I am looking for a pickup to put in my Martin D-15 LH. I was looking around and getting excited for the ones I found under $100, but they are all for steel strings, and are magnetic pickups (at least to my understanding) and I use phosphor bronze strings so they would not work. So can u guys suggest a good acoustic pickup for under $100? Maybe even under $200?
-I play folk, a lot of fingerpicking
-a bit of light strumming with a very light pick
-want to be able to plug into amps, DI's, etc
Don't worry about your strings. The treble strings, and the wound-string cores are all good, solid steel and they'll work just fine with any soundhole or piezo pickup.
Generally, the soundhole pickups are magnetic, like an electric guitar pickup, and as such tend to make your guitar sound rather like a hollowbody electric. You might like that... It's not bad.
But it's not a very "acoustic" sound.
For that, a piezo pickup would be better, they sense the vibrations of the guitar itself.
You can go pretty cheap on a piezo.. You can make one for a few bucks.
The stick-on variety seem to work fairly well but the wiring and all is kind of fragile.
Better is an internally-mounted job routed through an endpin jack. That has to be installed...
Better yet, by most accounts, is the under-the saddle pickup. Again, more expensive and must be professionally mounted.
I've put a k&k trinity system in my acoustic and it's really brought it to life. Something with a microphone in it is gonna get that acoustic sound across much better (although they're prone to feedback), and they're great for if you do any percussive sounds too. However the k&k trinity does set you back a few notes.
K&K Trinity (mic, 3 transducers, preamp) has held the test of time and is HIGHLY regarded. Out of your price range though, but it's no problem.
K&K Pure Mini, Formerly Pre Western (bridge mount, no preamp) is a great alternative. Many players enjoy these as well. They are 175$ at Long & McQuade here.
Then there is LR Baggs. Tried out a few, they are alright, but IMO, K&K's a better choice.
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