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Acoustic Guitar Pickups

By: William Gallagher

Acoustic Guitars are a beautiful instrument and very versatile. From being used by classical artists, folk singers and heavy metal musicians on occasion, the acoustic guitar appeals to almost everyone. They practically fit every music genre in some shape or form. Not only are they suited to most people's musical tastes, they are also easy to carry and care for. However if there is one drawback with acoustic guitars it can be their output, particularly in a large or noisy room. There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a musician play only to have their music drowned out by a crowd of people talking. The way to tackle this problem is to amplify your acoustic guitar by getting the best guitar pickups available for your instrument.

There is a variety of acoustic guitar pickups to choose from, all coming in a variety of shapes and sizes. They also vary in price, which for many can be the determining factor. The most common types of guitar pickups for your acoustic include clip-on pickups, natural built in pickups and pre-amp pickups with on board electronics.

The most basic type of pickup is the Clip on pickup. These are also known as Sound Hole pickups and are the most basic type. The Clip On or Sound Hole pickup is a Passive pickup, meaning it does not come with a pre-amp nor does it require a battery. This type of pickup usually clipped onto the area around the guitar's sound hole or at the bridge. These are normally an inexpensive pickup. They are also a good choice for a 'casual' guitarist who only wants to plug into an amplifier and play, no fuss. It would not be suited for the standard of musician who wants to play gigs at a big function or gig.

Usually installed on acoustic guitars, Natural pickups boost the guitar's output in a way that is not intrusive. Installing Natural pickups does not involve any cutting or drilling on the guitars body. They do not have on board controls for example for volume and EQ, usually they have a pre-amp. Natural pickups are a good option if what you want to make simple modifications to your acoustic guitar.

In the opinion of this author the best acoustic guitar pickups are the ones with a built in pre-amp system that can boost the signal from your guitar, which produces a cleaner and a well defined tone at the speakers. A pre-amp pickup is an active pickup in that it requires a battery as a power source, this is usually a nine volt battery. The pre-amp pickup should eliminate any problems you have with getting your sound over to your crowd. One of these pickups will ensure your acoustic guitar will significantly boost your sound level.

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