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Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Dale Campbell » Fri Mar 14, 2008 4:36 pm

Love Dominics playing - my first guitar idol.

Interestingly his first (and maybe second albums) where recorded through the internal pickups.

I used to wonder how he got that amazing sound ! :headbang: :D
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Fri Mar 14, 2008 5:33 pm

Godin used to do a Nylon version of the acousticaster.... a precursor to the Multi-ac range.... similar idea....

I think offhand they still do something along those lines but it'll be WAYYY more than 400 euro.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby ElGreco » Sat Mar 15, 2008 3:41 am

Hello and thank you for your replies! :)

Well.. I am not actually after buying another electro-classical guitar.. I have already two:
a) a Takamine 132SC (with the BBand A2.2; it is the guitar I am referring to in this post)
b) a Godin Multiac Grand Concert Nylon

Today, I bought the Fishman Aura Nylon Pedal (280eruos) and I am going to experiment with this a bit.. I don't know if I am going to keep the BBand on the Takamine.. it has never worked really good.. maybe I change it for a Fishman UST..
... getting THE acoustic amplified sound is the Holy Grail of any guitarist, and it seems that my Crusade is never ending.. :blush:
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Studio Support Gnome » Sat Mar 15, 2008 12:47 pm

why the hell aren't you using the godin in that "loud stage" scenario... it's perfect for the job !
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Pabs » Sun Mar 16, 2008 6:13 pm

Steve Hill wrote:No offence Dale. It just seemed a bit dimissive to write of a dozen-odd contributions as all being useless!

I'm not sure they all are.

Picking up on Max's point though, I have a decent classical guitar, a very good flamenco guitar, and a Yamaha electro-acoustic which was a lot cheaper than the others, but plays nicely enough. Although it doesn't sound so good. The Yamaha is the only one which I can play live in a band context with the remotest hope of success.

Dominic Miller (Sting's guitarist) uses a Fernandes P-Project Nylon string which looks a lot like a Telecaster. The luthier at Fernadez who used to make these has since died and they are no longer produced. If you come across one, snap it up, at any price. Some info from Dominic here.

I have to agree with Steve. I saw Dominic playing with his band (also with Pat Metheny too) and his guitar didn't have that brittle, plasticy kind of transient I normally associate with piezo bridges. Also i think Dom's right hand technique also helps...I suspect he uses more flesh and less nail.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Wonks » Sun Mar 16, 2008 10:48 pm

I haven't heard a good sounding nylon strung acoustic guitar played live. I'm only going by concerts on TV and DVDs, but all the ones using the in-built pickups all seem to have even more of that piezo 'quack' than with steel strung acoustics. And these are people with access to top-notch guitars and the associated budgets.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby cheu78 » Mon Mar 17, 2008 12:18 am

What about a Schertler?
I only worked with the piano pick up and i found it very nice...I heard (I didn't used it personally) the guitar pickup and sounded very good..I don't know maybe it's out of your budget...
Anyway they're made in Switzerland ;)
hope this helps,
regards,
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Julian_M » Tue Mar 18, 2008 11:19 am

Wonkey Wabbit wrote:I haven't heard a good sounding nylon strung acoustic guitar played live. I'm only going by concerts on TV and DVDs, but all the ones using the in-built pickups all seem to have even more of that piezo 'quack' than with steel strung acoustics. And these are people with access to top-notch guitars and the associated budgets.

I was quite impressed by the sound Santana got on the Supernatural Live DVD - and obviously he's not exactly counting the pennies, but I don't think it was mic'd. Could be wrong - I don't have the DVD to check atm.

Also I thought about the Castillo (?) brothers out of Chingon - I think they use top end Takamine? Thinking about flamenco style in a "rock" setting - very different requirements to a solo or all acoustic set.

Anyway I agree that the way forward has to be to find out what other flamenco/classical players do live and to try and duplicate their gear if you like the sound. If someone's got there by trial and error over the years and hundreds if not thousands of gigs - use their experience. OK so some of those solutions are going to cost - but the old "buy cheap buy twice" springs to mind and once you have your live gear sorted you're set for many years to come.

ElGreco - How you getting on with the Fishman pedal?
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby ElGreco » Wed Apr 02, 2008 1:48 am

Hello to all!

I got a Fishman Aura pedal and some of the sound images seem to improve the sound. I decided to get rid of the BBand and replace it with a Fishman Matrix Infinity, in order to drive the Aura better. With only a UST on the guitar, I am going to miss the taping on the board sounds however.. An omni mic on the soundboard,or a dynamic mic in front of the guitar mixed with the Fishman UST should do the job I guess..
When I have my guitar back and ready from the guitar technician I ll tell you if all this was worth it, or if it it was a loss of time and money (I hope not!!)

Cheers!
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby shufflebeat » Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:06 pm

Too late for you but might be of interest.

I've just put a Headway Snake 3 into my mandola. Easy fitting, good balance, huge output/complex sound (good for EQ/shaping), loves the Fishman Aura blender. £95 quid well spent.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby John Miller » Fri Jun 02, 2017 10:16 am

Steve Hill wrote:No offence Dale. It just seemed a bit dimissive to write of a dozen-odd contributions as all being useless!

I'm not sure they all are.

Picking up on Max's point though, I have a decent classical guitar, a very good flamenco guitar, and a Yamaha electro-acoustic which was a lot cheaper than the others, but plays nicely enough. Although it doesn't sound so good. The Yamaha is the only one which I can play live in a band context with the remotest hope of success.

Dominic Miller (Sting's guitarist) uses a Fernandes P-Project Nylon string which looks a lot like a Telecaster. The luthier at Fernadez who used to make these has since died and they are no longer produced. If you come across one, snap it up, at any price. Some info from Dominic here.

Thanks a lot for the tip, I didn't even know that he's using nylon. I always thought that it is useful for beginners just to get used to it. I personally prefer metal strings but only like 10-46, heavy strings may sound brighter & fuller but it's really hard to play for a long time with them.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:44 am

Old thread John but welcome to the forum. On an acoustic guitar higher tension strings usually sound better be it nylon or steel but different guitars are set up/built to suit a certain range of tensions, too heavy can strangle the top (or even destroy it). e.g. , 13s on a parlour. More playing will result in stronger hands and fingers allowing you to play with the correct tension strings for your chosen guitar.

Also fatter picks (if you use a pick) will sound fatter and the easiest way to ruin the sound of an expense acoustic is to use a .50 nylon pick and light strings. :headbang:
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Guest271017 » Fri Jun 02, 2017 12:08 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:Also fatter picks (if you use a pick) will sound fatter and the easiest way to ruin the sound of an expense acoustic is to use a .50 nylon pick and light strings.


I can't play with thin picks, my attack is too firm. With them, I don't know where the tip is. I'm expecting it to have plucked a string and be ready for the next, But it's still flopped over the first. Feels like I'm flapping a wet noodle about.

I do know players that have an extremely light attack and use the thinnest of picks, strictly. Put an extra heavy in their hand and it's a train wreck. And they're fast.

You have to play a lot every day, or have a job that keeps your grip strength up to play heavy gauge. A few weeks ago I ripped all of my callouses off when I tried to moose my way through bends on a Strat I have 13's on. Just out of the shower and I pull that moronic move.

As for classical guitars and nylon strings, look no further than Chet Atkins, Jerry Reed, Mark Knopfler and all the claw/ finger picking greats. It's the string spacing that's the draw for me with that genera of music.

When you have larger hands, on a guitar with normal string spacing, to grab a chord or the like, you have to almost pack your fingers into the correct positions to grab it. Now, you have to un-pack, move and re-pack them for the next. That's a lot of extra movement that affects speed. With the wider spacing, everything falls in line, no pack/ un-pack needed.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Sam Spoons » Fri Jun 02, 2017 11:41 pm

mashedmitten wrote:I do know players that have an extremely light attack and use the thinnest of picks, strictly. Put an extra heavy in their hand and it's a train wreck. And they're fast.

Electric players who use distortion can get away with thin picks 'cos most of he tone comes from the pedals/preamps (I play electric) but, as MM says, the control is vastly superior with a still pick. Also most guys who play fast with distortion (the ubiquitous 'shredders') are playing mostly 'legato' style and only picking every third note anyway so the pick is almost irrelevant.

Really though I'm talking about acoustic guitar. Look at fast acoustic players and it's an entirely different picture (referring to 'flat pickers' here BTW not fingerstyle players). Modern Gypsy Jazz players like Joscho Stephane and Remi Harris (and of course Django himself), or Bluegrass flat pickers like Tony Rice and the UK's own Charlotte Carrivick all play blisteringly fast on big acoustic guitars with heavy strings and thick plectrums. They pick almost every single note with very few hammer-ons or pull-offs and at it's best it's stunningly clean and precise.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby blinddrew » Sat Jun 03, 2017 11:48 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
mashedmitten wrote:Modern Gypsy Jazz players like Joscho Stephane and Remi Harris (and of course Django himself), or Bluegrass flat pickers like Tony Rice and the UK's own Charlotte Carrivick all play blisteringly fast on big acoustic guitars with heavy strings and thick plectrums.

That's my youtube listening sorted for a couple of hours, cheers Sam! :)
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby OneWorld » Sat Jun 03, 2017 3:42 pm

blinddrew wrote:
Sam Spoons wrote:
mashedmitten wrote:Modern Gypsy Jazz players like Joscho Stephane and Remi Harris (and of course Django himself), or Bluegrass flat pickers like Tony Rice and the UK's own Charlotte Carrivick all play blisteringly fast on big acoustic guitars with heavy strings and thick plectrums.

That's my youtube listening sorted for a couple of hours, cheers Sam! :)

Yep, mine too :-)
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:18 pm

ElGreco wrote:Hello! :)

Any pickup system that you would recommend for a classical/flamenco guitar?

A DPA onboard mic, or a SE Electronics GM10, then as always with acoustic guitar in a band you have to work your stage position with respect to PA and other members.

Ahah hadnt noticed the OP is from 2008!
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby CS70 » Sat Jun 03, 2017 9:26 pm

Sam Spoons wrote:
mashedmitten wrote:Electric players..

I've been trying something similar to the George Benson picking technique lately when picking every string fast and it's a thing of wonder. It's totally counter intuitive at start and it takes a while to get the hang of it but it makes you slice thru strings like butter, then it's only your left hand coordination speed that limits you.

Basically it consists in taking the pick vertical and not horizontal, and then angle it just a little bit to get the amount of attack you want. It makes downstrokes and upstrokes indistinguishably easy and completely bypasses the "string jump" issue which slows you down terribly. For example, you can play violin-like flourishings, picking every string with ease, something thats (to me at least) is really difficult with a standard picking technique.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Sam Spoons » Sun Jun 04, 2017 10:34 am

You're welcome :)

I've been lucky enough to do PA for the Charlotte and Laura Carrivick on three occasions as "The Carrivick Sisters", "Cardboard Fox" and most recently as "Midnight Skyracer". Great players and nice people. :D
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby blinddrew » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:49 pm

I've heard a fair bit of their stuff (never seen them live unfortunately) but I don't think I've ever sat down and really listened to the picking technique.
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