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Cougar

Adding a pickup to an acoustic

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My main question is, what can I expect my tech/luthier to charge me for installing a pickup in an acoustic guitar? I imagine it varies by pickup type, but what would be a general range? It doesn't strike me as a real easy mod.

 

Secondarily, there seem to be so many choices in acoustic guitar pickups these days, I don't even know what they all are. I'm not too fond of the look of the soundhole pickup. A mini pup at the end of the fret board would be about as much as I'd want to be showing on the top of the guitar. I imagine undersaddles are a fairly standard install? I like the idea of a passive, for the reason K&K's website mentions:

 

"...for the musician who wants a warm, full-range signal without worrying about cluttering up their instrument, adjusting onboard electronics, or having to remember to change the battery."

A pre-amp does carry a bit of baggage. How much difference does that pre-amp boost make in your output to the amp?

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Cougar, I read about this one the other day...Only $499.99. (yeah right!) could buy a new guitar for that.

 

Holy smokes! "The panorama control adjusts the width of the stereo impresssion." Like I said, there are so many pickups out there I'm not even aware of!

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Did you listen to the demo? Bass on the left and treble on the right with a mix in the center. Sounded real good, but you know the dual system on the DR-500MCE by Shadow sounds really impressive as well when you run it in the stereo mode and roll off the treble on one pickup and roll of the bass on the other! GH

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Hey there folks been a bit but I had to jump in on this.

 

I've been doing a lot of researching on acoustic pick ups my DR500mce is getting replacement system as well stock of coarse in this case .

 

the eSonic2 issues I've been battling is what started the whole whats out there thing .

 

My luthier charges 60 bucks an hour for electronics give or take I say ( give or take ) because you never know , if you've done prior business they might give a better deal

 

Like I said I've looking and here's what I've found out with basic questions

 

1) what kind of sound are you looking to get ?

Under saddle pickups give you a quacking sound how much varies on the pick up.

Sound hole pickups (Humbucker) have a warmer sound but also sound like a electric guitar on clean channel.

Condenser sound hole pickups are better but has no placement options . This type of pick up caters more the natural sound of the guitar

There's the Piezo pickups which I never liked but then again that's because I never heard a good one but there out there.

 

 

The type of sound your looking for is the most important question you have to ask yourself and I guess the money thing too.

sound hole and under saddle pickups will color the sound of the guitar some as well.

 

A good condenser pickup would give you the best results for natural sound if thats what you want BUT ! This only works if the guitar has great sound or more like has the sound you want keep in mind you don't really hear it from in front and we get used to the sound as is .

 

So Mic a few tracks with a good mic and see if that sound is one you like .

 

Yes there's a lot more to it but I think you get it. Most of this you folks already know and my descriptions might be a tad off but I feel fairly close :)

 

You can do the install yourself if your half way good with a drill and take your time along with the right tools . I used a drill bit one time that turned out to be hell bent to destroy wood as soon at it touched the guitar it sucked the dang drill right in more like a barber shop rotating light spiral hole LMAO but I was able to save it turned out good.

 

so hear some Idea's

 

http://www.kksound.com

 

http://www.miniflexmic.com My choice for me because my New Blueridge is awesome so I want the best Natural sound I can get as a plug in option other wise mic's are the way to go.

the Cons ... changing the batteries ..O'l well good excuse for a good cleaning.

 

I like the minimal drilling and body foot print they offer by foot print I mean ( which could the wrong way to say it ) but less stuff glued/mounted to the body EQ and Battery bag ETC: I sure don't want a drop in the side EQ like the Esonic and others. If I can't get it restored on my DR I'll remove it and use the hole as a second sound hole . I'll make a trim ring out of Mahogany that fit like the pre-amp so it remains original.

 

TO finish yup thank GOD ! LMAO I'm sure you've seen the Baggs,Fishman and whatever others for sound hole pickups keep in mind internal Condenser models and the piezo placement matters with the exception of the miniflex which you can adjust yourself the others and sticky pad adhered a big pan in the *** if you don't know where the best sound of your guitar is in this case a luthier ( a good one) would be recommended unless you like the challenge of find the right spot hahaha

 

OK hope this helps some if not thanks for letting me rant on hahahahaha

 

Ags out . :) oh a belated Merry Christmas/Happy Holiday's and Happy New year to you all may you all prosper :)

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Thanks, Ags, for sharing your research. :)

 

the eSonic2 issues I've been battling is what started the whole whats out there thing .

 

Sorry to hear that. I've got a barely used Performer ME that I picked up for about $100 that has the eSonic2. The nanoflex doesn't seem to be working at peak performance :rolleyes: , but I'm pretty happy with the nanomag.

 

 

 

The type of sound your looking for is the most important question you have to ask yourself and I guess the money thing too.... miniflexmic -- My choice for me because my New Blueridge is awesome so I want the best Natural sound I can get...

 

OK, not only do I not know about all the pickups available, I didn't even know about all the technologies available, lol. That miniflexmic is a trip! I'm a home player/occasional recorder, so I don't really need that level of sophistication. Good to be made aware though.

 

I sure don't want a drop in the side EQ like the Esonic and others.

 

That's for sure on the mod I'm considering.

 

...if you don't know where the best sound of your guitar is in this case a luthier ( a good one) would be recommended...

 

I'd have my tech do it. I did pull up a video yesterday of a guy installing a passive 3-mini-transducer bridgeplate pickup. Just connects to a combination strap button/endpin jack.....

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Thanks, Ags, for sharing your research. :)

 

 

 

Sorry to hear that. I've got a barely used Performer ME that I picked up for about $100 that has the eSonic2. The nanoflex doesn't seem to be working at peak performance :rolleyes: , but I'm pretty happy with the nanomag.

 

 

 

 

 

OK, not only do I not know about all the pickups available, I didn't even know about all the technologies available, lol. That miniflexmic is a trip! I'm a home player/occasional recorder, so I don't really need that level of sophistication. Good to be made aware though.

 

 

 

That's for sure on the mod I'm considering.

 

 

 

I'd have my tech do it. I did pull up a video yesterday of a guy installing a passive 3-mini-transducer bridgeplate pickup. Just connects to a combination strap button/endpin jack.....

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Yeah if you don't need much the K&k mini's come with great reviews .

 

I just play at home to but I have bug about getting a good acoustic sound on track .

 

I can't always use the mics because My gear is in the living room wife won't give me the spare bedroom lol now she'll one last Bill the iPad air 2 or the Microsoft pro tablet which will run Reason . That way I'm portable . :)

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My AJ500ME came with the LR Baggs Element pickup. I like it a lot better than the eSonic 2.

The Element is not expensive and doesn't appear to be that hard to install.

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My AJ500ME came with the LR Baggs Element pickup. I like it a lot better than the eSonic 2.

The Element is not expensive and doesn't appear to be that hard to install.

 

These high-tech undersaddle strips are interesting, with "a flexible film sensor only 2 thousandths of an inch." I guess I don't need to know how the heck they work, just that they do. So they're placed in the saddle slot, then the saddle is crammed in on top of them? Seems like that could damage the thing. And wouldn't it raise the saddle, so it'd have to be shaved down a bit? Still, with a good luthier doing the installation, and your recommendation that you like the sound better than esonic2, that's a definite consideration.

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I guess here's were I really show up as an old guy.

 

I don't think what you get - as long as it's from a reputable retailer and that's a reputable manufacturer - makes all that much difference.

 

Yeah, I'll likely get avalanched for that.

 

But for example, a friend has a cupla '50s CF100s. One's still with the factory p90 type pup up by the neck and one was non-AE and he added an inexpensive Fishman soundhole pup that ain't even got a volume or tone control as some of 'em do.

 

I've heard a few guitars in my time and frankly, I don't hear much difference - and not much difference electric from pure acoustic the way he runs both of 'em through the board. Yeah, I'm sure he could make 'em sound "electric," but his pickin' sounds acoustic. A lotta that IMHO is how he plays. Still...

 

I've used cheap but good brand mags, although right now except for one old 12 and the dual-pup Masterbuilt, all are piezos of one variety or another.

 

So to me the bottom line is that if the pup can sound more or less like you want, and is "clean" going to an amp/PA... folks still will listen to the pickin', not the pickup.

 

Told yuh I'd likely get avalanched. But that's my observation after pickin' such stuff in public for right at 50 years, and more than occasionally in my younger days for money with stuff that folks nowadays love to holler is horrid.

 

EDIT: Take a look at a lotta Kottke's stuff - and I do think there are more than a few little soundhole pups that ain't top of the line - nor is the wiring rig. Ah, but he sounds terrible, right? <chortle>

 

m

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Keep it simple. If you want a ton of effects and lots of knobs sprouting from your guitar, and are worrying about stereo etc use an electric. My theory is to get the great sound from my awesome acoustics but louder. I use K&K with no pre-amp and did the install myself. Comes with directions and it's pretty easy but does take some effort. Just take your time and take it step-by-step. This also means I don't have controls on my acoustic. I use the controls on the amp so it is always within reach.

 

I mean hey, do you use a luthier to change strings? Get used to doing your own work and you get to know your guitar better. You can do it! I play through a Fishman Loudbox 100 and am very satisfied with the authentic acoustic tone and volume. If you have a huge gig where you need more you'll be plugging in through the board, which you can do through the Fishman. B)

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You have lots of options, but it depends on what and where and how you play.

 

In the last couple of years I have owned 4 Epiphone EJs...one 200 and 3 200ce's.

The esonic2 can sound good...or bad, or just crap out altogether. But they are under warranty, as is your guitar if you are the original owner. Of the 3 EJ-200ces, one sounds GREAT as is! One had to be sent back to have the esonic2 replaced and one guitar had to be replaced due to a bad neck. When that replacement guitar came back, everything was fine. And all under warranty!

 

On my EJ-200,I had my luthier intall a system, and here's what worked best, A Fishman Matrix Infinity system with a L.R.Bags undersaddle element. The electronics (w/ volume and tone control) fit right in the soundhole.

 

I play in a pretty loud band, so volume and tone are essential! And with volume, you need feedback resistance. That's why I went with the undersaddle element. It resists feedback best. And with the phase control on my amp, I can go all night without feedback.

On strict acoustic gigs I use my Fishman Loudbox Artist, on gigs where I use both acoustic and electric, I use my Quilter MicroPro 200 with the 8" speaker.

 

On my EJ-200ce's, the esonic2 does a pretty good job, and the stereo option is pretty cool, but I don't use it in live performances.

In fact, on the guitar I have the slider panned more towards the nanoFLEX side.

 

I have tried guitars with condenser mics inside...and also the top reflex sensors. And they sound pretty good, but they tend to feedback at higher volumes, even with the "feedback buster" installed.

 

So it all depends on what your needs are, especially volume.

 

Good luck!

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