You are here

Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

For all things relating to guitars, basses, amps, pedals & accessories.

Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

Postby Scouser » Mon Sep 11, 2017 12:42 pm

Ok so i'm a bit of a purist when it comes to acoustic guitar tone. I positively dislike acoustics plugged into amps/PA's, admittedly I haven't tried some of the new dedicated acoustic amps, have tried a couple of friends amps : Ashdown & Fishman but not overwhelmed, I have a couple of Fender and Vox electric amps, so they are not ideal.

A few people have suggested pedals such as TC body Rez, but again they seem to enhance what I don't like about plugged in acoustics.

I just wanted to know if there are any pedals out there that help the guitar sound more natural, this may not be possible of course ?

The guitars I play are good, Martins etc so Its not like I'm playing budget guitars. But they only have fishman under saddle pickups. This is purely for when I'm playing live, I'm not going to mic the guitars just for regular gigs.

So what are my options ?
Frequent Poster
Posts: 512
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2004 11:00 pm

Re: Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

Postby ore_terra » Mon Sep 11, 2017 1:10 pm

there are pedals that emulate natural (miked) acoustics. Fishman Aura. some people loves it, some people dont like it (I havent tried it myself but I like the samples I've heard).

however, I personally think you cant get a natural sound if a piezo under saddle pickup is what your guitar has, no matter how good it is and how good the preamp is... I just dont like it.

I installed ONE OF THESE K&K things in my j45. the option with the goose neck mick and the amp and it sounds much better than any other system (nothing like a miked guitar, though) I've tried.

this one is recorded straight to the interface:

(just to be clear, I don't work nor represent K&K in any way. If I would they'd probably sack me out after that recording :lol: :lol: )
User avatar
Posts: 424
Joined: Fri Dec 02, 2016 12:56 pm
Location: Manchester

Re: Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

Postby DC-Choppah » Thu Sep 14, 2017 1:35 am

I play an Altimira Gypsy jazz acoustic guitar (F-hole style) with a Bigtone piezo pickup and a Fishman Aura through a Fishman Loudbox Artist amp.

I get compliments on the guitar tone. I tried many things before arriving here. I tried many piezo pickups but the bigtone is the best.

If you are curious let me know and I will post some sound samples if you would like. You have to match the Aura sound to your guitar and this takes some exploration to find the right match.

Personally I think that strings are a critical part of the acoustic guitar tone that is overlooked by some. Really it is simple: heavier, higher tension strings make a better sound and bring out the sound of the instrument, but require better technique to play. Light strings sound amateurish. No amount of electronics can compensate for light and flimsy strings.

If you haven't played a Bigtone yet, you should check it out. Not cheap though and you need a Luthier to install it. I think the key is that you don't have a funny interface between the pickup and the guitar. That contact is what leads to a bad sound. Instead, the Bigtone is integrated into the bridge so it is one with the bridge and there is no interface. It just vibrates along with the instrument since it is part of the instrument.
User avatar
Frequent Poster
Posts: 931
Joined: Thu Jul 19, 2012 11:00 pm
Location: MD, USA

Re: Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

Postby Matt Houghton » Thu Sep 14, 2017 8:17 am

You could try a clamp-on-body mic like the DPA 4099G, though I've not tried it.

Failing that, the best option I've tried is the Fishman Aura pedal, though it can take a bit of trial and error to find the best setting for your particular guitar (hence, presumably, the 'some love it, some hate it' tag).

Another potential option (which I've not explored and is perhaps a little, erm, convoluted — do let me know if any of you have tried this!) is to use one of the pedals intended for electric guitar which can host impulse responses (they're intended mainly for speaker cab emulation) — experiment at home with EQ (a Match EQ-style plug-in could work well here) and reverb to get your DI'd sound as close as possible to your miked sound, then capture an impulse through the processing chain, and finally load said impulse onto the pedal.
Matt Houghton
Frequent Poster
Posts: 841
Joined: Tue Aug 07, 2007 11:00 pm
SOS Reviews Editor

Re: Pedals that produce natural acoustic guitar sound

Postby Sam Spoons » Thu Sep 14, 2017 7:52 pm

I too have a Bigtone in my Aylward Selmer style guitar. Even passive into my AER or, via a DI into studio desk (X32) it sounds remarkably good. I suspect the reason is that it is not a standard under saddle pickup but is potted/encapsulated in the floating bridge so is not under pressure but is simply acting as a microphone. I dislike USTs fairly comprehensively, to the extent of preferring Fishman Rare Earth pickups in most of my acoustics and I believe the dreaded 'quack' is a characteristic of USTs (being under pressure under the bridge saddle) rather than simply piezo transducers (borne out by my Emerald X7 becoming a bit 'quacky' despite having a capacitive (B-Band) UST. Sadly the option of fitting a Rare Earth is not available 'cos of the offset soundhole, as it is with the Aylward's small oval 'petit bouche'.

I have also used the DPA which is fantastic (though at a price) and also have a cheap T-Bone copy (not so fantastic but ⅛ of the price and good enough to be useful).
User avatar
Sam Spoons
Jedi Poster
Posts: 6301
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Manchester UK
Finally taking this recording lark seriously (and recording my Gypsy Jazz CD)........

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users