Home tools Buyer's Guides from tech enthusiast who loves technology and clever solutions for better living.
Best acoustic pickup 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated January 1, 2019
Best acoustic pickup of 2018
Following is the list of top three acoustic pickup of 2018. The rating is based on multiple factors: The 3 metrics ‐ Design, Materials, Performance, and other indicators such as: Popularity, Opinions, Brand, Reputation and more.
Customers need to be careful on how they spend their money on these products. The table below summarizes features, and below you’ll find more detailed reviews of each good.
Test Results and Ratings
|Ease of use||
Why did this acoustic pickup win the first place?
The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days. I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch!
№2 – TraderPlus 12 Hole Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Pickup Sound Hole Magnetic Preamp with Tone and Volume Control
Why did this acoustic pickup come in second place?
I like this product. For such a low price, I didn’t even hope it to be any better. It’s decently made. The design quality is top notch and the color is nice. Seems that the material is good. It has a very beautiful color but I don’t really like the texture. I really liked it. It is amazing in every aspect. It did even exceed my expectations for a bit, considering the affordable price.
Why did this acoustic pickup take third place?
I liked the design. We’ve been using it for 2 months and it still looks like brand new. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. A very convenient model. It is affordable and made of high-quality materials. It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time.
acoustic pickup Buyer’s Guide
Perhaps the most common type of acoustic pickup is the undersaddle pickup, which consists of a small strip of six piezoelectric crystals that sit underneath the bridge and pick up the individual strings from underneath the bridge. These piezo pickups are very inexpensive and reliable and require minimal modification to the guitar itself. Piezo pickups are passive in design and, as a result, give very low output. They usually require a matching preamp to be installed in the guitar (which can mean routing out of the side of the guitar) or mounting the preamp and required battery inside the body of the guitar.
Magnetic pickups use the same electromagnetic technology to capture the strings of the guitar as electric guitar pickups and as a result, the sound produced is very similar to those on an electric guitar. These pickups usually mount directly above the strings in the soundhole of the guitar, and do not require any holes to be drilled into the guitar to install. Another benefit of magnetic pickups is that they are not permanently installed in the guitar and can be easily changed out or removed at any time without causing irreparable damage.
Microphones and Blended Systems
Blended pickup systems combine one or more of these pickup types with a condenser microphone built into the pickup system. These systems are designed to add some of the natural resonance of the guitar back into the signal with the microphone and blend it with the pickup source to create a full range system.
Watch Now ››
A “best of both worlds” approach. Combines the best qualities of each pickup type with a microphone to capture a full, natural sound.
Expensive, requires special cables and/or modification to your guitar by adding a second output jack.
Like any other type of technology, acoustic guitar pickups have a lot of terminology associated with them. The terms below are all commonly used to describe acoustic guitar pickups, and it’s important that you have a decent understanding of what they mean before making a purchase. Also, though this article may be aimed at guitar players, a lot of the terminology is going to carry over to any other acoustic instrument.
Piezo: While the mechanics at work behind piezo pickups are a bit complicated, involving special crystals that create an electric signal when put under pressure, the results are pretty simple. Piezo pickups are all around workable pickups, and considering that they’re relatively cheap to produce it’s no surprise that they’re the industry standard.
Contact/Transducer Pickup: Contact, or as they’re sometimes called transducer pickups, function by transferring the vibrations created by the top of your guitar into an electric current in a similar way to piezo pickup systems. Contact pickups are generally the easiest pickups to install, and relatively inexpensive.
Magnetic/Soundhole Pickup: Available in both active and passive variants (see definition below), magnetic, or soundhole, pickups function in exactly the same way as the pickups in an electric guitar. The wire wrapped around the magnet in the pickup allows the vibrations of your guitar strings to be transferred into an electric signal. Some of these pickups are designed to output a more realistic acoustic sound, while some cheaper models sound a bit cheesy.
Internal Microphone: While not technically a pickup, using an internal microphone system is a pretty common method of amplifying an acoustic guitar.
Multi-Source: A multi-source system is exactly what it sounds like, a combination of either two different pickup systems or a pickup system and an internal microphone.
Passive: When a pickup is described as being passive, it means that it simply passes the signal from your guitar to your preferred method of amplification with little to no alteration aside from the sound profile of the pickup itself. Think of this type of pickup as being similar to a standard microphone.
Active: Active pickups on the other hand operate a bit differently. Rather than just passing the signal along, active pickups generally give you more options to tweak your tone or adjust your volume. These pickups also add some gain to the signal, making them louder than their passive counterparts.
Seeing as how there are so many brands and types of acoustic guitar pickups available, we figured it would be helpful to give you a few examples of great pickups as a place to start. Every pickup below has its perks, and with the information above you should be able to find an item below that will work for you.
LR Baggs M80 Magnetic Soundhole Pickup
A different kind of magnetic soundhole pickup, the LR Baggs uses proprietary technology in order to capture the entire frequency range of your guitar. The unique free floating humbucker inside of the M80 acts as a 3D body sensor, faithfully recreating the tone of your guitar. The M80 also boasts the option to switch between active or passive modes, as well as an onboard battery check, volume control, and adjustable pole pieces to capture the perfect balance between each string.
Here we’ve gathered a carefully curated selection of the highest-scoring guitars to hit the mid-price category in the past few years. It’s not all Fender and Gibson, either – there’s a whole world of well-appointed designs now available outside of the high-end market.
This San Dimas echoes the Pro Mod spec sheet – Duncan pickups, neck profile and compound radius, switching arrangement – of the hardtail model, right until you get to the bridge bit itself.
The secondhand acoustic guitar market is often a place where bargains are to be found – and it’s probably never been more buoyant. We provide some thoughts on buying a used instrument.
We’ve all heard stories about guitarists who have found six string gold in the pawn shops of yesteryear. Pre-war Martins for peanuts, Gibson and Fender electrics that turned out to be holy grail 1950s models – you know the sort of thing. Sadly, that kind of story is becoming less and less common as dealers just about everywhere have wised up, mainly, I suspect thanks to the internet and the easy immediacy of information available at the click of a mouse. But there are still some very good deals to be had on the used market today and so if you’re after an instrument that is both pre-owned and pre-loved, here’s a few things to look out for when inspecting any prospective new purchase.
A funny thing happened…
As anyone who has ventured into a guitar forum will tell you, there’s an awful lot of talk going on about different makes and manufacturers of acoustics 2hours a day, seven days a week. Some of it is extremely useful, some of it exquisitely nerdy, and some sadly misinformed. If you can sieve out the useful stuff, then it’s worth a little forum exploration in your quest to find out more about a potential purchase. Good information speaks for itself – users of the same make or model you’re interested in might have some useful stories to tell which reinforce your ideas about its value. Nerdiness can come in handy, too: insider info like which factory the guitar was built in, changes in ownership of the company concerned, good patches, bad patches in terms of build quality – all these can help bolster an opinion.
Neck and neck
While we’re talking about the neck and fretboard areas, check out the general condition of the fretboard. Any splits or hollows? These aren’t so easy to fix and they will affect the overall playability of the instrument. More importantly, is the neck straight? Check the action, too – is it unreasonably high or suspiciously low? If you know how to sight a neck – that is, the art of looking along the fretboard from the nut end to check for straightness – then do so. Many imperfections can be sorted out quite simply via the truss rod, but if you suspect anything seriously out of whack or are unsure, then it’s probably best to walk away.
One of the more obvious signs of wear and tear on any guitar is on its frets. It’s easy to see, too, but the signs of even moderately heavy usage in this region shouldn’t create too much cause for concern. If it’s a prestige make then the thought of an eventual refret shouldn’t put you off. Even though the idea of ripping all the frets out and replacing them sounds like a major operation, in the hands of an expert – and let’s face it you wouldn’t trust anyone else – the results are generally invisible. All you need to do at the time of purchase is to consider how much life you think the frets have in them and balance the cost of a refret somewhere down the line against what you’re being asked to pay.
One other check to carry out is to make sure there are no frets that have lifted or come loose. Both conditions should reveal themselves by carefully playing every note along every string. Loose frets make an unpleasant and very audible noise and a fret that has lifted with show up in either buzz in the surrounding areas or by a note missing altogether.
The mechanical nature of a string tuner is basically very simple – a capstan, a cog and some kind of threaded screw is practically all that’s involved at a very basic level. So there’s not an awful lot that can go wrong in this particular area. I’ve known tuners that look rusty, bent or slightly askew work perfectly and was once reassured by a guitar maker of high repute that the failure rate of a tuning machine is very low indeed. Furthermore, in the instance where you might want to change them in favour of some shiny new ones then replacements are readily available via mail order and it’s a very easy refit or upgrade to make.
Open back tuners can be subject to rust – I’ve seen plenty, but generally they still function – and sealed units are more difficult to diagnose by sight.
However, if the guitar you’re looking at is an older model and you are conscious of keeping its vintage vibe intact, then some exploratory twists and turns might be in order. Defects to look out for are a great deal of slack – that is there is movement in the tuner when you twist it that doesn’t seem to have any affect at all – or uneven, lumpy turning. Neither is fatal, and in the case of a vintage instrument it’s sometimes best to leave well alone, but it can make the job of tuning a little harder than it should be.
String saddles can wear, too, although I’ve found that they’re quite hardy and don’t generally cause too much cause for concern. If everything looks fine down at this end of the string length and there are no Grand Canyon-type grooves visible in the saddle then all should be well.
If the guitar has a pickup fitted, asking to hear it plugged in is not at all unreasonable. Modern electronics onboard guitars are generally quite reliable and it should be an easy job to determine whether the pickup is working correctly or not. The only problem I’ve experienced personally in the past was that the under saddle pickup in one of my guitars developed a hum, which was tracked down to a minor preamp problem and easily sorted.
A custom build by a well known luthier can be a great way to get a top quality guitar built to your specifications. Some builders will even create a new design and include whatever hardware you specify. Most have set models based on classic designs which include many options not available in “off the shelf” brand name guitars. Some builders will put together classic designs using high quality aftermarket parts that compare very favourably to branded “custom shop” models in quality but at lower price points. Generally a hand-built guitar will not be any more expensive than top of the range custom shop or VOS models. The disadvantages of having a hand built instrument are usually a long wait time and are expensive when compared to most factory made guitars. Resale can be problematic with a little known brand. You may be required to pay a non-refundable deposit.
How to spot a good guitar
The best guitar to buy is the one that feels and sounds great. It should stay in tune and a bond will immediately be apparent. If you spend most of your time trying to get it in tune, fiddling with the controls or fighting the action you should look at another guitar. It may be the exact brand / model / colour you are burning to buy but will be a waste of money unless you are prepared to spend more to have it put right. After spending money it still may not be right. First impressions are critical and that first half hour will tell you of it is a keeper or not. You need to be determined to keep on looking until you find one that you bond with.
Different amps for different needs
Musician’s Friend has a wide selection of acoustic guitar amps, but you might be wondering what distinguishes one from another. The best way to approach that question is to first think about which kind of situation you’ll be using your amplifier in.
Amps for practice and home use
You might want a small acoustic guitar amp around the house for your practice sessions, especially if you tend to play quietly with other acoustic instruments. Sure, in your own home you can hear your guitar without amplifying it, however projecting your performance through a speaker can help you listen more critically while you play. Some practice amps, like the Acoustic A20, have a stage monitor-style design that angles the speaker upward so you can direct it toward you while you play. Its modest 20W power rating may also be adequate for very small-venue gigs. With two combo jacks that accept both mics and instrument inputs plus digital chorus and reverb effects, it offers a lot of functionality for a small price.
The Acoustic A20 uses an angled design for better monitoring during your practice sessions.
Some amps offer built-in effects such as chorus and reverb, that can add some shimmer and drama to your sound. The 15-watt, ultra-portable Fender Acoustasonic 15, for example, features a quality on-board chorus effect that you can dial in to your specific preference. It also has 3-band EQ on both channels to help you fine-tune your sound.
The Fender Acoustasonic is an ultra-portable practice amplifier with two channels, a mic input and onboard chorus effect.
In the studio
You can record an acoustic guitar in a number of ways. You can use a microphone placed near the soundhole, or if you’re using an acoustic-electric guitar, you can plug directly into an audio interface that is equipped with an instrument input. You can even just put a mic in front of your amp’s speaker and capture your sound that way.
However, if you are thinking of buying an acoustic guitar amp specifically for your home studio, you might want to consider a model that comes with extra features that help add depth to your recordings and makes it easy to capture your guitar’s signal.
Some manufacturers have begun making low-wattage modeling amplifiers that simulate different kinds of miked and amplified guitars, which opens up lots of sonic possibilities. Yamaha’s THR5A is one such model, featuring USB connectivity and a number of onboard effects, like delay, chorus, phaser, and reverb. It’s a great choice for the home studio guitarist who plays both acoustic-electric and electric guitars, giving you a range of amplifier and microphone simulations to create lots of different sonic textures.
The Yamaha THR5A is an acoustic modeling amp with multiple built-in effects and USB connectivity.
Take a video tour of the Yamaha THR5A’s amazingly diverse palette of sound possibilities.
Playing in a coffeehouse or small club
For some of the smallest venues, your practice amp might be able to give you a good, clean tone with enough volume to be heard. But if you want to be ready for larger spaces, you should look for an amp with a little more juice.
Within the range of 40 to 100 total watts, you’ll find plenty models to choose from with features to enhance your performances. For instance, if you are planning to plug in a microphone to sing along with your guitar playing, amps within this range typically will have everything you need. You’ll find separate channels for guitar and vocals and an XLR input for your microphone. (Some inputs identified as “combo” will accept either an XLR or ¼” jack for maximum flexibility.) On many models, each channel will have its own separate tone controls and effects so you can dial in the right sounds for each.
Some acoustic guitar amps also offer a 3.mm or stereo input so you can plug in a portable audio device such as an iPod or smartphone and play along with recordings or backing tracks.
It is important to note that the speaker size or configuration does not necessarily affect an acoustic amp’s ability to deliver good sound with decent volume. The Fishman Loudbox Mini PRO-LBX-500, for instance, uses just one 6.5-inch speaker driven by 60W of power to produce a surprising amount of volume with good fidelity.
The Fishman Loudbox Mini PRO-LBX-500 comes in a small package but delivers a powerful 60 watts of accurate tone.
Check out the Fishman Loudbox Mini PRO-LBX-500 in performance.
Another important feature you will find in these higher-wattage amps is feedback control. This may include a single push-button anti-feedback control or, in higher-end models, more elaborate controls that isolate frequencies that cause feedback. Marshall’s AS100D, for example, is notable for its precise per-channel feedback control, consisting of multiple knobs. It also has dedicated inputs for guitars equipped with piezo or magnetic pickups helping to optimize their sound. If you are playing in a venue that requires you to crank the volume, feedback-eliminating controls can really save the day.
With 50 watts per channel, multiple XLR inputs, and high-quality built-in effects, the Marshall AS100D is a versatile choice for small- to medium-sized venues.
The elaborate control panel on the Marshall AS100D Acoustic Combo Amp offers an array of tone-shaping and feedback-fighting tools together with great-sounding chorus, delay and reverb effects.
Jamming with a band
The 180-watt Fishman Loudbox Performer is one of the top-selling acoustic amps for guitarists who perform in groups.
While wattage this high might seem unnecessary for the typical solo performer, acoustic guitarists who play with a full band, especially one with a drummer, need the extra output to project a clean, undistorted sound.
Sheer wattage doesn’t tell the whole story either. Factors such as a low signal-to-noise ratios and enough dynamic headroom to prevent clipping (distortion) during loud passages contribute to pleasing, noise-free sound. High-quality, efficient speakers also help by converting the amplifier’s output into more volume.
The two-channel Acoustic A100 Combo generates plenty of volume thanks to x 50W of clean digital power. But it’s this amp’s versatility and warm acoustic sound that really sells it. Twin effects processors coupled with two combo XLR/instrument inputs let you dial in voices and instrument sounds to perfection. Bluetooth connectivity makes for a simple playback setup.
Dual 8” neodymium speakers keep the weight of the Acoustic A1000 100W Acoustic Guitar Amp down while delivering sound that impresses.
Our customers give the Acoustic A100 top marks for both its sound and easy operation.
Playing large and outdoor venues
Most larger clubs and music venues have built-in PA systems that make projecting your sound to the audience a matter of simply plugging into the venue’s mixer. However, many singer-songwriters and acoustic groups find themselves performing in large spaces that aren’t set up for musical performances and simply don’t have this kind of sound reinforcement equipment on hand.
For some, the solution is to purchase a complete PA system.
PA systems, however, consist of sizeable speakers, mixers and other gear that can be challenging to transport, set up and manage, especially if you have to control your sound while performing. Fortunately, there are much more compact and efficient solutions for singer-songwriters and small ensembles.
One such solution is the Fishman Loudbox Mini Songwriter Pack, which is a great little setup for the singer-songwriter who performs in small spaces. Musician’s Friend bundles the 2-channel 60W Loudbox Mini Acoustic Guitar Amplifier with an Audio Technica M4000S dynamic mic, 20’ mic cable, and tripod mic stand for a complete rig right out of the box.
The Loudbox Mini Songwriter Pack is a budget-friendly way to amplify guitar and voice with Fishman quality sound.
Taking a somewhat different approach, Bose offers its LSystems that include a column that houses a line-array speaker system. Separate bass modules deliver additional oomph in the lower frequencies. These systems are modular and can be purchased in a variety of configurations to match your needs. The Bose TToneMatch Engine is a digital mixer that makes for simple optimization of each instrument and voice. The speaker array provides excellent monitoring for the performers too—both the audience and performers hear the same mix.
The Bose LSingle BBass with TAudio Engine configuration is a versatile rig that can handle small ensembles and guitarist/vocalists.
Watch the band Northstar take their Bose LPA system on the road.
You can check out all the Bose Lsystem configuration options here.
Most acoustic guitar amplifiers over 20 watts include some form of feedback control. If you are playing in a situation where you need to turn your amp up more than halfway, this feature could be very important. When looking at this feature, consider both ease of use and the impact on tone quality. Some amps offer a very simple push-button feedback control that can cause a slight loss of richness in tone. Other amps include more elaborate controls such as notch filters that allow you to isolate the problem frequencies. However, these controls can take some experimentation to dial in just right.
The most popular acoustic guitar body shape. Dreadnought guitars have large body shapes which will equate to a louder sound being produced. Due to the deeper soundbox the Dreadnought style will produce a very bassy, boomy sound. For the average player, this is the right style of guitar to go for. This is however a fairly large guitar and may be a handful for a smaller framed individual.
Grand Concert Guitars
Once you understand the basics about how an acoustic guitar is designed and built, you will be able to see and hear subtle differences that will help you pick the best guitar for your needs.
Most acoustic guitars use a set neck, which means the neck is glued onto the body of the guitar. The alternative is a bolt-on neck, which is more commonly used with electric guitars. A heel provides additional support at the back of the neck, where it meets the body of the guitar.
The fretboard, or fingerboard, on the top side of the neck, and is usually a separate piece of wood that is glued to the neck. Fretboards are usually constructed out of rosewood or ebony.
Thin strips of metal, called frets, are embedded in the wood at half-step increments along the 12-tone scale, to indicate where different notes are played. Most guitar fretboards have inlaid dots or symbols on the odd-numbered frets, starting with the third – excluding the 11th and 13th in favor of the 12th, or the octave.
The body of an acoustic guitar is composed of the top, also called the soundboard, that is supported by internal bracing; the sides, and the back that together form a hollow chamber. The upper body curves are referred to as the upper bout, while the usually larger lower body curves are called the lower bout. The area between them is referred to as the waist.
The size and shape of the body influences both the sound and playability of the instrument. Finding a body shape that matches your physical and musical needs will help ensure you choose the right acoustic guitar. See Body Styles – Comfort and Resonance below for more.
The sound hole, through which sound projects, is aligned with the waist, at the base of the fretboard and is often fitted with a protective pickguard made of plastic or other materials.
The guitar’s strings are mounted to the body of the guitar at the bridge. Bridge pins anchor each string. The thin strip of either bone or plastic that spaces out the strings on the bridge, is called a saddle. The bridge transmits string vibrations to the guitar’s top resulting in the instrument’s sound output, also referred to as projection.
Acoustic-Electric Guitar Systems
Many musicians find it helpful to be able to plug in their acoustic guitar, but how does an acoustic-electric guitar work? These guitars boast the addition of a pickup system inside the body that turns the vibrations of the soundboard into electronic signals. These signals can be weak, so most acoustic-electric guitars use a preamp to make them stronger.
The preamp is typically located on the side of the guitar that faces up while playing. It includes volume and tone controls, and sometimes a built-in tuner.
Guild M-20 Concert Acoustic Guitar Natural
Concert acoustic guitars date to 185Their smaller size, generally about 13-1/2″ at the lower bout, give them a bright sound with a punchy mid-range. The smaller size is comfortable, and makes these guitars very playable for smaller musicians.
The grand auditorium’s lower bout is sometimes wider than the classic dreadnought’s – generally 16″ – but the waist is narrower, creating a dramatic hourglass shape. These guitars have a greater range for volume and more balanced tone than smaller body styles.
A common acoustic body style that makes use of a very large soundboard is the dreadnought. Dreadnoughts are distinctive for their square bouts, wide waists, and 14-fret necks. The first dreadnought was developed in 1916, and it has been gaining in popularity ever since. Dreadnoughts are very popular among bluegrass guitarists due to their powerful, driving sound.
These big, boomy guitars are often considered the standard “cowboy” guitars. Up to 17″ at the lower bout, these acoustic guitars project loudly and resonate deeply.
Travel and Mini-Acoustics
Smaller players, musicians who travel frequently, and parents shopping for children, may also want to consider travel and mini-acoustic guitars. These guitars were designed for the comfort of smaller players, and for convenience when traveling, but many guitar manufacturers have invested significant time and resources into creating smaller-scale acoustic guitars that don’t compromise quality or sound.
Most mini-acoustics utilize the same familiar shape of a standard acoustic guitar, at about 3/4-scale, with 1to 20 frets. Others, often referred to as “backpackers,” have a narrow body that only fans out slightly from the width of the neck. Backpackers are designed to be durable, lightweight, and easy to pack.
Neck Width and Length
The thickness and width of guitar necks vary, depending on the size of the guitar body. It will not affect the sound of the guitar, but it will affect your comfort with the instrument.
Acoustic necks are usually listed as 12- or 14-fret necks. This number refers to the number of frets above the guitar body, not the total number of frets. On a 12-fret neck, the 13th and 14th frets will be on the body, and, thus, harder to reach than on a 14-fret neck, where they are extended beyond the guitar body. If you have small hands, look for an acoustic guitar with a smaller diameter neck.
Nylon vs. Steel Strings
It is a common misconception that a new guitar player should start with nylon strings, because they are easier on fingers or easier to play. But nylon strings and steel strings are not interchangeable on the same guitar, so it’s not a matter of progressing from one kind of string to another with experience. What should really drive your decision is what kind of music you want to play.
Nylon strings produce a softer, mellow tone. They are often used in classical and flamenco-style guitar playing, as well as some folk music. Classical guitars have a wider neck to provide more space between the strings, and shorter fretboard, than acoustic guitars that use steel strings.
Steel strings are more common, and are usually used by rock, country and pop musicians. Steel string acoustic guitars create a louder, brighter tone that is commonly associated with that classic acoustic guitar sound.
Cedar » Cedar is a soft wood that produces a bright tone. It has a quick response that favors a light playing technique, and is a common top wood for classical or flamenco guitars. It is also used for sides and backs.
Cocobolo » Cocobolo is a tropical, Mexican hardwood used for sides and backs. It is fast, responsive and produces a bright sound.
Ebony » Ebony is strong with a slick feel, which makes it great fretboard material.
Koa » Koa is a Hawaiian wood with a distinct golden color that emphasizes mid-range tones. It is used for all parts of an acoustic guitar body, but is generally found on more expensive guitars due to its scarcity.
Mahogany » Mahogany is a dense wood, which gives it a slower response rate. When used as a top wood, mahogany produces a strong sound that emphasizes high-end tones, and is often associated with country or blues playing.
It is more often used for sides and backs to add snap, boost mid-range tones, and reduces boominess in some styles. It is also frequently used in necks and bridges.
Maple » Maple is usually used for sides and backs, because its low response rate and internal damping doesn’t add coloration to the natural tone of the top wood. It produces a “dry” sound that emphasizes high-end tones. Its lower resonance makes it great for live settings, especially with a band, because it can still be heard through a mix of instruments with less feedback.
Ovangkol » Ovangkol is a sustainable African wood similar to rosewood. It is usually used for back and sides, because its warm tone emphasizes mid-tones and produces a well-rounded sound. Ovangkol’s tone offers the warmth of rosewood with the sparkling midrange of mahogany or koa.
Rosewood » The diminishing supply of Brazilian Rosewood has led to Indian Rosewood replacing it in most markets. While the two look different, the tonal quality is virtually the same. One of the most popular and traditional woods used on acoustic guitars, rosewood has been prized for its rich, complex overtones that remain distinct even during bass-heavy passages. It’s cutting attack and ringing tones make for highly articulate sound and plenty of projection. Rosewood is also a popular choice for fingerboards and bridges.
Sapele » Sapele is another highly sustainable African wood, used for sides and backs to add midrange and additional resonance. Tonally similar to mahogany, it offers a little more treble boost.
Spruce » Spruce is a standard for acoustic guitar tops. It is lightweight but strong, and provides good resonance without compromising clarity. There are many species of spruce used in guitar tops including Sitka, Engelmann, Adirondack, and European spruce. They each have subtly distinct tonal characteristics and colors.
Walnut » Walnut is an alternative to mahogany in bodies, emphasizing midrange tones and enhancing the projection of the top wood’s tone. It has a similar density and stiffness to koa, with similarly bright high-end tones. Its low-end tones start deeper, but fill out after being played-in.
The 12-String Acoustic Guitar
Twelve-string guitars are a standard variation made by several different guitar manufacturers. They are commonly used by players who specialize in folk and blues music. Arlo Guthrie and John Denver are just two of many famous American folk artists who commonly used 12-string acoustic guitars.
12-string acoustic guitars have six string courses, each with two strings that are tuned to produce a chiming, chorus effect. Usually, the string pairs in the bass courses are tuned an octave apart while all treble strings are tuned in unison. Some guitarists prefer tuning the the second string in the third course (G) in unison while others opt to tune it an octave higher for bell-like ringing tones.
Designed for Women
With their distinctively narrow bodies and short scale lengths, parlor guitars are the smallest of all six-string flattop acoustics—as much as three inches shorter than the modern standard of 25.inches. Often seen as a bridge between the traditional Spanish nylon-string guitar and the modern steel-string, parlor guitars served a specific function when they appeared in the United States in the late 1800s. They were originally built for women’s more compact frames, and they were named for their use as instruments intended to entertain guests in homes rich enough to include parlors.
In the mid-19th century, design distinctions between European and American guitars were minimal—both were compact by today’s standards, and built delicately to accommodate the comparatively weak gut strings. Near the end of the century, as European guitars became increasingly larger, some American companies, including Martin, continued building small guitar bodies while experimenting with structural elements—for example, X-bracing in place of the traditional Spanish fan—that would give them a heartier sound.
Popularity of parlor guitars waned by the early part of the 20th century when guitar makers began designing larger-body sizes structurally reinforced to handle the tension of steel strings. After Martin introduced the bigger dreadnought in 1931, to compete with other bluegrass instruments, parlor guitar sales began to wane. Today, thanks to modern sound reinforcement and recording technology, getting volume from a small instrument is no longer a big concern. And in the past decade, as guitarists have become more drawn to old music and vintage instruments, fascination with parlor guitars is on the rise. Guitar companies have rolled out new models across the spectrum of affordability—from high-end Martins to budget Washburns—for contemporary players drawn to the look and feel of the little instruments.
Grace Teague, of Grace Harbor Guitars, agrees that one reason there’s an increase in interest in parlor guitars today is that the small bodies are friendlier to women than jumbos and dreadnoughts. “Anything we can do to encourage women to play guitars is a good thing,” she says, adding that a parlor model was a natural for the new line just launched by distributor Dana B. Goods.
Yamaha FG800 Folk Acoustic Guitar
A solid Sitka spruce top gives the lightweight Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar the kind of sound typical of far more costly instruments.
The beauty of the Yamaha FG800 Acoustic goes way beyond skin deep with its solid Sitka spruce top complemented by a Nato back and side. The mellow, well balanced tone with excellent note definition is worthy of dreadnoughts costing far more. Quality materials such as a rosewood bridge and fingerboard, black and white body binding and more make FG Series acoustics sweet buys with a great reputation.
We get the deep dive on the Yamaha FG800 Acoustic Guitar at NAMM 2016.
Epiphone Dove Pro Acoustic-Electric Guitar
The Epiphone Dove Pro Acoustic-Electric Guitar has a wonderfully retro look with its decorative pick guard and includes a pickup system for easy amplification.
Featuring a comfortable neck and solid spruce top, the Epiphone Dove Pro Acoustic-Electric Guitar rings out with full, rich sound. Based on a design going back to 1962, the Dove Pro is equipped with a Fishman Sonicore pickup system that accurately reproduces its acoustic tone when you plug the guitar into an amplifier or PA system to play with amplified instruments. A terrific value.
Epiphone gives all the details on their Epiphone Dove Pro acoustic guitar.
Squier Standard Telecaster
The Squier Standard Telecaster is based on the iconic Fender guitar and makes a fine choice for beginners who love traditional rock, country, and surf sounds.
Featuring classic Fender design, smooth playability, and simple controls, the Squier Standard Telecaster is a great first electric guitar. The fixed bridge and quality tuning machines ensure simple and reliable tuning stability—a potential frustration for new players trying to learn on poor quality guitars. Single volume and tone controls along with two bright-sounding single-coil pickups give the beginning player a wide range of tones that are easy to control. The Telecaster has been a mainstay in music for decades and is especially associated with great country, pop, surf, and rock sounds.
Gretsch Guitars G542Electromatic Jet Club
This G542Electromatic Jet Club offers “That Great Gretsch Sound” and classic Gretsch looks.
Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Value Pack
With its solid spruce top dreadnought guitar accompanied with a full slate of quality accessories, the Yamaha GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Guitar Pack makes a super-affordable first guitar with good sound and playability.
The GigMaker Deluxe Acoustic Package is a real budget stretcher. Featuring Yamaha quality construction, the dreadnought guitar has a solid spruce top for excellent resonance and sustain. The package includes picks, strap, electronic tuner, gig bag, extra strings, and an instructional DVD to get you learning guitar fast.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your acoustic pickup wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of acoustic pickup
- №1 — SUNYIN Transducer Acoustic Guitar Pickup
- №2 — TraderPlus 12 Hole Acoustic Guitar Soundhole Pickup Sound Hole Magnetic Preamp with Tone and Volume Control
- №3 — Luvay Guitar Pickup Acoustic Electric Transducer for Acoustic Guitar