#1
Hi -
I have a Taylor 110 acoustic that I want to be able to plug in and use for a few songs with a full band.

I'm looking at pickups in the $50 range like this SD:
http://www.musiciansfriend.com/accessories/seymour-duncan-woody-hc-hum-canceling-soundhole-pickup

1. Has anyone tried this particular pup?
2. I've always heard mentioned that a different type of amp is required for an acoustic guitar, but what is different? Does it need a boost similar to mic level boost?? If that is the case could I use a Studio Projects mic-pre, then run that into an standard electric guitar amp? Any other options using a mic-pre? I already have this: http://www.musiciansfriend.com/pro-audio/studio-projects-vtb-1-tube-blend-mic-preamp

3. Should I forget about #2 and plug into the PA?

Thanks
#2
There are a couple of reviews of the "woody" on Youtube... Reasonably favorable.

Essentially, you're looking at an electromagnetic pickup. They work just like the pickup in an electric guitar; sensing string vibration in the magnetic field. For the most part, they make your guitar sound somewhat like a hollowbody electric. That may or may not be fine depending on what you want.

Most of these are high-impredance PUs, so you can plug 'em right into your amp without difficulty.
Advantages... Cheap, easy to install.
Disadvantages...Doesn't provide that "pure" acoustic sound, and the arrangement is somewhat fragile.
There are lots of different types and variations.
Piezo pickups of various kinds stick onto the guitar and sense the vibration of the body. They often provide a more "acoustic" sound and can be wired internally to be essentially invisible.

If they're not mounted properly they can be rather microphonic... That is, they pick up EVERY sound from the guitar body.

Then you have various types of microphone pickups which usually have a small microphone that also mounts internally and are wired through an end-pin jack. Baggs makes a nice one.
And there are advanced models that feature both a small microphone and piezo elements...They tend to be rather expensive but probably sound the best of all.

Some of these do seem to perform better when run through a pre-amp of some sort, but I've been making my own piezo pickups for years for my cigar-box guitars and plugging them right into the amp and they work just fine.

I'd recommend "shopping" YouTube. Get yourself a list of possible pickups from Amazon or a catalogue and then go looking for reviews. Lots of them are quite detailed.
#3
Thanks for the advice. I really appreciate that..The YT clips for this particular pickup sound good enough to get started. I'm not looking for anything high end now, but maybe down the road.

Cheers
#4
This is really cool because I play my acoustic all the time around the house. If I can plug straight into my orange or mig then I could potentially run a few pedals as well.
#5
Let me add something I just found out. Lots of folks (me included) are interested in the various music software for the iPad/iPhone. Garageband, for instance. Most folks use an electric and plug the instrument into a device like the "iRig" or the more-advanced "Apogee" item.

By all accounts, the Apogee is the best, plugging into the 30-pin jack and free of noise or lag. However.... To use an acoustic with a mic, or with a low-impedance pickup like a piezo....
You must needs buy an "Impedance Matching Transformer" to switch the input to high-impedance.
Only 12 bucks or so, but something you have to buy on top of the device, which ain't cheap.
#6
In my own opinion, the best way to amplify your acoustic is to mike it, not put a pickup in it. Sure, a pickup is more convenient, but you will loose some of that sound you like from it. By miking it, you maintain that sound. Get a good condenser mic and a good PA system and you won't regret it. I play a Martin custom MMV(2005) and when I record with it at home I mic it and it keeps that sweet Martin sound. Just food for thought. And like I said at the beginning, it's my own opinion and preference.
#7
I think almost everyone agrees that you get the best recording sound from a good mic. In fact, two... Most studio recordings actually put one behind the guitar as well. (or at least they were when I was reading Guitar Player every month....)

However, on stage... A lot of performers like to move around. Also, mics are prone to feedback in a band situation. Finally, most all the audience doesn't give a damn about the lovely, pure sound you cherish in your favorite acoustic.... You're just "a guy with a guitar".
Plugging in is easy and reliable.