Acoustic pickups

This has been discussed I believe. Need some quick & short responses. Found a Dean acoustic pickup at a pawnshop for like 30 bucks. Good condition.

How well will it work for recording compared to using a microphone? That is, either DI'd through a preamp or a mic on my guitar amp.

Slackmaster 2000
Hey Slack,

I've got an Ovation with the built in piezo pickup that doubles as the bridge and live it is great. When I record, though, it is always lacking. What I have found to be very helpful is to take my "plugged" sound into a tube preamp or a POD and to ALSO mic the guitar. The clarity is awesome and the sound is very broad and warm, plus, if you send each source to a different track you have a cool stereo sound that is unique, but obviously not a tape delay doubled effect.

Peace, Jim
I've never liked the sound you get recording an acoustic with a pick-up. Mic it at the 12th fret and about 2 feet back and you should be able to get a nice, warm stereo sound. Good luck!

What settings have you found to be good for an acoustic guitar on your POD unit? My experience so far with the POD for acoustic is that is sounds okay just playing live through headphones, but seems to lose a lot when recording and I don't care much for the tone on playback. What have you found that you like?
That pick-up you are thinking about buying is shit! It's a Korean made Dean, which Dean is not known for their electronics!!So to me you have one of 2 options.
1): Mic the guitar. Most pickups were designed to get the acoustic signal to the board in a noisy enviroment. Otherwise everyone would mic it. Therefore they are a compromise between true tone and signal to noise ratio. If you are recording in a studio and can control the sound you would always do best to record using a mic.
2): Buy a multi input pickup system. Like the Fishman system out today. It uses a mic inside the guitar as well as a peizo at the bridge. You can blend the two with the controls given with the unit. Super nice live too!

Well, I bought it. It was only 30 bucks at the pawn shop so what the hell.

It's not korean, it's made in the USA by Dean Markley. It's an SC-1 PRO-MAG magnetic soundhole pickup.

It's hand made from curley maple and looks and sounds really nice so far...very natural. I looked it up on the web and it's one of the most popular pickups around. Retails for $80 so I figure that I got a good deal.

The reason I bought it is that my acoustic guitars are crap. So far, based on my experimenting, this thing will give me more fattening options...especially after the ART Tube MP I just bought gets here. Then I'm going to try the DI + microphone route and see what that sounds like.

I've been miking with a single SM57 at various locations, usually around the 12th fret. The SM57 is a very tinny mic when it comes to recording an acoustic.

Thanks all.

Slackmaster 2000

[This message has been edited by Slackmaster2K (edited 12-29-1999).]

I use the POD's tube preamp setting. Sometimes I compress it (though the POD's compression is the ONE feature that I think is lacking--adds too much noise) or I put a little of the Chorus 2 on the signal. I mess with the tones and add some presence and a touch of reverb. Use the drive setting too your liking, though I find it does tend to start to "break up" at about 9 o' clock on the dial. The POD Clean channel is decent, too--I use that one alot for bass guitar.


Using the MIDI control on the POD helps to cut back on some of the noises added with the effects. You get much tighter control of effects parameters. But watch out- this can be addictive. :)

Jim mentioned using the pickup and micing your guitar, and then blending the two signals. I have found that this is an excellent way to get a really good acoustic tone. I do this with an Ovation acoustic/elec and an sm-57. By tweaking parameters hither and yon and to and fro, you WILL find a good sound in there somewhere. Examples are: splitting signals hard left/hard right and eq'ing each differently to enhance the strong points of each signal.


[This message has been edited by dmcsilva (edited 12-30-1999).]
I like the idea of miking acoustic guitars. For one you have a broad range of tones you can get just by positioning the mike in different places. Also by miking you let the guitar "breathe" and give the notes time to develop out the soundhole.
Try a AKG 3000 mike they soung great for acoustics. I have had good luck with SM-57's but to each ear his own

Good luck!!