterwind pickup in the sound hole, it's awesome and lively. I put it in a Gibson Starburst cutaway acoustic. The owners of this company are nice people and helpful.

    http://www.luthiertool.com/pickup-cradle.html
     
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  12. znanjeiimanje

    znanjeiimanje Tele-Meister

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    I am in the market for one and have narrowed it down to LR Baggs M80 and SD Mag Mic. Just waiting for one to pop up at the right price point.
     
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  13. Dan German

    Dan German Doctor of Teleocity

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    My first acoustic pickup was a Lawrence like this. I think it worked OK, but it was a long time ago (late ‘70s?). However, I cannot now, in good conscience, recommend purchasing anything from the so-called “Bill Lawrence” company. Google is your friend, make your own decision.
     
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  14. DavidP

    DavidP Friend of Leo's

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    Fishman Rare Earth is in my Martin 000-18, sounds good to me.
     
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  15. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Super cool of you sparky!!!

    .
     
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  16. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    For traditional acoustic electric pickups they have the Lick 'n Stick versions that you stick inside to the top. Run the cord out the sound hole. Put the pre-amp in a pedal not in the guitar. The under-saddle style require drilling a hole under the saddle for the cord and shaving the bridge saddle down.

    Fishman makes a concealed and low guitar mod style system ... for a big price. Pre-amp and pre-amp controls for Volume and Tone are little wheels that tuck inside the sound hole

    My beater acoustic I cut a small piece of wood that was long enough to bridge the sound hole at the fretboard end, cut a hole in the wood strip to fit a Strat pickup, and screwed the wood to the underside of the top (two screw holes) -- however, you could make two wood strips and then screw them together as a clamp across the center of the sound hole and everything will be stable. Have a very thin 'foot' on the top face of the sound hole to minimize tan-lines if you leave it more or less permanently attached. I also drilled out the end-pin in the guitar body to install an end-pin jack. Then I just play the guitar through a regular electric guitar amp. No pre-amp needed nor carrying both an electric and acoustic amp.

    .
     
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  17. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Friend of Leo's

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    Baggs M1 or M1a is worth a look. They look like a simple emag pickup suspended in the hole designed to be reversible and removable, but in fact, they operate on a really complex principle that utilizes the stiffness and motion of the top at the soundhole. They live up to a realistic sound, plus they are great at gain before feedback.
     
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  18. 39martind18

    39martind18 Friend of Leo's

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    My avatar, a 1939 Martin D18, has a LR Baggs M80 installed. It has a separate coil under the sound hole pickup that senses the body vibrations, and, at least to my ears, delivers the sound of the old guy with surprising fidelity. The main reason I went with a sound hole pickup was to have the ability to bring the guitar back to pure acoustic if I desire. There is no way I will drill ANY holes in the old Martin, so an output jack presented a problem. Enter the Vintage Jack: an output jack that fits in the endpin hole, with no drilling. It uses a minijack for connecting to an amp or PA. To revert to straight acoustic, remove and unplug the pickup, unsolder the jack that plugs into the pickup, wiggle out the Vintage jack, pulling the wires out, replace the endpin, and done! _585.JPG
     
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  19. bottlenecker

    bottlenecker Friend of Leo's

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    Soundhole pickups won't color the sound, they will make a completely different sound. The few that can get a realistic acoustic sound have mics built in, so why not just use a mic?
    I love soundhole pickups, but for connecting to an amp to get a new sound. If you want to capture the acoustic sound of your guitar on a recording, it has to be a mic. Any mic situation will be better than any pickup for this.
     
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  20. INFANT

    INFANT Tele-Holic

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    I totally agree with this. I have the Baggs M1 and it’s the best sounding pickup that I’ve tried in my Martin. I tried a few soundboard transducers (Baggs and Schatten Design) and the Dimarzio Super Natural sound hole pickup. The M1 was the most natural sounding for recording and direct into the PA. I use it through an end pin jack but it also comes with a 10 or 15 foot cable IIRC. There is a mini-jack on the pickup which allows you to leave the pickup in the guitar and remove the cable as the pickup requires a tool to install and remove. But remember, there is no modification required on the guitar.

    The Dimarzio Super Natural also sounds pretty decent and is easily installed and removed but the M1 and M1A just sound a bit more natural to my ears.
     
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