Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Creating a home studio for recording the classical guitar. Equipment, software and recording techniques. Amplification for live performance.
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Lawler
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Lawler » Thu Aug 30, 2018 5:41 am

ben wrote:...The tone I get with Joie's system is as pure/natural as the cello or flute of my colleagues AND I play with the same volume as them...
No doubt a good way to go with amplification for professional work. As I look again at the original post I suspect the OP has more simple needs.

ben etow
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by ben etow » Sat Sep 01, 2018 3:17 pm

Hi Lawler,

You're probably right, but the title and the 1st phrase speaks of "best"... Sorry if I'm a bit too enthusiastic about my system.

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Jules Catbird
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Jules Catbird » Sat Sep 01, 2018 10:07 pm

HI,

I agree with the above, it can depend on the setting - a mic with a small pa is very 'real' sounding, but you cannot drive the mic for higher volume without feedback - unless it is a concert setting or bigger hall and it helps to have someone running the pa.
I have played hundreds of gigs with classical guitar, and i use a pickup on the guitar. Installed under the saddle - I like RMC (which has 6 sensors, 1 for each string)
However, you may not wish to cut into your guitar even if it is just a small hole for the pickup wire and one for the plug out or jack.
Pickups are not as 'real' sounding as a mic, but if you are playing a wedding with 200 people you need to be LOUD, and will have to decide what is best for your ear, guitar and budget.
There are pickups that blend a mini mic and under saddle transducer.
I have tried a number of pickups and for me the RMC is best. It depends how loud you want to get. And the quality of sound.

The pa or amp plays into the sound as well.
I like the bose L1 but you definitely need a small mixer with it. I also have used a tiny yamaha powered mixer. For me, you need to add some reverb and have some control of the tone.
I have some guitars i would not take to gigs and would not put a pickup on.

The RMC also does MIDI - I don't like the fact that there are a bunch of wires inside the guitar that can rattle or buzz, and that it takes a special cable to plug it in. I like it enough to have used this system for 20 years, and people always say how good my guitar sounds.

There are new speakers and pickups coming out - so we will see what else is out there in the future!

Hope this helps

JC

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Jules Catbird
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Jules Catbird » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:13 pm

I use a pickup - the RMC with his pre-amp - it gets very loud and clear with no feedback - but it is a pickup.
Even tho' its is excellent, and has a great sound, it is not the same as a mic.
I have seen it used in tandem with a mic - as a pickup will give you volume and presence, and can be driven loudly - and a mic is much more 'real' sounding but cannot get as loud and needs a pa etc.
It does depend on the setting.
I used to use a very small powered mixer and 8" speakers, but now i want portable and good sounding and I use the Bose Compact amp with a very small Yamaha mixer. You definitely need the mixer to boost and shape the sound ( and add some reverb ).
The Bose is really great for acoustic/classical guitar.

ronjazz
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by ronjazz » Wed Sep 19, 2018 8:15 pm

The Bose Compact allows for use of a pickup and microphone, so is extraordinarily useful in many situations. If you're happy with your pickup, then you can plug a mic in for a vocalist or flutist, for instance. If the pickup is not 100% satisfactory, then adding a mic in front of the guitar can help. Unlike the Joie system, the Bose system can be tried out at a Guitar Center or through Bose for 45 days, money-back guarantee. It's also high-fidelity enough to be used in concert with a good microphone if the hall is large or acoustically unfriendly.
Lester Devoe Flamenco Negra
Lester Devoe Flamenco Blanca
Aparicio Flamenco Blanca with RMC pickup
Bartolex 7-string with RMC pickup
Giannini 7-string with Shadow pickup
Sal Pace 7-string archtop

riffmeister
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by riffmeister » Wed Sep 19, 2018 11:40 pm

I've used a Cordoba thinline acoustic-electric nylon string guitar into a Fishman Loudbox Performer. Sounds quite good! All dynamics and timbral changes come through very nicely.

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lacatedral
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by lacatedral » Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:03 am

Lawler wrote:
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:20 pm
lacatedral wrote:
Sat Jul 29, 2017 5:40 pm
...wondering what's the best way to amplify a classical guitar... the repertoire I'm studying right now is more "fingerstyle" or popular arrangements of pop songs.
It's been about a year since you posted the question... did you choose a way to amplify?
Greetings, I have a match pair of RODE M5 (stereo) and an AT2020. The first pair is small diaphragm and the other one is a large diaphragm one.
I think I prefer the first pair to the second microphone.
Thing is, they still sound very "trebly", and the bass has a lower power somehow.

I oftenly use the apoyando technique for the bass notes and still it sounds somehow trebly. Both RODE M5 and AT2020 seem to catch exterior noise, but maybe it's the room I'm recording in (my living room).

Also the guitar I'm using does not help very much (generic classical guitar worth 200 american dollars), my main concern now is buying a better one.

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Lawler
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Lawler » Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:11 pm

lacatedral wrote:
Thu Sep 27, 2018 2:03 am
... I think I prefer the first pair to the second microphone.
Thing is, they still sound very "trebly", and the bass has a lower power somehow... Both RODE M5 and AT2020 seem to catch exterior noise, but maybe it's the room I'm recording in (my living room).
Recording the classical guitar is a big subject. The thread title and original post asked about sound reinforcement for live performance, which is quite a different thing. :?:

Tonit
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Tonit » Fri Sep 28, 2018 2:51 am

Hi,
Your electric guitar amp should be the last resort IMPO. Those amps for electro-magnetic pickups (e.g. pickups on the original Fender Stratocaster/Gibson Les Paul) have two major unfavorable characteristics; Uneven frequency response and distortion. Distortion can be avoided but frequency response could make it extremely difficult to adjust to your nylon string guitar.

I think an iRig Acoustic Stage system hooked up to a good flat sound system would be one of the best options.

I sometimes use an amp for flamenco and classical but oftentimes I only need to add just a little bit of db to the volume generated by the instrument itself. I am currently using the aux input (input for mp3 players) of a VOX Adio Air amplifier that has more or less even Freq. Res. than "Instrument" input, and free of any perceivable distortion (i.e. the amp sounds as "clean" as the guitar itself), with 50W output. And it is easy to carry around, with 2.9kg. It looks like a boombox from the 90s.

Given the experience with Adio Air, I have come to a new idea: if I need to add a little bit of volume, then I can possibly use one of those affordable bluetooth "go" speakers with an AUX input. The system could be somewhere around 15W, and larger speakers are desired but I have to try to figure out which sizes I can tolerate. In the least I can say now, VOX Adio has two 3" and I think it can very well be smaller.

FYR Back in time I recall Göran Söllscher was using one of these (↓ in the picture) for the same purpose, i.e. "to add some volume to that of the guitar itself".
I recall he was using a piezo transducer PU on a very specific point on the soundboard. The speaker enclosure (can I call it that way?) is the mandolin shaped wooden box that produces the sound very close to the sound inside (and not outside :o ) of his guitar, according to him. I am writing this remembering the article on a magazine I read when I was 16 or 17 so please search and verify the details on it.

Image

Today we may have handier ways to achieve the similar result to this.

I hope this helps you.

ben etow
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by ben etow » Mon Nov 05, 2018 7:56 pm

Ceciltguitar wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 3:28 am
Every time I read this thread I try googling different combinations of "Jean-Luc Joie wi-fi loudspeaker", "Jean-Luc Joie amplification system", "Jean-Luc Joie wi-fi amplifier", "Joie amplifier for guitar". I cannot find any type of Joie or Jean-Luc Joie amplifier on the internet. The only thing that I can find is Jean-Luc Joie guitars.
One prominent user, Thibault Cauvin, rehearsing with Roberto Alagna before the concert (October 29th 2018), recorded and broadcasted by France Musique...
Roberto Alagna and Thibault Cauvin rehearsing for a concert recorded and broadcasted by France Musique.jpg
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guitarnuke
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by guitarnuke » Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:19 pm

I recently bought the2Mic in-guitar microphone setup and have used it both with a PA system and with a Fishman Loudbox Mini amplifier. I like the Loudbox Mini because it is discrete and loud enough for most venues I play. The 2Mic produces a wonderful, faithful sound and is easy to use. The instructions suggest sticking velcro to the heel cap of the guitar. I instead stick it to a section from an old Kling-on protector which I can put on and off the guitar, or otherwise secure it with a small piece of an-echoic putty that is pretty safe for guitar finishes. The down side of the2Mic is that it seems very fragile. Handle with care!!

I have also used an LR Baggs Lyric pickup in my steel string guitar, and had good experience with it. That however required drilling a hole through the guitar for the pre-amp and plug. If you do that, take my advice and spring for the really good reamer the job properly.
Guitars: Sergio Tezanos; Ross Gutmeier

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Jules Catbird
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Jules Catbird » Thu Dec 06, 2018 6:18 pm

HI Again,
I have an earlier post, and like RMC pickups (6, one under each string) but am going to try a Barbera Transducer System in a guitar soon.
These do require a hole for the wire and the 1/4" guitar jack.
They seem to sound very natural and have high output. They are designed differently than most under saddle pickups as the saddle IS the pickup. There are 6 sensors, 1 for each string.
Will let you know how it works - anyone else tried these on a classical or flamenco guitar?
Will be using with Bose amp or small Mackie Freeplay amp.

JC

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Jules Catbird
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Re: Best way you know to amplify a classical guitar.

Post by Jules Catbird » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:22 pm

UPDATE on Barbera pickup / Transducer System; it is great!

I had one installed in a nice flamenco negra.

Sounds very clear and even, high output - does not need a pre-amp. I did use an LR Baggs pre amp I had just to have some volume control. You don't usually change the treble / bass settings once you get a sound you like.
A bit pricey, but very discreet.
It is still a pickup, but pickups are always more 'present' and more punchy than a microphone, with no feedback. I have used the RMC p/u for years and they are good also.

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