4 Amazing Pickups For Acoustic Guitars. If you’re in search of ways to amp up your acoustic guitar sound, there are countless amazing pickups available on the market. Some are easy to install and won’t damage your instrument; while others require special tools for installation.
One of the most sought-after acoustic pickups on the market is the KNA UP-2. This passive magnetic soundhole pickup offers easy operation and great value for your money.
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4 Amazing Pickups For Acoustic Guitars
1. KNA UP-2
KNA UP-2 Universal Stick-on Piezo Acoustic Pickup
The KNA UP-2 is an adaptable pickup that can be used on virtually any acoustic instrument. It’s lightweight and simple to install, plus it includes onboard volume control so musicians get precisely the sound they desire from the stage or studio.
Open mics will especially benefit from this piece of equipment as there are no special tools or expensive gear needed for installation. Even non-expert guitarists can install it themselves (though we recommend having it professionally done if possible).
Piezo-based pickups can add a layer of warmth and clarity to your acoustic instrument, and the KNA UP-2 does an exceptional job at reproducing natural tones without any feedback issues at any volume level. Furthermore, its wide frequency response provides a pleasing midrange-boosted tone suitable for any style of music.
Another advantage of using the KNA UP-2 is its low-profile design; it will sit above your guitar’s soundboard, so you don’t have to worry about any cord getting in your way while playing. This can be an issue with other pickups which hang down from below the soundboard and may affect acoustic tone negatively.
No matter if you’re playing solo or with a band, having an excellent acoustic pickup is paramount for any serious guitarist. A quality pickup can capture all the sounds and resonance of your guitar, helping it stand out from other instruments in the mix.
Magnetic acoustic pickups are ideal for players who require to play at higher volumes, as they offer more resistance to feedback than piezo-based picks. While more expensive than other options, magnetic pickups often offer a rich, warm tone that can be particularly appealing in certain musical genres.
The Fishman PowerTap Infinity is an ideal option for guitarists seeking a hybrid acoustic pickup system. It includes an under-saddle transducer that amplifies your instrument’s sound without distorting its tone, plus it has an integrated microphone to pick up sounds around you without distorting its tone. Furthermore, with its mixer dial for mic selection, you can customize which frequencies to use and how much boost they receive.
2. Fishman PowerTap Infinity
Fishman pickups have been a cornerstone of acoustic amplifying for years, and their latest offering is an innovative hybrid system designed to add more life and texture to performers’ performances.
PowerTap Infinity features the legendary Acoustic Matrix Infinity under-saddle pickup combined with a specially designed body sensor mounted inside the guitar body, enabling percussive fingerstyle techniques such as body tapping to be amplified in your instrument’s tone.
The Matrix Infinity delivers a rich and warm sound without sacrificing any of its clarity, making it ideal for both experienced and beginner guitarists alike. Furthermore, its compatibility with various guitar body sizes makes it suitable for both newer and experienced guitarists alike.
You can also pair the Infinity with their Powertap Earth soundboard transducer, which features a humbucking Rare Earth magnet mounted on the soundhole and works well with all body types. While this system may be more expensive, it delivers on its promises of fullness and resonance.
Furthermore, you can utilize both pickup signals separately in stereo to create a powerful and immersive soundscape. Or run each signal independently in mono for easier mixing when using them with an Amplification system.
One of the primary advantages of using a pickup is that you can achieve various stunning effects, such as reverb, delay, and chorus. These effects are especially helpful for solo performers who may not have access to professional amplifiers with enough output for full performances.
One major benefit of using a pickup is its higher resistance to feedback than contact pickups. This means you won’t have to worry about squealing or popping when performing live in front of an audience.
The PowerTap Infinity is an exceptional pick, featuring a wealth of features designed to maximize the potential of your acoustic guitar. It’s also suitable for beginners looking to amplify their instrument for the first time as its low-maintenance setup makes it an easy choice.
3. LR Baggs M80
The M80 soundhole pickup is designed to capture all vibrations within your guitar’s body, offering that full, natural tone so important for acoustic guitarists. Combining piezo sensitivity with magnetic resonation, the M80 captures every nuance of that natural sound with unparalleled clarity.
The LR Baggs M80 is an ideal option for any acoustic player seeking a detailed and natural sound onstage. It utilizes a 3D body sensor to capture all aspects of your guitar’s playing style – not just its strings. This prevents it from sounding twangy or bright like other soundhole pickups do, instead producing a full, balanced tone that feels very organic to listeners in the audience.
Installing the M80 guitar pickup is a relatively straightforward process, provided your soundhole is large enough. For smaller soundholes, contact a professional luthier for assistance in mounting their instrument. Alternatively, an optional longer cable can be left dangling from the soundhole if you wish not to alter the original hole size.
Another advantage of the M80 is its dual active/passive capabilities, giving you the choice to contour your EQ in either active mode or disable the preamp and go battery-free for more organic sounds. This versatility makes it a perfect fit for guitarists who perform in both acoustic and electric settings.
The M80 boasts several features, such as adjustable pole pieces and a battery check feature. Plus, there’s an onboard mini volume control and passive/active switch to help you get the best sound in any performance situation.
Though not as natural sounding as the KNA UP-2 or Fishman PowerTap Infinity, the LR Baggs M80 still does an excellent job at recreating your acoustic sound. It has a crystal clear sound and can easily be adjusted to achieve the desired tone.
4. K&K Pure Mini
For a balanced, warm full range sound with no feedback, the K&K Pure Mini is an ideal pick. As it’s a transducer-only system that requires no batteries or onboard electronics, there’s no muddying up of your guitar’s sound and no hiss to worry about!
The K&K Pure Mini 3-head bridge plate transducer produces a warm, woody tone. Additionally, it boasts an impressively high output signal and outstanding dynamic range – making it one of the premier acoustic guitar pickups available today.
This adaptor is specifically designed for instruments with floating bridges, so no additional modifications to the bridge or instrument are necessary. Furthermore, it enables you to quickly switch between single-coil and humbucking modes with the click of a button.
At first glance, the K&K Pure Mini may appear to be just an ordinary acoustic guitar pickup. But its 3 head design and super balanced flat sound transmission give it plenty of power; thus generating a wide variety of tones for you to select from.
The Pure Mini is ideal for performing with other musicians, producing a crisp and powerful sound that’s ideal when jamming on recordings or performing in public.
Another major advantage is the versatility of the K&K Pure Mini, which can be used on acoustic guitars, ukuleles, and mandolins alike. With its high output, low noise, and balanced sound it is perfect for players of all levels of expertise and proficiency.
The K&K Pure Mini is an ideal starter option for acoustic guitar players. It’s user-friendly and delivers a balanced, warm sound – ideal for those new to playing acoustic guitars and looking to save money. Furthermore, this model comes in various sizes to fit different guitars perfectly, plus its durable pickup will last you for years!
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What Type of Pickup is Best For Acoustic Guitar?
One popular acoustic pickup type is an under-saddle piezo pickup. These attach to the bridge saddle of a guitar and sense changes in pressure from string vibrations before sending them to an amplifier.
Popular among percussive players due to their ease of installation (although the sound quality may not always match that of soundboard transducers).
Bridge Plate Pickups
Another popular acoustic pickup is one that’s built into the bridge plate of the guitar. These come in both active and passive models, making them easy to install.
They produce a warmer sound than under-saddle transducers and are less susceptible to feedback.
For those seeking more detail in their recordings, adding an internal microphone to your acoustic pickup is becoming increasingly popular.
The LR Baggs M80 is one such model: its free-floating humbucking coil eliminates feedback and acts as a sensor for the guitar body.