#1
So, I've decided I want to buy the Seagull S12 12-string guitar. My only decision now is whether to get the purely acoustic version or the acoustic-electric version. I feel like I probably wouldn't use the electric feature THAT much, preferring mainly the acoustic/mic'd sound of it, but it might be nice to have in certain gigging/band situations or something.

That being said though, does the acoustic-electric version sound in any way "worse" than the acoustic version when just playing acoustically? In other words, is there any reason NOT to get the acoustic-electric version?

Thanks!
#2
I would go for the acoustic/electric. I've played a several acoustic/electrics as opposed to the purely acoustic version I really couldn't tell a difference sonically. In addition the added versatility of having the pickup is very handy when you need it.
#4
If the E/A version was a cutaway, then there would be a noticeable difference, but since the shape of body remains the same, there will be very little if any discernable change in tone and projection.

For capturing the true natural tone of a guitar, whether on stage or in a recording studio, and this holds especially true for 12 strings, nothing beats a well miked guitar. The biggest atvantage of E/A guitars is convenience. For lower end guitars that lack tonal quality, the ability easily EQ and add effects such as delay or reverb to give a sense of sustain greatly enhances their tonal shortcomings, but at the cost of losing the natural sound of the guitar, which can be a good thing if the guitar sounds lousy.

In mose cases, the majority of professional studio recordings are miked. I'm certainly no expert about this so don't take this as gospel. In general, studios use two cardioid (unidirectional) mics, depending on the engineer, guitar, and effect they want, place them in either the 3 to 1 formula (dependant upon distance from the guitar) or have the two mics close together forming a V, which the refer to as the X-Y techique. I'm sure there are many more differernt ways, but those two examples are the most common.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
Last edited by BlackbirdPie at Mar 14, 2012,
#5
IMO I like having it mic'd as well as having a pickup on it. If it lacks anything like EQ a pickup could fix that, and it would still sound like a natural guitar because it would be mic'd. Blackbirdpie is right. If you can afford it, get the Seymour Duncan Mag Mic. Clicky
#6
Quote by BlackbirdPie
...[ ].... In general, studios use two cardioid (unidirectional) mics, depending on the engineer, guitar, and effect they want, place them in either the 3 to 1 formula.....[ ]....


The "cardioid" microphone has a bit too broad of a pickup pattern to be truly, "unidirectional". A cardioid mic also has a bass boost proximity effect.

Accordingly, based on the distance, you are actually EQ'ing, whatever instrument this type of mic is used on.

They make great vocal mics for the guys, and even Mary-Chapin Carpenter's tenor voice takes on a whole new dimension behind one of them.

I'm not sure why all the purist derision of pre-installed peizo pickups.

Ovation's stock in trade is thin bowl guitars that really do sound like crap unplugged, but turn in to performance monsters when you plug them in.

It's still more price effective to buy the guitar with the pickup system installed. Retrofitting is a big pain in the ass.

12 Strings trend toward being a trifle shill. I wouldn't want to own one without electronics.

In the case of the Seagull 12 in question, it should be a nice guitar already, and the pickup and preamp will just make it all the more so.

You would have to search far and wide for an album the doesn't have at least a touch of reverb or delay. And yeah, I have one of each. (Plus what's built into my amp). Even playing alone, it's fun to generate a big ambient sound , and then get lost in it. Especially with a 12.

The only negative I can think of with the Godin Q-1 preamp, is that it's only two band.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 15, 2012,
#7
Quote by Captaincranky
The "cardioid" microphone has a bit too broad of a pickup pattern to be truly, "unidirectional". A cardioid mic also has a bass boost proximity effect.

Accordingly, based on the distance, you are actually EQ'ing, whatever instrument this type of mic is used on.

They make great vocal mics for the guys, and even Mary-Chapin Carpenter's tenor voice takes on a whole new dimension behind one of them.

I'm not sure why all the purist derision of pre-installed peizo pickups.

Ovation's stock in trade is thin bowl guitars that really do sound like crap unplugged, but turn in to performance monsters when you plug them in.

It's still more price effective to buy the guitar with the pickup system installed. Retrofitting is a big pain in the ass.

12 Strings trend toward being a trifle shill. I wouldn't want to own one without electronics.

In the case of the Seagull 12 in question, it should be a nice guitar already, and the pickup and preamp will just make it all the more so.

You would have to search far and wide for an album the doesn't have at least a touch of reverb or delay. And yeah, I have one of each. (Plus what's built into my amp). Even playing alone, it's fun to generate a big ambient sound , and then get lost in it. Especially with a 12.

The only negative I can think of with the Godin Q-1 preamp, is that it's only two band.



True, cardioids aren't truly unidirectional, but if you want to debate semantics, then no mic would qualify, not hypers, supers, or even shotguns based on their pickup patterns. Cardioid only describes the polar pickup pattern, not necessarily the type, ie dynamic, condenser, etc.


I have no disdain for piezos, if fact I occasionally use them myself being they are more convenient.


Yes the vast majority of studio recorded acoustic guitars have some degree of delay/echo/reverb, but as a matter of clarification to the question posed by the TS and to avoid confusion, acoustic guitars are usually recorded unprocessed, the effects are added post recording at the board. One reason is that most studio rooms are acousticly treated, lacking the echo found in a normal room.
I'm the only player to be sponsered by 7 guitar companies not to use their products.
#8
Quote by BlackbirdPie
True, cardioids aren't truly unidirectional, but if you want to debate semantics, then no mic would qualify, not hypers, supers, or even shotguns based on their pickup patterns. Cardioid only describes the polar pickup pattern, not necessarily the type, ie dynamic, condenser, etc.

I probably shouldn't have injected the frequency response issue into the directionality issue. A better take might have been that cardiod microphones introduce tonal coloration, so you're not really recording the the guitar "flat".

In any event, "uni-directionality" in a microphone has its corollary in lens optics which are measured in the strictest sense of "angle of acceptance". When taken in that context, no lens can be truly "uni-directional, or it would not pass light. I suppose that has an equivalent value in a mic, to specify the degree of, "uni-directionality". (I understand I have committed "felony hyperboly"here. But, you see my point? (Plus, so did you )).

Besides, recording a guitar "dry" also has its parallels in digital photography. For example, you take a portrait in camera, with no effects. Then use Photoshop to Taylor it, (misspelled pun intended), into the portrait you had in mind. The Zen relationship there is, neither the dry guitar sound, or the in-camera portrait, are what you actually wanted as the finished product.

Quote by BlackbirdPie
Yes the vast majority of studio recorded acoustic guitars have some degree of delay/echo/reverb, but as a matter of clarification to the question posed by the TS and to avoid confusion, acoustic guitars are usually recorded unprocessed, the effects are added post recording at the board. One reason is that most studio rooms are acousticly treated, lacking the echo found in a normal room.
Adding effects later is the sole province of the recording studio, a luxury not afforded to live performance. Save for perhaps a sound man injecting an effect into a PA that isn't also present in the floor monitors.

With that said, the average living room isn't ordinarily a pleasant or "large" acoustic environment. Hence my take on injecting ambiance into the sound in an "as you go" manner.

You should hit Martin's website. They have The Rolling Stones playing Martin Guitars, "acoustically". Wow, if that is the dry sound of a Martin, I gotza gits me 2 o' doze!
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 17, 2012,
#9
So the general consensus is that the Electric-Acoustic version of the S12 would be nice to have convenience-wise and wouldn't have any drawbacks? I mean it doesn't seem like it costs much more than the purely Acoustic version, so I'm not worried about price much.
Last edited by fixationdarknes at Mar 17, 2012,
#10
Every purely acoustic guitar I've ever bought has come with the regret that it wasn't acoustic-electric built right in.

Since the A/E impact on the overall sound will be negligible to virtually nil, you could still record with it in the studio miked up.

Let the manufacturer do the cutting, drilling, and buying of electronic parts, while absorbing all the risk of damage when installing them.

12 strings sound like shit sometimes played acoustically. Several factors are involved. General wisdom has it that you should keep your acoustic tuned down to about D to D standard intervals. More players than not, need to play with a .010 to .047 string set. Which is most maker's shipping gauge. At concert pitch, these still place 250 lbs of tension on the neck. A 12 string medium set clocks in at over 300!

With the down tuning and the light strings, you tend to develop a lighter touch, more like that of playing an electric anyway.

Lighter strings have less bass than heavy strings, enter the EQ dials.

In a broader context, pickup systems become more sophisticated overall, as you go up the guitar price scale. Point being, a manufacturer has to use good electronics, because that what his competition is doing.

Godin preamps have the coolest pewter control panels ever!

So, if the money isn't a problem, best thing to do is buy the A/E model, and enjoy.
Last edited by Captaincranky at Mar 17, 2012,