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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 ore_terra » Mon Jun 05, 2017 10:09 am

Sam Spoons wrote:
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.

jmmm... I strongly disagree with your 1st paragraph. It may be something like that in metal-ish styles with 0.09 strings, loads of high hain distortion and scoop mids. But listening to duane allman, stevie ray vaughan or even brian may himself I wouldnt discard the importance of the plectrum in the final tone ;-)
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Sam Spoons » Mon Jun 05, 2017 4:39 pm

You're right, of course, I had only the shred brigade in my mind when I posted that. I play mostly acoustic these days (folk, Americana and gypsy jazz) but also electric blues/rock and country. I use Michael Wegen's 3.5mm picks for everything, "Twins" when playing electric and "Gypsy Jazz" picks on acoustic and mandolin. Thick picks rule :)
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Datikus » Thu Nov 23, 2017 12:07 am

Hi everyone
I was looking for some information regarding piezo for my Takamine and found this page.
Thanks everyone for interesting information.
Currently I'm looking for a new piezo for a better sound.
What I got is Takamine EC132SC with a new CTP-3 Cooltube. It has an AUX input to add a second piezo.
I found Takamine https://www.ebay.com/itm/Takamine-Soundboard-Transducer-Pickup-Guitar-Hand-Saw-Oud-Ukulele-Kalimba/222290676559?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2055119.m1438.l2649
Which looks interesting for me.
In addition, I use TC electronics G-natural and it has an microphone input. So, I want to use three sound sources - 1. Takamine original undersaddle pickup. 2. Takamine Soundboard Transduce Pickup and 3. Microphone (inserted into TC effect processor).
The microphone I usually use is Schoeps hypercardioid, which is quite resistant to feedback.
I already like my sound, but I hope with Takamine Soundboard Transduce Pickup it can become even better.

I would be happy if you give me advises regarding piezos, as I didn't buy it yet.

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

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:25 am

Soundboard or bridge plate mounted piezos rely on a solid attachment to the guitar, the double sided tape or putty provided is rarely sufficient. Epoxy or superglue is necessary but once it's on you won't be removing it without damage.

Experiment with putty to find the best position before gluing it on permanently.

Soundwise, a piezo transducer is a piezo transducer and IME expensive ones don't necessarily sound better than cheaper alternatives, however it's probably not worth taking the chance.

BTW do you use the mic at present?
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:33 am

Hi Daticus and welcome.

I too have an Takamine, though a steel-string, not a classical like yours is (mine's a Santa Fe DSF-48C) that originally had a digital pre-amp but I swapped that for a Cooltube CTP1-R (the first version of the Cooltube which misses the notch and standby features of the CTP-3 but is otherwise similar) .

I did look at getting another pickup for the guitar to make use of the aux input, but decided that it was really designed for Takamine's Tri-Ax or Tri-Ax 2 soundhole pickup and that it was a lot of money for an extra sound variation on a guitar that I now rarely play live on. I then decided that I was already happy with the sound of the basic pickup, so stopped thinking about it.

Having nylon string, you don't have the ability to use a soundhole pickup, so another Piezo style transducer is really your only option. I've never tried any of the transducers out and have no idea how they sound or how a cheap piezo disk type compares to the 5x to 10x expensive Takamine and Fishman type disk transducers.

But as the Takamine one is designed to work with the CoolTube, there won't be any impedance matching issues, so is probably the best choice. I've also just read a few reviews of a couple of Takamine guitars (albeit steel strung) with the undersaddle and soundboard pickups fitted and they are very complimentary about the sound.

The only issue with the soundboard pickup is finding the right place to put it so that it complements the undersaddle pickup sound, and doesn't fight it. So it will probably be a case of trial and error, and you may need to get some more double sided tape to hold the transducer in place after you've moved it a few times. What you don't want is somewhere where the body is generally moving out of phase with the undersaddle sound, as the result will be a thinning, not a thickening of the blended sound.

The microphone option you talked about - would this be a small one you wanted fitted to the guitar, or an external one on a stand that went straight back to the pre-amp?

At this point I also need to ask if this is for small one-man performances with your own small PA, or bigger, multi-instrument set up with a bigger PA and someone else mixing?

(Sam - piezo isn't the only transducer method available and I can't see how Takamine or Fishman can charge so much if it is a simple Piezo disk).
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:25 pm

Can't say for sure but I'd be very surprised if it wasn't. The 'Palathetic' under saddle system uses piezo transducers too.

K&K use simple piezo discs, sure they have a blob of epoxy potting on the back but at £35 a disc that makes them around 50-100 times more expensive than Maplin specials.....
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Wonks » Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:33 pm

The Cooltube input requires an RCA jack, so with most alternative pickups, you'd need to be able to solder one of those on the existing output lead.
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Datikus » Wed Nov 29, 2017 10:10 am

Thanks!

I usually perform with 4 people (all acoustic instruments and vocal)
I am sure that second piezo placement will be very important. I am going to order it soon. I'll try different positions before I glue it inside.
I was also thinking about DPA d:vote 4099. It costs a lot, but I've read that it sounds really nice. I like my guitar's acoustic sound very much and that's why I want to use mic. I know that feedback won't allow to rise up the volume, but I think I'll use 60-70 % mic sound and add two other piezos, which can give me a nice, warm and natural sound.


Wonks wrote:Hi Daticus and welcome.

I too have an Takamine, though a steel-string, not a classical like yours is (mine's a Santa Fe DSF-48C) that originally had a digital pre-amp but I swapped that for a Cooltube CTP1-R (the first version of the Cooltube which misses the notch and standby features of the CTP-3 but is otherwise similar) .

I did look at getting another pickup for the guitar to make use of the aux input, but decided that it was really designed for Takamine's Tri-Ax or Tri-Ax 2 soundhole pickup and that it was a lot of money for an extra sound variation on a guitar that I now rarely play live on. I then decided that I was already happy with the sound of the basic pickup, so stopped thinking about it.

Having nylon string, you don't have the ability to use a soundhole pickup, so another Piezo style transducer is really your only option. I've never tried any of the transducers out and have no idea how they sound or how a cheap piezo disk type compares to the 5x to 10x expensive Takamine and Fishman type disk transducers.

But as the Takamine one is designed to work with the CoolTube, there won't be any impedance matching issues, so is probably the best choice. I've also just read a few reviews of a couple of Takamine guitars (albeit steel strung) with the undersaddle and soundboard pickups fitted and they are very complimentary about the sound.

The only issue with the soundboard pickup is finding the right place to put it so that it complements the undersaddle pickup sound, and doesn't fight it. So it will probably be a case of trial and error, and you may need to get some more double sided tape to hold the transducer in place after you've moved it a few times. What you don't want is somewhere where the body is generally moving out of phase with the undersaddle sound, as the result will be a thinning, not a thickening of the blended sound.

The microphone option you talked about - would this be a small one you wanted fitted to the guitar, or an external one on a stand that went straight back to the pre-amp?

At this point I also need to ask if this is for small one-man performances with your own small PA, or bigger, multi-instrument set up with a bigger PA and someone else mixing?

(Sam - piezo isn't the only transducer method available and I can't see how Takamine or Fishman can charge so much if it is a simple Piezo disk).
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Paco » Fri Mar 15, 2019 3:01 pm

Hello,

Although nobody has written here for a long time, I want to share my experience in this field.
This blog es very, very interesting for me, because I play the flamenco guitar in Spain.
After searching through Google I found these spanish web pages, very instructives:

https://www.rivel.com.es

On this page I met the pickup TB88/CR. It is the one that I use now with excellent results. You web page is:

https://www.tav.net/pickups-musical-ins ... s-tb88.htm from TAV Pickups

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

Postby CS70 » Thu Mar 21, 2019 8:36 am

Paco wrote:Hello,

Although nobody has written here for a long time, I want to share my experience in this field.
This blog es very, very interesting for me, because I play the flamenco guitar in Spain.
After searching through Google I found these spanish web pages, very instructives:

https://www.rivel.com.es

On this page I met the pickup TB88/CR. It is the one that I use now with excellent results. You web page is:

https://www.tav.net/pickups-musical-ins ... s-tb88.htm from TAV Pickups

Regards

This is brilliant - out of curiosity, do you play with just a dancer or with a full band?
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Re: Best pickup device for a classical/flamenco guitar?

Postby Paco » Sun Apr 21, 2019 11:53 am

Hi friend,
I play a solo or full band.
Greeting
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