Acoustic Guitar Pickups

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About Acoustic Guitar Pickups

Acoustic guitar pickups are available from guitarguitar. They are unlike electric guitar pickups, which deliberately colour the sound. They work best when they are as transparent sounding as possible.

Acoustic pickups work according to the same principle as the electric pickups, picking up harmonic information from the guitar string and changing it into electricity. However, they achieve this in a different manner. You'll hear the term 'piezo' a lot. This refers to the type of pickup that lies underneath the actual bridge saddle of the acoustic guitar. Piezo pickups use vibrations because this works well with both steel and nylon strings.

The piezo pickup will nearly always be used in conjunction with an on-board preamp. This normally appears to the musician as a box fitted to the side of the guitar's body or a couple of controls found within the instrument's soundhole. You can normally control the master volume and other functions from such a device. Under the hood, the preamp is where you'll find the 'brain' of the guitar, in other words the main circuits of the system. Normally, you'd buy both the pickup and preamp together as a single purchase.

There are a wide selection of acoustic pickups currently available on the market. At guitarguitar, we keep the best of them in stock. Browse our fantastic selection online, or visit the acoustic department of any guitarguitar store.

Frequently Asked Questions about Acoustic Guitar Pickups

A soundhole pickup is a magnetic pickup, similar to what you'd find on an electric guitar. It is made to slide under the strings and be fitted to the soundhole of the guitar. Soundhole pickups are seen as a sort of temporary measure for players who do not want a permanent pickup system fitted into their guitars. At guitarguitar, we sell a number of soundhole pickups from brands such as Seymour Duncan, Fishman and LR Baggs.
Some of the more sophisticated pickup systems have both an undersaddle piezo pickup and a microphone in the soundhole. The idea behind this is that the microphone captures more of the sound made by the resonance of the guitar's body, not just the vibration of the strings. Normally, you'd have a control on the preamp to blend these two sound sources together to achieve a sound that works best for you.
We don't think you'll blow up the street if you plug your acoustic guitar into your electric guitar amp, but we don't think you'll love the sound either! Acoustic guitars and electric guitars use different types of technology. This applies to both in the instrument itself and its relevant amplification. Just as electric guitars sound fairly horrible when played through an acoustic amp, the same is true vice versa. The only amp we know about that can adequately handle both is the Boss Katana. The KTN-50 and KTN-100 models each have a dedicated channel for electro acoustic guitars.