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Acoustic Guitar Pickups & Preamps

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When you find the perfect acoustic guitar it’s unlikely that you’ll want to part with it. Its natural sound is appealing so you’ll need to find a pickup that can capture that effectively. These separate units give you the ability to control the output of your favorite instrument without having to purchase a whole other guitar with a built-in preamp and pickup. There are many options for preamps and pickups depending on how much you want to alter your guitar. For an ideal output, many preamps require you install them directly into your guitar. If you’re just looking for basic projection and not too much in the way of playing with EQ levels, then you might try a simple sound-hole pickup like the Seymour Duncan Woody HC or the Dean Markley Promag Plus. Both options are not permanent, easily fixed to the guitar’s sound hole and only require a patch cable to run from the included input to an amp. Acoustic preamps directly control what the pickup is hearing and how it sounds through an amp. Some models of preamps like the Fishman Pro Platinum Preamp come with EQ, smooth compression, gain and even phase controls that govern exactly what is heard by your audience. Once you set your levels after a sound check, you can play away and fine tune as you go along in your performance. These units allow you to pair them with your desired pickup for a truly customized experience. More often than not, pickup selections include powered preamps that only require a couple of batteries such as the Dtar-Wavelength Undersaddle Pickup or the EMG Acoustic Saddle Pickup. These are not as customizable as dedicated preamps but will make it so you can easily plug a patch cord into the end of your guitar and play away. You don’t need to alter the wooden body of your guitar to install these so they are a great happy medium between the sound hole pickup option and the more professional preamps. Capturing the sound of your acoustic guitar is the main focus of preamps and pickups. Simply pointing a microphone at your instrument doesn’t give the audience the organic richness that goes hand in hand with acoustic tones and sounds. If you install a unit in your guitar you will notice a huge range of warmth is captured and easily shared with a crowd.

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