Acoustic guitar sounds exquisitely beautiful and soothing. However, there are some limitations to its sound’s intensity. Simply using your fingers to pluck the strings won’t give you enough volume for an outside gig or a noisy coffee shop. To counter this problem, acoustic guitar pickups are used by guitar players. These acoustic guitar pickups basically amplify the sound by transforming strong vibrations into electrical signals that can be amplified later. Some new guitars are already installed with these pickups however any guitar can be retrofitted with a pickup if you have thorough knowledge about it.
TYPES OF ACOUSTIC GUITAR PICKUPS
These pickups basically add gain to your guitar sound and allow you to mix your sound a bit before sending it to the amp as they come up with basic equalizer adjustments as well. These pickups come with a battery pack and allow you to experiment with your guitar sound using the adjustment features.
These pickups are battery less and hence require no power source to use them. Most guitar players prefer these pickups due to their easy-to-use ability. These pickups simply pick-up the sound and transfer it to the amplifier.
Magnetic pickups are placed under your guitar strings. They basically magnetize your strings and then the vibrating strings of the guitar are interpreted onto the amplifier. Some people prefer magnetic pickups as they tend to give much balanced sound however the acoustic touch of the guitar may get lost along the way. Also, these pickups are useless for nylon strings.
Mostly new guitars with pre-installed pickups utilize Piezo Pickups. They basically function using a small crystal inside them which vibrates and matches up with the guitar’s frequency which is later transferred to the amp. These pickups are a great alternative if you don’t have a good microphone system and would capture the true acoustic essence of your guitar. Few guitar enthusiasts discourage using these pickups and accuse it of producing a harsher sound then its counterpart pickups.
These pickups are undoubtedly the most advanced of all the pickup options available in the market and produce excellent quality sound. The details of its working are complicated as they utilize the whole mechanism of microphone system. These pickups capture and reproduce not only the sound of the guitar but will keep the tone intact as well. Mostly studio recordings by intermediate and professionals alike are carried out using these pickups.
CHANGING THE PICKUP IS BETTER THAN CHANGING YOUR GUITAR
If you are a beginner guitarist or an intermediate player that wants to tweak your guitar sound a bit, then choosing the right pickup is a great option. Upgrading your pickup is always a better option instead of buying a new guitar as the right pickup can provide you with the base to generate excellent quality music. You need to be familiar with the workings of the pickup sets and the pros and cons associated with the various types. Some of these recommended pickups include the Seymour Duncan APH-2s Alnico 2 Pro Slash Humbucker, Seymour Duncan Hot Rodded Guitar Humbucker Pickup and Seymour Duncan SH-PG1 Pearly Gates. These pickups differ in their quality, intensity and sharpness of their sound while their designs differ drastically as well.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT PICKUP FOR RECORDING
Every person picks up the acoustic guitar with different aspirations. Some just take it as a simple hobby while other prefers to get more professional about it and record a few tracks in the studio. You might want to become the next YouTube sensation and launch your own channel and gather millions of followers just like Boyce Avenue. The Lyric is one of the most advanced pickup produced and is simply a tiny microphone condenser.
For YouTube, recording with a pickup is a feasible option however if you try to do the same for a professional recording, it will sound quite off. For recording a real track, you will have to use a condenser mic. Drawing your curtains down, switching off your AC or any other electric appliance will help you avoid any humming sounds. The MXL 770 Cardoid Condenser is an excellent choice in mic as it preserves the acoustic essence of your guitar while performing equally brilliant with your voice.
CHEAP PICKUP FOR AMATEURS?
The HDE pickup is the most sold pickup on Amazon with excellent reviews of the product. There are certain downsides to this pickup while using the finger style. Nonetheless it merely costs 20$ and can be replaced over a period of time with a new one to avoid any compromise on sound quality and balance. Choosing a guitar pickup might seem a daunting experience at first but with the right approach one can easily learn and take their passion for music to the next level.
BROWSE FROM A HUGE COLLECTION OF PICKUPS RIGHT FROM AMAZON
As always, Amazon is one of the few places on the internet that seems to have everything. You can browse and search for all kinds and types of acoustic guitar pickups that suit your needs, and budget: