June 27, 2005 11:14 AM   Subscribe

Guitar Modification: I have a Taylor 214 acoustic with a Martin Thinline Acoustic pickup, but no preamp. What sort of preamp should I get installed?

The guitar didn't come with any electronics to begin with. I got the pickup installed, but didn't have the money to spring for the preamp. The guitar sounds great unplugged, but plugged into a PA it sounds very harsh, metallic, and unnatural. I'm not a gear/electronics expert, but I was led to believe that installing a decent preamp in the guitar will remedy this situation. What kind should I get? I'd like to spend as little as possible, but I really love the unplugged sound of the guitar and want to be able to preserve it when plugging into a PA.
posted by ludwig_van to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Response by poster: I'd also be open to the idea of getting an acoustic amplifier, but the guitar preamp seems like it would be the cheaper and more versatile solution. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:22 AM on June 27, 2005

I think that you'll be disappointed if you try to get precisely the same sound though a pickup as you do acoustically (or through a mic). That's not to say it can't sound great though, so with that in mind, a preamp will definitely help your sound and is pretty much a must with piezo-type pickups. Fishman or L. R. Baggs preamps are popular, but if you live near a shop where you can go in and try a bunch out, you should.
posted by transient at 11:41 AM on June 27, 2005

I'll second transient on the Baggs -- the ParaAcoustic DI is a wonderful device. Take some time to work with the house sound person on your next gig and figure out the settings for your guitar so that the channel EQs can run flat or nearly flat.
posted by omnidrew at 11:45 AM on June 27, 2005

Of all I've ever used, recorded, or worked on, the Alvarez System 600T is the best.
posted by sourwookie at 11:48 AM on June 27, 2005

I'll third the Baggs. I wouldn't amplify an acoustic live without one. Plus, the feedback-busting notch filter is a lifesaver if you're sharing the stage with any but the quietest of drummers.

As for acoustic amplifiers, I'm not a fan. The only situation in which they seem profitably used is when the monitors are not adequate to the task for a DIed instrument. Were that the case, I'd buy and tote a powered wedge instead.
posted by stet at 12:42 PM on June 27, 2005

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