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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 out of it. High-end brands such as Martin and Taylor often include high-quality pickups on their guitars, but not all guitars include these electronics.
If you need an amplified sound, installing a pickup on your own is also a great option to consider. Especially when matched with an exceptional acoustic guitar preamp, a pickup can give you a beautiful amplified tone.
Whether 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 easy to install a guitar pickup on an acoustic guitar by yourself.
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 the acoustic guitar on the market today.
Best Pickups For Acoustic Guitar Players – Quick View
|LR Baggs Anthem Tru-Mic||A somewhat pricey but high-quality option that allows for some of the most natural acoustic guitar sounds possible with a pickup.||Check Price on Amazon|
|K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar Pickup||A small but simple acoustic guitar pickup that's available at a very reasonable price.||Check Price on Amazon|
|Fishman Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole Acoustic Pickup - Single-coil||A budget guitar pickup that offers a natural and warm sound that isn't likely to disappoint.||Check Price on Amazon|
|Seymour Duncan Woody HC Hum-Canceling Soundhole Pickup||A budget-friendly guitar pickup that offers players an even and warm tone.||Check Price on Amazon|
|Amumu Neo-SP31 Magnetic Soundhole Pickup||A great entry level pickup that also offers a nice sound and is relatively easy to install.||Check Price on Amazon|
What Is an Acoustic Guitar Pickup?
An acoustic guitar pickup is an electronic device that can be installed on your guitar. It allows your acoustic instrument to be amplified in the same way as an electric guitar. An acoustic pickup with convert the signals that your acoustic guitar sends into a signal that can be plugged into an amplification device.
Acoustic guitar pickups are very useful for guitar players who want to practice with an acoustic amp at home or plug into an audio interface when recording. They’re also useful for acoustic guitar players who want to play live at open mics and music gigs.
Keep in mind that a guitar pickup can be installed on any acoustic guitar. However, acoustic guitars that already have an acoustic pickup installed by the manufacturer are generally known as acoustic-electric guitars.
Types of Acoustic Guitar Pickups
There are 3 main acoustic guitar pickup types that are available. This includes the following:
- Undersaddle Pickups (Piezo Pickups): Undersdaddle pickups are the most popular type of pickup and go under a guitar’s bridge.
- Soundhole Pickups (Magnetic Pickups): Soundhole pickups go inside an acoustic guitar’s soundhole and are easy to install and remove as needed.
- Soundboard Transducer Pickups (Contact Pickups): These pickups work similarly to an under-saddle pickup, but can be placed just about anywhere on a guitar’s body.
Top Guitar Pickups – Reviewed
So what are the best acoustic pickups that are available today? Check out our acoustic guitar pickup reviews below to see the best options that are out there right now.
1. LR Baggs Anthem Tru-Mic
The L.R. Baggs Anthem is the first pickup on our list and is simply one of the best soundhole pickups for acoustic guitars 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. Overall, though, the sound 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.
Additionally, to install the pickup you’ll have to drill holes into your bridge. This can make anyone apprehensive. Fortunately, 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, you may need to turn your phone 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.
2. K&K Pure Mini Acoustic Guitar 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. Using a luthier to install it is best unless you feel very comfortable with working on your guitar yourself.
Some of the pitfalls of this pickup are the lack of electronics. For some players, things like a lack of volume control and no EQ controls, are deal breakers. However, with an extra purchase of a pre-amp and those become available to you.
For a pretty reasonable price, this is a great pickup. Many musicians love its sound, so it’s a worthy option to consider if you’re looking for the best acoustic guitar pickup.
3. Fishman Neo-D Magnetic Soundhole Acoustic Pickup – Single-coil
The Fishman Neo-D single coil pickup is a great pickup for the budget guitarist. Currently, this is one of the best budget acoustic pickups on the market. The price comes in at a pretty decent number and it’s easy on the wallet when compared to other options.
Another positive of this pickup is the easy installation. There is no drilling when it comes to installation, making it easier to do DIY style.
The sound of this pickup is pretty impressive, offering a warm and natural tone. 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 to be.
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 considering if this single coil option was intriguing to you.
4. Seymour Duncan Woody HC Hum-Canceling Soundhole Pickup
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 Seymour Duncan pickup is a pretty good-sounding pickup. The bass is clear but doesn’t drown out the rest of the tones and everything 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.
Additionally, the sound output is a bit low. The pickup itself isn’t very loud and would benefit from a pre-amp.
5. Amumu Neo-SP31 Magnetic Soundhole Pickup
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’re just starting to perform live this is a good option to get your feet wet. The installation is fairly easy and you can install it at home.
Keep in mind before purchasing that it’s highly recommended to use an acoustic preamp 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.
Overall for the price, however, this is a great starter option.
Choosing a Great Guitar Pickup With This Guide
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.
Hi, I’m Harrison! I created this website to help musicians navigate the ins and outs of their craft and to help them choose new instruments and gear to add to their collection. I have 15 years of experience as a guitarist and singer and have also played many other instruments throughout the years including the bass guitar, piano, banjo, mandolin, and harmonica.