#1
I'm going to be doing some live playing soon on some songs with an acoustic. I don't have an acoustic-electric guitar and my acoustic does not have a pickup. I have an acoustic emulator pedal but it doesn't really sound all that good so it's not an option. I don't think micing up the acoustic will be an option with the guys I'm playing with.

My acoustic is a Sigma dreadnought, which is essentially a high end Japanese made Martin copy. I've done some upgrades to it and it sounds very, very good and I would probably have to pay a lot to get an acoustic-electric that sounds anywhere near as good as it.

Any ideas? I know there are lots of different types of pickups that could be added to it and I've heard the undersaddle transducers with a separate boom mic inside are the best sounding. I wonder if it would be hard to equalize it properly though. Are there any decent sounding acoustic-electrics out there that are under $500?
#2
The transducer with a mic sounds the most natural imo. You could make a piezo pickup and slip it in. That's what I did with mine. About 10 bucks in all.
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#3
There are definitely some pretty good A/E guitars under $500. Seagull, Norman, Takamine, etc. All can be acquired for under $500.

However, adding electronics may be a good idea as well. It's really up to you. A good amplification system may cost you about $150ish though, so if your guitar isn't great, you might just want to buy a new guitar.

Either choice is alright.
Equipment:
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- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
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#4
Mic it, it might be more expensive but it doesnt change your tone as much as a pick up or piezo.
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#5
If you were willing to spend $500 on an acoustic-electri guitar, you should be able to find yourself a fairly decent pick-up for your guitar. I put the Martin Gold Plus piezo pick-up in my Alvarez AD70S. It works fantastically through the 60W Genz-Benz amp I've got.

I will admit that the undersaddle piezo pick-ups can sometimes sound... digital. But for what I play, I've managed to find a way to make it sound fairly legit.

The undersaddle pick-ups with the microphone on them tend to give you a more authentic sound, and they shouldn't run you north of $500 as far as I know. Just make sure that you ger someone worthwhile to actually install it for you. Many pick-ups require cutting a hole in the guitar, and that's not something anyone wants screwed up.
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#6
Bear in mind that if you're playing it through an electric amp it will sound balls no matter which pickup you put in it.

If you put in an expensive pickup (try the Maton APmic) then it's useless unless you have the amp to make the most of it.
#7
I'm very happy with the acoustic I have right now and would prefer not to buy a separate acoustic-electric. If I can install a pickup without too much hassle and without hurting the tone that would probably be the way to go.

I think we will be hooking direct to a PA with the electric amps miced, so I'll probably need a preamp of some kind. Any recommendations on a good undersaddle transducer with an internal mic and built in preamp? Several people have said LR Baggs is the best for acoustic pickups but I haven't done much research yet.
#8
How much are you looking to spend? That will largely determine what choices you have.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.
#9
Obviously as little $ as possible, but I don't mind spending a couple hundred to get something that sounds good and will last. If just the pickup would cost much more than that I would lean towards buying a separate guitar with built in electronics.

I've been looking on Ebay and and Craigslist and am seeing some fairly decent looking Fenders, Takamines, Yamaha's and Ovations going for reasonable prices. I should probably drop by the local music store and play some guitars. Outside of dreadnoughts I don't know acoustic guitars very well and know even less about acoustic-electrics.
#10
^ I'd like to say I really don't like Fender or Ibanez acoustic guitars. They usually just dont sound as full as the Yamaha or Seagull. Not all or horrible but I would strongly suggest trying them out before you buy it.
#11
Went by the local music store last night and tried out a bunch of guitars. It looks like anything under $500 or so would be all laminate except for the top, and the electronics are dodgy on most of the lower end ones. I never play up the neck on acoustic and don't need the cutout.

So I'm kind of thinking of adding an LR Baggs Element Active to my Sigma dreadnought. It's a great guitar made in Japan in the 70s, all solid aged wood and pretty much an exact copy of a Martin D-45. I should be able to get the Element Active for around $120 and install it myself. Going to think about it a little more today but that's probably what I'll do.
#12
you could get an SM58 and mic yourself, sounds better IMHO

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#13
You probably won't want to install it yourself unless you feel comfortable drilling a hole in the bottom block(where the endpin is) of your guitar. You'll need to drill a hole to fit the 1/4" jack there. It's easy to crack the guitar, so I would be very careful if you do it yourself.
Equipment:
- Art & Lutherie Cedar CW (SOLD! )
- Martin D-16RGT w/ LR Baggs M1 Active Soundhole Pickup
- Seagull 25th Anniversary Flame Maple w/ LR Baggs Micro EQ

Have an acoustic guitar? Don't let your guitar dry out! Click here.