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Old 01-18-2019, 12:27 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Posts: 5,729
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I agree with what others have said. The nature of the pickup is important. I personally have never heard an under-saddle pickup that sounds even remotely pleasing to my ears, and it would have to come out immediately if I were to buy a guitar that has been modified with such a pickup. If that in turn would then require me to replace the saddle and possibly revert other modifications, I would no longer consider buying that guitar unless it's something that's hard to find or the price would be right. In other words, we're talking reduced resale value.

If on the other hand, we're talking a guitar equipped with a soundboard transducer system like the K&K Pure Mini pickup, I would have no hesitations buying that, because my experience with that pickup have been extremely positive. Sure, it doesn't sound as natural as a mic'ed guitar, but no pickup system does.

Much of the decision also depends on purpose. I personally am under the impression that onboard-mics offer the best sound, from having heard guitars using that method of amplification at concerts.

But every single person I have talked to about those systems - so far - has discouraged that option, pointing out feedback issues unless one dials the system in very carefully, has sound people on hand that know what they're doing etc. Doesn't sound like a great option for a person like me who doesn't play professionally, but rather in cramped corners during a backyard party or something like that.

The style of music you play, the purpose of home recording you are trying to accomplish (simple backing tracks for practice or CD quality?) — all these factors determine what amplification system you choose.

From what I've gathered, no amplification system sounds as faithful to the guitar's unamplified sound as a high-quality condenser mic, and my understanding is that for professional recordings, several such mics are being used in the studio, arranged around the guitar at various carefully selected positions.

For live-on-stage situations, many recommend dynamic mics since they're less prone to feedback than condenser mics, but I know from experience that with the right equipment, one can get condenser mics to work really fantastic even in those situations.

So, there is no one-size-fits-all, best possible solution. All are trade-offs, and you have to make a decision based on what your priorities are.
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