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Thread: anyone ever regret buying model without pickup?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    169

    Default anyone ever regret buying model without pickup?

    Hi all

    I have found an acoustic guitar i like with a great intersection of quality and price for my personal taste. I am debating with myself spending extra and getting the model with built in pick up (Alvarez AF30 vs AF30CE).

    I was wondering if anyone had made the decision to not get the electrified version and then regretted it? My wife will probably only let me keep one guitar around.

    I am a strummer who has been playing guitar for 1 1/2 years to accompany my singing as i got sick of not being able to perform spontaneously without accompaniment (been singin a long time).

    I started with ukulele and have only performed once in 2 years with my ukulele, using a clip on passive pick up and an external active preamp/DI box. After that i drilled a hole in my uke and installed a passive pickup which i am yet to use a year and half later.

    I do expect to plug in once a year or so at a medical conference i attend where we usually have a music night; but, i was thinking i could get away with stick on or clip on pickups as i have my active di box. Do those pickups you stick on the soundboard get in the way of playing?

    thank you everyone,
    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
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    Honolulu
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    726

    Default

    Nope, I prefer my instruments au naturel. Unless you're playing in loud and "rough" (e.g., beer parlor) venues a good mic through a decent sound system always sounds better for stage use. I bring my KM-184 and have the sound tech set the board flat or with a slight mid boost and it sounds great. Piezo pickups are really quacky and fake sounding through most PA systems but are good enough for playing for drunks and loud talkers. All my instruments with pickups rattle and vibrate when played acoustically and drive me nuts (battery cage and wires from hell).

    But, yeah, I've regretted most of my pickup installations.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Peter above makes some very good points, a mic will always sound better then a pick up. Solo singer songwriter acoustic acts get by very well with just mic’s, but you will need to invest in an instrument mic, mic stand and cable. Assuming the medical conference music night has a vocal mic.

    Most steel string acoustic strummers and singers (that’s me) have a pick up installed for ease of plug and play. Peter is a highly accomplished classical guitarist so the sound quality of a pick up would never work well for him. Us bottom feeders (this is the funny part, no one get offended please) can make do with pick ups.

    But if I were you I would not get the Alvarez with the stock pick up installed. Buy with out the pick up and get a K&K installed, about $100. Much much much better sound, especially because you have an external DI box. This can always be done later on.

    Just my 2cents
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 02-07-2020 at 11:00 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

  4. #4
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    Jul 2015
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    Canada Prairies, brrr ....
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    I have two electro-acoustic guitars and in almost 10 years of owning one of them have never plugged them in. They still add weight and I have to check batteries for leakage in a while. For performance my crowds are small usually less than 30 people so ukes, guitars, and voice are fine just naturally. When crowds are larger there is usually a mic provided which is sufficient. If you go with pickup you would also be expected to provide an amp to plug it into, cables, effects pedals etc. so it can easily balloon and one can get obsessed with the gadgets and neglect the actual playing. I have big admiration for those who can pull it off successfully, and they usually do this for living to make it worth the effort and investment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
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    Thank you, you are all saying what i was thinking :-)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Location
    Palm Beach County FL
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    568

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    My last uke was an Oscar Schmidt 8 string. I wish I would have sprung for the extra $ 15 for the pick up. I Try to record using Audacity. My Pono MTD has a pick up. Either the sound works Ok or my standards are low on sound quality.

  7. #7

    Default

    You can always add a pickup.
    MiSi works great, I have it on two of my ukes, both high end.
    I play out a lot, and a pickup is a necessity. Mics are a pain in the ass, and have feedback, and I have tried many high end ones.
    Also with a wireless transmitter, you can walk around in the audience
    Way cool!
    Ron

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
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    Pickering, ON, Canada
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill1 View Post
    I regretted it when talking about re-sale and used prices with a dealer/buyer.

    Having the right pick-up will help sell and get a better price when the time comes, noting that it also might cost more to buy.

    The concept of getting one fitted later is a flawed concept if there is a good chance of needing a pick-up.
    I respectfully disagree about getting a pick up installed after wards is a flawed idea!!! Three of my guitar have had after market pick ups installed and it worked great. My Eastman 00-12 fret came with a stock Fishman Sonotone under saddle piezo pick up that sounded like crap. I had it removed and an SBT type Schatten HFN pick up installed and it is wonderful, a world of difference.

    If my experience doesn’t convince you go over to Acoustic Guitar Forum and read the endless threads about aftermarket pickup installations. You could ask my brother in-law who does it with his guitars and his been a professional giging musician for over 40 years.

    Maybe if you think resale is better with the stock pick up, but if it the guitar is being kept and played........no contest.
    Last edited by DownUpDave; 02-08-2020 at 12:33 AM.
    Currently enjoying these ukuleles : *LdfM tenor, *LfdM 19" super tenor. *LfdM baritone, *I'iwi tenor , *Koolau tenor, *Webber tenor, *Kimo tenor, *Kimo super concert, *Mya Moe baritone, *Kamaka baritone, *Gianinni baritone, *Fred Shields walnut pineapple super soprano, *Kala super soprano, *Loprinzi super soprano, *Black bear ULO concert , *Enya X1 concert, *Enya X1 pineapple soprano, *Enya Nova *Gretsch tenor, *Korala plastic concert

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