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#923748 - 09/22/11 06:55 PM nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations?  
Joined: Jul 2011
Posts: 107
Diane Hurst Offline
Serious Contributor
Diane Hurst  Offline
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Posts: 107
Washington state
I need to have a pickup for my nylon string classical style guitar. Having tried one that didn't work very well (it stuck on with putty, near the sound hole-- but resulted in some buzzing sounds), and since my guitar is very old and is nothing special, I'm thinking of purchasing a new nylon-string guitar with a built-in pickup(when the finances allow this-- hopefully keeping the cost to $400 or less).

Does anyone have experience using pickups with classical guitars, and have a good pickup to recommend? Or do you have any input on these ideas for a classical with built in pickup: Yamaha NTX700, Yamaha CGX171CCA, Cordoba C5-CE, Ibanez AEGIONE.

Also, knowing very little about nuances of guitar sound, is there much difference in sound with different types of wood for the guitar top? For example, cedar vs spruce?


singin' and smilin'
Diane Hurst

http://www.reverbnation.com/dianehurst
#923895 - 09/23/11 02:13 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Diane Hurst]  
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline


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Posts: 7,899
Saint Petersburg. FL
Hi Diane,

I am not much help with nylon string guitars since all I have is a POS Esteban nylon string with no pickup (works well in the studio).

I don't think you could go far wrong with the brands you have selected.

My recommendation with any acoustic is to:

1. Buy a guitar with a factory installed pickup.
2. Always get one with a built in preamp, preferably with a tuner.
3. Go somewhere to try it out in person. Guitar Center, Sam Ash, etc. The neck profiles, action, and sound vary a lot and you can only decide what you like by playing it.
4. Ask for a free setup to get the action adjusted the way you want it. Usually the nut slots need filing deeper and often the bridge saddle needs to be lowered.

As far as wood is concerned, cedar has a darker sound than spruce, all other things being equal. Cedar is also relatively soft and wears quickly. I know people who have cedar tops with holes worn through them. (Willie Nelson has a spruce top with a hole in it!).

Note that a classical guitar (like the ones you named) are heavier duty than flamenco guitars which look similar but are made from thinner wood.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#924251 - 09/25/11 02:45 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Diane Hurst Offline
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Diane Hurst  Offline
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Washington state
Colin,

Thanks for your advice; I never imagined a guitar top would even get a hole worn in it-- it was an interesting piece of trivia to hear about Willie Nelson's spruce top hole.

Your suggestions will be very helpful as I start to look in guitar shops.


singin' and smilin'
Diane Hurst

http://www.reverbnation.com/dianehurst
#925608 - 10/01/11 04:07 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Diane Hurst]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
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Lockport NY, usa
I might be wrong here but, Pick-ups are designed to pick up the magnetic vibrations of metal strings. It sounds like you used a transducer that stuck to your guitar, that picks up the vibrations of the surface you attached it to. The buzzes may have been from your guitar and were picked up by the transducer.

I think that some form of microphone would work best on a nylon stringed instrument. Happy hunting Diane.

#925629 - 10/01/11 07:51 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Rick Heenan]  
Joined: May 2006
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Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline


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Saint Petersburg. FL
Rick,

You are right with respect to electric guitars and soundhole pickups in acoustic guitars, however most modern acoustics use piezoelectric pickups which are not sensitive to the vibration of a steel string in a magnetic field. They are actually located under the bridge saddle and sense the movement of the bridge when the strings are vibrating. They are alternatively squashed and released as the string vibrates which creates an electrical signal with the frequency of the notes played. It does not matter if the string is made of steel or nylon or catgut. The stick on transducer works in a similar way sensing the vibration of the top, not the wiggling of a string in a magnetic field. Either one would also sense a buzz as you mentioned.

A microphone would actually sound better but micing a guitar on stage is very unwieldy and subject to feedback and volume variations as the player moves around.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#926693 - 10/06/11 06:58 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Sep 2004
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Rick Heenan Offline
Rick Heenan  Offline

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Lockport NY, usa
Thats how I learned to trim off the excess string on the headstock. We could hear a ching-ching-ching sound through the transducer.

Don't they make mics that are installed inside the soundhole? Instead of transducers? Those little electrocet mics? Anyway, your recommendations are spot on, Colin.

#928311 - 10/15/11 04:06 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Rick Heenan]  
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Diane Hurst Offline
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Diane Hurst  Offline
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Washington state
Has anyone heard of/had any experience with, or want to give an opinion on this special type of pickup? It's called the "Dazzo."

http://www.dazzopickups.com/www.thedazzo.com/Welcome.html


singin' and smilin'
Diane Hurst

http://www.reverbnation.com/dianehurst
#928548 - 10/17/11 10:21 AM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Diane Hurst]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,899
Colin Ward Offline
Colin Ward  Offline


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Saint Petersburg. FL
I have never heard of a Dazzo pickup but it looks a lot like a K&K Pure (http://www.kksound.com/) which some friends of mine like. The K&K definitely needs a preamp either built into the guitar or outboard. I suspect the Dazzo would also.


Colin

I try to critique as if you mean business.....

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#928732 - 10/18/11 02:12 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Jul 2011
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Diane Hurst Offline
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Diane Hurst  Offline
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Washington state
Thanks, Colin; both of these look like I would need help installing, and would probably have to pay extra for that. Am still thinking it would be best to get a new guitar with a pickup system already installed. smile


singin' and smilin'
Diane Hurst

http://www.reverbnation.com/dianehurst
#928765 - 10/18/11 06:37 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Diane Hurst]  
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Rick Heenan Offline
Rick Heenan  Offline

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Lockport NY, usa
I played a nylon stringed Yamaha this past weekend that kind of reminded me of a Chet Atkins by Gibson. I think I would opt for a guitar with the stuff already built in. Good luck with your search. I love looking for guitars to buy.

#928988 - 10/20/11 06:53 AM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Rick Heenan]  
Joined: Jul 2011
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R&M Offline
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R&M  Offline
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I don't fit in to an expert of sounds and what would sound the best to pros. I have a Martin Sigma Acoustic and found it best for what I was looking for to put the mic or guitar clip directly in the hole of the guitar.
But I have seen these nice steel strings with the built in pickups.
That might be my next investment.
Synthesizers are my primary instrument.
But I prefer it real as much as possible.

#947192 - 02/23/12 08:50 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Diane Hurst]  
Joined: Sep 2011
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Pat Hardy Offline
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Pat Hardy  Offline
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I have a Cordoba C5 CE ( $400 ) with a gig bag, and it is NICE !!! ( it's the one in my avatar, I use it on gigs, and has a built in tuner ). I've been a nylon string guy for over 40 years, and I tell you, this guitar sounds great for the money.

Caveat, the B-band electronics is hissy ( at gig volumes ), and I use a Fishman preamp to filter it, but it's still not as good as I'd like it to be. I think they have a model with another brand of electronics, which I hear is better, so make inquiries.

I'd like to add, I don't like built in electronics at all, because once you hear the nylon guitar through a good mic, no in board electronics sounds as natural, and I do crave natural. However, you sacrifice some mobility on stage.


Last edited by pathardy; 02/23/12 08:54 PM.
#947195 - 02/23/12 09:07 PM Re: nylon string guitar with pickup-- recommendations? [Re: Rick Heenan]  
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Diane Hurst Offline
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Diane Hurst  Offline
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Posts: 107
Washington state
I've heard some good reviews for Yamaha instruments; I have a Yamaha digital piano that is great!

I did find a really nice nylon string acoustic-electric around Christmas time; it is an Art and Lutherie. It is parlor-size, with a cedar top and very nice sounds.


singin' and smilin'
Diane Hurst

http://www.reverbnation.com/dianehurst

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