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Electronics in an acoustic


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Hey guys...I have an opportunity to trade for a Breedlove Classic XII 12 string. The guitar looks spectacular but it doesn't have any electronics, and I need them to do gigs. Couple of questions for you guys.

1. I don't want to route the guitar so I would probably just go with an output on the end pin and have an outboard acoustic pre. Any recomendations?

2. Will this effect the acoustic tone?

3. Should I just wait to get one with the electronics?

4. How difficult is it to mic an acoustic guitar in a live situation? I have a couple of decent condensers...

Thanks in advance for the help.

BTW We play small venues for the acoustic gig, nothing large.

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Since a 12-string is kind of a utility guitar, I'd recommend getting one with electronics already installed. In fact, if you are just going to use it live, shop around for an ovation.

so many variables you can't even imagine.

just buy the proven product; OVATION/ADAMAS

A good acoustic sound in NO WAY correlates to good amplified tone.

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I like the Fishman Rare Earth humbucker connected to the endpin, IMO the most natural amplified acoustic tone out there ( I was using this system before I bought my Ovation elite and still think the Fishman is the better tone )

btw I would forget about miking live, it's just too much trouble w/o dedicated techs in a situation where there are other loud instruments

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I agree with HHB that the Fishman Rare Earth Humbucker is a very good way to go. I keep one around as a backup as my gigging guitars have built in pre-amp systems (the on board tuners are awesome for live gigs). I bought a rare earth with the built in microphone and preferred the plain humbucker version.

Forget outboard micing. HUGE pita.

Baggs dual source is also a good choice and won't change the acoustic sound. I didn't notice any acoustic change even with the Fishman in the sound hole.

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L R Baggs with the pre-amp function in the end pin jack, 9 volt strapped to the inside. Maybe even a little volume wheel peeking out from the sound hole if you get the correct model. Got an Ibeam on my Taylor 555 but the JLD may prevent that on the Breedlove. Get the undersaddle pickup in that case.

Wish Ida known. Ida brought it along for you to put your stank on.

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On second thought. Pick up a Zoom 504 or the new A.2. Those have a DSP setting that fakes a 12 string. Probably find a 504 for $30.

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If you really like the guitar and the price is right, reconsider #1. Talk to Greg about #2 on that specific model if you reconsider #1. I have an older Alvarez Yairi - great tone - put onboard electronics a few years ago with no tone change or loss. Now I have a great acoustic/electric.

#3 - Why wait?

Only if you have a good live tech for miking live.

+1 L R Baggs.

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Allow me to offer my observations from experience or what I have seen at concerts I have attended.

Bluegrassholes are the worst. Their precious Martin guitars will never be electrified, even with an official Martin pickup system. So, we put a microphone in front of them. Of course, the guitar has to be louder than all the other instruments in the monitor, but it gets harder and harder to do as the guitar keeps moving farther and farther away from the mic. I rarely got a squeal, but I always got complaints.

Acoustic players who sit on stools for a show are a little easier to deal with because they stay put. Ranger Doug of Riders In The Sky plays a real Stromberg onstage with nothing more than an SM57 most of the time. The Riders stand close together and do not move very much while playing, so it works. A good directional microphone is only going to work with someone who does not move much and does not need horribly loud monitors. Those microphones that are installed inside a guitar can be a major pain if the monitors are too loud, and they almost always required the bottom end to be knocked out of the monitor mix when I encountered them.

I have had people show up for shows with a Martin Thinline (silver) pickup under their bridge, but no preamp of any kind. The signal is weak and thin sounding. An active direct box can boost the signal a little, but it does not work miracles. If you are going to have a pickup in a guitar, please get a preamp, too. There are plenty of outboard preamps that will get your guitar to sound its best through the PA. Spend the bucks and sound like a pro. Your tone is your reputation.

Some people have noticed a change in tone when adding a Thinline pickup under their bridge saddle, but it cannot be that much of a difference if the job is done right. It may be an imagined difference.

A beautiful sounding guitar is great for a recording studio or a small room that does not need much amplification. Beyond that take sirDaniel's advice that a good acoustic tone and a good amplified tone are not one and the same.

How big are the places you will be playing? Are you going to be in a totally acoustic playing environment or will you be playing with a full band? The more you depend on the PA to be heard, the less you need to worry about an acoustic tone. If you are going to play in different size venues or in different types of band settings then you need to plan for the worst playing situations. Go ahead and get a pickup and preamp and do not try to mic your guitar.

Takamine had the best electronics for years. While I have only heard a few great sounding Taks acoustically, every one of them sounded great through a PA. The same goes for Ovation, although I really like the sound of an unplugged Ovation.

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I have tried very hard to like Ovations. Unfortunately, every 12 string model I tried has that awful (IMHO) V shaped neck. The price is right on this Breedlove, it will be a straight up trade for an amp. I am just wondering if it will be too much of a PITA because my current Breedlove already has electronics. That means that I will have to have two seperate channels on the board because they will have different settings. I played an Atlas 12 String at Gregs that I loved, but my money situation makes that almost impossible. The only reason that this is even being considered is because it is a straight up trade.

You guys have given me a lot to think about. Thanks...

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Poe:

I am having a similar dilemma - I have an older all maple Guild JF-65-12 (no "V" neck!!) that I'd really rather not hack up, if possible. A guy last week recommended a Shadow soundhole HB with a spring clip mechanism (lead drops down the front of the guitar, not out the endpin), but I suspect that was more because he's got a dozen of them he wants to unload and can't. I have been advised in the past to avoid the "ribbon" type of undersaddle pickup on a 12-string (??).

I like the Fishman stuff I've tried, but most of the ones I'm familiar with involve some side-cutting to get the preamp/controls onboard. I'm not too well-versed with the different Fishman soundhole pickups (single/stacked/humbucker...), and couldn't tell the difference between the "good" v. the cheaper imported ones (again,??) except for the price.

I was interested in the LR Baggs I-Beam under-bridge/internal mount - that looked pretty promising. Any input is much appreciated here too -this is all helpful!

Chris

(BTW - I really do LIKE the Ovation 12, and would probably have gone that route if this Guild hadn't been a gift and an overall stellar guitar)

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L R Baggs.

I'm going to have to second this recommendation.

The active I-beams sound incredible (listen to the demo!). A friend of mine has one and it blows my mind. It's not good for acoustic amps, but sounds amazing through a PA.

Edited to Add:

I know there are a lot of ovation fans here, but I've NEVER heard one that didn't soud like a plastic guitar even with the electronics going. I can always spot them in reocordings as wella s they just don't sound "like a real guitar." Granted most eletronics on regular acoustics sound a little funky, but I don't think the ovations are any better. Also the top WILL crack eventually. It might take two years it might take 10 or 15, but plastic won't expand and contract with wood and that's a problem for those guitars. If I had a dollar for every ovation brought in to see of the top could be fixed, I'd be a rich man.

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