Classical Guitar Pickup

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
ChadeNelson
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Joined: Fri May 02, 2014 9:36 pm

Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by ChadeNelson » Sat May 03, 2014 1:44 am

I have a classical guitar that I want to turn into a gigging guitar. I need to install a pickup, but the question is which one do I install? What brand or type of pickup will give me the best sound quality. I have heard k&k and fishman pickups are pretty good. Any help would be appreciated.
CNelson

eyedoc
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by eyedoc » Sat May 03, 2014 1:09 pm

I have the K&K pure classic because I didn't want a battery inside the guitar.
Works fine but you need to have a pre-amp around just in case you need more volume. I have the Fishman loudbox Mini 100 Watt and the Bose L1 amps. Both are fine.
The sound is natural, but not as natural as a clip on mike or a free standing mike, but no feedback problems,
Ron

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dng
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by dng » Sat May 03, 2014 9:31 pm

Kremona NG-1

I never try it, just a suggestion
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ChadeNelson
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by ChadeNelson » Thu May 08, 2014 1:44 pm

I just installed a K&K pure classic in my guitar this week. It was a very easy installation process which I was able to do myself. I hooked it up to a K&K Pure preamp and a Roland AC-60 amplifier that a friend of mine has. Once I got the frequencies dialed in it sounded great. I need to purchase an amplifier of my own and I have been looking into the following amplifiers: AER 60/2 or 60/3 (expensive but great reviews for classical guitar), Roland AC-33 ,AC-60 or AC-90, Marshall AC50D, or the Fishman loud box. I would appreciate any suggestions of feedback on those amplifiers. Based on the reviews I would like to get the AER, but is it worth spending the money one? Thanks for your help.
CNelson

Beth F-R
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Location: Cleveland, OH

Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by Beth F-R » Wed Jun 04, 2014 1:21 pm

Hi Chad,

I have the Fishman loudbox (artist model) and have been quite happy with it. It has 2 channels, so I can also plug in a mic. I just got the Kremona NG-1 pickup, but I see you already installed one. The Kremona is very easy to use and also remove. You can get a relatively natural sound w/this equipment, but it takes some fiddling w/settings to see what works in a given environment. (I'm not using it for classical repertoire, but rather, for a combo of jazz/pop standards, and also in religious services.)

Cheers,
Beth F-R

pvg

Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by pvg » Wed Jun 04, 2014 6:06 pm

I have tried both the Kremona and the K&K pure classic which sound okay at very low volume, but become pretty "quacky" when you nudge the volume up even a little. I only used the double stick tape with the K&K and it probably works a little better with the super glue installation. But neither- even going through a Fishman preamp- gave me a sound I could play in public :wink:
I now have a Barbera pickup in my Cervantes Crossover II (which I use for Brazilian/bossa nova stuff). This is hands down the best pickup I've heard on a nylon string guitar; but they're not easy to come by. There happen to be a couple of guys here in Sonoma County, CA that work with Rich Barbera and can install them. I play directly (no preamp) into a 50 watt UltraSound acoustic amp- which is pretty whimpy for so called 50 watts- and it sounds great at any "reasonable" volume. I play with electric bass and flute or sax and sometimes percussion with great success.
HOWEVER, :lol: I think most of us agree that nylon string guitars just don't amplify well. Past a certain volume they just lose everything you love about classical/nylon string guitars. At which point you probably have to consider miking the amp into a PA; not a bad choice.
One other caveat, the Barberas are fairly new, and have a few quirks that Rich Barbera is working on resolving. And they ain't cheap!
Just my experience
regards
pvg

J Diller

Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by J Diller » Tue Jun 17, 2014 7:30 pm

I am experimenting with the Kremona NG-1. Had some challenge installing but that was just first time jitters. Works well, but like some others mentioned not so good at top volume.

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Moje
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by Moje » Sat Jul 19, 2014 1:53 am

I used to use a pickup that replaced the bridge and had a small box with a 1/8" jack at the bottom (beneath the treble strings.) I was playing a Kohno in those days and didn't want to drill any holes; it worked well, but in my experience you have to turn the treble pretty much "off" to get rid of the quack. Later I put a Dean Markley pickup (semi-permanent putty stick-on type) inside a cheap La Patrie and found that by experimenting with the placement on the top I could get a much better sound than just placing it by the bridge, then I installed the pickup inside the guitar, in the same position. That way I could get a decent sound without getting too aggressive with the EQ and I must say, having an end-pin jack was really nice: no unsightly cables on the top of the guitar, just plug & play.

By and large I hate piezo pickups (it drives me berserk to see top guys like Paul Simon and James Taylor quacking away just to make things easier, when they got stellar sounds decades ago using mics) but you have to play the cards you're dealt; if you're playing a house party or an art exhibit, the sound of 100 people talking is very, very loud and any subtleties you might gain using a condenser mic often aren't worth the trouble.

Quick anecdote, once I played a Valentine's Day restaurant gig that was four hours long, using a Shure SM57 that had to be just inches from the guitar; at one point I changed position to relieve my anguished back and shoulders, and -BAM!- nailed the mic with the top of my guitar.

Further anecdote, the restaurant owner was an utter jerk who never talked to me, thus no food or discussion of breaks; eventually I just left and wandered to a gas station for a coffee, utterly burned out, and when I went to pay the cashier gave me an odd look . . . it turned out I had no money in my tux and had tried to pay with a worn-out piece of 1000-grit sandpaper. (He was nice and just gave me the coffee, plus a donut, double-win!) When I got back to the gig they were playing a Julian Bream CD, I wanted to kill them. -sigh-
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sxedio
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by sxedio » Sat Jul 19, 2014 10:05 am

You can also combine a standard piezo pickup, quack and all, with some guitar modelling pedal. I use the Zoom a2, if your budget is bigger have a look at fishman aura.
(Gr) (En) (very little Fr)

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DanRock101
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by DanRock101 » Wed Aug 16, 2017 5:58 pm

A good Fishman Blender (the one with the piezo & internal mic AND preamp/EQ) and a good AER amp is a great combo. If you're going into a mixing board, a good Fishman DI works well.

Another option if you want install a pickup is a Schertler stick on pickup or a Kremona N1 :-)
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a human
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by a human » Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:37 pm

What is quack?
1965 Krempel Classical (660ish mm)
The rest come and go.

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Blondie
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by Blondie » Thu Aug 17, 2017 1:01 pm

a human wrote:
Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:37 pm
What is quack?
The noise a duck, or a piezo undersaddle pick up, makes.

a human
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Re: Classical Guitar Pickup

Post by a human » Sat Aug 19, 2017 12:24 pm

Thanks.
1965 Krempel Classical (660ish mm)
The rest come and go.

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