Here at MayosMusic, in addition to offering great guitar, bass, ukulele, banjo and autoharp lessons, plus complete Luthier services that include guitar, string instrument and amplifier repair/restorations, we are also a great resource service. The following article is an analysis and reference of the different ways to amplify your acoustic guitar, ukulele, banjo or acoustic bass using soundhole pick-ups, transducers and microphones.
- SOUNDHOLE PICK-UP: The simplest way to amplify your acoustic guitar. Soundhole pick-ups install in minutes without the need of cutting/drilling or can be installed permanently with an endpin jack and can be moved from one guitar to another quickly. They work well with normal guitar amps and do not require a preamp and are of both single coil and Humbucker design. (Example: Fishman Rare Earth, Sunrise, L.R. Baggs, Seymour Duncan: Acoustic Tube, Woody HC, L.R. Baggs M80,M)
- Soundhole Pick-Up with Integrated Mini Condenser Microphone: Combines the soundhole pick-up plus an intergrated mini condenser microphone. Most will have a rotary blend control to blend the combined sounds of both mic and pick-up. Mono/stereo/dual source output wiring configurations. (Example: Fishman Rare Earth Blend).
- Sound Pick-Up with Integrated Piezo. Combines the soundhole pick-up plus an integrated piezo/transducer pick-up.
- UNDERSADDLE TRANSDUCER: A good choice when mostly playing pure acoustic but still having the ability to plug-in. Use with a preamp for best sound. Your sound can be greatly enhanced by adding a second source (pick-up) such as a microphone, soundboard transducer or soundhole pick-up. (Example: Martin Thin Line, D-Tar Sadducer)
- UNDERSADDLE TRANSDUCER WITH PREAMP: A complete packaged/designed set makes for a Plug 'n Play system, excellent for touring players who need to use various “house” PA systems. (Example: L.R. Baggs Para DI, L.R. Baggs Element Active System, Fishman Matrix Infinity, D-Tar Timber-Line, D-Tar Wave-Length).
- Undersaddle Transducer with Soundboard Transducer And Preamp. Combines (2) types of transducer to enhance/expand tonal range plus preamp conrols. (Example: L.R. Baggs iMax System).
- UNDERSADDLE TRANSDUCER WITH PREAMP AND MICROPHONE: Delivers a full, well-balanced natural sound. Many matched parts sold as a set for simple choices. (Example: L.R. Baggs Anthem System and SL Fishman Ellipse Matrix Blend System)
- SOUNDBOARD TRANSDUCER: Will faithfully reproduce the acoustic nuances of a specific area of your guitar soundboard. Works best with a preamp. (Example: D-Tar Soundspots, Schatten Soundboard Transducer, Dean Markley Artist Transducer, K&K Sound Pure Mini).
- Soundboard Transducer With Preamp and Volume Control: Same as soundboard transducer but adds preamp. Different transducer design types. (Example: L.R. Baggs iBeam Active System, Schatten HFN Series, Dualie Series, D-Tar Perfect Timber).
- INTERNAL MICROPHONES: Are often used to enhance/compliment an undersaddle, soundboard transducer or soundhole pick-up. Can be wired to multiple amplifiers.
Note: Internal mic-only set-ups work best at low volume levels due to feed back problems. (Example: GHS Acoustic Soundhole Microphone, L.R. Baggs Lyric).
- EXTERNAL PREAMP: A non-invasive design to buffer/match your signal before plugging into an amp or PA. Most offer EQ tonal shapping and high and low impedance outputs. (Example: L.R. Baggs Para-Acoustic D.I. Preamp).
- ONBOARD PREAMPS: Mini componenents often installed on the end-pin jack to buffer the tranducer's signal for plugging into an amp or PA, require batteries but little or no modification to the instrument.
- ONBOARD PREAMP WITH VOLUME CONTROL: Combines the preamp (buffer) with the convenience of onboard volume control. (Example: Fishman Powerchip).
- ONBOARD PREAMP WITH TONE SHAPING AND VOLUME CONTROL: Combines the preamp, equalizer @ tonal shaping and volume control. Always requires routing the guitar body to install. (Example: L.R. Baggs Deluxe Acoustic Equalizer).
- EXTERNAL MICROPHONE: Maybe the most natural sounding system, but with limitations for stage mobility. (Example: Shure SM 57).
Experience since 1968
Providing Guitar, Electric Bass & Ukulele lessons and Guitar/Amp Repair in the Greater Phoenix Valley area of Arizona
including Maricopa County and The Salt River Valley.
Mayos Music will continue to provide Guitar/Amp Repairs in Southern California's South Bay cities and Greater Los Angeles Area.
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