edwardsguitar wrote:I don't see the original question and the ensuing opinions and discussions as "polarizing". We are not dividing into "microphone" vs. "no microphone" camps; just exploring personal preferences. Human hearing is a very complex thing, so to expect us all to agree is not realistic. Perhaps I should have simply put the question as "how do you feel about microphones used in live guitar performances?" And as a performer myself I am genuinely inerested. I thought paraphrasing Shakespeare would be an amusing way to put it, but I guess not; my apologies.
Not at all, it's a perfectly valid question and my "polarizing" comment wasn't aimed at you.
Ultimately I feel that recording technology has gotten to the point where any audible degradation is due to human error; we've all heard terrible amplification but to claim that major talents ought to perform 10 times as many shows as they do (and anything else is unacceptable!) as one commenter suggested, is absurd. How many of us can compete, in any room, with the sounds from Julian Bream's 20th Century Guitar
So in short, my answer is not "Don't amplify," but "Amplify well, when necessary."