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Looking for the best pickups for acoustic guitar?
Ready to start getting a little more volume out of your instrument?
While the acoustic guitar is a lot of fun to play unplugged, you may eventually want to get a little bit more amplification. High-end brands such as Martin and Taylor often include high-quality pickups on their guitars, but not all guitars include these electronics. So if you need an amplified sound, installing a pickup on your own is also a great option to consider.
If you want to play live or you just want a little more volume at home, you don’t necessarily have to go out and buy an acoustic-electric guitar with a pickup already built-in. It’s fairly to install a guitar pickup to an acoustic guitar on your own. Especially when matched with an exceptional acoustic guitar preamp, a pickup can give you a beautiful amplified tone.
When it comes to choosing a pickup to use for your acoustic guitar, a lot of it will come down to personal preference. However, there are definitely some pickups that are better than others. You’ll need to consider your options carefully if you want to choose a pickup that is just right for you.
Below we’ll give you our list of the best pickups for acoustic guitar on the market today.
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Best Pickups For Acoustic Guitar Players – Quick View
The L.R. Baggs Anthem is the first pickup on our list and is simply one of the best pickups for acoustic guitar on the market today. The L.R. Baggs Anthem replicates the unplugged guitar sound extremely well. When compared to others on the market today, the Anthem is able to avoid the pinging noise some other models are plagued by. The sound overall though is one of the best on the market.
There are some downfalls with this pickup, however. Firstly the price tag is steep. This pickup is a bit more expensive than many of the other options on this list. To install you have to drill holes into your bridge. This can make anyone apprehensive but the Baggs website has detailed instructions on installation.
Another issue that may come up is some users have reported having cell phone chatter picked up. So while on stage your phone would have to be off to prevent that.
Overall, despite its drawbacks, this is one of the best acoustic guitar pickups on the market. Even with a steeper price point, it’s a great option if you want to have the most natural amplified sounds possible with your pickup.
The first thing to note with the K&K Pickup is that it’s a transducer only. That means there are no electronics onboard. There are three transducers all of which pick up specific pairs of strings. These result in one of the most natural acoustic sounds on the market. Self-installation can be difficult. To get the most out of this pickup it’s important to install it correctly. So using a luthier to install it is best unless you feel very comfortable with working on your guitar yourself.
Some of the pitfalls with this is the lack of electronics. For some, things like lack of volume control and no EQ controls, are deal breakers. But with an extra purchase of a pre-amp and those become available to you. For the pretty reasonable price, this is a great pickup. Many musicians love the sound of this pickup.
This is one of the best budget acoustic pickups on the market currently. The Fishman Neo-D single coil pickup is great for the budget guitarist. The price comes in at a pretty decent number and is easy on the wallet when compared to other options. Another positive of this pickup is the easy install. There is no drilling when it comes to installation. Making it easier to do DIY style. The sound is warm and comes off natural.
However, this pickup doesn’t quite have the punch of some of its competitors. The sound just isn’t as loud as many people would want it. It simply isn’t amplified enough. Also, keep in consideration this is for right-handed guitars only. Still, for the price it’s unmatched.
By the way, there is an upgraded version available called the Neo-D Magnetic Humbucker. This version is just a bit more expensive but may be worth a consideration if the single coil option was intriguing.
The Seymour Duncan Woody HC is another competitive budget pickup and falls on the cheaper end of the spectrum. This is one of the easiest pickups to install.
This is a pretty good sounding pickup. The bass is clear but doesn’t drown out the rest of the tones and it all sounds even.
This pickup doesn’t lack problems, however. This device isn’t the best out of the box. The sound comes off as flat when compared to some higher-end options. Using an EQ, however, can help change that. The sound output is low though. The pickup itself isn’t very loud and would benefit from a pre-amp.
Last but not least we have the Neo-SP31 Magnetic Pickup by Amumu. With the price coming in pretty low on Amazon this is the cheapest on the list. This is a great entry level pickup. If you are just starting to perform live, or want to this is a good option to get your feet wet. The installation is fairly easy and you can do it at home.
Keep in mind before purchasing that it is highly recommended to have a pre-amp with this pickup. Also with the price point being so low, it does have some drawbacks when it comes to sound. It makes the acoustic guitar sound less natural and comes off a little electric. But overall for the price, this is a great starter option.
If you’re looking for the best pickups for acoustic guitar, you’ll likely be pleased with any of the options listed above. Make sure to do your due diligence so you can make sure to get a pickup that is just right for you and your needs.
Want to buy an acoustic-electric guitar instead with a pickup built in already? Then you may want to check out our list of the best acoustic-electric guitars.